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A-Z Dictionary of Export, Trade and Shipping Terms



National organisation for the Simplification of International Trade Procedures in the UnitedKingdom (e.g. in The Netherlands SITPRO is called 'Sitproneth', in France 'Simprofrance'and in Japan 'Jastpro').
See "Sight Draft."
See "Standard International Trade Classification."
Sales Agent
See "Foreign Sales Representative."
Sales Representative
See "Foreign Sales Representative."
Sanitary Certificate
A certificate which attests to the purity or absence of disease or pests in the shipment of food products, plants, seeds, and live animals.
Safe Working Load
Abbreviation: SWL
The maximum load any lifting appliance may handle.
Safety Stock
  1. In general, a quantity of stock planned to be in inventory to protect againstfluctuations in demand and/or supply.
  2. In the context of master production scheduling, safety stock can refer to additionalinventory and/or capacity planned as protection against forecast errors and/or shortterms changes in the backlog. Also referred to as 'overplanning' or a 'markethedge'.
Said to Contain
Abbreviation: STC
Term in a Bill of Lading signifying that the master and the carrier are unaware of the nature orquantity of the contents of e.g. a carton, crate, container or bundle and are relying on thedescription furnished by the shipper.
The saving or rescue of a vessel and/or the cargo from loss and/or damage at sea.
Scale Ton
Freighting measurement used in certain trades for various commodities.
A formal specification of a group of business activities that may take place between parties toachieve a particular objective.
A timetable including arrival/departure times of ocean- and feeder vessels and also inlandtransportation. It refers to named ports in a specific voyage (journey) within a certain tradeindicating the voyage number(s). In general: The plan of times for starting and/or finishing activities.
Schedule B
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 device used for containers, lockers, trucks or lorries to proof relevant parties that they haveremained closed during transport.
Seal Log
A document used to record seal numbers.
Seasonal Inventory
Inventory built up in anticipation of a seasonal peak of demand in order to smoothproduction.
Fitness of a vessel to travel in open sea mostly related to a particular voyage with aparticular cargo.
Sectional Rate
The rate established by scheduled air carrier(s) for a section of a through route (air cargo).
Distance required by the rules of IMDG or BC codes between the various commodities ofdangerous and or bulk cargoes.
Party selling merchandise to a buyer.
Seller's Market
A 'seller's market' is considered to exist when goods cannot easily be secured and when theeconomic forces of business tend to be priced at the vendor's estimate of value. In otherwords, a state of trade favourable to the seller, with relatively great demand and high pricesof something for sale.
Semi Trailer
A vehicle without motive power and with one or more axles designed to be drawn by a trucktractor and constructed in such way that a portion of its weight and that of its load rest upone.g. the fifth wheel of the towing vehicle.
See Shipper
Sequenced Delivery
The synchronised delivery of trucks to co-ordinate with production schedules or local deliveryvehicles.
Service Based Pricing
Pricing structured to service packages provided, related to activity based costing includingbought in costs.
Service Bill
A service Bill (of Lading) is a contract of carriage issued by one carrier to another fordocumentary and internal control purposes (e.g. in case P&O Nedlloyd cargo is carried on anon P&O Nedlloyd vessel.)

For internal documentary and control purposes a so-called participating agent in aconsortium uses some kind of document which, depending on the trade, is referredto as 'Memo Bill' which will among others state:

  • Name of Carrier on whose behalf the original document (Way Bill, Bill of Lading,etc.) was issued.
  • The original document number. The agent who issued the original document andhis opponent at the discharging side.
  • The number of packages, weight and measurement, marks and numbers andgoods description.
  • Further mandatory details in case of special cargo.
No freight details will be mentioned and the Memo Bill is not a contract of carriage.

See Bill of Lading
Service Level
A measure for the extent to which the customer orders can be executed at deliveryconditions normally accepted in the market.
Service Level Agreement
Abbreviation: SLA
An arrangement between a service provider and an organisation specifying details about theservices to be provided.
Setting/Air Delivery Temperature
An indication in the documents (B/L) stating the air supply temperature to the container.

