Over 3600 Ocean Marine, Shipping, Chat & Insurance Terms and Abbreviations
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C&F Terms of Sale, or INCOTERMS Obsolete, albeit heavily used, term of sale meaning "cargo and freight" whereby Seller pays for cost of goods and freight charges up to destination port. In July, 1990 the International Chamber of Commerce replaced C&F with CFR.
C&G Chuckle And Grin
Cable for Authority Request for permission to pay a letter of credit drawing despite discrepancies, sent electronically by the negotiating bank to the issuing bank.
Cable Ship A specially constructed ship for the laying and repairing of telegraph and telephone cables across channels, seas, lakes, and oceans.
Cabotage - Water transportation term applicable to shipments between ports of a nation; commonly refers to coast-wise or inter-coastal navigation or trade. Many nations, including the United States, have cabotage laws which require national flag vessels to provide domestic interport service.
- Transport of goods between two ports or places located in the same country.
- Transport of cargo in a country other than the country where the vehicle is registered (roadcargo).
- The carriage of a container from a surplus area to an area specified by the owner of that container, in exchange for which and during which the operator can use this container.
Cabotage Policies Reservation of a country's coastal (domestic) shipping for its own flag vessels.
CAD see "Cash Against Documents"
CAF Abbreviation for "Currency Adjustment Factor." A charge, expressed as a percentage of a base rate, that is applied to compensate ocean carriers of currency fluctuations.
Cage - A secure enclosed area for storing highly valuable items
- Pallet-sized platform with sides that can be secured to the tines of a forklift and in which a person may ride to inventory items stored well above the warehouse floor.
Call The visit of a vessel to a port.
Call Sign A code published by the International Telecommunication Union in its annual List of Ships' Stations to be used for the information interchange between vessels, port authorities and other relevant participants in international trade.
Camber Slightly arched form of container floors to strengthen the construction.
Canadian Airport Security System (CASS) Canadian Government system for increased airport security
Cancelable Policy (ins) A policy which may be terminated by the company or the insured by proper notification sent to the other party according to terms set forth in the policy.
CAORF Computer-Assisted Operations Research Facility: A MarAd R&D facility located at U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York.
Capacity The ability, in a given time, of a resource measured in quality and quantity. The quantity of goods which can be stored in or loaded into a warehouse, store and/or loaded into a means of transport at a particular time.
Capacity Control Process of registering and steering of capacity.
Captain's Protest A document prepared by the captain of a vessel on arriving at port; shows conditions encountered during voyage, generally for the purpose of relieving ship owner of any loss to cargo and shifting responsibility for reimbursement to the insurance company.
Care, Custody & Control Term used to define/clarify who is responsible for a service to be performed such as: "These goods are insured while under the care, custody and control of..."
NOTE:: Incoterms are commonly used to define responsibilities in the movement of goods. See "Incoterms"
Carfloat A barge equipped with tracks on which up to about 12 railroad cars are moved in harbors or inland waterways.
Car Pooling Use of individual carrier/rail equipment through a central agency for the benefit of carriers and shippers.
Car Seal Metal strip and lead fastener used for locking freight car or truck doors. Seals are numbered for record purposes.
Cargo - Goods transported or to be transported, all goods carried on a ship covered by a B/L.
- Any goods, wares, merchandise, and articles of every kind whatsoever carried on a ship, other than mail, ship's stores, ship's spare parts, ship's equipment, stowage material, crew's effects and passengers' accompanied baggage (IMO).
- Any property carried on an aircraft, other than mail, stores and accompanied or mishandled baggage.
Cargo Aircraft Any aircraft other than a passenger aircraft or a combi (Freighter)
Cargo Assembly The separate reception of parcels or packages and the holding of them for later dispatches one consignment (aircargo).
Cargo Accounts Settlement System (IATA) (CASS) The worldwide network of IATA (International Air Transport Association) Settlement Systems spanning 140 countries
Cargo Disassembly The separation of one or more of the component parts of a consignment (from other parts of such consignment) for any purpose other than that of presenting such part or parts to customs authorities at the specific request of such authorities (aircargo).
Cargo Handling All procedures necessary to enable the physical handling of goods.
Cargo Manifest A manifest that lists all cargo carried on a specific vessel voyage.
Cargo NOS Cargo Not Otherwise Specified. Usually the rate entry in a tariff that can apply to commodities not covered under a specific item or sub-item in the applicable tariff.
Cargo Plan A plan giving the quantities and description of the various grades carried in the ship's cargo tanks, after the loading is completed.
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 Restriction Code A code indicating that the use of a certain container is restricted to particular cargo.
Cargo Selectivity System The Cargo Selectivity System, a part of Customs' Automated Commercial System, specifies the type of examination (intensive or general) to be conducted for imported merchandise. The type of examination is based on database selectivity criteria such as assessments of risk by filer, consignee, tariff number, country of origin, and manufacturer/shipper. A first time consignee is always selected for an intensive examination. An alert is also generated in cargo selectivity the first time a consignee files an entry in a port with a particular tariff number, country of origin, or manufacturer/shipper.
