Term Explanation Description
Ab Starting point “Ab” (e.g., “Ab Billund Lufthavn”) is often used to indicate the starting point or origin of a flight or air transport service from a specific airport. It signifies the place or airport from which the service begins
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
ADR Dangerous goods regulations Dangerous goods that can cause damage to people, the environment or property
AEO  Authorised Economic Operator A certification that simplifies customs clearance. Blue Water is AEO certified
AES Automated Export system A system that process export declarations for all goods moving directly and indirectly to countries outside the EU
AGS Aden Gulf surcharge Security surcharge against piracy
AMS Automated Manifest System  All shipments entering or passing through the US waters provide details about their cargo content due to security reasons 
ATA Actual Time of Arrival The exact time a vessel or any other form of transportation arrives at its destination
ATA Carnet  ATA Carnet  An international customs document that ensures smooth border crossing for goods that do not require customs clearance e.g., exhibition goods
ATD Actual Time of Departure The exact time a vessel or any other form of transportation is dispatched from the point of origin
AWB Air Waybill  A document that accompanies goods shipped by an international air courier to provide detailed information about the shipment and allow it to be tracked


Term Explanation Description
B/L or BoL Bill of Lading   A legal document issued by a transportation company to a shipper that details the type, quantity, and destination of the goods being carried. This document also serves as a shipment receipt and must always accompany the shipped products, no matter the form of transportation
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
BW Bonded warehousing A warehouse where goods can be stored without paying taxes until the goods are ready for distribution


Term Explanation Description
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
Cbm Cubic metre CBM is the freight volume of the shipment. This measurement is calculated by multiplying the width, height and length. CBM = (Length x Width x Height) x Quantity of items. If the shipment has different sized items, simply repeat the formula for each size and add up the volumes
CFR Cost and freight  Incoterm where the seller is responsible for costs and freight up to the agreed port, airport or terminal (depending on the mode of transport) in the recipient country. The risk and any additional costs then pass to the buyer. In addition, the CFR trade conditions specify that the seller is responsible for customs clearance of the goods
CFS  Container Freight Station  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) 
CHAS Chassis A rubber-tired trailer under-frame on which a container is mounted for road transportation
CIF Cost, Insurance and Freight Incoterm where the seller is responsible for arranging and paying for the transportation of goods, insurance coverage, and all associated costs up to the point the goods are loaded on a vessel for shipment to the specified destination. Once the goods pass the ship’s rail, the risk transfers to the buyer. This term is used specifically for sea transport
CIP Carriage and Insurance Paid To Incoterm where the seller delivers the goods to a carrier, pays for transport to the specified destination, and also provides insurance against the buyer’s risk of loss or damage during transit. The buyer assumes responsibility once the goods arrive at the specified location
CMR International consignment note  Waybill for international road freight transport
Cnee Consignee A person or company to whom goods are to be delivered
CO Certificate of Origin International trade document, certifying that goods in a particular export shipment are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country. It is often requested by overseas buyers for customs clearance, payment management and import tariff concessions
COD Cash on Delivery  Delivery will only be made against payment of the agreed amount between shipper and buyer
COD Change of Destination A request to the shipping company for the possibility to change the destination of the shipment to a destination other than the destination stated in the "Port of Discharge" and/or "Place of Delivery" as shown in the Bill of Lading issued
Colli / Kolli  A piece of goods The term for a single piece of goods where the actual packaging form is not known
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. 
Conversion key Conversion key A conversion factor between volume and actual weight
CPT Carriage Paid To Incoterm where the seller delivers the goods to a carrier and pays for the transportation to a specified destination. However, the risk of loss or damage to the goods, as well as any additional costs due to events occurring after the goods have been handed over to the carrier, are transferred from the seller to the buyer. This term can be used for any mode of transport
CY  Container Yard  A container yard is a designated area where shipping containers are stored, stacked and organised for loading onto ships, trucks or trains for onward distribution
CW Chargeable Weight A conversion factor used to determine the price you will pay to ship your goods. It can be either the gross weight (i.e. actual weight) or the volumetric weight (i.e. dimensional weight) of the shipment, whichever is greater



