I – K



“Abbreviation for ‘Independent Action.’The right of a conference member to publish a rate of tariff rule that departs from the Agreement’s common rate or rule.”


“Abbreviation for (1) ‘Interstate Commerce Commission,’ (2) ‘International Chamber of Commerce.'”


“Stands for ‘Immediate Exit.’ In the U.S., Customs IE Form is used when goods are brought into the U.S. and are to be immediately re-exported without being transported within the U.S. ”


“International Maritime Consultative Organization. A forum in which most major maritime nations participate and through which recommendations for the carriage of dangerous goods, bulk commodities, and maritime regulations become internationally acceptable.”


International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code. The regulations published by the IMO for transporting hazardous materials internationally.

Immediate Exportation 

An entry that allows foreign merchandise arriving at one port to be exported from the same port without the payment of duty.

In-Transit Entry (I.T.)

“Allows foreign merchandise arriving at one port to be transported in bond to another port, where a superseding entry is filed. ” 

To receive goods from a foreign country.

Import License 

A document required and issued by some national governments authorizing the importation of goods. 

In Bond 
Cargo moving under Customs control where duty has not yet been paid.

In Gate

The transaction or interchange that occurs at the time a container is received by a rail terminal or water port from another carrier.

In Transit 

“In transit, or in passage.”

Incentive Rate 

A lower-than-usual tariff rate assessed because a shipper offers a greater volume than specified in the tariff. The incentive rate is assessed for that portion exceeding the normal volume.


“The recognized abbreviation for the International Chamber of Commerce Terms of Sale. These terms were last amended, effective July 1, 1990. ”

Indemnity Bond

An agreement to hold a carrier harmless with regard to a liability.

Independent Action

Setting rate within a conference tariff that is different from the rate(s) for the same items established by other conference members.

Independent Tariff 

Any body of rate tariffs that are not part of an agreement or conference system.


Placing a port on a vessel’s itinerary because the volume of cargo offered at  that port justifies the cost of routing the vessel.

Inherent Vice

“An insurance term referring to any defect or other characteristic of a product that could result in damage to the product without external cause (for example, instability in a chemical that could cause it to explode spontaneously). Insurance policies may exclude inherent vice losses. ”

Inland Carrier 

A transportation line that hauls export or import traffic between ports and inland points.

Inspection Certificate 

A certificate issued by an independent agent or firm attesting to the quality and/or quantity of the merchandise being shipped. Such a certificate is usually required in a letter of credit for commodity shipments.

Installment Shipments 

Successive shipments are permitted under letters of credit. Usually they must take place within a given period of time.

Insulated Container 

“A container insulated on the walls, roof, floor, and doors, to reduce the effect of external temperatures on the cargo.”

Insulated Container Tank 

The frame of a container constructed to hold one or more thermally insulated tanks for liquids.

Insurance with Average-clause 

“This type of clause covers merchandise if the damage amounts to three percent or more of the insured value of the package or cargo. If the vessel burns, sinks, collides, or sinks, all losses are fully covered. In marine insurance, the word average describes partial damage or partial loss.”

”Insurance, All-risk “

“This type of insurance offers the shipper the broadest coverage available, covering against all losses that may occur in transit.”

”Insurance, General-Average “

“In water transportation, the deliberate sacrifice of cargo to make the vessel safe for the remaining cargo.  Those sharing in the spared cargo proportionately cover the loss. ”

”Insurance, Particular Average “

“A Marine insurance term to refer to partial loss on an individual shipment from one of the perils insured against, regardless of the balance of the cargo. Particular average insurance can usually be obtained, but the loss must be in excess of a certain percentage of the insured value of the shipment, usually three to five percent, before a claim will be allowed by the company. ”

Interchange Point

A location where one carrier delivers freight to another carrier.


“Water service between two coasts; in the U.S., this usually refers to water service between the Atlantic and Pacific or Gulf Coasts. ”

Interline Freight 

Freight moving from origin to destination over the Freight lines of two or more transportation carriers.

Intermediate Point 

A point located en route between two other points.


“Used to denote movements of cargo containers interchangeably between transport modes, i.e., motor, water, and air carriers, and where the equipment is compatible within the multiple systems. ”


“An itemized list of goods shipped to a buyer, stating quantities, prices, shipping charges, etc. ”

Inward Foreign Manifest (IFM)

“A complete listing of all cargo entering the country of discharge. Required at all world ports and is the primary source of cargo control, against which duty is assessed by the receiving country. ”


“Abbreviation for ”

“Inland Point Intermodal.”

” Refers to inland points (non-ports) that can be served by carriers on a through bill of lading. ”


Letter of Credit 
Letter of credit in which the specified payment is guaranteed by the bank if all terms and conditions are met by the drawee and which cannot be revoked without joint agreement of both the buyer and the seller.


“International Standards Organization which deals in standards of all sorts, ranging from documentation to equipment packaging and labeling.


Issuing Bank 
Bank that opens a straight or negotiable letter of credit and assumes the obligation to pay the bank or beneficiary if the documents presented are in accordance with the terms of the letter of credit.

Issuing Carrier

The carrier issuing transportation documents or publishing a tariff.


“Abbreviation for ‘Immediate Transport.’The document (prepared by the carrier) allows shipment to proceed from the port of entry in the U.S. to Customs clearing at the destination. The shipment clears Customs at its final destination.   Also called an “”In-Transit”” Entry.”



A wood or fiber cover placed around such containers as cans and bottles.

Jacob’s Ladder 

A rope ladder suspended from the side of a vessel and used for boarding.

Act of throwing cargo or equipment (jetsam) overboard when a ship is in danger.


“Abbreviation for “”Just In Time.”” In this method of inventory control, warehousing is minimal or non.existent; the container is the movable warehouse and must arrive “”just in time;”” not too early nor too late. ”

Joint Rate

“A rate applicable from a point on one transportation line to a point on another line, made by agreement and published in a single tariff by all transportation lines over which the rate applies. ”



“Kilo or metric ton. 1,000 Kilos or 2,204.6 pounds. ”

”1,000 grams or 2.2046 pounds. ”

King Pin

A coupling pin centered on the front underside of a chassis; couples to the tractor.

Knocked Down (KD) 

Articles which are taken apart to reduce the cubic footage displaced or to make a better shipping unit and are to be re-assembled.


“One nautical mile (6,076 feet or 1852 meters) per hour. In the days of sail, speed was measured by tossing overboard a log which was secured by a line. Knots were tied into the line at intervals of approximately six feet. The number of knots measured was then compared against time required to travel the distance of 1000 knots in the line. ”

Known Loss 

A loss discovered before or at the time of delivery of a shipment.