BACKFREIGHT- The owners of a ship are entitled to payment
as freight for merchandise returned through the fault of either the consignees or the
consignors. Such payment, which is over and above the normal freight, is called
BACKHAUL- A deviation to move cargo on the return leg of a
the purpose of minimizing ballast mileage and thereby reducing
BACKLETTER- Where a seller/shipper issues a 'letter of
indemnity' in favour of the carrier in exchange for a clean bill of lading. May have only
a limited value. Example: P & I problems.
BAF- Bunker adjustment factor
BAGGED CARGO- Various kinds of commodities usually packed
in sacks or in bags, such as sugar, cement, milk powder, onion, grain, flour, etc.
BALE CAPACITY- Cubic capacity of a vessels holds to carry
packaged dry cargo such as bales/pallets.
BALLAST - Heavy substances loaded by a vessel to improve
stability, trimming, sea-keeping and to increase the immersion at the propeller. Sea water
ballast is commonly' loaded in most vessels in ballast tanks, positioned in compartments
right at the bottom and in some cases on the sides, called wing tanks. On a tanker,
ballast is seawater that is taken into the cargo tanks to submerge the vessel to a proper
BALLAST BONUS- Compensation for relatively long ballast
BALLAST MOVEMENT- A voyage or voyage leg made without any
paying cargo in a vessel's tanks. To maintain proper stability, trim, or draft, sea water
is usually carried during such movements.
BALLAST TANK- Compartments at the bottom of a ship or on
the sides which are filled with liquids for stability and to make the ship seaworthy. Any
shipboard tank or compartment on a tanker normally used for carrying salt water ballast.
When these compartments or tanks are not connected with the cargo system they are called
segregated ballast tanks or systems.
BARE BOAT CHARTER- A charter in which the bare ship is
chartered without crew; the charterer, for a stipulated sum taking over the vessel for a
stated period of time, with a minimum of restrictions; the charterer appoints the master
and the crew and pays all running expenses. See Demise Charter.
BAREBOAT CHARTER- Vessel contract where charterers take
over all responsibility for the operation of the vessel and expenses for a certain period
BARGE -Flat-bottomed boat designed to carry cargo on
inland waterways,usually without engines or crew accommodations. Barges can be lashed
together and either pushed or pulled by tugs, carrying cargo of 60,000 tons or more. Small
barges for carrying cargo between ship and shore are known as lighters.
BARGE ABOARD CATAMARAN - A way of loading cargo into large
barges and then in turn loading the barges into a ship.
BARGE CARRIERS- Ships designed to carry either barges or
containers exclusively, or some variable number of barges and containers simultaneously.
Currently this class includes two types of vessels, the LASH and the SEABEE.
BBB- Before breaking bulk. Refers to freight payments that
must be received before discharge of a vessel commences.
B/d-Barrels per day (measure of petroleum production).
BEAM -The width of a ship. Also called breadth.
BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP- Designates the owner who receives
the benefits or profits from the operation.
BERTH CARGO- When a liner cargo vessel accepts extra cargo
to fill up the empty space remaining.
BERTH C/P- Term used in a voyage charter party, e.g.
vessel shall proceed to Berth 2 at Falmouth.
BILL OF LADING- A document by which the Master of a ship
acknowledges having received in good order and condition (or the reverse) certain
specified goods consigned to him by some particular shipper, and binds himself to deliver
them in similar condition, unless the perils of the sea, fire or enemies prevent him, to
the consignees of the shippers at the point of destination on their paying him the
stipulated freight. A bill of lading specifies the name of the master, the port and
destination of the ship, the goo4s, the consignee, and the rate of freight.
- Bill of Lading
BLACK CARGO- Cargo banned by general cargo workers for
some reason. This ban could be because the cargo is dangerous or hazardous to health.
BLACK GANG - A slang expression referring to the personnel
in the engine department aboard ship.
BLS - Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor.
B/N- Booking note
BOATSWAIN (BOSUN)- The highest unlicensed rating in the
deck department who has immediate charge of all deck hands and who in turn comes under the
direct orders of the master or chief mate or mate.
BOILERS- Steam generating units used aboard ship to
provide steam for propulsion (and) for heating and other auxiliary purposes.
BOW THRUSTERS - A propeller at the lower sea-covered part
of the bow of the ship which turns at right angles to the fore-and-aft line and thus
provides transverse thrust as a manoeuvering aid.
B/p or BOP - Balance of payments.
BREADTH- See Beam
BREAKBULK VESSEL- A general, multipurpose, cargo ship that
carriers cargoes of nonuniform sizes, often on pallets, resulting in labor-intensive
loading and unloading; calls at various ports to pick up different kinds
BREAK BULK- The process of assimilating many small
shipments into one large shipment at a central point so that economies of scale may be
achieved; to commence discharge of cargo.
BRIDGE -Used loosely to refer to the navigating section of
the vessel where the wheel house and chart room are located; erected structure amidships
or aft or very rarely fore over the main deck of a ship to accommodate the wheelhouse.
BROKERAGE- Percentage of freight payable to broker (by
owners in c/p's) or applicable to sale or purchase.
BULK -Cargo shipped in loose condition and of a
homogeneous nature.Cargoes that are shipped unpackaged either dry, such as grain and ore,
or liquid, such as petroleum products. Bulk service generally is not provided on a
regularly scheduled basis, but rather as needed, on specialized ships, transporting a
BULK CARRIER- Ship specifically designed to transport vast
amounts of cargoes such as sugar, grain, wine, ore, chemicals, liquefied natural gas; coal
and oil. See also LNG Carrier, Tanker, OBO Ship.
BULKHEAD - A name given to any vertical partition which
separates different compartments or spaces from one another.
BUNKERS- Fuel consumed by the engines of a ship;
compartments or tanks in a ship for fuel storage.
BUOY - A floating object employed as an aid to mariners to
mark the navigable limits of channels, their fairways, sunken dangers, isolated rocks,
telegraph cables, and the like; floating devices fixed in place at sea, lake or river as
reference points for navigation or for other purposes.
CABLE SHIP- A specially constructed ship for the laying
and repairing of telegraph and telephone cables across channels, seas, lakes, and oceans.
