Certification by duly recognized body of the facilities, capability, objectivity, competence, and integrity of an agency, service, or operational group or individual to provide the specific service or operation needed. For example, the Registrar Accreditation Board accredits those organizations that register companies to the ISO 9000 series standards.

Ad Valorem

In proportion to the value.

Agent (Agt.)

A person authorized to transact business for, and in the name of, another person or company.


Automated Manifest System.  An application that expedites the clearance of cargo for the subsequent release of containers when imported to the U.S. through electronic submission of cargo manifests in lieu of bulk paper manifests. 

Arrival notice

An advice that the carrier sends to the consignee advising of goods coming forward for delivery. Pertinent information such as BL number, container number and total charges due from consignee etc, are included and sent to consignee prior to vessel arrival. This is done gratuitously by the carrier to ensure smooth delivery but there is no obligation by the carrier to do so. The responsibility to monitor the transit and present himself to take timely delivery still rests with the consignee.

Awkward cargo

Cargo of irregular size that can either be containerized (packed in container) or non-containerized (without equipment associated with) during transportation. It requires prior approval on a case by case basis before confirmation of booking.

Axle load

Maximum load permitted to be carried on each axle of a motor vehicle.

Bill of lading (B/L)

Official legal document representing ownership of cargo, a negotiable document to receive cargo, and the contract for cargo between the shipper and the carrier.

Block train

Railcars grouped in a train by destination so that segments (blocks) can be uncoupled and routed to different destinations as the train moves through various junctions. Eliminates the need to break up a train and sort individual railcars at each junction.

Blocking or bracing

Wood or metal supports to keep shipments in place or on railcars.


Bales. A kind of customary packing unit.


Movement of a tractor, without trailer, over the highway.

Bona fide

In good faith.

Booking number

A reference number for bookings registered. It should be unique without duplication for a three-year period.


The front of a vessel.


Common term for an ocean going freight container.


A closed freight car.


Business Process and Systems - section within ISD responsible for implementation of IRIS-2 and user support in system and business processes.

Break-bulk cargo

Goods shipped loose in the vessel's hold and not in a container.

British Thermal Unit (BTU)

The amount of heat required to produce a temperature change of one degree Fahrenheit in one pound of water.

Bulk carriers

A vessel carrying dry, liquid, grain, not packaged, bundled or bottled cargo, and is loaded without marks & number or count.

Bull rings

Cargo-securing devices mounted in the floor of containers; allow lashing and securing of cargo.

Bunker surcharge (BAF, BSC)

Bunker Adjustment factor (BAF), or Bunker Surcharge (BSC) are surcharges assessed by the carrier to freight rates to reflect current cost of bunker.


Heavy oil used as fuel for ocean vessels.


Currency Adjustment Factor. Surcharge percentage applied to freight rates to reflect currency fluctuations.

C.B.M. (C.M.)

Cubic meter.


Abbreviation for Cars Knocked Down.  Automobile parts and subassemblies manufactured abroad and transported to a designated assembly plant.  A classification of Third Party International shippers. See Knocked Down.


Collect (cash) on Delivery; Carried on Docket (pricing); Change of Destination.

Cargo manifest

A manifest that lists only cargo, without freight and charges.


Any individual, company or corporation engaged in transporting goods.


The construction system employed in container vessels; permits below ship containers to be stowed in a vertical line with each container supporting the one above it.

Cellular vessel

A vessel designed with internal ribbing to permit the support of stacked containers.

Certificate of origin

Document certifying the country of origin of goods which is normally issued or signed by a Chamber of Commerce or Embassy.

CFC's (Chlorofluorocarbons)

Chemical compounds containing mixtures of carbon, chlorine and fluorine molecules. Because of their stability, lack of flammability and ability to absorb and give up heat readily, CFC's have in the past been popular refrigerants. However, CFC's have been found to contribute to the deterioration of the ozone layer of the upper atmosphere, which is a condition believed to be hazardous to global health. These compounds should not be released into the atmosphere, but should be carefully collected for recycling. Production of CFC's is being phased out by an international convention, the Montreal Protocol.


A kind of cargo movement by container. Delivered loose at origin point with vanning by carrier, devanned by carrier at destination, and picked up loose at destination.


A wheeled flat bed or a trailer constructed to accommodate containers moved over the road.

Closing date

Last day on which export cargo can be accepted for a nominated sailing.

Consolidated cargo

Cargo containing shipments of two or more shippers, usually shipped by a firm called a consolidator. The consolidator takes advantage of lower F.C.L. rates, and savings are passed on to shippers.


The combination of many small shipments into one container.


A person or firm performing a consolidation service for others.


Group of carriers pooling resources in a trade lane to maximize their resources efficiently.


A receptacle designed to transport cargo of many types in continuous transportation.

Container freight station (CFS, C.F.S.)

