Shipping terminologies for your guidance

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C.C.C. Mark

China Compulsory Certification; A compulsory safety mark for many products sold on the Chinese market.

It became effective on May 1st, 2002. It is the result of the integration of China's two old compulsory inspection systems, namely 'CCIB' (Safety Mark, introduced in 1989 and required for products in 47 product categories) and 'CCEE' (also known as 'Great Wall' Mark, for electrical commodities in 7 product categories), into a single procedure.


C.E. Mark

The CE marking is a mandatory conformity mark on many products placed on the single market in the European Economic Area (EEA). The CE marking certifies that a product has met EU consumer safety, health or environmental requirements.


C.F.S. Receiving Service

The term 'CFS Receiving Services' means the service performed at loading port in receiving and packing cargo into containers from CFS to CY or shipside. 'CFS Receiving Services' referred herein are restricted to the following:

Moving empty containers from CY to CFS

Drayage of loaded containers from CFS to CY and/or ship's tackle


Issuing dock receipt/shipping order

Physical movement of cargo into, out of and within CFS

Stuffing, sealing and marking containers


Ordinary sorting and stacking

Preparing carrier's internal container load plan


C.I.F. & C.

A price which includes commission as well as CIF.


C.Y./C.F.S. (House to Pier)

The term CY/CFS means containers packed by the shipper off a carrier's premises and delivered by the shipper to the carrier's CY, all at shipper's risk and expense and unpacked by carrier at the destination port CFS.



An enclosed room or compartment on a vessel.



A large rope.


Cable length

A measure of length or distance. It is equivalent to (UK) 1/10 nautical mile, approx. 600 feet; (USA) 120 fathoms, 720 feet (219 m); other countries use different values.



A French term, also used in English, to refer to the coasting trade, shipments between ports of a same nation.

Cabotage is often governed by statutes, requiring, for example, that only ships flying the flag of the coastal state concerned may engage in the coasting trade between ports of that state, unless 'waivers' are obtained from the government of the state.



The transportation of goods by truck to or from a vessel, aircraft, or bonded warehouse, all under customs custody.



The visit of a vessel to a port.


Call Sign

One of the earliest applications of radiotelegraph operation, long predating broadcast radio, were marine radio stations installed aboard ships at sea. Merchant vessels are assigned call signs by their national licensing authorities.

In the case of states such as Liberia or Panama, which are flags of convenience for ship registration, call signs for larger vessels consist of the national prefix plus three letters (for example, 3LXY, and sometimes followed by a number, i.e. 3Lxy2).



A type of anti-personnel cannon load in which lead balls or other loose metallic items were enclosed in a tin or iron shell. On firing, the shell would disintegrate releasing the smaller metal objects.


Canoe Stern

A design for the stern of a yacht which is pointed, like a bow, rather than squared off as a transom.



The total internal container volume (LxWxD) or weight limitation.


Cape Horn Fever

The name of the fake illness from which a malingerer is pretending to suffer.



A vessel whose large size prevents it from entering the locks of the Panama Canal and thus forces it to pass around Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope.



When a ship or boat lists too far and rolls over, exposing the keel. On large vessels, this often results in the sinking of the ship.



A large winch with a vertical axis. A full-sized human-powered capstan is a waist-high cylindrical machine, operated by a number of hands who each insert a horizontal capstan bar in holes in the capstan and walk in a circle. Used to wind in anchors or other heavy objects; and sometimes to administer flogging over.


Captain's Protest

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


Captive Register

A register of ships maintained by a territory, possession, or colony primarily or exclusively for the use of ships owned in the parent country; also referred to as an offshore register, the offshore equivalent of an internal register.

Ships on a captive register will fly the same flag as the parent country, or a local variant of it, but will be subject to the maritime laws and taxation rules of the offshore territory.

Although the nature of a captive register makes it especially desirable for ships owned in the parent country, just as in the internal register, the ships may also be owned abroad. The captive register then acts as a flag of convenience register, except that it is not the register of an independent state.


Car Pooling

The use of individual carrier equipment through a central agency for the benefit of carriers and shippers.



Tilting a ship on its side, usually when beached, to clean or repair the hull below the water line.



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


Cargo Not Otherwise Specified
(Cargo N.O.S.)

