S – Z


An embargo imposed by a Government against another country.

Abbreviation for: – Sight draft. – Sea damage.

See Owner Code.

Schedule B
The Statistical Classification of Domestic and Foreign Commodities Exported from the United States.

Sea-Bee Vessels
Ocean vessels constructed with heavy-duty submersible hydraulic lift or elevator system at the stern of the vessel. The Sea-Bee system facilitates forward transfer and positioning of barges. Sea-Bee barges are larger than LASH barges. The Sea-Bee system is no longer used.

Sea Waybill
Document indicating the goods were loaded onboard when a document of title (b/L) is not needed.  Typically used when a company is shipping goods to itself.

The fitness of a vessel for its intended use.

“U.S. Commerce Department document, ‘Shipper’s Export Declaration.'”

A string of vessels which makes a particular voyage and serves a particular market.

Service Contract
“As provided in the Shipping Act of 1984, a contract between a shipper (or a shippers association) and an ocean common carrier (or conference) in which the shipper makes a commitment to provide a certain minimum quantity of cargo or freight revenue over a fixed time period, and the ocean common carrier or conference commits to a certain rate or rate schedule as well as a defined service level (such as assured space, transit time, port rotation or similar service features). The contract may also specify provisions in the event of nonperformance on the part of either party. ”

Saturday and Holidays Excluded.

Saturday and Holidays Included.

Ship Chandler
An individual or company selling equipment and supplies for ships.

Ship Demurrage
A charge for delaying a steamer beyond a stipulated period.

Ship’s Bells
“Measure time onboard ship. One bell sounds for each half hour. One bell means 12:30, two bells mean 1:00, three bells mean 1:30, and so on until 4:00 (eight bells). At 4:30 the cycle begins again with one bell.”

Ship’s Manifest
A statement listing the particulars of all shipments loaded for a specified voyage.

Ship’s Tackle
“All rigging, cranes, etc., utilized on a ship to load or unload cargo.”

The tender of one lot of cargo at one time from one shipper to one consignee on one bill of lading.

The person or company who is usually the supplier or owner of commodities shipped. Also called Consignor.

Shippers Association
A non-profit entity that represents the interests of a number of shippers. The main focus of shippers associations is to pool the cargo volumes of members to leverage the most favorable service contract rate levels.

“Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED, ‘Ex Dec’)”
“A joint Bureau of the Census’ International Trade Administration form used for compiling U.S. exports. It is completed by a shipper and shows the value, weight, destination, etc., of export shipments as well as Schedule B commodity code. ”

Shipper’s Instructions
“Shipper’s communication(s) to its agent and/or directly to the international water-carrier. Instructions may be varied, e.g., specific details/clauses to be printed on the B/L, directions for cargo pickup and delivery. ”

Shipper’s Letter of Instructions for issuing an Air Waybill
The document required by the carrier or freight forwarders to obtain (besides the data needed) authorization to issue and sign the air waybill in the name of the shipper.

Shipper’s Load & Count (SL&C)
Shipments loaded and sealed by shippers and not checked or verified by the carriers.

Shipping Act of 1916
“The act of the U.S. Congress (1916) that created the U.S. Shipping Board to develop water transportation, operate the merchant ships owned by the government, and regulate the water carriers engaged in commerce under the flag of the United States. As of June 18, 1984, applies only to domestic offshore ocean transport.”

Shipping Act of 1984
“Effective June 18, 1984, describes the law covering water transportation in the U.S. foreign trade. “

Shipping Act of 1998
Amends the Act of 1984 to provide for confidential service contracts and other items.

Shipping Order
Shipper’s instructions to carrier for forwarding goods; usually the triplicate copy of the bill of lading.

“- Bulk Carriers: All vessels designed to carry bulk cargo such as grain, fertilizers, ore, and oil.”
– Combination Passenger and Cargo Ships: Ships with a capacity for 13 or more passengers.
“- Freighters: Breakbulk vessels both refrigerated and unrefrigerated, containerships, partial containerships, roll.on/roll.off vessels, and barge carriers. ”
– Barge Carriers: Ships designed to carry barges; some are fitted to act as full containerships and can carry a varying number of barges and containers at the same time. At present this class includes two types of vessels LASH and Sea-Bee.
“- General Cargo Carriers: Breakbulk freighters, car carriers, cattle carriers, pallet carriers and timber carriers.”
“- Full Containerships: Ships equipped with permanent container cells, with little or no space for other types of cargo.”
– Partial Containerships: Multipurpose containerships where one or more but not all compartments are fitted with permanent container cells. Remaining compartments are used for other types of cargo.
– Roll-on/Roll-off vessels: Ships specially designed to carry wheeled containers or trailers using interior ramps.
“- Tankers: Ships fitted with tanks to carry liquid cargo such as: crude petroleum and petroleum products; chemicals, Liquefied gasses(LNG and LPG), wine, molasses, and similar product tankers. ”

A prop or support placed against or beneath anything to prevent sinking or sagging.

