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  Glossary of Transportation Terms

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C

C&F Terms of Sale, or INCOTERMS.

Obsolete, albeit heavily used, term of sale meaning "cargo and freight" whereby Seller pays for cost of goods and freight charges up to destination port. In July, 1990 the International Chamber of Commerce replaced C&F with CFR.

Cabotage

Water transportation term applicable to shipments between ports of a nation; commonly refers to coast-wise or inter-coastal navigation or trade. Many nations, including the United States, have cabotage laws which require national flag vessels to provide domestic interport service.

CAF

Abbreviation for "Currency Adjustment Factor." A charge, expressed as a percentage of a base rate, that is applied to compensate ocean carriers of currency fluctuations.

Captain's Protest

A document prepared by the captain of a vessel on arriving at port; shows conditions encountered during voyage, generally for the purpose of relieving ship owner of any loss to cargo and shifting responsibility for reimbursement to the insurance company.

Carfloat

A barge equipped with tracks on which up to about 12 railroad cars are moved in harbors or inland waterways.

Cargo

Freight loaded into a vessel. Examples include containers, breakbulk, Roll-on/Roll-off and bulk cargoes.

Cargo Manifest

A manifest that lists all cargo carried on a specific vessel voyage.

Cargo NOS

Cargo Not Otherwise Specified. Usually the rate entry in a tariff that can apply to commodities not covered under a specific item or subitem in the applicable tariff.

Cargo Preference

Cargo reserved by a Nation's laws for transportation only on vessels registered in that Nation.  Typically the cargo is moving due to a direct or indirect support or activity of the Government.

The Cargo Preference Act of 1954 (P.L. 83-664)

This Act, as amended, requires that at least 50 percent of the gross tonnage of all Government-generated cargo be transported on privately-owned, U.S.-flag commercial vessels to the extent such vessels are available at fair and reasonable rates. In 1985, the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 was amended to require that the percentage of certain agricultural cargoes to be carried on U.S.-flag vessels be increased from 50 to 75 percent.

Cargo Tonnage

Most ocean freight is billed on the basis of weight or measurement tons (W/M). Weight tons can be expressed in short tons of 2000 pounds, long tons of 2240 pounds or metric tons of 1000 kilos (2204.62 pounds). Measurement tons are usually expressed as cargo measurement of 40 cubic feet (1.12 meters) or cubic meters (35.3 cubic feet.)

Carload Rate

A rate applicable to a carload of goods.

Carnet

A Customs document permitting the holder to temporarily carry or send merchandise into certain foreign countries (for display, demonstration or similar purposes) without paying duties or posting bonds. Any of various Customs documents required for crossing some international borders.

Car Pooling

Use of individual carrier/rail equipment through a central agency for the benefit of carriers and shippers.

Carrier

Any person or entity who, in a contract of carriage, undertakes to perform or to procure the performance of carriage by rail, road, sea, air, inland waterway or by a combination of such modes.

Carrier's Certificate

A certificate required by U.S. Customs to release cargo properly to the correct party.

Car Seal

Metal strip and lead fastener used for locking freight car or truck doors. Seals are numbered for record purposes.

Cartage

Usually refers to intracity hauling on drays or trucks.

Cartel

An association of several independent national or international business organizations that regulates competition by controlling the prices, the production, or the marketing of a product or industry

Cartment

Customs form permitting in-bond cargo to be moved from one location to another under Customs control, within the same Customs district. Usually in motor carrier's possession while draying cargo.

Cash Against Documents (CAD)

Method of payment for goods in which documents transferring title are given the buyer upon payment of cash to an intermediary acting for the seller, usually a commission house.

Cash in Advance (CIA)

A method of payment for goods in which the buyer pays the seller in advance of the shipment of goods. Usually employed when the goods, such as specialized machinery, are built to order.

Cash With Order (CWO)

A method of payment for goods in which cash is paid at the time of order and the transaction becomes binding on both buyer and seller.

Catwalk

A raised bridge running fore and aft from the midship, and called "walkway." It affords safe passage over the pipelines and other deck obstructions.

CBM (CM)

Abbreviation for "Cubic Meter."

CE

Abbreviation for "Consumption Entry." The process of declaring the importation of foreignmade goods for use in the United States.

Cells

The construction system employed in container vessels; permits ship containers to be stowed in a vertical line with each container supporting the one above it.

Center of Gravity

The point of equilibrium of the total weight of a containership, truck, train or a piece of cargo.

Certificate

- A document certifying that merchandise (such as of Inspection perishable goods) was in good condition immediately prior to its shipment.
- The document issued by the U.S. Coast Guard certifying an American flag vessel's compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Certificate of Inspection

A certificate usually required for industrial equipment and meat products. There are companies in every port city that specialize in issuing certificates of inspection for machinery. The Meat Inspection Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture issues certificates of inspection for meat products that are recognized throughout the world.