Cargo Not Otherwise Specified, usually the first 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 Receipt

Receipt of cargo for shipment by a consolidator (used in ocean freight).


Cargo Tonnage

The weight ton varies from country to country

- United States : 2,000 (short ton) or 2,240 pounds (long ton);

- United Kingdom: the English long ton, or gross ton is 2,240 pounds;

- France and other countries having the metric system, the weight ton is 2,204.62 pounds.

The measurement ton is usually 40 cubic feet (1.12 meters) or 1 cubic meter (35.3 cubic feet), but in some instances a large number of cubic feet is taken as a weight ton.

Most breakbulk ocean freight is billed at weight or measurement tons (W/M).


Cargoans frieght
(C & F)

An obsolete Incoterms Term of Sale. Although heavily used, this term of sale meaning 'Cargo & Freight' whereby the seller pays for the costs of goods and freight charges up to the destination port. In 1990 the term was replaced with 'CFR'.


Carload Rate

A rate applicable to a carload of goods.



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.


Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (1)

An American term, known under its abbreviations, COGSA. US federal codification passed in 1936 which standardises carrier's liability under carrier's bill of lading. US enactment of The Hague Rules.


Carriage of Goods by Sea Act

A US federal codification passed in 1936 which standardises the carrier's liability under the carrier's bill of lading. U.S. enactment of The Hague Rules.



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


Carrier(s) Containers or Shipper(s) Containers

The term Carrier(s) Container(s) or Shipper(s) Container(s) means containers over which the carrier or the shipper has control either by ownership or by the acquisition thereof under lease or rental from container companies or container suppliers or from similar sources. Carriers are prohibited from purchasing, leasing or renting shipper-owned containers.


Carrier, Common

A public or privately owned firm or corporation that transports the goods of others over land, sea, or through the air, for a stated freight rate. By government regulation, a common carrier is required to carry all goods offered if accommodations are available and the established rate is paid.


Cars Knocked Down

Automobile parts and sub-assemblies manufactured abroad and transported to a US assembly plant.



The trucking, draying or carting of freight. Expression for the rate charged for picking up the goods from the sender or for house delivery. The term is derived from when this was done by cart. It usually refers to a small distance (locally inside a pier, for instance).

For more information see Drayage (same), and Haulage (long-distance).



An association of several independent national or international business organisations that regulates competition by controlling the prices, the production, or the marketing of a product or an industry.



This is a Customs form permitting in-bond cargo to be moved from one location to another under Customs control, within the same district. A common example would be in a motor carrier's possession while draying cargo.


Cash Against Documents (1)

A 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 against documents

A method of payment for goods in which documents transferring title are given to the buyer upon payment of cash to an intermediary acting for the seller.


Cash in advance

Cash in advance


Cash in Advance (1)

A method of payment for goods in which the buyer pays the seller in advance of the shipment of the goods. The deal is usually employed when the goods, such as specialised machinery, are built to order.


Cash With Order (1)

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


Cash with order

Cash with order



To prepare an anchor, after raising it by lifting it with a tackle to the cat head, prior to securing (fishing) it alongside for sea. (An anchor raised to the cat head is said to be catted).

The cat o' nine tails (see further below).

A cat-rigged boat or catboat.


Cat Head

A beam extending out from the hull used to support an anchor when raised in order to secure or 'fish' it.


Cat o' nine tails

A short nine-tailed whip kept by the bosun's mate to flog sailors (and soldiers in the Army). When not in use, the cat was kept in a baize bag, hence the term 'cat out of the bag'. 'Not enough room to swing a cat' also derives from this.



A vessel with two hulls.



A cat-rigged vessel with a single mast mounted close to the bow and only one sail, usually on a gaff.


Cell Guides

A fixed racking system for securing all containers stowed above deck. With cell guides, it is virtually impossible to lose a container overboard during rough weather conditions.


Cell Position

The location of a cell on board a container vessel identified by a code for successively 1) the bay, 2) the row and 3) the tier, indicating the position of a container on that vessel.



Areas of uniform size within a cargo vessel into which standard-sized containers can be loaded for optimum stability and minimum wasted space. In modern vessels cells typically have guides for cranes at each corner to increase the speed and efficiency of loading and unloading containers.