Short Ton (ST)
“2,000 pounds.”

Shrink Wrap
“Polyethylene or similar substance heat-treated and shrunk into an envelope around several units, thereby securing them as a single pack for presentation or to secure units on a pallet. “

Side Loader
A lift truck fitted with lifting attachments operating to one side for handling containers.

Side-Door Container
A container fitted with a rear door and a minimum of one side door.

Sight Draft
A draft payable upon presentation to the drawee.

“Battens, or a series of parallel runners, fitted beneath boxes or packages to raise them clear of the floor to permit easy access of forklift blades or other handling equipment.”

Shippers load and count. All three clauses are used as needed on the bill of lading to exclude the carrier from liability when the cargo is loaded by the shipper.

Loaded containers moving within the railroad system that are not clearly identified on any internally generated reports.

A wire or rope contrivance placed around cargo and used to load or discharge it to/from a vessel.

A vessel’s berth between two piers.

“Abbreviation for ‘Subject to Particular Average.’ See also Particular Average. ”

Spine Car
An articulated five-platform railcar. Used where height and weight restrictions limit the use of stack cars. It holds five 40-foot containers or combinations of 40- and 20-foot containers.

Placing a container where required to be loaded or unloaded.

A piece of equipment designed to lift containers by their corner castings.

“The force that holds a vessel upright or returns it to upright if keeled over. Weight in the lower hold increases stability. A vessel is stiff if it has high stability, tender if it has low stability.”

Stack Car
An articulated five-platform rail car that allows containers to be double stacked. A typical stack car holds ten 40-foot equivalent units (FEU’s).

A rail service whereby rail cars carry containers stacked two high on specially operated unit trains. Each train includes up to 35 articulated multi-platform cars. Each car is comprised of 5 well-type platforms upon which containers can be stacked. No chassis accompany containers.

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)
A standard numerical code used by the U.S. Government to classify products and services.

Standard International Trade Classification (SITC)
“A standard numeric code developed by the United Nations to classify commodities used in international trade, based on a hierarchy.”

The right side of a ship when facing the bow.

Statute Of Limitation
A law limiting the time in which claims or suits may be instituted.

“Abbreviation for ‘Standard Transportation Commodity Code.'”

Steamship Conference
A group of vessel operators joined together for the purpose of establishing freight rates.

Steamship Guarantee
An indemnity issued to the carrier by a bank; protects the carrier against any possible losses or damages arising from release of the merchandise to the receiving party. This instrument is usually issued when the bill of lading is lost or is not available.

The end of a vessel. Opposite of bow.

Individual or firm that employs longshoremen and who contracts to load or unload the ship.

Store-Door Pick-up Delivery
A complete package of pick up or delivery services performed by a carrier from origin to final consumption point.

A marine term referring to loading freight into ships’ holds.

Said to contain.

Straddle Carrier
Mobile truck equipment with the capacity for lifting a container within its own framework.

Straight Bill of Lading
A non-negotiable bill of lading which states a specific identity to whom the goods should be delivered. See Bill of Lading.

Removing cargo from a container (devanning).

Putting cargo into a container.

Said to weigh.

“To put in place of another; i.e., when an insurance company pays a claim it is placed in the same position as the payee with regard to any rights against others.”

Surface Transportation Board (STB)
The U.S. federal body charged with enforcing acts of the U.S. Congress that affect common carriers in interstate commerce. STB replaced the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) in 1997.

Sufferance Wharf
A wharf licensed and attended by Customs authorities.

Supply Chain
“A logistical management system which integrates the sequence of activities from delivery of raw materials to the manufacturer through to delivery of the finished product to the customer into measurable components. “”Just in Time”” is a typical value-added example of supply chain management. ”

An extra or additional charge.

An additional extra tax.’


“Abbreviation for “”Transportation and Exportation.”” Customs form used to control cargo movement from port of entry to port of exit, meaning that the cargo is moving from one country, through the United States, to another country. ”

Rear of a container or trailer-opposite the front or nose.

