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A-Z Dictionary of Export, Trade and Shipping Terms



Facilitation Committee of the IMO.
Free Along Side, as in "F.A.S. (Vessel)," a pricing term under which the seller must deliver the goods to a pier and place them within reach of the ship's loading equipment.
F.C.A.—Free Carrier At
—indicates that the seller delivers the goods to the named place 'free' of any transportation cost, having cleared the cargo for export. The seller accepts transportation costs, risks, and responsibilities until the cargo is handed over at the named place. 
Foreign Credit Insurance Association.
Federal Maritime Commission (Control of Shipping acts USA)
Full Truck Load, an indication for a truck transporting cargo directly from supplier to receiver.
A term used to distinguish manufacturing operations for components as opposed toassembly operations.
The implementation of measures leading to the simplification, standardisation andharmonisation of the formalities, procedures, documents and operations inherent tointernational trade transactions.
Factory Delivery
The delivery of goods by a factory whereby the goods are put at the disposal of another(internal) party such as a commercial department.
A navigable channel for vessels, often the regular or prescribed track a vessel will follow inorder to avoid dangerous circumstances.
Fashion Transport
Transport of clothing and/or garments including shoes, belts and handbags in dedicatedmeans of transport.
Feed Back
The flow of information back into the control system so that actual performance can becompared with planned performance.
A vessel normally used for local or coastal transport (for carriage of cargo and/or containers)to and from ports not scheduled to be called by the main (ocean) vessel, directly connectingthese ports to the main (ocean) vessel.
An appliance made of rubber, timber and/or rope or other materials normally attached to adock or quay used to prevent damage to the hull of a vessel especially during mooring andun-mooring operations.
Ship carrying passengers and or vehicles engaged in regular short voyages, e.g. across ariver or narrow body of water, between two or more places or ports.
Fifth Wheel
Circular or wheel-shaped bearing mechanism, secured on the rear of the chassis of a truck-tractor that engages the semi-trailer king pin with a spring lock device and supports theweight of the front end of the semi-trailer.
First Carrier
The carrier who actually performs the first part of the air transport (air cargo).
First In First Out
Abbreviation: FIFO
The method whereby the goods which have been longest in stock (first in) are used,delivered (sold) and/or consumed first (first out).
Five Freedoms
A collective term which depicts the five areas of 'rights' for the air-transportation ofpassengers or cargo, viz. (expressed in terms of an airline of country A):
 Freedom 1the right to overfly a foreign country.
 Freedom 2the right to make a non-traffic stop at a foreign country C en route to foreign country B.
 Freedom 3the right to set down (off loading) passengers or cargo in a foreign country B from home country A.
 Freedom 4the right to pick up (loading) passengers/ cargo from a foreign country B to country A.
 Freedom 5the right to carry passengers or cargo between two foreign countries.
Fixed Crane
A crane of which the principal structure is mounted on permanent or semi-permanentfoundations.
Fixed Height Load-carrying Truck
Truck carrying its load on a non-elevating platform.
Fixed Platform Truck
See Fixed Height Load-carrying Truck
An indication of the country in which a means of transport is registered through a referenceto the ensign of this country.
Capable to be set on fire under given circumstances.(Amendment 25 IMO DGS).
Flash Point
The lowest temperature at which a good produces enough vapour to form a flammablemixture with air.
See Flat Rack
Flat Bed Trailer
A wheeled trailer or a semi-trailer with a flat cargo carrying surface or deck and without anysuperstructure.
Flat Pack
Garments packed in cardboard boxes.
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Flat Rack Container
A container with two end walls and open sides.
Any group of means of transport acting together or under one control.
The extent to which and the rate at which adjustments to changed circumstances arepossible.
Flight Number
A combination of two letters, indicating the airline, and three or four digits indicating thenumber of the voyage.
Freely suspending in water of an object.
Floating Crane
A crane mounted on a barge or pontoon, which can be towed or is self-propelled.
Floating Dock
A floating structure which can be partially submerged to enable vessels to enter and to leaveand which can be raised for use as a dry dock.
Floating Policy
See "Open Policy."
Floating Stock
See Pipeline Inventory
Goods lost by shipwreck, found floating in the sea.
Flow Chart
A diagram, using symbols and depicting the sequence of events that should take place in acomplex set of tasks.
Flow Control
A term often used to describe a specific production control system.
Flow Line
The direction of flow in which e.g. pallets have been positioned and stowed.
Flow of materials
The flow of materials and components which goes to and through the factory for theproduction process.
Free on Board, as in "F.O.B. (Vessel)," a pricing term under which the seller must deliver the goods on board the ship at the point named at his own expense. Similar terms are "F.O.B. (Destination)" and F.O.B. (Named Point of Exportation)."
FOR and FOT mean "Free on Rail" and "Free on Truck." These terms are synonymous since the word "truck" relates to the railway wagons. They should only be used when the goods are to be carried by rail.
Foreign Sales Representative
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."
Foreign Trade Zone
An area where goods of foreign origin may be brought in for re-export or transhipment without the payment of customs duty.
Foul Bill of Lading
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."
See Forecastle
Force Majeure
Circumstance which is beyond the control of one of the parties to a contract and which may,according to the terms and conditions, relieve that party of liability for failing to execute thecontract.
Fore and Aft Stowage
Stowage from the bow to the stern (lengthwise), as opposed to stowage athwartships.
  1. An estimation or calculation in advance; a prediction.
  2. The amount of cargo expected to be booked for a certain sailing of a vessel.
  3. The number of containers expected to be used in a certain area, for steering purposes.
Abbreviation: Fo'c's'le
Forward part of a vessel where stores, ropes and anchor chains are located.
