Term Explanation Description
BAF Bunker Adjustment Factor BAF - as fuel prices - are volatile, the shipping line charges a “Bunker Adjustment Factor” fee to cover the fluctuations in global bunker costs.
CAF Currency Adjustment Factor CAF is a surcharge to the sea freight (often a percentage) if freight is payable in a currency which is subject to major exchange rate fluctuations.
Congestion surcharge Congestion surcharge A carrier fee to cover the extra charges if ports are congested due to e.g. weather, political issues, strikes etc.
EBS Emergency Bunker Surcharge EBS is a surcharge added to the freight to cover fuel costs.
ISF Importer Security Filing ISF is used for shipment exported to USA by sea freight. The importer or their agent must electronically submit information related to the shipment such as shipper, commodity, cargo details etc.
PSS Peak Season Surcharge PSS is a surcharge to the freight during peak periods.
TAD Transport Additional Destination TAD is an additional to the sea freight at destination, the transport from main port to an outport (e.g. feeder from Hamburg to Oslo, or from Hamburg to Gdynia).
TAO Transport Additional Origin TAO is an additional to the sea freight at origin, the transport from outport to main port (e.g. feeder from Oslo to Hamburg).
THC Terminal Handling Charge THC is an additional to the sea freight charged by the shipping line for handling of the container on the terminal.
War Risk War Risk War risk is a surcharge to the freight if shipment is in transit in areas affected by war or other risks.
Wharfage Wharfage Wharfage is a fee charged by ocean carriers to cover the port authority’s cost of using a wharf to unload cargo from the vessel.


Term Explanation Description
3PL Third Party Logistics 3PL is when a company outsource supply chain elements such as distribution and warehousing. Blue Water is a 3PL company.
4PL Fourth Party Logistics 4PL is basically the same as 3PL but have a much broader roll within the supply chain. Blue Water also provides 4PL.
ACI Advance Cargo Information ACI is a Canadian system with cargo information to increase cross border trade efficiencies and to improve the protection of Canadian citizens.
AMS Automated Manifest System All shipments entering or passing through the US waters provide details about their cargo content due to security reasons.
B/L Bill of Lading B/L is the transport document on sea freight.
Bonded warehousing Bonded warehousing A warehouse where goods can be stored without paying taxes until the goods are ready for distribution.
CFS Container Freight Station CFS refers to the warehouse where cargo is being consolidated (grouped) or deconsolidated (degrouped) from various exporters or importers before being shipped (if export) or delivered (if import).
CY Container Yard CY is where containers are stored on the terminal or dry port before they are loaded or unloaded from a ship.
Dangerous goods Dangerous goods Also named Hazardous cargo or IMDG cargo. If you ship dangerous goods it requires additional care and special documents provided by shipper.
DC or DV Dry Container or
Dry Van Container
Dry container or Dry van container - the most common container with no special features.
Demurrage/detention Demurrage/detention Demurrage is charged by the shipping line if container is not moved from the ship yard within the allowed free days.
Detention is charged by the shipping line if container is not returned to terminal within the allowed free days.
FCL Full Container Load FCL is usually loaded in one point (mostly at the shippers warehouse).
FR Flat Rack container A platform used for over-sized cargo where the cargo may be over wide, over high and/or over length.
Fumigation Fumigation Fumigation of containers is a standard protocol for many countries. Fumigation is done to ensure pests, insects and other harmful living organisms do not enter or leave a country to prevent diseases.
GRI General Rate Increase GRI is an increase in the sea freight across specific or all trade lanes during a particular period of time.
Haulier Haulier The British word for trucking company.
Hazardous cargo Hazardous cargo Also named Dangerous goods or IMDG cargo. If you ship dangerous goods it requires additional care and special documents provided by shipper.
HC og HQ High Cube container High Cube container - a container that is taller than a DC/DV container.
Incoterms Incoterms International agreements on transport of goods. The terms stipulate standard agreements that divide the costs and risks between the seller and the buyer.
ISPS International Ship and Port facility Security ISPS is an international set of rules adopted after the terrorist attacks in USA, September 2001.
LCL Less than Container Load If shipper does not have cargo enough for a full container, cargo can be shipped as LCL (less than container load) where cargo is combined in a container with cargo from different shippers.
NOR Non-operation reefer NOR is a reefer container shipped unplugged with dry cargo.
OT Open Top container Open Top container - a container used for over-sized cargo where the cargo is over height.
SOP Standard Operation Procedure SOP is a document containing step-by-step instructions to guide an employee how to complete a process.
TEU Twenty foot Equivalent Unit TEU is the designation for a 20’ container. A 40’ container is 2 TEU or 1 FEU.
Track & Trace Track & Trace A system where you can determine the position of your shipment.
W/M Weight or Measurement W/M means the costs calculated by weight or by cbm, whichever is the greatest. The conversion factor on seafreight is 1:1 which means that 1 cbm = 1000 kgs.