Terms and definitions used in Oceanfreight Transportation and Freight Forwarding

Terms and definitions used in Oceanfreight Transportation and Freight Forwarding Container ship
Container ships are cargo ships that carry all of their load in truck-size containers, in a technique called containerization. They form a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport.

Container terminal
A container terminal is a facility where cargo containers are transshipped between different transport vehicles, for onward transportation. The transshipment may be between ships and land vehicles, for example trains or trucks, in which case the terminal is described as a maritime container terminal.

Bill of lading
Bill of lading is a document, which provides the terms of the contract between the shipper and the transportation company to move freight between, stated points at a specified charge. Bill of lading can be a negotiable paper provided certain conditions are met.
Abbreviations - B/L, BOL

Carrier's Bill of Lading
Bill of lading issued from the carrier or its appointed agent.  Very often this document is referred from forwarders as Master Bill of Lading.
Abbreviations - MBLD, MOBL, MBL

Forwarder's Bill of Lading
Bill of lading issued from the forwarding company. The forwader issues this bill of lading as operator. Often this document is also referred as house bill of lading.
Avvreviations - HBLD, HBOL, HBL

NVOCC bill of lading
This document is issued from an NVOCC (see NVOCC definition). Conditions on the bill f lading correspond to the conditions of the carrier's bill of lading. Often NVOCC bill of lading is referred as House bill of lading
Abbreviations - HBLD, HBOL, HBL

Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier - a company that offers the same services as an ocean carrier, but which does not own or operate a vessel. NVOCC's usually act as consolidators, accepting small shipments (LCL) and consolidating them into full container loads. They then act as a shipper, tendering the containers to ocean common carriers. They are required to file tariffs with the Federal Maritime Commission and are subject to the same laws and statutes that apply to primary common carriers.

TEU - Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit
The Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (often TEU or teu) is an unit of cargo capacity often used to describe the capacity of container ships and container terminals as well as operations of freight forwarders and logistics operators. It is based on the volume of a 20-foot standard dry van container.

Feeder vessel
Feeder vessels or feeder ships are ships of various sizes, but mostly understood to be sea going vessels with an average capacity of carrying 300 TEU to 500 TEU. Feeders collect containers from different ports and transport them to centralcontainer terminals where they are loaded to bigger vessels. In that way the smaller vessels feed the big liners carrying sometimes thousands of containers.

Metal construction solid box specialy designed for the shipping of goods and loads on various modes of transportation interchangeably. There are 5 types of ISO shipping containers of which the most used are 20' and 40' containers.  Specifications of the kinds of containers, their internal and external dimensions and tare weights please find here.

Terms and definitions in airfreght transportation and freigh forwarding

RFS - Road feeder service
A service offered by a scheduled cargo operator to move its carried goods to and from the aircraft and/or terminal by road transportation. Service is offered as an aim of the scheduled air carriers providing cargo services to decrease the overall transportation cost and to increase the available capacity.  Very often to this service the airlines assign a flight number and track the movement of the truck as they do for airfreight carriage.
The transportation document used is the regular Air Waybill.

Air waybill ( AWB )
The air waybill is a transportation document which evidences the contract  the contract for carriage of goods via air between the  shipper and the air carrier or forwarder. The terms of the contract are standartised and regulated by the Warsaw and the Montreal conventions for carriage of goods via air.
Abbreviations - AWB

House Air Waybill ( HAWB )
House Air Waybill is the document which covers each individual shipment of a consolidation. It is issued by the consolidator and contains instructions to the break bulk agent.  The terms of the HAWB fully comply with the Warsaw and the Montreal conventions for carriage of goods by air.
Abbreviations - HAWB, HWB

Master Air Waybill ( MAWB )
Master Air Waybill (MAWB) is an AWB which covers a consolidated shipment, showing the consolidator as shipper and the breakbulk agent as consignee.
Abbreviations - MAWB, MWB