Part 8 – General Shipping Dictionary



Act of God Natural hazard such as a typhoon or an earthquake

Actual Total Loss A loss in marine insurance in which the vessel (or cargo) cannot be repaired or recovered

Affreightment Contract for transport of goods, either under a Bill of Lading or a Charter party

Aft The back-end of a ship also known as Stern

Arbitration A process were disputes are settled between parties that agree not to go before a court, but rather submit their differences to the judgment of an impartial person or group appointed by mutual consent or statutory provision

Arrest To seize and hold a ship (and cargo and/or freight) under the authority of law in order to provide pre-judgment security for the plaintiff’s maritime claim

Average Term in marine insurance referring to a loss. There is typically Particular Average (small damage weighing on cargo owners) and General Average major damage weighing on all stake holders (cargo, hull, bunkers, freight)

Average Adjusting The maritime practice that deals with apportionment of cost contributions following a maritime accident by all stake holders as well as adjusting liabilities and apportioning claim submissions to insurers


Ballast Water loaded by a ship in order to improve stability, trimming, sea-keeping and to increase the immersion at the propeller. A ship “in ballast” means a ship sailing without a cargo

Baltic and International Maritime Council BIMCO is based in Copenhagen and is the largest independent shipping organization in the world, whose main objective is to unite shipping interests and pursue the issues which affects its members.

Baltic Exchange The Baltic exchange is the oldest shipping market in the world, established in 1744. Issues several daily dry cargo indexes that are the basis of the freight futures market which are used in order to hedge against movements in freight rates

Bareboat Charter Charterer hires ship (its hull and machinery only) and will have both the commercial and technical responsibility (ship management) paying for its maintenance, crew and insurance

Beneficial Owners A term usually utilized in order to refer to a registered owner, or another party which has the equitable ownership of a vessel, such as a parent or holding company. Ultimate beneficial owner is the true person(s) that hold(s) ultimately title of ownership of the ship

Bill of Lading (B/L) A document issued by a carrier (ship) that lists goods being shipped and specifies the terms of their transport. Serves as a receipt and contract for the transport of goods. There are many forms of B/Ls, and some are negotiable documents.

Break Bulk Means cargo/goods carried in forms other than by containers

Bulk Cargo Cargo shipped in loose condition and of a homogeneous nature. We distinguish between dry bulk (coal, iron ore, grain) and liquid bulk (oil and petroleum products).

Bulk Carrier Ship designed to transport dry bulk cargoes. Carriers of liquid bulk cargoes are referred to as tankers.

Bunkers Fuel for a ship’s engines.


Cabotage The carriage of goods or passengers within the territory of the same country. Often certain statutes will apply.

Capesize Vessel A Capesize vessel is the largest type of bulker with a carrying capacity of 100,000 dwt and above. Capesize vessels are unable to pass through the Panama Canal because of their dimensions and must sail around the Cape Horn in order to transport cargo between continents.

Cellular Containership Containership equipped with permanent container cells, with little or no space for other types of cargo.

C.F.R Cost and freight. Another term used in contracts. Seller is responsible for the cost of transportation to named port of destination, while the buyer is responsible for the risk of loss or damage to the cargo. Hence, buyer must procure marine insurance.

Charterparty A mercantile lease of a vessel; a specific contract by which the owners of a vessel let the entire vessel, or some principal part of the vessel, to another person, to be used by the latter in transportation for his own account, either under their charge or his. Three main types of charterparties: Time charter, voyage charter and bareboat charter.

C.I.F Cost, insurance, freight. Term used in contracts which states that the seller is the party responsible for paying the cost of insurance and transportation in order to bring the cargo to the named port of destination.

Classification Societies Are independent, self-regulating bodies which inspect, study and report and certify on the seaworthiness and the general and particular condition of individual ships.


Deadweight Tonnage A measure for the carrying capacity of a ship (in tons).

Deductible A clause in an insurance policy that relieves the insurer from paying an initial specified amount in the event that the insured experiences a loss. Sometimes referred to as franchise.

Demurrage Detention of a ship during loading or unloading beyond the scheduled time of departure and the compensation paid for such detention.

Despatch An agreed amount which the shipowner has to pay to the charterer if the ship completes loading or discharging before the laytime is expired. Applicable to voyage charters.

