Logistics Terminolgy

Logistics Terminology


An abbreviation for an insurance clause, Against All Risks.


A proceeding whereby a shipper or consignee seeks permission to abandon part or all of their cargo.

Act of God

A natural disaster which is outside human intervention, for example, lightning, floods or earthquakes.

Ad Valorem

A Latin term which means ‘according to value.’

Advice of Shipment

A notice advising a buyer that the shipment has moved ahead, containing details of the packing, route, etc. Often enclosed are copies of the invoice and the bill of lading.

Advising Bank

A bank in the seller’s country, which can handle letters of credit from foreign banks referred by the buyer.


A contract that binds an ocean carrier to provide cargo space to an importer or exporter at a determined time and price.

Agent (Agt.)

In the logistics supply chain, the types of agents include:

  • i Brokers
  • ii Commission merchants
  • iii Resident buyers
  • iv Sales agents
  • v Manufacturer’s representatives

Air Waybill

The non-negotiable Forwarding or Carrying Agreement between the shipper and the air carrier.


The side of a ship; goods to be delivered ‘alongside’ entails that they are to be placed along the dock or barge, within reach of the transport ship’s tackle for loading.

Ambient Temperature

The temperature of the atmosphere that surrounds a body, and different the temperature of the body itself. The ambient temperature of a container, for example, is the atmospheric temperature to which it is exposed during storage or freight.


An abbreviation for Automated Manifest System, the multi-modular cargo inventory control system of the U.S. Customs.

Anti-Dumping Duty

A tariff imposed on the sale of subsidized foreign goods. The tariff serves to discourage sale of foreign goods at low prices, which is detrimental to domestic manufacturers.


See insurance.

Arrival Notice

A notification by the carrier, informing of the ship’s arrival to the consignee, the ‘Notify Party,’ and – when applicable – the ‘Also Notify Party.’ These parties in interest are listed in the Bill of Lading in blocks 3, 4 and 10, respectively.


An abbreviation for ‘Bill of Lading.’


An abbreviation for ‘Bunker Adjustment Factor.’ This is a factor used to calculate the compensation for steamship lines adjusting for fluctuating fuel costs. It is also known as Bunker Charge, ‘Fuel Adjustment Factor’ or FAF. 

Bank Guarantee

The guarantee issued by a bank to a carrier. to be used in lieu of the original, negotiable bill-of-lading which has been lost or misplaced.


An unlawful or fraudulent act committed by the master or mariners of a vessel, contrary to their duty to the owners and wherein the latter sustain injury.

Base Rate

The base tariff rate, or the ocean rate less accessorial charges, chargeable for the transportation of goods.


– Entity to whom money is payable.

– Entity to whom a letter of credit is issued.

– The seller and the drawer of a draft.


A two-way contract, affecting and binding any two parties.

Bill of Exchange

An order issued by an individual or business, directing the recipient to pay money to a third party at a fixed future date.

Bill of Lading (B/L)

A document that establishes the terms of the contract between a shipper and a transportation company. It serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage and a receipt for goods.

Amended B/L

B/L requiring updates that do not change financial status. Slightly different from corrected B/L

B/L Terms & Conditions

Defines what the carrier can and cannot do, including the carrier’s liabilities and contractual agreements.

B/L’s Status

States whether the Bill of Lading has been rated, reconciled, printed, or released to the customer.

B/L’s Type

Refers to the type of B/L being issued. Some examples are: Memo (ME), Original (OBL), Non-negotiable, Corrected (CBL) or Amended (AM) B/L.

Cancelled B/L

Signifies a processed B/L that has been cancelled, usually on the shipper’s request. Different from voided B/L.

Clean B/L

A B/L which has no superimposed clause or notation which declares a defective condition of the goods and/or the packaging.

Combined B/L

B/L that covers cargo moving over various transports.

Consolidated B/L

B/L combined or consolidated from two or more B/L.

Corrected B/L

Updated B/L resulting in financially-related changes.

Domestic B/L

Non-negotiable B/L, primarily containing routing details. Usually used by truckers and freight forwarders.

Duplicate B/L

Another original Bill of Lading set if first set is lost. Also known as re-issued B/L.

Express B/L

Non-negotiable B/L where there are no hard copies of originals printed.

Freight B/L

A contract of carriage between a shipper and forwarder (who is usually a NVOCC). A non-negotiable document.

House B/L

B/L issued by a freight forwarder or consolidator covering a single shipment containing the names, addresses and specific description of the goods shipped.

