Backhaul: To haul a shipment back over part of a route it has
BAF: Bunker Adjustment Factor, used to compensate steamship
lines for fluctuating fuel costs. Also called FAF, Fuel Adjustment
Balloon Freight: Light, bulky articles.
Bank Guarantee: Guarantee issued by a bank to a carrier
to be used in lieu of lost or misplaced original negotiable bill
Barrel (BBL): A term of measure referring to 42 gallons
of liquid at 60F.
Base Rate: A tariff term referring to ocean rate less accessorial
charges or base tariff rate.
BCO: Beneficial Cargo Owner, referring to the importer
of record, who physically take possession of cargo at destination
and does not act as a third party in the movement of such goods.
Beam: The width of a ship.
Belt Line: A switching railroad within a commercial area.
Berth Term: Shipped under rate that does not include cost
of loading or unloading.
Bill of Lading (B/L): A document that establishes the terms
of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company that
moves freight between specified ports for a specified charge. Usually
prepared by the shipper on forms issued by the carrier, it serves
as a document of title, a contract of carriage and a receipt for
goods. There are different types of B/Ls:
Amended B/L: Requires updates that do not change financial
status (slightly different from corrected B/L).
Cancelled B/L: Used to cancel a processed B/L usually
per shipper’s request. (different from a voided B/L).
Clean B/L: No recorded irregularities in packing or general
condition of all or any part of the shipment.
Combined B/L: Covers cargo moving over various transports.
Consolidated B/L: Combined or consolidated from two or
Corrected B/L: One that requires an update which results
in money or other financially-related changes.
Domestic B/L: Non-negotiable primarily containing routing
details; used by truckers and freight forwarders.
Express B/L: Non-negotiable where there are no printed
copies of original B/L.
Freight B/L: A contract of carriage between a shipper
and forwarder (usually an NVOCC); a non-negotiable document.
Hitchment B/L: Covering parts of a shipment which are
loaded at more than one location. Usually consists of two parts:
hitchment and hitchment memo. The hitchment portion usually covers
the majority of a divided shipment and carries the entire revenue.
House B/L: Issued by a freight forwarder or consolidation
covering a single shipment, containing the names, addresses and
specific description of the goods shipped.
Intermodal/Multimodal/Combined Transport B/L: Covering
cargo moving by various modes of transportation.
Long Form B/L: One with terms and conditions on back of
Memo B/L: Unfreighted with no charges listed.
Military/GBL/Form DD1252: B/L issued by the US Military.
Numbers: US Customs’ standardized B/L format
to facilitate electronic communications.
Negotiable B/L (To Order B/L): B/L names are legal and
by endorsement, the shipper can transfer the title of the goods
to the bank representing the buyer or directly to the buyer of
Non-Negotiable/Straight Consignment B/L: File copy.
Used when goods are consigned directly to a named consignee and
On-Board B/L: Validated at the time of loading to transport.
Common types: on-board air, boxcar, container, rail, truck, vessel.
Optional Discharge B/L: Covering cargo with more than
one discharge point option possibility.
Order B/L: Issued to the order of a party, usually the
shipper, whose endorsement is required to affect its negotiation.
Order Notify B/L: Issued usually to the order of the shipper
with the additional clause that the consignee is to be notified
upon arrival of the merchandise. Such mention of the consignee
does not give the consignee title to the merchandise.
Original B/L (OBL): Part of the B/L that has value, especially
when negotiable; remaining parts are informational file copies.
Received for Shipment B/L: Validated at the time cargo
is received by ocean carrier to commence movement but before being
validated as “On-board.”
Reconciled B/L: Set which has completed a prescribed number
of edits between the shipper’s instructions and the actual
shipment received. This produces a very accurate B/L.
Short Term/Short Form B/L: One that does not have written
Terms & Conditions on back of document.
Split B/L: One of two or more B/Ls which have been split
from a single B/L.
Stale B/L: A late B/L. In banking, one that has passed
the time deadline of the L/C and is void.
Through B/L: Blanket documentation when multiple carriers
of various transport modes are involved.
Unique B/L Identifier: US Customs’ standardization
consisting of a four-alpha-code unique to each carrier( e.g. ACL’s
B/L identifier is ACLU) placed in front of nine-digit B/L number.
These prefixes are also used as the container identification.
Voided B/L: Those absorbed in the combined process. Different
from Canceled B/L.
B/L Port of Discharge: Port where cargo is discharged
from means of transport.
Bill of Sale: Confirms the transfer of ownership of certain
goods to another person in return for money paid or loaned.
Bill to Party: Customer designated as party paying for services.
Billed Weight: The weight shown in a waybill and freight
Blanket Bond: A bond covering a group of persons, articles
Blanket Rates: A rate applicable to or from a group of
points. A special rate applicable to several different articles
in a single shipment.
Blanket Waybill: A waybill covering two or more consignments
Blind Shipment: Bill of lading wherein the paying customer
has contracted with the carrier and the shipper or consignee information
is not given.
Block Stowage: Stowing cargo destined for a specific location
close together to avoid unnecessary movement.
Blocking/Bracing: Wood or metal supports (dunnage) to keep
shipments in place to prevent cargo shifting.
Bls: Abbreviation for bales.
Board: Gain access to a vessel.
Board Feet: Unit of measurement for lumber; one board foot
is equal to a one-inch board, 12” wide and 1’ long.
Bobtail: Movement of a tractor, without trailer over the
Bogie: A set of wheels built specifically as rear wheels
under a container.
Bolster: A device fitted on a chassis or rail car to hold
and secure the container.
Bond Port: Port of initial Customs entry of a vessel to
any country (First Port of Call).
Bonded Freight: Freight moving under a bond to U.S. Customs
or to the Internal Revenue Service, and to be delivered only under
Bonded Warehouse: Warehouse approved by the U.S. Treasury
Department and under bond or guarantee of compliance with revenue
laws. Goods held until duties are paid are normally stored in a
Booking: Arrangements with a carrier, often a steamship
or airline, for the acceptance and carriage of passengers or freight.
Booking Number: Reservation number used to secure equipment
and act as a control number prior to completion of a bill of lading.
Bottom Air Delivery: A type of air circulation in a temperature
control container. Air is pulled by a fan from the top of the container,
passed through the evaporator coil for cooling and then forced through
the space under the load and up through the cargo. This type of
airflow provides even temperatures.
Bottom Side Rails: Structural members on the longitudinal
sides of the base of the container.
Bow: The front of a vessel.
Box: Common term for an ocean going freight container.
Box Car: A closed rail freight car.
Breakbulk: Palletized packaged goods that are not containerized.
To unload and distribute a portion or all of the contents of a rail
car, container or trailer.
Broken Stowage: The loss of space cause by irregularity
in the shape of packages. Any void or empty space in a container
not occupied by cargo.
Broker: A person/organization who arranges for transportation
of multiple loads for a percentage of the revenue.
Brokerage: Freight forwarder/broker compensation as specified
by ocean tariff.
Bulk Freight: Goods that are shipped loose – not in
packages or containers (i.e. grain, coal, sulfur).
Bulk Freight Container: Refers to a container with a discharge
hatch in the front wall; allows bulk commodities to be grasped by
Bulkhead: A partition separating one part of a ship, freight
car, aircraft or truck from another part. A structure to resist
Bull Rings: Cargo-securing devices mounted in a floor of
containers that allow lashing and securing of cargo.
Bunker charge: An extra charge added to an ocean carrier’s
freight rates. Also known as FAF (Fuel Adjustment Factor).
Bunkers: A maritime term referring to fuel used aboard the
ship. In the past, coal stowage areas aboard a vessel were in bins