Consolidation depots where parcels of cargo are grouped and loaded into containers.

Container gross weight

Please refer to Gross Weight.

Container load plan (CLP)

A document prepared to show all details of cargo loaded in a container, e.g. weight (individual and total), measurement, markings, shippers, consignees, the origin & destination of goods, and location of cargo within the container.

Container number

The unique identification of a container.

Container seal number

The number of high security seals provided by OOCL.

Container size

The length of a container i.e. 20'', 40'' and 45'' (feet).

Container terminal

Also refereed to as a Container Yard (CY). A facility that receives full export containers from one shipper to loading the vessel and delivers full import containers to the consignee after; it is the same location where ocean vessels are loaded & unloaded.

Container type

The purpose of a container of which the code is to be adhered to ISO standard.


An ocean vessel specifically designed to carry ocean cargo containers. It is fitted with vertical cells for maximum capacity.

Controlled atmosphere (CA)

An atmosphere in which oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen concentrations are regulated, as well as temperature and humidity.


Cubic. A unit of volume measurement.

Cubic foot

1,728 cubic inches.

Custom house

A country Treasury Department office where duties, etc., on foreign shipments are handled.

Customs bonded warehouse

a public or privately owned warehouse where dutiable goods are stored pending payment of duty or removal under bond. The storage or delivery of goods are under the supervision of customs officers and if the warehouse is privately owned the keeper has to enter into a bond as indemnity in respect of the goods deposited, which may not be delivered without a release from the customs.

Cut-off time

Latest possible time the cargo may be delivered to the vessel or designated point.


Hundredweight ( U.S.A. , 100 pounds; United Kingdom , 112 pounds).


Container Yard.  See "Container Terminal".


Cargo loaded in a full container by a shipper at origin, delivered to pier facility at destination, and then devanned by the carrier for loose pick up.


Cargo loaded by the shipper in a full container at origin and delivered to the carrier's terminal at destination for pick up intact by consignee.

D & H

Dangerous and Hazardous. (Also see "Dangerous Goods")


Dead Weight. The number of tons a ship can transport of cargo, stores and bunker fuel.  (Also see "Deadweight Tonnage")

Dangerous Goods

The term used by I.M.C.O. for hazardous materials which are capable of posing a significant risk to health, safety or property while being transported.


Destination Delivery Charges. A charge assessed by the carrier for handling positioning of a full container.

Dead Space

Space in a car, truck, vessel, etc., that is not utilized.

Deadweight Tonnage (D/W)

The number of total weight tons that a vessel can transport of cargo, stores and bunker fuel. 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 "load line."

Dedicated Unit Train

An unit train operated by various railroads for exclusive usage.

Delivery Order

A document authorizing delivery to a nominated party of goods in the care of a third party. Can be issued by a carrier on surrender of a bill of lading and then used by the merchant to transfer title by endorsement.

Depot Container

Container freight station or a designated area where empty containers can be picked up or dropped off.


The place where the carrier actually turns over the cargo to consignee or his agent.


Charges raised for detaining container/trailer at customer?s premises for longer period than provided in Tariff.

Detention Charge

See "Detention".


The removal of cargo from a container. Also known as unstuffing, unloading or stripping.


Dynamic Flow Guidelines -- which is used to control the on-land stock level of each region taking into account of the traffic pattern and local vanning/devanning dwell time. The shortest the dwell time, the lowest the DFG and the more efficient the equipment utilization will be.

Differential Rate

An amount added or deducted from base rate to make a rate to or from some other point or via another route.


A change made in the route of a shipment in transit.


The route of a shipment changed in transit from that shown on the original billing. Used interchangeably with reconsign.


(a) The water alongside a pier or wharf. (b) Loading or unloading platform at an industrial location or carrier terminal.

Dock Receipt

A form used to acknowledge receipt of cargo at a steamship pier. When delivery of a foreign shipment is completed, the dock receipt is surrendered to the vessel operator or the operator's agent and serves as basis for preparation of the ocean bill of lading.


Through transportation of a container and its contents from consignor's premises to consignee's premises.

Double-Deck Load

A second tier of cargo placed on top of the first tier.


A truck or other equipment designed to haul heavy loads.


Charge made for local hauling by dray or truck.

Dry Cargo

Cargo that does not require temperature control.

Dry Dock

An enclosed basin into which a ship is taken for underwater cleaning and repairing. It is fitted with watertight entrance gates which when closed permit the dock to be pumped dry.

Dry-Bulk Container

A container constructed to carry grain, powder and other free flowing solids in bulk.


Double Stack Train. Rail or train capable of carrying two 40' containers, one on top of the other.

Dunnage (Dge.)

Lumber or other material used to brace material in carrier's equipment.

Dwell Time

It is expressed in term of no. of day that a container changed from one status to another e.g. from under inbound load (UIL) to empty available (MTA) to under outbound load (UOL). The shorter the dwell time, the more efficient the container utilization will be.