Intermodal B/L

B/L covering cargo moving via multi-modal means. Also known as Combined Transport B/L or Multimodal B/L.

Long Form B/L

B/L form with all Terms & Conditions written on it. Most B/L’s are short forms which incorporate the long form clauses by reference.

Memo B/L

Unfreighted B/L with no charges listed.

B/L Numbers

U.S. Customs’ standardized B/L numbering format to facilitate electronic communications and to make each B/L number unique.

Negotiable B/L

A negotiable B/L is a title document issued to the shipper, whose endorsement is required to effect a negotiation. Thus, a shipper’s negotiable B/L can be bought, sold, or traded while goods are in transit and is commonly used for letter-of-credit transactions. The buyer must submit the original B/L to the carrier in order to take possession of the goods.

Non-Negotiable B/L

See Straight B/L. Also referred to a as a file copy of a B/L.

‘Onboard’ B/L

B/L validated at the time of loading for transportation. Onboard Air, Boxcar, Container, Rail, Truck and Vessel are the most common types.

Optional Discharge B/L

B/L covering cargo with more than one discharge point option possibility.

Order’ B/L

See Negotiable B/L.

Original B/L

The part of the B/L that has value, especially when negotiable.

Received for Shipment B/L

Validated when the cargo is received by ocean carrier to commence movement but before being validated as ‘Onboard’.

Reconciled B/L

B/L set which has completed a prescribed number of edits between the shipper’s instructions and the actual shipment received. This produces a very accurate B/L.

Short Term B/L

A form of B/L without the Terms & Conditions written on it. The terms are incorporated by reference to the long form B/L.

Split B/L

One of two or more B/L’s which have been split from a single B/L.

Stale B/L

A B/L which has passed the time deadline of the L/C and is void

Straight (Consignment) B/L

Indicates the shipper will deliver the goods to the consignee. It does not convey title (non-negotiable). Most often used when the goods have been pre-paid.

To Order B/L

See Negotiable B/L.

Unique B/L Identifier

U.S. Customs’ standardization: four-alpha code unique to each carrier placed in front of nine digit B/L number; APL’s unique B/L Identifier is ‘APLU’; Sea-land uses ‘SEAU’. These prefixes are also used as the container identification.

Voided B/L

Related to Consolidated B/L. The B/Ls’ absorbed in the combining process. Different from Cancelled B/L.

Bill of Sale

A confirmation of the transfer of ownership of certain goods from one person to another person, for a specified amount of money.

Blocking or Bracing

Wood or metal supports (Dunnage) that serve to keep cargo shipments in place.


To gain access to a vessel.

Bonded Freight

Freight transported under a bond, which can only be delivered once the stated conditions of the bond are met.

Bonded Warehouse

An authorised warehouse by Customs authorities for storing goods, where payment of duties can be deferred.

Break Bulk

The process of unloading and distributing a part or all of the contents of a rail car, container, or trailer, loose, non-containerised cargo.

Loose, non-containerized cargo.

Bulk Cargo

Cargo that is shipped loose in the hold of a ship, without any marks or count. Grain, coal and sulphur are examples of cargo that usually fall under this category.

Bulk-Freight Container

A container that allows bulk commodities to be carried, with a discharge hatch inbuilt into the front wall.

Bunker Charge

See BAF.


A maritime term used to refer to the fuel used aboard the ship.

Bridge Point/Bridge Port

The port where the cargo is unloaded by the ocean carrier, and moved to another vessel.


A term used for water transportation between ports of a nation, and often referring to coast-wise navigation or trade.


An abbreviation referring to the ‘Currency Adjustment Factor,’ a charge that is expressed as a percentage of the base rate and applied to compensate ocean carriers against currency fluctuations.


– A Customs document permitting the holder to temporarily send goods to specified foreign countries, without paying duties or posting bonds for these goods.

– Any of various Customs documents required while crossing certain international borders.

Cargo Manifest

A manifest that lists the details of all the cargo carried on a specific carrier.


A person or organisation in a contract of carriage who undertakes to procure the performance of carriage by rail, road, sea, air, inland waterway or by a combination of these modes.

Carrier’s Certificate

A certificate required by Customs to release cargo to the correct party.


A term that refers to inland hauling by drays or trucks.

Cash Against Documents (CAD)

A method of payment wherein the documents transferring title of goods are given to the buyer, upon receipt of cash to an intermediary acting for the seller, usually a commission house.