Displacement Tonnage The actual weight of a ship. Not used in commercial shipping.

Disponent Owner A person or a company that is not registered as owner of a ship, but has control over the commercial operations of the ship through a bareboat or time charter, has as a disponent owner the right to ”dispose of” the ship by sub-chartering it to a third party.

Dry Bulk Non-liquid cargo carried in bulk.


Effective Date The date when the cover under an insurance policy comes into effect. Usually, the cover does not become effective before the insurer has accepted the cover and issued a cover note.

Endorsement A special amendment to the wording of an insurance policy. It may be attached to the policy from inception or may be added to policy later.

Excess Another term used to describe deductibles. Insurer will pay any claims in excess of the deductible which is agreed upon in the insurance policy.

Excess of Loss Reinsurance Type of reinsurance where the initial insurer determines the amount that it is able and prepared to endure on any one loss. The reinsurer will pay the amount of any claim in excess of this retention.

Exclusions A part of an insurance contract that excludes specified risks from coverage. E.g. in marine insurance there are certain geographical areas which are excluded from coverage due to war and other risks.


FAL The Convention on the Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic of 1967. FAL was adopted by IMO in order to attain a consistent way of regulating shipping and trade.

F.A.S Free Alongside Ship. Term in contract of sale used to express that the goods are delivered by the seller when the goods are placed alongside the ship at the port of destination.

F.C.L Full Container Load.

Feeder Vessel A short-sea ship which transfers cargo from a central hub port to smaller ports.

FEU Forty Foot Equivalent Units. Measure for container sizes. 40′ long, 8’6” high and 8′ wide.

FIO Free In and Out. Term of a charterparty which determines that the charterer is responsible for paying for certain cargo handling operations. Thus, free of charge for shipowner.

Flags of Convenience (FOC) A foreign flag under which a merchant vessel is registered for purposes of reducing operating costs or avoiding government regulations.

Fleet Policy An insurance policy covering more than one single ship under the same insured owner or management company.

FO Free Out. A term of a charterparty which requires the charterer to control and pay for discharging the cargo.

FOB Free On Board. Export term which specifies the that purchaser is without charge for delivery on board or into a carrier at a specified point or location.

Free of particular average (FPA) Excluding partial losses or Total loss only. FPA conditions have mainly been replaced by the modern ”Institute Cargo Clauses C”.

Freight Goods carried by a commercial carrier, or the charge for transporting goods. The latter is also called freightage or freight rate.


General Average A contribution made, by all parties concerned in a sea adventure, toward a loss occasioned by the voluntary sacrifice of the property of some of the parties in interest for the benefit of all. It is called general average, because it falls upon the gross amount of ship, cargo, and freight at risk and saved by the sacrifice.

General Cargo A non-bulk cargo composed of miscellaneous goods. Examples of general cargo carriers are breakbulk freighters, car carriers and cattle carriers.

Gross Tonnage (GT) Gt is the actual carrying capacity of a ship’s hull below the upper deck, in cubic feet, divided by 100.

Gross Registered Tonnage (Grt) The volumetric cargo capacity of a ship according to its certificate of registry.

Grounding Contact by a ship with the seabottom


Hague-Visby Rules An International Convention in Hague that established the basic duties of shipper and carrier for goods covered by a bill of lading. When incorporating amendments agreed on at Visby in 1968, these Rules were renamed the Hague-Visby Rules.

Hamburg Rules In March 1978 an international conference in Hamburg adopted a new set of rules (The Hamburg Rules), which radically alter the liability which shipowners have to bear for loss or damage to goods in the courts of those nations where the rules apply.

Hatch An opening in the deck of the ship which is the ship’s compartment.

Hazard A possible source of danger.

HAZ MAT Hazardous Material.

Hire Payment given in exchange for services rendered in bareboat, demise, and time charterparties.

H&M Insurance Marine insurance which covers damages to the hull and machinery of a ship.

Hold Name for the spaces below the main deck of a ship which is designated for stowage of general cargo.

Hull Shell or body of a ship.

Hydrofoil A vessel that flies over water and thus eliminates friction between the water and the hull. Under acceleration it rises above water but remains in contact with the surface through supporting legs.


