A glossary of shipping related terms


A glossary of shipping related terms.

AA - always afloat

AAAA - always afloat, always accessible

ABS - America Bureau of Shipping (U.S. classification society/standard)

Abt - about

A/C - air changes (see elvent below) or account

A/D/A (or ADA) - all details about

Adcom - address commission

AG - Arabian gulf

ARA - Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp

ARAG - Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp-Ghent

AFSPS - arrival first sea pilot station

Aft - at or towards the stern of a ship

Aground - when the ship touches bottom

AGW - all going well

AHL - Australian hold ladders (ladders in the ships holds meeting the requirements of the Australian trades unions)

Amidships - at or towards to centre of a ship

AOB - as on board

AP - additional premium (insurance) or all purposes

APS - arrival pilot station

Arb - arbitration

ATDNSHINC - any time day/night Sundays & holidays included

ATS - all time saved (laytime)

ATUTC - actual time used to count (in relation to laytime)

AWRI - additional war risk insurance

AWIWL - always within Institute Warranty Limits

BAF - bunker adjustment factor

Bale capacity - cubic capacity of a cargo hold or holds measured as if cargo of bales/pallets

Ballast - weight taken on board by a ship other than cargo for stability purposes when empty or for making the ship lower in the water (ballast is usually sea water)

Ballast bonus - a bonus paid to the ship owner for compensation for ballasting the ship to a delivery place

BBB - before breaking bulk (meaning prior to the commencement of discharging from the ship)

BC (or B/C) - bulkcarrier

Beam or BM - the extreme width of a ship

BENDS - both ends (i.e. load and discharge ports)

BHF - Bulk Harmless Fertiliser

BIMCO - Baltic and International Maritime Council

B/L - bill of lading (document signed by the carrier, which acts as a receipt and evidence of title to the cargo)

BN - booking note (sometimes issued as a contract for a simple voyage)

BOB - bunkers on board

BOffer - best offer

Bow - the forward part of a ship

Brokerage - commission payable to the ship broker

BSS - basis

BT - berth terms

Bulkhead - vertical partition in the ship separating compartments

Bunkers - name given for the fuels used to propel a vessel

BWAD - brackish water arrival draft (brackish is neither fresh water or salt water)

CBM - cubic meters.

CBFT (or CUFT or CFT) - cubic feet

CIF - cost, insurance and freight

CFR (or C&F) - cost and freight

CHABE - charterer’s agents both ends

CHOPT - charterers option

COA - contract of affreightment – a contract (charter party) for a specific number of voyages

COB - close of business

COGSA - carriage of goods by sea act

COLREG - prevention of collisions at sea convention

CONCS - concentrates

CONS consumption – quantity of fuel used by the ships engine

COP - custom of (the) port

CP (or C/P) - charter party

CQD - customary quick despatch

CST - centistokes (measure of the viscosity of fuel oil

C/V/E - cables/victualling/entertainment

DA (or D/A) - disbursement account

DAP - Di-Ammonium Phosphate

DAPS - days all purposes (the total number of days for loading & discharging)

DD - drydock

DEM - demurrage

DES - despatch

DDFRT - deadfreight

DHDATSBE - demurrage half despatch on all time saved both ends

DHDLTSBE - demurrage half despatch on all laytime saved both ends

DHDWTSBE - demurrage half despatch on working time saved both ends

DISCH - discharge

DLOSP - dropping last outward sea pilot

DOC - document of compliance (under ISM code see below)

DOP - dropping outward pilot

DOT - department of transport

DNRSAOCLONL - discountless and non returnable ship and/or cargo lost or not lost

DNV - Det Norske Veritas (Norwegian classification society/standard)

DRAFT - depth to which a ship is immersed in water

DUNNAGE - materials, often timber or matting, placed among cargo for separation and increased stability or to protect the tank tops

DWAT or DWT - deadweight – the weight of the cargo, stores, bunkers, water.

