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Published: May 27, 2022

Maritime Shipping Glossary / Dictionary

(Marine Shipping Glossary terms are offered by Hellenic Shipping News)

Maritime Shipping Glossary Terms

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  • A/B
    Able bodied seaman, a member of the crew who is able to perform all duties of an experienced seaman.
  • A/S
  • AA
    Always afloat
  • AAAA
    Always accessible always afloat
    Always afloat or safely aground
  • AARA
    Amsterdam-Antwerp-Rotterdam Area
  • Abaft
    Toward the rear (stern) of the ship. Behind.
  • Aboard
    On or within the ship
  • Above deck
    On the deck (not over it – see ALOFT)
  • ABT
  • Ad valorum
    Means “at Value” a rate of freight based on the value of the goods.
    Address Commission
  • Addendum
    Additional chartering terms at the end of a charter party
  • Affreightment
    The hiring of a ship in whole or part
  • Aframax
    American Freight Rate Association – appr. 80 000 – 105 000 dwt – term for a tank ship of standard size
    Arrival First Sea Pilot Station (Norway)
  • Aft
    At or towards the stern or rear of a ship
  • AG
    Arabian Gulf – also called PG – Persian Gulf
  • Agent or Ship’s Agent
    Person looking after the interests of a ship whiøe in port. Duties include organising pilotage, towage and berth for the ship, collecting freight and signing bills of lading
  • Aground
    Touching or fast to the bottom
  • AGW
    All going well
  • AHL
    Australian hold ladders
  • Aids to navigation
    Artificial objects to supplement natural landmarks indicating safe and unsafe waters
  • Aloft
    Above the deck of the ship
  • Amidships
    In or toward the centre of the ship
  • Anchor Piling
    Mooring point on the sea bed
  • Anchorage
    A place suitable for anchorage in relation to the wind, seas and bottom
    Antwerp-Hamburg range
  • Antifouling
    Normally contains toxic compounds to prevent marine growth. Non-toxic products are gradually being introduced to the market
  • APS
    Arrival pilot station
  • Aquabreak PX
    Product name for an environmentally-adapted cleaning agent which can be used throughout the ship
  • Aquatuff
    Product name for an environmentally-adapted cleaning agent used in cargo holds
  • AR
    Accounts receivable
  • ARAG
    Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp-Gent range
  • Arbitration
    Method of settling disputes which is usually binding on parties concerned. A clause usually in a charter party
  • ASBA
    American Shipbrokers Association
  • ASPW
    Any safe port in the world
  • Astern
    In the back of the ship, opposite of ahead
    Any time day/night Sundays and holidays Included
  • Athwartships
    At right angles to the centreline of the ship
    Actual times used to count

  • B/C
    Bulk carrier. Single deck ship carrying homogenous unpackaged cargoes. Loaded through large hatchways
  • B/L
    Bill of lading. A document signed by the carrier which acts as a Contract of affreightment, a receipt and evidence of title to the cargo.
  • Backletter
    Where a seller/shipper issues a ‘letter of indemnity’ in favour of the carrier in exchange for a clean bill of lading
  • BAF
    Bunker adjustment factor. A fuel surcharge expressed as a percentage added or subtracted from the freight amount, reflecting the movement in the market place price for bunkers.
  • Bale capacity
    Cubic capacity of a vessels holds to carry packaged dry cargo such as bales/pallets
  • Ballast
    Heavy weight, often sea water, necessary for the stability and safety of a ship which is not carrying cargo
  • Ballast bonus
    Compensation for relatively long ballast voyage
  • Ballast water
    Contains micro-organisms which can cause harm outside their home environment. Ballast water is taken on board during the discharge of a cargo to improve a vessel’s stability, changed while at sea and pumped out when the next cargo is loaded
  • Bareboat
    Charterers hire a vessel without crew. Charterers are responsible for commercial and technical management.
  • Bareboat chtr
    Bareboat charter – Owners lease a specific ship and control its technical management and commercial operations only. Charterers take over all responsibility for the operation of the vessel and expenses for the duration.
  • Barnacles
    Organisms which grow on the underwater hull and increase its resistance to the water
  • BBB
    Before breaking bulk. Refers to freight payments that must be received before discharge of a vessel commences
  • BDI
    Both dates inclusive
  • Beam
    The maximum breadth or the greatest width of a ship
  • Below
    Beneath the deck
  • Benchmarking
    To compare someone or something with the best that can be achieved within a specified field
    Both ends (load & discharge ports)
  • BI
    Both inclusive
  • Bilge water
    Dirty water which collects in a ship’s bilges and may be contaminated with small quantities of oil from engine room drains, etc.
  • Bilge water flocculant
    Chemical used to separate oil from waste water
    The Baltic and International Maritime Council
  • BL1
  • BM
  • BN
    Booking note
  • BOB
    Bunker on board
  • Boffer
    Best offer
  • Bow
    The forward part of a ship
  • Box
    A term used for a container
  • BPM
    Bridge procedure manual
  • Break-Bulk Cargo
    Goods shipped loose in the vessel’s hold and not in container
  • BROB
    Bunkers remaining on board
  • Brokerage
    Percentage of freight payable to broker. (by owners in C/P’s) or applicable to sale or purchase.
  • BSM
    Barber Ship Management
  • BSS
  • BSS 1/1
    Basis 1 port to 1 port
  • BT
    Berth terms
  • Bulk-oil carrier
    Multipurpose vessel built to carry cargoes of coal as well as oil. Most bulk-oil carriers are reinforced to carry ores and are called OBO-ship (ore/bulk/oil)
  • Bulkhead
    A vertical partition separating compartments
  • Bundling
    This is the assembly of pieces of cargo, secured into one manageable unit. This is relevant to items such as structural steel, handrails, stairways etc. Whilst this is a very flexible description, a rule of thumb is to present cargo at a size easily handl
  • Bunkers
    Name given for vessels fuel and diesel oil supplies (Originates from coal bunkers)
  • Buoy
    An anchored float used for marking a position on the water or a hazard or a shoal and for mooring
  • BWAD
    Brackishw water arrival draft

