C – D


“C&F Terms of Sale, or INCOTERMS. ” 

“Obsolete, albeit heavily used, term of sale meaning “”cargo and freight”” whereby Seller pays for cost of goods and freight charges up to destination port. In July, 1990 the International Chamber of Commerce replaced C&F with CFR. ”


“Water transportation term applicable to shipments between ports of a nation; commonly refers to coast-wise or inter-coastal navigation or trade. Many nations, including the United States, have cabotage laws which require national flag vessels to provide domestic interport service.



Abbreviation for “”Currency Adjustment Factor.”

” A charge, expressed as a percentage of a base rate, that is applied to compensate ocean carriers of currency fluctuations.”


“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. Any of various Customs documents required for crossing some international borders.”

Captain’s Protest 

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


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

Car Pooling 

Use of individual carrier/rail 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 numbered for record purposes.


Freight loaded into a ship.

Cargo Manifest

A manifest that lists all cargo carried on a specific vessel voyage.

Cargo NOS 

Cargo Not Otherwise Specified. Usually the rate entry in a tariff that can apply to commodities not covered under a specific item or sub.item in the applicable tariff.

Cargo Preference

Cargo reserved by a Nation’s laws for transportation only on vessels registered in that Nation. Typically the cargo is moving due to a direct or indirect support or activity of the Government.

Cargo Tonnage

“Most ocean freight is billed on the basis of weight or measurement tons (W/M). Weight tons can be expressed in short tons of 2000 pounds, long tons of 2240 pounds or metric tons of 1000 kilos (2204.62 pounds). Measurement tons are usually expressed as cargo measurement of 40 cubic feet (1.12 meters) or cubic meters (35.3 cubic feet.) ”

Carload Rate 

A rate applicable to a carload of goods.


“Any person or entity who, in a contract of carriage, undertakes to perform or to procure the performance of carriage by rail, road, sea, air, inland waterway or by a combination of such modes. ”

Carrier’s Certificate

A certificate required by U.S. Customs to release cargo properly to the correct party. 

Usually refers to intra.city hauling on drays or trucks.


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

Cash Against Documents (CAD)

“Method of payment for goods in which documents transferring title are given the buyer upon payment of cash to an intermediary acting for the seller, usually a commission house. ”

Cash in Advance (CIA) 

“A method of payment for goods in which the buyer pays the seller in advance of the shipment of goods. Usually employed when the goods, such as specialized machinery, are built to order.”

Cash With Order (CWO) 

A method of payment for goods in which cash is paid at the time of order and the transaction becomes binding on both buyer and seller.


Abbreviation for ‘Cubic Meter.’


“Abbreviation for ‘Consumption Entry.’The process of declaring the importation of foreign made goods for use in the United States. ”


The construction system employed in container vessels; permits ship containers to be stowed in a vertical line with each container supporting the one above it.

Center of Gravity

“The point of equilibrium of the total weight of a containership, truck, train or a piece of cargo. ”


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

– The document issued by the U.S. Coast Guard certifying an American flag vessel’s compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Certificate of Origin 

A certified document showing the origin of goods; used in international commerce.


“Abbreviation for “”Container Freight Station.”” A shipping dock where cargo is loaded (‘stuffed’) into or unloaded (‘stripped’) from containers. Generally, this involves less than containerload shipments, although small shipments destined to same consignee are often consolidated. Container reloading from/to rail or motor carrier equipment is a typical activity. ”

Charter Party

“A written contract between the owner of a vessel and the person desiring to employ the vessel (charterer); sets forth the terms of the arrangement such as duration of agreement, freight rate and ports involved in the trip. ”


A frame with wheels and container locking devices in order to secure the container for movement.


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


“Abbreviation for ‘Cost and Insurance.’A price that includes the cost of the goods, the marine insurance and all transportation charges except the ocean freight to the named point of destination. ”


“Abbreviation for ‘Cost, Insurance, Freight.'(Named Port) Same as C&F or CFR except seller also provides insurance to named destination. ”

CIF & C 

Price includes commission as well as CIF. 

Abbreviation for ‘Cost, Insurance, Freight And Exchange.’

Abbreviation for ‘Cost, Insurance, Freight, Collection And Interest.’


“Cost, Insurance, Freight, Interest and Exchange. ”


“Abbreviation for ‘Completely Knocked Down.’Parts and subassemblies being transported to an assembly plant. ”


“Abbreviation for ‘Carload’and ‘Containerload’. ”


A demand made upon a transportation line for payment on account of a loss sustained through its alleged negligence.


“A publication,such as 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. ”


The designation provided in a classification by which a class rate is determined.

Classification Yard

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

Clayton Act 

An anti-trust act of the U.S. 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 ‘apparent good order and condition,’without damage or other irregularities. If no notation or exception is made, the B/L is assumed to be ‘cleaned.’

Cleaning in Transit

“The stopping of articles, such as peanuts, etc., for cleaning at a point between the point of origin and destination. ”


“The size beyond which cars or loads cannot use Limits bridges, tunnels, etc.”


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

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


“Abbreviation for ‘Cubic Meter'(capital letters). ” 

”Abbreviation for ‘centimeter.'” 