CABOTAGE -The carriage of goods or passengers for
remuneration taken on
at one point and discharged at another point within the territory of the
CABOTAGE POLICIES- Reservation of a country's coastal
(domestic) shipping for its own flag vessels.
CAORF -Computer-Assisted Operations Research Facility: A
MarAd R&D facility located at U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point,New York.
CARGO HANDLING- The act of loading and discharging a cargo
CARGO PLAN- A plan giving the quantities and description
of the various grades carried in the ship's cargo tanks, after the loading is completed.
CARGO PREFERENCE- Reserving a portion of a nation's
imports and exports to national-flag vessels.
CARGO RETENTION CLAUSES- Clauses introduced by charterers
based on shortage of delivered cargo because of increased oil prices.
CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY SEA ACT - A law enacted in 1936
covering the transportation of merchandise by sea to or from ports of the United States
and in foreign trades.
CARRIERS- Owners or operators of vessels providing
transportation to shippers. The term is also used to refer to the vessels.
CATAMARAN- A double or treble-hulled vessel constructed in
wood, aluminum or reinforced glass fibre and is also composed of two or three hulls
diagonally joined together by various methods. Normally no ballast is needed to counteract
the center buoyancy since it enjoys good stability at sea.
CATUG -Short for Catamaran Tug. A rigid catamaran tug
connected to a barge. When joined together, they form and look like a single hull of sa
ship; oceangoing integrated tug-barge vessels.
CATWALK - A raised bridge running fore and aft from the
also called "walkway". It affords safe passage over the pipelines and other
CBF- Cubic feet
CBM- Cubic metres
CCC -Commodity Credit Corporation.
CCF -Capital Construction Fund: A tax benefit for
operators of U.S.-built, U.S.-flag ships in the U.S. foreign, Great Lakes, or
noncontiguous domestic trades, by which taxes may be deferred on income deposited in a
fund to be used for the replacement of vessels.
CDS -Construction Differential Subsidy: A direct subsidy
paid to U.S. shipyards building U.S.-flag ships to offset high construction costs in
American shipyards. An amount of subsidy (up to 50 percent) is determined by estimates of
construction cost differentials between U.S. and foreign yards.
CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRY - A document specifying the nation
registry of the vessel.
C & F -Cost and Freight
C & I -Cost and Insurance
CHANDLER- A person who deals in the selling of provisions,
CHARTERER- The person to whom is given the use of the
whole of the carrying capacity of a ship for the transportation of cargo or passengers to
a stated port for a specified time.
CHARTER RATES - The tariff applied for chartering tonnage
CHARTER PARTY- A contractual agreement between a ship
owner and a cargo owner, usually arranged by a broker, whereby a ship is chartered (hired)
either for one voyage or a period of time.
Chemical tanker - Specially designed for the transport of
CHIEF ENGINEER- The senior engineer officer responsible
for the satisfactory working and upkeep of the main and auxiliary machinery and boiler
plant on board ship.
CHIEF MATE - The officer in the deck department next in
rank to the master; second in command of a ship. He is next to the master, most especially
in the navigation and as far as the deck department is concerned. The chief mate assumes
the position of the Master in his absence.
C.I.F. - Cost, Insurance and Freight: Export term in which
the price quoted by the exporter includes the costs of ocean transportation to the port of
destination and insurance coverage.
CLASSIFICATION SOCIETY- Worldwide experienced and
reputable societies. which undertake to arrange inspections and advise on the hull and
of a ship. A private organization that supervises vessels during their construction and
afterward, in respect to their seaworthiness, and the placing
of vessels in grades or "classes" according to the society's rules for each
particular type. It is not compulsory by law that a shipowner have his vessel built
according to the rules of any classification society; but in practice, the difficulty in
securing satisfactory insurance rates for an unclassed vessel makes it a commercial
CLEAN SHIP- Refers to tankers which have their cargo tanks
free of traces of dark persistent oils which remain after carrying crudes and heavy fuel
COA- Contract of affreightment
COASTWISE- Domestic shipping routes along a single coast.
CODE OF LINER CONDUCT (UNCTAD)- A convention drafted under
the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development which provides that
all shipping traffic between two foreign countries is to be regulated as far as the
quantities of shipments are concerned on the following percentages -- 40% for owners of
the country of origin, 40% for owners of country of destination, and 20% for owners of the
country which is neither the origin nor the destination.
COGSA- Carriage of Goods by Sea
COLLIER- Vessel used for transporting coal.
COLLISION AVOIDANCE SYSTEM- Electronic system commonly
used to prevent collisions in inland navigable waterways.
COLREG -Convention on International Regulations for
COMBI -Combination passenger/cargo vessel; a vessel
specifically designed to carry both containers and conventional cargoes.
Combined ships - Ships which can carry both liquid and dry
COMMISSION- See "Brokerage"
COMMON CARRIER- Holds himself out for hire to the general
public. Must post rates and cannot discriminate against customers whose cargo he is
equipped to carry.
COMPLEMENT - The number of officers and crew employed upon
a vessel for its safe navigation and operation.
CONFERENCE- An affiliation of shipowners operating over
the same route(s) who agree to charge uniform rates and other terms of carriage. A
conference is "closed" if one can enter only by the consent of existing members
of the conference. It is "open" if anyone can enter by meeting certain technical
and financial standards. Conference members are common carriers.
CONGESTIONS- Port/berth delays
CONSIGNEE - The person to whom cargo is consigned as
stated on the bills
Construction unit - Equipped to assist during offshore
construction and maintenance work.
CONSIGNOR- The person named in the bill of lading as the
one from whom the goods have been received for shipment.
CONTAINER- A van, flatrack, open top trailer or other
similar trailer body on or into which cargo is loaded and transported without chassis
aboard ocean vessels.; a large rectangular or square container/box of a strong structure
that can withstand continuous rough handling from ship to shore and back. It opens from
one side to allow cargo to be stacked and stowed into it.