Cargo Tonnage Most ocean freight is billed on the basis of weight or measurement tons (W/M). Weight tons can be expressed in short tons of 2000 pounds, long tons of 2240 pounds or metric tons of 1000 kilos (2204.62 pounds). Measurement tons are usually expressed as cargo measurement of 40 cubic feet (1.12 meters) or cubic meters (35.3 cubic feet.)
Cargo Tracer A document sent by the agent to all relevant parties, stating that certain cargo is either missing or overlanded.
Cargo Unit A vehicle, container, pallet, flat, portable tank or any other entity or any part thereof which belongs to the ship but is not permanently attached to that ship.
Cargo War Risk Policy A separate Cargo policy covering cargo while waterborne only (except at transshipping point, which may be on land or water). Insures against war risks.
Carload Rate A rate applicable to a carload of goods.
Carmack Amendment An Interstate Commerce Act amendment that delineates the liability of common carriers and the bill of lading provisions.
Carnet 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. Any of various Customs documents required for crossing some international borders.
Carousel Rotating system of layers of bins and/or drawers that can store many small items using relatively little floor space.
Carriage - The process of transporting (conveying) cargo, from one point to another
- Chassis
Carriage Paid To (CPT) Carriage paid to (CPT) and carriage and insurance paid to (CIP) a named place of destination. Used in place of CFR and CIF, respectively for shipment by modes other than water.
Carriage Of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA) A law enacted in 1936 covering the transportation of merchandise by sea to or from ports of the United States and in foreign trades.
Carrier Any person or entity who, in a contract of carriage, undertakes to perform or to procure the performance of carriage by rail, road, sea, air, inland waterway or by a combination of such modes.
Carrier (Ins) An insurance company which "carries" the insurance. (The terms "insurance company" or "insurer" are preferred because of the possible confusion of "carrier" with transportation terminology).
Carrier Haulage The inland transport service which is performed by the sea-carrier under the terms and conditions of the tariff and of the relevant transport document.
Carrier Liability A common carrier is liable for all shipment loss, damage, and delay with the exception of that caused by act of God, act of a public enemy, act of a public authority, act of the shipper, and the goods' inherent nature.
Carrier's Certificate A certificate required by U.S. Customs to release cargo properly to the correct party. Used to advise customs of the shipment's details. By means of this document, the carrier certifies that the firm or individual named in the certificate is the owner or consignee of the cargo.
Carrier's Lien When the shipper ships goods 'collect', the carrier has a possessory claim on these goods, which means that the carrier can retain possession of the goods as security for the charges due.
Carrying Temperature Required cargo temperature during transport and storage.
Cartage Usually refers to intra-city hauling on drays or trucks.
Cartment Customs form permitting in-bond cargo to be moved from one location to another under Customs control, within the same Customs district. Usually in motor carrier's possession while draying cargo.
Case of Need Agent of the exporter located in the country of the importer who is to be notified by the presenting bank under a draft collection of any difficulties in collecting payment. The case-of-need may be given the power to change the collection instructions or even the draft amount, or may just be expected to make arrangements to store the goods and locate an alternate buyer. Whatever authority the case-of-need has should be specified in the collection instructions letter.
Cash Against Documents (CAD) 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 in Advance (CIA) A method of payment for goods in which the buyer pays the seller in advance of the shipment of goods. Usually employed when the goods, such as specialized machinery, are built to order.
Cash On Delivery (COD) Terms of payment: if the carrier collects a payment from the consignee and remits the amount to the shipper (aircargo).
Cash With Order (CWO) A method of payment for goods in which cash is paid at the time of order and the transaction becomes binding on both buyer and seller.
CASS See - Cargo Accounts Settlement System
See - Canadian Airports Security System
See - Commercial Air Service Standards
Casualty Insurance (Ins) That type of insurance that is primarily concerned with losses caused by injuries to persons and legal liability imposed for such injury or for damage to property of others. It also includes such diverse forms as Plate Glass, insurance against crime, such as robbery, burglary or forgery, Boiler and Machinery insurance, and Aviation insurance. Many casualty companies also write surety business.
Catamaran A double or treble-hulled vessel constructed in wood, aluminum or reinforced glass fibre and is also composed of two or three hulls diagonally joined together by various methods. Normally no ballast is needed to counteract the center buoyancy since it enjoys good stability at sea.
CATUG Short for Catamaran Tug. A rigid catamaran tug connected to a barge. When joined together, they form and look like a single hull of a ship; oceangoing integrated tug-barge vessels.
Catwalk A raised bridge running fore and aft from the midship, and also called "walkway." It affords safe passage over the pipelines and other deck obstructions.
Causes of Loss (Ins) Under the latest commercial property forms, this term replaces the earlier term "perils" insured against.
CBFT or CFT Cubic Feet
CBM (CM) Abbreviation for "Cubic Meter."
CCC Commodity Credit Corporation, an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
CDS Construction Differential Subsidy: A direct subsidy paid to U.S. shipyards building U.S.-flag ships to offset high construction costs in American shipyards. An amount of subsidy (up to 50 percent) is determined by estimates of construction cost differentials between U.S. and foreign yards. Program has not been funded since 1981.