  • C/P
    Charter Party
  • C/SNEE (or Consignee)
    Name of agent, company or person receiving consignment
  • Cabotage
    Coastal trade, i.e. the movement of goods by ship between ports on the same coast or between ports within the same country
  • CAF
    Currency adjustment factor
  • Capesize
    Vessel which is too large to navigate the Panama Canal – appr. 80 000 – 175 000 dwt with a beam of between 42 and 46 metres (the Panama Canal has a max. width of 32 metres), therefore being forced to voyage around the Cape Horn.
  • CAR
    Corrective action request
  • CBA
    Collective bargaining agreement (Salary scales for different nationalities of seamen) Used by crewing.
  • CBFT (or CFT)
    Cubic feet
  • CBM
    Cubic metres
  • CBT
    Clean ballast tanks
  • CEO
    Chiefe executive officer
  • CFC
    Chlorofluorocarbon compounds. See HCFC
  • CFO
    Chief financial officer
  • CFR
    Cost and freight. Cost and freight means that the seller delivers when the goods pass the ship’s rail in the port of shipment. The seller must pay the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination BUT the risk of loss of
  • Chart
    A map used by navigators
  • Chartering agent
    Shipbroker acting on behalf of charterer in negotiations leading to the chartering of a ship
    Chief engineer
  • CHOF
    Chief officer or chief mate, second in command of the vessel
    Charterers option
  • CIF
    Cost, insurance and freight. Means that the seller delivers when the goods pass the ship’s rail in the port of shipment. The seller must pay the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination BUT the risk of loss of or dam
  • CIP
    Carriage and insurance paid to… Means that the seller delivers the goods to the carrier nominated by him but the seller must in addition pay the cost of carriage necessary to bring the goods to the named destination. This means that the buyer bears all
  • CKD
    Completely knocked down
  • Class
    Means the vessel has its construction made according to the rules of a given Classification Society
  • Classification society
    Organisation which carries out surveys of newbuildings and at regular intervals when in commission, setting and maintaining quality standards for ships and their equipment. Acts on behalf of the flag state’s maritime authorities
  • Clean (CPP)
    Refined petrolium products with light color (gas, parafin, gas oil, naphta)
  • CM
    Contingency manual
  • CO2
    Carbon dioxide – a combustion product from burning all types of fuel. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may increase the temperature at the Earth’s surface – known as the greenhouse effect
  • COA
    Contract of affreightment – Owners agree to accept a cost per revenue tonne for cargo carried on a specific number of voyages.
    Contract of affreightment charter party
  • COB
    Closing of business
    Closing of business London
  • COD
    Cash on delivery
    Carriage of goods by Sea act
  • Commision
    Shipbroker’s remuneration, normally 1.25 per cent of gross freight. Calculated also for sales and purchases of vessels at one per cent of purchase price
  • Conference
    Organization of a group of lines operating in one trade where the companies agree to use a common tariff. See also Liner Conference.
  • Congestion
    Port/berth delays
  • CONS
  • Consignee
    Name of company or person receiving consignment
  • Container vessel
    Ship specially designed to carry standard containers (TEUs). Generally called Cellular container ship. The larger part of the cargo-carrying capacity consists of containers carried on deck or in cells in the hold. Containers are lifted on and off with spe
  • COP
    Custom of port
  • CP (or C/P)
    Charter party
  • CPD
    Charterers pay dues
  • CPT
    Carriage paid to… Means that the seller delivers the goods to the carrier nominated by him but the seller must in addition pay the cost of carriage necessary to bring the goods to the named destination. This means that the buyer bears all risks and any
  • CQD
    Customary quick despatch
  • CR
    Current rate
  • CRN
  • CROB
    Cargo remaining on board
  • CRT
    Cargo retention clauses, introduced by charterers based on shortage of delivered cargo because of increased oil prices
  • Crude (oil)
    Un-refined oil directly from the well
  • CST
  • CTR
    Container fitted
  • Cubic capacity
    The most important commercial measurement when the cargo is so lightweight that the ship is filled to capacity without being loaded to the load line (freeboard). Capacity is measured in cubic metres or cubic feet (cu.ft.)
  • CVS
    Consecutive voyages