Fork Lift Pockets
See Fork Pockets
Fork Lift Truck
A three or four wheeled mechanical truck with forks at the front designed for lifting, carryingand stowing cargo.
Fork Pockets
Openings or recesses in a side of a container for the entry of the forks of a fork lift truck.
Formal Performance Evaluation
Evaluation of carrier¿s performance as per agreed contract.
Forms EDI
A screen presenting to a user the contents of an EDI message in a manner that is easy touse and interpret. The form may reside on a web site or the computer of the party viewing orcompleting the form. The form may be based on the UN Layout key (UNLK).
Formula of Camp
A mathematical formula on behalf of inventory management for calculating the optimumorder quantity.
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Forty Foot Equivalent Unit
Abbreviation: FEU
Unit of measurement equivalent to one forty foot P&O Nedlloyd container.
At, near or towards the bow or front of a vessel or an aircraft.
The party arranging the carriage of goods including connected services and/or associatedformalities on behalf of a shipper or consignee.
Forwarding Charge
Charges paid or to be paid for preliminary surface or air transport to the airport of departureby a forwarder, but not by a carrier under an Air Waybill (air cargo).
Forwarding Instruction
Document issued to a freight forwarder, giving instructions to the forwarder for the forwardingof goods described therein.
Four Way Pallet
A pallet of which the frame permits the entry of forks of e.g. a fork lift truck at all four sides.
Free Carrier (...named place)
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."
Free Domicile
Is still a widely used pricing term to describe when the shipper pays all the applicable duties and all the transportation and other charges until delivered to the buyer's premises. The term is being replaced by Incoterm "DDP - Delivered Duty Paid ... named point of destination."
Free Port
An area generally encompassing a port and its surrounding locality into which goods may enter duty-free or subject only to minimal revenue tariffs.
Free Sale
See "Certificate of Free Sale."
Freight Carriage (paid to)
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.
Freight Carriage (and insurance paid to)
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.
Freight Forwarder
An agent who assists his exporter client in moving cargo to a foreign destination.
Easily breakable. Term denoting that goods should be handled with care.
Franc Poincar
Unit of value in which the limitation of the carrier's liability is sometimes expressed. One francpoincar¿onsists of 65.5 milligram of gold with a fineness of nine hundred thousands.
Amount which in case of damage will have to be borne by the assured.
Avoidance of payment of taxes and duties in full or in part or the claiming and obtaining offictitious export refund claims. (Customs)
Free Alongside Ship (...named port of shipment)
Abbreviation: FAS
See Inco Terms
Free Carrier (...named place)
Abbreviation: FCA
See Inco Terms
Free House Unclear
Delivered at a certain destination without payment of certain duties or incurred costs.
Free In Liner Out
Abbreviation: FILO
Transport condition denoting that the freight rate is inclusive of the sea carriage and the costof discharging, the latter as per the custom of the port. It excludes the cost of loading and, ifappropriate, stowage and lashing.
Free In and Out
Abbreviation: FIO
Transport condition denoting that the freight rate excludes the costs of loading anddischarging and, if appropriate, stowage and lashing.
Free Lift
The maximum elevation of the forks of a fork lift truck.
Free On Board (...named port of shipment)
Abbreviation: FOB
Free Port
An international port or an area within an international port at which, crew, passengers,baggage, cargo, mail and stores may be disembarked or unloaded, may remain and may betranshipped, without being subjected to any customs charges or duties. (Examination ispossible for instance to meet security or narcotics control requirements.) Source: IMO.
Free Pratique
Permission granted by local medical authorities, denoting that the vessel has a clean Bill ofHealth so that people may embark and disembark.
Free Trade Zone
Abbreviation: FTZ
A part of the territory of a state where any goods introduced are generally regarded, in so faras import duties and taxes are concerned, as being exempted (Kyoto Convention).
Distance measured vertically from the freeboard deck accepted and indicated by the classbureau to the waterline under specified conditions.
Freeboard of a Vessel
Vertical distance from the main deck to the surface of the water measured at the middle ofthe vessel's length.
The amount of money due for the carriage of goods and payable either in advance or upondelivery.
Freight All Kinds
Abbreviation: FAK
Single freight which is charged irrespective of the commodity.
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Freight Collect
Freight and charges to be paid by the consignee.
Freight Container
See Container
Freight Costs
Costs incurred by the merchant in moving goods, by whatever means, from one place toanother under the terms of the contract of carriage. In addition to transport costs this mayinclude such elements as packing, documentation, loading, unloading and transportinsurance.
Freight Forwarder
See Forwarder
Freight Invoice
An itemised list of goods shipped and services rendered stating fees and charges.
Freight Manifest
A (cargo) manifest including all freight particulars.
Freight Payer
The party which, by virtue of an agreement is responsible for the payment of freight chargesto the carrier.
Freight Prepaid
Freight and charges to be paid by the consignor.
Freight Ton
A unit for freighting cargo according to weight and/or cubic measurement.
A vessel or an aircraft used for the carriage of cargo.
Full Container Load
Abbreviation: FCL
  1. A container stuffed or stripped under risk and for account of the shipper and/or theconsignee.
  2. A general reference for identifying container loads of cargo loaded and/or discharged atmerchants' premises.
Full Trailer
A truck trailer constructed in such way that its own weight and that of the cargo rest upon itsown wheels, instead of being supported by e.g. a tractor.
Fully Cellular Containership
Abbreviation: FCC
A vessel specially designed to carry containers, with cell-guides under deck and necessaryfittings and equipment on deck.
To expose certain spaces to the action of fumes in order to disinfect or kill vermin. Forcontainers done in line with national legislation.
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