EIU - even if used

ELVENT - electrically ventilated

ETA - estimated time of arrival

ETB - estimated time of berthing

ETC -estimated time of completion

ETD -estimated time of departure

ETS -estimated time of sailing

Expload - expected to load

FAC -fast as can

FAS - free alongside

FEU - forty foot or equivalent unit (container)

FD - free discharge or free despatch

FDD - freight, deadfreight & demurrage

FDES - free despatch

FDEOSDNRSAOCLONL - freight deemed earned on shipment , discountless & Non returnable, ship &/or cargo lost or not lost

FHEX - Fridays & holidays excluded

FHINC - Fridays & holidays included

FILO - free in/liner out

FIO - free in/out – the ship owner does not incur the loading and discharging costs

FIOS - free in/out and stowed.  As per FIO but owner also free to stowage expenses

FIOST - free in/out, stowed and trimmed but can also mean: free in/out and spout trimmed

FIOT - free in/out and trimmed

FLT - full liner terms

FO - free out but can also mean fuel oil

FOB - free onboard

FOW - first open water

FP - free pratique

FRT - freight

FWAD - fresh water arrival draft

FWDD - fresh water departure draft

FYG - for your guidance

FYI - for your information

GA - general average

GA plan - general arrangement plan

GLS (GLESS) - gearless (ship having no cranes or derricks)

GNCN - gencon

GN (or GR) - grain (cubic capacity)

GO - gas oil

GR (or Georot) - geographical rotation

Grain capacity - cubic capacity of a cargo hold or holds measured for bulk cargoes

GRT - gross registered tonnage

GSB - good and safe berth

GSP - good and safe port

GTEE - guarantee

HA - hatch

H and M - hull and machinery

HBF - harmless bulk fertiliser

HBI - Hot Briquetted Iron

HHDW - heavy, handy, deadweight (type of scrap)

HMS - heavy melting scrap

HO - holds (compartment below deck for cargo)

HRC - Hot Rolled Coils

HSS - Heavy grain Sorghums and Soyas

HTUTC - half time used to count (in relation to laytime)

HW - high water.

IACS - International Association of Classification Societies

IFO - Intermediate Fuel Oil

IGS - inert gas system

ILOHC - In lieu of hold cleaning (on redelivering a vessel)

ILOW - in lieu of weighing (usually expressed as a percentage, for example 0.5% of freight – for cargoes with high moisture content where the freight is paid on the bill of lading quantity as the delivered weight will be less as the moisture content will reduce during the voyage)

IMO - International Maritime Organisation

INDIC - indication

INL - international navigational limits

ITF - international transport workers federation (crew trade union)

ISM - international safety management

ISPS - international ships and port security system

IU - if used

IWL - Institute Warranty Limits

LAYCAN (also L/C) - laydays and cancelling dates

LAYTIME - time at charterers disposal for the purpose of loading &/or discharging

LBP - length between perpendiculars (of a ship)

LIFO - liner in free out

LMAA - London Maritime Arbitrators Association

LOA - length over all (of the ship)

LOC - letter of credit

LOF - lloyd’s open form

LOI - letter of indemnity

LOW - last open water

LS (or LSUM) - lumpsum

LSFO - low sulphur fuel oil

LT - liner terms – also can mean long tons (2240 lbs)

LTS - laytime saved (laytime)

MARPOL - convention for prevention of pollution from ships

MDO - marine diesel oil

MGO - marine gas oil

MIDSHIP - approximately equidistant from bow and stern of ship

MIN/MAX - minimum/maximum (usually cargo quantity or time charter period)

MOA - memorandum of agreement

MOLCHOPT - more or less in charterers option

MOLOO - more or less in owners option

MOP - Muriate of Potash

MT - metric ton (tonne) 1000 kilos

MV - motor vessel

NAABSA - not always afloat but safely aground

NCB - national cargo bureau

NK -  Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (Japanese classification Society/standard)

NON REVERSIBLE - refers to laytime – the time allowed for loading respectively discharging cannot be computed together

NOR - notice of readiness

NRT - net registered tonnage

NYPE - new york produce exchange

OO - owners option

OBO - ore/bulk/oil (vessel)

OWS - owners

P&I - protection & indemnity (insurance)

