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Definitions – International Relocation Inc

Bill of Lading (B/L): is a document issued by a carrier which details a shipment of merchandise and gives title of that shipment to a specified party.[1] Bills of lading are one of three important documents used in international trade to help guarantee that exporters

 receive payment and importers receive merchandise.

: A person who arranges for transportation of loads for a percentage of the revenue from the load.

: Abbreviation for “Cubic Meter.”

CFT: Abbreviation for “Cubic Feet.” 1,728 cubic inches. A volume contained in a space measuring one foot high, one foot wide and one foot long.

Container: A truck trailer body that can be detached from the chassis for loading into a vessel, a rail car or stacked in a container depot. The container is made of steel. The most commonly used standard size containers are the 20 and 40 feet long.


Customs: Government agency charged with enforcing the rules passed to protect the country’s import and export revenues.

Customs Entry
: All countries require that the importer make a declaration on incoming foreign goods.

Demurrage: A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying the carrier’s equipment beyond the allowed free time. The free time and demurrage charges are set forth in the charter party or freight tariff.

Density: The weight of cargo per cubic foot or other unit.

Destination: Location where shipment ends its movement.

Door-to-Door: Household goods are picked up at the shipper’s door (origin) and delivered to the shipper’s door (destination).

ETA: Estimated time of arrival.

Export: Shipment of goods to a foreign country.

FCL: Abbreviation for “Full Container Load.”

FMC (F.M.C.): Federal Maritime Commission. The U.S. Governmental regulatory body responsible for administering maritime affairs including the tariff system, Freight Forwarder Licensing, enforcing the conditions of the Shipping Act and approving conference or other carrier agreements.

Freight Forwarder: A person whose business is to act as an agent on behalf of the shipper. A freight forwarder frequently makes the booking reservation.

GRI: Abbreviation for “General Rate Increase.” Used to describe an across-the-board tariff rate increase implemented by conference members and applied to base rates.

Groupage: A consolidation service for putting small shipments into containers for shipment.

In Transit: In transit, or in passage.

Insurance, All-risk: This type of insurance offers the shipper the broadest coverage available, covering against all losses that may occur in transit.

LCL: Abbreviation for “Less than Container Load.” The quantity of freight which is less than that required for the application of a container load rate.

Lift Van: Wooden crate providing “vault like” protection for your export (LCL) shipment.

Loading: Putting boxes or goods into a container, truck or airplane.

Measurement Cargo: Freight on which transportation charges are calculated on the basis of volume measurement.

Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC): A cargo consolidator in ocean trades who will buy space from a carrier and sub/sell it to smaller shippers.

Origin: Location where shipment begins its movement.

Packing: Putting belongings into boxes, preparing furniture for international shipment; NOT to be confused with loading.

Pallet: A platform, with or without sides, on which a number of packages or pieces may be loaded to facilitate handling by a lift truck.

Perils of the Sea
: Those causes of loss for which the carrier is not legally liable. The elemental risks of ocean transport.

Port to Door: A shipment loaded at Origin Port and discharged at the shipper’s door (destination).

Port to Port: Shipment loaded at port of origin and discharged at port of destination.

Quarantine: A restraint placed on an operation to protect the public against a health hazard. A ship may be quarantined so that it cannot leave a protected point. During the quarantine period, the Q flag is hoisted.

Ro/Ro: A shortening of the term, “Roll On/Roll Off.” A method of ocean cargo service using a vessel with ramps which allows wheeled vehicles to be loaded and discharged without cranes.

Ship Demurrage: A charge for delaying a steamer beyond a stipulated period.

Shipper: The person or company who is usually the supplier or owner of commodities shipped.

Shrink Wrap: Polyethylene or similar substance heat-treated and shrunk into an envelope around several units, thereby securing them as a single pack for presentation or to secure units on a pallet.

Terminal Charge: A charge made for a service performed in a carrier’s terminal area.

Transit Time: Length of time it will take your shipment to reach its destination.

Unloading: Removal of a shipment from a truck, container, or a vessel.

Warehouse: A place for the reception, delivery, consolidation, distribution, and storage of goods/cargo.

Warehousing: The storing of goods/cargo.

W.M. (W/M): Abbreviation for “Weight or Measurement;” the basis for assessing freight charges. Also known as “worm.” The rate charged under W/M will be whichever produces the highest revenue between the weight of the shipment and the measure of the shipment.


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