CE Abbreviation for "Consumption Entry." The process of declaring the importation of foreign-made goods for use in the United States.
Cell Position The location of a cell on board of a container vessel identified by a code for successively the bay, the row and the tier, indicating the position of a container on that vessel.
Cells The construction system employed in container vessels; permits ship containers to be stowed in a vertical line with each container supporting the one above it.
Cell Guide Steel bars and rails used to steer containers during loading and discharging while sliding in the ship.
Cell Position The location of a cell on board a container vessel identified by a code for successively by the bay, the row and the tier, indicating the position of a container on that vessel.
Center of Gravity The point of equilibrium of the total weight of a containership, truck, train or a piece of cargo.
Certificate - A document certifying that merchandise (such as of Inspection perishable goods) was in good condition immediately prior to its shipment.
- The document issued by the U.S. Coast Guard certifying an American flag vessel's compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Certificate of Analysis A document, often required by an importer or governmental authorities, attesting to the quality or purity of commodities. The origin of the certification may be a chemist or any other authorized body such as an inspection firm retained by the exporter or importer. In some cases the document may be drawn up by the manufacturer certifying that the merchandise shipped has been tested in his facility and found conform to the specifications.
Certificate of Classification A certificate, issued by the classification society and stating the class under which a vessel is registered.
Certificate of Delivery A certificate indicating the condition of a vessel upon delivery for a charter including ballast, available bunkers and fresh water.
Certificate of Free Sale A certificate, required by some countries as evidence that the goods are normally sold on the open market and approved by the regulatory authorities in the country of origin.
Certificate of Inspection The document issued by the U.S. Coast Guard certifying an American-flag vessel's compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Certificate of Origin (C/O) A certified document showing the origin of goods; used in international commerce.
Certificate of Redelivery A certificate, indicating the condition of a vessel upon redelivery from a charter including ballast, available bunkers and fresh water.
Certificate of Registry A document specifying the nation registry of the vessel.
Certificated Carrier A for-hire air carrier that is subject to economic regulation and requires an operating certification to provide service.
C. & F. (CFR) Cost and Freight – a term of sale under which the seller is responsible for arranging transportation to a destination, but the buyer handles any insurance to cover the transit risk.
CFS Abbreviation for "Container Freight Station." A shipping dock where cargo is loaded ("stuffed") into or unloaded ("stripped") from containers. Generally, this involves less than containerload shipments, although small shipments destined to same consignee are often consolidated. Container reloading from/to rail or motor carrier equipment is a typical activity.
CFS/CFS Cargo movement delivered loose at origin point, devanned by carrier at destination, and picked up loose at destination terminal.
CFS/CY Loose cargo received at origin point, loaded in a container by carrier, then delivered intact at destination.
CFT Cubic Feet
CGL (Ins) See "Commercial General Liability Coverage Part"
Chain Conveyor A conveyor consisting of two or more strands of chain running in parallel tracks with the loads carried directly on the chains.
Chandler An individual or company selling equipment and supplies for ships.
Channel of Distribution A means by which a manufacturer distributes products from the plant to the ultimate user, including warehouses, brokers, wholesalers, retailers, etc.
Charge An amount to be paid for carriage of goods based on the applicable rate of such carriage, or an amount to be paid for a special or incidental service in connection with the carriage of goods.
Charge Type A separate, identifiable element of charges to be used in the pricing/rating of common services rendered to customers.
Chargeable Weight The shipment weight used in determining freight charges. The chargeable weight may be the dimensional weight or, for container shipments, the gross weight of the shipment less the tare weight of the container.
Charging Area A warehouse area where a company maintains battery chargers and extra batteries to support a fleet of electrically powered materials handling equipment. The company must maintain this area in accordance with government safety regulations.
Charter The person to whom is given the use of the whole of the carrying capacity of a ship for the transportation of cargo or passengers to a stated port for a specified time.
Charterer 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.
Charter Party A written contract between the owner of a vessel and the person desiring to employ the vessel (charterer); sets forth the terms of the arrangement such as duration of agreement, freight rate and ports involved in the trip.
Charter Rates The tariff applied for chartering tonnage in a particular trade.
Chassis A frame with wheels and container locking devices in order to secure the container for movement.
Chock A piece of wood or other material placed at the side of cargo to prevent rolling or moving sideways.
CHOPT Charterers Option
CHTRS Charterers
Churn The relentless cycle of acquiring new customers and losing others that characterizes consumer e-commerce and reduces lifetime customer value because switching is so easy.
CI Abbreviation for "Cost and Insurance." A price that includes the cost of the goods, the marine insurance and all transportation charges except the ocean freight to the named point of destination.
CICO Coffee In Coffee Out
CIF Shippers Difference In Conditions Clause (INS) (Imports)