Water transportation along the coast.


Abbreviation for: – Collect (cash) on Delivery. – Carried on Docket (pricing).


Abbreviation for the Railway Service ‘Container On Flat Car.’


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


A bank that acts as an agent to the seller’s bank (the presenting bank). The collecting bank assumes no responsibility for either the documents or the merchandise.


“A draft drawn on the 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 noncompeting manufacturer.

Combination Rate

“A rate made up of two or more factors, separately published. ”

Commercial Invoice

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


“Article shipped. For dangerous and hazardous cargo, the correct commodity identification is critical.”

Commodity Rate

A rate published to apply to a specific article or articles.

Common Carrier

A transportation company which provides service to the general public at published rates.

Common Law

“Law that derives its force and authority from precedent, custom and usage rather than from statutes, particularly with reference to the laws of England and the United States.”

Concealed Damage

Damage that is not evident from viewing the unopened package.


An association of ship owners operating in the same trade route who operate under collective conditions and agree on 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 the foreign bank defaults.”

Confirming Bank

The bank that adds its confirmation to another bank’s (the issuing bank’s) letter of credit and promises to pay the beneficiary upon presentation of documents specified in the letter of credit.

Connecting Carrier

“A carrier which has a direct physical connection with, or forms a link between two or more carriers.”


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 of discharge. ”


“(1) A stock of merchandise advanced to a dealer and located at his place of business, but with title remaining in the source of supply.”

(2) A shipment of goods to a consignee. 

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


Cargo containing shipments of two or more shippers or suppliers. Containerload shipments may be consolidated for one or more consignees.


“A person or firm performing a consolidation service for others. The consolidator takes advantage of lower full carload (FCL) rates, and savings are passed on to shippers. ”

Construction Differential Subsidy 

A program whereby the U.S. government attempted to offset the higher shipbuilding cost in the U.S. by paying up to 50% of the difference between cost of U.S. and non-U.S. construction. The difference went to the U.S. shipyard. It is unfunded since 1982.


A government official residing in a foreign country who represents the interests of her or his country and its nationals.

Consular Declaration 

A formal statement describing goods to be shipped; filed with and approved by the consul 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 the value, quantity and nature of the cargo. ”

Consular Visa

An official signature or seal affixed 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 the United States.


“A truck trailer body that can be detached from the chassis for loading into 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 feet, 40 feet, 45 feet, 48 feet or 53 feet 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 Freight Station

See CFS.

Container Manifest 

Document showing contents and loading sequence of a container.

Container Pool 

An agreement between parties that allows the efficient use and supply of containers. A common supply of containers available to the shipper as required.

Container Terminal

“An area designated for the stowage of cargoes in container; usually accessible by truck, railroad and marine transportation. Here containers are picked up, dropped off, maintained and housed. ”

Container Yard (CY) 

A materials handling/storage facility used for completely unitized loads in containers and/or empty containers. Commonly referred to as CY.

Containerizable Cargo

Cargo that will fit into a container and result in an economical shipment.


Stowage of general or special cargoes in a container for transport in the various modes.

Container Load 

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


Cargo that is prohibited.


A legally binding agreement between two or more persons/organizations to carry out reciprocal obligations or value.

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 frame 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. ”

Correspondent Bank 

“A bank that, in its own country, handles the business of a foreign bank.”

“Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) “

“Cost of goods, marine insurance and all transportation (freight) charges are paid to the foreign point of delivery by the seller. ”

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.”


“An abbreviation for “”Cubic.”” A unit of volume measurement. ”

Cube Out

When a container or vessel has reached its volumetric capacity before its permitted weight limit.

Cubic Foot

“1,728 cubic inches. A volume contained in a space measuring one foot high, one foot wide and one foot long.”


“A government office where duties are paid, import documents filed, etc., on foreign shipments. ”

Customhouse Broker

“A person or firm, licensed by the treasury department of their country when required, engaged in entering and clearing goods through Customs for a client (importer).”


Government agency charged with enforcing the rules passed to protect the country’s import and export revenues.

Customs Bonded Warehouse 

A warehouse authorized by Customs to receive duty-free merchandise. 

Customs Entry 
All countries require that the importer make a declaration on incoming foreign goods. The importer then normally pays a duty on the imported merchandise. The importer’s statement is compared against the carrier’s vessel manifest to ensure that all foreign goods are properly declared.

Customs Invoice 

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

Customs of the Port

A phrase often included in charter parties and freight contracts referring to local rules and practices which may impact upon the costs borne by  the various parties. 

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


“Hundred weight (United States, 100 pounds: U.K.,112) ”


– Abbreviation for Container Yard.

– The designation for full container receipt/delivery.



“Abbreviation for “”Dangerous and Hazardous”” cargo.”


“Abbreviation for “”Doing Business As.”” A legal term for conducting business under a registered name. ”


“Abbreviation for “”Destination Delivery Charge.”” A charge, based on container size, that is applied in many tariffs to cargo. This charge is considered accessorial and is added to the base ocean freight. This charge covers crane lifts off the vessel, drayage of the container within the terminal and gate fees at the terminal operation.”


leg of a move without a paying cargo load.  Usually refers to repositioning an empty piece of equipment.

