ISL Market Monitor

ISL Glossary

break bulk (to):
To commence to discharge a bulk cargo. It is sometimes a condition of carriage that freight, or some percentage of it, becomes payable on breaking bulk.

Relating to cargo lifted on and off ships one piece or bundle at a time by means of cranes or derricks, as opposed to cargo shipped on trailers or in a shipping containers. Such goods may be described as breakbulk cargo; the ships which carry them are sometimes referred to as breakbulk ships which, if operated on a regular basis between advertised ports, provide a breakbulk service. The term breakbulk is often used to denote the opposite of containerised. Also referred to as conventional.

Bulk Cargo:
Homogeneous unpacked dry cargo such as grain, iron ore or coal. Any commodity shipped in this way is said to be in bulk.

Bulk Container:
Shipping container designed for the carriage of free-flowing dry cargoes such as sugar, cement, cereals or fertilisers. The cargo is loaded through hatchways in the roof of the container and discharged through hatches in the door or front end by tipping the container.

Cargo Tonnage:
There are two bases for charging the carriage of cargo: weight and capacity (measurement). If 1 ton (20 cwt) of a cargo occupies more than 40 cubic feet than capacity is usually the basis. Cargoes are selected to give the best combination of payable tons by weight or measurement.

Charter Party:
Document containing all the terms and conditions of the contract between a shipowner and a charterer, and signed by both parties or their agents, for the hire of a ship or the space in a ship. Most charter-parties are standard forms with printed clauses and spaces or boxes in which details relating to the individual charter, such as freight, laytime, demurrage, the ship's construction, speed and consumption, are inserted. The printed documents may be varied and/or added to by agreement of the two parties. Sometimes spelled charterparty or charter party. Abbreviated to C/P.

Commodity Box Rate:
Freight rate per shipping container for a particular commodity. Abbreviated to CBR.

Compensated Gross:
Calculated by multiplying the tonnage of a ship by a coefficient, which is determined according to type and size of a particular ship. Cgt is used as an indicator of volume of work that is necessary to build a given ship. Container Capacity: Total number of shipping containers generally expressed as a number of TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units), which may be accommodated on board a ship.

Container Capacity:
Total number of shipping containers generally expressed as a number of TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units), which may be accommodated on board a ship. TEUs, being total length of containers in feet divided by 20.

Container Leasing:
Hiring of a shipping container for a voyage or period or time, normally based on a daily hire rate.

Container Port:
Port whose only, or principal, traffic is in shipping containers. Its berths are equipped with container cranes and there are large areas for stacking the containers prior to loading on to the ship after discharging.

Container Terminal:
Part of a port where containers are loaded on to, and discharged from, containerships.

The employment by shipping lines of containerships and the discontinuing of the use of conventional ships.

Deadweight Tonnage (dwt):
Unit of measurement expressed in tonnes of the maximum permitted load of a ship (i.e. the weight of cargo, passengers, fuel, stores and crew) when loaded down to its maximum summer load line.

Dry Cargo:
Said of any commodity which is not a liquid.

Dry Dock:
Large basin where all the sea water is pumped out to allow the ship to dock and to do underwater cleaning and repairing.

Feeder Service:
Service provided by a shipping line whereby small ships carry cargoes regularly between ports which are served by a large ocean ship, often called hub ports, and ports which are not, for the reason that cargoes to and from these smaller ports are not sufficient to warrant putting in a large ship but are transhipped to or from the ship. In the case of port to port tariffs, normally the shipping line charges a through rate of freight which includes the cost of transhipment.

Feeder Ship:
Small ship, provided by a shipping line, which carries cargoes between ports which are served by a large ocean ship and ports which are not. The cargoes are transhipped, normally at the expense of the shipping line, to or from the ocean ship.

Flag of Convenience:
Registration of a ship in a country whose tax on the profits of trading ships is low or whose requirements concerning manning or maintenance are not stringent. Sometimes referred to as a flag of necessity.

flag out (to):
To change the registration of a ship to another country. Normally, flagging out is to a flag of convenience country in order to reduce the operating costs of the ship, either in terms of manning or maintenance, or to reduce the tax payable on the profits of trading the ship.

Freight Rate:
Amount of money paid to a shipowner or shipping line for the carriage of each unit of cargo, such as a tonne, a cubic metre or container load. Also referred to as a rate of freight.

Freight Ton:
A unit of volume or weight used for quoting freight rates, in which 40 cu.ft. or 2,240 lbs. are taken as the equivalent of one ton. Also called stevedore ton. The measurement or weight is generally at ship's option. For freight purposes the term ton may also be applied to a number of hundered weights to be the equivalent of one ton and varying according to the goods. Abbreviated to FT.

