We have compiled a list of some of the most frequently used abbreviations and definitions that you may come across. Frequently, parties to a contract are unaware of the different trading practices in their respective countries. This can give rise to costly misunderstandings and disputes. Sending goods from one country to another, as part of a commercial transaction, can be a risky business at the best of times. If the goods are lost, damaged, or if delivery does not take place for some reason, the climate of confidence between all interested parties may degenerate to the point where a lawsuit or arbitration is contemplated.
If, when drawing up their contract, the buyer and seller specifically refer to one of the Incoterms or Charter Terms, they can be sure of clearly defining their respective responsibilities simply and safely. In so doing them greatly reduce the possibility of misunderstandings and subsequent disputes.
We hope you will find this information both helpful and informative. If you require clarification on any aspect, or have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact usA B C D E F G H I L M N O P R S T U V W Y
AA = Always Afloat
AAAA = Always Accessible Always Afloat
AARA = Amsterdam-Antwerp-Rotterdam Area
ABT = About
ADCOM = Address Commission
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
AGW = All Going Well
AHL = Australian Hold Ladders
ANTHAM = Antwerp-Hamburg Range
APS = Arrival Pilot Station
ARAG = Amsterdam-Rotterdam–Antwerp-Ghent Range
A/S = Alongside
ATDNSHINC = Any Time Day or Night Sundays and Holidays Included
ATUTC = Actual Times Used to Count
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.
BALLAST = Heavy weight, often sea water, necessary for the stability and safety of a ship which is not carrying cargo.
BAREBOAT CHTR = Bareboat Charter Owners lease a specific ship and control its technical management and commercial operations only.
BBB = Before Breaking Bulk
BDI = Both Dates Inclusive
BENDS = Both Ends (Load & Discharge Ports)
BI = Both Inclusive
BIMCO = The Baltic and International Maritime Council
BL (1) = Bale
BL (2) = (Bill of Lading) A document signed by the carrier which acts as a receipt and evidence of title to the cargo.
BM = Beam
BEAM = The maximum breadth of a ship
BOB = Bunker on Board
BOFFER = Best Offer
BROB = Bunkers Remaining on Board
BSS = Basis
BSS 1/1 = Basis 1 Port to 1 Port
BT = Berth Terms
BUNDLING = This is the assembly of pieces of cargo, secured into one manageable unit. This is a very flexible description; a rule of thumb is to present cargo at a size easily handled by a large (20 ton) fork lift truck.
BUNKERS = Name given for vessels Fuel and Diesel Oil supplies (Originates from coal bunkers)
BWAD = Brackish Water Arrival Draft
CBM = Cubic Meter
CBFT (or CFT) = Cubic Feet
CFR (or C&F) = Cost and Freight
CHOPT = Charterers Option
CHTRS = Charterers
CIF = Cost, Insurance & Freight. Seller pays all these costs to a nominated port or
CIP = Carriage and insurance paid to place of discharge.
COA = Contract of Affreightment Owners agree to accept a cost per revenue ton for cargo carried on a specific number of voyages.
COACP = Contract of Affreightment Charter Party
COB = Close of Business
COD = Cash On Delivery
COGSA = Carriage of Goods by Sea Act
CONS = Consumption
COP = Custom Of Port
CP (or C/P) = Charter Party
CPD = Charterers Pay Dues
CPT = Carriage Paid To
CQD = Customary Quick Dispatch
CROB = Cargo Remaining on Board
CRN = Crane
CST = Centistoke
CTR = Container Fitted
DAP = Delivered at place
DAPS = Days all Purposes (Total days for loading & discharging)
DAT = Delivered at terminal
DDU = Delivered Duty unpaid.
DDP = Delivered Duty Paid.
DEM = Demurrage
DESP = Dispatch
DET = Detention
DHDATSBE = Dispatch Half Demurrage on Actual Time Saved Both Ends
DHDWTSBE = Dispatch 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
DNRSAOCLONL = Discountless and Non-Returnable Ship and/or Cargo Lost or Not Lost
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 forks of a lift truck may be inserted.
DWAT (or DWT) = Deadweight. Weight of cargo, stores and water, i.e. the difference between lightship and loaded displacement.
EC = East Coast
EIU = Even if Used
ELVENT = Electric Ventilation
ETA = Estimated Time of Arrival
ETC = Estimated Time of Completion
ETD = Estimated Time of Departure
ETS = Estimated Time of Sailing
EXW = Ex Works
FAS = Free Alongside Ship. Seller delivers goods to appropriate dock or terminal at port of embarkation and buyer covers costs and risks of loading.
FD = Free of Dispatch
FDD = Freight Demurrage Deadfreight
FDIS = Free Discharge
FEU = Forty foot container equivalency unit Standard 40′ 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 sea freight, but no loading/discharging costs, i.e. the charterer pays for cost of loading and discharging cargo.
FIOS = Free In/Out Stowed. As per FIO, but includes stowage costs.
