AA - Always Afloat

AAAA - Always Accessible Always Afloat

AAOSA - Always Afloat or Safe Aground. Condition for a vessel whilst in port

AARA - Amsterdam-Antwerp-Rotterdam Area

ABAFT - Toward the rear (stern) of the ship. Behind.

ABOARD - On or within the ship

ABOVE DECK - On the deck (not over it - see ALOFT)

ABT - About

ADCOM - Address Commission

ADDENDUM - Additional chartering terms at the end of a charter party

AFSPS - Arrival First Sea Pilot Station (Norway)

AFFREIGHTMENT - The hiring of a ship in whole or part

AFT - At or towards the stern or rear of a ship

AGROUND - Touching or fast to the bottom

AGW - All Going Well

AHL - Australian Hold Ladders

AIDS TO NAVIGATION - Artificial objects to supplement natural landmarks indicating safe and unsafe waters

ALOFT - Above the deck of the ship

AMIDSHIPS - In or toward the centre of the ship

A/N - Arrival Notice - an import document send to the notify party and/or importer's broker containing all necessary arrival info for Customs clearance; normally with freight charges.

ANCHORAGE - A place suitable for anchorage in relation to the wind, seas and bottom

ANTHAM - Antwerp-Hamburg Range

APS - Arrival Pilot Station

ARAG - Amsterdam-Rotterdam--Antwerp-Gent Range

ARBITRATION - Method of settling disputes which is usually binding on parties. A clause usually in a charter party

A/S - Alongside

ASBA - American Shipbrokers Association

ASN - Advance Shipment Notice

ASPW - Any Safe Port in the World

ASTERN - In the back of the ship, opposite of ahead

ATA - Actual time of arrival

ATD - Actual time of departure

ATDNSHINC - Any Time Day/Night Sundays and Holidays Included


ATHWARTSHIPS - At right angles to the centreline of the ship

ATUTC - Actual Times Used to Count

AWB - Air waybill

BACKLETTER - Where a seller/shipper issues a 'letter of indemnity' in favour of the carrier in exchange for a clean bill of lading

BAF - Bunker Adjustment Factor. A Fuel Surcharge expressed as a percentage added or subtracted from the freight amount, reflecting the movement in the market place price for bunkers.

BALE CAP. - Cubic capacity of a vessels holds to carry packaged dry cargo such as bales/pallets

BALLAST - Heavy weight, often sea water, necessary for the stability and safety of a ship which is not carrying cargo

BALLAST BONUS - Compensation for relatively long ballast voyage

BAREBOAT CHTR - Bareboat Charter - Owners lease a specific ship and control its technical management and commercial operations only. Charterers take over all responsibility for the operation of the vessel and expenses for the duration.

BBB - Before Breaking Bulk. Refers to freight payments that must be received before discharge of a vessel commences

BDI - Both Dates Inclusive

BEAM - The maximum breadth or the greatest width of a ship

BELOW - Beneath the deck

BENDS - Both Ends (Load & Discharge Ports)

BI - Both Inclusive

BIMCO - The Baltic and International Maritime Council

BL - Bale

B/L - (Bill of Lading) A document signed by the carrier which acts as a Contract of Affreightment, a receipt and evidence of title to the cargo.

BM - Beam

BN - Booking Note

BOB - Bunker on Board

BOFFER - Best Offer

BOW - The forward part of a ship

BROB - Bunkers Remaining on Board

BROKERAGE - Percentage of freight payable to broker (by owners in c/p's) or applicable to sale or purchase

BSS - Basis

BSS 1/1 - Basis 1 Port to 1 Port

BT - Berth Terms

BULKHEAD - A vertical partition separating compartments

BUNDLING - This is the assembly of pieces of cargo, secured into one manageable unit. This is relevant to items such as Structural Steel, Handrails, Stairways etc. Whilst this is a very flexible description, a rule of thumb is to present cargo at a size easily handled by a large (20 tonne) fork lift.

BUNKERS - Name given for vessels Fuel and Diesel Oil supplies (Originates from coal bunkers)

BUOY - An anchored float used for marking a position on the water or a hazard or a shoal and for mooring

BWAD - Brackish Water Arrival Draft

CAF - Currency Adjustment Factor. A fee applied to the shipping costs to compensate for exchange rate fluctuations.

CBM - Cubic Metres

CBFT (or CFT) - Cubic Feet

CFR (or C&F) - Cost and Freight

CHART - A map used by navigators

CHOPT - Charterers Option

CHTRS - Charterers

CIF - Cost, Insurance & Freight. Seller pays all these costs to a nominated port or place of discharge.