Incoterms are a set of rules which define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers for the delivery of goods under sales contracts. They are published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and are widely used in commercial transactions.

Indemnity Compensation for damage, loss, or injury suffered. Essential principle in insurance. The insured part is not to profit from any claim, but shall receive compensation for loss so that the insured may return to the same financial position as before loss or damage occurred.

Inland Waters Refers to lakes, rivers, streams, canals, etc.

Institute Cargo Clauses Clauses in an insurance policy which comprise the Free of Capture & Seizure Clause (F.C.&S) and the Free of Strikes, Riots & Civil Commotions Clause (F.S.R&C). These clauses exclude risks of war, strikes, riots and civil commotions. The wording in the various institute clauses are issued by the Institute of London Underwriters.

Institute Strike Clauses Clauses in an insurance policy which cover loss or damage to property as a result of strike or other labor disturbances, riots or civil commotions. These clauses do not cover damages caused by delay or damages that are results of warlike actions.

Insurable Interest A principle of insurance which requires the insurer to have a financial interest in the insured property. In marine insurance, insurable interests have to be in place when a claim occur, but not consequently when the policy is written.

Intermediaries An intermediary is a person or a company which act as an agent between persons or things. The insurance industry utilize insurance brokers as intermediaries in order to introduce clients to insureres and to provide day to day servicing of a client’s insurance needs.

Intermodalism The concept of transportation as a door-to-door service rather than port-to-port. Thus efficiency is enhanced by having a single carrier coordinating the movement and documentation among different modes of transportation.

International Maritime Organisation (IMO) The United Nations agency concerned with international maritime activities.

International Tonnage Certificate A certificate issued to a shipowner by a government department in the case of a ship whose gross and net tonnages have been determined in accordance with the International Convention of Tonnage Measurement of Ships. The certificate states the gross and net tonnages together with details of the spaces attributed to each.

International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) The international association of marine insurers for hull, cargo, liability, energy and offshore. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland.

INTERTANKO Association for independent tanker owners whoses aim is to represent their members internationally.


Jack-Ups A type of mobile drilling rig which is designed to operate in shallow water. Quite stable since the rest on the sea bed.

Jettison Term in marine insurance referring to the act of throwing cargo or equipment (jetsam) overboard when a ship is in danger. Jettison is covered under the Institute Cargo Clauses.

Jones Act An American maritime law which requires that all U.S. domestic seaborne trade is to be carried by U.S.-flag, U.S.-built, and U.S.-manned vessels.

Jurisdiction A term referring to the nature and the extent of the legal authority. Defines the right and power to interpret and apply the law within the territory where the legal authority can exercise power.


Knot Unit of speed in navigation which is the rate of a nautical mile (6,080 feet or 1,852 meters) per hour.


Laid-Up Tonnage Term describing ships that are not in active service. Possible reasons for laid-up tonnage could be need for reperations and upgrading, or the shipowner is awaiting better markets.

Laker Ships which exclusively trades in the Great Lakes of North America.

LAY/CAN Laydays/Cancelling

Laytime Time agreed between a shipowner and a voyage charterer in which to load and/or discharge the cargo. It is expressed as a number of days or hours or as a number of tons per day.

Lay Up Temporary discontinuance of trading of a ship by a shipowner during times when there is an oversupply of ships in relation to the level of available cargoes. See also Overtonnaging.

Leader An underwriter whose judgement is so respected by other underwriters that they will follow his lead in accepting a risk presented by the assured’s broker.

Legal Liability The liability imposed by law for negligence and recklessness which results in injuries to persons or damage to someone else’s property.

Lessor The bestower of a lease, e.g. a shipowner, who remains the owner of the leased property throughout the term of the lease and who receives consideration from the lessee.

Lessee The person or company to whom property is rented or leased. In shipping, the lessee is the charterer of a vessel.

Letter of Undertaking (LOU) A LOU is a document issued by the insurer to the creditors of the insured party. The document provides the creditors with a guarantee that their claim will be satisfied up to the amount specified in the letter.

Liability Insurance Insurance cover designed to protect the insured from legal liability claims which may arise as a result of damage to a third party’s property. In marine insurance, Protection & Indemnity (P&I) insurance covers the shipowner’s legal liability.

