Speedmark Transportation Resources

Glossary of Shipping Terms

The act of a drawee acknowledging in writing on the face of a draft, payable at a fixed or determinable future date, that he will pay the draft at maturity.
A sight draft, documents against acceptance. See "Sight Draft," "Documents Against Acceptance."
The carrying agreement between shipper and air carrier which is obtained from the airline used to ship the goods.
An insurance provision which provides additional coverage to an Open Cargo Policy, usually for an additional premium. Contrary to its name, the clause does not protect against all risks. The more common perils it does cover are theft, pilferage, non-delivery, fresh water damage, contact with other cargo, breakage, and leakage. Inherent vice, loss of market, and losses caused by delay are not covered.
A customs document which enables one to carry or send goods temporarily into certain foreign countries without paying duties or posting bonds.
A document comparable to a revocable letter of credit but under whose terms the authority to pay the seller stems from the buyer rather than from a bank.
The balance between a country's exports and imports. Beneficiary: The person in whose favor a letter of credit is issued or a draft is drawn.
A document which provides the terms of the contract between the shipper and the transportation company to move freight between stated points at a specified charge.
A building authorized by customs authorities for the storage of goods without payment of duties until removal.
An agent who buys in this country for foreign importers, especially for such large foreign users as mines, railroads, governments, and public utilities. Synonymous with "purchasing agent."
A transportation line that hauls cargo.
A certificate, required by some foreign governments, stating that the goods for export, if products under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Federal Food and Drug Administration, are acceptable for sale in the United States, i.e., that the products are sold freely, without restriction. FDA will issue shippers a "letter of comment" to satisfy foreign requests or regulations.
A document in which certification is made as to the good condition of the merchandise immediately prior to shipment. The buyer usually designates the inspecting organization, usually an independent inspection firm or government body.
A statement by a producer, sometimes notarized, which certifies that manufacture has been completed and that the goods are at the disposal of the buyer.
A document in which certification is made as to the country of origin of the merchandise.
An association of businessmen whose purpose is to promote commercial and industrial interests in the community.
A bill of lading signed by the transportation company indicating that the shipment has been received in good condition with no irregularities in the packing or general condition of all or any part of the shipment. See "Foul Bill of Lading."
The procedure involved in a bank's collecting money for a seller against a draft drawn on a buyer abroad, usually through a correspondent bank.
The documents submitted, usually with a draft or against a letter of credit, for payment of an export shipment.
A trade invoice.
A member of a steamship conference. See "Steamship Conference."
Issued by a bank abroad whose validity and terms are confirmed to the beneficiary in the United States by a U.S. bank.
The person, firm, or representative to whom a seller or shipper sends merchandise and who, upon presentation of the necessary documents, is recognized as the owner of the merchandise for the purpose of the payment of customs duties. This term is also used as applying to one to whom goods are shipped, usually at the shipper's risk, when an outright sale has not been made. See "Consignment."
A term pertaining to merchandise shipped to a consignee abroad when an actual purchase has not been made, under an agreement by which the consignee is obligated to sell the goods for the account of the consignor, and to remit proceeds as goods are sold.
A government official residing in a foreign country who is charged with the representation of the interests of his country and its nationals.
A detailed statement regarding the character of goods shipped, duly certified by the consul of the importing country at the port of shipment.
Insurance taken out by a shipper supplementary to insurance taken out by the consignee abroad; especially to cover shipments made on a "C. & F." basis.
A bank which is a depository for another bank, accepting deposits and collecting items for its bank depositor.
The country in which a product or commodity is manufactured or produced.
A form of insurance which protects the seller against loss due to default on the part of the buyer. See "FCIA."
The agency or procedure for collecting duties imposed by a country on imports or exports.
Excess time taken for loading or unloading a vessel as a result of acts of a shipper. Charges are assessed by the shipping company.
A firm that sells directly for a manufacturer, usually on an exclusive basis for a specified territory, and which maintains an inventory on hand.
A receipt issued by an ocean carrier or its agent, acknowledging that a shipment has been delivered and received at the dock or warehouse of the carrier.
See "Letter of Credit (Commercial)."