Tare Weight
“In railcar or container shipments, the weight of the empty railcar or empty container.”

Tariff (Trf.)
“A publication setting forth the charges, rates and rules of transportation companies. “

“Used for sending messages to outside companies. Messages are transmitted via Western Union, ITT and RCA. Being replaced by fax and internet.”

Temperature Recorder
A device to record temperature in a container while cargo is en route.

The offer of goods for transportation or the offer to place cars or containers for loading or unloading.

Time and date for payment of a draft.

“An assigned area in which containers are prepared for loading into a vessel, train, truck, or airplane or are stacked immediately after discharge from the vessel, train, truck, or airplane. ”

Terminal Charge
A charge made for a service performed in a carrier’s terminal area.

Terms of Sale
“The point at which sellers have fulfilled their obligations so the goods in a legal sense could be said to have been delivered to the buyer. They are shorthand expressions that set out the rights and obligations of each party when it comes to transporting the goods. Following, are the thirteen terms of sale in international trade as Terms of Sale reflected in the recent amendment to the International chamber of Commerce Terms of Trade (INCOTERMS), effective July 1990: exw, fca, fas, fob, cfr, cif, cpt, cip, daf, des, deq, ddu and ddp. “

“- EXW (Ex Works) (…Named Place): A Term of Sale which means that the seller fulfills the obligation to deliver when he or she has made the goods available at his/her premises (i.e., works, factory, warehouse, etc.) to the buyer. In particular, the seller is not responsible for loading the goods in the vehicle provided by the buyer or for clearing the goods for export, unless otherwise agreed. The buyer bears all costs and risks involved in taking the goods from the seller’s premises to the desired destination. This term thus represents the minimum obligation for the seller. ”

“- FCA (Free Carrier) (… Named Place): A Term of Sale which means the seller fulfills their obligation when he or she has handed over the goods, cleared for export, into the charge of the carrier named by the buyer at the named place or point. If no precise point is indicated by the buyer, the seller may choose, within the place or range stipulated, where the carrier should take the goods into their charge.”

– FAS (Free Alongside Ship) (…Named Port of Shipment): A Term of Sale which means the seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been placed alongside the vessel on the quay or in lighters at the named port of shipment.This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks of loss of or damage to the goods from that moment.

– FOB (Free On Board) (…Named Port of Shipment): An International Term of Sale that means the seller fulfills his or her obligation to deliver when the goods have passed over the ship’s rail at the named port of shipment. This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks to loss of or damage to the goods from that point. The FOB term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.

“- CFR (Cost and Freight) (…Named Port of Destination): A Term of Sale where the seller pays the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination, Terms of Sale but the risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as (continued) well as any additional costs due to events occurring after the time the goods have been delivered on board the vessel, is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods pass the ship’s rail in the port of shipment. The CFR term requires the seller to clear the goods for export. ”

“- CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) (…Named Place of Destination): A Term of Sale where the seller has the same obligations as under the CFR but also has to procure marine insurance against the buyer’s risk of loss or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts for insurance and pays the insurance premium. The CIF term requires the seller to clear the goods for export. ”

“- CPT (Carriage Paid To) (…Named Place of Destination): A Term of Sale which means the seller pays the freight for the carriage of the goods to the named destination. The risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as well as any additional costs due to events occurring after the time the goods have been delivered to the carrier, is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods have been delivered into the custody of the carrier. If subsequent carriers are used for the carriage to the agreed upon destination, the risk passes when the goods have been delivered to the first carrier. The CPT term requires the seller to clear the goods for export. ”

“- CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid To) (…Named Place of Destination): A Term of Sale which means the seller has the same obligations as under CPT, but with the addition that the seller has to procure cargo insurance against the buyer’s risk of loss of or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts for insurance and pays the insurance premium. The buyer should note that under the CIP term the seller is required to obtain insurance only on minimum coverage. The CIP term requires the seller to clear the goods for export. ”

“- DAF (Delivered At Frontier) (…Named Place): A Term of Sale which means the sellers fulfill their obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available, cleared for export, at the named point and placed at the frontier, but before the customs Terms of Sale border of the adjoining country. (continued) ”

“- DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid) (…Named Port of Destination): A Term of Sale where the seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available at the named place in the country of importation. The seller has to bear the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods thereto (excluding duties, taxes and other official charges payable upon importation) as well as the costs and risks of carrying out customs formalities. The buyer has to pay any additional costs and to bear any risks caused by failure to clear the goods for in time. ”