CKD - Completely knocked down

COA - Contract of Affreightment - Owners agree to accept a cost per revenue tonne for cargo carried on a specific number of voyages.

CIP - Carriage and Insurance paid to...

C.O. - Certificate of Origin - a signed statement from a semiofficial organization certifying the origin of an export item, required by certain nations.

COACP - Contract of Affreightment Charter Party

COB - Closing of Business

COBLDN - Closing of Business London

COD - Cash On Delivery

COGSA - Carriage of Goods by Sea Act

CONGESTION - Port/berth delays

CONS - Consumption

CNEE CONSIGNEE. - Name of agent, company or person receiving consignment

COP - Custom Of Port

CP (or C/P) - Charter Party

CPD - Charterers Pay Dues

CPT - Carriage Paid To

CQD - Customary Quick Despatch

CR - Current Rate

CROB - Cargo Remaining on Board

CRN - Crane

CRT - Cargo Retention Clauses, introduced by charterers based on shortage of delivered cargo because of increased oil prices

CST - Centistoke

CTR - Container Fitted

DA - Disbursement Account

DAF - Deliver At Frontier

DAPS - Days all Purposes (Total days for loading & discharging)

DAMFORDET - Damages for Detention. Penalty if cargo is not ready when ship arrives for working (1st day of Laycan). This is not detention which is charged for ships time on delay. If the cargo is ready there is no DAMFORDET.

DDU - Delivered Duty unpaid

DDP - Delivered Duty Paid

DECK - A permanent covering over a compartment, hull or any part thereof

DEM - Demurrage (Quay Rent). Money paid by the shipper for the occupying port space beyond a specified "Free Time" period.

DEQ - Delivered Ex Quay

DES - Delivered Ex Ship

DESP - Despatch. Time saved, reward for quick turnaround- in dry cargo only

DET - Detention (See DAMFORDET)

DEV - Deviation. Vessel departure from specified voyage course

DFRT - Deadfreight. Space booked by shipper or charterer on a vessel but not used

DHDATSBE - Despatch Half Demurrage on All Time Saved Both Ends

DHDWTSBE - Despatch Half Demurrage on Working Time Saved Both Ends

DISCH - Discharge

DK - Deck

DLOSP - Dropping Last Outwards Sea Pilot (Norway)

DO - Diesel Oil

DOLSP - Dropping Off Last Sea Pilot (Norway)

DOP - Dropping Outward Pilot

DOT - Department of Transport

DNRCAOSLONL - Discountless and Non-Returnable Cargo and/or Ship Lost or Not Lost

DRAUGHT (or DRAFT) - Depth to which a ship is immersed in water. The depth varies according to the design of the ship and will be greater or lesser depending not only on the weight of the ship and everything on board, but also on the density of the water in which the ship is lying.

DRK - Derrick

DUNNAGE - Materials of various types, often timber or matting, placed among the cargo for separation, and hence protection from damage, for ventilation and, in the case of certain cargoes, to provide space in which the tynes of a fork lift truck may be inserted.

DWAT (or DWT) - Deadweight. Weight of cargo, stores and water, i.e. the difference between lightship and loaded displacement.

EBB - A receeding current

EC - East Coast

EIU - Even If Used

ELVENT - Electric Ventilation

ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival - the projected date and time a shipment is scheduled to arrive at its destination.

ETC - Estimated Time of Completion

ETD - Estimated Time of Departure - the projected date and time a shipment is scheduled to depart from the port/airport of origin.

ETS - Estimated Time of Sailing

EXW - Ex Works

FAC - Fast as can

FAS - Free Alongside Ship. Seller delivers goods to appropriate dock or terminal at port of embarkation and buyer covers costs and risks of loading

FCA - Free to Carrier. A modern equivalent of FAS used in intermodal transport where goods are transferred at a nominated forwarders premises, depot or terminal but not actually on board vessel.

FCL - Full Container Load - a container that is fully loaded by cargo, occupying all space, or loaded to the maximum permissable weight. It can contain cargo from multiple shippers, but normally is consigned to the same consignee. The shipment is expected to be delivered to the consignee with the shipper's seal intact.

FD (FDIS) - Free Discharge

FDD - Freight Demurrage Deadfreight

FDESP - Free Despatch

FDEDANRSAOCLONL - Freight Deemed Earned, Discountless And Non-Returnable (Refundable) Ship And Or Cargo Lost Or Not Lost

FENDER - A cushion, placed between ships, or between a ship and a pier, to prevent damage

FEU - Standard 40’ Container, forty-foot equivalent unit, a standard size intermodal container.