Certificate of Origin

A certified document showing the origin of goods, used for international commerce.


An abbreviation for ‘Container Freight Station’; a shipping dock or storage area, where cargo is loaded to or unloaded from containers.


A demand made for payment to compensate a loss sustained through alleged negligence in transportation.

Clean Bill of Lading

A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were received in good order and condition, without damage or other irregularities. If no notation or exception is made, the B/L is assumed to be ‘clean’.


The Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA) is an act that standardizes the carrier’s liability through the Bill of Lading.

Commercial Invoice

A complete record of the transaction between exporter and importer with regard to the goods sold. It reports the content of the shipment, and serves as the basis for all other documents about the shipment.


The article to be shipped. For dangerous and hazardous cargo, correct commodity identification is critical.

Common Carrier

A transportation company which provides service at fixed rates to the general public.

Common Law

The type of law based on precedent, custom and usage rather than statutes, particularly the laws of India, England and the United States.


An association of ship owners operating under collective conditions and agreed tariff rates in the same trade route.

Confirmed Letter of Credit

Confirmation of the validity by a domestic bank of a letter of credit issued by a foreign bank. A domestic seller with a confirmed letter of credit is assured of payment, even if the foreign buyer or the foreign bank defaults.

Confirming Bank

The bank that adds its confirmation to the issuing bank’s letter of credit, and promises to pay the beneficiary upon presentation of specified documents.


A person or organisation to whom the cargo is sent.


  1. A stock of merchandise advanced to a dealer and located at his place of business, but with title remaining in the source of supply.
  2. A shipment of goods to a consignee.


A person or company shown on the Bill of Lading as the shipper.


Cargo containing shipments of two or more shippers or suppliers. Container-load shipments may be consolidated for one or more consignees.


An individual or company performing a consolidation service for others, wherein the consolidator takes advantage of lower full cargo load (FCL) rates, and passes these savings on to its customers.


The receptacle used for transporting cargo, inland or by air and sea.

Container Freight Station

See CFS.

Container Manifest

A document listing all the contents, and specifying the loading and unloading sequence of a container.


A legally binding agreement between two or more persons or organizations, where they are obliged to carry out reciprocal value actions.

Correspondent Bank

A domestic bank that handles the business of a foreign bank.

Cubic Foot

A unit for measuring volume; the basic unit being the space contained by one foot of height, width and length.


A government agency that enforces the rules for its country’s import and export laws. 

Customs Bonded Warehouse

See Bonded Warehouse.

Customs Entry

The process whereby a declaration is made by the importer on incoming foreign goods, and entails a duty paid by the importer on the merchandise.

Customs Invoice

A form requiring all data in a commercial invoice along with a certificate of value and/or a certificate of origin. Required in a few countries, it serves as a seller’s commercial invoice.


A penalty charge against shippers or consignees when the cargo is delayed beyond the allowed period. The charge is set forth in the charter party or freight tariff.

See also, Detention and Per Diem.


The weight of cargo per cubic foot or measured by any other unit.


A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying carrier’s equipment beyond allowed time. Demurrage applies to cargo; detention applies to equipment. See Per Diem.


The process of unloading a container, or cargo van.

Discrepancy Letter of Credit

When documents presented do not conform to the requirements of the letter of credit (L/C), it is referred to as a ‘discrepancy’. Banks will not process L/C’s which have discrepancies. They will refer the situation back to the buyer and/or seller and await further instructions.

Dock Receipt

A form used to acknowledge receipt of cargo and often serves as basis for preparation of the ocean Bill of Lading.

Documents Against Acceptance (D/A)

The instructions given by a shipper to a bank, stating that the title-transfer documents of the goods should be delivered to the buyer upon the buyer’s acceptance of the draft attached.

Documents Against Payment (D/P)

An indication on a draft that, on payment, the documents attached can be released to the drawee.


Through transportation of a container and its contents from consignor to consignee. Also known as House-to-House. Not necessarily a through rate.

Draft, Bank

An order issued by a seller against a purchaser which directs payment through an intermediary bank. Typical bank drafts are negotiable instruments and are similar in many ways to checks on checking accounts in a bank.

Draft, Clean

A draft without any documents attached.

Draft, Date

A draft that regardless of the time of acceptance, matures on a fixed date.

Draft, Discounted

A discounted time draft under a letter of credit that has been accepted by a bank.

Draft, Sight

A draft payable on demand, i.e. upon its presentation to the bank.

