Shipping terms and Chartering glossary

Term Meaning
Back Haul The return movement of a means of transport that has provided a transport service in one direction.
Back order The process a company uses when a customer orders an item that is not in inventory; the company fills the order when the item becomes available.
Backfreight The owners of a ship are entitled to payment as freight for merchandise returned through the fault of either the consignees or the consignors. Such payment, which is over and above the normal freight, is called backfreight.
Balance of Trade The surplus or deficit which results from comparing a country's exports and imports of merchandise only.
Bale A large compressed, bound, and often wrapped bundle of a commodity, such as cotton or hay.
Barge The cargo-carrying vehicle which may or may not have its own propulsion mechanism for the purpose of transporting goods. Primarily used by Inland water carriers, basic barges have open tops, but there are covered barges for both dry and liquid cargoes. Barges can be lashed together and either pushed or pulled by tugs, carrying cargo of 60,000 tons or more. Small barges for carrying cargo between ship and shore are known as lighters.
Barratry An act committed by the master or mariners of a vessel, for some unlawful or fraudulent purpose, contrary to their duty to the owners, whereby the latter sustain injury. It may include negligence, if so gross as to evidence fraud.
Barter The exchange of commodities or services for other commodities or services rather than the purchase of commodities or services with money.
Base Currency The currency whose value is "one" whenever a quote is made between two currencies.
Basing-point pricing A pricing system that includes a transportation cost from a particular city or town in a zone or region even though the shipment does not originate at the basing point.
Batch picking The picking of items from storage for more than one order at a time.
Benefit-cost ratio An analytical tool used in public planning; a ratio of total measurable benefits divided by the initial capital cost.
Bill of Lading A document issued by an entity providing transportation services that serves three purposes: 1) serves as receipt for the goods delivered to the carrier for shipment, 2) defines the contract of carriage of the goods from the point of origin to the point of destination according to the responsibilities of the service provider listed on the bill of lading, 3) under certain conditions, provides evidence of title for the goods.
Bill of Lading Number The number assigned by the carrier to identify the bill of lading.
Bill of Lading, Through A bill of lading to cover goods from point of origin to final destination when interchange or transfer from one carrier to another is necessary to complete the journey.
Billing A carrier terminal activity that determines the proper rate and total charges for a shipment and issues a freight bill.
Binder A strip of cardboard, thin wood, burlap, or similar material placed between layers of containers to hold a stack together.
Blanket rate A rate that does not increase according to the distance a commodity is shipped.
Bond, In Goods are held or transported In-Bond under customs control either until import duties or other charges are paid, or in order to avoid paying the duties or charges until a later date.
Bonded warehousing A type of warehousing in which companies place goods in storage without paying taxes or tariffs. The warehouse manager bonds himself or herself to the tax or tariff collecting agency to ensure payment of the taxes before the warehouse releases the goods.
Booking The act of requesting space and equipment aboard a vessel for cargo which is to be transported.
Booking Number The number assigned to a certain space reservation by the carrier or the carrier's agent.
Boxcar An enclosed railcar, typically forty to fifty feet long, used for packaged freight and some bulk commodities.
Bracing To secure a shipment inside a carrier's vehicle to prevent damage.
Break Bulk Cargo Cargo that is shipped as a unit or package (for example: palletized cargo, boxed cargo, large machinery, trucks) but is not containerized.
Break Bulk Vessel A vessel designed to handle break bulk cargo.
Break-bulk The separation of a consolidated bulk load into smaller individual shipments for delivery to the ultimate consignee. The freight may be moved intact inside the trailer, or it may be interchanged and rehandled to connecting carriers.
Broker There are 3 definitions for the term "broker": 1) an enterprise that owns & leases equipment 2) an enterprise that arranges the buying & selling of transp., goods, or services 3) a ship agent who acts for the ship owner or charterer in arranging charters.
Buffer Stock A quantity of goods or articles kept in storage to safeguard against unforeseen shortages or demands.
Bulk area A storage area for large items which at a minimum are most efficiently handled by the palletload.
Bulk Cargo shipped in loose condition and of a homogeneous nature. Cargoes that are shipped unpackaged either dry, such as grain and ore, or liquid, such as petroleum products. Bulk service generally is not provided on a regularly scheduled basis, but rather as needed, on specialized ships, transporting a specific commodity.
Bundling An occurrence where two or more products are combined into one transaction for a single price.
Business logistics The process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods, services, and related information from the point of origin to the point of consumption for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements.
Buyer An enterprise that arranges for the acquisition of goods or services and agrees to payment terms for such goods or services.