International Shipping Terminologies - C

Cabotage: Water transportation term applicable to shipments between ports of a nation; commonly refers to coast-wide navigation or trade.

CAF (Currency Adjustment Factor): A charge, expressed as a percentage of a base rate, that is applied to compensate ocean carriers of currency fluctuations.

Camet: A Customs document permitting the holder to temporarily carry or send merchandise into certain foreign countries (for display, demonstration or similar purposes) without paying duties or posting bonds.

Capacity/Weight: Total internal container volume (LxWxD) or weight limitation.

Captain’s Protest: A document prepared by the captain of a vessel on arriving at port. It shows conditions encountered during voyage, generally for the purpose of relieving ship owner of any loss to cargo and shifting responsibility for the reimbursement to the insurance company.

Carfloat: A barge equipped with tracks on which up to 12 railroad cars are moved in harbors or inland waterways.

Car Pooling: Use of individual carrier equipment through a central agency for the benefit of carriers and shippers.

Car Seal: Metal strip and lead fastener used for locking freight car or truck doors. Seals are numbers for record purposes.

Cargo: Freight loaded into a ship.

Cargo Manifest: A manifest that lists only cargo, not charges.

Cargo NOS: Cargo Not Otherwise Specified, usually the first rate entry in a tariff that can apply to commodities not covered under a specific item or sub-item in the applicable tariff.

Cargo Tonnage: The weight ton varies from country to country – United States : 2,000 or 2,240 pounds; United Kingdom: the English long ton, or gross ton is 2,240 pounds; France and other countries having the metric system, the weight ton is 2,204.62 pounds. The measurement ton is usually 40 cubic feet (1.12 meters) or cubic meters (35.3 cubic feet), but in some instances a large number of cubic feet is taken as a weight ton. Most ocean freight is billed at weight or measurement tons (W/M).

Carload Rate: A rate applicable to a carload of goods.

Carnet: A Customs document allowing special categories of goods to cross international borders without payment of duties.

Carrier: Any individual or organization who in a contract of carriage, undertakes to perform or procure the performance of carriage by rail, road, sea, air, inland waterway or a combination of such modes.

Carrier Certificate/Release Order: A certificate required by US Customs to certify the firm or individual named in the certificate as the owner or consignee of the cargo.

Cartage: Intra-city hauling on drays or trucks.

Cartment: Customs form permitting in-bond cargo to be moved from one location to another under Customs control, within the same district. Usually in motor carrier’s possession while draying cargo.

Cell Guides: A fixed racking system for securing all containers stowed above deck. With cell guides, it is virtually impossible to lose a container overboard during rough weather conditions. Every ACL vessel has two permanent 20’ cell guide sections and four portable sections which can be converted to 20’ or 40’ depending on the mix of containers.

Center of Gravity: The point of equilibrium of the combined weight of the containership or stacktrain and its cargo.

Certificate of Inspection: A document certifying that merchandise (such as perishable goods) was in good condition immediately prior to its shipment.

Certificate of Manufacture: A statement (often notarized) in which a producer of goods certifies that the manufacturing has been completed and the goods are now at the disposal of the buyer.

Certificate of Origin: A certified document used in international commerce that shows the origin of goods.

Certificate of Weight: A certified statement of the weight of a shipment.

Container Freight Station to Container Freight Station (C.F.S.): A type of steamship line service in which cargo is transported between container freight stations, where containers may be stuffed, stripped, or consolidated. Usually used for less-than-containerload shipments although small shipments destined to the same consignee are often consolidated into full containers as well as reloading containerload quantities from “foreign” rail or motor carrier equipment.

Charges, Statement of: A detailed statement of all charges sent to the importer, illustrating how the charges were calculated. The statement of charges deals with charges incurred by the shipper to the importer, outside of the quoted or agreed price.

Chassis: A frame with wheels and container locking devices in order to secure and move containers.

Chock: A piece of wood or other material placed at the side of cargo to prevent rolling or moving sideways.

Cars Knocked Down (CKD): Automobile parts and sub-assemblies manufactured abroad and transported to a US assembly plant.

Cost and Insurance (C.I.): A price that includes the cost of goods, the marine insurance and all transportation charges with the exception of ocean freight to the named point of destination.

Cost, insurance and freight (C.I.F.): Price determined at point of destination that includes the cost of goods. The marine insurance and all transportation charges are calculated from point of destination.

Claim: A demand made upon a transportation line for payment of a loss sustained through negligence.

Classification: A publication, such as the Uniform Freight Classification (railroad) or the National Motor Freight Classification (motor carrier), that assigns ratings to various articles and provides bill of lading descriptions and rules.

Classification Yard: A railroad yard with many tracks used for assembling freight trains.

Clayton Act: An anti-trust act of the US Congress making price discrimination unlawful.

Clean bill of lading: A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were received in "good order and condition," without damage or other irregularities.

Clearance Limits: The size beyond which cars or loads cannot use tunnels, bridges, etc.

Cleat: A strip of wood or metal used to afford additional strength, to prevent warping, or to hold in place.

Clip-on: Refrigeration equipment attachable to an insulated container that does not have its own refrigeration unit.

CM: Abbreviation for cubic meter.

cm: Abbreviation for centimeter.

Coastwise: Water transportation along the coast.

COGSA: Carriage of Goods by Sea Act. US federal codification passed in 1936 which standardizes carrier’s liability under carrier’s bill of lading. US enactment of The Hague Rules.