Draft, Time

A draft that matures at a fixed time period after its presentation or acceptance.


A partial refund of an import fee resulting from re-export of the same goods from the country, or other causes.


The individual or organisation that issues a draft to the buyer, and thus stands to receive payment.


Charge made for inward haulage by dray or truck. Same as Cartage.


Abbreviation for ‘Electronic Data Interface’; a generic term used for transmission of data between two or more computer systems.


The customs documents required to clear an import shipment for entry into a country.

Ex – From

When used in pricing terms, it signifies that the price quoted applies only at the point of origin. E.g. ‘Ex-Factory’ or ‘Ex-Dock.’


Notations on the bill of lading that show any irregularities in packaging, or damage to the cargo made when the cargo is received at the carrier’s terminal or loaded aboard a vessel.

Expiry Date

Issued with reference to documents with a time period such as letters of credit, tariffs etc. to advise that stated provisions will expire after a certain lapse of time.

Export Declaration

A government document to be completed by the exporter and filed with the government, declaring the designated goods to be shipped out of the country.

Export License

A government document permitting the holder of the license to engage in the export of designated goods to certain destinations.


Abbreviation for ‘Full Container Load’. Indicates that the maximum capacity load has been achieved.

Feeder Service

A service whereby cargo to and from regional ports are transferred to a central hub port for a long-haul ocean voyage.

Feeder Vessel

A short-sea vessel which transfers cargo between a central ‘hub’ port and smaller ‘spoke’ ports.


Abbreviation for ‘Forty-Foot Equivalent Units.’ A unit for measuring the container size standard of forty feet. Two twenty-foot containers or TEU’s equal one FEU.

Force Majeure

A common clause in contracts that exempts the parties from non-fulfilment of their obligations as a result of conditions beyond their control, such as earthquakes, floods or war.

Foul Bill of Lading

A receipt issued by a carrier indicating that the goods were damaged when received. See also: Clean Bill of Lading.

Free Astray

A lost shipment that is located and sent to its actual destination without incurring any additional charges.

Free Time

The amount of time that a carrier’s equipment may be used without incurring additional charges. (See Storage, Demurrage or Per Diem.)

Freight Bill

An invoice issued by the carrier based on the Bill of Lading and other information. Used to account for a shipment operationally, statistically, and financially.

Freight Forwarder

A person who acts as an agent on behalf of the shipper, and who often makes the booking reservation.


Industry-related. A point at which freight moving from one territory to another is interchanged between transportation lines.


Abbreviation for ‘General Rate Increase.’ An across-the-board tariff rate increase, implemented by conference members and applied to base rates.


A consolidation service that puts small shipments into FCL containers for shipment.

Harmonised System of Codes (HS)

Developed by the Brussels-based Customs Co-operations Council (CCC), an international goods classification system for describing cargo in international trade under a single commodity-coding scheme.


See Door-to-Door.


Cargo loaded into a container by the shipper under shipper’s supervision. When the cargo is exported, it is unloaded at the foreign pier destination.


Abbreviation for International Chamber of Commerce.


Abbreviation for ‘International Maritime Consultative Organization’. A forum made up of major maritime nations, where recommendations for the carriage of dangerous goods, bulk commodities and maritime regulations become internationally acceptable.

I.M.D.G. Code

Abbreviation for ‘International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code’. The regulations published by the IMCO for transporting hazardous materials internationally.


To receive goods from a foreign country.

Import License

A government document authorizing the importation of goods.

In Bond

Cargo moving under Customs control, on which duty has not yet been paid.

Indemnity Bond

An agreement that holds a carrier harmless with regards to a liability.

Inherent Vice

An insurance term that refers to any defect or cause of damage inherent in the product without external cause (for example, instability in a chemical that could cause it to explode spontaneously). Insurance policies may exclude inherent vice losses.

Inspection Certificate

A certificate issued by an agent or firm affirming the quality and/or quantity of the merchandise being shipped. Such a certificate is usually required in a letter of credit for shipments.

Insurance with Average-clause

In marine insurance, the word average describes partial damage or partial loss; this clause covers merchandise if the damage amounts to 3% or more of the insured value of the package or cargo.

Insurance, All-risk

The broadest insurance coverage available to the shipper, covering against all losses incurred during transit.

Insurance, General-Average

In ocean freight, the deliberate sacrifice of part of the cargo to make the vessel safe for the remaining cargo. The loss is covered by those sharing in the spared cargo proportionately.

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.