FIOT = Free In/Out and Trimmed. As per FIOS but includes trimming the leveling of bulk cargoes
FIOSLSD = Free In/Out Stowed, Lashed, Secured and Dunnaged. As per FIO, but includes cost of lashing securing and dunnaging cargo to Masters satisfaction.
FIOST = Free In/Out and Trimmed. Charterer pays for cost of loading/discharging cargo, including stowage and trimming.
FIT = Free In Trimmed
FIW = Free In Wagon
FIXING = Chartering a Vessel
FLT = Full Liner Terms Shipowner pays to load and discharge the cargo
FMC = Federal Maritime Commission US government agency
FMS = Fathoms = 6 feet
FO (IFO) = Fuel Oil/Intermediate FO
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 due to events beyond their control.
FOT = Free On Truck
FOW (1) = First Open Water
FOW (2) = Free On Wharf
FCA = Free Carrier
FREE OUT = Free of discharge costs to Owners
FWAD = Fresh Water Arrival Draft
FWDD = Fresh Water Departure Draft
FYG = For Your Guidance
FYI = For Your Information
GA = General Average
GLS = Gearless
GNCN = Gencon a standard BIMCO charter party form
GN (or GR) = Grain (capacity)
GO = Gas Oil
GRD = Geared
GRT = Gross Registered Tonnage
GSB = Good Safe Berth
GSP = Good Safe Port
GTEE = Guarantee
2H = Second Half
HA = Hatch
HDWTS = Half Dispatch Working Time Saved
HMS = Heavy Metal Scrap
HO = Hold
HW = High Water
IMDG = International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code
IMO = International Maritime Organization
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 Federation international body that regulates crewing of ships
IU = If Used
IUATUTC = If Used, Actual Time Used To Count
IUHATUTC = If Used, Half Actual Time Used To Count
IWL = Institute Warranty Limits
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 (1) = To hold goods in position by use of Ropes, Wires, Chains or Straps etc.
LASH (2) = Lighter Aboard Ship a vessel that loads small barges direct from the water
LAT = Latitude
LOA = Length Overall of the vessel
LOW = Last Open Water
LS (or LUMPS) = Lumpsum
LSD = Lashed Secured Dunnaged
LT = Liner Terms
LW = Low Water
LYCN = Laycan (Layday Canceling Date)
MB = Merchant Broker
MDO (DO) = Marine Diesel Oil
MIN/MAX = Minimum/Maximum (cargo quantity)
MOLCHOPT = More or Less Charterers Option
MOLOO = More or Less Owners Option
MT = Metric Ton (i.e. 1,000 kilos / 2204.6lbs)
M/V = Motor Vessel
NAABSA = Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground
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.
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 Registered Tonnage
NYPE = New York Produce Exchange
OO = Owners Option
OSH = Open Shelter Deck
OWS = Owners
PASTUS = Past Us
PC = Period of Charter
PCGO = Part Cargo
PCT = Percent
PDPR = Per Day Pro Rata
PERDIEM = Per Diem = By the Day
PHPD = Per Hatch Per Day
PRATIQUE = License or permission to use a port
RCVR = Receivers
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 Ton (i.e. 1.0 metric Ton or 1.0 cubic meter, whichever is 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 any haulage or loading/discharging costs but the sea transport only.
SELFD = Self Discharging
SF = Stowage factor. Cubic space occupied by one ton (2,240 lbs/1,000 kgs) of cargo.
SHINC = Sundays/Holidays Included
SHEX = Sundays/Holidays Excluded
SKIDS = Are bearers (timber or steel) positioned under cargo to enable fork lift handling at port, and for ease of rigging and lashing on board ship.
SL = Bale (capacity)
SOC = Shipper Owned Container
SOF = Statement Of Facts
SP = Safe Port
SRBL = Signing and Releasing Bill of Lading
SSHEX (or SATSHEX) = Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays Excluded
SSHINC = Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays Included
STABILITY = It is paramount that a vessel is stable in all respects 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 bow
STEM = Subject To Enough Merchandise (Availability of Cargo)
STERN = The aft part of a ship
SUB = Subject (to)
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
TC = Time Charter Owners agree to hire a particular ship for a set length of time
TEU = Twenty Foot Equivalency Unit Standard 20′ Container
TTL = Total
TW = Tween Decker
USC = Unless Sooner Commenced
UU = Unless Used
UUIUATUTC = Unless Used If Used Actual Time Used To Count
VPD = Vessel Pays Dues
WCCON = Whether Customs Cleared Or Not
WIBON = Whether In Berth Or Not
WIFPON = Whether In Free Pratique or not
WIPON = Whether In Port Or Not
WLTOHC (distance) Water Line-To-Hatch Coaming
WOG = Without Guarantee
WPD = Weather Permitting Day
WWD = Weather Working Day
WRIC = Wire Rods In Coils
WWR = When, Where Ready
WWWW = Wibon, Wccon, Wifpon, Wipon
YAR = York Antwerp Rules