  • D&A
    Drug & Alcohol
  • D/A
    Disbursement account
  • DAF
    Delivered at frontier. Means that the seller delivers when the goods are placed at the disposal of the buyer on the arriving means of transport not unloaded, cleared for export, but not cleared for import at the named point and place at the frontier, but
  • Damage for detention
    Compensation for delays beyond or instead of demurrage
    Damages for detention. Penalty if cargo is not ready when ship arrives for working (1st day of Laycan). This is not detention which is charged for ships time on delay. If the cargo is ready there is no DAMFORDET.
  • DAPS
    Days all purposes (Total days for loading & discharging)
  • Data entry user
    Reporting unit responsible in Magnitude
  • DDP
    Delivered duty paid. Means that the seller delivers the goods to the buyer, cleared for import, and not unloaded from any arriving means of transport at the named place of destination. The seller has to bear all the costs and risks involved in bringing th
  • DDU
    Delivered duty unpaid. Means that the seller delivers the goods to the buyer, not cleared for import, and not unloaded from any arriving means of transport at the named place of destination. The seller has to bear the costs and risks involved in bringing
  • Dead freight
    Freight payable by charterers in case they do not supply the agreed quantity of cargo
  • Deck
    A permanent covering over a compartment, hull or any part thereof
  • DEM
    Demurrage (quay rent). Money paid by the shipper for the occupying port space beyond a specified “free time period.
  • Demurrage
    The money payable to the owner for delay for which the owner is not responsible in loading or discharging after the laytime has expired.
  • DEQ
    Delivered ex quay. Means that the seller deliveres when the goods are placed at the disposal of the buyer not cleared for import on the quay (wharf) at the named port of destination. The seller has to bear costs and risks involved in bringing the goods to
  • DES
    Delivered ex ship. Means that the seller delivers when the goods are placed at the disposal of the buyer on board the ship not cleared for import at the named port of destination. The seller has to bear all the costs and risks involved in bringing the goo
  • DESP
    Dispatch. Time saved, reward for quick turnaround, in dry cargo only
  • DET
    Detention (See DAMFORDET)
  • DEV
    Deviation. Vessel departure from specified voyage course
  • DFRT
    Deadfreight. Space booked by shipper or charterer on a vessel but not used
    Dispatch half demurrage on all time saved both ends
    Dispatch half demurrage on working time saved both ends
  • Disbursement
    Cost, expenditure, payment
  • Dispatch
    The money payable by the shipowner to the charterer if the ship completes loading or discharging before the laytime has expired as detailed in a charter party. Also referred to as despatch money.
  • DK

  • Ebb
    A receeding current
  • EC
    East Coast
  • EIU
    Even if used
    Electric ventilation
  • EMM
    Environmental management manual
  • Enviro Return Management
    System for legal and environment-friendly management of used ozone-depleting refrigerants
  • Enviroclean
    Product name for an environmentally-adapted degreasing agent for engine rooms and tank cleaning
  • Environmental system inspections
    Inspection of refrigeration systems to ensure optimum operating conditions and prevent leaks
  • EPA
    Environmental Protection Agency
  • ERT
    Emergency response team
  • Escalation clause
    A clause allowing for an adjustment
  • ETA
    Estimated time of arrival
  • ETC
    Estimated time of completion
  • ETD
    Estimated time of departure
  • ETS
    Estimated time of sailing
  • EXW
    Ex. works. Means that the seller delivers when he places the goods at the disposal of the buyer at the seller’s premises or another named place (i.e. works, factory, warehouse, etc.) not cleared for export and not loaded on any collecting vehicle.

  • FAC
    Fast as can (loading or discharging)
  • FAS
    Free alongside ship. Means that the seller delivers when the goods are placed alongside the vessel at the named port of shipment. This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks of loss or damage to the goods from that moment. The FAS term requi
  • FCA
    Free to carrier. Means that the seller delivers the goods, cleared for export, to the carrier nominated by the buyer at the named place. It should be noted that the chosen place of delivery has an impact on the obligations of loading and unloading the goo
  • FD (FDIS)
    Free discharge
  • FDD
    Freight demurrage deadfreight
    Freight deemed earned, discountless and non-returnable (refundable) ship and or cargo lost or not lost
    Free dispatch
  • Feeder
    A loading system for distribution of cargo loaded, or a vessel that is transshipping cargo – e.g. cars or containers
  • Feeder Vessel
    A short-sea vessel used to fetch and carry goods and containers to and from deep sea vessels.
  • Fender
    A cushion, placed between ships, or between a ship and a pier, to prevent damage
  • FEU
    Standard 40’ Container
  • FHEX
    Fridays and holidays excepted
    Fridays and holidays included
  • FI
    Freight interest insurance
  • FILO
    Free in/liner out. Seafreight with which the shipper pays load costs and the carrier pays for discharge costs.
  • FIO
    Free in/out. Freight booked FIO includes the seafreight, but no loading/discharging costs, i.e. the charterer pays for cost of loading/discharging cargo.
  • FIOS
    Free in/out stowed. As per FIO, but excludes stowage costs.
    Free in/out and trimmed. Charterer pays for cost of loading/discharging cargo, including stowage and trimming.
  • FIOT
    Free in/out and trimmed. As per FIOS but includes trimming, e.g. the levelling of bulk cargoes. FIOS includes seafreight, but excludes loading/discharging and stowage costs.
  • FIT
    Free in trimmed
  • FIW
    Free in wagon
  • Fixing
    Chartering a vessel
  • Fixture
    Conclusion of shipbrokers negotiations to charter a ship – an agreement
  • Flatpacking
    Cargo to be presented stacked and secured as an integral unit.
  • FLT
    Full liner terms
  • FMC
    Federal Maritime Commission
  • FME
    Force Majeure excepted
  • FMS
  • FO1
    For orders
  • FO2 (IFO)
    Fuel oil/intermediate FO
  • FO3
    Free out
  • FOB
    Free on board. Means that the seller delivers when the goods pass the ship’s rail 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 point. The FOB term requires the seller