(Contingency Clause)

   Shipments which are imported on CIF terms of sale are insured, subject to policy conditions, terms and exceptions, to the extent of any shortfall in cover conditions, insured value and/or insured voyage of the Shippers or Suppliers policy against the scope of cover the Insured enjoy under their own insurance as herein provided and always subject to the Insured making the appropriate Declarations under this policy and paying premium at 50% of the applicable policy rate on the full insured value as per the Basis of Valuation herein.
   It is a condition of the Insured's right of recovery hereunder that they shall  take all reasonable steps to recover from the Seller and that the existence of this extension shall not be revealed to the Seller failing which it shall be void and of no force and effect.
SEE ALSO: "Sellers Interest Clause" (Exports)

CIF Abbreviation for "Cost, Insurance, Freight." (Named Port) Same as C&F or CFR except seller also provides insurance to named destination.
CIF&C Price includes commission as well as CIF.
CIF&E Abbreviation for "Cost, Insurance, Freight And Exchange."
CIFCI Abbreviation for "Cost, Insurance, Freight, Collection And Interest."
CIFI&E Cost, Insurance, Freight, Interest and Exchange.
CIP Carriage & Insurance Paid to
CKD Abbreviation for "Completely Knocked Down." Parts and subassemblies being transported to an assembly plant.
CL Abbreviation for "Carload" and "Containerload"
Claim A demand made upon a transportation line for payment on account of a loss sustained through its alleged negligence.
Claim (Ins) (1) A formal request for payment of a loss under an insurance contract or bond; (2) The actual amount of the final settlement.
Claimant (Ins) One who seeks reimbursement for loss under the terms and conditions of the insurance contract.
Claims Agent A representative of the insuring underwriters, usually located overseas, who has been authorized to accept the papers and documents required to prove a claim. While the claims agent does not have authority to make settlement with the claimant, he/she performs a valuable service in expediting the processing of a claim
Claims Made Coverage (Ins) A policy providing liability coverage only if a written claim is made during the policy period or any applicable extended reporting period. For example, a claim made in the current reporting year could be charged against the current policy even if the injury or loss occurred many years in the past. If the policy has a retroactive date, an occurrence prior to that date is not covered. (Contrast this with "Occurrence Coverage)
Class Rate A grouping of goods or commodities under one general heading. All the items in the group make up a class. The freight rates that apply to all items in the class are called "class rates."
Classification A publication, such as 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 Clause Cargo (Ins) A clause in a cargo insurance open cover which details the minimum classification for an overseas carrying vessel that is acceptable to the insurers for carriage of the insured goods at the premium rate/s agreed in the contract. Goods carried by lower class vessels are accepted under the open cover, subject to payment of an additional premium.
Classification Rating The designation provided in a classification by which a class rate is determined.
Classification Society Worldwide experienced and reputable societies. which undertake to arrange inspections and advise on the hull and machinery of a ship. A private organization that supervises vessels during their construction and afterward, in respect to their seaworthiness, and the placing of vessels in grades or "classes" according to the society's rules for each particular type. It is not compulsory by law that a shipowner have his vessel built according to the rules of any classification society; but in practice, the difficulty in securing satisfactory insurance rates for an unclassed vessel makes it a commercial obligation.
Classification Yard A railroad yard with many tracks used for assembling freight trains.
Clause (Ins) A section or paragraph in an insurance policy that explains, defines or clarifies the conditions of coverage.
Clayton Act An anti-trust act of the U.S. Congress making price discrimination unlawful.
Clean B/L See "Clean Bill of Lading"
Clean Bill of Lading A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were received in "apparent good order and condition," without damage or other irregularities.  If no notation or exception is made, the B/L is assumed to be "cleaned."
Clean On Board When goods are loaded on board and the document issued in respect to these goods is clean.
Cleaning in Transit The stopping of articles, such as peanuts, etc., for cleaning at a point between the point of origin and destination.
Clean Ship Refers to tankers which have their cargo tanks free of traces of dark persistent oils which remain after carrying crudes and heavy fuel oils.
Clearance - A document stating that a shipment is free to be imported into the country after all legal requirements have been met.
The size beyond which cars or loads cannot use Limits bridges, tunnels, etc.
Clearance Terminal Terminal where Customs facilities for the clearance of goods are available.
Cleared Without Examination (CWE) Cleared by customs without inspection.
Cleat A strip of wood or metal used to afford additional strength, to prevent warping, or to hold in place.
Client A party with which a company has a commercial relationship concerning the transport of e.g. cargo or concerning certain services of the company concerned, either directly or through an agent.
Clip-On Unit (COU) Refrigeration equipment attachable to an insulated container that does not have its own refrigeration unit.
CLM See "Council of Logistics Management"
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.
CLP See "Container Load Plan"
CM Abbreviation for "Cubic Meter" (capital letters).
cm Abbreviation for "centimeter.
CNC See "Compagneurs Nationales des Conteneurs"
CNP Continued in Next Post
COACP Contract of Affreightment Charter Party
Coalition Coalitions are either buy-side or sell-side and are generally groups of buyers or sellers who agree to channel procurement through a single marketplace. They operate a marketplace without having a third party, neutral Net market as the hub. Many claim to be neutral--that anyone can join--but, by the nature of their partnership their first audience is either buyers or sellers. The advantage of coalitions, particularly buy-side coalitions, is they can do a lot of transactions, which creates marketplace liquidity. However, the problem with coalitions is they have several challenges to overcome--political challenges, both from regulators and relationships between powerful companies, as well as technology challenges of integrating legacy systems. Due to the complexity of these issues, none are operational yet. If they do in fact successfully overcome these obstacles and operationalize, we expect they will conduct a large number of transactions because they can force their suppliers to go through this marketplace to conduct the transactions.
Coastal Carrier Water carriers that provide service along coasts serving ports on the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans or on the Gulf of Mexico.
Coastwise Water transportation along the coast.
C/O See "Certificate of Origin"
COB Close of Business
COBLDN Close Of Business London
COC Carrier Owned Container
COD Abbreviation for:
- Collect (cash) on Delivery.
- Carried on Docket (pricing).
Code of Liner Conduct (UNCTAD)

A convention drafted under the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development which provides that all shipping traffic between two foreign countries is to be regulated as far as the quantities of shipments are concerned on the following percentages -- 40% for owners of the country of origin, 40% for owners of country of destination, and 20% for owners of the country which is neither the origin nor the destination.

COFC Abbreviation for the Railway Service "Container On Flat Car."
Cofferdam An empty space on board of a vessel between two bulkheads or two decks separating oil tanks from each other and/or the engine room or other compartments.
COFR Certificate of Financial Responsibility
COGSA Carriage of Goods by Sea Act. U.S. federal codification passed in 1936 which standardizes carrier's liability under carrier's bill of lading. U.S. enactment of The Hague Rules.

Co-Insurance / Coinsurance (Ins)