Limitation of Shipowner´s Liability The right of shipowners, charterers, managers, salvors and insurers of ships to limit their liability for ceratin maritime claims. Limitation of liability may either be a sum repersenting the value of the ship, or a sum determined by the ship’s tonnage.

Limits of Liability A liability insurance policy usually contains the maximum sum of money in which an insurance company agrees to pay in the event of a loss or a damage covered by the policy.

Liner A ship which is employed on a regular schedule and that loads and discharges at specified ports.

Liner Terms Term in a charterparty that determines the common responsibility of the shipowner to control and pay for loading, stowage, trimming and discharge of the cargo of the charterer.

Lloyd´s The world’s oldest and most famous insurance market. Lloyd’s of London is an association of underwriters, for marine insurances where individual underwriters accept or reject the risks offered to them. The Lloyd’s Corporation provides the support facility for their activities.

Lloyd´s Register of Shipping The world’s leading classification society, headquartered in London.

LNG Liquid Natural Gas

LNG Carrier Tanker designed to transport liquid natural gas. The cargo tanks are made of a special aluminum blend and are heavily insulated to carry natural gas in its liquid state at a temperature of -285°F. The LNG ship costs about twice as much as an oil tanker of the same size.

Loaded Leg The section of a ship’s voyage during which the ship is carrying cargo.

Loadlines Lines that are painted on the side of a ship and specifies the maximum depth to which the ship may safely be loaded. IMO adopted the International Convention on Loadlines in 1966, which set the minimum permissable freeboard, according to the season and the ship’s trading patterns.

LOF- Lloyd´s Open Form LOF is probably the most widely used salvage contract in use throughout the world. LOF provides a reputable and secure framework within which the arbitration process can operate.

Log A ship’s log is a record book which is carried aboard a ship and where all events of significance relating to the journey are documented by the officers. The log may be utilized as evidence in a maritime dispute.

LOI – Letter of Indemnity Guarantee from the shipper or consignee to indemnify carrier for costs and/or loss, if any, in order to obtain favorable action by carrier. It is frequently used to allow the consignee to take delivery of goods without surrendering B/L which has been delayed or become lost.

LOLO Lift On Lift Off.

Long Ton 1.016,05 kg

Loss Adjusters Loss adjusters are independent claims specialists appointed by insurance companies to investigate complex or unusual claims.

Loss of Hire In marine insurance, a loss of hire insurance covers financial loss which may arise as a result of business interruption. The insured LOH value is determined by daily indemnity and the maximum indemnity period. See also Consequential loss.

Loss Ratio The ratio between the premiums paid to an insurance company and the claims settled by the company.

LPG Liquid Petroleum Gas

LPG Carrier A tanker designed to carry a wide variety of gases, such as ammonia, butane, propane and ethylene.

Lumpsum Freight Payment to shipper for a charter of a ship up to a stated limit regardless of the cargo quantity.

LSA Liner Shipping Agreements


Manifest A document that lists all of a ship’s cargo, extracted from the B/L.

Marine Insurance Insurance which covers loss or damage of a ship’s hull and machinery, cargo carried, liabilities that can devolve upon ships and operators (known as ”Protection & Indemnity), wharves, ports and harbours, container terminals and even oil platforms and drilling rigs.

Marine Reinsurance A contract where risks insured under a number of marine insurance policies are redistributed between one or more reinsurers.

Maritime Liens A secured claim against a ship in respect of services provided to the vessel or damages done by it. In other words, retention of the ship until outstanding claim or dept is paid.

MARPOL The International Convention of Prevention of Pollution from Ships. MARPOL concerns the prevention of pollution from oil, bulk, chemicals, dangerous goods, sewage, garbage and atmospheric pollution.

Maximum Indemnity Period A limit under a Loss of Hire insurance relating to the maximum period (of days) over which the insurer will pay for loss of hire. The insured party determines the maximum indemnity period and if the agreed period is inadequate, the insured party may be affected by severe financial loss.

Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) MOUs are regional Port State Control (PSC) organisations and agreements that cover all of the world’s oceans.

MODU Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit.

Mooring Line A line that holds a ship in place.

Moral Hazard Moral hazard refers to a situation in which an insured party purposely engages in risky behavior, knowing that any costs incurred will be compensated by the insurer. See also Hazard.

