Understand the terms that Rock City Cargo uses to describe documents and information needed for your shipments.

Bill of Lading (B/L)
The official legal document representing ownership of cargo. It is a negotiable document confirming the receipt of cargoes and the contract for the carriage of cargoes between the shipper and the carrier.

Bunker Surcharge (BAF, BSC) Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF), or Bunker Surcharge (BSC)
are surcharges assessed by the carrier to freight rates to reflect current cost of bunker.

C & F Cost and Freight
It is a term of trading in which the buyer of the goods pays an amount that covers the cost of the goods plus the cost of transporting the goods from origin to the port of discharge or final destination.

CAF Currency Adjustment Factor
An ancillary charge on ocean freight to compensate for exchange rate fluctuations.

Cubic meter

CFS Container Freight Station
A carrier facility where Less Than Container load shipments are consolidated or unloaded.

CIF Cost, Insurance and Freight
A term of trading in which the buyer of the goods pay for the cost of the goods, the cost of transporting the goods from origin to the port of discharge or final destination and the insurance premium for a maritime insurance policy for the value of the order

C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism)
A joint government and trade community initiative in developing, enhancing and maintaining effective security processes throughout the global supply chain.

Cargo Manifest
A manifest that lists only cargoes, without freight and charges. Carrier Any individual, company or corporation engaged in transporting cargoes.

A wheeled flat-bed constructed to accommodate containers moved over the road. Also termed as “Trailers”

The individual or business receiving the cargo at the destination port

Consolidated Cargo
Cargo contains shipments of two or more shippers, usually shipped by a firm called a consolidator. The consolidator takes advantage of lower FCL rates, and savings are passed on to shippers. Consolidation The combination of many small shipments into one container. Consolidator A person or firm performing a consolidation service of small lots of cargoes for shippers.

A van-type body that can be relatively easily interchanged between trucks, trains and ships

Container Seal Number
A number embossed on high-security seals for closing up containers which will serve identification purposes.

Cubic Foot
The volume of shipment determined by multiplying the length x the width x the height in inches and dividing the total by 1728.  This would be the amount you will be charge on

Customs Broker
A private business that provides documentation and entry preparation services required by CCRA and U.S. Customs on behalf of an Importer/Exporter of Record. Hired by an importer to carry out Customs-related responsibilities and is covered by Power of Attorney to act on behalf of the Importer/exporter of record. Customs House A Government office where import duties, etc., on foreign shipments are handled. Custom House Broker An individual or firm licensed to enter and clear goods through Customs.

Detention of a freight vehicle or container beyond a stipulated time.

Charge made for local hauling by dray or truck; road transportation between the nearest Ocean Port or Railway terminal and the stuffing/de-stuffing place. Dry Cargo Cargo that does not require temperature control.

Lumber or other material used to brace materials in carrier’s equipment or containers.

Estimated time of arrival of carriers.

Estimated time of departure of carriers

(a) The price paid to the carrier for the transportation of goods or merchandise by sea or air from one place to another. (b) Freight is also used to denote goods which are in the process of being transported from one place to another. Freight Collect The freight and charges agreed by the shipper and carrier is payable at destination. Freight Forwarder A freight forwarder combines less-than-truckload (LTL) or less-than-carload (LCL) shipments into carload or truckload lots. Freight forwarders are designated as common carriers. They also issue bills of lading and accept responsibility for cargo. The term may also refer to the company that fills railroad trains with trailers. Freight Prepaid Freight and charges are required to be paid by a shipper before an original bill of lading is released

General Rate Increase

General Average
General average is an unwritten, non-statutory, international maritime law which is universally recognized and applied. It is founded on the principle that vessel and goods are parties to the same venture and share exposure to the same perils, which may require sacrifice or the incurring of extraordinary expense on the part of one for the benefit of the whole venture. It is an arrangement which will be applied when the vessel is encountering serious accidents caused by force majeure

Pertaining to transportation involving more than one form of carrier: truck, ship and rail.