CONTAINER SHIP- A ship constructed in such a way that she
can easily stack containers near and on top of each other as well as on deck. A vessel
designed to carry standard intermodal containers enabling efficient loading, unloading,
and transport to and from the vessel. Oceangoing merchant ship designed to transport a
unit load of standard-sized containers 8 feet square and 20 or 40 feet long. The hull is
divided into cells that are easily accessible through large hatches, and more containers
can be loaded on deck atop the closed hatches. Loading and unloading can proceed
simultaneously using giant traveling cranes at special berths. Container ships usually
carry in the range of 25,000 to 50,000 deadweight tons. Whereas a general-cargo ship may
spend as much as 70 percent of its life in port loading and discharging cargo, a container
ship can be turned around in 36 hours or less, spending as little as 20 percent of its
time in port. This ship type is the result of American design innovation. Specialized
types of container ships are the LASH and SeaBee which carry floating containers (or
"lighters,") and RoRo ships, which may carry containers on truck trailers.
CONTRACT OF AFFREIGHTMENT (COA)- A service contract under
which a ship owner agrees to transport a specified quantity of fuel products or specialty
products, at a specified rate per ton, between designated loading and discharge ports.
This type contract differs from a spot or consecutive voyage charter in that no particular
vessel is. specified.
C/P- Charter Party
CPI -Consumer Price Index.
CREW -The personnel engaged on board ship, excluding the
master and officers and the passengers on passenger ships.
CREW LIST- List prepared by the master of a ship showing
the full names, nationality, passport or discharge book number, rank and age of every
officer and crew member engaged on board that ship. This serves as one of the essential
ship's documents which is always requested to be presented and handed over to the customs
and immigration authorities when they board the vessel on arrival.
CROSS-TRADES- Foreign-to-foreign trade carried by ships
from a nation other than the two trading nations.
CRUDE OIL WASHING- A technique of cleaning tanks in oil
Cubic capacity - The most important commercial measurement
when the intrinsic weight of the cargo is so low that the ship becomes full without being
loaded to the cargo line. Is expressed in cubic metres or cubic feet.
DANGEROUS CARGO- All substances of an inflammable nature
which are liable to spontaneous combustion either in themselves or when stowed adjacent to
other substances and, when mixed with air, are liable to generate explosive gases or
produce suffocation or poisoning or tainting of foodstuffs.
DANGEROUS LIQUIDS- Liquids giving off inflammable vapors.
DAVITS -Two radial cranes on a ship which hold the
lifeboats. They are constructed in such a way as to lower and lift the lifeboats the
easiest way possible and are also unobstructed in case of an emergency.
DEADFREICHT- Space booked by shipper or charterer on a
DEADFREIGHT FACTOR- Percentage of a ship's carrying
capacity that is
DEADWEIGHT/DWAT/DWCC- A common measure of ship carrying
capacity. The number of tons (2240 lbs.) of cargo, stores and bunkers that a vessel can
transport. It is the difference between the number of tons of water a vessel displaces
"light" and the number of tons it displaces "when submerged to the 'deep
load line'." A vessel's cargo capacity is less than its total deadweight tonnage. The
difference in weight between a vessel when it is fully loaded and when it is empty (in
general transportation terms, the net) measured by the water it displaces. This is the
most common, and useful, measurement for shipping as it measures cargo capacity.
DECK GANG- The officers and seamen comprising the deck
department aboard ship. Also called deck crew, deck department, or just deck.
DECKHAND- Seaman who works on the deck of a ship and
remains in the wheelhouse attending to the orders of the duty officers during navigation
and manoeuvering. He also comes under the direct orders of the bosun.
DECK LOG -Also called Captain's Log. A full nautical
record of a ship's voyage, written up at the end of each watch by the deck officer on
watch. The principal entries are: courses steered; distance run; compass variations, sea
and weather conditions; ship's position, principal headlands passed; names of lookouts,
and any unusual position, principal headlands passed; names of lookouts, and any unusual
happenings such as fire, collision, and the like..
DECK OFFICER- As distinguished from engineer officer,
refers to all officers who assist the master in navigating the vessel when at sea, and
supervise the handling of cargo when in port.
DECK HOUSE- Small superstructure on the top deck of a
vessel which contains the helm and other navigational instruments.
DEEP SEA TRADES- The traffic routes of both cargo and
passenger vessels which are regularly engaged on the high seas or on long voyages.
DEEP STOWAGE- Any bulk, bagged or other type of cargo
stowed in single hold ships.
DEMISE CHARTER- See Bareboat Charter.
DEMURRAGE -A fee levied by the shipping company upon the
port or supplier for not loading or unloading the vessel by a specified date agreed upon
by contract. Usually, assessed upon a daily basis after the deadline.
DESPATCH- Time saved, reward for quick turnaround - in dry
DEVIATION- Vessel departure from specified voyage course
DISABLED SHIP- When a ship is unable to sail efficiently
or in a seaworthy state as a result of engine trouble, lack of officers or crew, damage to
the hull or ship's gear.
DISCHARGES- An essential document for officers and seamen
as it serves an official certificate confirming sea experience in the employment for which
he was engaged.
DOD -Department of Defense.
DOE - Department of Energy
DOMESTIC OFFSHORE TRADES - Domestic shipping routes
serving Alaska and non-continental U.S. States and territories.
DOT -Department of Transportation.
DOUBLE BOTTOM- General term for all watertight spaces
contained between the outside bottom plating, the tank top and the margin plate. The
double bottoms are sub-divided into a number of separate tanks which may contain boiler
feed water, drinking water, fuel oil, ballast, etc.
DRAFT -The depth of a ship in the water. The vertical
distance between the waterline and the keel, in the U.S. expressed in feet, elsewhere in
Drilling unit - Fitted with drilling rig (oil derrick with
rotary drill and a mud pumping system), drilling for petroleum.
Drill Ship -: Regular ship shaped vessel, production ship.
Positioned by anchors or dynamic positioning. Has its own propulsion machinery.
DRY CARGO- Merchandise other than liquid carried in bulk.
DRY CARGO SHIP- Vessel which carriers all merchandise,
DRY DOCK- An enclosed basin into which a ship is taken for
underwater cleaning and repairing. It is fitted with water tight entrance gates which when
closed permit the dock to be pumped dry.
DUAL PURPOSE SHIP- Specially constructed ship able to
carry different types of cargoes such as ore and/or oil.
DUNNAGE- A term applied to loose wood or other material
used in a ship's hold for the protection of cargo.
DWT -Deadweight tons.
FAC- Fast as can
FACS -Federation of American Controlled Shipping.
FAS -Free Along Side (of ship).
FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION(FMC) - Authorized tariffs and
rate-making procedures on conferences operating in the United States.
FEEDER -A grain container or reservoir constructed around
the hatchway between two decks of a ship which when filled with grain automatically feeds
or fills in the vacant areas in the lower holds.
FEU -Forty Foot Equivalent Units (Containers).
FHEX- Fridays, holidays excluded
FHINC- Fridays, holidays included
FIO -Free in and out.
FIOST- Free in and out, stowed and trimmed
FIREMAN- an unlicensed member of the engine, room staff
whose duties consist in standing watch in the boiler room and insuring the oil burning
equipment is working properly.
FIRST REFUSAL- First attempt at best offer that can be
FIXTURE- Conclusion of shipbrokers negotiations to charter
a ship -
FLAGS OF CONVENIENCE- The registration of ships in a
country whose tax on the profits of trading ships is low or whose requirements concerning
manning or maintenance are not stringent. Sometimes referred to as flags of necessity;
denotes registration of vessels in foreign nations that offer favorable tax structures and
regulations; also the flag representing the nation under whose jurisdiction a ship is
registered. Ships are always registered under the laws of one nation but are not always
required to establish their home location in that country.
FLOATING OIL STORAGE- Oil stored on floating vessels. It
has been the practice for oil to be stored in large laid-up oil tankers in order to offset
the loss involved while the tankers are inactive.
FMC -Federal Maritime Commission.
FO- Fuel oil/free out
FOB (FREE ON BOARD)- Cost of a product before
transportation costs are figured in.
F.O.B. - Free on Board: Export term in which the price
quoted by the exporter does not include the costs of ocean transportation, but does
include loading on board the vessel.
FORCE MAJEURE- Clause limiting responsibilities of
charterers, shippers and receiver of cargo
FORECASTLE- The raised part of the forward end of a ship's
hull. The inside space may be used for crew accommodation or quarters, though on new ships
this space is being used for the storage of paints, tackle, deck and engine stores,
FORWARD - At or in the direction of the bow. Also the fore
part of the ship.
FREE PRATIQUE- Clearance by the Health Authorities
FREIGHT- Money payable on delivery of cargo in a
FREIGHT FORWARDER- Arranges shipments for customers
usually break bulk. Does not actually carry the cargo or conduct business for the ship.
FREIGHT RATE- The charge made for the transportation of
FRUSTRATION- Charterers when cancelling agreement
sometimes quote 'doctrine of frustration' i.e. vessel is lost, extensive delays .
GA- General Average
GANGWAY- A narrow portable platform used as a passage, by
persons entering or leaving a vessel moored alongside a pier or quay.
Gas tanker - Specially designed for the transport of
condensed (liquefied) gases. The most important gases are: ammonia, ethylene, LNG
(Liquefied Natural Gas), which consists mainly of methane, and is cooled to a temperature
of minus 163 degrees Celcius, and LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) such as butane and
GATF -General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade
GDP -Gross Domestic Product: The total value of goods and
services produced by a nation over a given period, usually 1 year.
GENERAL CARGO- A non-bulk oil cargo composed of
GEOGRAPHICAL ROTATION- Ports in order of calling
GNP -Gross National Product: GDP plus the net income
GOVERNMENT IMPELLED- Cargo owned by or subsidized by the
GRAIN CAPACITY- Cubic capacity in 'grain"
GREAT LAKES PORTS- Ports in the lakes of Canada and/or USA
popular for grain shipments. In Canada: Port Arthur and Fort William in Lake Superior;
Hamilton, Kingston, Toronto and Prescott in Lake Ontario. In USA: Chicago, Milwaukee in
Lake Michigan; Duluth and Superior in Lake Superior and Toledo in Lake Erie.
GREAT LAKES SHIP- Cargo ship developed to carry raw
materials and manufactured goods on the Great Lakes. Most carry bulk cargoes of grain,
iron ore or coal.
GROSS FREIGHT- Freight money collected or to be collected
without calculating the expenses relating to the running cost of the ship for the
Gross and Net tonnage (GT and NT) - Gross tonnage is the
basis on which manning rules and safety regulations are applied, and registration fees are
reckoned. Port fees are also often reckoned on the basis of GT and NT. GT and NT are
defined according to formulas which take account, among other things, of the volume of the
vessel's enclosed spaces (GT) and the volume of its
GROSS REGISTERED TONS- A common measurement of the
internal volume of a ship with certain spaces excluded. One ton equals 100 cubic feet; the
total of all the enclosed spaces within a ship expressed in tons each of which is
equivalent to 100 cubic feet.
GROUNDING -Deliberate contact by a ship with the bottom
while she is moored or anchored as a result of the water level dropping.
HAGUE RULES- Code of minimum conditions for the carriage
of cargo under a bill of lading
HARBOR DUES- Various local charges against all seagoing
vessels entering a harbor, to cover maintenance of channel depths, buoys, lights, etc. all
harbors do not necessarily have this charge.
HARBOR MASTER- A person usually having the experience of a
certificated master mariner and having a good knowledge of the characteristics of the port
and its whole area. He administers the entire shipping movements that take place in and
within reach of the port he is responsible for.
HARD AGROUND- A vessel which has gone aground and is
incapable of refloating under her own power.
HARD CURRENCY- A currency which is sound enough to be
accepted internationally and which is usually fully convertible.
HARTER ACT- (1893). This U.S. statute refers to
merchandise or property transported from or between ports of the United States and foreign
ports. Now partially superseded by the US Carriage of Goods by Sea Act of 1936.
HATCH -An opening, generally rectangular, in a ship's deck
affording access into the compartment below.
HAWSER -Large strong rope used for towing purposes and for
securing or mooring ships. Hawsers are now mostly made of steel.
HELM - A tiller or a wheel generally installed on the
bridge or wheelhouse of a ship to turn the rudder during manoeuvering and navigation. It
is in fact the steering wheel of the ship.
HOISTING ROPE - Special flexible wire rope for lifting
purposes, generally being of six strands with 19 wires in each strand and in most cases
having a hemp rope at the center.
HIRE- T/C remuneration
HOLD - A general name for the spaces below the main deck
designated for stowage of general cargo. A hold on a tanker is usually just forward of #1
cargo tank. Some newer tankers have no hold.