Term Explanation Description
Dangerous goods 

Dangerous goods 

Also named Hazardous cargo or IMDG cargo. Dangerous goods are materials or substances that pose risks to health, safety, property, or the environment during transportation. It requires additional care and special documents provided by shipper to ship dangerous goods
DAP Delivered at Place Incoterm where the seller is responsible for all costs, including transport and risk, up to a specified place of destination. The buyer assumes responsibility for unloading and any further costs from that point onward, including import duties and taxes
DAT Delivered at Terminal Incoterm where the seller delivers the goods, unloaded from transport, at a specified terminal. The seller covers all risks and costs up to unloading, after which the buyer assumes responsibility
DC or DV Dry Cargo / Van Container The standard type of shipping container used to transport general cargo that does not require temperature control, such as clothing, furniture, and electronics. It is sealed and weatherproof, protecting goods from external elements
DDP Delivered Duty Paid Incoterm where the seller assumes all responsibilities and costs for delivering goods to a specified destination, including transportation, insurance, and all import duties and taxes
Deep sea  Long distance sea freight Refers to the transportation of goods over long distances across the open ocean, typically between continents
Demurrage Space rental penalty fee A fee charged by the shipping line if container is not moved from the shipyard within the allowed free days
Detention Container rental to the shipping line Detention is a fee charged by the shipping line if a container is not returned to terminal within the allowed free days
DEV Deviation  When a shipment does not go as planned or promised. The error that occurs is a deviation
DGR Dangerous Goods Regulations Guidelines and rules established by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for the safe transportation of hazardous materials by air. The DGR provides specific instructions on how to handle, package, label, and document dangerous goods to ensure they can be transported safely without posing a threat to aircraft, personnel, or the environment
DOC Document of Compliance A certificate issued to companies operating ships under the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, indicating that the company’s safety management system has been audited and found compliant with the ISM Code’s requirements
Domestic Domestic Within a country’s borders 
Dry bulk cargo Dry cargo shipped without packing A load that is not packaged e.g., grain, sand


Term Explanation Description

European Article Numbering Numbering system that gives products a unique number
EBS  Emergency Bunker Surcharge  EBS is a surcharge added to the freight to cover fuel costs in emergencies
EDI Electronic Data Interchange

It refers to the structured electronic exchange of business documents, such as orders, invoices and shipping notices, between trading partners in a standardised format
E-Export  IT programme  E-Export is a digital software solution that automates and enhances export-related tasks, including documentation, compliance, and logistics management. By streamlining processes and ensuring regulatory adherence, it contributes to the efficient and accurate execution of international trade operations
ELI Electrically Initiated Lithium Ion batteries ELI - Electrically Initiated Lithium Ion - ELI batteries, designed for applications requiring electrical initiation for activation
ELM Lithium Metal Batteries ELM - Lithium Metal Batteries - ELM batteries use lithium metal for high energy density, suitable for applications requiring long-lasting, lightweight power sources
ETA Estimated Time of Arrival  Approximate time of a shipment’s arrival based on an estimation
ETD Estimated Time of Departure Approximate time of a shipment’s departure from its terminal based on an estimate
EUR-1 certificate Movement certificate Enables importers in certain countries to import goods at a reduced or nil rate of import duty under trade agreements between the UK and partner countries
Euro pallet Standard pallet  Dimensions of a Euro pallet are 120 x 80 cm
EXW Ex Works EXW is a shipping arrangement in which a seller makes a product available at a specific location, but the buyer has to pay the transport costs


