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Shipping Glossary

 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

B / L
A particular article, stipulation or single proviso in a Bill of Lading. A clause can be standard and can be pre-printed on the B / L.
BSI Container Specification
Accidents of a nature beyond human control such as flood, lightning or hurricane usually quoted as 'force majeure'.
Bank Guarantee
An undertaking by a bank to be answerable for payment of a sum of money in the event of non performance by the party on whose behalf the guarantee is issued.
Bar Coding
A method of encoding data for fast and accurate electronic readability. Bar codes are a series of alternating bars and spaces printed or stamped on products, labels, or other media, representing encoded information which can be read by electronic readers, used to facilitate timely and accurate input of data to a computer system. Bar codes represent letters and/or numbers and special characters like +, /, -, etc.
Bay
A vertical division of a vessel from stem to stern, used as a part of the indication of a stowage place for containers. The numbers run from stem to stern; odd numbers indicate a 20 foot position, even numbers indicate a 40 foot position.
Bay Plan
A stowage plan which shows the locations of all the containers on the vessel.
Berth
A location in a port where a vessel can be moored often indicated by a code or name.
Bilateral Transport Agreement
Agreement between two nations concerning their transport relations.
Bill of Exchange
An unconditional order in writing to pay a certain sum of money to a named person.
Bill of Health
The Bill of Health is the certificate issued by local medical authorities indicating the general health conditions in the port of departure or in the ports of call. The Bill of Health must have been visaed before departure by the Consul of the country of destination.

When a vessel has free pratique, this means that the vessel has a clean Bill of Health certifying that there is no question of contagious disease and that all quarantine regulations have been complied with, so that people may embark and disembark.
Bill of Lading
Abbreviation: B/L, plural Bs/L
A document which evidences a contract of carriage by sea.
The document has the following functions:
A receipt for goods, signed by a duly authorised person on behalf of the carriers
A document of title to the goods described therein
Evidence of the terms and conditions of carriage agreed upon between the two parties
At the moment 3 different models are used:
A document for either Combined Transport or Port to Port shipments depending whether the relevant spaces for place of receipt and/or place of delivery are indicated on the face of the document.

A classic marine Bill of Lading in which the carrier is also responsible for the part of the transport actually performed by himself

Sea Waybill: A non-negotiable document, which can only be made out to a named consignee. No surrender of the document by the consignee is required
Bill of Lading Clause
A particular article, stipulation or single proviso in a Bill of Lading. A clause can be standard and can be pre-printed on the B/L.
Bill of Material
A list of all parts, sub-assemblies and raw materials that constitute a particular assembly, showing the quantity of each required item.
Block Train
A number of railway wagons (loaded with containers), departing from a certain place and running straight to a place of destination, without marshalling, transhipping or any coupling or de-coupling of wagons.
Bona Fide
In good faith; without dishonesty, fraud or deceit.
Bonded
The storage of certain goods under charge of customs viz. customs seal until the import duties are paid or until the goods are taken out of the country.

Bonded warehouse (place where goods can be placed under bond)
Bonded store (place on a vessel where goods are placed behind seal until the time that the vessel leaves the port or country again)
Bonded goods (dutiable goods upon which duties have not been paid i.e. goods in transit or warehoused pending customs clearance)
Booking
The offering by a shipper of cargo for transport and the acceptance of the offering by the carrier or his agent.
Booking Reference Number
The number assigned to a certain booking by the carrier or his agent.
Break Bulk
To commence discharge
To strip unitised cargo
Break Bulk Cargo
General cargo conventionally stowed as opposed to unitised, containerised and Roll On-Roll Off cargo.
Broker
Person who acts as an agent or intermediary in negotiating contracts.
Brussels Tariff Nomenclature
The old Customs Co-operation Council Nomenclature for the classification of goods. Now replaced by the Harmonised System.
Buffer Stock
A quantity of goods or articles kept in store to safeguard against unforeseen shortages or demands.
Bulk Cargo
Unpacked homogeneous cargo poured loose in a certain space of a vessel or container e.g. oil and grain.
Bulk Carrier
Single deck vessel designed to carry homogeneous unpacked dry cargoes such as grain, iron ore and coal.
Bulk Container
A container designed for the carriage of free-flowing dry cargoes, which are loaded through hatchways in the roof of the container and discharged through hatchways at one end of the container.
Bunker Adjustment Factor
Abbreviation: BAF
Adjustment applied by liner or liner conferences to offset the effect of fluctuations in the cost of bunkers.
Bunkers
Quantity of fuel on board a vessel.
Bureau Veritas
French classification society.
Business Process
A business process is the action taken to respond to particular events, convert inputs into outputs, and produce particular results. Business processes are what the enterprise must do to conduct its business successfully.
Business Process Model
The business process model provides a breakdown (process decomposition) of all levels of business processes within the scope of a business area. It also shows process dynamics, lower-level process interrelationships. In Summary it includes all diagrams related to a process definition that allows for understanding what the business process is doing (and not how).