PDPR - per day or pro rata

PHPD - per hatch per day

PICO - port in charterer’s option

PUS - past us

PWH - per workable hatch

PWHPD - per workable hatch per day

PWWD - per weather working day

QWT - quay weight and tonnage dues (German ports)

RCVR - receiver

Reversible - laytime for loading and discharging can be computed together

ROB - remaining onboard (bunkers)

RORO - roll on and roll off (vehicle carrier)

SATPM - Saturday, after noon

SB - safe berth

SD - single deck (vessel)

SDBC - single deck bulkcarrier

SG - specific gravity

SP - safe port

SELFD (or) SELFDIS - self discharge (vessel)

SF - stowage factor (of cargo)

SHINC or SC - Sundays & holidays included

SHEX or SX - Sundays & holidays excluded

SMC - safety management certificate (under ISM code see above)

SOF - statement of facts

SOLAS - Safety of Life at Sea convention

S/R/B/L - signing and releasing Bills of Lading

SS - special survey

SSHEX (or SATSHEX) - Saturdays, Sundays & holidays excluded

SSHINC (or SATSHINC) - Saturdays, Sundays & holidays included

SSW - summer salt water

ST - short ton (2000 lbs)

STBC - self trimming bulk carrier

Describes a bulk carrier that is capable of loading a full cargo of free-flowing grain without trimming (other than spout/loader trimming) to the cargo after the completion of loading.

This is a customary term in charter negotiations but when chartering, the term should not normally be used without offering additional explanation of exactly what is meant.

SWAD - salt water arrival draft

SWDD - salt water departure draft

SWL - safe working load

TEU - twenty foot equivalent unit (containers)

TBN - to be named or to be nominated or to be narrowed

TBRN - to be re-named

TC - time charter

TCP - time charter party

TCT - time charter trip

TFW - tropical fresh water

TIP - taking inward pilot

TPC - tons per centimetre (immersion)

TPI - tons per inch (immersion)

TSP - Triple Super Phosphate

TT - turntime

TTBE - turntime both ends

TTL - total

TW - tween deck (vessel)

USAC - United States Atlantic Coast

USC - unless sooner commenced

USG - United States Gulf (of Mexico)

USNH - United States north of Cape Hateras

UU - unless used

UUIWCATUTC - unless used in which case actual time used to count (in relation to laytime)

WCCON - whether customs cleared or not

WECON - whether entered customs or not

WIBON - whether in berth or not

WIFPON - whether in free pratique or not

WIPON - whether in port or not

WLTHC - water line to top of hatch coming (the distance)

WMT - Wet Metric Tons (Being the weight of cargo loaded before the voyage commences typically for Iron Ore and Concentrates)

WOG - without guarantee

WP - weather permitting

WTS - working time saved (laytime)

WWD - weather working day

WRIC - wire rods in coils

WW - world wide

WWF - Waterside Workers Federation (Australian Union)

WWR - when and where ready

WWWW - wibon, wccon (or wecon), wifpon, wipon (see above)



Aframax: Crude oil tanker or product tanker too large to pass through the Panama Canal and with a capacity of from 80,000 to 120,000 dwt.

Back-haul: The leg of a trade route that has the lowest container volumes is often called ’back-haul, whereas the return leg is often referred to as ‘head-haul’.

Barrel: A volumetric unit measure for crude oil and petroleum products equivalent to 42 U.S. gallons, or approximately 159 litres.

BHP: Break Horse Power. The amount of engine horsepower.

Brent: Term used for crude oil from the North Sea. Brent oil is traded on the International Petroleum Exchange in London, and the price of Brent is used as a benchmark for several other types of European oil.

Bulk vessel: Description of vessels transporting large cargo quantities, including coal, iron ore, steel, corn, gravel, oil, gas, etc.

Bunker: Fuel for vessels.

Call on OPEC: Defined as total global petroleum demand less non-OPEC supply less OPEC natural gas liquid supply.

Capesize: Dry bulk carrier of more than approximately 100,000 dwt; too large to pass through the Panama Canal.