HOVERCRAFT- A vessel used for the transportation of
passengers and cargo riding on a cushion of air formed under it. It is very maneuverable
HULL -Shell or body of a ship.
HYDROFOIL - A craft more or less similar to the Hovercraft
insofar as it flies over water and thus eliminates friction between the water and the
hull. Under acceleration it rises above water but remains in contact with the surface
through supporting legs.
ILO -International Labor Organization; Based in Geneva, it
is one of the oldest components of the UN system of specialized agencies and has been
involved over the years in appraising and seeking to improve and regulate conditions for
seafarers. In its unusual tripartite way, involving official representatives of
government, employer and employee interests, its joint Maritime Commission have had in
hand moves on the employment of foreign seafarers to urge the application of minimum labor
standards, on crew accommodation, accident prevention, medical examination and medical
care, food and catering and officers competency..
IMDG -International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code.
IMF -International Monetary Fund.
IMO -International Maritime Organization: Formerly known
as the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO), was established in
1958 through the United Nations to coordinate international maritime safety and related
INERT GAS SYSTEM -A system of preventing any explosion in
the cargo tanks of a tanker by replacing the cargo, as it is pumped out, by an inert gas,
often the exhaust of the ship's engine. Gas-freeing must be carried out subsequently if
worker have to enter the empty tanks.
INFLAMMABLE LIQUIDS- Liquids liable to spontaneous
combustion which give off inflammable vapors at or below 80 degrees F. For example, ether,
ethyl, benzine, gasoline, paints, enamels, carbon disulfide, etc.
INLAND WATERS- Term referring to lakes, streams, rivers,
canals, waterways, inlets, bays and the like.
INMARSAT- International Maritime Satellite System.
INTEGRATED TUG BARGE- A large barge of about 600 feet and
22,000 tons cargo capacity, integrated from the rear on to the bow of a tug purposely
constructed to push the barge.
INTERCOASTAL- Domestic shipping routes serving more than
INTERMODALISM- The concept of transportation as a
door-to-door service rather than port-to-port. Thus efficiency is enhanced by having a
carrier coordinating the movement and documentation among different modes
INTERNATIONAL LOAD LINE CERTIFICATE - A certificate which
gives details of a ship's freeboards and states that the ship has been surveyed and the
appropriate load lines marked on her sides. This certificate is issued by a classification
society or the Coast Guard.
INTERNATIONAL OIL POLLUTION COMPENSATION FUND - An
inter-governmental agency designed to pay compensation for oil pollution damage, exceeding
the shipowner's liability. It was created by an IMO Convention in 1971 and started its
operations in October 1978. Contributions come mainly from the oil companies of member
INTERNATIONAL TONNAGE CERTIFICATE - A certificate issued
to a shipowner by a government department in the case of a ship whose gross and net
tonnages have been determined in accordance with the International Convention of Tonnage
Measurement of Ships. The certificate states the gross and net tonnages together with
details of the spaces attributed to each.
INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS - Consist of international
straits, inland and interocean canals and rivers where they separate the territories of
two or more nations. Provided no treaty is enforced both merchant ships and warships have
the right of free and unrestricted navigation through these waterways.
INTERTANKO- An association of independent tanker owners
whose aims are to represent the views of its members internationally.
INTRACOASTAL- Domestic shipping routes along a single
ITF- International Transport Workers Federation (Trade
IWL- Institute Warrant Limits
LAID-UP TONNAGE- Ships not in active service; a ship which
is out of commission for fitting out, awaiting better markets, needing work for
LAKER -Type of ship which trades only in the Great Lakes
of North America. They usually carry grain and ore cargoes.
LANDBRIDGE - A system of through rates and service offered
by a carrier for cargo shipments from a foreign port to a U.S. port, across U.S. land to
another U.S. port and finally by sea to a foreign port destination.
LASH -Lighter aboard ship: A barge carrier designed to act
as a shuttle between ports, taking on and discharging barges.
LASH SHIPS -LASH stand for Lighter Aboard Ship. It is a
specialized container ship carrying very large floating containers, or
"lighters." The ship carries its own massive crane, which loads and discharges
the containers over the stern. The lighters each have a capacity of 400 tons and are
stowed in the holds and on deck. While, the ship is at sea with one set of lighters,
further sets can be made ready. Loading and discharge are rapid at about 15 minutes per
lighter, no port or dock facilities are needed, and the lighters can be grouped for
pushing by towboats along inland waterways.
LAYTIME -Time allowed by the shipowner to the voyage
charterer or bill of lading holder in which to load and/or discharge the cargo. It is
expressed as a number of days or hours or as a number of tons per day.
LAY-UP -Temporary cessation of trading of a ship by a
shipowner during a period when there is a surplus of ships in relation to the level of
available cargoes. This surplus, known as overtonnaging, has the effect of depressing
freight rates to the extent that some shipowners no long find it economical to trade their
ship, preferring to lay them up until there is a reversal in the trend.
L/C- Letter of credit
LESS THAN CONTAINER LOAD- A consignment of cargo which is
inefficient to fill a shipping container. It is grouped with other consignments for the
same destination in a container at a container freight station.
LIFEBOAT- A specially constructed double ended boat which
can withstand heavy, rough seas.
LIFEBOAT DRILL- The master of every vessel is bound by
international law to make the officers, crew and passengers adequately acquainted with the
procedures of lowering and the use of lifeboats in case of emergency.
LIGHT DISPLACEMENT TONNAGE- The weight of a ship's hull,
machinery, equipment and spares.This is often the basis on which ships are paid for when
purchased for scrapping. The difference between the loaded displacement and light
displacement is the ship's deadweight.
LIGHTER- General name for a broad, flat-bottomed boat used
in transporting cargo between a vessel and the shore. The distinction between a lighter
and a barge is more in the manner of use than in equipment. The term "lighter"
refers to a short haul, generally in connection with loading and unloading operations of
vessels in harbor while the term "barge" is more often used when the cargo is
being carried to its destination over a long distance.
LIGHTER ABOARD SHIP- An ocean ship which carries barges.