FHEX - Fridays/Holidays Excluded

FHINC - Fridays/Holidays Included

FILO - Free In/Liner Out. Seafreight with which the shipper pays load costs and the carrier pays for discharge costs.

FIO - Free In/Out. Freight booked FIO includes the seafreight, but no loading/discharging costs, i.e. the charterer pays for cost of loading/discharging cargo.

FIOS - Free In/Out Stowed. As per FIO, but excludes stowage costs.

FIOST - Free In/Out and Trimmed. Charterer pays for cost of loading/discharging cargo, including stowage and trimming.

FIOT - Free In/Out and Trimmed. As per FIOS but includes trimming, e.g. the levelling of bulk cargoes. FIOS includes seafreight, but excludes loading/discharging and stowage costs.

FIT - Free In Trimmed

FIW - Free In Wagon

FIXING - Chartering a Vessel

FIXTURE - Conclusion of shipbrokers negotiations to charter a ship - an agreement

FLATPACKING - Cargo to be presented stacked and secured as an integral unit.

FLT - Full Liner Terms

FMC - Federal Maritime Commission

FME - Force Majeure Excepted

FMS - Fathoms

FO - For Orders

FO (IFO) - Fuel Oil/Intermediate FO

FO - Free Out

FOB - Free on Board. Seller sees the goods "over the ship’s rail" on to the ship which is arranged and paid for by the buyer

FOFFER - Firm Offer

FOG - For Our Guidance

FOQ - Free On Quay

FOR - Free On Rail

FORCE MAJEURE - Clause limiting responsibilities of the charterers, shippers and receivers of cargo.

FORE-AND-AFT - In a line parallel to the keel

FORWARD - Toward the bow of the ship

FOT - Free On Truck

FOW - First Open Water

FOW - Free On Wharf

FP - Free Pratique. Clearance by the Health Authorities

FR - First Refusal. First attempt at best offer that can be matched

FREEBOARD - The minimum vertical distance from the surface of the water to the gunwale

FRT - Freight. Money payable on delivery of cargo in a mercantile condition

FREE DESPATCH - If loading/discharging achieved sooner than agreed, there will be no freight money returned.

FREE EXINS - Free of any Extra Insurance (Owners)

FREE OUT - Free of discharge costs to owners. Includes seafreight only.

FRUSTRATION - Charterers when cancelling agreement sometimes quote 'doctrine of frustration' i.e. vessel is lost, extensive delays.

FWAD - Fresh Water Arrival Draft

FWDD - Fresh Water Departure Draft

FYG - For Your Guidance

FYI - For Your Information

GA - General Average

GEAR - A general term for ropes, blocks, tackle and other equipment

GLS (GLESS) - Gearless


GN (or GR) - Grain (Capacity)

GO - Gas Oil

GP - Grain Capacity. Cubic capacity in 'grain'

GR - Geographical Rotation. Ports in order of calling

GRD - Geared

GRI - General Rate Increase. Used to describe an across-the-board tariff rate increase implemented by conference members and applied to base rates.

GRT - Gross Registered Tonnage

GSB - Good, Safe Berth

GSP - Good, Safe Port

GTEE - Guarantee

GUNWALE - The upper edge of a ship's sides

2H - Second Half

HA - Hatch

HAGUE RULES - Code of minimum conditions for the carriage of cargo under a Bill of Lading

HATCH - An opening in a ship's deck fitted with a watertight cover

HBF - Harmless Bulk Fertilizer

HDLTSBENDS - Half Despatch Lay Time Saved Both Ends

HDWTS - Half Despatch Working (or Weather) Time Saved

HHDW - Handy Heavy d.w. (Scrap)

IRE - T/C Remuneration

HMS - Heavy Metal Scraps

HO - Hold

HOLD - A compartment below deck in a large vessel, used solely for carrying cargo

HULL - The main body of a ship

HW - High Water

ICW - Intercoastal Waterway : bays, rivers, and canals along the coasts (such as the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts), connected so that vessels may travel without going into the sea

IMDG - International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code

IMO - International Maritime Organisation

IN &/OR OVER - Goods carried below and/or on deck

INCOTERMS - (Refer to comments in covering statement on front page A-F)

IND - Indication

INTERMODAL - Carriage of a commodity by different modes of transport, i.e. sea, road, rail and air within a single journey

ITF - International Transport Workers Federation (Trade Unions). Complies on crewing

ISPS - International Ships and Port Security System

ITINERARY - Route.Schedule

IU - If Used

IUHTAUTC - If Used, Half Time Actually To Count

IWL - Institute Warranty Limits

KEEL - The centreline of a ship running fore and aft; the backbone of a vessel

KNOT - A measurement of speed equal to one nautical mile (6,076 feet) per hour

LANE METER - A method of measuring the space capacity of Ro/Ro ships whereby each unit of space (Linear Meter) is represented by an area of deck 1.0 meter in length x 2.0 meters in width.

