Freight and Shipping Terms Glossary
For your convenience, Logistics Worldwide offers a Freight Terms Glossary compiled by the Georgia Institute of Technology in association with the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute. The glossary includes over 750 freight, shipping and supply chain & logistics terms for all modes of transportation for our visitors and customers. To use the glossary, simply click on the letters corresponding to the word or phrase you are searching for.
Using this glossary can help you determine the definitions of specific acronyms, slang, payment, credit, and other shipping terms. We believe you’ll find all your transportation industry definition of terms in this glossary but if you are unable to find what you are searching for or need clarification, please contact us and we will be more than happy to assist you.
Logistics Worldwide is pleased to provide a glossary of freight and shipping terms for all modes of transportation to our visitors and customers. To use the glossary, click on the letters below corresponding to the word or acronym you are searching for. If you are unable to find what you are searching for, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Abbreviation for: Sight draft, or Sea Damage
An embargo imposed by a Government against another country.
- SCAC Code
See Owner Code.
- Schedule B
The Statistical Classification of Domestic and Foreign Commodities Exported from the United States.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ships - 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.
- Ships - Bulk Carriers
All vessels designed to carry bulk cargo such as grain, fertilizers, ore, and oil.
- Ships - Combination Passenger and Cargo Ships
Ships with a capacity for 13 or more passengers.
- Ships - Full Containerships
Ships equipped with permanent container cells, with little or no space for other types of cargo.
- Ships - General Cargo Carriers
Breakbulk freighters, car carriers, cattle carriers, pallet carriers and timber carriers.
- Ships - 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.
- Ships - Roll-on/Roll-off vessels
Ships specially designed to carry wheeled containers or trailers using interior ramps.
- Ships – Freighters
Breakbulk vessels both refrigerated and unrefrigerated, containerships, partial containerships, roll_on/roll_off vessels, and barge carriers.
- Ships – 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)
- 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.
Said to contain.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
An additional extra tax.