Documentation supplying Customs with the type of goods, quantity, price of each type and terms of sale. The type of invoice required is determined by the shipment’s value.

Less than Container Load. Cargo in quantity less than required for the application of a container load rate.

Lift-On/Lift-Off (LO-LO)
A container ship onto which containers are lifted by crane.

Vessel plying a regular trade/defined route against a published sailing schedule

A document that lists in detail all the bills of lading issued by a vessel or its agent or master, i.e., a detailed summary of the total cargoes or containers loaded in a vessel. Used principally for customs purposes. It is also called summary of Bills of Lading.

Marine Insurance
Broadly, insurance covering loss or damage of goods at sea. Marine insurance typically compensates the owner of merchandise for losses sustained from fire, shipwreck, piracy and various other causes but excludes losses that can be legally recovered.

Minimum Charge
The lowest charge that can be assessed to transport a shipment.

NAFTA…North American Free Trade Agreement The joint Canada, Mexico and United States treaty to reduce tariffs and trade barriers to promote cross-border economic activity. NVOCC Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier. Cargo consolidator of small shipments in ocean trade into containers at the port. Negotiable Bill of Lading Original bill of lading endorsed by shipper that is used for negotiating with banks.

Non-vessel Owning / Operating Common Carrier (N.V.O.C.C.)
(a) A cargo consolidator of small shipments in ocean trade, generally soliciting business and arranging for or performing containerization functions at the port. (b) A carrier issuing bill of lading for carriage of goods on vessel which he neither owns nor operates.

P.O.D. Port of Discharge
The port at which cargoes or containers are discharged from vessel. When transshipment is needed, there can be a number of PODs during the course of shipment until it reaches the final POD. P.O.L. Port of Loading. The port at which cargoes or containers are loaded onto vessels.

Packing List
A document provided by the shipper detailing the packaging of the goods, including their weight and measurement, and assortment, etc. Pallet A platform (usually two-deck), with or without sides, on which a number of packages or pieces may be loaded to facilitate handling by a lift-truck.

Place of Receipt (P.O.R.)
Location where cargo enters the care and custody of the carrier. Same as Place of Acceptance. It is the starting port of carrier’s liability upon receipt of cargoes from shippers.

(a) Harbor with piers or dock. (b) Left side of a ship when facing the bow. (c) Opening in a ship’s side for handling freight.

Port of Arrival
Location where imported merchandise is off loaded from the importing aircraft or vessel.

Port of Discharge
A port where cargoes and containers are unloaded from a vessel.

In the industry, it is the generic name for a temperature-controlled container. The containers, which are insulated, are specially designed to allow temperature controlled air circulation within the container. A refrigeration plant is built into the rear of the container.

S E D Shipper’s Export Declaration
A form, which is often, required prior to exporting a product.

The person for whom the owners of a ship agree to carry goods to a specified destination and at a specified price. Also called “Consignor”. The conditions under which the transportation is effected are stipulated in the bill of lading.

Shipper’s Load and Count
Shipments loaded and sealed by shippers and not checked or verified by the carriers or forwarders. Neither the carriers nor the forwarders will assume any liability for shortages of cargoes as long as the container seal remains intact at the time of devanning.

Said to Contain (STC)
A standard clause used to protect carrier, NVOCC operators or forwarders when cargoes are stuffed into the container by shippers, their agents or other third parties. See also Shipper’s Load and Count

An extra or additional charge.

T E U Twenty-Foot (20’) Equivalent Unit
Commonly describes a 20-foot container

Tare Weight
The weight of packing material or, in carload shipments, the weight of the empty freight car, or the weight of a container.

A publication setting forth the charges, rates and rules of transportation companies.

An assigned area in which containers are prepared for loading into a vessel or are stacked immediately after discharge from the vessel.

Terminal Handling Charge (THC)
A charge of carriers for recovering the costs of handling FCLs at container terminals at origin or destination.

(2022, April 27) Shipping Term Glossary. Old Dominion Freight Line.