The construction system employed in modern cellular container carriers; permits quick loading and discharge of sea containers under-deck, stowed in a vertical line with each container supporting the one above it. Cells are modular, meaning vessel capacity can be increased simply by adding cells to the length of the vessel.


Cellular Vessel

A vessel constructed of a number of prefabricated cells, designed with internal ribbing to permit the support of stacked containers





Centre of Gravity

The point of equilibrium of the combined weight of a containership and its cargo. For maximum stability, it must be as low as possible in the centre of the structure.



A board or plate lowered through the hull of a dinghy on the centreline to resist leeway.


Certificate of Analysis

A certificate required by some countries as proof of the quality and composition of food products or pharmaceuticals. The required analysis may be made by a private or government health agency. The certificate must be legalised by a foreign consul of the country concerned, as is the case with such similar certificates as the phytosanitary certificate.


Certificate of Inspection

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


Certificate of Weight

A certified statement of the weight of a shipment.



Legally passing on something someone is entitled to another legal entity.



Wear on line or sail caused by constant rubbing against another surface.


Chafing gear

Material applied to a line or spar to prevent or reduce chafing.

For more information see 'Baggywrinkle'.



Cannon balls linked with a chain used to damage rigging and masts.


Chain-wale or Channel

A broad, thick plank that projects horizontally from each of a ship's sides abreast a mast, distinguished as the fore, main, or mizzen channel accordingly, serving to extend the base for the shrouds, which supports the mast.



A person who deals in the selling of provisions, dried stores and consumables aboard a vessel.


Chargeable Kilo

The rate for goods where volume exceeds six cubic metres to the tonne.


Charges, Statement of

A detailed statement of all charges sent to the importer, illustrating how the charges were calculated. The statement of charges deals with charges incurred by the shipper to the importer, outside of the quoted or agreed price.


Charter Party

A bill of lading issued under a charter party. It is not acceptable by banks under letters of credit unless so authorised in the credit.


Charter Party Bill of Lading

A bill of lading used as a proof of receipt of goods issued by the charterer who charters a vessel to the shipper or shippers for whom the charterer has agreed to transport cargo.



The legal person who has signed a charter party with the owner of a vessel or an aircraft and thus hires or leases a vessel or an aircraft or a part of the capacity thereof.


Chase Gun', Chase Piece or Chaser

A cannon pointing forward or aft, often boasting a longer range than other guns. Those on the bow (bow chaser) were used to fire upon a ship ahead, while those on the rear (stern chaser) were used to ward off pursuing vessels. Unlike guns pointing to the side, chasers could be brought to bear in a chase without slowing.



A frame with wheels and container locking devices in order to secure and move containers. In the USA carriers must have enough chassis available to move containers on the roads. US truckers only come with their tractors, onto which the chassis attach.


China classification Society

A a classification society of ships, started in 1956, as a non-profit making body in the People's Republic of China to perform classification survey, certification survey and notarial survey of ships including offshore installations, containers and related industrial products both at home and abroad.

CCS also conduct statutory work on behalf of the Chinese Government and other flag administrations.

CCS joined the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) as a full member in May 1988.



A relatively sharp angle in the hull, as compared to the rounded bottoms of most traditional boat hulls.

A line formed where the sides of a boat meet the bottom. Soft chine is when the two sides join at a shallow angle, and hard chine is when they join at a steep angle.



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



Rigging blocks that are so tight against one another that they cannot be further tightened.


Civil Red Ensign

The British Naval Ensign or Flag of the British Merchant Navy, a red flag with the Union Flag in the upper left corner. This is colloquially called the 'red duster'.



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


Class Rates

A rate applicable to a class rating to which articles are assigned in a Tariff classification. A 'Class Tariff' is a tariff containing only class rates (another kind of tariff is a 'Commodity Tariff' that includes only commodity rates - can also be mixed class & commodities).



A publication, such as the 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.


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 Health

A certificate issued by a port indicating that the ship carries no infectious diseases.

This is also called a pratique.


Clean Bill of Lading

A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were received in 'good order and condition,' without damage or other irregularities. If no notations or exceptions are noted, the B/L is assumed to be 'clean.'