A type of payment for goods in which the documents transferring title to the goods are not given to the buyer until he has accepted the draft issued against him.
A type of payment for goods in which the documents transferring title to the goods are not given to the buyer until he has paid the value of a draft issued against him.
The same as a "bill of exchange." A written order for a certain sum of money, to be transferred on a certain date from the person who owes the money or agrees to make the payment (the drawee) to the creditor to whom the money is owed (the drawer of the draft). See "Date Draft," "Documentary Draft," "Sight Draft," "Time Draft."
The repayment, up to 99%, of customs duties paid on merchandise which later is exported, as part of a finished product, is known as a drawback. It refers also to a refund of a domestic tax which has been paid, upon exportation of imported merchandise.
One on whom a draft is drawn, and who owes the stated amount. See "Draft."
One who "draws" a draft, and receives payment. See "Draft."
The tax imposed by a government on merchandise imported from another country.
A governmental permit sometimes required of an importer to enable him to convert his own country's currency into a foreign currency with which to pay a seller in another country.
Restrictions imposed by an importing country to protect its foreign exchange reserves. See "Exchange Permit."
A domestic tax assessed on the manufacture, sale, or use of a commodity within a country. Usually refundable if the product is exported.
The final date upon which the presentation of documents and drawing of drafts under a letter of credit may be made.
To send goods to a foreign country or overseas territory.
One who brings together the exporter and importer for a fee and then withdraws from the transaction.
See "Shipper's Export Declaration."
A governmental permit required to export certain products to certain destinations.
A representative or agent residing in a foreign country who acts as a salesman for a U.S. manufacturer, usually for a commission. Sometimes referred to as a "sales agent" or "commission agent." See "Representative."
An area where goods of foreign origin may be brought in for re-export or transhipment without the payment of customs duty.
A receipt for goods issued by a carrier bearing a notation that the outward containers or goods have been damaged. See "Clean Bill of Lading."
The seller must clear the goods for export, and deliver them to a carrier at a specific point determined by the buyer. The buyer then bears all costs and risks of transporting the goods to the desired destination. Also see "Named Point and "Specific Delivery Point."
An area generally encompassing a port and its surrounding locality into which goods may enter duty-free or subject only to minimal revenue tariffs.
See "Certificate of Free Sale."
Like "Freight or Carriage paid to..." but with the addition that the seller has to procure transport insurance against the risk of loss of or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts with the insurer and pays the insurance premium.
Like C&F "Freight Carriage paid to..." means that the seller pays the freight for the carriage of the goods to the named destination. However, the risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as well as the risk of any cost increases, is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods have been delivered into the custody of the first carrier and not at the ship's rail.
An agent who assists his exporter client in moving cargo to a foreign destination.
The General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade is a multilateral trade treaty among governments, embodying rights and obligations. The detailed rules set out in the Agreement constitute a code which the parties to the Agreement have agreed upon to govern their trading relationships.
Government authorization to export without specific documentary approval.
Total weight of goods, packing, and container, ready for shipment.
The forwarder's fee to his shipper client.
To bring merchandise into a country from another country or overseas territory.
A governmental document which permits the importation of a product or material into a country where such licenses are necessary.
A term applied to the status of merchandise admitted provisionally into a country without payment of duties. See "Bonded Warehouse."
Indicate whether the buyer or the seller carries the risk, responsibility, liability, or costs at specific points during a transaction.
The inability to exchange the currency of one country for the currency of another.
Defects or characteristics of a product that could lead to deterioration without outside influence. An insurance term. See "All Risk Clause."
A document issued by an insurance company, usually to order of shipper, under a marine policy and in cover of a particular shipment of merchandise.
See "Commercial Invoice," "Consular Invoice."
Applied to letters of credit. An irrevocable letter of credit is one which cannot be altered or canceled once it has been negotiated between the buyer and his bank.
A commercial or industrial enterprise in which principals of one company share control and ownership with principals of another.
Letter of Credit.
The weight of goods plus any immediate wrappings which are sold along with the goods; e.g., the weight of a tin can together with its contents. See "Net Weight."