(1) In property insurance, a clause under which the insured shares in losses to the extent that he is underinsured at the time of loss. (2) In health insurance, a provision that the insured and insurance company will shared covered losses in agreed proportion. In health insurance, the preferred term is "percentage participation."
Collapsible Container Container which can be easily folded, disassembled and reassembled
Collect Freight Freight payable to the carrier at the port of discharge or ultimate destination. The consignee does not pay the freight charge if the cargo does not arrive at the destination.
Collecting A bank that acts as an agent to the seller's bank (the presenting bank). The collecting bank assumes no responsibility for either the documents or the merchandise.
Collection A draft drawn on the buyer, usually accompanied by documents, with complete instructions concerning processing for payment or acceptance.
Collection Papers Documents (invoices, bills of lading or air waybill, etc.) submitted to a buyer for the purpose of receiving payment for a shipment.
Collection System Collections System, a part of Customs' Automated Commercial System, controls and accounts for the billions of dollars in payments collected by Customs each year and the millions in refunds processed each year. Daily statements are prepared for the automated brokers who select this service. The Collections System permits electronic payments of the related duties and taxes through the Automated Clearinghouse capability. Automated collections also meet the needs of the importing community through acceptance of electronic funds transfers for deferred tax bills and receipt of electronic payments from lockbox operations for Customs bills and fees.
Collective Paper All documents (commercial invoices, bills of lading, etc.) submitted to a buyer for the purpose of receiving payment for a shipment.
Collision (Ins) Physical damage protection for the insured's own automobile(s) for damage resulting from a collision with another object or upset.
Co-Loading The loading, on the way, of cargo from another shipper, having the same final destination as the cargo loaded earlier.
Combi Combination passenger/cargo vessel; a vessel specifically designed to carry both containers and conventional cargoes.
Combination Charge An amount which is obtained by combining two or more charges.
Combination Chassis A chassis which can carry either one forty foot or thirty foot container or a combination of shorter containers e.g. 2 x 20 foot.
Combination Export Mgr. A firm that acts as an export sales agent for more than one noncompeting manufacturer.
Combination Joint Rate A joint rate which is obtained by combining two or more published rates (aircargo).
Combination Rate A rate made up of two or more factors, separately published.
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. - See also "Multimodal Transport" or "Intermodal"
Combined Transport Bill of Lading (B/L) See "Bill of Lading R302"
Combined Transport Document (CTD) Negotiable or non-negotiable document evidencing a contract for the performance and/or procurement of performance of combined transport of goods.
Combined Transport Operator (CTO) A party who undertakes to carry goods with different modes of transport.
Commercial Air Service Standards (CASS) Canada's standards for commercial aviation.
Commercial Aviation Transport of persons or cargo via air routes operated as a business enterprise (aircargo).
Commercial General Liability Coverage Part (CGL) (Ins) General liability coverage which may be written as a monoline policy or part of a commercial package. "CGL" now means commercial general liability forms which have replaced the earlier "comprehensive" general liability forms. The latest forms include all sublines, provide very broad coverage, and two variations are available, "Occurrence," and "Claims Made," coverage.
Commercial Invoice 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.
Commercial Letter of Credit (LOC) Letter of credit intended to act as the vehicle of payment for goods sold by one party to another.
Commercial Risks With respect to Eximbank guarantees, commercial risks cover nonpayment for reasons other than specified Political Risks. Examples are insolvency or protracted default.
Commercial Set Set of four "negotiable" documents that represents and takes the place of the goods themselves in the financing of the cargo sales transaction.
Commercial Zone The area surrounding a city or town to which rate carriers quote for the city or town also apply; the ICC defines the area.
Commodity Article shipped. For dangerous and hazardous cargo, the correct commodity identification is critical.
Commodity Box Rate A rate classified by commodity and quoted per container.
Commodity Code A code describing a commodity or a group of commodities pertaining to goods classification. This code can be carrier tariff or regulating in nature.
Commodity Item Rate Specific description number required in air transport to indicate that a specific freight rate applies.
Commodity Rate A rate published to apply to a specific article or articles.
Common Carrier A transportation company which provides service to the general public at published rates. One who offers to transport merchandise for hire and must accept shipments from anyone who wishes to use his/her services. Common carriers must abide by different rules and laws than private or contract carriers who transport only the goods of those with whom they have made agreements.
Common Cost A cost that a company cannot directly assign to particular segments of the business; a cost that the company incurs for the business as a whole.
Common Law 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.
Compagneurs Nationales des Conteneurs (CNC) Affiliate of the French National Railways for Container traffic
Comparative Advantage A principle based on the assumption that an area will specialize in producing goods for which it has the greatest advantage or the least comparative disadvantage.
Component A uniquely identifiable product that is considered indivisible for a particular planning or control purpose, and/or which cannot be decomposed without destroying it. A component for one organization group may be the final assembly of another group (e.g. electric motor).
Compradore A local advisor or agent employed by a foreign party or company who acts as an intermediary in transactions with local inhabitants.