These barges are loaded with cargo, often at a variety of locations, towed to the ocean
ship, sometimes referred to as the mother ship, and lifted or, in some cases, floated on
board. After the ocean crossing, the barges are off-loaded and towed to their various
destinations. The ocean ship then receives a further set of barges which have been
assembled in readiness. This concept was designed to eliminate the need for specialized
port equipment and to avoid transshipment with its consequent extra cost.
LIGHTERAGE- Charge for conveying cargo by lighters or
LIGHTERING- Conveying cargo with another vessel known as a
lighter from ship to shore, or vice versa.
LIEN- Retention of property until outstanding dept is paid
LINER -A cargo-carrying ship which is operated between
scheduled,advertised ports of loading and discharge on a regular basis.
LINER SERVICE- Vessels operating on fixed itineraries or
regular schedules and established rates available to all shippers. The freight rates which
are charged are based on the shipping company's tariff or if the company is a member of a
liner conference, the tariff of that conference.
LLOYD'S REGISTER OF SHIPPING -British classification
LNG -Liquefied Natural Gas, or a carrier of LNG.
LNG CARRIER - Liquefied natural gas carrier, perhaps the
most sophisticated of all commercial ships. The cargo tanks are made of a special aluminum
alloy and are heavily insulated to carry natural gas in its liquid state at a temperature
of -2850F. The LNG ship costs about twice as much as an oil tanker of the same
LOAD FACTOR- Percentage of cargo or passengers carried
e.g. 4000 tons carried on a vessel of 10000 capacity has a load factor of 40%
LOAD LINE - The line on a vessel indicating the maximum
depth to which that vessel can sink when loaded with cargo. Also known as marks.
LOADED LEG - Subdivision of a ship's voyage during which
the ship is carrying cargo.
LOF- Lloyds open form
LOI- Letter of indemnity
LONG TON- 2,240 pounds.
LOOKOUT -A member of the crew stationed on the forecastle,
or on the bridge, whose duty it is to watch for any dangerous objects or for any other
vessels heaving into sight.
LPG -Liquefied Petroleum Gas, or a carrier of LPG.
LSA -Liner Shipping Agreements.
LT- Long Ton = 1016.05 kilogram
L/T -Long tons (2,240 lbs.).
LUMPSUM FREIGHT- Money paid to shipper for charter of a
ship (or portion) up to stated limit irrespective of quantity of cargo
MAIN DECK- The main continuous deck of a ship running from
fore to aft; the principle deck; the deck from which the freeboard is determined.
MANIFEST -A document containing a full list of the ship's
cargo, extracted from the bills of lading.
MANNING SCALES- The minimum number of officers and crew
members that can be engaged on a ship to be considered as sufficient hands with practical
ability to meet every possible eventuality at sea.
MARITIME ADMINISTRATION (MARAD )- Oversees subsidy
programs to the United States Merchant Marine.Assigns routes to subsidized liners.
MARITIME LIEN- A claim which attaches to the res, i.e.,
the ship,. freight, or cargo.
MARITIME SUBSIDY BOARD (MSB)- A branch within the Maritime
Administration which deals with Operating Differential Subsidy and Construction
MARPOL 73/78- The International Convention for the
Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978.
MASTHEAD LIGHT- A white light positioned over the fore and
aft centerline of the vessel.
MIB -Marine Index Bureau.
MFN -Most Favored Nation.
MINILAND BRIDGE -The process of taking inland cargo bound
for export to the coast by rail and loading it directly to the ship.
MIRAID -Maritime Institute for Research and Industrial
MIXED SHIPMENT- A shipment consisting of more than one
commodity, articles described under more than one class or commodity rate item in a
MICROBRIDGE- A system of through rates and service offered
by a carrier for cargo shipments from any inland U.S. location to a port, by sea to a
foreign port and finally overland to foreign inland destination.
MOA- Memorandum of agreement
MODU -Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit.
MOORING LINE -A cable or line to tie up a ship.
MORTGAGE- Loan issued against some security
MSB -Maritime Subsidy Board.
M/T -Metric tons (2,250 lbs.).
MTC -Maritime Transport Committee, OECD
MULTIPURPOSE SHIP- Any ship capable of carrying different
types of cargo which require different methods of handling. There are several types of
ships falling into this category, for example, ships which can carry roll on/roll off
cargo together with containers.
NATIONAL CARGO BUREAU- A private organization having
representatives throughout the main harbors in the U.S. It is empowered to inspect cargoes
of a hazardous nature and issue certificates which are automatically approved by the Coast
NATIONAL FLAG -The flag carried by a ship to show her
NEOBULK -Shipments consisting entirely of units of a
single commodity,such as cars, lumber, or scrap metal.
NET CAPACITY- The number of tons of cargo which a vessel
can carry when loaded in salt water to her summer freeboard marks. Also called cargo
carrying capacity, cargo deadweight, useful deadweight.
NATIONAL CARGO BUREAU- A private organization having
representatives throughout the main harbors in the U.S. It is empowered to inspect cargoes
of a hazardous nature and issue certificates which are automatically approved by the Coast
NATIONAL FLAG -The flag carried by a ship to show her
NEOBULK- Shipments consisting entirely of units of a
single commodity,such as cars, lumber, or scrap metal.
NET CAPACITY- The number of tons of cargo which a vessel
can carry when loaded in salt water to her summer freeboard marks. Also called cargo
carrying capacity, cargo deadweight, useful deadweight.
NET TONNAGE- Equals gross tonnage minus deductions for
space occupied by crew accommodations, machinery, navigation equipment and bunkers.It
represents space available for cargo (and passengers). Canal tolls are based on net
NON-CONFERENCE LINE- A shipping line which operates on a
route served by a liner conference but which is not a member of that conference.
NONCONTIGUOUS- Domestic shipping routes serving Alaska and
non-continental U.S. States and territories.
NOR- Notice of readiness
NORSKE VERITAS- Norwegian classification society.
NRT -Net registered tons. This tonnage is frequently shown
on ship registration papers; it represents the volumetric area available for cargo at 100
cubic feet = 1 ton. It often is used by port and canal authorities as a basis for charges.
NVO -Non-vessel-operating common carrier, a ships agent,
conducts business for the ship but does not operate the vessel.
OBO- Ore/bulk/oil vessel
OBO SHIP- A multipurpose ship that can carry ore, heavy
dry bulk goods and oil. Although more expensive to build, they ultimately are more
economical because they can make return journeys with cargo rather than empty as
single-purpose ships often must.