Term Explanation Description
FAS  Free Alongside Ship  FAS means that the goods are considered to be delivered when the seller’s ship arrives alongside the buyer’s ship or destination port. The buyer bears the shipping expense
FCA Free Carrier  It’s an international trade term from the Incoterms that specifies the point at which the seller fulfills their delivery obligation by handing over the goods to a carrier nominated by the buyer at a specified place or point of departure. The buyer then assumes responsibility for the transportation costs and risks from that point onward
FCL Full Container Load FCL describes sea shipping for cargo loads large enough to fill a 20’ or 40’ shipping container. FCL usually loaded in one point (mostly at the shipper’s warehouse)
Ships on shorter distances Smaller ships that typically only sail within their own continent - typically with containers
FEU/FFU Forty Foot Equivalent Unit/Forty Foot Unit It used to describe the size of a container. 1 FEU = 40 ft container
FOB Free on Board FOB shipping means that the supplier retains ownership and responsibility for the goods until they are loaded ‘on board’ a shipping vessel. Port of delivery should be mentioned due to risk
FR Flat Rack container  A platform used for over-sized cargo where the cargo may be over wide, over high and/or over length 
Freight forwarding  Freight forwarding Freight forwarding is the coordination and shipment of goods from one place to another via a single or multiple carriers via air, marine, rail or highway. Receiving and sending goods on behalf of others, arranging transhipment, customs clearance, finalisation of documents, consolidation and warehousing
Freight forwarder/forwarding agent Freight forwarder A company or person that provides freight forwarding services
FSC Fuel Surcharge FSC is charged based on the current price variations on the fuel. It is usually the receiver who pays for the fuel surcharge, and the reason is to compensate for the volatility of the fuel prices. This surcharge can be applied to several transportation modes, from road freight to air freight or ocean freight transport
Full load / F/L / FTL Full Truck Load FTL, is a type of shipping mode whereby a truck carries one dedicated shipment. In other words, the journey is reserved for one shipment only
Fumigation Fumigation Fumigation refers to the techniques deployed to eliminate the pests within a specific container or cargo with the help of effective fumigants. 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 


Term Explanation Description
GC General Cargo Goods that can be transported individually in one piece. This can be a pallet or a package
GDPR / Data Privacy

General Data Protection Regulation GDPR is a European Union regulation on Information privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area
GRI General Rate Increase GRI is an adjustment of sea freight rates across all or specific trade routes during a set time frame. GRIs are usually spurred by the supply and demand chain within freight shipping and generally initiated by bigger carriers
Groupage Groupage freight A shipping method used when unit of goods are transported in bundles to form a consolidated transport i.e. the combination of several smaller shipments into one full container. The groupage process works like this: the general cargo is collected from various shippers and combined into a groupage cargo in the warehouse of the forwarding agent. After delivery, they are separated 
again in the corresponding warehouses
GSP Certificate The Generalised System of Preferences 
The GSP Certificate is an official document that validates an exporter’s eligibility for preferential tariff treatment within GSP-recipient countries. By showcasing the origin of goods and adherence to programme requirements, it facilitates smoother international trade and tariff reductions


Term Explanation Description
Haulier  A trucking company or carrier Is the British word for trucking company. A haulier is a specialised transportation service provider responsible for transporting goods, commodities or cargo using trucks or other road vehicles
Hazardous cargo  Dangerous goods Also named Dangerous goods or IMDG cargo. Dangerous goods are materials or substances that pose risks to health, safety, property or the environment during transportation. It requires additional care and special documents provided by shipper to ship dangerous goods
HC, High-Cube or HQ High Cube container  HC container is a type of container that is 1 foot more in height than a standard 40′ container
HPL Half pallet HPL is a compact and space-efficient pallet that is approximately half the size of a standard pallet. Dimensions of a half pallet are 80 x 60 cm
HS code Harmonised System Codes The HS code is a standardised numeric classification assigned to products, enabling uniform categorisation and streamlined customs procedures for international trade. It serves as a universal language for identifying goods and plays a key role in facilitating accurate tariffs and trade data analysis
HSSEQ Health, Safety, Security, Environment & Quality It represents a comprehensive framework that organisations implement to ensure the well-being of their employees, the protection of their assets and the preservation of the environment while maintaining high-quality standards in their operations