Comprehensive (Ins) Traditional name for physical damage coverage for losses by fire, theft, vandalism, falling objects and various other perils. On Personal Auto Policies this is now called "other than collision" coverage. On commercial forms, it continues to be called "comprehensive coverage."
Comprehensive General Liability Policy (CGL (Ins) A policy covering a variety of general liability exposures, including Premises and Operations (OL&T or M&C), Completed Operations, Products Liability, and Owners and Contractors Protective. Contractual Liability and Broad Form coverages could be added. In most jurisdictions the "Comprehensive General Liability Policy" has been replaced by the newer "Commercial General Liability (CGL) forms which include all the standard and optional coverages of the earlier forms.
Comprehensive Personal Liability Policy (CPL) (Ins) A personal liability contract. It provides personal liability coverage for the individual and family needs arising out of numerous personal activities and situations, such as the ownership of residential property, ownership of pets, sports activities, and many other everyday activities.
Conair Container Thermal container served by an external cooling system (e.g. a vessel's cooling system or a Clip On Unit), which regulates the temperature of the cargo. Conair is a brand name.
Concealed Damage Damage that is not evident from viewing the unopened package.
Conditionally Renewable (Ins) A contract of health insurance that provides that the insured may renew the contract to a stated date or an advanced age, subject to the right of the insurance company to decline renewal only under conditions defined in the contract.
Conditions - Anything called for as requirements before the performance or completion of something else
- Contractual stipulations which are printed on a document or provided separately.
Conditions of Carriage The general terms and conditions established by a carrier in respect of the carriage (aircargo).
Conditions of Contract Terms and conditions shown on the Air Waybill (aircargo).
Cones Devices for facilitating the loading, positioning and lashing of containers. The cones insert into the bottom castings of the container.
Conference An association of ship owners operating in the same trade route who operate under collective conditions and agree on tariff rates.
Conference Carrier An ocean carrier who is a member of an association known as a "conference." The purpose of the conference is to standardize shipping practices, eliminate freight rate competition, and provide regularly scheduled service between specific ports.
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 the 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 documents specified in the letter of credit.
Congestion Port or Berth Delays. Accumulation of vessels at a port to the extent that vessels arriving to load or discharge are obliged to wait for a vacant berth.
Connecting Carrier A carrier which has a direct physical connection with, or forms a link between two or more carriers. Also known as "Feeder Service"
Connecting Road Haulage See "Drayage"
CONS Consumption
Consequential Loss (Ins) A loss arising indirectly from an insured peril.
Consignee A person or company to whom commodities are shipped.
Consignee Mark A symbol placed on packages for identification purposes; generally a triangle, square, circle, etc. with letters and/or numbers and port of discharge.
Consignment (1) A stock of merchandise advanced to a dealer and located at his place of business, but with title remaining in the source of supply.
(2) A shipment of goods to a consignee.
Consignment Instructions Instructions from either the seller/consignor or the buyer/consignee to a freight forwarder, carrier or his agent, or other provider of a service, enabling the movement of goods and associated activities. The following functions can be covered: Movement and handling of goods (shipping, forwarding and stowage).
Consignment Note A document prepared by the shipper and comprising a transport contract. It contains details of the consignment to be carried to the port of loading and it is signed by the inland carrier as proof of receipt.
Consignment Stock The stock of goods with an external party (customer) which is still the property of the supplier. Payment for these goods is made to the supplier at the moment when they are sold (used) by this party.
Consignor A person or company shown on the bill of lading as the shipper.
Consolidate To group and stuff several shipments together in one container.
Consolidated Container Container carrying goods of more than one shipper or goods for one shipper from more than one origin.
Consolidation Cargo containing shipments of two or more shippers or suppliers. Containerload shipments may be consolidated for one or more consignees.
Consolidation Point The location where consolidation takes place.
Consolidator A person or firm performing a consolidation service for others. The consolidator takes advantage of lower full carload (FCL) rates, and savings are passed on to shippers.
Consolidator's Bill of Lading A bill of lading issued by a consolidator as a receipt for merchandise that will be grouped with cargo obtained from other shippers. See also House Air Waybill.
Consortium Group of carriers pooling resources in a trade lane to maximize their resources efficiently.
Construction Differential Subsidy A program whereby the U.S. government attempted to offset the higher shipbuilding cost in the U.S. by paying up to 50% of the difference between cost of U.S. and non-U.S. construction. The difference went to the U.S. shipyard. It is unfunded since 1982.
Constructive Total Loss (Ins) A partial loss of sufficient degree to make the cost of repairing as much or more than the property is worth or is insured for.
Consul A government official residing in a foreign country who represents the interests of her or his country and its nationals.
Consular Declaration A formal statement describing goods to be shipped; filed with and approved by the consul of the country of destination prior to shipment.
Consular Documents Special forms signed by the consul of a country to which cargo is destined.
Consular Invoice A document, certified by a consular official, is required by some countries to describe a shipment. Used by Customs of the foreign country, to verify the value, quantity and nature of the cargo.
Consular Visa An official signature or seal affixed to certain documents by the consul of the country of destination.
Consumption Entry (CE) The process of declaring the importation of foreign-made goods into the United States for use in the United States.

