Common Shipping Terms


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CAD
Terms of payment: if the buyer of goods pays for the goods against transfer of the documents, entitling him to obtain delivery of the goods from the carrier.

CAF
Adjustment applied by P&O Nedlloyd lines or liner conferences on freight rates to offset losses or gains for carriers resulting from fluctuations in exchange rates of tariff currencies.

CENSA
Council of European and Japanese National Shipowner's Associations.

Cabotage
- Transport of goods between two ports or places located in the same country
- Transport of cargo in a country other than the country where the vehicle is registered road-cargo)
- The carriage of a container from a surplus area to an area specified by the Owner of that container, in exchange of which and during which the operator can use this container

Call
The visit of a vessel to a port.

Call Sign
A code published by the International Telecommunication Union in its annual List of Ships' Stations to be used for the information interchange between vessels, port authorities and other relevant participants in international trade.
Note: The code structure is based on a three digit designation series assigned by the ITU and a one digit assigned by the country of registration.

Capacity
The ability, in a given time, of a resource measured in quality and quantity
The quantity of goods which can be stored in or loaded into a warehouse, store and/or loaded into a means of transport at a particular time

Cargo
Goods transported or to be transported, all goods carried on a ship covered by a B/L.
Any goods, wares, merchandise, and articles of every kind whatsoever carried on a ship, other than mail, ship's stores, ship's spare parts, ship's equipment, stowage material, crew's effects and passengers' accompanied baggage (IMO)
Any property carried on an aircraft, other than mail, stores and accompanied or mishandled baggage Also referred to as 'goods' (ICAO)

Cargo Handling
All procedures necessary to enable the physical handling of goods.

Cargo Tracer
A document sent by the agent to all relevant parties, stating that certain cargo is either missing or over-landed.

Cargo Unit
A vehicle, container, pallet, flat, portable tank or any other entity or any part thereof which belongs to the ship but is not permanently attached to that ship.

Carriage
The process of transporting (conveying) cargo, from one point to another.

Carriage Paid To (...named place of destination)
Abbreviation: CPT

Carriage and Insurance Paid To (...named place of destination)
Abbreviation: CIP

Carrier
The party undertaking transport of goods from one point to another.

Carrier Haulage
The inland transport service, which is performed by the sea-carrier under the terms and conditions of the tariff and of the relevant transport document.

Carriers Bill of Lading Ports
Terminal, Pre-terminal port or Post-terminal Port as per tariff, indicated on the Bill of Lading and which is not the port physically called at by Carriers' ocean vessels.
Note: Under normal circumstances in the B/L only ports should be mentioned which are actually called at.

Carriers Lien
When the shipper ships goods 'collect', the carrier has a possessory claim on these goods, which means that the carrier can retain possession of the goods as security for the charges due

Cartage
Abbreviation: CAD
Terms of payment: if the buyer of goods pays for the goods against transfer of the documents, entitling him to obtain delivery of the goods from the carrier.

Cash On Delivery
Abbreviation: COD
Terms of payment: if the carrier collects a payment from the consignee and remits the amount to the shipper (air cargo).

Caveat Emptor
Let the buyer beware, purchaser must ascertain the condition of the goods to be purchased prior to the purchase.

Cellular Vessel
A vessel, specially designed and equipped for the carriage of containers.

Certificate of Classification
A certificate, issued by the classification society and stating the class under which a vessel is registered.

Certificate of Origin
A certificate, showing the country of original production of goods. Frequently used by customs in ascertaining duties under preferential tariff programmes or in connection with regulating imports from specific sources.

Charge
An amount to be paid for carriage of goods based on the applicable rate of such carriage, or an amount to be paid for a special or incidental service in connection with the carriage of goods.

Charge Type
A separate, identifiable element of charges to be used in the pricing/rating of common services rendered to customers.

Charter Party
A contract in which the shipowner agrees to place his vessel or a part of it at the disposal of a third party, the charterer, for the carriage of goods for which he receives a freight per ton cargo, or to let his vessel for a definite period or trip for which a hire is paid
synonym: Charter Contract

Charterer
The legal person who has signed a charter party with the owner of a vessel or an aircraft and thus hires or leases a vessel or an aircraft or a part of the capacity thereof.

Chassis
A wheeled carriage onto which an ocean container is mounted for inland conveyance
The part of a motor vehicle that includes the engine, the frame, suspension system, wheels, steering mechanism etc., but not the body

Claim
A charge made against a carrier for loss, damage or delay.

Classification
Arrangement according to a systematic division of a number of objects into groups, based on some likeness or some common traits.

Classification Society
An Organisation, whose main function is to carry out surveys of vessels, its purpose being to set and maintain standards of construction and upkeep for vessels, their engines and their safety equipment. A classification society also inspects and approves the construction of containers.

Clean Bill of Lading
A Bill of Lading which does not contain any qualification about the apparent order and condition of the goods to be transported (it bears no stamped clauses on the front of the B/L). It bears no superimposed clauses expressly declaring a defective condition of the goods or packaging (resolution of the ICS 1951).

Clean on Board
When goods are loaded on board and the document issued in respect to these goods is clean.
Note: Through the usage of the UCP 500 rules the term has now become superfluous.

Client
A party with which a company has a commercial relationship concerning the transport of e.g. cargo or concerning certain services of the company concerned, either directly or through an agent.

Co-loading
The loading, on the way, of cargo from another shipper, having the same final destination as the cargo loaded earlier.

Combined Transport
Intermodal transport where the major part of the journey is by one mode such as rail, inland waterway or sea and any initial and/or final leg carried out by another mode such as road.

Combined Transport Document
Abbreviation: CTD
Negotiable or non-negotiable document evidencing a contract for the performance and/or procurement of performance of combined transport of goods.
Thus a combined transport document is a document issued by a Carrier who contracts as a principal with the Merchant to effect a combined transport often on a door-to-door basis.