  • g/t-km
    Denotes emissions in grams per tonne of cargo shipped over a kilometre
  • GA
    General average or general arrangement plan
  • GA plan
    General arrangement plan
  • Gamazymes
    Bioactive cleaning agents used in galleys, crew quarters and passenger sections on cruise liners
  • GEAR
    A general term for ropes, blocks, tackle and other equipment
  • General cargo
    Goods unpackaged or packaged, but not shipped in bulk
    Geographical rotation
  • GL
    General ledger
  • GM
    General manager; head of local entity
  • GN (or GR)
    Grain (Capacity)
  • GNCN or Gencon
    General conditions
  • GO
    Gas oil
  • GP
    Grain capacity. Cubic capacity in ‘grain’
  • GR
    Geographical rotation. Ports in order of calling
  • GRD
  • Green Passport
    A certificate which confirms which materials have been used in a vessel’s construction
  • Gross Tonnage
    (0.2+0.02*log10V)*V, where V is the volume in cubic metres of all enclosed spaces on board
  • GRT
    Gross registered tonnage
  • GSB
    Good, safe berth
  • GSP
    Good, safe port
  • GTEE
  • Gunwale
    The upper edge of a ship’s sides

  • H&M
    Hull and machinery insurance
  • HA
  • Hague rules
    Code of minimum conditions for the carriage of cargo under a Bill of lading
  • Hallmarks
    A mark indicating quality or excellence.
  • Halon
    Previously used on ships as an effective fire-extinguishing medium, harmful to the ozone layer in the atmosphere
  • Handymax
    Dry bulk vessel of appr. 35 000 – 50 000 dwt.
  • Handysize
    Dry bulk vessel or product tanker, 15 000 – 50 000 dwt.
  • Hatch
    An opening in a ship’s deck fitted with a watertight cover
  • HBF
    Harmless bulk fertilizer
  • HCFC
    Hydro-chlorofluorocarbon compounds, such as freon 22 (R22)
    Half dispatch lay time saved both ends
    Half dispatch working (or weather) time saved
  • HFC
  • HFO
    Heavy fuel oil. Used in ship’s engines and boiler systems
  • HHDW
    Handy heavy d.w. (scrap)
  • HI
    Hull interest insurance
  • Hire
    T/C remuneration
  • Hire-purchase Charter-Party
    C/P where the charterer gets ownership of the vessel at the conclusion of the C/P
  • HMS
    Heavy metal scraps
  • Hold or HO
    A compartment below deck in a large vessel, used solely for carrying cargo
  • Hull
    The main body of a ship
  • HW
    High water

  • IAS
    International Accounting Standards. (Former name for IFRS.)
  • ICT
    Information communication technology
  • ICW
    Intercoastal waterway : bays, rivers, and canals along the coasts (such as the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts), connected so that vessels may travel without going into the sea
  • IFRS
    International Financial Reporting Standards
  • ILO
    International Labour Organization
  • IMDG
    International Maritime Dangerous Goods code
  • IMO
    International Maritime Organisation. Body created to regulate international maritime trade
  • IMO
    International Maritime Organisation
  • In &/or over
    Goods carried below and/or on deck
  • Incinerator
    Used to burn waste and sludge
  • IND
  • Indemnity
    Compensation for loss/damage or injury
    International Maritime Satellite System
    Carriage of a commodity by different modes of transport, i.e. sea, road, rail and air within a single journey
  • ISM Code
    International Safety Management Code. The objectives of the ISM Code are to ensure safety at sea, prevention of human injury or loss of life, and avoidance of damage to the environment, in particular to the marine environment and to property. The purpose
  • ISMA
    International Ship Managers Association
  • ISO 14000
    ISO standard for environmental management
  • ISO 14001
    International environmental standard
  • ISO 9001
    International quality standard
  • ISPS
    International Ship and Port Facility Security Code. The Objective with the ISPS code is to establish an international framework involving co-operations between contracting governments, governement agencies, local administration and the shipping and port i
  • ITF
    International Transport Federation
  • Itinerary
    Route. Schedule
  • IU
    If used
    If used. Half time actually used to count
  • IWL
    Institute Warranty Limits

  • Jack Tar: Sailors were once called by their first names only, and Jack was their generic name. Tar came from seamen’s custom of waterproofing clothing using tar.
  • Joint service
    Two or more shipping companies jointly operating a service
  • Joint Venture
    A Joint Venture is a contractual arrangement whereby two or more parties control jointly an economic activity. The economic activity is carried through a separate enterprise (company or partnership, it is handled as a jointly controlled enterprise. Joint

  • Kamsarmax – (229 m. (max) 82,000 DWT (approx) )Maximum size allowed for port Kamsar in Equatorial Guinea.
  • Keel
    The centreline of a ship running fore and aft; the backbone of a vessel
  • Knot
    A measurement of speed equal to one nautical mile (6 076 feet) per hour
  • Kommandittselskap (K/S)
    Limited partnership. A form of shipfinancing
  • Kyoto protocol
    International agreement, adopted under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