“- DDP (Delivered Duty paid) (…Named Port of Destination): “”Delivered Duty Paid”” means that the seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available at the named place in the country of importation. The seller has to bear the risks and costs, including duties, taxes and other charges of delivering the goods thereto, clear for importation. While the EXW term represents the minimum obligation for the seller, DDP represents the maximum. ”

“- DES (Delivered Ex Ship) (…Named Port of Destination): A Term of Sale where the seller fulfills his/her obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available to the buyer on board the ship, uncleared for import at the named port of destination. The seller has to bear all the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods to the named port destination. ”

“- DEQ (Delivered Ex Quay, [Duty Paid]) (…Named Port of Destination): A Term of Sale which means the DDU term has been fulfilled when the goods have been available to the buyer on the quay (wharf) at the named port of destination, cleared for importation. The seller has to bear all risks and costs including duties, taxes and other charges of delivering the goods thereto. ”

To Be Nominated.  (When the name of a ship is still unknown.)

“Abbreviation for ‘Twenty foot Equivalent Unit.'”

100 cubic feet.

Through Rate
The total rate from the point of origin to final destination.

Throughput Charge
The charge for moving a container through a container yard off or onto a ship.

Time Charter
“A contract for leasing between the ship owners and the lessee. It would state, e.g., the duration of the lease in years or voyages. ”

Time Draft
A draft that matures either a certain number of days after acceptance or a certain number of days after the date of the draft.

“- ‘Transport International par la Route.’Road transport operating agreement among European governments and the United States for the international movement of cargo by road. Display of the TIR carnet allows sealed containerloads to cross national frontiers without inspection. ”

“Abbreviation for ‘Trailer Load.'”

“Abbreviation for ‘Trailer on Flat Car.’The movement of a highway trailer on a railroad flatcar. Also known as Piggyback. ”

– A unit used in comparing freight earnings or expenses. The amount earned from the cost of hauling a ton of freight one mile.
– The movement of a ton of freight one mile.

Generally refers to freight handled.

Top-Air Delivery
“A type of air circulation in a container. In top air units, air is drawn from the bottom of the container, filtered through the evaporator for cooling and then forced through the ducted passages along the top of the container. This type of airflow requires a special loading pattern.”

The charge made for towing a vessel.

Unit of highway motive power used to pull one or more trailers/containers.

Trade Acceptance
A time or a date draft that has been accepted by the buyer (the drawee) for payment at maturity.

Persons and property carried by transport lines.

The truck unit into which freight is loaded as in tractor trailer combination. See Container.

Tramp Line
An ocean carrier company operating vessels not on regular runs or schedules.  They call at any port where cargo may be available.

To move cargo from one place to another.

Transportation & Exit (T&E)
“Allows foreign merchandise arriving at one port to be transported in bond through the U.S. to be exported from another port, without paying duty.”

“To transfer goods from one transportation line to another, or from one ship to another. “

Transshipment Port
Place where cargo is transferred to another carrier.

Trust Receipt
Release of merchandise by a bank to a buyer while the bank retains title to the merchandise. The goods are usually obtained for manufacturing or sales purposes. The buyer is obligated to maintain the goods (or the proceeds from their sales) distinct from the remainder of the assets and to hold them ready for repossession by the bank.

“In water transportation, the time it takes between the arrival of a vessel and its departure.”

Twist Locks
A set of four twistable bayonet type shear keys used as part of a spreader to pick up a container or as part of a chassis to secure the containers.

Two-Way Pallet
A pallet so designed that the forks of a fork lift truck can be inserted from two sides only.


“Abbreviation for the “”Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits,”” published by the International Chamber of Commerce. This is the most frequently used standard for making payments in international trade; e.g., paying on a Letter of Credit. It is most frequently referred to by its shorthand title: UCP No. 500. This revised publication reflects recent changes in the transportation and banking industries, such as electronic transfer of funds.”

“Abbreviation for ‘Uniform Freight Classification.'”

The space not filled with liquid in a drum or tank.

“United Nations EDI for Administration, Commerce and Transport. EDI Standards are developed and supported by the UN for electronic message (data) interchange on an international level. ”

Unclaimed Freight
Freight that has not been called for or picked up by the consignee or owner.

To charge less than the proper amount.

