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Shipping Glossary of Cargo and Shipping Terms

Cargo Glossary
Freight loaded into a ship.

Cargo Manifest
A manifest that lists all cargo carried on a specific vessel voyage.

Cargo NOS
Cargo Not Otherwise Specified. Usually the rate entry in a tariff that can apply to commodities not covered under a specific item or sub item in the applicable tariff.

Cargo Preference
Cargo reserved by a Nation's laws for transportation only on vessels registered in that Nation. Typically the cargo is moving due to a direct or indirect support or activity of the Government.

Cargo Tonnage
Most ocean freight is billed on the basis of weight or measurement tons (W/M). Weight tons can be expressed in short tons of 2000 pounds, long tons of 2240 pounds or metric tons of 1000 kilos (2204.62 pounds). Measurement tons are usually expressed as cargo measurement of 40 cubic feet (1.12 meters) or cubic meters (35.3 cubic feet.)

Container
A truck trailer body that can be detached from the chassis for loading into a vessel, a rail car or stacked in a container depot. Containers may be ventilated, insulated, refrigerated, flat rack, vehicle rack, open top, bulk liquid or equipped with interior devices. A container may be 20 feet, 40 feet, 45 feet, 48 feet or 53 feet in length, 8'0" or 8'6" in width, and 8'6" or 9'6" in height.

Container Booking
Arrangements with a steamship line to transport containerized cargo.

Container Freight Station
A shipping dock where cargo is loaded ("stuffed") into or unloaded ("stripped") from containers. Generally, this involves less than container load shipments, although small shipments destined to same consignee are often consolidated. Container reloading from/to rail or motor carrier equipment is a typical activity.

Container Manifest
Document showing contents and loading sequence of a container.

Container Pool
An agreement between parties that allows the efficient use and supply of containers. A common supply of containers available to the shipper as required.

Container Terminal
An area designated for the stowage of cargoes in container; usually accessible by truck, railroad and marine transportation. Here containers are picked up, dropped off, maintained and housed.

Container Yard (CY)
A materials handling/storage facility used for completely unitized loads in containers and/or empty containers. Commonly referred to as CY.

Containerizable Cargo
Cargo that will fit into a container and result in an economical shipment.

Containerization
Stowage of general or special cargoes in a container for transport in the various modes.

Container Load
A load sufficient in size to fill a container either by cubic measurement or by weight.

Customhouse
A government office where duties are paid, import documents filed, etc., on foreign shipments.

Customhouse Broker
A person or firm, licensed by the treasury department of their country when required, engaged in entering and clearing goods through Customs for a client (importer).

Customs
Government agency charged with enforcing the rules passed to protect the country's import and export revenues.

Customs Bonded Warehouse
A warehouse authorized by Customs to receive duty-free merchandise.

Customs Entry
All countries require that the importer make a declaration on incoming foreign goods. The importer then normally pays a duty on the imported merchandise. The importer's statement is compared against the carrier's vessel manifest to ensure that all foreign goods are properly declared.

Freight
Refers to either the cargo carried or the charges assessed for carriage of the cargo.

Freight Bill
A document issued by the carrier based on the bill of lading and other information; used to account for a shipment operationally, statistically, and financially. An Invoice.

Freight Forwarder
A person whose business is to act as an agent on behalf of the shipper. A freight forwarder frequently makes the booking reservation.

Insurance, All-risk
This type of insurance offers the shipper the broadest coverage available, covering against all losses that may occur in transit.

Insurance, General-Average
In water transportation, the deliberate sacrifice of cargo to make the vessel safe for the remaining cargo. Those sharing in the spared cargo proportionately cover the loss.

Insurance, Particular Average
A Marine insurance term to refer to partial loss on an individual shipment from one of the perils insured against, regardless of the balance of the cargo. Particular average insurance can usually be obtained, but the loss must be in excess of a certain percentage of the insured value of the shipment, usually three to five percent, before a claim will be allowed by the company.

Pallet
A platform with or without sides, on which a number of packages or pieces may be loaded to facilitate handling by a lift truck.

Shipment
The tender of one lot of cargo at one time from one shipper to one consignee on one bill of lading.

Shipper
The person or company who is usually the supplier or owner of commodities shipped. Also called Consignor.

Shipper's Instructions
Shipper's communication(s) to its agent and/or directly to the international water-carrier. Instructions may be varied, e.g., specific details/clauses to be printed on the B/L, directions for cargo pickup and delivery.

Shipper's Letter of Instructions for issuing an Air Waybill
The document required by the carrier or freight forwarders to obtain (besides the data needed) authorization to issue and sign the air waybill in the name of the shipper.

Shipper's Load & Count (SL&C)
Shipments loaded and sealed by shippers and not checked or verified by the carriers.

Shipping Order
Shipper's instructions to carrier for forwarding goods; usually the triplicate copy of the bill of lading.

Ships
- Bulk Carriers: All vessels designed to carry bulk cargo such as grain, fertilizers, ore, and oil.
- Combination Passenger and Cargo Ships: Ships with a capacity for 13 or more passengers.
- Freighters: Break bulk vessels both refrigerated and un refrigerated, containerships, partial containerships, roll on/roll off vessels, and barge carriers.
- Barge Carriers: Ships designed to carry barges; some are fitted to act as full containerships and can carry a varying number of barges and containers at the same time. At present this class includes two types of vessels LASH and Sea-Bee.
- General Cargo Carriers: Break bulk freighters, car carriers, cattle carriers, pallet carriers and timber carriers.
- Full Containerships: Ships equipped with permanent container cells, with little or no space for other types of cargo.
- Partial Containerships: Multipurpose containerships where one or more but not all compartments are fitted with permanent container cells. Remaining compartments are used for other types of cargo.
- Roll-on/Roll-off vessels: Ships specially designed to carry wheeled containers or trailers using interior ramps.
- Tankers: Ships fitted with tanks to carry liquid cargo such as: crude petroleum and petroleum products; chemicals, Liquefied gasses(LNG and LPG), wine, molasses, and similar product tankers.

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