Welcome! 20 September 2017


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Glossary of Shipping Terms

Input a partial or complete Shipping Acronym or Term and click the submit button to find the definition...

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ID TermDefinition
1AboardReferring to cargo being put, or laden, onto a means of conveyance.

2Accessorial ChargesCharges that are applied to the base tariff rate or base contract rate, e.g., bunkers, container, currency, destination/delivery. 

3Act of GodAn act beyond human control, such as lightning, flood or earthquake.

4Ad ValoremA term from Latin meaning, "according to value."

5Advice of ShipmentA notice sent to a local or foreign buyer advising that shipment has gone forward and containing details of packing, routing, etc. A copy of the invoice is often enclosed and, if desired, a copy of the bill of lading.

6Advising BankA bank operating in the seller's country, that handles letters of credit in behalf of a foreign bank.

7Air WaybillThe forwarding agreement or carrying agreement between shipper and air carrier and is issued only in nonnegotiable form.

8All InThe total price to move cargo from origin to destination, inclusive of all charges.

9AlongsideA phrase referring to the side of a ship. Goods delivered "alongside" are to be placed on the dock or barge within reach of the transport ship's tackle so that they can be loaded.

10Arrival NoticeA notification by carrier of ship's arrival to the consignee. 

11AssignmentA term commonly used in connection with a bill of lading. It involves the transfer of rights, title and interest in order to assign goods by endorsing the bill of lading.

12BAFAbbreviation for "Bunker Adjustment Factor." Used to compensate steamship lines for fluctuating fuel costs. Sometimes called "Fuel Adjustment Factor" or FAF.

13Bank GuaranteeGuarantee issued by a bank to a carrier to be used in lieu of lost or misplaced original negotiable bill of lading.

14Base RateA tariff term referring to ocean rate less accessorial charges, or simply the base tariff rate.

15BeneficiaryEntity to whom money is payable. The seller and the drawer of a draft. The entity for whom a letter of credit is issued.

16Bill of Lading (B/L) 1A document that establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company. It serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage and a receipt for goods.

17Bill of Lading (B/L) 2Amended B/L: B/L requiring updates that do not change financial status; this is slightly different from corrected B/L.

18Bill of Lading (B/L) 3B/L Terms & Conditions: the fine print on B/L; defines what the carrier can and cannot do, including the carrier's liabilities and contractual agreements.

19Bill of Lading (B/L) 4B/L's Type: refers to the type of B/L being issued. Some examples are: a Memo(ME), Original (OBL), Non-Negotiable, Corrected (CBL) or Amended (AM) B/L.

20Bill of Lading (B/L) 5Canceled B/L: B/L status; used to cancel a processed B/L; usually per shipper'srequest; different from voided B/L.

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