International Shipping Terminologies - B

To haul a shipment back over part of a route it has travelled.

BAF: Bunker Adjustment Factor, used to compensate steamship lines for fluctuating fuel costs. Also called FAF, Fuel Adjustment factor.

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 of lading.

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 more B/Ls.

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 document.

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 the goods.

Non-Negotiable/Straight Consignment B/L: File copy. Used when goods are consigned directly to a named consignee and not negotiable.

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 bill.

Blanket Bond: A bond covering a group of persons, articles or properties.

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 of freight.

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 highway.

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 stated conditions.

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 bonded warehouse.

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 loading hatches.

Bulkhead: A partition separating one part of a ship, freight car, aircraft or truck from another part. A structure to resist water.

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 or bunkers.