Shipping Terms Glossary


Actual Time of Arrival

B/L or BOL:

Abbreviation for "Bill of Lading". See "Bill of Lading"


"Bunker Adjustment Factor" Fuel adjustment used by steamship lines to compensate for increased fuel costs.

Bill of Lading:

The contract between the owner of the goods and the carrier. Released as either original documents or express documents.

Booking Number:

Reservation number used to secure equipment and act as a control number prior to completion of a B/L. Generally issued by a steamship line.


Arrangements with a carrier for the acceptance and carriage of freight; i.e., a space reservation.


Freight forwarder/broker compensation as specified by ocean tariff or contract.


A frame with wheels and container locking devices in order to secure the container for movement. Not shipped on the vessel with the container


Overseas Newport contact ex: Newport Brazil, Sunlogistics, etc.


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.


Person or company to whom commodities are shipped.


Person or company shown on the bill of lading as the shipper.

Cut-Off Time:

The latest time cargo may be delivered to a terminal for loading to a scheduled train or ship. Additionally, for our purposes, the latest documents can be submitted to a steamship line without being subject to fines or not loading


Department of Transportation


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.


Through transportation of a container and its contents from consignor to consignee. Also known as House to House.


Estimated Time of Arrival


Estimated Time of Sailing

Express Bill of Lading:

Non-negotiable B/L where there are no hard copies of originals printed.

Feeder Vessel:

A short-sea vessel which transfers cargo between a central "hub" port and smaller "spoke" ports.

Free Time:

The amount of time that a carrier's equipment may be used without incurring additional charges.


An international freight forwarder is an agent for the exporter in moving cargo to an overseas destination. In short, they're responsible for providing both customs information and a master bill of lading to NewPort.


General Rate Increase

Gross Weight:

Entire weight of goods, packaging and freight car or container, ready for shipment. Generally, 80,000 pounds maximum container, cargo and tractor for highway transport. NOT TYPICALLY USED ON THE B/L

Code (HS):

An international goods classification system for describing cargo in international trade under a single commodity-coding scheme. Also known as "tariff code", "NCM number"


See "Door-to-Door"

I.M.D.G. Code:

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

In Gate(d):

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


The recognized abbreviation for the International Chamber of Commerce Terms of Sale.


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.


"Intermodal Shipper Owned"


2.2046 pounds


Loaded on board a vessel

Letter of Credit:

A document, issued by a bank per instructions by a buyer of goods, authorizing the seller to draw a specified sum of money under specified terms, usually the receipt by the bank of certain documents within a given time.


Document that lists in detail all the bills of lading issued by a carrier or its agent or master for a specific voyage. A detailed summary of the total cargo of a vessel. Used principally for Customs purposes.

Master Bill
of Lading:

The document provided to the carrier. More specifically, the forwarder's document to NewPort and/or NewPort's document sent to the steamship line. Also known as "Steamship Master". Also note, many overseas offices will refer to the steamship line bill of lading as the "Master Bill of Lading". Be sure to ask for clarification if necessary.


"Not Otherwise Indexed By Name"

NCM Number:

See "Harmonized Code"

Net Weight:

Weight of the goods alone not including the weight of the tank

NewPort Bill of Lading:

NewPort's Non-Negotiable document; the contract between the owner of the goods and NewPort. Released as either original documents or express documents.


Not Otherwise Specified


Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier - NVOCCs are those who own their own containers but don't own and operate vessels. NVOCCs buy container space in vessels from vessel operators and in turn sell sea freight service to their customers

Ocean Bill
of Lading:

A contract for transportation between a shipper and a carrier. It also evidences receipt of the cargo by the carrier. A bill of lading shows ownership of the cargo and, if made negotiable, can be bought, sold or traded while the goods are in-transit.

On Board:

A notation on a bill of lading that cargo has been loaded on board a vessel. Used to satisfy the requirements of a letter of credit, in the absence of an express requirement to the contrary.

Original Bill
of Lading:

Non-negotiable bill of lading used in taking delivery of a shipment, or filing a claim on a damaged or lost shipment. All other copies of a B/L are for recording purposes only. Typically, 3 rated or unrated b/ls, 3 rated and 3 unrated copy non-negotiable b/ls are issued. Cargo cannot be claimed without the presentation of original bills of lading in a shipment requiring originals.

Place of Delivery:

Place where cargo leaves the care and custody of carrier.

Place of Receipt:

Location where cargo enters the care and custody of carrier.


Port of discharge


Port of loading


To rebook cargo to a different vessel
means this is a receipt for shipment booking and should be released when cargo has been received. No on board confirmation is required.


U.S. Commerce Department Document, "Shipper's Export Declaration"

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.

Shipper's Export Declaration:

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 Load & Count (SL&C):

Shipments loaded and sealed by shippers and not checked or verified by the carriers.

Line Bill of Lading:

See "Ocean Bill of Lading"

Tare Weight:

Tank weight alone not including product or equipment weight

Tariff Code:

See "Harmonized Code"

Telex Release:

A Telex release is the industry term for the release of cargo at one port when the original bill of lading has been surrendered at another. Seen most frequently with NSCSA and MSC. (NSCSA will only telex release)

Transit Time:

The approximate number of days cargo will be in transit


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

War Risk:

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


See "Bill of Lading"


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.

FMC LIC: 026203NF | MC: 280101

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