Cu.M: Cubic Meter.

Ceu: Car equivalent unit. Unit of measure indicating the car-carrying capacity of a vessel.

Cgt: Compensated Gross Tonnage. International unit of measure that facilitates a comparison of different shipyards’ production regardless of the types of vessel produced.

Chemical tanker: DSF’s definition: IMO I or IMO II tanker with stainless steel, zinc, epoxy or Marineline coated tanks.

Clarksons: British ship brokering and research company. www.clarksons.net

Clean products: Refers to light, refined oil products such as jet fuel, gasoline and naphtha.

CoA: Contract of Affreightment. Contract between a shipping company and a shipper concerning the freight of a predetermined volume of goods within a given period of time and/or at given intervals.

Coating: The internal coatings applied to the tanks of a product or chemical tanker. Coated tanks enable the ship to transport corrosive refined oil or chemical products and it facilitates extensive cleaning of the tanks, which may be required in the transportation of certain product types.

Deep sea: Refers to trading routes longer than 3,000 nautical miles.

Deep Sea, chemical: A chemical tanker larger than or equal to 20,000 dwt.

Dirty products: Refers to heavy oils such as crude oil or refined oil products such as fuel oil, diesel oil or bunker oil.

Drewry: Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd. British shipping and transport research company. www.drewry.co.uk

Dwt: Dead Weight Tons. Indication of a vessel’s cargo carrying capacity (including bunkers, ballast, water and food supplies, crew and passengers).

Dynamic Positioning: Special instruments on board that in conjunction with bow thrusters and main propellers enable a ship to position itself in a fixed position in relation to the seabed.

EIA: Energy Information Administration. A subsidiary of the US Department of Energy. www.eia.doe.gov

E&P: Exploration and Production.

Feeder: Small container carrier with a capacity of less than 500 teu.

Feedermax: Small container carrier with a capacity of 500-1000 teu.

FPSO: Floating Production Storage Off-loading unit. Vessel used in the offshore industry to process and store oil from an underwater (sub-sea) installation.

Front-haul: The leg of a trade route that has the highest cargo volumes is often called ‘front-haul’ whereas the return leg is often referred to as ‘back-haul’.

Geared: Indicates that a vessel is equipped with a crane or other lifting device.

Gearless: Indicates that a vessel is not equipped with a crane or other lifting device.

Global order cover: Global order is the global orderbook divided by annual yard capacity.

Gt: Gross Tons. Unit of 100 cubic feet or 2,831 cubic meters, used in arriving at the calculation of gross tonnage.

Handy, container: Container vessel of between 1,000-1,999 teu.

Handy, tank: Crude oil tanker, product tanker or chemical tanker of between 10,000 and 25,000 dwt.

Handymax, dry cargo: Dry bulk carrier of between approximately 40,000 and 60,000 dwt.

Handysize, dry cargo: Dry bulk carrier of between approximately 10,000 and 40,000 dwt.

Head-haul: The leg of a trade route that has the highest container volumes is often called ’head-haul, whereas the return leg is often referred to as ‘back-haul’. On routes where there is a great trading volume mismatch between head-haul and back-haul, the head-haul demand will most often determine the freight rate level.

IEA: International Energy Agency. A subsidiary of the OECD. www.iea.org

IHS Global Insight: American economic consulting company. www.globalinsight.com

IMO: International Maritime Organization. An organisation under the UN.

IMO I-III: Quality grades for tankers for the permission to transport different chemical and oil products. IMO I are the most hazardous products, IMO III the least hazardous.

Inorganic chemicals: A combination of chemical elements not containing carbon. The three most common inorganic chemicals are phosporic acid, sulphuric acid and caustic soda. Phosphoric acid and sulphuric acid are used in the fertilizer industry, whilst caustic soda is used in the aluminium industry. As these chemicals are corrosive to many metals, they are transported in stainless steel tanks.

Intermediate: Medium-sized chemical carrier with a capacity of between 10,000 and 20,000 dwt.

LGC: Large Gas Carrier. LPG ship with a capacity of between 40,000 and 60,000 Cu.M.