European Currency Units. A financial unit used for EC accounting.

En route

Along the route of movement.


Estimated time of arrival.


Estimated time of departure.

Ex Work

An INCOTERMS term of sale applicable to all modes of transport.


Shipment of goods to another country.

Export Declaration

A government document permitting designated goods to be shipped out of the country.


Freight All Kind. System whereby freight is charged per container, irrespective of the nature of the goods, and not according to a Tariff.


Free Alongside Ship.


Full Container load. Arrangement whereby shipper utilizes all the space in a container which he packs himself.


Free In and Out.


Stands for Free On Board which is a mercantile expression used in sale contracts denoting that goods have to be delivered by the shippers on board the vessel at a particular place, free of charge.


See CY/CY.



Feeder Vessel

Vessel employed in normally short sea routes to fetch or carry goods and containers to and from ocean going vessels.


Forty-foot Equivalent Unit (40'' or 2 TEUs)

Final Destination (FND)

End of carrier?s liability where carrier delivers the cargo to consignee.

Flash Point

A temperature that when certain inflammable cargo reaches will trigger spontaneous ignition. It is an IMCO standard information requirement for dangerous goods.


Federal Maritime Commission. US Government Agency responsible for regulatory aspects of all maritime activities.


(a) The price paid to the carrier for the transportation of goods or merchandise by sea from one place to another. (b) Freight is also used to denote goods which are in the process of being transported from one place to another.

Fresh Air Exchange (FAE)

The fresh air exchange system on a reefer removes harmful gases from reefers carrying sensitive perishable commodities. The fresh air vent is located on the reefer machinery end of the container. The fresh air vent is adjustable to accommodate a variety of cargo and chilled load operating conditions. The fresh air vent should be tightly closed when carrying frozen cargo.

Full Cellular Ship

A ship fitted for container carriage in all available space. The ship is fitted with vertical cells for container placement both below and above deck. No provisions are available for cargo other than containers.


Treatment with a pesticide active ingredient that is a gas under treatment conditions.


General Rate Increase


General Agreement on Tariff and Trade.  An international multilateral agreement embodying a code of practice for fair trading in international commerce.

General Average

General average is an unwritten, non-statutory, international maritime law which is universally recognized and applied. It is founded on the principle that vessel and goods are parties to the same venture and share exposure to the same perils, which may require sacrifice or the incurring of extraordinary expense on the part of one for the benefit of the whole venture.

Genset (Generator Set)

A portable power generator, which converts fuel into electrical power by mechanical means, and from which a reefer draws power. A clip-on generator set is mounted to the front of the refrigeration unit. An underslung generator set is mounted to the chassis upon which the reefer is mounted for handling and transport. The underslung generator set can be either side-mounted or center-mounted on the chassis.


The front rails of the chassis that raise above the plane of the chassis and engage in the tunnel of a container.

Gross Tonnage

Applies to vessels, not to cargo. Determined by dividing by 100 the contents, in cubic feet, of the vessel's closed-in spaces. A vessel ton is 100 cubic feet.

Gross Weight

Entire weight of goods, packaging and container, ready for shipment.

Hague Rules

1924 International Convention on Carriage of Goods by Sea. These rules govern liability for loss or damage to goods carried by sea under a bill of lading.

Hague-Visby Rules

1968 Revision of Hague Rules.

Hamburg Rules

In March 1978 an international conference in Hamburg adopted a new set of rules (The Hamburg Rules), which radically alter the liability which ship-owners have to bear for loss or damage to goods in the courts of those nations where the rules apply.

Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System

A multi-purpose international goods-classification for manufacturers. Transporters, exporters, importers, customs officials, statisticians, and others in classifying goods moving in international trade under a single commodity code. Developed under the auspices of the Customs Cooperation's Council (CCC), an international customs organization in Brussels , this code is a hierarchically structured product nomenclature containing approximately 5,000 headings and subheadings describing the articles moving in international trade. It is organized into 99 chapters arranged in 22 sections. Sections encompass an industry [ (e.g., Section XI, Textiles and Textile Articles); chapters encompass the various materials and products of the industry (e.g.: Chapter 50, Silk; Chapter 55, Manmade Staple Fibers; Chapter 57, Carpets).] The basic code contains four-digit headings and six-digit subheadings. (The U.S. will add digits for tariff and statistical purposes. In the U.S. duty rates will be the 8-digit level; statistical suffixes will be at the 10-digit level. The Harmonized System (HS) is scheduled to supplant the current U.S. tariff schedule (TSUSA) in January 1988.)


The opening in the deck of a vessel; gives access to the cargo hold.


The participating carrier responsible for drayage.

Heavy Lift

Articles too heavy to be lifted by a ship's tackle.

Heavy-Lift Charge

A charge made for lifting articles too heavy to be lifted by a ship's tackle.