Deadweight Cargo 

A long ton of cargo that can be stowed in less than 40 cubic feet.


“The number of tons of 2,240 pounds that a vessel can transport of cargo, stores and bunker fuel. It is the difference between the number of tons of water a vessel displaces ‘light’and the number of tons it displaces when submerged to the ‘load line.'”

Deconsolidation Point

Place where loose or other non-containerized cargo is ungrouped for delivery.

Deficit Weight

The weight by which a shipment is less than the minimum weight.

Delivery Instructions 

“Order to pick up goods at a named place and deliver them to a pier. Usually issued by exporter to trucker but may apply to a railroad, which completes delivery by land. Use is limited to a few major U.S. ports. Also known as shipping delivery order.”


“Demurrage/Despatch money.  (Under vessel chartering terms, the amount to be paid if the ship is loading/discharging slower/faster than foreseen.)”


A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying the carrier’s equipment beyond the allowed free time. The  free time and demurrage charges are set forth in the charter party or freight tariff.  – See also Detention and Per Diem.


The weight of cargo  per cubic foot or other unit. 

”Depot, Container ” 
Container freight station or a designated area where empty containers can be picked up or dropped off.


An incentive payment paid to a carrier to loading and unloading the cargo faster than agreed.  Usually negotiated only in charter parties.


– The place to which a shipment is consigned. – The place where carrier actually turns over cargo to consignee or his agent.

Destination Control Statements 

Various statements that the U.S. government requires to be displayed on export shipments. The statements specify the authorized destinations.


A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying carrier’s equipment beyond allowed time. Demurrage applies to cargo; detention applies to equipment. See Per Diem.


The unloading of a container or cargo van.


Damage Free Car. Boxcars equipped with special bracing material. 

An amount added or deducted from base rate to make a rate to or from some other point or via another route.

Discrepancy Letter of Credit

“When documents presented do not conform to the requirements of the letter of credit (L/C), it is referred to as a “”discrepancy.”” Banks will not process L/C’s which have discrepancies. They will refer the situation back to the buyer and/or seller and await further instructions.”


“The weight, in tons of 2,240 pounds, of the vessel and its contents. Calculated by dividing the volume of water displaced in cubic feet by 35, the average density of sea water. ”


A change made either in the route of a shipment in transit (see Reconsignment) or of the entire ship.


Carriers’ practice of dividing revenue received from through rates where joint hauls are involved. This is usually according to agreed formulae. 

”- For ships, a cargo handling area parallel to the shoreline where a vessel normally ties up.” “- For land transportation, a loading or unloading platform at an industrial location or carrier terminal. ”

Dock Receipt 

A form used to acknowledge receipt of cargo and often serves as basis for preparation of the ocean bill of lading.


Present a rate proposal to a conference meeting for adoption as a conference group rate.

Documents Against Acceptance (D/A) 

Instructions given by a shipper to a bank indicating that documents transferring title to goods should be delivered to the buyer only upon the buyer’s acceptance of the attached draft.

Documents Against Payment (D/P) 

An indication on a draft that the documents attached are to be released to the drawee only on payment.


A set of wheels that support the front of a container; used when the automotive unit is disconnected.


Through transportation of a container and its contents from consignor to consignee. Also known as House to House. Not necessarily a through rate.


Department of Transportation.


– The number of feet that the hull of a ship is beneath the surface of the water. ”

– An unconditional order in writing, addressed by one party (drawer) to another party (drawee), requiring the drawee to pay at a fixed or determinable future date a specified sum in lawful currency to the order of a specified person.”

“Draft, Bank “

“An order issued by a seller against a purchaser; directs payment, usually through an intermediary bank. Typical bank drafts are negotiable instruments and are similar in many ways to checks on checking accounts in a bank.”

“Draft, Clean” 

A draft to which no documents are attached.

“Draft, Date”

“A draft that matures on a fixed date, regardless of the time of acceptance.”

”Draft, Discounted ” 

A time draft under a letter of credit that has been accepted and purchased by a bank at a discount.

”Draft, Sight “

A draft payable on demand upon presentation.

”Draft, Time ” 

A draft that matures at a fixed or determinable time after presentation or acceptance.


A partial refund of an import fee. Refund usually results because goods are re-exported from the country that collected the fee.


The individual or firm that issues a draft and thus stands to receive payment.


Charge made for local hauling by dray or truck. Same as Cartage.


“Abbreviation for “”Destination Rail Freight Station.”” Same as CFS at destination, except a DRFS is operated by the rail carrier participating in the shipment. ”


Delay in Startup Insurance is a policy to protect the seller of a construction project from penalties if the project is not completed  on time.   See ‘Liquidated Damages.’

Dry Cargo

Cargo that is not liquid and normally does not require temperature control.

Dry-Bulk Container

“A container constructed to carry grain, powder and other free-flowing solids in bulk. Used in conjunction with a tilt chassis or platform. ”


“Attempting to import merchandise into a country at a price less than the fair market value, usually through subsidy by exporting country. ”