OCEAN WAYBILL- A document, issued by a shipping line to a
shipper which serves as a receipt for the goods and evidence of the contract carriage.
ODS -Operating Differential Subsidy: A direct subsidy paid
to U.S.-flag operators to offset the high operating cost of U.S.-flag ships when compared
to foreign-flag counterparts.
OECD -Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development. The Maritime Transport Committee is part of this organization.
OFF-HIRE CLAUSE -In a time charter, the owner is entitled
to a limited time for his vessel to be off hire until such time as the vessel may be
repaired or dry-docked.
OFFICER -Any of the licensed members of the ship's
OFF-LOAD- Discharge of cargo from a ship.
Offshore service vessels - Special vessels employed in
exploration for, development of or continuous production of, subsea oil and gas.
OILER -An unlicensed member of the engine room staff who
oils and greases bearings and moving parts of the main engine and auxiliaries. Most of
this work is now done automatically and the oiler merely insures it operates correctly.
OIL RECORD BOOK- A book or log kept by the master of an
oil tanker wherein every discharge or escape of oil is recorded.
OIL TANKER- A ship designed for the carriage of oil in
bulk, her cargo space consisting of several or many tanks. Tankers load their cargo by
gravity from the shore or by shore pumps and discharge using their own pumps.
OPEN RATES- Pricing systems that are flexible and not
subject to conference approval. Usually applied to products in which tramps are
substituted for liners.
OPEN REGISTRY- A term used in place of "flag of
convenience" or "flag of necessity" to denote registry in a country which
offers favorable tax, regulatory, and other incentives to ship owners from other nations.
ORE CARRIER- A large ship designed to be used for the
carnage of ore.Because of the high density of ore, ore carriers have a relatively high
center of gravity to prevent them being still when at sea, that is, rolling heavily with
possible stress to the hull.
ORE-BULK-OIL CARRIER- A large multi-purpose ship designed
to carry cargoes wither of ore or other bulk commodities or oil so as to reduce the time
the ship would be in ballast if restricted to one type of commodity. This type of ship is
sometimes called bulk-oil carrier.
ORE-OIL CARRIER- A ship designed to carry either ore or
oil in bulk.
ORDINARY SEAMAN - A deck crew member who is subordinate to
the Able Bodied Seamen.
OVERTONNAGING- A situation where there are too many ships
generally or in a particular trade for the level of available cargoes.
PALLET -A flat tray, generally made of wood but
occasionally of steel, on which goods particularly those in boxes, cartons or bags, can be
stacked. Its purpose is to facilitate the movement of such goods, mainly by the use of
PANAMAX- A vessel designed to be just small enough to
transit the Panama Canal
PASSENGER SHIP- A passenger ship that its authorized to
carry over twelve passengers.
PER CONTAINER RATE- Rates and/or changes on shipments
transported in containers or trailers and rated on the basis of the category of the
container or trailer.
PERSONAL FLOATATION DEVICE- Approved floats meant as life
preservers and carried on board American ships.
P & I- Protection and indemnity insurance
PILOT -A person who is qualified to assist the master of a
ship to navigate when entering or leaving a port.
PILOTAGE- The act carried out by a pilot of assisting the
master of a ship in navigation when entering or leaving a port. Sometimes used to define
the fee payable for the services of a pilot.
PILOTAGE DUES -A fee payable by the owner or operator of a
ship for the services of a pilot. This fee is normally based on the ship's tonnage.
PILOT HOUSE- The enclosed space on the navigating bridge
from which a ship is controlled when under way.
P.L. 480- Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance
Act of 1954.
P.L. 664- Mandates that 50 percent of government impelled
cargoes be carried under U.S. flag. Known as the 50/50 shipping law.
PMA -Pacific Maritime Association.
POOLING- The sharing of cargo or the profit or loss from
freight by member lines of a liner conference. Pooling arrangements do not exist in all
PORT CIP- Contracts with berth CIP. NOR can be given when
within commercial limits of the port
PR-17 -Public Resolution which requires that U.S.
Government financed cargoes (Eximbank) must be shipped 100% in U.S. flag ships, but that
the requirement may be waived up to 50% in some cases.
PREAMBLE- Introduction to a Charter Party
PRODUCT CARRIER- A tanker which is generally below 70,000
deadweight tons and used to carry refined oil products from the refinery to the consumer.
In many cases, four different grades of oil can be handled simultaneously.
Production unit - Equipped to extract petroleum, e.g. oil
PROFORMA ACC- Estimated account
PROPANE CARRIER- A ship designed to carry propane in
liquid form. The propane is carried in tanks within the holds; it remains in liquid form
by means of pressure and refrigeration. Such ships are also suitable for the carriage of
PSV (Platform Supply Vessel) - Carries supplies to
drilling units or installations during field de-velopment or production.
PUMPMAN- A rating who tends to the pumps of an oil tanker.
PURSER -A ship's officer who is in charge of
accounts, especially on a passenger ship.
SALVAGE- The property which has been recovered
from a wrecked vessel, or the recovery of the vessel herself.
SB- Safe berth
SEABEE -Sea-barge, a barge carrier design similar
to "LASH" but which uses rollers to move the barges aboard the ship; the
self-propelled loaded barges are themselves loaded on board as cargo and are considerably
larger than those loaded on LASH ships.
SEA TRIALS- A series of trials conducted by the
builders during which the owner's representatives on board act in a consulting and
checking capacity to determine if the vessel has met the specifications.
SEA WORTHINESS- The sufficiency of a vessel in
materials construction,equipment, crew and outfit for the trade in which it is
employed.Any sort of disrepair to the vessel by which the cargo may suffer -- overloading,
untrained officers, etc., may constitute a vessel unseaworthy.
SEAWORTHINESS- Statement on the condition of the
vessel . It has valid certificates, is fully equipped and manned
SEAWORTHINESS CERTIFICATE- A certificate issued
by a classification society surveyor to allow a vessel to proceed after she has met with a
mishap that may have affected its seaworthiness. It is frequently issued to enable a
vessel to proceed, after temporary repairs have been effected, to another port where
permanent repairs are then carried out.
