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A-Z Dictionary of Export, Trade and Shipping Terms



See American Bureau of Shipping
See Approved Continuous Examination Program
See Articles Dangereux de Route
Automated guided vehicle system.
Automated System for Customs Data. This program dealing with customs declarations hasbeen developed by UNCTAD and is presently used by some 75 countries.
  1. Alongside, near amidships.
  2. For navigational purposes in the direction of a right angle to the ship's heading.
Acceptance by the carrier of a portion of a joint rate or charge which is less than the amountwhich it would receive for the service in the absence of such joint rate or charge.
Acceptance of Goods
The process of receiving a consignment from a consignor, usually against the issue of areceipt. As from this moment and on this place the carrier's responsibility for theconsignment begins.
Accommodation ladder
Movable steps arranged temporary alongside e.g. a quay to allow access on board forofficials, crew or passengers.
Accompanied Transport
The transport of complete road vehicles by another means of transport (e.g. train, ferryaccompanied by the driver).
Accord Relatif aux Transports Internationaux de Denrees Perissables et aux Engins Speciaux a Utiliser pour ces Transports
Abbreviation: ATP
Agreement on the international carriage of perishable foodstuffs and on the specialequipment to be used for such carriage.
The act of a drawee acknowledging in writing on the face of a draft, payable at a fixed or determinable future date, that he will pay the draft at maturity.
Acceptance Draft
A sight draft, documents against acceptance. See "Sight Draft," "Documents Against Acceptance."
Acknowledgement of Receipt
A notification relating to the receipt of e.g. goods, messages and documents.
Act of God
Accidents of a nature beyond human control such as flood, lightning or hurricane usuallyquoted as 'force majeure'.
Active Inventory
Covers raw material, work in progress, finished products, which will be used or sold within agiven period without extra cost or loss. This term does not cover the so-called reserveinventory.
Actual Demand
Customer orders and often also the allocation of items, ingredients and/or raw materials toproduction or distribution.
Actual Voyage Number
A code for identification purposes of the voyage and vessel which actually transports thecontainer/cargo.
Ad Valorem
In proportion to the value: A phrase applied to certain freight or customs duties levied ongoods, property, etc. set as a percentage of their value.
Added Value
The value attributed to products, and services as the result of a particular process (e.g.production process, storage, transport).
Advance Arrangement
An agreement between the shipper and the carrier, concerning contacts between thoseparties prior to tendering the consignment.
Advanced Amount
Quantity of cash or cash equivalents expressed in a monetary amount given to a driver tocover expenses during a trip.
Advanced Charge
A charge paid by a carrier to an agent or to another carrier, which the delivering carrier thencollects from the consignee. Such charges are usually for agents' forwarding fees andincidental expenses paid out of pocket for account of the shipment by an agent or othercarrier.
Advanced Interline
An interline carrier that picks up cargo from the shipper and delivers it to another carrier forshipment to the consignee.
Advice Note
A written piece of information e.g. about the status of the goods.
Aeroquip System
Special accessories in a container consisting of among others the attachment rails on theinside walls to provide facilities for lashing and separation of the cargo.
At, near or towards the stern or rear of a vessel or an aircraft.
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Agency Fee
Fee payable by a shipowner or ship operator to a port agent.
  1. A person or organisation authorised to act for or on behalf of anotherperson or organisation.
  2. In P&O Nedlloyd, an Agent is a corporate body with, which there is an agreementto perform particular functions on behalf of them at an agreed payment. An Agentis either a part of the P&O Nedlloyd organisation or an independent body. Thefollowing functions and responsibilities may apply to the activities of an agent.
    1. Sales

      Marketing, acquisition of cargo, issuing quotations, concludingcontracts in co-ordination with P&O Nedlloyd. Basically theagent is the first point of entry into the P&O Nedlloydorganisation for a shipper.

    2. Bookings

      Booking of cargo in accordance with allotments assigned to the agent fora certain voyage by P&O Nedlloyd.

    3. Customs

      Dealing with the national customs administration for cargo declarations,manifest alterations and cargo clearance on behalf of P&O Nedlloyd.

    4. Documentation

      Responsible for timeliness and correctness of all documentationrequired, regarding the carriage of cargo.

    5. Handling

      Taking care of all procedures connected with physical handlingof cargo.

    6. Equipment control

      Managing of all equipment stock in a particular area.

    7. Issuing

      Authorised to sign and issue Bills of Lading and other transportdocuments.

    8. Collecting

      Authorised to collect freight and charges on behalf of P&ONedlloyd.

    9. Delivery

      The agent who releases the cargo and is responsible for itsdelivery to the consignee.

    10. Handling of cargo claims

      Handling of cargo claims as per agency contract.

    11. Husbanding

      Handling non cargo related operations of a vessel as instructedby the master, owner or charterer.

