Brush up on your international shipping vocabulary or find the definition for a specific shipping or customs term.

There are 807 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition
Bank Guarantee

Guarantee issued by a bank to a carrier to be used in lieu oflost or misplaced original negotiable bill of lading.


An act committed by the master or mariners of a vessel for someunlawful or fraudulent purpose contrary to their duty to the owners whereby thelatter sustain injury. It may include negligence if so gross as to evidencefraud.

Barrel (BBL)

A term of measure referring to 42 gallons of liquid at 600degrees.

Base Rate

A tariff term referring to ocean rate less accessorial chargesor simply the base tariff rate.


Ballast Bonus Special payment above the Chartering price when the ship has tosail a long way on ballast to reach the loading port. Bareboat Method ofchartering of the ship leaving the charterer with almost all theresponsibilities of the owner.


Beneficial Cargo Owner. Refers to the importer of record whophysically takes possession of cargo at destination and does not act as a thirdparty in the movement of such goods.


The width of a ship.

Belt Line

A switching railroad operating within a commercial area.


Entity to whom money is payable. The entity for whom a letter ofcredit is issued. The seller and the drawer of a draft.

Berth Terms

Shipped under rate that includes cost from end of ships tackleat load port to end of ships tackle at discharge port.


Used with reference to charges assessed for cargo movement pasta line haul terminating point.


A contract term meaning both parties agree to provide somethingfor the other.

Bill of Lading

A contract between the owner of the goods and the carrier A straight bill oflading is nonnegotiable. A negotiable or shippers order bill of lading can bebought sold or traded while goods are in transit.

Bill of Lading (B/L)

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

Blockingor Bracing

Wood or metal supports to keep shipments in place to preventcargo shifting.

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