  • L/C
    Letter of credit
  • Lane meter
    A method of measuring the space capacity of ro-ro ships whereby each unit of space (linear meter) is represented by an area of deck 1.0 meter in length x 2.5 meters in width.
  • Lash
    To hold goods in position by use of ropes, wires, chains or straps etc.
  • LAT
    Latitude. The distance north or south of the equator measured and expressed in degrees.
  • Laycan
  • Laytime
    Time at Charterers disposal for purpose of loading/discharging
  • LCR
    Lowest current rate
  • Leasing
    when a ship is leased, the owner may in fact utilize it as in a bareboat or hire-purchase-C/P, but without entering into a charter-party-contract. The price is agreed between the shipping company (lessee) and the vessel’s legal owner – the leasing company
  • Lee
    The side sheltered from the wind
  • Leeward
    The direction away from the wind. Opposite of windward
  • Leeway
    The sideways movement of the ship caused by either wind or current
  • LF
    Load factor. Percentage of cargo or passengers carries e.g. 4 000 tons carried on a vessel of 10 000 capacity has a load factor of 40%
  • Lien
    Retention of property until outstanding debt is paid
  • Liner
    Vessel serving a regular defined route or trade, following a published sailing schedule
  • Liner conference
    Two or more shipping companies operating a service in common between designated areas. Conference partners agree special freight rates and terms for the trade, in order to stabilize market and service
  • Liner service
    Cargoships operating regular schedules between advertised ports
  • Liner terms
    Ship responsible for all costs of loading and discharging
  • LNG
    Liquefied natural gas (mostly methane)
  • LOA
    Length overall (of ships hull)
  • LOA
    Length overall of the vessel
  • Load line
    See Plimsoll line
  • LOF
    Lloyds Open Form
  • LOG
    A record of courses or operation. Also, a device to measure speed
  • LOH
    Loss of hire insurance
  • LOI
    Letter of indemnity
  • LOLO
    Lift on – lift off
  • Longitude
    The distance in degrees east or west of the meridian at Greenwich, England
  • LOW
    Last open water
  • Low NO x nozzles
    Fuel valves specially developed to reduce formation of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from combustion
  • LPG
    Liquefied petroleum gas – from refineries (motstly propane, butane)
  • LS (or LUMPS)
    Lumpsum freight. Money paid to shipper for a charter of a ship (or portion) up to stated limit irrespective of quantity of cargo
  • LSD
    Lashed secured dunnaged
  • LSFO
    Low-sulphur fuel oil (bunkers)
  • LT1
    Liner terms
  • LT2
    Long tonne = 1 016.05 kilogram (2 240 lbs)
  • LTHH
    Liner terms hook/hook
  • LW
    Low water
  • LYCN
    Laycan (Layday cancelling date)

  • M/V
    Motor vessel/merchant vessel
  • Manifest
    Inventory of cargo (Document discribing the cargo aboard)
  • Maritime lien
    A right in the propery of a ship, conferred by law for seamens wages, salvage, etc.
  • Mark I
    WW designation for ro-ro carriers built in 1978-79
  • Mark II
    WW designation for ro-ro carriers built in 1984
  • Mark III
    WW designation for ro-ro carriers built in 1996
  • Mark IV
    WW designation for ro-ro carriers built in 2000-01
  • Marpol
    IMO convention on the prevention of marine pollution. Regulates environmental pollution by ships
  • MB
    Merchant broker
  • MDO (DO)
    Marine diesel oil
    Marine diesel oil/marine gas oil
  • MED
    Mediterranean Sea
  • Merger
    The joining of two or more (shipowning) companies
  • MHI
    Car carriers built at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 2004-06
  • MIAP
    Mortgagee interest additional perils pollution
  • Midship
    Approximately in the location equally distant from the bow and stern
  • MII
    Mortgagee interest insurance
    Minimum/Maximum (cargo quantity)
  • MM
    Marketing manual
  • MOA
    Memorandum of agreement
    More or less charterers option
    More or less owners option. (A margin for shipowner for how much the ship should carry: A moloo of 5% on a 30 000 ton ship gives a cargo between 28 500 and 31 500 tons
  • Montreal protocol
    International agreement which aims to protect the ozone layer. Forms part of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP)
  • Mooring
    An arrangement for securing a ship to a mooring buoy or pier
  • MSM
    Minimum safe manning (flag states minimum approved manning for a vessel)
  • MT
    Metric tonne (1 000 kilos)
  • Multipurpose ship
    General cargo ship which can also carry containers

    Not always afloat but safely aground
  • Navigation
    The art and science of conducting a ship safely from one point to another
  • NCB
    National Cargo Bureau
  • Nesting
    Implies that cargo is presented stacked in the contour of similarly shaped cargo, it may be likened to a stack of plates. This is particularly relevant in the presentation of tankage strakes for transport
  • NIS
    Norwegian International Ship Register
  • Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
    Environmentally-harmful gases formed by the engine’s combustion process
  • NM
    Nautical mile. One minute of latitude; approximately 6 076 feet – about 1/8 longer than the statute mile of 5 280 feet
  • NMD
    Norwegian Maritime Directorate
  • Non-conformity
    ISM definition of non-conformity: Non-conformity means an observed situation where objective evidence indicates the non-fulfilment of a specified requirement. Major non-conformity means an identifiable deviation that poses a serious threat to the safety
  • Non-reversible
    Detention. If loading completed sooner than expected, then saved days will not be added to discharge time allowed.
  • NOR
    Notice of readiness
  • NRT
    Net register tonnage
  • NYPE
    New York Produce Exchange