Clean Draft

A draft to which no documents have been attached.


Clean On Board

For more information see 'Clean Bill of Lading'.


Clean Slate

At the helm, the watch keeper would record details of speed, distances, headings, etc. on a slate. At the beginning of a new watch the slate would be wiped clean.


Clearance Limits

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



A stationary device used to secure a rope aboard a vessel. A strip of wood or metal used to afford additional strength, to prevent warping, or to hold in place.



A method of fixing together two pieces of wood, usually overlapping planks, by driving a nail through both planks as well as a washer-like rove. The nail is then burred or riveted over to complete the fastening.



The lower corners of square sails or the corner of a triangular sail at the end of the boom.



These are used to truss up the clews, the lower corners of square sails.


Clip on Unit

Refrigeration equipment attachable to an insulated container that does not have its own refrigeration unit. For more information see Gen Set, Generator Set.


Close Aboard

Near a ship.


Closed Ventilated Container

A container of a closed type, similar to a general purpose container, but specially designed for carriage of cargo where ventilation, either natural or mechanical (forced), is necessary.



Of a vessel beating as close to the wind direction as possible.


Closing Date

The latest date cargo is accepted for shipment by ship-owner for specified sailing.

Cargo refused shipment because it arrived after the closing date is 'shut-out.'


Club Hauling

The ship drops one of its anchors at high speed to turn abruptly. This was sometimes used as a means to get a good firing angle on a pursuing vessel.



The raised edge of a hatch, cockpit or skylight to help keep out water.



A relative small ship plying between coastal ports.



Water transportation along the coast.


Code of federal regulations

Each arm of the Federal U.S. Government has their own; CFR49 concerns the Coast Guard and Hazardous Materials / CFR19 concerns the U.S. Customs.

Also Incoterms 'Cost and Freight' but most commonly abbreviated CFR.


Collect, or cash delivery

Collect, or cash delivery



A draft drawn on buyer, usually accompanied by documents, with complete instructions concerning processing for payment or acceptance.


Collective Paper

All documents (commercial invoices, bills of lading, etc.) submitted to a buyer for the purpose of receiving payment for a shipment.


Combination Export Mgr.

A firm that acts as an export sales agent for more than one non-competing manufacturer.


Combined Transport

Intermodal transport where the major part of the journey is by one mode such as rail, inland waterway or sea and any initial and/or final leg carried out by another mode such as road.


Combined Transport Bill of Lading

For more information see Bill of Lading.


Combined Transport Document

Negotiable or non-negotiable document evidencing a contract for the performance and/or procurement of performance of combined transport of goods. Thus a combined transport document is a document issued by a Carrier who contracts as a principal with the Merchant to effect a combined transport often on a door-to-door basis.


Commercial Code

A published code designed to reduce the total number of words required in a cablegram.


Commercial Invoice

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


Committee on international trade of endangered species

Committee on international trade of endangered species



Anything movable (a good) that is bought and sold.


Commodity Box Rate

A rate classified by commodity and quoted per container.


Commodity Code

For more information see Harmonised System.

Goods which are the most commonly produced and traded have been classified and coded.

The HS is a six-digit nomenclature. The first four digits are referred to as the heading. The first six digits are known as a subheading.


Commodity Rate

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


Commodity Tariff

A tariff published to show specific rates on specific articles.


Common Law

A 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.


Compañía Sudamericana de Vapores

A Chilean carrier


Compagnie Générale Maritime

An abbreviation for 'Compagnie Générale Maritime,' founded in 1855 and renamed as Compagnie Générale Transatlantique in 1861. The two companies merged to form Compagnie Générale Maritime in 1973 as a French state-run entity.

Jacques Saadé, created CMA in 1977 as an intra-Mediterranean liner service. In 1996, CGM was privatised and sold to Compagnie Maritime d'Affr�tement (CMA) to form CMA CGM.



The navigational instrument that revolutionised travel, determining direction (North, South, East and West).


Concealed Damage

Damage that is not evident from viewing the unopened package.


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 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 the documents specified in the Letter of Credit (this can be the Seller's bank or another bank in the country of the Seller).



The taking and holding of private property by a Government or an agency acting for a Government. Compensation may or may not be given to the owner of the property.