High Cube

Any container which exceeds 8 feet 6 inches (102 inches) in height, usually 9 feet 6 inches.

House B/L

Bill of lading issued by forwarder.

House-to-House (H/H)

See CY/CY.

House-to-Pier (H/P)



The body of a vessel exclusive of masts, yards, sails, rigging, machinery and equipment.

Hull Underwriter

The person with whom the ships hull, machinery apparel, and tackle is insured.


International Maritime Consultative Organization. A forum in which most major maritime nations participate and through which recommendations for the carriage of dangerous goods, bulk commodities and maritime regulations become internationally acceptable.


Inland Points Intermodal. Inland carriage by another mode of transportation after discharge.


International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code. The IMO recommendations for the carriage of dangerous goods by sea.


Shipment of goods from a foreign country.

Import License

A document required and issued by some national governments authorizing the importation of goods into their individual countries.

Import Permit

Usually required for items that might affect the public health, morals, animal life, vegetation, etc. Examples include foodstuffs, feedstuffs, pharmaceuticals (human and veterinary), medical equipment, seeds, plants and various written material (including tapes, cassettes, movies, TV tapes or TV movies). In some countries an import permit is the same as an import license.

In Transit

In transit, or in passage.


Inward bound. Direction of vessel or cargo going to port of discharge or final destination.


Incoterms are a set of uniform rules codifying the interpretation of trade terms defining the rights and obligation of both buyer and seller in an international transaction, thereby enabling an otherwise complex basis for a sale contract to be accomplished in three letters. Incoterms are drafted by the International Chamber of Commerce.

Inland Clearance Depot

A CFS with Customs Clearance Facilities.

Insulated Container

A container insulated on the walls, roof, floor and doors, to reduce the effect of external temperatures on the cargo.

Insulated Tank Container

The frame of a container constructed to hold one or more thermally insulated tanks for liquids.


Transfer of a container from one party to another.

Interchange Points

A terminal at which freight in the course of transportation is delivered by one transportation line to another.


Water service between two coasts; usually refers to water service between a point on the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts.


Used to denote movements of cargo or container between motor, rail or water carriers.

Intermodal Transport

Moving ocean freight containers by various transportation modes. The fact that the containers are of the same size and have common handling characteristics permits them to be transferred from truck to railroad to air carrier to ocean carrier.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

ISO is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from some 130 countries, one from each country. It is a non-governmental organization established in 1947 to promote the development of standardization facilitating international trade. ISO's work results in international agreements which are published as International Standards.


The main center-line structural member, running fore and aft along the bottom of a ship, sometimes referred to as the backbone.


A unit of speed. The term "knot" means velocity in nautical miles per hour whether of a vessel or current. One nautical mile is roughly equivalent to 1.15 statute miles or 1.85 kilometers.


Less than Container Load. Cargo in quantity less than required for the application of a container load rate.





Letter of Indemnity

Guarantee from the shipper or consignee to indemnify carrier for costs and/or loss, if any, in order to obtain favorable action by carrier, e.g. sometimes, it is used to allow consignee to take delivery of goods without surrendering B/L which has been delayed or become lost (for straight consignment case).


A legal claim upon goods for the satisfaction of some debt or duty.


A container ship onto which containers are lifted by crane.


An open or covered barge towed by a tugboat and used mainly in harbors and inland waterways.


Refers to the carriage of goods by lighter and the charge assessed therefore.


Transportation from one city to another as differentiated from local switching service.


Vessel plying a regular trade/defined route against a published sailing schedule.

Liner Terms

Freight includes the cost of loading onto and discharging from the vessel.

Lloyds' Registry

An organization maintained for the surveying and classing of ships so that insurance underwriters and others may know the quality and condition of the vessels offered for insurance or employment.

Load Factor

Percent of loaded containers against total capacity of vessel or allocation.

Locking Bar

Device that secures container doors at top and bottom.

Long Ton

2,240 pounds. (l.t.,


Individual employed locally in a port to load and unload ships.


Without packing.


A trailer or semi-trailer with no sides and with the floor of the unit close to the ground.


Document that lists in detail all the bills of lading issued by a vessel or its agent or master, i.e., a detailed summary of the total cargo of a vessel.  Used principally for customs purposes. It is also called summary of Bills of lading.

Marine Insurance

Broadly, insurance covering loss or damage of goods at sea. Marine insurance typically compensates the owner of merchandise for losses sustained from fire, shipwreck, piracy and various other causes but excludes losses that can be legally recovered.


Business pertaining to commerce or navigation transacted upon the sea or in seaports in such matters as the court of admiralty has jurisdiction over.

Marks & Nos.

Marks & Numbers placed on packages for export for identification purposes; generally a triangle, square, circle, diamond, or cross with letters and/or numbers and port discharge.

