The shipping industry seems to have its own language from the outsiders perspective. Sometimes it can be tricky to differentiate some confusing terms, like the difference between demurrage and detention. Here we have some of the most relevant definitions that we took from specialized dictionaries and that will clear a doubt or two:
- Bill of Landing (B/L): Unique B/L Identifier: U.S. Customs standardization: four-alpha code unique to each carrier placed in front of nine digit B/L number; APLs unique B/L Identifier is "APLU". Sea-land uses "SEAU". These prefixes are also used as the container identification.
- Cargo Manifest: A manifest that lists all cargo carried on a specific vessel voyage.
- 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. 2.Owners or operators of vessels providing transportation to shippers. The term is also used to refer to the vessels.
- Consignee is the party shown on the bill of lading or air waybill to whom the shipment is consigned. Need not always be the buyer, and in some countries will be the buyers bank.
- Demurrage: A fee levied by the shipping company upon the port or supplier for not loading or unloading the vessel by a specified date agreed upon by contract. Usually, assessed upon a daily basis after the deadline.
- Detention: A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying carriers equipment beyond allowed time. Demurrage applies to cargo; detention applies to equipment.
- Free Time: That amount of time that a carriers equipment may be used without incurring additional charges.
- Freight Forwarder is a person or corporation who arranges transport of goods on behalf of either the seller or buyer. In many cases, the freight forwarder will also consolidate several small shipments into one larger one to take advantage of better freight rates. In most cases the freight forwarder will assume the legal liabilities of acting as a carrier
- Intermodal: Used to denote movements of cargo containers interchangeably between transport modes, i.e., motor, water, and air carriers, and where the equipment is compatible within the multiple systems.
- Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC): A cargo consolidator in ocean trades who will buy space from a carrier and subsell it to smaller shippers. The NVOCC issues bills of lading, publishes tariffs and otherwise conducts itself as an ocean common carrier, except that it will not provide the actual ocean or intermodal service.
- Notify Party is the person or company to be advised by the carrier upon arrival of the goods at the destination port.
- Shipper is the person or company who is usually the supplier or owner of commodities shipped. Also called Consignor.