LASH - To hold goods in position by use of Ropes, Wires, Chains or Straps etc.

LAT - Latitude. The distance north or south of the equator measured and expressed in degrees.

LAYCAN - Laycan (Layday Cancelling Date)

LAYTIME - Time at Charterers disposal for purpose of loading/discharging

L/C - Letter of Credit

LCL - Less than Container Load - a shipment that takes up only a portion of a consolidated container. LCL shpts are to be picked up at a CFS only, whereas FCL are to be picked up at a container yard/terminal.

LCR - Lowest Current Rate

LEE - The side sheltered from the wind

LEEWARD - The direction away from the wind. Opposite of windward

LEEWAY - The sideways movement of the ship caused by either wind or current

LF - Load Factor. Percentage of cargo or passengers carries e.g. 4,000 tons carried on a vessel of 10,000 capacity has a load factor of 40%

LIEN - Retention of property until outstanding debt is paid

LNG - Liquefied Natural Gas

LOA - Length Overall of the vessel


LOF - Lloyds Open Form

LOG - A record of courses or operation. Also, a device to measure speed

LOI - Letter of Indemnity

LONGITUDE - The distance in degrees east or west of the meridian at Greenwich, England

LOW - Last Open Water

LS (or LUMPS) - Lumpsum Freight. Money paid to Shipper for a charter of a ship (or portion) up to stated limit irrespective of quantity of cargo

LSD - Lashed Secured Dunnaged

LT - Liner Terms

LT - Long Ton = 1,016.05 kilogram (2,240 lbs)

LTHH - Liner Terms Hook/Hook

LW - Low Water

LYCN - Laycan (Layday Cancelling Date)

MANIFEST - Inventory of cargo on board

MB - Merchant Broker

MDO (DO) - Marine Diesel Oil

MIDSHIP - Approximately in the location equally distant from the bow and stern

MIN/MAX - Minimum/Maximum (cargo quantity)

MOA - Memorandum of Agreement

MOLCHOPT - More or Less Charterers Option

MOLOO - More or Less Owners Option

MOORING - An arrangement for securing a ship to a mooring buoy or pier

MT - Mertic Tonne (i.e. 1,000 kilos)

M/V - Motor Vessel / Merchant Vessel

NAABSA - Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground

NM - Nautical Mile. One minute of latitude; approximately 6,076 feet - about 1/8 longer than the statute mile of 5,280 feet

NAVIGATION - The art and science of conducting a ship safely from one point to another

NCB - National Cargo Bureau

NESTING - Implies that cargo is presented stacked in the contour of similarly shaped cargo, it may be likened to a stack of plates. This is particularly relevant in the presentation of tankage strakes for transport

NON-REVERSIBLE - (Detention). If loading completed sooner than expected, then saved days will not be added to discharge time allowed.

NOR - Notice of Readiness

NRT - Net Restricted Tonnage

NYPE - New York Produce Exchange

OO - Owners Option

OBO - Ore/Bulk/Oil Vessel

OSH - Open Shelter Deck

OVERBOARD - Over the side or out of the ship

OWS - Owners

P&I - Protection and Indemnity Insurance

PASTUS - Past Us

PC - Period of Charter

PCGO - Part Cargo

PCT - Percent

PDPR - Per Day Pro Rata

PERDIEM - By the Day

PER SE - By Itself

PHPD - Per Hatch Per Day



LOAD LINE - An internationally recognised line painted on the side of merchant ships. When a ship is loaded, the water level is not supposed to go above the line. Water can reach different parts of the line as its temperature and saltiness varies with the season and location. From where Plimsoll Shipping derived its name.

PORT - The left side of a ship looking forward. A harbour.

PRATIQUE - Licence or permission to use a port

PREAMBLE - Introduction to a charter party

PROFORMA - Estimated Account

PUS - Plus Us

PWWD - Per Weather Working Day

RCVR - Receiver

RECAP - Recapitulation of the terms and conditions agreed

REVERSIBLE - (Detention). If loading completed sooner than expected at load port, then days saved can be added to discharge operations.