Collect Freight: Freight payable to the carrier at destination. Most bills of lading specify that collect freight is payable even if the cargo does not arrive at destination.

Collection: A draft drawn on buyer, usually accompanied by documents, with complete instructions concerning processing for payment or acceptance.

Combination Export Mgr.: A firm that acts as an export sales agent for more than one non-competing manufacturer.

Commercial invoice: A complete record of a transaction between exporter and importer with regard to goods sold. Also reports the content of the shipment and serves as the basis for all other documents about the shipment.

Commodity: An article that can be transported.

Commodity Rate: A rate published to apply to a specific article or articles.

Commodity Tariff: A tariff published to show specific rates on specific articles.

Common Carrier: A transportation company that operates under a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity and provides service to the general public at published rates.

Concealed Damage: Damage that is not evident from viewing the unopened package.

Conference: An association of shipping owners/companies operating in the same trade route and under collective conditions, in agreement with all tariff rates.

Confirmed Letter of Credit: A letter of credit issued by a foreign bank whose validity has been confirmed by a domestic bank. An exporter with a confirmed letter of credit is assured of payment even if the foreign buyer or foreign bank defaults.

Connecting Carrier: A carrier which has a direct physical connection with, or forms a link between two or more carriers.

Consignee: A person or company to whom commodities are shipped.

Consignee mark: A symbol placed on packages for identification purposes, generally a triangle, square, circle etc., with letters and/or numbers and port discharge.

Consignor: A person or company shown on the bill of lading as the shipper.

Consolidated Cargo: Cargo containing the shipments of two or more shippers, usually coordinated by a consolidator.

Consolidation: The combination of many small shipments into one container.

Consolidator: A person or firm performing a consolidation service for others. Takes advantage of lower full car load (FCL) rates, and the savings are passed on to shippers.

Consular Declaration: A formal statement describing goods to be shipped, filled with and approved by the counsel of the country of destination prior to shipment.

Consular Invoice: A document, certified by a consular official, is required by some countries to describe a shipment. Used by Customs of the foreign country to verify value, quantity and nature of the cargo.

Consular Visa: An official signature or seal affixes to certain documents by the consul of the country of destination.

Consumption Entry (CE): The process of declaring the importation of foreign-made goods into the United States for use in this country.

Container: A truck trailer body that can be detached from the chassis for loading onto a vessel, a rail car, or stacked in a container depot. Containers may be ventilated, insulated, refrigerated, flat rack, vehicle rack, open top, bulk liquid or equipped with interior devices. A container may be 20’, 40’, 45’,48’ or 53’ in length, 8’0” or 8’6” in width and 8’6” or 9’6” in height.

Container Booking: Arrangements with a steamship line to transport containerized cargo.

Container Manifest: Document showing contents and loading sequence of a container.

Containerizable Cargo: Cargo that fits into a container resulting in an economical transport.

Containerization: Stowage of cargo/goods in a container for shipment by a variety of transportation modes.

Container Load: A load sufficient in size to fill a container either by cubic measurement or by weight.

Container Part Load: A shipment that does not utilize the full volume of a container nor the maximum payload by weight. Usually, additional part loads are added to fill the container for transport.

Container Pool: An agreement between transportation companies that allows for the most efficient use and supply of containers.

Container Yard (CY): A materials-handling/storage facility used for completely unitized loads in containers and/or empty containers.

Container Terminal: An area designated for the stowage of cargoes in container; usually accessible by truck, railroad and marine transportation. Containers are pick-up, dropped-off, maintained and housed here.

Contraband: Cargo that is prohibited.

Contract Carrier: Any person not a common carrier who, under special and individual contracts or agreements, transports passengers or property for compensation.

Controlled Atmosphere: Sophisticated, computer-controlled systems that manage the mixtures of gases within a container throughout an intermodal journey reducing decay.

Corner Posts: Vertical frames components fitted at the corners of the container, integral to the corner fittings and connecting the roof and floor structures. Containers are lifted and secured in a stack using the castings at the ends.

Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF): An additional duty imposed to offset export grants, bounties or subsidies paid to foreign suppliers in certain countries by the government of that country for the purpose of promoting export.

Countervailing Duty: An additional duty imposed to offset export grants, bounties or subsidies paid to foreign suppliers in certain countries by the government of that country for the purpose of promoting export.

Cross Member: Transverse members fitted to the bottom side rails of a container, which support the floor.

Cube Out: A Container reaching its volumetric capacity before its permitted weight limit.

Cubic Foot: A volume of measurement that equals 1,728 cubic inches.

Custom House: A U.S. Treasury Department office where duties, etc., on foreign shipments are handled.

Custom House Broker: A person or firm engaged in entering and clearing goods cross border, licensed by the treasury department of their country when required.

Customs Bonded Warehouse: A warehouse where goods may be stored, authorized and established by Customs.

Customs Broker: A firm that represents importers in all dealings with Customs. Responsible for obtaining and submitting all documents for clearing merchandise through Customs, arranging inland transport, and paying all charges related to these functions.

Customs Invoice: A form requiring all data in a commercial invoice along with a certificate of value and/or a certificate or origin. Required in some countries (usually former British territories) and serves as a seller's commercial invoice.

Customs Tariff: A schedule of charges assessed by a government on imported or exported goods.

Cut-Off Time: The latest time a container may be delivered to a terminal for loading to a scheduled train or ship.

Cwt.: Hundred weight (US:100 lb.; UK: 112 lbs.)