Note: No other details than this temperature shall be included in the Bill of Lading.

Settlement Office
The institution to issue billing to and receive remittances from agents and to distribute themonies to CASS airlines, Billing Participants and Part Participants (air cargo).
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See Warehouse
Shelf Life
The specified length of time prior to use for which items which are inherently subject todeterioration are deemed to remain fit for use under prescribed conditions.
Part of the work-program of a stevedoring company (a working day can have up to 3 shifts(24 hours)).
See Vessel
Ship Broker
Acts as intermediary between shipowners or carriers by sea on the one hand and cargointerests on the other. The functions are to act as forwarding agent or custom broker, fixingof charters, and acting as chartering agent.
Ship Operator
A ship operator is either the shipowner or the (legal) person responsible for the actualmanagement of the vessel and its crew.
Ship's Protest
Statement of the master of a vessel before (in the presence of) competent authorities,concerning exceptional events which occurred during a voyage.
A separately identifiable collection of goods to be carried.

Note: In the United States of America the word shipment is used instead of the wordconsignment.

See Consignment
The (legal) person officially registered as such in the certificate of registry where the followingparticulars are contained:
  • Name of vessel and port of registry.
  • Details contained in surveyors certificate.
  • The particulars respecting the origin stated in the declaration of ownership.
  • The name and description of the registered owner, if more than one owner the proportionateshare of each.
The merchant (person) by whom, in whose name or on whose behalf a contract of carriage ofgoods has been concluded with a carrier or any party by whom, in whose name or on whosebehalf the goods are actually delivered to the carrier in relation to the contract of carriage.
Shipper's Export Declaration
Abbreviation: SED
A United States customs form to be completed for all exports to assist the government incompiling export statistics.
Shipper's Letter of Instruction
Abbreviation: SLI
A document containing instructions given by the shipper or the shipper's agent for preparingdocuments and forwarding (air cargo).
Shipping Note
Document provided by the shipper or his agent to the carrier, multimodal transport operator,terminal or other receiving authority, giving information about export consignments offered fortransport, and providing for the necessary receipts and declarations of liability.
Shipping Documents
Documents required for the carriage of goods.
Shipping Instruction
Document advising details of cargo and exporter's requirements of its physical movement.
Shipping Label
A label attached to a P&O Nedlloyd unit, containing certain data.
Ship's Manifest
A true list in writing of the individual shipments comprising the cargo of a vessel, signed by the captain.
Shipping Marks
The identification shown on individual packages in order to help in moving it without delay orconfusion to its final destination and to enable the checking of cargo against documents.
The negative difference between actual available or delivered quantity and the requiredquantity.
Shrink Wrapping
Heat treatment that shrinks an envelope of polyethylene or similar substance around severalunits, thus forming one unit. It is used e.g. to secure packages on a pallet.
Shuttle Service
The carriage back and forth over an often short route between two points.
A short railroad track connected with a main track by a switch to serve a warehouse or anindustrial area.
Sight Draft (S/D)
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."
The limiting of formalities, procedures, documents, information, and operations to theminimum essential requirements, steps, data and tasks acceptable by all parties concerned.
Simplification Toolkit
Collection of tools to enable simplified implementations of structured electronic commercetechniques such as, electronic data interchange, electronic funds transfer, automatic datacapture, bar-code technology and unique goods/product/service/party identification schemes.
The imitation of the reality for studying the effect of changing parameters in a model as ameans of preparing a decision.
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Single Administrative Document
Abbreviation: SAD
A set of documents, replacing the various (national) forms for customs declaration withinEuropean Community, implemented on January 1st, 1988. The introduction of the SADconstitutes an intermediate stage in the abolition of all administrative documentation in intraEuropean Community trade in goods between member states.
Skeleton Trailer
Road trailer consisting of a frame and wheels specially designed to carry containers.