Accumulation of vessels at a port to the extent that vessels arriving to load or discharge are obliged to wait for a vacant berth. There can be a corresponding 'Congestion Surcharge' to offset the cost of the waiting time.


Connecting Carrier

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


Connecting Carrier Agreement

A contract between the originating carrier and a second party, where the second party agrees to carry goods to a final destination with a Bill of Lading.



The individual or company to whom a seller or shipper sends merchandise and who, upon presentation of necessary documents, is recognised as the merchandise owner for the purpose of declaring and paying customs duties.


Consignee Marks

A symbol placed on packages for identification purposes; generally a triangle, square, circle etc., with letters and/or numbers and port discharge.



A term used to describe any person who consigns goods to himself or to another party in a bill of lading or equivalent document. A consignor might be the owner of the goods, or a freight forwarder who consigns goods on behalf of his principal.



To group and stuff several shipments together in one container.


Consolidated Cargo

Cargo containing the shipments of two or more shippers, usually coordinated by a consolidator.


Consolidated Container

A container stuffed with several shipments (consignments) from different shippers for delivery to one or more consignees.


Consolidated Shipment

An arrangement whereby various shippers pool their boxed goods on the same shipment, sharing the total weight charge for the shipment.



The combination of many small shipments into one container.



A person or firm performing a consolidation service for others. Takes advantage of lower full container load (FCL) rates, and the savings are passed on to shippers.



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


Consular Declaration

A formal statement describing goods to be shipped, filled in 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. It is used by Customs of the foreign country to verify value, quantity and nature of the cargo.



An intermodal container (also container, freight container, ISO container, shipping container or simply 'box') is a standardised reusable steel box used for the safe, efficient and secure storage and movement of materials and products within a global containerised intermodal freight transport system.

'Intermodal' indicates that the container can be moved from one mode of transport to another (from ship, to rail, to truck) without unloading and reloading the contents of the container.

Lengths of such containers, which each have a unique ISO 6346 reporting mark, vary from 8 feet (2.438 m) to 56 feet (17.07 m) and heights from 8 feet (2.438 m) to 9 feet 6 inches (2.9 m).

There are approximately 17 million intermodal containers in the world of varying types to suit different cargoes.

For air freight the alternative and lighter IATA-defined Unit Load Device is used.

Non-container methods of transport include bulk cargo, break bulk cargo and tank cars, tank trucks or oil tankers used for liquids or gases.


Container Booking

Arrangements with a steamship line to transport containerised cargo.


Container Check Digit

The seventh digit of the serial number of a container used to check whether prefix and serial number are correct (ex: MSCU-123456-7).


Container Corporation of India

Container Corporation of India


Container Equivalents (FEU / TEU)

40-foot equivalent / 20-foot equivalent.

The standard conversion is recognised internationally and issued to compare the number (not weight) of containers that a lot can accommodate.

It is also used to compute the required volume of Service Contracts.


Container Freight Station (3)

Abbreviation: CFS. A facility at which (export) LCL cargo is received from merchants for loading (stuffing) into containers or at which (import) LCL cargo is unloaded (stripped) from containers and delivered to merchants.


Container freight station

Container freight station


Container freight station (1)
(C.F.S./C.F.S. (pier-to-pier))

The term CFS/CFS means cargo delivered by breakbulk to carrier's container freight station (CFS) to be packed by carrier into containers and to be unpacked by carrier from the container at carrier's destination port CFS.


Container freight station charge

The Container Freight Station Charge is the charge assessed for services performed at the loading or discharging port in packing or unpacking of cargo into/from containers at the CFS.


Container Freight Station to Container Freight Station

A type of steamship line service in which cargo is transported between container freight stations, where containers may be stuffed, stripped, or consolidated.

It is usually used for less-than-containerload shipments although small shipments destined to the same consignee are often consolidated into full containers as well as reloading containerload quantities from 'foreign' rail or motor carrier equipment.


Container Lease

The contract by which the owner of containers (lessor) gives the use of containers to a lessee for a specified period of time and for fixed payments.


Container Load

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


Container Number

ISO 6346 is an international standard managed by the International Container Bureau (BIC) for coding, identification and marking of intermodal containers.