A truck trailer body that can be detached from the chassis for loading into a vessel, a rail car or stacked in a container depot. Containers may be ventilated, insulated, refrigerated, flat rack, vehicle rack, open top, bulk liquid or equipped with interior devices. A container may be 20 feet, 40 feet, 45 feet, 48 feet or 53 feet in length, 8'0" or 8'6" in width, and 8'6" or 9'6" in height.
An item of equipment as defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for transport purposes. It must be of:

     a)- a permanent character and accordingly strong enough to be suitable for repeated use.

     b)- specially designed to facilitate the carriage of goods, by one or more modes of transport without intermediate reloading.

     c)- fitted with devices permitting its ready handling, particularly from one mode of transport to another.

     d)- so designed as to be easy to fill and empty.

     e)- having an internal volume of 1 m3 or more.
The term container includes neither vehicles nor conventional packing.

Container Bolster A container floor without sides or end walls which does not have the ISO corner fittings and is generally used for Ro/Ro operations.
Container Booking Arrangements with a steamship line to transport containerized cargo.
Container Chassis A vehicle built for the purpose of transporting a container so that, when a container and chassis are assembled, the produced unit serves as a road trailer.
Container Check Digit The 7th digit of the serial number of a container used to check whether prefix and serial number are correct.
Container Depot Storage Yard for containers
Container Freight Station (CFS) See CFS
Container Freight Station Charge The charge assessed for services performed at the loading or discharge location.
Container ID See "Container Number"
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 Load Plan A document prepared to show all details of cargo loaded in a container, e.g. weight (individual and total), measurement, markings, shipper, the origin of goods and destination, as well as location of the cargo within the container.
Container Manifest Document showing contents and loading sequence of a container.
Container Moves The number of actions performed by one container crane during a certain period.
Container Number Identification Number of a container consisting of prefix and serial number and check digit
Container Platform A container floor without sides or end walls which can be loaded by spreader directly and is generally used for Lo-Lo operations.
Container Pool An agreement between parties that allows the efficient use and supply of containers. A common supply of containers available to the shipper as required.
Container Prefix A four letter code that forms the first part of a container identification number indicating the owner of a container.
Container Service Charges Charges at a destination to be paid by cargo interests as per tariff. Charge considered accessorial and added to base ocean rate. Often covers crane lift off vessel, drayage within terminal and gate fees of port.
Container Ship A ship constructed in such a way that she can easily stack containers near and on top of each other as well as on deck. A vessel designed to carry standard intermodal containers enabling efficient loading, unloading, and transport to and from the vessel. Oceangoing merchant ship designed to transport a unit load of standard-sized containers 8 feet square and 20 or 40 feet long. The hull is divided into cells that are easily accessible through large hatches, and more containers can be loaded on deck atop the closed hatches. Loading and unloading can proceed simultaneously using giant traveling cranes at special berths. Container ships usually carry in the range of 25,000 to 50,000 deadweight tons. Whereas a general-cargo ship may spend as much as 70 percent of its life in port loading and discharging cargo, a container ship can be turned around in 36 hours or less, spending as little as 20 percent of its time in port. This ship type is the result of American design innovation. Specialized types of container ships are the LASH and SeaBee which carry floating containers (or "lighters,") and RoRo ships, which may carry containers on truck trailers.
Container Size Code An indication of 2 digits of the nominal length and nominal height. See also Size/Type ISO6346.
Container Size/Type Description of the size and type of a freight container or similar unit load device as specified in ISO6346.
Container Stack Two or more containers, one placed above the other forming a vertical column.
Container Terminal An area designated for the stowage of cargoes in container; usually accessible by truck, railroad and marine transportation. Here containers are picked up, dropped off, maintained and housed.
Container Type Code Two digits, the first of which indicates the category and the second of which indicates certain physical characteristics or other attributes
Container Vessel See "Container Ship"
Container Yard (CY) A materials-handling/storage facility used for completely unitized loads in containers and/or empty containers. Commonly referred to as CY.
Containerizable Cargo Cargo that will fit into a container and result in an economical shipment.
Containerization Stowage of general or special cargoes in a container for transport in the various modes.
Containerized Indication that goods have been stowed in a container.
Contingency Clauses (INS) Insurance Clauses or coverages that are triggered by a defined action or inaction as defined by the insuring terms of the clauses.
SEE ALSO: "Sellers Interest Clauses" (Exports) and/or "CIF
Shipments Difference In Conditions Clause" (Imports)
Contingent Liability (INS) A liability imposed because of accidents caused by persons other than employees for whose acts an individual, partnership or corporation may be responsible.
EXAMPLE: An insured who hires an independent contractor can in some cases be held liable for his negligence.
EXAMPLE: In cargo transits or contracts for transits, an insurance taken out to pay if the primary insurer does not.
Continuous Replenishment A system used to reduce customer inventories and improve service usually to large customers. (CRP)
Contraband Cargo that is prohibited.
Contract A legally binding agreement between two or more persons/organizations to carry out reciprocal obligations or value.
Contract Carrier Any person not a common carrier who, under special and individual contracts or agreements, transports passengers or property for compensation.
Contract of Affreightment An agreement whereby the ship owner agrees to carry goods by water, or furnishes a vessel for the purpose of carrying goods by water, in return for a sum of money called freight. There are two forms: the charter party and the contract contained in the Bill of Lading.
Contract Logistics The contracting out of all the warehousing, transport and distribution activities or a part thereof by manufacturing companies.
Contractual Liability (Ins) Liability assumed under any contract or agreement. Coverage is generally limited in liability policies, but in most cases may be provided for an additional premium.
Contribution (Ins) The term relates to circumstances where more than one party covers the risk. Each party is deemed to be liable for his proportion of the loss. If the Assured recovers in full from one insurer, that insurer is entitled to recover from the other insurer for that part of the loss which should have been paid by the latter. The term is used in marine insurance, also, in relation to contributions paid by the Assured in connection with salvage and/or general average.
Contributory Value (Ins) The value on which a contribution to a general average loss or salvage award is calculated.
Controlled Atmosphere Sophisticated, computer-controlled systems that manage the mixtures of gases within a container throughout an intermodal journey reducing decay.
Conventional Cargo See "Break Bulk Cargo"
Conveyance The application used to describe the function of a vehicle of transfer.
Coordinated Transport Two or more carriers of different modes transporting a shipment
COP Custom of Port
Corner Fittings Fittings located at the corners of containers providing means of supporting, stacking, handling and securing the container.
Corner Posts Vertical frame 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.
Correspondent Bank A bank that, in its own country, handles the business of a foreign bank.
Cost-Benefit Ratio Also known as "Benefit-Cost Ratio" - An analytical tool used in public planning; a ratio of total measurable benefits divided by the initial capital cost.
Cost and Freight (C&F) Cost and Freight (CFR) to a named overseas port of import. Under this term, the seller quotes a price for the goods that includes the cost of transportation to the named point of debarkation. The cost of insurance is left to the buyer's account. (Typically used for ocean shipments only. CPT, or carriage paid to, is a term used for shipment by modes other than water.) Also, a method of import valuation that includes insurance and freight charges with the merchandise values.
Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) Cost of goods, marine insurance and all transportation (freight) charges are paid to the foreign point of delivery by the seller.
Cost of Lost Sales The forgone profit companies associate with a stockout.
Cost Trade-Off The interrelationship among system variables in which a change in one variable affects other variables' costs. A cost reduction in one variable may increase costs for other variables, and vice versa.
COT See "Customer Own Transport"
COU See "Clip-On Unit"
Council of Logistics Management

A professional organization in the logistics field that provides leadership in understanding the logistics process, awareness of career opportunities in logistics, and research that enhances customer value and supply chain performance.