Master Lease

Master lease is one form of a short-term lease, which refers to the leasing of the container from those leasing companies who have master lease agreement with OOCLL. At present, Triton, ICS, Xtra, Cronons and Genstar has such a contract with OOCLL.

Master Lease Leasing Cost

Master lease leasing cost includes container rental, depot left on/lift off charge, on/off hire drayage, Drop off charge and Off hire repair cost. Due to off-hire quota limitation, the average on-hire period is around 73 days for 20' gp/40'gp and 102 days for 40'hq. On average basis, the leasing cost is US$500/20'gp, US$700/40'gp and US$800/40'hq.

Mate's Receipt

A receipt signed by a mate of the vessel, acknowledging receipt of cargo by the vessel. The individual in possession of the mate's receipt is entitled to the bill of lading, which in due course is issued in exchange for that receipt.

Maximum Payload

Maximum cargo that can be loaded into a container either by weight or volume.

Maximum Rate

The highest freight rate permitted by a regulatory body to apply between points.

Measurement Ton

1 cubic meter. One of the alternative bases of Freight Tariff.


A land bridge movement in which cargo originating/destined to an inland point is railed or trucked to/from the water port for a shipment to/from a foreign country. The carrier is responsible for cargo and costs from origin to destination. Also known as I.P.I. and Through Service.


Distance in miles.

Mini Land bridge (MLB)

An intermodal system for transporting containers from/to a foreign country by water to/from a U.S. ocean port other than the arrival port by rail at through rates and documents.


Cargo moving from/to an inland destination on one bill of lading from/to a foreign port through two U.S. ports.

Minimum Charge

The lowest charge that can be assessed to transport a shipment.


(a) Metric Ton or Cubic meter.   (b) Empty container.  (c) Multimodal Transport.

Negotiable B/L

Original bill of lading endorsed by shipper that is used for negotiating with banks.

Negotiating Bank

A bank named in the credit; examines the documents and certifies to the issuing bank that the terms are complied with.

Net Tonnage

A vessel's gross tonnage minus deductions of space occupied by accommodation for crew, by machinery, for navigation, by the engine room and fuel. A vessel's net tonnage expresses the space available for passengers and cargo.

Net Weight

Weight of the goods alone without any immediate wrappings, e.g., the weight of the contents of a tin can without the weight of the can.  Also called actual net weight.

Non-negotiable B/L

Copy of original bill of lading which cannot be negotiated with the bank.

Non-vessel Owning / Operating Common Carrier (N.V.O.C.C.)

(a) A cargo consolidator of small shipments in ocean trade, generally soliciting business and arranging for or performing containerization functions at the port.
(b) A carrier issuing Bs/L for carriage of goods on vessel which he neither owns nor operates.

O.C.P. rate

Overland Common Point rates which are generally lower than local tariff rates, were established by the U.S. West Coast steamship companies in conjunction with railroads serving the western U.S. so that cargo originating or destined to the American Midwest and East would be competitive with all-water rates via the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf ports. O.C.P. rates are also applicable to eastern Canada .

Ocean Bill of Lading (Ocean B/L)

Document indicating that the exporter will consign a shipment to an international carrier for transportation to a specified foreign market. Unlike an inland B/L, the ocean B/L also serves as a collection document. if it is a Straight B/L the foreign buyer can obtain the shipment from the carrier by simply showing proof of identity. If a negotiable B/L is used, the buyer must first pay for the goods, post a bond or meet other conditions agreeable to the seller.

Ocean Route

The all water transportation portion of a route.

On Board

Cargo has been loaded on board a combined transport mode of conveyance. Used to satisfy the requirements of a letter of credit, in the absence of an express requirement to the contrary.

On Board B/L

A B/L in which a carrier acknowledges that goods have been placed on board a certain vessel.

On Deck

A special stowage instruction to confine that the cargo stowage must be on deck rather than under deck.

One-Way lease

Lease that covers the outbound voyage only, after which the container is returned to the lease holder at or near destination.

Open-Top Container

A container fitted with a solid removable roof or with a tarpaulin roof that can be loaded or unloaded from the top.


Outward bound. Direction of vessel or cargo going out from port of loading or point/place of receipt.

Over height Cargo

Cargo stowed in an open-top container; projects above the uppermost level of the roof struts.


Port of Discharge where cargo is discharged from vessel. When transshipment is needed, there can be a number of PODs during the course of shipment until it reaches the final POD.


Port of Loading where loading to vessel takes place.


Point or Place of Receipt. Starting point of carrier?s liability where cargo is received from shipper and under carrier?s custody for transportation to final destination.


A platform (usually two-deck), with or without sides, on which a number of packages or pieces may be loaded to facilitate handling by a lift truck.

Participating Carrier (Tariff)

A transportation line that is a party, under concurrence, to a tariff issued by another transportation line or by a tariff's publishing agent.

