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BAE : Available for release. This is a document issued by customs, and allows the importer to take possession of his goods.

BAF : Bunker Adjustment Factor : a maritime transportation surcharge in the event of an increase in fuel prices.

CAD : Cash against Document (Payment against document): the transit documents are consigned to a bank, which is instructed to deliver them to the importer only against payment.

CAF : Currency Adjustment Factor: a maritime transportation surcharge if changes in exchange rates have been unfavorable to the carrier since the price list was established.

Clean : this means that there are no reservations associated with the shipping documents.

Clean on board : a term to indicate that the goods have been boarded without reservation.

CMR : a road transportation convention which corresponds to the transportation document and to the attestation of responsibility for goods.

Congestion : traffic delays at the entrance to a port.

CTR : abbreviation of “container”

Documentary credit : an international payment technique consisting in obtaining payment by the purchaser’s bank (or by one’s own bank, if it is confirmed) rather than by one’s customer. It therefore amounts to an excellent guarantee, at the cost of a certain administrative complexity.

ETA : expected time (date) of arrival

ETD : estimated time (date) of departure

FCL : Full Container Load.

FCL/FCL : full container from departure to arrival, implying 1 sender and 1 recipient.

FCL/LCL : full container at departure for various recipients at the destination. Goods have to be degrouped at destination, implying 1 sender and several recipients

Grouping : the technique used to combine the goods of several senders so as to effect the main shipment in one loading unit (generally a maritime container).

IATA : International Air Transport Association.

IFP : Interim Fuel Participation, a surcharge equivalent to the BAF, in the event of an increase in fuel prices

Incoterms : terms which specify the international conditions of sale. These contractual terms are standardized by the International Chamber of Commerce, and are used to establish the obligations of the seller and buyer in relation to the transportation chain.


ISPS : rules have been imposed on the carriers and terminals in order to strengthen security on ships and in ports against international terrorism. These have given rise to additional costs (for the evaluation of risk, the introduction of additional security measures, as well as the associated administrative and operational costs and ISPS certification).

LCL : Less than a Container Load, or requirement for grouping / degrouping.

LCL/FCL : container loaded with several lots from different suppliers but intended for the same recipient.

LCL/LCL : container loaded with several lots from different suppliers intended for different recipients.

Liner-terms : standardized terms establishing the part of the loading/unloading operations included in a maritime freight operation.

Maritime bill of lading or Bill of Lading : (or B/L) A maritime transportation document, which is a negotiable ownership deed and an attestation of responsibility for goods.

NVOCC : Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier: a maritime transportation intermediary who acts as a ship-owner, but who has no ship of his own (he rents space on ships belonging to real ship-owners).

Pallet : a platform used for easier handling of the merchandise. The standardized dimensions are: 100 mm x 1200 mm (ISO) and 800 mm x 1200 mm (CEN).

Panamax : a ship whose size allows passage through the Panama canal: maximum length of 295 m, maximum overall width of 32.25 m, and maximum draught of 13.50 m.

Reservations : a term designating disparities noted between the documents presented to the bank and the documentary instructions contained in the CREDOC (documentary credit).

Ro/Ro (Roll on / roll of) : a combined transportation technique that allows a road vehicle to drive onto a ship that is specially designed for this type of freight.

Standby letter of credit : guarantee of the payment of a fixed amount where the debtor has not met its payment obligations.

Surestaries : additional time accorded by the ship-owner for loading or unloading in the event that the laytime on board has been exceeded. – This extra time gives rise to the payment of compensation.

THC : terminal handling charge that appears in the quotations, corresponding to the handling services provided during the operations of loading and unloading at the port and airport terminals.

UP : Payment Unit for the pricing of maritime freight – 1 ton or 1 m 3, to the advantage of the ship.

WAR RISK: surcharge for any risk of war.



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