Mortgagees Interest Insurance (MII) MII is a marine insurance which covers loss of security and/or investment as a result of non-recovery of claims under standard Hull, War and P&I policies. A MII insurance will, in addition to mortgagees, incorporate innocent owners, lessors, shareholders, etc.

Mortgagees Interest Insurance Additional Perils (Pollution) A marine insurance which covers loss of security or investment as a result of seizure and disposal of vessel or insurance proceeds by authorities in order to compensate claimants and disburse clean-up costs. In addition, the MAP may provide coverage for passenger liability on cruise vessels if the cover provided by P&I Clubs is inadequate.

M/T Metric tons

Multipurpose Ship A ship that is capable of carrying a broad variety of cargoes which require different methods of handling.


Nautical Mile A measurement for distance of one minute of longitude at the equator, approximately 6,076.115 feet. The metric equivalent is 1,852 meters.

Neobulk Shipments which consist entirely of units of a single commodity, such as vehicles, lumber or scrap metal.

Net Capacity The number of tons of cargo which a vessel can carry when loaded to her summer freeboard marks. Also called cargo carrying capacity or cargo deadweight.

Net Registered Tons (NRT) NRT describes the volumetric area available for cargo at 100 cbf = 1 ton. NRT is used by port and canal authorities as a basis for charges.

Net Tonnage Net tonnage is produced by a formula which is a function of the moulded volume of all cargo spaces of a ship. In other words, the tonnage of a ship after a deduction from the gross tonnage has been made i order to allow space for crew, machinery, etc.

No Cure No Pay A law principle of salvage which prohibits payment of any salvage reward if the salvage operation is unsuccessful.

Notice of Abandonment A notice that is given by the insured party to the insurer which indicates that the insured wishes to treat a constructive total loss as an actual total loss and to abandon the insured property to the insurer.

Notify Party The party to be notified by the carrier of arrival of goods. Usually identified in the B/L.

NVOCC Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier. An agent who handles business for the ship, but does not operate the vessel himself.


OBO Ore/Bulk/Oil Carrier. A large multipurpose ship that is designed to carry a wide variety of cargoes

OCMI Officer in Charge of Marine Inspection.

Off-Hire In a time charter, the owner is entitled to a limited time for his vessel to be off hire until such time as the vessel may be repaired or dry-docked.

Oil Tanker Tanker designed to carry crude oil in bulk.

OPA Oil Pollution act of 1990. The right of a shipowner to limit his liability is reduced if an event is a result of contributory negligence. American governement has the authority to seize and arrest a vessel if claims exceed shipowner’s P&I Pollution Limit.

Open Rates Refers to pricing systems that are flexible and not subject to conference approval. Usually applied to products in which tramps are substituted for liners.

Open Registry Another term used for Flag of Convenience.

OSV Offshore Supply Vessel. OSVs, also called Platform Supply vessels, deliver drilling supplies as liquid, mud, dry bulk cement, drinking water, drill pipes and a variety of other supplies to drilling rigs and platforms. 

Overtonnaging Term describing a situation where there are too many ships generally or in a particular trade for the level of available cargoes. The consequence of overtonnaging is that freight rates decline to the extent that it is not economical to trade with a ship, thus a shipowner may chose to lay up ships until it is economically favourable to trade their ships again.


Panamax A Panamax vessel is the largest type of bulker which is capable of passing throught the Panama Canal had can have a carrying capacity ranging from 50,000 dwt to 80,000 dwt.

Particular Average A particular average is a partial loss.

Passenger Ship A ship which is authorized to transport more than twelve passengers.

Perils of the Sea Perils that are deviant to the sea, but are of such an extraordinary nature and power that one cannot guard against them using ordinary skill and prudence.

P&I Protection and Indemnity is the liability insurance carried by marine carriers to protect against damages or injuries occasioned by the use and operation of the vessel. P&I will cover shipowners if they are sued for negligence, causing damage to another vessel, or injury to an individual.

Pilot A person that is qualified to guide ships through difficult waters going into or out of a harbor. In certain territorial waters it is mandatory for ships to have a pilot onboard.