Per Diem

A charge made by one transportation line against another for the use of its equipment. The charge is based on a fixed rate per day.

Perishable Cargo

Cargo subject to decay or deterioration.


The structure to which a vessel is secured for the purpose of loading and unloading cargo.

Pier-to-House (P/H)

See  CFS/CY.

Pier-to-Pier (P/P)



A person whose office or occupation is to steer ships, particularly along a coast or into and out of a harbor.

Place of Acceptance

See P.O.R.

Place of Delivery

See Final Destination.

Place of Receipt

Location where cargo enters the care and custody of the carrier.


(a) Harbor with piers or docks; (b) Left side of a ship when facing the bow;  (c) Opening in a ship's side for handling freight.

Port of arrival

Location where imported merchandise is off loaded from the importing aircraft or vessel.

Port of Call

Port where a steamer discharges or receives traffic.

Port of Discharge

Port where cargo is unloaded from vessel.

Port of Entry

Port where cargo actually enters a country where the cargo is not part of its commerce.

Port of Loading (POL)

Port where cargo is loaded to vessel.

Prepaid (Ppd.)

One of the payment status where freight and charges are required to be paid by shipper before original bill of lading is released to them.


Port of Singapore Authority


The period during which a vessel is detained in isolation until free from any contagious disease among the passengers or crew. The word is now applied to the sanitary regulations which are the modern substitute for quarantine. During the quarantine period, the Q flag is hoisted.

Quarantine buoy

One of the yellow buoys at the entrance of a harbor indicating the place where vessel must anchor for the exercise of quarantine regulations.

Quarantine declaration

A document signed by the captain and the ship?s doctor before the port health officer when a ship arrives at the quarantine station. It gives the name of the ship, tonnage, number of crew, first port of voyage and date of sailing, intermediate ports called at, number of passengers for the port at which the vessel is arriving, number of transit passengers, cases of infectious diseases during voyage, deaths, nature of cargo, name of agents. The port health officer then proceeds with the medical inspection of passengers and crew. Also called entry declaration.

Quarantine dues

A charge against all vessels entering a harbor to provide for the maintenance of medical control service. Also called quarantine fees.

Quarantine flag

A yellow flag used as a sanitary signal. It is displayed by all vessels entering a harbor; also when a contagious or infectious disease exists on board or when the vessel has been placed in quarantine.

Quarantine harbor

A place where vessels in quarantine are stationed when arriving from contaminated ports.

Quarantine signal

Signals flown by vessels required to show their state of health. By day "Q" of the international code signifies "Ship is healthy-free pratique requested". Flag "Q" over first substitutes signifies that the ship has had cases of infectious diseases or that there has been unusual mortality among rats on board. Flag "Q" over "L" signifies "Ship is infected". By night a vessel entering harbor exhibits a red light over a white light more than 6 feet apart which signifies that the ship is awaiting free pratique.

Quarantine station

A medical control center located in an isolated spot ashore where patients with contagious diseases from vessel in quarantine are taken. It is also used for passengers and crews of vessel arriving from suspected ports while fumigation or any other disinfection is carried out on board ship.

Rail Onboard B/L

This is unique practice in NAT having the similar function as onboard vessel B/L. In the event of multimodal B/L is prepared, shipper can request a clause on the B/L to satisfy their commercial transaction as LADEN ONBOARD RAIL MMDDYY. The date on the B/L is on which containers are loaded onboard rail flat car. However, the word RAIL is not necessary.

Receipt for shipment B/L

A term used in contradistinction to shipped bill of lading, which is the standard document. Some bankers object to such bill of lading on the ground that the security they offer is imperfect. This kind of bill of lading is normally issued to acknowledge receipt of shipment before cargo loading or before official original bill of lading is issued. Nowadays, not many shippers ask for this kind of bill of lading.


In the industry, it is the generic name for a temperature controlled container. The containers, which are insulated, are specially designed to allow temperature controlled air circulation within the container. A refrigeration plant is built into the rear of the container. For OOCL's reefers, power for this plant needs to be provided from an external source.

Relative Humidity

(%) The ratio of the actual amount of water vapor in the air to the maximum it can hold at a given temperature, multiplied by 100.


To transfer goods from one ship to another of the same ownership. More frequently used by OOCL as T/S (Transshipment).

Release note

Receipt signed by customer acknowledging delivery of goods.

Return air

Air warmed by the container cargo delivered to the evaporator. The temperature of return air often controls the operation of the refrigeration unit.

Revenue ton (R/T)

The greater weight or measurement of goods where 1 ton is either 1000 kilos or 1 cubic meter (for metric system). Also known as bill of lading ton or freight ton. It is used to calculate freight charge.

Roll-On/Roll-Off (Ro/Ro)

A feature designed in a specially constructed vessel in both the loading and discharging ports.

Route (Rte.)

The manner in which a shipment moves, i.e., the carriers handling it and the points via which they handle it.