  • OBO
    Ore/bulk/oil vessel
    The Oil Companies International Marine Forum: OCIMF is a voluntary association of oil companies having an interest in the shipment and terminalling of crude oil and oil products. OCIMF is organised to represent its membership before, and to consult with,
  • Off hire
    A chartering term indicating the time a chartered vessel is no longer attracting a daily fixture rate. It arises i.e. upon break down of machinery, equipment or when owing to poor performance such as slower speed than prescribed in the voyage charter, the
  • OO
    Owners option
  • OPA 90
    The Oil Pollution Act of 1990, a US law imposing far-reaching requirements on shipowners, vessels and crews when carrying petroleum products to the US and within the US Economic Zone (200 miles off the coastline). Intriduced after the Exxon Valdez-catastr
  • Ore/oil carrier
    Ship with separate cargo holds for ore cargoes. When the ship is carrying oil, the ore holds may also be filled with oil, in order to utilize the deadweight capacity to the fullest
  • OSH
    Open shelter deck
  • Overboard
    Over the side or out of the ship
  • OWS
  • OWS
    Oily water separator

  • P&I
    Protection and indemnity (Responsibility insurance for the shipowner).
  • Panmax or Panamax
    The largest bulk carrier which can pass through the Panama Canal fully loaded (appr. 80 000 dwt.)
    Past Us
  • PC
    Period of charter
  • PCC
    Pure car carrier (vessel type)
  • PCGO
    Part cargo
  • PCT
  • PCTC
    Pure car and truck carrier (vessel type)
  • PDA
    Proforma disbursement account
  • PDPR
    Per day or pro rata (for part of a day)
  • Per diem
    By the day
  • Per se
    By itself
  • PG
    Persian Gulf
  • PHPD
    Per hatch per day
  • Plimsoll mark or line
    An internationally recognised line painted on the side of merchant ships. When a ship is loaded, the water level is not supposed to go above the line. Water can reach different parts of the line as its temperature and saltiness varies with the season and
  • PMS
    Port marine services
  • Pooling
    Cargo or profit sharing by cooperating companies in lines or liner conferences
  • Port
    The left side of a ship looking forward. A harbour.
  • ppm
    Parts per million (1 ppm = 0,000001 or 1 mg/kg)
  • Pratique
    Licence or permission to use a port
  • Preamble
    Introduction to a charter party
  • Proforma
    Estimated account
  • Proforma disbursement account
    Preliminery overview of total port costs from agent
  • Protectionism
    Flag state protection of own shipping by the elimination of certain competitive elements
  • PS&L
    Port service & logistics which includes the product lines PMS, Liner, Logistics and HUB
  • PUS
    Plus us
  • PWWD
    Per weather working day

  • QA
    Quality assurance
  • QHSE
    Quality, Health, Safety & Environment
  • Quadrant
    A fitting on the rubber head to which the steering chains are attached.
  • Quadrant
    Quadrant-shaped flat plate assembly mounted horizontally on top of a rudder stock for to which steering cables/chains are attached in vintage vessels or small craft.
  • Quarantine
    Restricted or prohibited intercourse due to contagious disease.
  • Quarter
    That portion of a vessel’s side near the stern.
  • Quarter
    A side of a ship aft, between the main midship frames and stern. Also a sidde of a ship forward, between the main frames and the stem.
  • Quarter deck
    A term applied to the after portion of a weather deck. In a warship that portion allotted to the use of the officers.
  • Quarter deck
    Full-width raised hull section and deck extending from the aft shoulder to the stern.
  • Quartering sea
    A sea on the quarter (coming from a side of the stern).
  • Quarters
    Living spaces for passengers or personnel. It includes staterooms, dining salons, mess rooms, lounging places, passages connected with the foregoing, etc., individual stations for personnel for fire or boat drill, etc.
  • Quarters bill
    A vessel’s station bill showing duties of crew.
  • Quay
    An artificial wall or bank, usually of stone, made toward the sea at the side of a harbor or river for convenience in loading and unloading vessels.

  • RCVR
    Recapitulation of the terms and conditions agreed
  • Recovery package
    Advanced equipment package for secure recovery of refrigerants. Satisfies all relevant marine regulations
  • Reefer Vessel
    Vessel with refrigerated cargo hold(s)
  • Refrigerants
    Used in refrigeration and freezing plants
  • Reg (EC) 2037/2000
    EU regulation covering ozone-depleting substances which seeks to protect the ozone layer
  • Reversible
    Detention. If loading completed sooner than expected at load port, then days saved can be added to discharge operations.
  • Ro-ro
    Roll-on, roll-off carrier tailored to transport heavy rolling cargo and static cargoes
  • ROB
    Remaining on board
  • RT
    Revenue Tonne (i.e. 1.0 metric tonne or 1.0 cubic meter, whichever greater). The overall RT is calculated on a line by line basis of the Packing List using the largest amount. The overall freight liability is calculated on the total RT amount, multiplied
  • RT43
    Measure for capacity by a car which is 4.125 m long, 1.550 m wide and 1.420 m high