Container on a flat car

An American abbreviation for the railroad service, 'Container on a Flat Car' as opposed to 'Trailer On a Flat Car,' refers to the mode of carriage of rail shipments.


Container Part Load

A shipment that does not utilise the full volume of a container nor the maximum payload by weight. Usually, additional part loads are added to fill the container for transport.


Container Pool

An agreement between transportation companies that allows for the most efficient use and supply of containers (containers from different owners are 'pooled' together and everyone can use any one of them).


Container Security Initiative (1)

A post 9-11 initiative, CSI addresses the threat to border security and global trade posed by the potential for terrorist use of a maritime container to deliver a weapon. CSI proposes a security regime to ensure all containers that pose a potential risk for terrorism are identified and inspected at foreign ports before they are placed on vessels destined for the USA.

The basic premise is to extend the zone of security outward so that American borders are the last line of defence, not the first. It was announced by Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Robert C. Bonner in January 2002.

CSI is now operational at ports in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin and Central America. CBP's 58 operational CSI ports now prescreen over 80 percent of all maritime containerised cargo imported into the USA.


Container security initiative

A post 9-11 initiative, CSI addresses the threat to border security and global trade posed by the potential for terrorist use of a maritime container to deliver a weapon. CSI proposes a security regime to ensure all containers that pose a potential risk for terrorism are identified and inspected at foreign ports before they are placed on vessels destined for the USA.

The basic premise is to extend the zone of security outward so that American borders are the last line of defence, not the first. It was announced by Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Robert C. Bonner in January 2002.

CSI is now operational at ports in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin and Central America. CBP's 58 operational CSI ports now prescreen over 80 percent of all maritime containerised cargo imported into the USA.


Container service charge

For more information see THC.


Container Stack

Two or more containers, one placed above the other, forming a vertical column.


Container Sublease

Contract by which a carrier gives the use of containers to another carrier for a specified period of time and for fixed payments.


Container Terminal

An area designated for the stowage of containerised cargoes; usually accessible by truck, railroad and marine transportation. Containers are picked-up, dropped-off, maintained and housed here.


Container yard

The location designated by the carrier in the port terminal area for receiving, assembling, holding, storing and delivering containers, and where containers may be picked up by shippers or re-delivered by consignees.

No container yard (CY) shall be a shipper's, consignee's, NVOCC's, or a forwarder's place of business, unless otherwise provided.


Containerisable Cargo

Cargo that fits into a container resulting in an economical transport.


Continuous Bond

An annual Customs bond insuring compliance with all regulations and requirements.



Used for goods that by their nature, e.g. too dangerous or offensive in the eyes of the legislator (those are termed contraband in se) are forbidden, and for so-called derivative contraband, i.e. goods that may normally be owned but are liable to be seized because they were used in committing an unlawful act and hence begot illegally, such as:

smuggling goods.

stolen goods - knowingly participating in their trade is an offense in itself, called fencing.

the fruits of fraud, forgery etc.

The word is also used as an adjective, again meaning 'distributed or sold illicitly'.


Contract Carrier

Any person not a common carrier who, under special and individual contracts or agreements, transports passengers or property for compensation.


Contract Rates

This can refer to 'service contract' rates which are low; favourable rates fixed over an extended period of time in exchange for which the carrier receives a volume commitment from the shipper.


Controlled Atmosphere

Sophisticated, computer-controlled systems that manage the mixtures of gases within a container throughout an intermodal journey reducing decay.


Conventional Cargo

For more information see Breakbulk cargo.


Coordinating Committee for Export Controls

An informal group of 15 Western countries established to prevent the export of certain strategic products to potentially hostile nations.


Corner Posts

Vertical frames 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.



A device to correct the ship's compass.

Short for 'Manifest Corrector.'


Correspondent Bank

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


Cost and Insurance (1)

A price that includes the cost of goods, the marine insurance and all transportation charges with the exception of ocean freight to the named point of destination.


Cost and insurance

An abbreviation for the Incoterms 'Cost and Insurance'. A price that includes the cost of goods, the marine insurance and all transportation charges with the exception of ocean freight to the named point of destination.


Cost, insurance and freight
(C.I.F. [named port])

The price determined at the point of destination that includes the cost of goods. The marine insurance and all transportation charges are calculated from the point of destination.


