AAR: Abbreviation for Against All Risks (insurance clause) or
Association of American Railroads.
Abaft: A point beyond the midpoint of a ship's length.
Abandon: A proceeding wherein a shipper/consignee seeks
authority to abandon all or parts of their cargo.
Abatement: A discount allowed for damage or overcharge in
the payment of a bill.
ABI: Automated Broker Interface, US Custom's computer system
by which brokers file importers' entries electronically.
Aboard: Referring to cargo being put, or laden, onto a means
Absorption: One carrier assumes the charges of another without
any increase in charges to the shipper.
Acceptance: A time draft (or bill of exchange) that the
drawee (payer) has accepted and is unconditionally obligated to
pay at maturity.
Account Party/Accountee: The purchasing party, the importer,
the buyer in any transaction.
Accessorial charges: Charges that are applied to the base
tariff rate or base contract rate (e.g. bunkers, container, destination/delivery).
ACS: Automated Commercial System, the US Customs master
Act of God: An act beyond human control, such as lightning,
flooding or earthquake.
Act of Man: In water transportation, the deliberate sacrifice
of cargo to make the vessel safe for the remaining cargo. Those
sharing in the spared cargo proportionately cover the loss.
Ad Valorem: According to value
Admiralty (Adm.): Refers to marine matters such as Admiralty
Advance: To move cargo up-line to a vessel leaving sooner
than the one booked.
Advanced charge: Transportation charge advanced by one
carrier to another to be collected by the later carrier from the
consignor or consignee.
Adventure: Shipment of goods on shipper's own account. A
bill of adventure is a document signed by the master of the ship
that carries goods at owner's risk.
Advice, Letter of: This document is sent by one party to
another to whom a shipment has been sent, on consignment or otherwise.
It involves a description of the goods sent, the carrier or other
type of transportation being used, the date of departure, and any
additional pertinent data. (Bankers use the term letter of advice
when notifying interested parties of such actions as the opening
of credits, the drawing of drafts and the payment or nonpayment
Advice of Shipment: A 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 usually enclosed
and sometimes, if desired, a copy of the bill of lading.
Affreightment, Contract of: An agreement by an ocean carrier
to provide cargo space on a vessel at a specified time and for a
specified price to accommodate an exporter or importer.
Aft: Movement toward the stern (back end) of a ship.
Agency tariff: A tariff published by an agent on behalf
of several carriers.
Agent: A person authorized to transact business for and
in the name of another person or company.
Types of agents are: brokers, commission merchants, resident
buyers,sales agents, manufacturer's representatives.
Aggregate Shipment: Numerous shipments from different shippers
to one consignee that are consolidated and treated as a single consignment.
Agreed valuation: The value of a shipment agreed upon in
order to secure a specific freight shipment.
Agreed weight: The weight prescribed by agreement between
carrier and shipper for goods shipped in certain packages or a certain
A.I.D.: Agency for International Development.
Air Waybill:The forwarding agreement or carrying agreement
between shipper and air carrier and is issued only in non-negotiable
All-In: The total price to move a container from origin
to destination, inclusive of all charges.
All Water: Transport exclusively by water.
Alongside: A 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.
Alternative Rates: Privilege to use the rate producing the
Ambient Temperature: The temperature of a surrounding body.
The ambient temperature of a container is the atmospheric temperature
to which it is exposed.
Amendment: A written notice of a change in the terms of
a letter of credit. The change becomes an integral part of the original
letter of credit.
American Bureau of Shipping: US classification society which
certifies seagoing vessels for compliance to standardize rules regarding
construction and maintenance.
AMS: Automated Manifest System, U.S. Customs computerized
system to automate the flow of customs-related information among
customs brokers, importers, and carriers.
Any-Quantity (A.Q.): Usually refers to a rating that applies
to an article regardless of weight.
Appraisement: Determination of the dutiable value of imported
merchandise by a customs official who follows procedures outlined
in their country's tariff, such as the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930,
Arbitrary: A stated amount over a fixed rate to one point
to make a rate to another point.
Arrival Notice: A notice from the ocean carrier to the "notify
party," indicating the vessel's estimated arrival date; identifying
shipment details such as number of packages, weight, and container
number; and indicating when free time expires. Often includes a
ASC X12: American Standards Committee X12 responsible for
developing EDI standards for the US.
Assignment: A 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.
Astern: Behind a vessel; move in a reverse direction.
A.T.A.: American Trucking Association.
ATLAS: ACL's customer service and documentation software.
Athwartships: A direction across the width of a vessel.
Avoirdupois Pound: 0.4535924277 kilograms