Pilotage The practice undertaken by a pilot of assisting the master of a ship in navigation when entering or leaving a port. The term may also refer to the fee payable for the services of a pilot.

Pleasure Craft A term used to describe any class of vessel which is designed for recreational purposes only.

POL Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants.

Pooling A grouping of resources, expertise, equipment, etc. for the common financial advantage of the participants In the shipping industry, investment pools are used to buy a ship; a diversified portfolio becomes mutually owned by the mutual investors who have “per share” interests. See also Consortium.

Port of Call The port where a ship will load or discharge cargo.

PSV Platform Supply Vessel. See also OSV.

Port State Control (PSC) PSC is the inspection of foreign ships in national ports to verify that the condition of the ship, crew and the ship’s equipment comply with requirements imposed by international regulatory bodies such as the IMO. If a ship does not comply with mandatory international requirements, the PSC officers have the authority to arrest foreign ships in port.

Poseidon Principles: an initiative from a number of leading banks in shipping finance that have committed to take climate considerations into account when making lending decisions.

Product Tankers A tanker that carries petroleum products, such as gasoline and diesel oil, in bulk.

Punitive Damages A term that refers to damages awarded by a court against an insured or against an insurer in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the insured or the insurer for willful and immoral misconduct and to serve as a deterrent.


Q-flex The largest LPG tanker which will be ready for delivery in 2007. The cargo capacity of the Q-flex will be 210,000 cbm.

Quota Share The basic form of participating treaty whereby the reinsurer accepts a stated percentage of each and every risk within a defined category of business on a pro rata basis. Participation in each risk is fixed and certain.


Reefer Refrigerator Ship. A ship which is designed to carry cargo that needs to be refrigerated, such as fruit. Cleanliness and the maintenance of optimum temperatures are the prerequisites.

Reefer Box An insulated container designed to carry cargoes requiring temperature control. It is fitted with a refrigeration unit which is connected to the carrying ship’s electrical power supply.

Remuneration The act of paying for goods or services or to compensate for losses.

Relay The process of transferring containers from one ship to another when both ships are controlled by the same carrier.

Return Cargo A cargo which enables a ship to return loaded to the port or area where her previous cargo was loaded.

Rolling Cargo Cargo which is on wheels and is able to be driven or towed on board a ship.

RoPax Roll on Roll off – Passenger. A ship which is similar in design to a RoRo ship. However, in addition to carrying rolling cargo, there are passenger facilities onboard. A RoPax ship carries more than 12 passengers, hence it has to conform to the rules of a passenger ship and not of a cargo ship.

RoRo Roll on Roll off. A ship which is designed for the purpose of carrying wheeled and tracked vehicles as all or most of his cargo. As long as there are less than 12 passengers or lorry drivers onboard the ship, it can be built according to cargo vessel rules.


Salvage Term that refers to the recovery of a wrecked ship or the property which has been recovered from the wrecked ship.

Salvage Reward Compensation that is payable to the salvor, accordingly to a salvage award.

SAR Search and Rescue Convention of 1979

Seaworthiness The adequacy of a ship in materials construction, equipment, crew and outfit for the trade in which it is employed. Any sort of deteriorations to the ship by which the cargo may suffer. Examples of deteriorations which may constitute a ship unseaworthy are overloading, untrained officers, etc.

Seaworthiness Certificate A certificate issued by a classification society surveyor to allow a ship to proceed after she has experienced an event that may have affected her seaworthiness. It is frequently issued to enable a vessel to proceed, after temporary repairs have been effected, to another port where permanent repairs are to be carried out.

Self-unloader A bulk carrier which has fixed gear onboard the deck for loading/unloading cargo.

SDR Special Drawing Rights. SDR are a form of international money created by the IMF which is acceptable in settlement of debts between countries. Value of a natural currency will rise in SDRs as the value of the national currency rises on the world market. Therefore, SDR is a fair evaluation of the comparison of national currencies.

Sister Ships Ships built on the same design.

Sister Ships Arrest In case an event is caused by a ship and if the person liable to the claim is the owner of a sister ship, the sister ship may be arrested in order to provide security for the claim.