Denotes movement of cargo containers across various transport modes, for example, motor, water, and air carriers.

Irrevocable Letter of Credit

A letter of credit wherein all terms and conditions being met by the drawee, the specified payment is guaranteed by the bank. It cannot be revoked without joint agreement of both the buyer and the seller.

Issuing Bank

A bank that opens a straight or negotiable letter of credit, and assumes the obligation to pay the beneficiary if the documents presented are in accordance with the terms of the letter of credit.

Issuing Carrier

The carrier issuing transportation documents or publishing a tariff.

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Known Loss

A loss discovered any time at or before the delivery of a shipment


Movement of cargo by water from one country through the port of another country and then using rail or truck to an inland point in that country or to a third country. An example is the through movement of Asian cargo to Europe across North America.

Landed Cost

The total cost of goods to a buyer, including the cost of transportation.

Landing Certificate

Certificate issued at the point or place of export, when the subject goods are exported under bond, by consular officials of some importing countries.


Abbreviation for ‘Less than Container Load’. The quantity of freight which is less than that required for the application of a container load rate. Loose Freight.


Less-than-Truckload is a service offered by freight companies for businesses that only need a small shipment of goods delivered.

Letter of Credit (LC)

A document, issued by a bank on the instructions of a buyer of goods, authorizing the seller to draw a specified sum of money under specified terms. Some of the specific descriptions are:


A new letter of credit issued to another beneficiary on the strength of a primary credit. The second LC uses the first LC as collateral for the bank. Used in a three-party transaction.


A letter of credit that requires the beneficiary to present only a draft or a receipt for specified funds before receiving payment.


An LC guaranteed by both the issuing and advising banks of payment so long as seller’s documents are in order, and the LC terms are met. Only applied to irrevocable LCs’. The confirming bank assumes the credit risk of the issuing bank.

Deferred Payment

A letter of credit issued for the purchase and financing of merchandise, similar to acceptance-type letter of credit, except that it requires presentation of sight drafts payable on an instalment basis.


An instrument that cannot be modified or cancelled without the agreement of all parties concerned.


A revolving letter of credit that prohibits the amount not used during the specific period from being available afterwards.


A condition within the letter of credit which restricts its negotiation to a named bank.


An instrument that can be modified or cancelled at any moment without notice to an agreement of the beneficiary. Rarely used since there is no protection for the seller.


An irrevocable letter issued for a specific amount. Renews itself for the same amount over a given period.


A letter of credit that contains a limited engagement clause which states that the issuing bank promises to pay the beneficiary upon presentation of the required documents at its counters or the counters of the named bank.


A letter of credit that allows the beneficiary to transfer in whole or in part to another beneficiary any amount which, in aggregate, of such transfers does not exceed the amount of the credit. Used by middlemen.


A letter of credit forwarded to the beneficiary by the advising bank without engagement on the part of the advising bank.

Letter of Indemnity

In order to obtain the clean Bill of Lading, the shipper signs a Letter of Indemnity, although the dock or mate’s receipt showed that the shipment was damaged or in bad condition.


* Some governments require certain commodities to be licensed prior to exportation or importation. Clauses attesting to compliance are often required on the B/L.

* Various types issued for export (general, validated) and import as mandated by government(s).


A legal claim upon goods in the hands of another party for the satisfaction of some debt or duty.

Marine Insurance

Insurance covering loss or damage of goods at sea, which typically compensates the owner of goods for losses sustained from fire, shipwreck, etc., but excludes losses that can be recovered from the carrier.

Mini Landbridge

An intermodal system for transporting containers by ocean and then inland to a port that previously served as an all water route (e.g., Hong Kong to New York over Seattle).

Minimum Charge

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


Synonymous for all practical purposes with ‘Intermodal’.

Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC)

A cargo consolidator in ocean trades who will buy space from a carrier and then sell it to smaller shippers. The NVOCC issues Bills of Lading, publishes tariffs and conducts itself as an ocean common carrier, except that it will not provide the actual ocean or intermodal service.

Ocean Bill of Lading (Ocean B/L)

A contract for transportation between a shipper and a carrier. It also evidences receipt of the cargo by the carrier. A Bill of Lading shows ownership of the cargo and, if made negotiable, can be bought, sold or traded while the goods are in-transit.

On Board

A notation on a Bill of Lading that cargo has been loaded on board a vessel. Used to satisfy the requirements of a Letter of Credit, in the absence of an express requirement to the contrary.