Uniform Customs and Practices for Documentary Credits (UCP)
Rules for letters of credit drawn up by the Commission on Banking Technique and Practices of the International Chamber of Commerce in consultation with the banking associations of many countries. See Terms of Payment.

Unit Load
“Packages loaded on a pallet, in a crate or any other way that enables them to be handled at one time as a unit.”

Unit Train
“A train of a specified number of railcars, perhaps 100, which remain as a unit for a designated destination or until a change in routing is made. ”

– The consolidation of a quantity of individual items into one large shipping unit for easier handling. “- Loading one or more large items of cargo onto a single piece of equipment, such as a pallet.”

Removal of a shipment from a vessel.

U.S. Consular Invoice
A document required on merchandise imported into the United States


Validated Export License
A document issued by the U.S. government; authorizes the export of commodities for which written authorization is required by law.

Authentication of B/L and when B/L becomes effective.

A term for stowing cargo in a container.

Variable Cost
“Costs that vary directly with the level of activity within a short time. Examples include costs of moving cargo inland on trains or trucks, stevedoring in some ports, and short-term equipment leases. For business analysis, all costs are either defined as variable or fixed. For a business to break even, all fixed costs must be covered. To make a profit, all variable and fixed costs must be recovered plus some extra amount. “

Ventilated Container
A container designed with openings in the side and/or end walls to permit the ingress of outside air when the doors are closed.

Vessel Supplies for Immediate Exportation (VSIE)
“Allows equipment and supplies arriving at one port to be loaded on a vessel, aircraft, etc., for its exclusive use and to be exported from the same port. ”

Vessel Manifest
“The international carrier is obligated to make declarations of the ship’s crew and contents at both the port of departure and arrival. The vessel manifest lists various details about each shipment by B/L number. Obviously, the B/L serves as the core source from which the manifest is created. ”

Namely. Used in tariffs to specify commodities.



War Risk
Insurance coverage for loss of goods resulting from any act of war.

“A place for the reception, delivery, consolidation, distribution, and storage of goods/cargo.”

Warehouse Entry
Document that identifies goods imported when placed in a bonded warehouse. The duty is not imposed on the products while in the warehouse but will be collected when they are withdrawn for delivery or consumption.

Warehouse Withdrawal for Transportation Immediate Exportation (WDEX)
Allows merchandise that has been withdrawn from a bonded warehouse at one U.S. port to be exported from the same port exported without paying duty.

Warehouse Withdrawal for Transportation (WDT)
“Allows merchandise that has been withdrawn from a bonded warehouse at one port to be transported in bond to another port, where a superseding entry will be filed.”

Warehouse Withdrawal for Transportation Exportation (WDT&E)
“Allows merchandise that has been withdrawn from a bonded warehouse at one port to be transported in bond through the U.S. to be exported from another port, without paying duty.”

The storing of goods/cargo.

Waybill (WB)
“A document prepared by a transportation line at the point of a shipment; shows the point of the origin, destination, route, consignor, consignee, description of shipment and amount charged for the transportation service. It is forwarded with the shipment or sent by mail to the agent at the transfer point or waybill destination. ”
“Abbreviation is WB. Unlike a bill of lading, a waybill is NOT a document of title.”

Weight Cargo
A cargo on which the transportation charge is assessed on the basis of weight.

Well Car
Also known as stack car. A drop-frame Rail flat car.

Wharfage (Whfge.)
Charge assessed by a pier or dock owner against freight handled over the pier or dock or against a steamship company using the pier or dock.

Whether In Berth or Not.

Windy Booking
“A freight booking made by a skipper or freight forwarder to serve space but not actually having a specific cargo at the time the booking is made. Carriers often overbook a vessel by 10 to 20 percent in recognition that “”windy booking”” cargo will not actually ship.”

Without Recourse
A phrase preceding the signature of a drawer or endorser of a negotiable instrument; signifies that the instrument is passed onto subsequent holders without any liability to the endorser in the event of nonpayment or nondelivery.

W.M. (W/M)
“Abbreviation for ‘Weight or Measurement;’ the basis for assessing freight charges. Also known as “”worm.”” The rate charged under W/M will be whichever produces the highest revenue between the weight of the shipment and the measure of the shipment.”

“Abbreviation for ‘With Particular Average.'”

Western Truck Lines.

Weather Working Days.


“A classification, storage or switching area. ”

York-Antwerp Rules of 1974
Established the standard basis for adjusting general average and stated the rules for adjusting claims.

Zulu Time
Time based on Greenwich Mean Time.