Countervailing Duty An additional duty imposed to offset export grants, bounties or subsidies paid to foreign suppliers in certain countries by the government of that country for the purpose of promoting export.
Country Damage Damage to cotton in bales caused by poor methods of bailing, discoloration, etc. This term is used in Marine Cargo insurance of cotton.
Country Damage (Ins) Marine term referring to damage to baled or bagged goods (e.g. cotton) caused by excessive moisture from damp ground or exposure to weather, or by grit, dust or sand forced into the insured property by windstorm or inclement weather.
Country of Provenance The country from which goods or cargo are sent to the importing country.
Cover (Ins) (1) A contract of insurance; (2) To effect insurance; (3) To include within the coverage of a contract of insurance.
Coverage (Ins) The scope of protection provided under the contract of insurance.
Coverage Part (Ins) Any one of the individual commercial coverage parts that may be attached to a commercial policy.
Coverage Trigger (Ins) A mechanism that determines whether a policy covers a particular claim for loss. For example, the difference between the coverage triggers of liability "occurrence" forms and "claims made" forms is that the loss must occur during the policy period in the first case and the claim must be made during the policy period in the second case.
CP (C/P) Charter Party
CPD Charterers Pay Dues
CPT Carriage Paid To
CPU Customer Pick-Up
CQD Customary Quick Dispatch
CR Current Rate
Crane A materials handling device that lifts heavy items. There are two types: bridge and stacker.
CRB Come Right Back
CRBT Crying Real Big Tears
Credit Insurance Insurance against losses due to inability or failure of the insured’s customers to pay for goods sold by the insured. The insurance normally covers a specified percentage of each loss beyond a deductible indicated in the policy. Insurance is available covering a variety of risks, e.g., political and transfer risks ("country risks") and financial risks (called "commercial risks"). Even "comprehensive" insurance, however, will not cover non-payment for contract disputes.
Credit Risk Risk incurred by a seller of goods that the buyer cannot or will not pay for them.
Credit Terms The agreement between two or more enterprises concerning the amount and timing of payment for goods or services.
Critical Mass When enough buyers and sellers participate in a Net market so goods or services change hands efficiently. Also, the time when a market gains momentum, achieves liquidity, and becomes a more efficient way to buy or sell than the traditional physical market or channel.
Critical Value Analysis A modified ABC analysis in which a company assigns a subjective critical value to each item in an inventory.
Cross-Dock An enterprise that provides services to transfer goods from one piece of transportation equipment to another.
Cross-Docking The movement of goods directly from receiving dock to shipping dock to eliminate storage expense.
Cross Member Transverse members fitted to the bottom side rails of a container, which support the floor
Cross Trade Foreign-to-foreign trade carried by ships from a nation other than the two trading nations.
CRP Continuous Replenishment - A system used to reduce customer inventories and improve service usually to large customers.
C/SNEE Consignee
CSR Continuous Synopsis Record, an on-board record of the history of a ship
CST - Centistoke
- Commodity Specialist Team
CTD See "Combined Transport Document"
CTL An instance in which the cost of recovering and/or repairing damaged goods would, when recovered or repaired, exceed the insured value.
CTO See "Combined Transport Operator"
CTR Container or Container Fitted
Cu. An abbreviation for "Cubic." A unit of volume measurement.
CU See You
Cube Out When a container or vessel has reached its volumetric capacity before its permitted weight limit.
Cubic Foot 1,728 cubic inches.  A volume contained in a space measuring one foot high, one foot wide and one foot long.
Cubic Capacity The carrying capacity of a piece of equipment according to measurement in cubic feet.
CUL See You Later
CUL8R See You Later
Cumulative Revolving Letter of Credit (LOC) Revolving letter of credit that permits the seller to carry over any amounts not drawn into successive periods.
Currency - A medium of exchange of value, defined by reference to the geographical location of the authorities responsible for it ISO4217.
- In general, the monetary unit, involved in a transaction and represented by a name or a symbol.
Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF) A surcharge imposed by a carrier on ocean freight charges to offset foreign currency fluctuations.
Customer Order The seller's internal translation of their buyer's Purchase Order. The document contains much of the same information as the purchase order but may use different Product IDs for some or all of the line items. It will also determine inventory availability.
Customer Own Transport (COT) The customer arranges his own transport of the container to and from the terminal or depot but agrees to restitute the container back to the terminal or depot.
Customer Pick-Up Cargo picked up by a customer at a warehouse
Customhouse A government office where duties are paid, import documents filed, etc., on foreign shipments.
Customhouse Broker A person or firm, licensed by the treasury department of their country when required, engaged in entering and clearing goods through Customs for a client (importer).
Customs Government agency charged with enforcing the rules passed to protect the country's import and export revenues.
Customs Bonded Warehouse A warehouse authorized by Customs to receive duty-free merchandise.
Customs Broker See Customhouse Broker
Customs Clearance The procedures involved in getting cargo released by Customs through designated formalities such as presenting import license/permit, payment of import duties and other required documentations by the nature of the cargo such as FCC or FDA approval.
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.

Consumption Entry - A form required by U.S. Customs for entering goods into the U.S. The form contains information as to the origin of the cargo, a description of the merchandise, and estimated duties applicable to the particular commodity. Estimated duties must be paid when the entry is filed.

Immediate Delivery Entry (I.D. Entry) - Procedure used to expedite the clearance of cargo. It allows up to ten days for the payment of estimated duty and processing of the consumption entry. In addition, it permits delivery of the cargo prior to payment of the estimated duty and then allows subsequent filing of the consumption entry and duty.

Immediate Transportation Entry (I.T. Entry) - Allows the cargo to be moved from the pier to an inland destination via a bonded carrier without the payment of duties or finalization of the entry at the port of arrival. Cargo must clear Customs at the inland destination point.

Transportation and Exportation Entry (T&E Entry) - Allows goods coming from or going to a third country (such as Canada or Mexico) to enter the U.S. for the purpose of Trans-shipments.

Customs Import Value This is the U.S. Customs Service appraisal value of merchandise. Methodologically, the Customs value is similar to f.a.s. (free alongside ship) value since it is based on the value of the product in the foreign country of origin, and excludes charges incurred in bringing the merchandise to the United States (import duties, ocean freight, insurance, and so forth); but it differs in that the U.S. Customs Service, not the importer or exporter, has the final authority to determine the value of the good.
Customs Invoice A form requiring all data in a commercial invoice along with a certificate of value and/or a certificate of origin. Required in a few countries (usually former British territories) and usually serves as a seller's commercial invoice.
Customs of the Port A phrase often included in charter parties and freight contracts referring to local rules and practices which may impact upon the costs borne by  the various parties.
Customs Value The value of the imported goods on which duties will be assessed.
Cuttings Clause (INS) - Insurance Clause normally associated with movement of coils, wires, etc.
- In the event of damage or breakage caused by an insured peril it is agreed that the damaged or broken length or portion shall be cut off, the remaining length or portion to be considered as sound and the Underwriters only to be liable for the insured value of the length or portion which has been lost by being broken off or cut off and for the cost of cutting.
Cut Off See "Cut-Off Time"
Cut-Off Time The latest time cargo may be delivered to a terminal for loading to a scheduled train or ship.
CWE See "Cleared Without Examination"
CWO Cash With Order
Cwt. Hundred weight (United States, 100 pounds: U.K.,112)
CY - Abbreviation for Container Yard.
- The designation for full container receipt/delivery.
CYC Container Yard Charges
CY/CFS Cargo loaded in a full container by a shipper at origin, delivered to pier facility at destination, and then devanned by carrier for loose pick up.
CY/CY Cargo loaded by shipper in a full container at origin and delivered to carrier's terminal at destination for pick up intact by consignee.
CYA See You
CYA Cover Your A**
Cycle Time The elapsed time between commencement and completion of a process.
CYO See You Online
DISCLAIMER:   These terms and definitions have been gathered from many sources public and private. This list is designed to serve as a reference. No warranty for the accuracy is stated nor implied.


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Last Updated:
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