Aggregate Inventory
The inventory for any group of items or products, involving multiple stock-keeping units.
Air Container
Any unit load device, primarily intended for transport by air, having an internal volume of 1 m3or more, incorporating restraint provisions compatible with an aircraft restraint system, andan entirely flush base bottom to allow handling on roller-bed cargo handling systems.
Air Waybill
Abbreviation: AWB
A document made out by or on behalf of the carrier(s) confirming receipt of the goods by thecarrier and evidencing the contract between the shipper and the carrier(s) for the carriage ofgoods as described therein.
All Risks Clause
An insurance provision which provides additional coverage to an Open Cargo Policy, usually for an additional premium. Contrary to its name, the clause does not protect against all risks. The more common perils it does cover are theft, pilferage, non-delivery, fresh water damage, contact with other cargo, breakage, and leakage. Inherent vice, loss of market, and losses caused by delay are not covered.
The process of assigning activities, costs or facilities e.g. space to a certain organisationalunits.
A share of the capacity of a means of transport assigned to a certain party, e.g. a carrier oran agent, for the purpose of the booking of cargo for a specific voyage.
Always Afloat (AA)
Provision in a charter party, that the vessel must remain afloat at all times when unloadingand discharging.
Not Always Afloat But Safe Aground (NAABSA)
Regularly used in (tidal) ports where the maximum draft is often too shallow however, the bottom of the berth is such that a vessel can touch it at low tide without any form of damage to the vessel.
American Bureau of Shipping
Abbreviation: ABS
American classification society which has established rules and regulations for theclassification of seagoing vessels or equipment.
At or in the middle of a vessel.
Device for temporary securing a ship or floating structure to the seabed by means of a chainor cable and a weight with movable extensions (arms)
  1. A vessel's outfit, such as rigging, anchor and lifeboats.
  2. The term used in distribution/transport of clothing for a single piece ofclothing, a garment.
Approved Continuous Examination Program
Abbreviation: ACEP
An agreement between the owners of the equipment and the responsible governmental bodyto allow continuous examination of the equipment (e.g. containers).
See Platform
The process of referring to an agreed person for judgement on issues of dispute, withoutrequiring the use of courts.
Area Code
A code for the area where a container is situated.
Area Off Hire Lease
Geographical area where a leased container becomes off hire.
Area Off Hire Sublease
Geographical area where a subleased container becomes off hire.
Area On Hire Lease
Geographical area where a leased container becomes on hire.
Area On Hire Sublease
Geographical area where a subleased container becomes on hire.
Area of Repair
Geographical area where a container is under repair.
Arrival Date
The date on which goods or a means of transport is due to arrive at the delivery site of thetransport.
Arrival Notice
A notice sent by a carrier to a nominated notify party advising of the arrival of a certainshipment or consignment.
Articles Dangereux de Route
Abbreviation: ADR
A European agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road.
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The stage of production in which components are put together into an end productappropriate to the process concerned.
The transfer of certain rights from one party to another.
  1. Behind a vessel or an aircraft.
  2. Backward; in a reverse direction.
ATA Carnet
A customs document which enables one to
carry or send goods temporarily into certain foreign countries without paying
duties or posting bonds.
Across the vessel, that is, from side to side. Said of cargo stowed in this way, as opposed to length-wise.
A methodical examination and review of a situation or condition (as within a businessenterprise) concluding with a detailed report of findings.
Audit Trail
A record of events, such as system access, network load, unsuccessful log-on attempts,that might have some significance for an investigation.
Proof by means of a signature or otherwise that a certain document or certain data is ofundisputed origin and genuine.
Authority to Pay
A document comparable to a revocable letter of credit but under whose terms the authority to pay the seller stems from the buyer rather than from a bank.
Authorised Consignee / Consignor
A trader authorised by the European Commission (regulation 2454/93) to receive or despatchconsignments under transit procedures without having to present goods and documentsdirectly at the customs office.
The commission to a certain person or body to act on behalf of another person or body. Theperson or body can be authorised e.g. to issue Bills of Lading or to collect freight.
Auto Container
Container equipped for the transportation of vehicles.
Automated Guided Vehicle System
Unmanned vehicles equipped with automatic guidance equipment which follow a prescribedpath, stopping at each necessary station for automatic or manual loading or unloading.
Automatic Identification

A means of identifying an item e.g. a product, parcel or transport unit by a machine (device)entering the data automatically into a computer.

The most widely used technology at present is bar code; others include radio frequency,magnetic stripes and optical character recognition.

Automatic Identification Manufacturers
Abbreviation: AIM
International Organisation of companies and/or associations involved or interested inautomatic identification.
  1. In marine insurance: a loss or damage to or in respect of goods or equipment.
  2. The numerical result obtained by dividing the sum of two or more quantities by thenumber of quantities.
Average Adjusters
In general average affairs average adjusters are entrusted with the task of apportioning theloss and expenditure over the parties interested in the maritime venture and to determinewhich expenses are to be regarded as average or general average.
Description of the situation when the anchor has just been lifted from the seabed
Light structure with canvas or wooden covering rigged above an open space to provideprotection from sun or rain.
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