See Chassis
Battens fitted underneath frames, boxes or packages to raise them off the floor and alloweasy access for fork lift trucks, slings or other handling equipment.
Sliding Tandem
An undercarriage with a subframe having provision for convenient fore and aft adjustment ofits position on the chassis/semi-trailer. The purpose being to be able to shift part of the loadto either the king pin or the suspension to maximise legally permitted axle loads (road cargo).
Special chain, wire rope, synthetic fibre strap or ropes used for cargo handling purposes.
Slip Sheeting
Hard plastic sheeting used to stack cartons, optimising container space.
The space on board a vessel, required by one TEU, mainly used for administrative purposes.
Slot Charter
A voyage charter whereby the shipowner agrees to place a certain number of container slots(TEU and/or FEU) at the charterer's disposal.
Snake Loading
Loading products into a container in the sequence with which the goods will be unloaded andstored in at destination.
  1. The management on purpose of the various origins of products or materials onbehalf of the recipient of these products or materials.In some industries sourcing is seen as the change from push to pull delivery for anumber of fast moving items.
  2. Within P&O Nedlloyd sourcing is specially dedicated to the retail industry acting asan intermediary between suppliers and the market with an integrated service fore.g. supermarkets or large department stores.
Space Charter
A voyage charter whereby the shipowner agrees to place part of the vessels capacity at thecharterers disposal.
Special Drawing Rights
Abbreviation: SDR
Unit of account from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), i.a. used to express the amountof the limitations of a carrier's liability.
Special Rate
A rate other than a normal rate.
Specific Commodity Rate
Abbreviation: SCR
A rate applicable to carriage of specifically designated commodities.
Specific Delivery Point
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.
Split Shipment
In case of indirect delivery through consolidation and if split shipment conditions occur theneach split part of the shipment will be delivered in a different consignment but allconsignments identified by the same unique original shipment id.
The stretch between a hub and one of the group of consignees and/or consignors beingserved by the hub.
Spontaneous Ignition Temperature
The lowest temperature at which a substance will start burning spontaneously without anexternal source of ignition.
  1. Device used for lifting containers and unitised cargo.
  2. Beam or frame that holds the slings vertical when hoisting a load, to preventdamage to cargo.
Mooring rope rigged from the forward or aft to a quayside bollard amidships to prevent theship from surging forward or aft when alongside.
The capacity of a vessel to return to its original position after having been displaced byexternal forces. The stability of a vessel depends on the meta-centric height.
An identifiable amount of containers stowed in a orderly way in one specified place on an(ocean) terminal, container freight station, container yard or depot.
See also: Container Stack
To pile boxes, bags, containers etc. on top of each other.
The total weight of the containers and cargo in a certain row.
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)
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.
Standard International Trade Classification (SITC)
A numerical system developed by the United Nations to classify commodities used in international trade as an aid to reporting trade statistics.
Steamship Conference
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.
Stocking Distributor
A distributor who maintains an inventory of goods of a manufacturer.
Straight Bill of Lading
A bill of lading, non-negotiable, in which the goods are consigned directly to a named consignee.
Standard Costs
A carefully prepared estimate of the cost of performing a given operation under specifiedconditions.

In P&O Nedlloyd standard costs are determined for operations called 'standard WorkOrders'.

Note: A standard work order describes a standard operation for which a standard cost is tobe established.

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Standard Industrial Classification
Abbreviation: SIC
A method, used in the United States, to categorise companies into different industrialgroupings.
Standard Product Module
Abbreviation: SPM
The building blocks used by business management to define services (shipment products)which can be offered to customers. They describe a more or less isolated set of activitieswith a standard cost attached to it. For operations management each module defines acombination of standard operations that needs to be carried out for a customer.

Note: SPM's can be regarded as the interface between business and operationsmanagement.