Abbreviated "L/C." A document issued by a bank at buyer's request in favor of a seller, promising to pay an agreed amount of money upon receipt by the bank of certain documents within a specified time.
See "Exchange License," "Export License," "Import License," "Validated License."
The grant of technical assistance and service and/or the use of proprietary rights, such as a trademark or patent, in return for royalty payments.
An insurance which will compensate the owner of goods transported overseas in the event of loss which cannot be legally recovered from the carrier. Also covers air shipments.
A set of letters, numbers and/or geometric symbols, generally followed by the name of the port of destination, placed on packages for export for identification purposes.
The date upon which a draft or acceptance becomes due for payment. Most-Favored-Nation Status: All countries having this designation receive equal treatment with respect to customs and tariffs.
Weight of the goods alone without any immediate wrappings; e.g., the weight of the contents of a tin can without the weight of the can. See "Legal Weight."
A bill of lading in which a carrier acknowledges that goods have been placed on board a certain vessel.
Synonymous with "Floating Policy." An insurance policy which binds the insurer automatically to protect with insurance all shipments made by the insured from the moment the shipment leaves the initial shipping point until delivered at destination. The insuring conditions include clauses naming such risks insured against as "perils of the sea," fire, jettison, forcible theft, and barratry. See >'Perils of the Sea," "Barratry," "All Risks Clause."
A bill of lading, negotiable, made out to the order of the shipper.
A list which shows number and kinds of packages being shipped, totals of gross, legal, and net weights of the packages, and marks and numbers on the packages. The list may be requested by an importer or may be required by an importing country to facilitate the clearance of goods through customs.
A marine insurance term used to designate heavy weather, stranding, lightning, collision, and sea water damage.
The assigning of export marketing and distribution functions by one manufacturer to another.
An invoice forwarded by the seller of goods prior to shipment to advise the buyer of the weight and value of the goods.
The total quantity of a product or commodity which may be imported into a country without restriction or the penalty of additional duties or taxes.
An offer to sell goods at a stated price and under stated terms.
The basis upon which money of one country will be exchanged for that of another. Rates of exchange are established and quoted for foreign currencies on the basis of the demand, supply, and stability of the individual currencies. See "Exchange."
Applied to letters of credit. A revocable letter of credit is one which can be altered or canceled by the buyer after he has opened it through his bank. See "Irrevocable."
The share of the product or profit paid by a licensee to his licenser. See "Licensing."
A certificate which attests to the purity or absence of disease or pests in the shipment of food products, plants, seeds, and live animals.
Refers to "Schedule B, Statistical Classification of Domestic and Foreign Commodities Exported from the United States." A seven-digit Schedule B number must be entered on the shipper's U.S. Export Declaration for every commodity shipped.
A form required by the U.S. Treasury Department and completed by a shipper showing the value, weight, consignee, destination, etc., of export shipments as well as Schedule B identification number.
Commercial invoices, bills of lading, insurance certificates, consular invoices, and related documents.
A true list in writing of the individual shipments comprising the cargo of a vessel, signed by the captain.
A draft so drawn as to be payable upon presentation to the drawee or at a fixed or determinable date thereafter. See "Documents Against Acceptance," "Documents Against Payment."
A point in sales quotations which designates specifically where and within what geographical locale the goods will be delivered at the expense and responsibility of the seller; e.g., F.A.S. named vessel at named port of export.
A numerical system developed by the U.S. Government for the classification of commercial services and industrial products. Also classifies establishments by type of activity.
A numerical system developed by the United Nations to classify commodities used in international trade as an aid to reporting trade statistics.
A group of vessel operators joined together for the purpose of establishing freight rates. A shipper may receive reduced rates if the shipper enters into a contract to ship on vessels of Conference members only.
A bill of lading, non-negotiable, in which the goods are consigned directly to a named consignee.
The weight of packing and containers without the goods to be shipped.
A schedule or system of duties imposed by a government on goods imported or exported; the rate of duty imposed in a tariff.
A government document authorizing the export of commodities within the limitations set forth in the document.
A signature of formal approval on a document. Obtained from Consulates.
Charge assessed by carrier for the handling of incoming or outgoing ocean cargo.

Speedmark Transportation Glossary Resources