The property which has been recovered from a wrecked vessel, or the recovery of the ship herself.

Salvage clause

A marine insurance policy clause which states the proportion of salvage charges for which underwriters are liable.

Salvage lien

A maritime lien which exists when a ship or goods comes into the possession of one who preserves them from peril at sea. All salvage services carry with them a maritime lien on the things saved.

Salvage loss

A loss which it is presumed would, but for certain services rendered, have become a total loss. The charges incurred are "salvage charges". The property saved is the "salvage". When referring to goods a salvage loss is one resulting from shipwreck or from a situation where, by the peril of the sea, the vessel is prevented from proceeding on her voyage and the cargo, or the part that is saved is obliged to be sold at a place short of the port of destination. The term is used in marine insurance when at a point short of destination, it can be shown that it would cost more to forward damaged goods to their destination than the goods would realize on the spot. The underwriters usually pay the difference between the total insured value and the net proceeds of the goods, such a settlement being known as a "salvage loss".

Salvage value

The value on which salvage is awarded. It generally means the value of ship and cargo when they have been brought to a place of safety by the salvors.

Seal (Container)

Metal strip and lead fastener used for locking freight car or truck doors. Seals are numbered for record purposes.

Seal record

A record of the number, condition and marks of identification on seals made at various times and places, referring to the movement of the container between origin and destination.

Self-assessment (of training needs)

The process of asking people what training they need. This approach is particularly valuable in the early stages on a new job, when people are not expected to have full knowledge and skills as yet.

Service contract

As provided in the Shipping Act of 1984, a contract between a shipper (or a shippers' association) and an ocean common carrier (or conference) in which the shipper makes a commitment to provide a certain minimum quantity of cargo or freight revenue over a fixed time period, and the ocean common carrier or conference commits to a certain rate or rate schedule as well as a defined service level (such as assured space, transit time, port rotation or similar service features). The contract may also specify provisions in the event of nonperformance on the part of either party.

Ship chandler

An individual or company selling equipment and supplies for ships.

Ship owner

One of the persons in whom is vested the title of property of a ship or ships.

Shipped bill of lading

A bill of lading issued only after the goods have actually been shipped on board the vessel, as distinguished from the received for shipment bill of lading. Also see on board bill of lading.

Shipped on board

Endorsement on a bill of lading confirming loading of goods on vessel.


The person for whom the owners of a ship agree to carry goods to a specified destination and at a specified price. Also called consignor. The conditions under which the transportation is effected are stipulated in the bill of lading.

Shipper owned container

The container used for cargo shipment is owned by the shipper.

Shipper's Export Declaration

A custom house form filled by the shipper of goods to other countries. Also called shipper?s manifest. It mentions the marks, numbers, quantity, description and value of the goods at time and place of export. There is a different definition in USA as "The shipper's export declaration (SEDs) forms 7525-V and 7525-V-Alternate (Intermodal) and the shipper's export declaration for In-Transit Goods, Form 7513, are JOINT-BUREAU OF THE CENSUS- INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION DOCUMENTS used for compiling the official U.S. export statistics and administering the requirements of the Export Administrative Act.

Shipper's Load & Count

Shipments loaded and sealed by shippers and not checked or verified by the carriers.

Shipping order

Usually for the same set of Shipping Orders, there are a number of copies with the same form and contents but with different names such as the 1st copy is called Shipping Order and remainders are called Shipping Order Copy or Dock Receipt for different purposes such as space control, surveyor and sworn measurer, documentation. As EDI is more popular nowadays and used by both the shipper and Customs, hardcopy Shipping Order is no longer widely used.

Shipping permit

Issued by a shipping or carrier company; authorizes the receiving clerk at pier, dock, warehouse, airport or onboard to receive a stipulated amount of goods or materials from a specified firm.

Shipside Delivery

A special cargo handling instruction for cargo to be delivered rightaway at shipside after discharge.

Short cycling

1) improper air circulation in trailer causing unit to operate for brief periods. 2) thermostats set with improper differential causing it to sequence too rapidly from cool to heat or from cool to off position.

Short Term Lease

Short term lease refers to Master lease (with or without free-day), direct interchange and sublease from TGA/VSAO/Canmar partner as well as Free-use from any other logistic companies.


Goods not carried on intended vessel.


Space on board a vessel occupied by a container.


The force that holds a vessel upright or returns it to upright if keeled over. Weights on the lower hold increase stability. A vessel is stiff if it has high stability, tender if it has low stability.

Stack Car

An articulated five-platform railcar that allows containers to be double stacked. A stack car holds ten 40-foot equivalent units.

Stack Train

See  'DST (Double Stack Train) '.

Standard International Trade Classification (SITC)

A standard numerical code used by the United Nations to classify commodities used in international trade.


The right side of a ship when facing the bow.