SELF-SUSTAINING SHIP- A containership which has
her own crane for loading and discharging shipping containers enabling the ship to serve
ports which do not have suitable lifting equipment.
SELF-TRIMMING SHIP - A ship whose holds re shaped
in such a way that the cargo levels itself.
SELF-UNLOADER- A bulk carrier which is equipped
with gear for unloading cargo.
Semisubmersible - Deck supported by pillars,
fastened to pontoons. The pontoons are half submerged during operations. Kept in position
by anchors (or by dynamic positioning). Normally equipped with its own propulsion
SHEX- Sundays, holidays excluded
SHIFTING- This refers to movements or changing
positions of cargo from one place to another. This can easily endanger the seaworthiness
or cargoworthiness of the ship.
SHINC- Sundays, holidays, included
SHIP'S ARTICLES- A written agreement between the
master of a ship and the crew concerning their employment. It includes rates of pay and
capacity of each crewman, the date of commencement of the voyage and its duration.
SHIP'S STABILITY- The seaworthiness of a ship
regarding the centrifugal force which enables her to remain upright.
SHIP'S AGENT- A person or firm who transacts all
business in a port on behalf of shipowners or charterers. Also called shipping agent;
SHIPPERS- Individuals or businesses who purchase
transportation services or commodities.
SHIPPER'S COUNCIL- An organization of shippers
formed to collectively and services with the conferences of ship operators.
SHORT TON- 2,000 pounds.
SISTER SHIPS -Ships built on the same design.
SIU -Seafarers International Union.
SLOP TANK- A tank in a tanker into which slops
are pumped. These represent a residue of the ship's cargo of oil together with the water
used to clean the cargo tanks. They are left to separate out in the slop tank.
SOFT CURRENCY- Currency which is not fully
convertible to all currencies but only to some other soft currencies.
SOLAS -Safety of Life a Sea Convention
SP- Safe port
SPOT (VOYAGE)- A charter for a particular vessel
to move a single cargo between specified loading port(s) and discharge port(s) in the
immediate future. Contract rate ("spot" rate) covers total operating expenses,
i.e., bunkers, port charges, canal tolls, crew's wages and food, insurance and repairs.
Cargo owner absorbs, in addition, any expenses specifically levied against the cargo.
S.S. - Steamship.
ST- Short ton
S/T -Short tons (2,000 lbs.).
Stand-by vessel - Stationed near an offshore
in-stallation, responsible for evacuating its crew in emergencies. Also performs
continuous guard function, warning other vessels to keep their distance from
STARBOARD- The right-hand side of a ship when
facing the front or forward end. The starboard side of a ship during darkness is indicated
by a green light.
STATION BILL- A list which shows the vessel's
complement and details their various duties in connection with fire and boat drills.
STEM- Subject to enough cargo
STERN -(Noun) The upright post or bar of the bow
of a vessel.
STERNWAY- The reverse movement of a vessel.
STORE -A general term for provisions, materials
and supplies used aboard ship for the maintenance of the crew, and for the navigation,
propulsion and upkeep of the vessel and its equipment.
STOWAGE- The placing of goods in a ship in such a
way as to ensure the safety and stability of the ship not only on a sea or ocean passage
but also in between ports when parts of the cargo have been loaded or discharged.
STOWAGE FACTOR- Cubic space (measurement tons
occupied by one tonne (2240 lbs or 1000 kgs of cargo))
STRANDING -The running of a ship on shore on a
SUBJECT TO- Depending upon as a condition
TAIL SHAFT- The extreme section at the aft end of
a ship's propeller shaft.
TANK-BARGE- A river barge designed for the
carriage of liquid bulk cargoes.
TANK CLEANING- Removal of all traces of a cargo
from the tanks of a tanker normally by means of high pressure water jets.
TANKER -A tanker is a bulk carrier designed to
transport liquid cargo, most often petroleum products. Oil tankers vary in size from small
coastal vessels of 1,500 tons deadweight, through medium-sized ship of 60,000 tons, to the
giant VLCCs (very large crude carriers).
Tariff Act of 1930 (P.L. 361)- imposes a
50-percent tariff on maintenance and repair work done on U.S.-flag vessels in foreign
shipyards. Also, U.S.-flag vessels must either be built in the United States or have been
a U.S.-flag vessel for at least 3 years to be eligible to carry preference cargo.
TBN- To be named/to be nominated
T/C- Time charter
T/C EQUIVALENT- Revenue per day
TERRITORIAL WATERS- That portion of the sea up to
a limited instance which is immediately adjacent to the shores of any country and over
which the sovereignty and exclusive jurisdiction of that country extend.
T.E.U. -Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit (containers):
A measurement of cargo-carrying capacity on a containership, referring to a common
container size of 20 ft in length.
TI -Transportation Institute, a non-profit
organization devoted to maritime research and education.
TIME BAR- Time after which legal claims will not
TIME CHARTER- A form of charter party wherein
owner lets or leases his vessel and crew to the charterer for a stipulated period of time.
The charterer pays for the bunkers and port charges in addition to the charter hire.
TITLE XI- A ship financing guarantee program.
TON MILE- A measurement used in the economics of
transportation to designate one ton being moved one mile. This is useful to the shipper
because it includes the distance to move a commodity in the calculation.
TONNAGE- Deadweight, gross, net, displacement.
TONNAGE- A quantity of cargo normally expressed
as a number of tons.
TOP-OFF- To fill a ship which is already partly
loaded with cargo.
TOW -When one or more vessels are being towed;
when a tug is towing one or more floating objects; to pull an object in the water by means
of a rope.
TOWAGE -Charges for the services of tugs
assisting a ship or other vessels in ports or other locations; the act of towing a ship or
other objects from one place to another.
TRADING LIMITS- Maritime area usually specified
by range of ports in which a vessel may operate
TRAMP SERVICE- Vessels operating without a fixed
itinerary or schedule or charter contract.
TRIM -The relationship between a ship's draughts
forward and aft.
TUG - A small vessel designed to tow or push
large ships or barges. Tugs have powerful diesel engines and are essential to docks and
ports to maneuver large ships into their berths. Pusher tugs are also used to push
enormous trains of barges on the rivers and inland waterways of the U.S. Oceangoing
salvage tugs provide assistance to ships in distress and engage in such work as towing
drilling rigs and oil production platforms.