Combined Transport Operator
Abbreviation: CTO
A party who undertakes to carry goods with different modes of transport.

Commercial Invoice
A document showing commercial values of the transaction between the buyer and seller.

Commodity
Indication of the type of goods. Commodities are coded according to the harmonised system.

Conditions
Anything called for as requirements before the performance or completion of something else
Contractual stipulations which are printed on a document or provided separately

Conditions of Carriage
The general terms and conditions established by a carrier in respect of the carriage (air cargo).

Conditions of Contract
Terms and conditions shown on the Air Waybill (air cargo).

Conference
Accumulation of vessels at a port to the extent that vessels arriving to load or discharge are obliged to wait for a vacant berth.

Consignee
The party such as mentioned in the transport document by whom the goods, cargo or containers are to be received.

Consignment
A separate identifiable number of goods (available to be) transported from one consignor to one consignee via one or more than one modes of transport and specified in one single transport document.

Consignment Instructions
Instructions from either the seller/consignor or the buyer/consignee to a freight forwarder, carrier or his agent, or other provider of a service, enabling the movement of goods and associated activities. The following functions can be covered :
Movement and handling of goods (shipping, forwarding and stowage)
Customs formalities
Distribution of documents
Allocation of documents (freight and charges for the connected operations)
Special instructions (insurance, dangerous goods, goods release, additional documents required)

Consignment Note
A document prepared by the shipper and comprising a transport contract. It contains details of the consignment to be carried to the port of loading and it is signed by the inland carrier as proof of receipt.

Consignor
To group and stuff several shipments together in one container.

Consolidated Container
Container stuffed with several shipments (consignments) from different shippers for delivery to one or more consignees.

Consolidation
The grouping together of smaller consignments of goods into a large consignment for carriage as a larger unit in order to obtain a reduced rate.

Consolidation Point
Location where consolidation of consignments takes place.

Consolidator
A firm or company which consolidates cargo.

Consortium
Consortium is a form of co-operation between two or more carriers to operate in a particular trade.

Container
An item of equipment as defined by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) for transport purposes. It must be of :
- A permanent character and accordingly strong enough to be suitable for repeated use
- Specially designed to facilitate the carriage of goods, by one or more modes of transport without intermediate reloading
- Fitted with devices permitting its ready handling, particularly from one mode of transport to another
- So designed as to be easy to fill and empty
- Having an internal volume of 1 m3 or more
The term container includes neither vehicles nor conventional packing.

Container Check Digit
The 7th digit of the serial number of a container used to check whether prefix and serial number are correct.

Container Depot
Storage area for empty containers.

Container Freight Station
Abbreviation: CFS
A facility at which (export) LCL cargo is received from merchants for loading (stuffing) into containers or at which (import) LCL cargo is unloaded (stripped) from containers and delivered to merchants.

Container Lease
The contract by which the owner of containers (lessor) gives the use of containers to a lessee for a specified period of time and for fixed payments.

Container Load Plan (CLP)
A list of items loaded in a specific container and where appropriate their sequence of loading.

Container Manifest
The document specifying the contents of particular freight containers or other transport units, prepared by the party responsible for their loading into the container or unit.

Container Number
Identification number of a container consisting of prefix and serial number and check digit. (e.g. KNLU 123456-7)

Container Prefix
A four letter code that forms the first part of a container identification number indicating the owner of a container.

Container Size Code
An indication of 2 digits of the nominal length and nominal height.

Container Terminal
Place where loaded and/or empty containers are loaded or discharged into or from a means of transport.

Container Yard
Abbreviation: CY
A facility at which FCL traffic and empty containers are received from or delivered to the Merchant by or on behalf of the Carrier.
Note: Often this yard is used to receive goods on behalf of the merchant and pack these in containers for FCL traffic.

Containerised
Indication that goods have been stowed in a container.

Contraband
Goods forbidden by national law to be imported or exported.

Contract
An agreement enforceable by law between two or more parties stipulating their rights and obligations which are required by one or both parties to acts or forbearance by the other or both.

Conventional Cargo
General cargo conventionally stowed as opposed to unitised, containerised and Roll On-Roll Off cargo.

Cost and Freight (...named port of destination)
Abbreviation: CFR

Cost, Insurance and Freight (...named port of destination)
Abbreviation: CIF

Crew Member
Any person actually employed for duties on board during a voyage in the working or service of a ship and included in the crew list (IMO).

Cruise Ship
A ship on an international voyage carrying passengers participating in a group program and accommodated on board, for the purpose of making scheduled temporary tourist visits at one or more different ports, and which during the voyage does not normally: (a) embark or disembark any other passengers; (b) load or discharge any cargo.

Currency Adjustment Factor
Abbreviation: CAF
Adjustment applied by lines or liner conferences on freight rates to offset losses or gains for carriers resulting from fluctuations in exchange rates of tariff currencies.

Customs
The department of the Civil Service that deals with the levying of duties and taxes on imported goods from foreign countries and the control over the export and import of goods e.g. allowed quota prohibited goods.

Customs Broker
An authorised agent specialised in customs clearance procedures on account of importers/exporters.

Customs Clearance Agent
Customs broker or other agent of the consignee designated to perform customs clearance services for the consignee.

Customs Invoice
Document required by the customs in an importing country in which an exporter states the invoice or other price (e.g. selling price, price of identical goods), and specifies costs for freight, insurance and packing etc., terms of delivery and payment, for the purpose of determining the customs value in the importing country of goods consigned to that country.

Customs Value
The worth of an item or group of items expressed in a monetary amount, within a consignment declared to Customs for duty and statistical reasons.