  • SAR
    Search and Rescue
    Saturday P.M.
  • SB
    Safe berth
  • SBT
    Segregated ballast tanks
  • SD (or SID)
    Single decker
  • Seafreight
    Costs charged for transporting goods over the sea. This does not cover haulage or loading/discharging costs but the sea transport only
  • Seaworthiness
    Statement of condition of the vessel (valid certificates, fully equipped and manned etc.)
  • Seca
    Sulphur oxide emission control area – a sea area defined by the IMO where the sulphur content of bunkers must not exceed 1,5% or emissions of sulphur oxides to the air must be below 6 g/kWh
    Self discharging
  • Semi-trailers
    Are usually 12.0 meter flat bed road trailers
  • SF
    Stowage factor. Cubic space (measurement tonne) occupied by one tonne (2,240 lbs/1,000 kgs) of cargo
  • SHEX
    Sundays and holidays excluded
    Sundays and holidays included
  • Shipbroker
    Person who – on behalf of shipowner/shipper – negotiates a deal for the transportation of cargo at an agreed price. Shipbrokers are also active when shipping companies negotiate the purchasing and selling of ships, both secondhand tonnage and newbuilding
  • Short Sea Shipping
    Short distance international trade. Commonly used for trading between countries in the European Union
  • Skids
    Are bearers (timber or steel) positioned under the cargo to enable forklift handling at port, and for ease of rigging and lashing on board ship.
  • Slide valve
    Fuel valves which are fully emptied on each stroke, and thereby counteract afterburning
  • Sludge
    Mixture of water and oil formed during treatment of heavy fuel oil
  • SMC
    Safety management certificate – ref. ISM Code
  • SN
    Satellite navigation. A form of position finding using radio transmissions from satellites with sophisticated on-board automatic equipment
  • SOC
    Shipper owned container
  • SOF
    Statement of facts
    Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan
  • SP
    Safe port
  • Spidering
    Is the strengthening of circular tanks for transport, this prevents the tanks from becoming warped. The tanks are strengthened with steel or wood crossbeams giving a “spider” appearance
  • Spot or spotrate
    Rate for single voyage based on the market situation on the day
  • SQC
    Special Qualification Certificate (issued by flag state)
  • SQM
    Safety quality manager
  • SRBL
    Signing and releasing Bill of lading
    Saturdays, Sundays, holidays excluded
    Saturdays, Sundays, holidays included
  • SSMM
    Ship Safety Management Manual
  • Stability
    It is paramount that a vessel is stable in all aspects at all times. When cargo is loaded/discharged, the stability is monitored by a computer, which takes into account the weight and position of cargo within the vessel.
  • Starboard
    Right side of a ship when facing the front or forward end.
  • STCW
    Standards of Training, Certificates and Watchkeeping. Standard that crewing have to comply with. For more information please look at www.imo.org (Human Element – Training and Certification).
  • Stem
    Subject to enough merchandise (availability of cargo). Also, the forward most part of the bow.
  • Stern
    The foremost or after part of a ship
  • Stevedore
    Dockworker handling loading/discharging. Term also used on companies delivering such services
  • SUB Subject (to).
    Depending upon as a condition
  • Subsidiary
    A subsidiary is an investee where the enterprise owns more than 50 per cent and the parent’s power to govern the financial and operating policies or has control over the other enterprise.
  • Suezmax
    The largest tank vessel which can pass through the Suez Canal fully loaded (120 000 -165 000 dwt.)
  • Sulphur oxides (SOx)
    Sulphur in the bunkers oil combines with oxygen in the combustion process to form sulphur oxides. These react with moisture in the air to produce sulphurous and sulphuric acid
  • Supercargo
    Person employed by a ship owner, shipping company, charterer of a ship or shipper of goods to supervise cargo handling operations. Often called a port captain.
  • SWAD
    Salt water arrival draft
  • SWDD
    Salt water departure draft
  • Swedac
    Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment

  • T/C
    Time charter (shipper controls the ship and pays a monthly rent, T/C-hire)
  • Tallyman
    Controls the cargo going into and out of the vessel. Checks that volume and number tallies with the manifests
  • Tanker
    Ship carrying liquid bulk cargoes
  • TBN
    To be named/nominated
  • TBT
    Tributyltin, used in tin-based antifouling
  • TC
    Time charter. Owners agree to hire a particular ship for a set length of time and provide technical management, crewing etc.
  • TCP
    Time charter party
  • Tender
    Proposal, offer, bid for a contract
  • TEU
    Standard 20’ Container
  • Thwartships
    At right angles to the centre-line of the ship
  • Tide
    The periodic rise and fall of water level in the oceans
  • Time bar
    The number of days after comleted voyage before demands have to be stated
  • TMSA
    Tanker Management and Self Assessment. The OCIMF’s Tanker Management and Self-Assessment programme is a tool to help ship operators measure and improve their management systems. The programme encourages ship operators to assess their safety-management sys
  • Topside
    The sides of a ship between the waterline and the deck; sometimes referring to onto or above the deck
  • Tramp shipping
    Ships trading where they can get cargo
  • Transaction currency
    The currency used on a single invoice/voucher
  • Trim
    Fore and aft balance of a ship
  • TTL
  • TW
    Tween decker

