Shipping terms

Bills of Lading:
(Blading)The basic document between a shipper and a carrier and a shipper and a consignee. It represents the contract of carriage and defines the terms and conditions of carriage. It is the final receipt from the carrier for the goods shown on it and for the condition of the goods. It describes the nature, quantity and weight of the cargo carried. It is also the document of title of the goods shown.

 

Dirty B/L:
Bill of Lading with Captain's note of protest as to the condition of the cargo.

 

FCL or CY:
Full Container Load, also known as CY. CY is the abbreviation of Container Yard. When the term CY to CY, it means full container load all the way from origin to destination.

 

Flat Rack Containers:
Especially for heavy loads and over-dimensional cargo. Containers do not have sides or a top. This allows easy fork-lift and crane access.

 

Forty-Foot Equivalent Unit (FEU):
FEU is a measure of a ship's cargo-carrying capacity. One FEU measures forty feet by eight feet by eight feet -- the dimensions of a standard forty-foot container. An FEU equals two TEUs.

 

Free Alongside Ship:
Free Alongside Ship, FAS, at a named port of export. Under FAS, the seller quotes a price for the goods that includes charges for delivery of the goods alongside a vessel at the port of departure. The seller handles the cost of unloading and wharfage; loading, ocean transportation, and insurance are left to the buyer. FAS is also a method of export and import valuation.

 

Free Carrier (FCA):
Free Carrier, FCA, to a named place. This term replaces the former "FOB named inland port" to designate the seller's responsibility for the cost of loading goods at the named shipping point. It may be used for multimodal transport, container stations, and any mode of transport, including air.

 

Free On Board (FOB):
Common price term used in international trade meaning seller's responsible for the cost of goods is to the point of loading it to the vessel deck or aircraft loading deck. The risk of loss of or damage to the goods is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods have been so delivered. FOB normally comes with port of loading either airport or sea port.

 

Freight Forwarder:
An independent business which handles export shipments for compensation. At the request of the shipper, the forwarder makes the actual arrangements and provides the necessary services for expediting the shipment to its overseas destination. The forwarder takes care of all documentation needed to move the shipment from origin to destination, making up and assembling the necessary documentation for submission to the bank in the exporter's name. The forwarder arranges for cargo insurance, makes the necessary overseas communications, and advises the shipper on overseas requirements of marking and labeling.

 

CAF (Currency Adjustment Factor):
A freight surcharge or adjustment factor imposed by an international carrier to offset foreign currency fluctuations. In some cases an emergency currency adjustment factor (ECAF) may be applied when a charge or rate has been originally published in a currency that is experiencing sustained or rapid decline. The CAF is charged as a percentage of the freight.

 

Commercial Invoice:
The commercial invoice is a bill for the goods from the seller to the buyer. These invoices are often used by governments to determine the true value of goods for the assessment of customs duties and are also used to prepare consular documentation. Governments using the commercial invoice to control imports often specify its form, content, number of copies, language to be used, and other characteristics.

 

Consignee:
The person or firm named in a freight contract to whom goods have been consigned or turned over. For export control purposes, the documentation differentiates between an intermediate consignee and an ultimate consignee.

 

Consignment:
Delivery of merchandise from an exporter (the consignor) to an agent (the consignee) under agreement that the agent sell the merchandise for the account of the exporter. The consignor retains title to the goods until sold. The consignee sells the goods for commission and remits the net proceeds to the consignor.

 

Consolidation:
In order to handle small lot of consignment efficiently and competitively, freight forwarder usually put many consignments into one lot then tender to carrier for forwarding. In this case, each consignment will be shipped with one HAWB respectively and all of them will be under one master AWB.

 

Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF):
Cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) to a named overseas port of import. Under this term, the seller quotes a price for the goods (including insurance), all transportation, and miscellaneous charges to the point of debarkation for the vessel. (Typically used for ocean shipments only. CIP, or carriage and insurance paid to, is a term used for shipment by modes other than water.)

 

Customs:
The government authorities designated to collect duties levied by a country on imports and exports.

 

Customs Broker:
An individual or company licensed by the government to enter and clear goods through Customs. The U.S. Customs Service defines a Customs Broker, as any person who is licensed in accordance with Part III of Title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (Customs regulations) to transact Customs business on behalf of others. Customs business is limited to those activities involving transactions with Customs concerning the entry and admissibility of merchandise; its classification and valuation; the payment of duties, taxes, or other charges assessed or collected by Customs upon merchandise by reason of its importation, or the refund, rebate, or drawback thereof.

 

Customs Clearance:
The procedures involved in getting cargo released by Customs through designated formalities such as presenting import license/permit, payment of import duties and other required documentations by the nature of the cargo such as FCC or FDA approval.

 

LCL:
Less than Container Load, consolidated container load.

 

Letter of Credit:
A financial document issued by a bank at the request of the consignee guaranteeing payment to the shipper for cargo if certain terms and conditions are fulfilled. Normally it contains a brief description of the goods, documents required, a shipping date, and an expiration date after which payment will no longer be made. An Irrevocable Letter of Credit is one which obligates the issuing bank to pay the exporter when all terms and conditions of the letter of credit have been met. None of the terms and conditions may be changed without the consent of all parties to the letter of credit. A Revocable Letter of Credit is subject to possible recall or amendment at the option of the applicant, without the approval of the beneficiary. A Confirmed Letter of Credit is issued by a foreign bank with its validity confirmed by a U.S. bank. An exporter who requires a confirmed letter of credit from the buyer is assured payment from the U.S. bank in case the foreign buyer or bank defaults. A Documentary Letter of Credit is one for which the issuing bank stipulates that certain documents must accompany a draft. The documents assure the applicant (importer) that the merchandise has been shipped and that title to the goods has been transferred to the importer.

 

Packing List:
A shipping document issued by shipper to carrier, Customs and consignee serving the purposes of identifying detail information of package count, products count, measurement of each package, weight of each package, etc.

 

Through Bill of Lading:
A single bill of lading covering receipt of the cargo at the point of origin for delivery to the ultimate consignee, using two or more modes of transportation.

 

Transshipment:
Transshipment refers to the act of sending an exported product through an intermediate country before routing it to the country intended to be its final destination.

 

Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU):
TEU is a measure of a ship's cargo-carrying capacity. One TEU measures twenty feet by eight feet by eight feet -- the dimensions of a standard twenty-foot container. An FEU equals two TEUs.