INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING TERMS

International Shipping Terms


S.N. Term Full Form Description
1. 3PL 3rd Party Logistics A third party, who takes care of the logistics value chain.
2. BAF Bunker Adjustment Factor A kind of fuel surcharge added to the freigt rates.
3. Barge A kind of small ship Flat Bottomed cargo carrying boat. It is used for movement of small quantity cargo. Mainly used for coastal or river movements.
4. BL Bill of Lading BL is issued by the carrier (Shipping Line/NVOCC). This is the document which is presented to the shipping line at POD, and then only cargo can be cleared.
5. Break Bulk Break Bulk Cargo The cargo which can be counted (Other than Containers). It includes Steel coils, Vehicles etc.
6. Bulk Cargo Bulk Cargo The cargo like coal, limestone etc. These are loaded in the hatches of the ships with the help of cranes having grabs.
7. CAF Currency Adjustment Factor A kind of surcharge added to freight rates, to mitigate the currency risk.
8. CAN Cargo Arrival Notice A document issued by carrier/agent to the importer, notifying him about the arrival of cargo.
9. CBU Completely Built Unit Vehicles being shipped in fully built form.
10. CFS Container Freight Station CFS is a kind of customs bound warehouse, where stuffing and destuffing of containers are done. These are near to the ports.
11. CKD Completely Knocked Down Vehicles being shipped in parts. One vehicle is knocked down in many small small parts and these parts are shipped in containers.
12. CoC Carrier Owned Container The containers owned by the carriers.
13. CY Container Yards These are genaral purpose yards, where generally empty containers are stacked.
14. DBL Draft Bill of Lading The B/L issued by the Carrier to Freight Forwarder. This is just to check the actual format of the B/L as per LC. Master B/L is issued on the basis of DBL and after MBL is issued, this remains null and void.
15. DC Dangerous Cargo Cargos like petroleum, chemical etc. Special equipments are required to handle these.
16. Demurrage Demurrage The penalty paid by the charterar to the owner of the ship for delay in completing the voyage.
17. Dispatch Dispatch The money paid by the owner of the ship to the charterar for completing the voyage in advance. Genarally the rate will be half of demurrage rate.
18. DO Delivery Order A document issued by carrier/agent to the importer, giving him the authority to collect the cargo. This is issued after B/L is surrendered to the carrier/agent.
19. EGM Export General Manifest A document issued by carrier/agent to the port authorities stating that a container is going for export.
20. FAK Freight of all Kind Freight charged by linear operators. Quoted in terms of per TEU.
21. FCL Full Container Load When one container contains cargo for only one consignee.
22. Feeder Feeder Service A kind of shipping service in which ships ply between a distant port and some port having linear service. For Ex- service between Haldia and Colombo. In this case Haldia is a distant port whereas many linear routes pass through Colombo.
23. FEU Forty Feet Equivalent Unit A container of 40' length. One FEU is equal to 2 TEU.
24. FR Flat Rack A kind of container which has just the bottom, like a rack. Generally used for oversized cargo. Freight is more.
25. Freight Freight Money charged by shipping lines to take the cargo from one port to another.
26. HBL House Bill of Lading The B/L issued by Freight Forwarder to the Shipper. In this B/L the name of actual importer will reflect as consignee.
27. IATA International Air Transport Organisation An organisation of all the air transporters across the world. Any new air transporter needs an IATA license to operate.
28. ICD Inland Container Depot ICDs' are a kind of CFS only. The only difference is that ICDs' are far from the ports. These are generally called Dry Ports.
29. IGM Import General Manifest A document issued by carrier/agent to the port authorities stating that a container is coming for imports.
30. LC Letter of Credit LC is the master document. It is opened by the bank of consignee in favour of the shipper. All the terms & conditions of the trade are mentioned in this document.
31. LCL Less than Container Load When one container contains cargo for more than one consignee.
32. Lo-Lo Lift On Lift Off It is generally used to describe the kind of terminals where vehicles/containers or any cargo are lifted through lifts and put onto the ship.
33. Mate's Receipt Mate's Receipt A declaration given by the captain of the ship about the cargo. B/L is issued based on this.
34. MBL Master Bill of Lading The B/L issued by Carrier to the Freight Forwarder. In this B/L Freight Forwarder will be shown as consignee. This is done to hide the actual importers details from the Carrier.
35. MLO Main Line Operator The shipping lines, having linear services.
36. MTO Multimodal Transport Operator A Kind of license issued by DG-Shipping. It authorises carriers to issue multimodal B/L.
37. OT Open Top A kind of container which has no ceiling. Used for oversized cargo. Freight is more than general container.
38. POD Port of Discharge The port where cargo is to be discharged.
39. POL Port of Loading The port where cargo has been loaded on the ship.
40. Reefer Refrigerated Container The containers having refrigeration units. They have a battery to operate on and are connected to external power at ports and on ships. Used for shipping meats, fruits etc.
41. RMQ Rail Mounted Quay A kind of crane used at container terminals.
42. Ro-Ro Roll On Roll Off It is a kind of terminal used to ship the vehicles in CBU forms. Vehicles are just driven through the terminal and parked in the ship.
43. SKD Semi Knocked Down Vehicles being shipped in parts. One vehicle is knocked down into 4-5 major parts and these parts are shipped.
44. Slot Slot Money charged by shipping lines from NVOCC operators to take containers from one port to another.
45. SoC Shipper Owned Container The containers which have been arranged by the shipper/agent and not by the shipping line.
46. TAMP Tariff Authority of Major Ports A statutory body formed by GoI. It regulates the tariffs charged at all the 12 major ports in India.
47. TEU Twenty Feet Equivalent Unit Represents a unit for containers. One TEU is equal to one container of 20' length.
48. THC Terminal Handling Charges Charges to be paid to terminal operator (Most of the cases-Ports). It includes loading charges and charges paid to the stevedores.