Term Explanation Description

The International Air Transport Association

IATA is a trade association that represents the global airline industry, facilitating standards, regulations, and cooperation among airlines for safe and efficient air transportation
IATA DGR International Air Transport Association Dangerous Goods Regulations It is a globally recognised set of guidelines and standards for the safe transportation of hazardous materials by air. These regulations provide detailed instructions on how to classify, package, label, and handle dangerous goods to ensure the safety of passengers, crew, and aircraft during air transportation
IMDG The International Maritime Dangerous Goods Dangerous goods are materials or substances that pose risks to health, safety, property, or the environment during transportation. It requires additional care and special documents provided by shipper to ship dangerous goods
IMO International Maritime Organization IMO is a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping.  The IMO’s primary purpose is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit today includes maritime safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping
Incoterms International Commercial Terms Incoterms are universally recognised rules that guide buyers and sellers to fulfil a contract for the shipment of goods
ISF  Importer Security Filing  ISF is a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requirement for ocean cargo imports into the United States. The importer or their agent must electronically submit information related to the shipment such as shipper, commodity, cargo details etc. 
ISO International Organization for Standardization ISO is a globally recognised body that develops and publishes international standards, fostering consistency and excellence across various industries. ISO standards cover diverse areas, including quality and environment, providing guidelines that help organisations achieve higher levels of performance and sustainability
ISPS International Ship and Port Facility Security Code It is a comprehensive set of security measures developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to enhance the security of ships and port facilities against potential threats such as terrorism, piracy and smuggling. The ISPS Code mandates the implementation of security protocols, training and infrastructure to ensure the safety of vessels, passengers and cargo during international maritime operations


Term Explanation Description
Kolli / Colli A piece of goods The term for a single piece of goods where the actual packaging form is not known


Term Explanation Description
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 
Ldm Load Displacement Meter Loading meter - 1 m in the full width of the trailer
Lo/Lo Lift-on/Lift-off It refers to a method of cargo handling in shipping where specialised cranes or equipment are used to lift cargo on and off a vessel 


Term Explanation Description

German road tax  “Maut” is a German term that translates to “toll” in English. It refers to a fee or charge imposed on vehicles for using certain roads, bridges, tunnels, or other transportation infrastructure
MAWB Master Airway Bill It is a key document used in airfreight shipments. The MAWB is issued by the airline or its authorised agent and serves as a contract of carriage between the shipper, consignee, and the carrier
MBL Master Bill of Lading MBL is a crucial shipping document that outlines terms and details of goods transportation between a carrier and shipper, facilitating efficient and organized international trade logistics
MIO Movement of Goods Inward/Outward It pertains to the temporary storage of goods in a customs warehouse or bonded warehouse under specific customs procedures. During MIO operations, goods are moved into or out of the customs or bonded warehouse, often under the supervision of customs authorities. This allows for the temporary suspension of customs duties and taxes while the goods are stored, providing flexibility for businesses and facilitating international trade
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheet It is a comprehensive document that provides important information about the potential hazards, handling, storage, and emergency procedures related to a specific chemical substance or product. MSDSs are commonly used in workplaces and industries to ensure the safe use, storage, and disposal of hazardous materials


Term Explanation Description
NOR  Non-operating reefer  NOR is a reefer container shipped unplugged with dry cargo
Notify party Notify party The notify party is the contact person to be notified when the shipment arrives at destination
NSAB Nordic Association of Freight Forwarders (Nordisk Speditørforbunds Almindelige Bestemmelser) NSAB 2015 is the general conditions of the Nordic Association of Freight Forwarders. The conditions set forth the freight forwarder’s and the customer’s rights and obligations towards each other
NVOCC Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier It refers to a type of freight forwarder that arranges shipments and transportation of goods, but doesn’t own the vessels (ships) used for transportation


Term Explanation Description
OT Open Top container  Open Top container - a container used for over-sized cargo where the cargo is over height 


Term Explanation Description
Pallet Pallet Portable packaging on which goods can be stacked and handled with a forklift
Payable weight

Payable weight Refers to the weight of goods or cargo that is used as the basis for calculating shipping charges. It may include the actual weight of the goods themselves, as well as any associated packaging, pallets, and other materials. The weight a shipment is settled by either real or converted from volume via conversion factor
Pick-up Pick-up The term for when goods are picked up
POD Proof of Delivery  It is a document or record used in logistics and transportation to confirm that a shipment or delivery has been received by the intended recipient
POD Port of Delivery  Refers to the specific port where the goods are destined to arrive and be received by the consignee. It’s the final destination port where the cargo will be unloaded and cleared through customs before distribution or further transportation
POL Port of Loading  Refers to the specific port where goods are loaded onto a vessel for transportation
PSS Peak Season Surcharge It’s an additional fee or charge that shipping companies impose during peak shipping seasons or times of high demand. Peak shipping seasons typically coincide with periods of increased shipping activity, such as holidays, major shopping seasons, or events that lead to a surge in cargo shipments