  • UER
    Undesired event report
  • ULCC
    Ultra Large Crude Carrier – oil tanker of 300,000 + dwt
  • Unicool
    Barwil Unitor’s maritime refrigerants
  • USC
    Unless sooner commenced
  • UTC
    = GMT
  • UU
    Unless used
    Unless used in which case time actually used to count
  • UKHO
    United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (provides AIO)
  • ULCC
    Ultra large crude carrier. Tanker of deadweight greater than 320,000 tonnes.
  • ULCC
  • Ullage hatch
    A small hinged opening on a tank for gauging or sampling cargo. The ullage is the distance from the top of this hatch to the top of the cargo. It is the “opposite” of innage.
  • Ullage opening
    A small, covered opening in the top of a cargo tank through which measurements are made to determine the level of the liquid in the tank.
  • Umbrella
    A metal shield in the form of a trustrum of qa cone, fitted to the outer casing of the smokestack over the air casing to keep out the weather.
  • Unbend
    To untie.
  • Under below
    A warning from aloft (heads up).
  • Undermanned
    Insufficient number of crew; shorthanded.
  • Undertow
    A subsurface current in a surf.
  • Underway
    Said of a vessel when not at anchor, nor made fast to the shore, or aground.
  • Unitization
    The consolidation of a quantity of individual items into one large shipping unit for easier and faster handling through methods such as palletizing, stripping, slinging and containerization.
  • Unloader
    Port equipment employed to unload ships carrying dry bulk cargo.
  • Unmoor
    To remove the ropes that attach a ship to the shore.
  • Unship
    To remove anything from its usual place. To take apart.
  • Unstuffing (or stripping)
    Unloading of a container.
  • Unwatched
    Said of a lighthouse not tended.
  • Up anchor
    Hoist or haul in the anchor.
  • Upper deck
    A partial deck above the main deck amidships.
  • Upper works
    Superstructures, or deck erections located on or above the weather deck. Sometimes used with reference to a ship’s entire above-water structure.
  • Uptake
    A sheet metal conduit connecting the boiler furnace with thw base of the smokestack. It conveys the smoke and hot gases from the boiler to the stack, and should be made double thickness with an air space between to prevent radiation. Swinging dampers for controlling the fires are fitted in the uptake.
  • USC
    Unless Sooner Commenced
  • USL
    Uniform Shipping Laws (Australian federal code for the design, construction and stability of vessels.)
  • UU
    Unless Used
    Unless Used If Used Actual Time Used To Count

  • VCM
    Vessel contingency manual
  • Viscosity
    A liquid’s resistance to flow
  • VLCC
    Very Large Crude Carrier – oil tanker between 200,000 and 300,000 dwt.
  • VPD
    Vessel pays dues
  • VRPP
    Vessel resonse plan pollution

  • W or WS
    Worldscale (Rating system for tanking. Basis rates for different voyages)
  • Waterline
    A line painted on a hull which shows the point to which a ship sinks when it is properly trimmed
  • Way
    Movement of a ship through water such as headway, sternway or leeway
    Whether customs cleared or not
  • Weather permitting
    If the weather allows..
    Whether in berth or not
    Whether in free pratique or not
  • Windward
    Toward the direction from which the wind is coming
    Whether in port or not
  • WLS
    Wilhelmsen Lines Shipowning
    Water line-to-hatch coaming
  • WMC
    Wilhelmsen Marine Consultants
  • WMS
    Wilhelmsen Maritime Services
  • WOG
    Without guarantee
  • WP
    Weather permitting. That time during which weather prevents working shall not count as laytime
  • WPD
    Weather permitting day
  • WRIC
    Wire rods in collis
  • WWD
    Weather working day
  • WWD
    Weather working day (days when loading/ discharging is not interrupted by the weather)
  • WWR
    When, where ready
  • WWWW

  • YAR
    York Antwerp Rules
  • YAW
    To swing or steer off course, as when running with a quartering sea
  • YB
    Yellow Book – onboard the ships on management

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Maritime Shipping Glossary and Dictionary

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Shipping Dictionary (app) in Google Play

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Maritime Dictionary Offline - Marine Terms Apps (app) in Google Play
Maritime Dictionary Offline – Marine Terms Apps (app) in Google Play

Dictionary of Marine Terms (app)

Dictionary of Marine Terms (app)
Dictionary of Marine Terms (app)

Maritime Dictionary application – in Google Play store

Maritime Dictionary application
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Maritime Dictionary Pro application in Google Play Store
Maritime Dictionary Pro application in Google Play Store

see also: Glossary of Nautical Charts – terms used in the marine charts industry

see also: Symbols, Abbreviations and Terms used in Marine Navigational Charts, Paper Nautical Charts (SNCs , RNCs) and Electronic Nautical Charts (ENCs)

see also: the List of Abbreviations used in Nautical Charts

see also: Maritime Shipping Glossary / Dictionary

Glossary of Maritime – Nautical Dictionary

Glossary of Maritime Commercial Terms

Maritime Dictionary (by Safety4Sea)

Shipping Dictionary

Freight, shipping and chartering glossary

Shipping Terms – Chartering abbreviations – terms & definitions

Marine Terms Glossary

Glossary of nautical terms (Wiktionary)

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