Said to Contain. A standard clause used to protect carrier for cargo stuffed by shipper or its agents.


The end of a vessel.  Opposite of bow.


Terminal operator who is designated to facilitate the operation of loading and discharging vessels and various terminal activities.

Store-Door Delivery (STOR/DOR)

Delivery of goods to consignee's place of business or warehouse by motor vehicle. Refers to a complete package of delivery services performed by a carrier from origin to final consumption point, whether that be a retail, wholesale or other final distribution facility. Abbreviated in CCMS as SDD.

Store-Door PickUp

Picking up an empty container from a carrier, delivering it to a merchant and returning the laden container; the portion of store-door pick up performed by the carrier's trucker.


A marine term referring to loading freight into the ships' holds.

Straight Bill of Lading

A term for a non negotiable bill of lading. In the U.S. the Pomerene Act governs its operation.


The unloading of a container.


The loading of a container.

Supply air

Cooled or warmed air leaving the evaporator delivered to the interior of the container. Supply air is sometimes called delivery-air.


An extra or additional charge.


Interior floor in a reefer, so named because of the longitudinal T-shaped rails which support the cargo and form a plenum for air flow beneath the cargo.


The rear of a container.

Tank Container

A specially constructed container for transporting liquids and gases in bulk.

Tare Weight

The weight of packing material or, in carload shipments, the weight of the empty freight car.

Tariff (Trf.)

A publication setting forth the charges, rates and rules of transportation companies.


Terminal departure report


An assigned area in which containers are prepared for loading into a vessel or are stacked immediately after discharge from the vessel.


Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (20") . 


Terminal Handling Charge. A charge assessed by the terminal for handling FCLs at ocean terminals.

Through Rate

The total rate from the point of origin to final destination.

Through Service (Thru Service)

A combination of transportation by sea and land (Thru Service) services to/from the West Coast. From West Coast locations, freight is transported by rail and/or truck to central or eastern North America nonwater port cities. Also known as Microbridge Service and I.P.I.

Time Charter

A charter party hiring a vessel for a specified period of time or a particular voyage, in which the shipowner provides the vessel and crew while the charterer supplies the cargo. Also known as non-demise charter.


Generally refers to freight handled.


The charge made for towing a vessel.


A freighter vessel that does not run in any regular line but takes cargo wherever the shippers desire.


To transfer goods from one transportation line to another, or from one ship to another.

Transit Cargo

Goods onboard which upon their arrival at a certain port are not to be discharged at that port.

Transit Port

A port where goods received are merely en route and from which they have to be transferred and dispatched to their ultimate destination by coasters, barge and so on. Also called transshipment port.


Terminal receiving Charge. Charge assessed by the terminal for cargo being delivered for export.

Truck Onboard B/L

This is a unique practice in NAT having the similar function as onboard vessel B/L. In the event of a multimodal B/L is prepared, shipper can request a clause on the B/L to satisfy their commercial transaction as LADEN ONBOARD TRUCK MMDDYY. The date on the B/L is on which containers are picked up by OOCL house trucker from shipper's facility. However, the word TRUCK is not necessary.


Uniform Customs and Practice of Documentary Credit. The "bankers Bible" on Documentary Credit Interpretation issued by the I.C.C.


Revised and updated version operating from January 1, 1994 .


United Nations.


United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.


UNCTAD Multi Modal Transport Convention.


In marine insurance, one who subscribes his name to the policy indicating his acceptance of the liability mentioned therein, in consideration for which he receives a premium.

Unit Load

Packages loaded on a pallet in a crate or any other way that enables them to be handled at one time as a unit.

Unit Train

A train of a specified number of railcars, perhaps 100, wherein they remain in a unit for a designated destination or until a change in routing is made.


United States Department of Agriculture.


A term sometimes used for stowing cargo in a container.

Ventilated Container

A container designed with openings in the side and/or end walls to permit the ingress of outside air when the doors are closed.

Vessel's Manifest

Statement of a vessel's cargo (revenue, consignee, marks, etc.).



Voyage Direction

The sector of a round trip voyage normally denoted by the direction of the sailing.

Voyage Number

The numeric identification of a round trip sailing of a vessel on a fixed trade lane.

War Risk

Insurance coverage for loss of goods resulting from any act of war.


A place for the reception and storage of goods.

Waybill (WB)

A document prepared by a transportation line at the point of a shipment; shows the point of the origin, destination, route, consignor, consignee, description of shipment and amount charged for the transportation service. A waybill is forwarded with the shipment or sent by mail to the agent at the transfer point or waybill destination. Abbreviation is WB. Unlike a bill of lading, a waybill is not a document of title.

Weight Cargo

A cargo on which the transportation charge is assessed on the basis of weight.

Wharfage (Whfge.)

A charge assessed by a pier or dock owner against freight handled over the pier or dock or against a steamship company using the pier or dock.