Cost, insurance and freight (1)

The price determined at the point of destination that includes the cost of goods. The marine insurance and all transportation charges are calculated from point of destination.


Cost, insurance, freight, collection and interest

Cost, insurance, freight, collection and interest


Cost, insurance, frieght and exchange
(C.I.F. & E.)

Cost, insurance, frieght and exchange


Cost, insurance,freight, interest and exchange
(C.I.F.I. & I.)

Cost, insurance,freight, interest and exchange


Council of European and Japanese National Shipowner's Association

Council of European and Japanese National Shipowner's Association



The part of the stern above the waterline that extends beyond the rudder stock culminating in a small transom. A long counter increases the waterline length when the boat is heeled, which subsequently increases hull speed.



A reciprocal trading arrangement, which includes a variety of transactions involving two or more parties.


Countervailing Duties

Special Customs duties imposed on imports to offset the benefits of subsidies to producers or exporters of the exporting country.


Country of Origin

The country where the merchandise was grown, mined, or manufactured, in accordance with US Customs regulations. In instances where the country of origin cannot be determined, transactions are credited to the country of shipment.


Country of Provenance

The country from which goods or cargo are sent to the importing country.


Coxswain or cockswain

The helmsman or crew member in command of a boat.


Credit Risk Insurance

Insurance designed to cover risks of non-payment for delivered goods.



A rope loop, usually at the corners of a sail, for fixing the sail to a spar. They are often reinforced with a metal eye.


Cro'jack or crossjack

This is a square yard used to spread the foot of a topsail where no course is set, e.g. on the foremast of a topsail schooner or above the driver on the mizzen mast of a ship rigged vessel.


Cross Member

Transverse members fitted to the bottom side rails of a container, which support the floor.


Cross Trees

A strong cross piece which spreads the top mast stays allowing for taller masts, larger top sails. Allows the height of the ships mast to be extended.


Crow flies (as the)

A direct line between two points (which might cross land) which is the way crows travel rather than ships which must go around land.


Crow's nest

Specifically a masthead constructed with sides and sometimes a roof to shelter the lookouts from the weather, generally by whaling vessels, this term has become a generic term for what is properly called masthead. For more information see masthead.


Cube Out

A container reaching its volumetric capacity before its permitted weight limit.


Cubic metre

Cubic metre



A small cabin in a boat.



A line invented by Briggs Cunningham, used to control the shape of a sail.


Currency adjustment factor

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



A US Treasury Department office where duties, etc., on foreign shipments are handled.


Customhouse Broker

A person or firm engaged in entering and clearing goods cross border, licensed by the treasury department of their country when required.



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


Customs Bonded Warehouse

A warehouse where goods may be stored, authorised and established by Customs.


Customs centralised examination facility

Customs centralised examination facility


Customs Court

The court to which importers might appeal or protest decisions made by Customs officers.


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 examination station

Customs examination station


Customs Invoice

A form requiring all data in a commercial invoice along with a certificate of value and/or a certificate or origin. This is only required in some countries (usually former British territories) and serves as a seller's commercial invoice.


Customs Union

An agreement between two or more countries in which they arrange to abolish tariffs and other import restrictions on each other's goods and establish a common tariff for the imports of all other countries.


Customs-trade partnership against terrorism

A voluntary supply chain security program led by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and focused on improving the security of private companies' supply chains with respect to terrorism.

The program was launched in November 2001 with seven initial participants, all large U.S. companies. Today there are more than 10,000 companies participating.


Cut and run

When wanting to make a quick escape, a ship might cut lashings to sails or cables for anchors, causing damage to the rigging, or losing an anchor, but shortening the time needed to make ready by bypassing the proper procedures.


Cut of his jib

The 'cut' of a sail refers to its shape. Since this would vary between ships, it could be used both to identify a familiar vessel at a distance, and to judge the possible sailing qualities of an unknown one. Also used figuratively of people.


Cut-Off Time

(same as 'Closing Date') The latest time a container may be delivered to a terminal for loading to a scheduled train or ship. Cargo refused shipment because it arrived after the closing date is 'shut-out.'


Cut-off Time (1)

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