Spot (Voyage) A charter for a particular vessel to move a single cargo between specified loading port(s) and discharge port(s) in the immediate future. Contract rate (“spot” rate) covers total operating expenses, i.e., bunkers, port charges, canal tolls, crew’s wages and food, insurance and repairs. Cargo owner absorbs, in addition, any expenses specifically levied against the cargo.

SOLAS Safety of Life at Sea Convention from 1974. The main objetive of the SOLAS Convention is to specify minimum standards for construction, equipment and operations of ships. Flag states are responsible for controlling that shipping companies are in compliance with the SOLAS Convention.

STCW International Convention of Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers. The first convention that established basic requirements for seafarers on an international level

Stevedore One who is employed in the loading or unloading of ships.

Stowage Term referring to the placing of cargo in a ship in a way which will ensure the safety and stability of the ship.

Stranding When a ship runs on shore.

Stripping Removing cargo from a container

Stuffing Putting cargo into a container.

Subrogation The substitution of one person for another, especially the legal doctrine of substituting one creditor for another.

Suezmax The largest tanker that is capable of passing through the Suez Canal. Carrying capacity ranges from 120,000 dwt to 200,000 dwt.


Tank Cleaning Removal of all traces of a cargo from the tanks of a tanker normally by means of high pressure water jets.

Tanker A tanker is a bulk carrier designed to carry liquid cargoes. Se also oil, chemical and LPG/LNG tankers.

Tender The offer of goods for transportation.

Territorial Waters The waters surrounding a nation and its territories over which that nation exercises sovereign jurisdiction

TEU Twenty Equivalent Units. Measure for container sizes. 20′ long, 8’6” high and 8′ wide

Time Charterparty A form of charter party wherein owner lets or leases his vessel and crew to the charterer for a stipulated period of time. The charterer pays for the bunkers and port charges in addition to the charter hire.

Ton Mile The movement of a ton of freight one mile. Useful to shippers since it includes the distance to move a commodity in the calculation.

Ton Measurement of weight.

Towage Charges for the services of tugs assisting a ship or other vessels in ports or other locations; the act of towing a ship or other objects from one place to another.

Tramp Service A merchant cargo ship that does not run in any regular line but takes cargo wherever the shippers desire.

Tug A powerful, strongly built boat designed to tow or push other vessels


ULCC Ultra Large Crude Carrier. Largest type of crude carrier with a carrying capacity exceeding 320,000 dwt.

UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. A ”policy-making” body with its main objective being to promote international trade, especially amongst emerging nations.

Unseaworthiness Term referring to the condition of a vessel when it is not in a proper state of maintenance, or if the loading equipment or crew, or in any other respect is not ready to encounter the ordinary perils of sea.

USCG Unites States Coast Guard

Utmost Good Faith A basic principle of insurance. Mutual trust in negotiating an insurance contract. The insured and their broker must disclose and truly represent every material circumstance to the underwriter before acceptance of the risk. A breach of good faith entitles the underwriter to avoid the contract.


VLCC Very Large Crude Carrier. The second largest type of crude carrier with a carrying capacity ranging from 200,000 dwt to 320,000 dwt.

Voyage Charter The voyage charter is the traditional spot voyage. Ship is chartered to transport a specified cargo from one port to another. Shipowner is responsible for the operation of the ship.


Warranty A term of contract that guarantees the purchaser that the product/cargo is what it is represented to be. Breach of warranty will alllow the offended party to claim only damages.

War Risk Insurance coverage for loss of cargo and property resulting from any act of war.

Waybill A waybill is a non-negotiable receipt issued after receipt of the cargo from the carrier. Usually employed in container trade for common shipments with consent of the shipper who does not insist on being issued a negotiable B/L. It is not a document of title, but a contract of carriage. Also called Sea waybill.

Wharfage Charge assessed by a pier or dock owner against cargo handled over the pier or dock or against a company using the pier or dock.

Worldscale The term used in order to quote tanker freight rates in the spot market.

Wreck Removal The act of clearing navigable waters of sunken ships or other submerged objects which is a threat to the safety of navigation.


XOL/XL Abbreviation for Excess of loss. See also Excess of Loss Reinsurance


York-Antwerp Rules A code of rules adopted by an international convention in 1890, updated and ammended most recently in 2004, for the purpose of establishing a uniform basis for adjusting general average.


ZULU Time Local Time

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