On Deck

A notation on a Bill of Lading that the cargo has been stowed on the open deck of the ship.

Open Insurance Policy

A marine insurance policy that applies to all shipments over a period of time rather than to one shipment only.

Open Top Container

A container fitted with a removable roof, so the container can be loaded or unloaded from the top.

Order-Notify (O/N)

A term used for the surrender of the original Bill of Lading before freight is released. Usually associated with a shipment covered under a letter of credit.

Original Bill of Lading (OBL)

A document which requires proper signatures for consummating carriage of contract. Must be marked as ‘original’ by the issuing carrier.

Overheight Cargo

Cargo that cannot fit into a standard container, i.e. more than eight feet high.

Perils of the Sea

Those natural causes of loss for which the carrier is not legally liable.


A shipment loaded into a container at the pier or terminal, then to the consignee’s facility.


Containers that are loaded at the port of loading, and discharged at port of destination. See door-to-door.

Place of Delivery

The place where the cargo leaves the care and custody of the carrier.

Place of Receipt

The location where the cargo enters the care and custody of carrier.


Abbreviation for

  • Port of Discharge.
  • Port of Destination.
  • Proof of Delivery.

A document required from the carrier or driver for proper payment.

Point of Origin

The place where the shipment is received by the carrier.


Abbreviation for

  • Port of Loading.
  • Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricants.

Pomerene Act

Also known as Federal Bill of Lading Act of 1916. U.S. federal law enacting conditions by which a B/L may be issued. Penalties for issuing B/L’s containing false data include monetary fines and/or imprisonment.

Port of Discharge

The port where the cargo is discharged from the carrier.

Port of Entry

The port where the cargo is unloaded and enters a country.

Port of Exit

The port where cargo is loaded and leaves the country.

Prepaid (Ppd.)

Freight charges paid by the consignor (shipper) prior to the release of the Bills of Lading by the carrier.

Pro Forma

A Latin term meaning ‘for the sake of form.’

Pro Forma Invoice

An invoice provided by a supplier prior to the shipment of merchandise, informing the buyer of details of goods to be sent, their value, and specifications.

Pro Rata

A Latin term meaning ‘in proportion.’


Changing the consignee or destination on a Bill of Lading while shipment is still in transit. Diversion has substantially the same meaning.


Refrigerated container.


A common use of the term,’Roll On/Roll Off.’ A method of loading ocean cargo, using a vessel with ramps which allows cargo to be loaded and discharged without the use of cranes.


To re-book cargo to a later vessel.

Schedule B

The statistical classification of domestic and foreign commodities exported from the United States.

Sea Waybill

The document indicating a document of title (b/L) was not needed the goods when were loaded on-board.


The person or company who is usually the supplier or owner of commodities shipped.

Shipper’s Load & Count (SL&C)

Shipments that are loaded and sealed by shippers without being checked or verified by the carriers.

Sight Draft

A draft payable upon presentation to the drawee.


Shippers’ load and count. All three clauses are used as needed on the Bill of Lading to exclude the carrier from liability when the cargo is loaded by the shipper.

Statute of Limitation

A law that limits the time in which claims or suits may be instituted.


An abbreviation for ‘Said to contain’.

Supply Chain

A logistical management system which integrates the sequence of activities from delivery of raw materials to the manufacturer through to delivery of the finished product to the customer into measurable components.


An extra or additional charge.

Terminal Charge

A charge made for a service performed in a carrier’s terminal area.


Abbreviation for Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit. See FEU.


Abbreviation for Transport International par la Route, an agreement among European governments and the United States for the international movement of cargo by road.


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


Abbreviation for the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits, published by the International Chamber of Commerce. This is the most frequently used standard for making payments in international trade.


United Nations EDI for Administration, Commerce and Transport. EDI Standards are developed and supported by the UN for electronic message interchange on an international level.

Uniform Customs and Practices for Documentary Credits (UCP)

The rules for letters of credit drawn up by the Commission on Banking Technique and Practices of the International Chamber of Commerce in consultation with the banking associations of many countries. See Terms of Payment.

War Risk

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

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.

Without Recourse

A phrase preceding the signature of a drawer or endorser of a negotiable instrument; signifies that the instrument is passed onto subsequent holders without any liability to the endorser in the event of non-payment or non-delivery.

W.M. (W/M)

Abbreviation for ‘Weight or Measurement’, the basis for assessing freight charges. Also known as ‘worm’.

Zulu Time

Time based on Greenwich Mean Time.