Full Container Load:
Quantity of cargo which fills a shipping container to capacity, either by weight or cubic measurement. Abbreviated to FCL.

Gantry Crane:
Shore crane with a wide span, used for marshalling and for stacking. Such cranes operate by straddling several rows of containers, placing and picking up containers as necessary. They can be either rail-mounted or rubber-tyred. Gantry cranes are also fitted to certain ships, such as some self-sustaining containerships. This type of crane is also known as a bridge crane since it is in the form of a bridge. General Cargo: Cargo consisting of goods unpacked or packed, for example in cartons, crates, bags or bales, often palletised, but specifically not cargo shipped in bulk, on trailers or in shipping containers. A general cargo ship is one designed to carry such cargo, often having several decks because of the number of ports served and the range of products carried.

General Cargo:
Cargo consisting of goods unpacked or packed, for example in cartons, crates, bags or bales, often palletised, but specifically not cargo shipped in bulk, on trailers or in shipping containers. A general cargo ship is one designed to carry such cargo, often having several decks because of the number of ports served and the range of products carried.

Grain or Grain Capacity:
Total cubic capacity of a ship's holds available for the carriage of grain or any other free-flowing bulk cargo which is capable of filling the space between the ship's frames. It is expressed in cubic feet or cubic metres. (Where a cargo is solid and therefore not capable of filling the spaces between the ship's frames, the corresponding capacity is known as the bale or bale capacity.)

Gross Tonnage (gt):
A figure representing the total of all the enclosed spaces within a ship, arrived at by means of a formula which has as its basis the volume measured in cubic metres. Abbreviated to GT. The gross tonnage has replaced the gross register tonnage.

A small bulk or oil tanker vessel of 40,000 to 60,000 dwt that is a larger version of the popular Handysize vessel.

A small bulk or oil tanker vessel that is suited to tie up at a T2 type pier. These vessels are a maxiumum of 10,000 to 40,000 dwt. These vessels are more maneuverable and have a shallower draft than larger vessels and therefore make up the majority of the world?s ocean-going cargo fleet.

Harbour Ton:
1000 kg or 1 cubic metre which ever yields the highest tonnage. Abbreviated to HT.

The act or the charge for carrying goods by road.

The area behind the port.

Hub (Port):
Large port intended to attract transhipment cargoes from an to other, smaller, ports, as well as inland locations. It is designed to be more efficient than smaller ports by virtue of its location, handling and storage facilities, and inland transport connections. It is used by large, modern ocean-going vessels, with cargo moving to an from it by all means of transport, including feeder ships and landbridges. Also called load centre.

Hub and Spoke:
System of feeding cargoes to and from a large port, known as a hub.

Intermodal Tariff:
Tariff of freight rates of a shipping line or liner conference covering inland as well as ocean legs.

Intermodal Transport:
Carriage of a consignment of goods using more than one mode of transport, e.g. rail and sea.

Liner Service:
Service provided by a shipping company whereby cargo-carrying ships are operated between scheduled, advertised ports of loading and discharging on a regular basis. The freight rates which are charged are based on the shipping company's tariff or, if the company is a member of a liner conference, the tariff of that conference.

Net Tonnage (nt):
nt is derived from the corresponding Gross Tonnage by deducting spaces used for the accomodation of the master, officers, crew, navigation and propelling machinery. Nt is derived by formula in accordance with the requirements of the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships 1969.

Person or company who contracts to transport cargo from the port or place of discharge of a sea-going or ocean-going ship to another, often inland, destination by a different means of transport such as truck, train or barge.

Open Registry:
Registration in a country which is open to owners who have no link in terms of nationality with the country where the ship is registered. Sometimes open registers are known as flags of convenience if the registration requirements concerning manning or maintenance are not stringent, or where tax is low.

Out of Gauge:
Said of cargo which will not fit inside a container or whose dimensions exceed any of the external dimensions of the container on which it is carried. Also called dimensional, over-dimensional, over-sized or over sized. Abbreviated to OOG.

Panama Canal Restrictions:
The current maximum dimensions allowed by the Panama Canal Authority are 294.13 m (965 ft) length, 32.31 m (106 ft) breadth, and 12.04 m (39 ft 6 in.) draft in tropical fresh water. These limitations enable vessels to navigate the three sets of canal locks, Gatun Locks, Pedro Miguel Locks, and Miraflores Locks.

Panamax (Ship):
Ship capable of transiting the Panama Canal (see Panama Canal restrictions), as distinct from post-Panamax ships which are too large. There are two main categories: Panamax bulk carrier of about 60-80,000 t deadweight, and Panamax containership of about 4,000-5,000 TEUs with 13 TEUs across the breadth.