Term Explanation Description
QPL Quarter pallet A Quarter Pallet is a type of pallet that is one-quarter the size of a standard pallet. Dimensions of a quarter pallet are 60 x 40 cm


Term Explanation Description
Rate Rate Price of freight  
Reefer Refrigerated transport   It is a method of transporting goods that require temperature control to maintain their freshness, quality, and integrity. It involves the use of specialized vehicles, containers, or compartments equipped with refrigeration or temperature control systems. This type of transport is commonly used for perishable items such as food products, pharmaceuticals, and other temperature-sensitive goods
RFI Request for Information Questionnaire typically prior to tender phase. It is a formal process used in business and procurement to gather information from potential suppliers, vendors, or contractors
RFQ Request for Quotation Request for Quotation It’s a formal document used in procurement to solicit price quotes or bids from potential suppliers or vendors for specific products or services
RID Regulations concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail These regulations provide guidelines and requirements for the safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials by rail
Ro/Ro Roll on / Roll off Roll-on/roll-off ships are vessels that are used to carry wheeled cargo


Term Explanation Description
SDS Safety Data Sheet  SDS is a comprehensive document offering information about the hazards, handling, and emergency response procedures for chemical products
Shipper Sender/consignor  Shipper of goods
Short sea  Short sea freight Refers to maritime transportation that takes place within a relatively short distance along coastlines, between neighboring countries, or across bodies of water such as seas or bays
SOP Standard Operating Procedure Standard Operating Procedure
SSC Security Surcharge A Security Surcharge is an additional fee or charge imposed by transportation or shipping companies to cover costs associated with enhanced security measures and precautions
Stevedore A person employed at a dock to load and unload ships A person employed at a dock to load and unload ships
Stripping Unloading  Refers to the process of unloading cargo from a container or transport vehicle, often at a port or distribution center
Stuffing  Loading Refers to the process of loading cargo into a container or transport vehicle for shipment. This term is often used when goods are placed inside a container, trailer, or other shipping vessel to prepare them for transportation
Subject to customs duty Subject to customs duty Customs treatment when trading with non-EU countries


Term Explanation Description
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) 
Terminal  Terminal  A terminal is a handling point for a means of transportation, typically for trucks
TEU 20 ft container Unit of measurement for container, 1 TEU = 1 20’ container
THC Terminal surcharge  It refers to a fee imposed by terminal operators at ports or terminals for the handling of containers during the loading, unloading, and storage processes
Track and trace  Track and trace  A system where you can determine the position of your shipment 
Transit port Port of transhipment A port or location where cargo, passengers, or goods are temporarily held or transferred as part of a journey between their point of origin and their final destination


Term Explanation Description
ULD Unit Load Device ULDs are standardised containers or pallets used in aviation to efficiently load and transport cargo in airplanes


Term Explanation Description
VAL Valuable shipments  Refers to cargo or goods that are considered valuable due to their high worth, rarity, fragility, or sensitivity


Term Explanation Description
W/M Weight/Measurement It’s a term commonly used to determine the charges for transporting cargo
War Risk  War Risk  Refers to a type of insurance coverage that provides protection against losses or damages caused by acts of war, hostilities, civil unrest, or similar events
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 
Wet bulk cargo Liquid cargo  Refers to goods that are typically transported in liquid form, such as liquids, chemicals, petroleum and other substances. These cargoes are often loaded and transported in bulk carriers, tankers, or specialised vessels designed to handle liquids


Term Explanation Description
++ Additional charges    "++" in the context of receiving a rate for airfreight represents additional charges, particularly related to fuel and security costs. When you receive a rate for airfreight, it typically includes the base rate plus these add-ons, which are often stipulated by the "++." This notation indicates that the final price for airfreight will consist of the base rate along with additional charges for fuel and security, making it important to consider the full cost when budgeting or planning for airfreight services.
3PL Third Party Logistics 3PL is when a company outsource supply chain elements such as distribution and warehousing. Blue Water is a 3PL compan4y
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