The development of agreements whose purpose is to align formalities, procedures,documents, information, and operations. At a national level, this would be alignment withacceptable commercial norms and practices, at an international level it would alignment withidentified "best" and/or most accepted practices.
Right side of a vessel when facing towards the front or forward end.
State of Origin
The state in the territory in which the cargo was first loaded.
Steering of Containers
The function, with the aid of specific software for tracking and forecasting, to direct emptycontainers to demanding areas at minimum costs.
The foremost part of a vessel.
The aftermost part of a vessel.
A party running a business of which the functions are loading, stowing and dischargingvessels.
The materials in a supply chain or in a segment of a supply chain, expressed in quantities,locations and or values.UK.
Stock Control
The systematic administration of stock levels with respect to quantity at all times.
Stock Keeping Unit
The description of the unit of measurement by which the stock items are recorded on thestock record.
Stock Locator System
A system in which all places within a warehouse are named or numbered.
Stock Point
A point in the supply chain meant to keep materials available.
Stock Record
A record of the quantity of stock of a single item, often containing a history of recenttransactions and information for controlling the replenishment of stock.
The activity of placing goods into a store or the state of being in store (e.g. a warehouse).
Storage Charge
The fee for keeping goods in a warehouse.
Provisions and supplies on board required for running a vessel.
The placing and securing of cargo or containers on board a vessel or an aircraft or of cargoin a container.
Stowage Factor
Ratio of a cargo's cubic measurement to its weight, expressed in cubic feet to the ton orcubic metres to the tonne, used in order to determine the total quantity of cargo which can beloaded in a certain space.
Stowage Instructions
Imperative details about the way certain cargo is to be stowed, given by the shipper or hisagent.
Stowage Plan
A plan indicating the locations on the vessel of all the consignments for the benefit ofstevedores and vessel's officers.
An unwanted person who hides on board of a vessel or an aircraft to get free passage, toevade port officials.

IMO definition: A person who is secreted on a ship or in cargo which is subsequently loadedon the ship, without the consent of the shipowner or the master or any other responsibleperson who is detected on board after the ship has departed from a port and reported as astowaway by the master.

Straddle Carrier
Wheeled vehicle designed to lift and carry P&O Nedlloyd containers within its ownframework. It is used for moving, and sometimes stacking, P&O Nedlloyd containers at acontainer terminal.
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Straddle Crane
A crane usually running on rails and spanning an open area such as rail-tracks or roadways.
A band of metal, plastic or other flexible material used to hold cargo or cases together.
  1. Part of the total transport chain (trade route) including overland transport identifiedby place of receipt, ports of call and place of delivery i.e. it has one location or anaddress as a starting and or ending point.
  2. The leg between two points.
The unloading of cargo out of a container.
The loading of cargo into a container.
Striving for optimum performance in one element of an organisation disregarding the effectsthis may cause to the performance of the other elements. In other words, a solution for aproblem that is best from a narrow point of view but not from a higher or overall companypoint of view.
Part of a stretch. This term is used if it is necessary to distinguish between a stretch and apart thereof.
Experienced person (officer) assigned by the charterer of a vessel to advise the managementof the vessel and protect the interests of the charterer.
Supply Chain
A sequence of events in a goods flow which adds to the value of a specific good. Theseevents may include:
  • conversion
  • assembling and/or disassembling
  • movements and placements
Supply Chain Definition
A sequence of events, which may include conversion, movement or placement, which addsvalue to goods, products, or services.
Supply Vessel
Vessel which carries stock and stores to offshore drilling rigs, platforms.
An additional charge added to the usual or customary freight.
An inspection of a certain item or object by a recognised specialist.
A specialist who carries out surveys.

Note: A surveyor is often representing a classification bureau or a governmental body.

Swop Body
Separate unit without wheels to carry cargo via road sometimes equipped with legs to beused to carry cargo intermodal within Europe.

The advantage being that this unit can be left behind to load or discharge whilst the driverwith the truck/chassis can change to another unit.

These units are not used for sea transport.

The simultaneous joint action of separate parties, which, together, have greater total effectthan the sum of their individual effects.
A whole body of connected elements, which influence each other and have specific relationswith the environment.
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