Post-Panamax (Ship):
Ship so large that she cannot transit the Panama Canal. There are three main categories: Post-Panamax bulk carrier, Post-Panamax tanker, and Post-Panamax containership of about 5,000-9,000 TEUs with 17 or more TEUs across the breadth. The largest of these are sometimes referred to as super post-Panamax containerships or post-Panamax plus containerships.

Rate of Discharge or Rate of Discharging:
Number of tonnes or cubic metres or other unit of cargo discharged each day from a ship. Such a provision is often included in the terms of a charter-party. Also called discharge rate or abbreviated to disrate.

Revenue Ton (U.S.):
A unit of cargo measurement found in all ports of the United States. It can not be defined in units either of weight or of space occupied by the cargo as it varies from port to port, from line to line, and from ship to ship, depending on the customs of the port and the nature of the cargo carried by the individual vessel. For any one port, however, and particularly for any one group of ships specializing in the same trade and carrying approximately the same kind of commodities the revenue ton represents a tangible unit of cargo measurement and is frequently used as the only means of expressing the total cargo of the ships. All United States ships show on their manifests their total revenue tonnage, and very often they also indicate the total weight of the cargo in long tons. Abbreviated to RT

Ro-Ro/Container Vessel:
Ship which carries shipping containers and has cell guides within which to accommodate them; she also has decks to take roll-on roll-off cargo. Also known as a con-ro ship.

Compartment in the hold of a containership into which a shipping container fits exactly. It is used in preference to the alternative term 'cell' when referring to the number of such compartments on a ship and the arrangements sometimes made between different shipping lines to pool capacity or between a shipping line and a groupage operator or non vessel operating carrier (NVOC) to make use of space on the ship.

Slot Charter:
The chartering in of a ship by a fleet operator for a specific voyage when none of the ships in the fleet is available.

Person or firm contracted to load or discharge cargo.

The act of carefully placing various merchandise nearest to each other in a hold of a ship without the least possible loss of spacing and in such a safe manner as to render the ship cargo worthy and sea-worthy. The word stowage may also refer to the charges made for stowing cargo in a ship.

Maximum size of ship of certain categories capable of transitting the Suez Canal. The most common is the Suezmax tanker of 120-200,000 t deadweight. There is also a Suezmax containership, which has a container capacity of about 12,000 TEUs.

Swop Body (Swapbody):
Type of trailer used for combined rail and road transport. It is capable of being towed by a tractor unit on the roads as well as being carried on rail wagons. It was designed to maximise the number of pallets carried and with 2.50 m is wider than a standard shipping container. It stands on four legs to enable a tractor unit to be placed underneath. Early designs had soft tops and were incapable of being stacked, but more recently, many different models have appeared, including hard-top versions. These can be stacked whether empty or laden. Also spelled swap body, swopbody, or swop body.

Twenty foot equivalent unit(s).

Time Charter:
The hiring of a ship from a shipowner for a period of time. Under this type of contract, the shipowner places his ship, with crew and equipment, at the disposal of the charterer, for which the charterer pays hire money. Subject to any restrictions in the contract, the charterer decides the type and quantity of cargo to be carried and the ports of loading and discharging. He is responsible for supplying the ship with bunkers and for the payment of cargo to be carried and the port of loading and discharging. He is responsible for supplying the ship with bunkers and for the payment of cargo handling operations, port charges, pilotage, towage and ship's agency. The technical operation and navigation of the ship remain the responsibility of the shipowner. A ship hired in this way is said to be on time charter. Abbreviation for time charter-party.

Transfer of goods from one ship to another. This transfer may be direct or it may be necessary to discharge the goods on to the quay prior to loading them on to the second ship, or on to vehicles should the second ship be loading at a different berth. Alternative spellings are transhipment and trans-shipment.

turn (a ship) round (to):
To bring a ship into port, load or discharge her and sail her from the port. This term is most often used in connection with the time taken to carry out this operation.

Turn Round Time or Turnround Time or Turnaround Time:
Time between a ship arriving in port and sailing.

Uncontainerisible Cargo:
Cargo which because of its overall dimensions will not fit into or onto a single shipping container. On routes which are fully containerised, such cargo can sometimes be accommodated on two or more flatracks or platform flats. Cargo is also considered uncontainerisible if it is too heavy for a single container. In this case, it may be secured on the deck of a ship. Often abbreviated to uncon.

Source: Based on various sources, among others: ISL Shipping Statistics Yearbook 2005; Dictionary of Shipping Terms (Fourth Edition); Glossary of Maritime Technology; The Marine Encyclopaedic Dictionary.

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