LPG vessels: Liquefied Petroleum Gas. Vessels used to transport ammonia and liquid gases (ethane, ethylene, propane, propylene, butane, butylenes, isobutene and isobutylene). The gases are transported under pressure and/or refrigerated.

LR1, product tanker: Long Range 1. Product tanker with the maximum dimensions for passing through the Panama Canal (width of 32.21 metres and length of 289.5 metres) of approximately 60,000-74,999 dwt.

LR2, product tanker: Long Range 2. Product tanker too large to pass through the Panama Canal and larger than approximately 75,000 dwt.

Medium, tanker (MR): Medium Range. Product tanker of between 10,000 and 60,000 dwt.

MGC: Medium Gas Carrier. LPG ship with a capacity of between 20,000 and 40,000 Cu.M.

Multi-Purpose: Dry bulk carrier with multiple applications, mainly as a feeder vessel or for special cargo.

Nautical Mile: Distance unit measure of 1,852 meters, or 6,076.12 ft.

Offshore vessel: Vessel serving the offshore oil industry.

OPEC: Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Organic chemicals: Contain carbon and are also referred to as petrochemicals. Are used to produce virtually all products made from plastics or artificial fibres.

Panamax, container: Container carrier with the maximum dimensions for passing through the Panama Canal (width of 32.21 metres, length of 291 metres) of approximately 3,000—5,100 teu.

Panamax, tanker: Crude oil tanker or product tanker with the maximum dimensions for passing through the Panama Canal (width of 32.21 metres and length of 289.5 metres) of approximately 60,000—79,999 dwt.

Panamax, dry cargo: Dry bulk vessel with the maximum dimensions for passing through the Panama Canal (width of 32.21 metres and length of 289.5 metres) of approximately 60,000—100,000 dwt.

Post-Panamax: Container vessel of approximately 5,100-9,999 teu that is too large to pass through the Panama Canal.

Product tanker: Tanker vessel with coated tanks used to transport refined oil products.

PSV: Platform Supply Vessel. Offshore vessel serving the offshore oil installations.

Refinery turnarounds: A planned, periodic shut down (total or partial) of a refinery process unit or plant to perform maintenance, overhaul and repair operations and to inspect, test and replace process materials and equipment.

Ro-Ro: Roll On – Roll Off. Common description of vessels on which the cargo is rolled on board and ashore.

Short sea: Refers to trading routes shorter than 3,000 nautical miles.

Short Sea, chemical: Chemical tanker smaller than 10,000 dwt.

Small gas carrier: LPG ship smaller than 20,000 Cu.M.

SSY: Simpson Spence & Young, British ship brokering and research company. www.ssy.co.uk

Sub-Panamax Container vessel of approximately 2,000-2,999 teu.

Suezmax: Crude oil tanker with the maximum dimensions for passing through the Suez Canal (approximately 120,000—199,999 dwt.).

Super Post-Panamax: Newest type of container vessel of approximately +10,000 teu.

TCE: Time Charter Equivalent.

Teu: Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit. Container with a length of 20 feet (about 6 metres) which forms the basis of describing the capacity of a container vessel.

Teu-knots: Unit of measure that takes account of the speed of ships when estimating the actual supply of ships within a segment.

Teu-nautical mile: Unit of measure indicating the volume of cargo, measured in teu, and how far it has been transported, measured in nautical miles.

Ton-nautical mile: Unit of measure indicating the volume of cargo, measured in ton, and how far it has been transported, measured in nautical miles.

Tonnage: Synonymous with “vessel”.

Town gas: A mixture of gases produced by the distillation of bituminous coal and used for heating and lighting: consists mainly of hydrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide.

ULCC: Ultra Large Crude Carrier. Crude oil tanker of more than 320,000 dwt.

Vegetable oils: Oils derived from seeds of plants and used for both edible and industrial purposes.

VLCC: Very Large Crude Carrier. Crude oil tanker of between approximately 200,000 and 320,000 dwt.

VLGC: Very Large Gas Carrier. LPG ship with a capacity of more than 60,000 Cu.M