ROB - Remaining On Board

RT - Revenue Tonne (i.e. 1.0 metric tonne or 1.0 cubic meter, whichever greater). The overall RT is calculated on a line by line basis of the Packing List using the largest amount. The overall freight liability is calculated on the total RT amount, multiplied by the freight rate.

SATPM - Saturday P.M.

SB - Safe Berth

SD (or SID) - Single Decker

SEAFREIGHT - Costs charged for transporting goods over the sea. This does not cover haulage or loading/discharging costs but the sea transport only

SEAWORTHINESS - Statement of condition of the vessel (valid certificates, fully equipped and manned etc. )

SELFD - Self Discharging

SEMI-TRAILERS - Are usually 12.0 meter flat bed road trailers

SF - Stowage Factor. Cubic space (measurement tonne) occupied by one tonne (2,240 lbs/1,000 kgs) of cargo

SHINC - Sundays/Holidays Included

SHEX - Sundays/Holidays Excluded

SHPR - Shipper - the party in whose name a contract of carriage of goods has been concluded with at carrier or any party by whom, in whose name or on whose behalf the goods are actually delivered to the carrier in relation to the contract of carriage.

SKIDS - Are bearers (timber or steel) positioned under the cargo to enable forklift handling at port, and for ease of rigging and lashing on board ship.

SN - Satellite Navigation - A form of position finding using radio transmissions from satellites with sophisticated on-board automatic equipment

SOC - Shipper Owned Container

SOF - Statement of Facts

SP - Safe Port

SPIDERING - Is the strengthening of circular tanks for transport, this prevents the tanks from becoming warped. The tanks are strengthened with steel or wood crossbeams giving a "spider" appearance

SRBL - Signing and Releasing Bill of Lading

SSHEX - Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays Excluded

SSHINC (or SATSHINC) - Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays Included

STABILITY - It is paramount that a vessel is stable in all aspects at all times. When cargo is loaded/discharged, the stability is monitored by a computer, which takes into account the weight and position of cargo within the vessel.

STARBOARD - Right side of a ship when facing the front or forward end.

STEM - Subject to Enough Merchandise (Availability of cargo). Also, the forward most part of the bow.

STERN - The aformost or after part of a ship

SUB - Subject (to). Depending upon as a condition

SUPERCARGO - Person employed by a ship owner, shipping company, charterer of a ship or shipper of goods to supervise cargo handling operations. Often called a port captain.

SWAD - Salt Water Arrival Draft

SWDD - Salt Water Departure Draft

THWARTSHIPS - At right angles to the centreline of the ship

TIDE - The periodic rise and fall of water level in the oceans

TIME BAR - Time after which legal claims will not be entered

TBN - To Be Named / To Be Nominated

TC - Time Charter - Owners agree to hire a particular ship for a set length of time and provide technical management, crewing etc.

TCP - Time Charter Party

TEU - Standard 20' Container, twenty-foot equivalent unit, a standard size intermodal container.

TOPSIDES - The sides of a ship between the waterline and the deck; sometimes referring to onto or above the deck

T/S - Transhipment - a shipping arrangement in which a shipment is discharged of the vessel at an intermediate port enroute and subsequently reloaded to another vessel for carriage to its final destinationl

TRIM - Fore and aft balance of a ship

TTL - Total

TW - Tween Decker

USC - Unless Sooner Commenced

UU - Unless Used

UUIWCTAUTC - Unless Used In Which Case Time Actually Used To Count

VPD - Vessel Pays Dues

WATERLINE - A line painted on a hull which shows the point to which a ship sinks when it is properly trimmed

WAY - Movement of a ship through water such as headway, sternway or leeway

WCCON - Whether Customs Cleared Or Not

WIBON - Whether In Berth Or Not

WIFPON - Whether In Free Pratique Or Not

WINDWARD - Toward the direction from which the wind is coming

WIPON - Whether In Port Or Not

WLTOHC - Water Line-To-Hatch Coaming

WOG - Without Guarantee

WP - Weather Permitting. That time during which weather prevents working shall not count as laytime

WPD - Weather Permitting Day

WWD - Weather Working Day

WRIC - Wire Rods In Collis

WWR - When, Where Ready

WWWW - Wibon, Wccon, Wifpon, Wipon

YAR - York Antwerp Rules

YAW - To swing or steer off course, as when running with a quartering sea