Certificate of Manufacture

A document used under a letter of credit containing an affidavit that goods have been manufactured and are being held for the account and risk of the buyer. In war times when transportation facilities are disrupted, it is common for letters of credit to be paid against presentation of a certificate of manufacture. This is rare in ordinary times, except in the case of specially manufactured goods.

Certificate of Origin

A certified document showing the origin of goods; used in international commerce.

Certificate of Registry

A document specifying the nation registry of the vessel.

CFS

Abbreviation for "Container Freight Station." A shipping dock where cargo is loaded ("stuffed") into or unloaded ("stripped") from containers. Generally, this involves less than containerload shipments, although small shipments destined to same consignee are often consolidated. Container reloading from/to rail or motor carrier equipment is a typical activity.

Charter Agreement/Charter Party

A lease or agreement to hire an airplane, vessel, or other means of conveyance to transport goods to one or more designated locations. Among other specifications, the contract usually stipulates the exact obligations of the vessel owner (loading the goods, carrying the goods to a certain point, returning to the charterer with other goods, etc.), or it provides for an outright leasing of the vessel to the charterer, who then is responsible for his own loading and delivery. In either case, the charter party sets forth the exact conditions and requirements agreed upon by both sides.

Charter Party

A written contract between the owner of a vessel and the person desiring to employ the vessel (charterer); sets forth the terms of the arrangement such as duration of agreement, freight rate and ports involved in the trip.

Charter Party Bill of Lading

A bill of lading issued under a charter party. It is not acceptable by banks under letters of credit unless so authorized in the credit.

Charter Rates

The tariff applied for chartering tonnage in a particular trade.

Charterer

The person to whom is given the use of the whole of the carrying capacity of a ship for the transportation of cargo or passengers to a stated port for a specified time.

Chassis

A frame with wheels and container locking devices in order to secure the container for movement.

Chemical tanker

Specially designed for the transport of chemicals.

Chief Engineer

Head of engineer department. Keeps records of all engine parts and repairs. Generally tends to the functioning of all mechanical equipment on ship. Calculates fuel and water consumption and requirements. Coordinates operations with shoreside port engineer.

Chief Mate

The officer in the deck department next in rank to the master; second in command of a ship. He is next to the master, most especially in the navigation and as far as the deck department is concerned. The chief mate assumes the position of the Master in his absence.

Chief Mate

The officer in the deck department next in rank to the master; second in command of a ship. He is next to the master, most especially in the navigation and as far as the deck department is concerned. The chief mate assumes the position of the Master in his absence.

Chief Steward

Orders food. Prepares menus. Assists chief cook in food preparation.

Chock

A piece of wood or other material placed at the side of cargo to prevent rolling or moving sideways.

CI

Abbreviation for "Cost and Insurance." A price that includes the cost of the goods, the marine insurance and all transportation charges except the ocean freight to the named point of destination.

CIF

Abbreviation for "Cost, Insurance, Freight." (Named Port) Same as C&F or CFR except seller also provides insurance to named destination.

CIF&C

Price includes commission as well as CIF.

CIF&E

Abbreviation for "Cost, Insurance, Freight And Exchange."

CIFCI

Abbreviation for "Cost, Insurance, Freight, Collection And Interest."

CIFI&E

Cost, Insurance, Freight, Interest and Exchange.

CKD

Abbreviation for "Completely Knocked Down." Parts and subassemblies being transported to an assembly plant.

CL

Abbreviation for "Carload" and "Containerload".

Claim

A demand made upon a transportation line for payment on account of a loss sustained through its alleged negligence.

Class Rates

A class of goods or commodities is a large grouping of various items under one general heading, and all items in the group make up a class. The freight rates that apply to all items in the class are called class rates.

Classification

A publication,such as Uniform Freight Classification (railroad) or the National Motor Freight Classification (motor carrier), that assigns ratings to various articles and provides bill of lading descriptions and rules.

Classification Rating

The designation provided in a classification by which a class rate is determined.

Classification Yard

A railroad yard with many tracks used for assembling freight trains.

Clayton Act

An anti-trust act of the U.S. Congress making price discrimination unlawful.

Clean Bill of Lading

A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were received in "apparent good order and condition," without damage or other irregularities.  If no notation or exception is made, the B/L is assumed to be "cleaned."

Cleaning in Transit

The stopping of articles, such as peanuts, etc., for cleaning at a point between the point of origin and destination.

Clearance

The size beyond which cars or loads cannot use Limits bridges, tunnels, etc.

Cleat

A strip of wood or metal used to afford additional strength, to prevent warping, or to hold in place.

Clip-On

Refrigeration equipment attachable to an insulated container that does not have its own refrigeration unit.

CM

Abbreviation for "Cubic Meter" (capital letters).

cm

Abbreviation for "centimeter."

Coastwise

Domestic shipping routes along a single coast.

COD

Abbreviation for:
- Collect (cash) on Delivery.
- Carried on Docket (pricing).

COFC

Abbreviation for the Railway Service "Container On Flat Car."

COGSA

Carriage of Goods by Sea Act. U.S. federal codification passed in 1936 which standardizes carrier's liability under carrier's bill of lading. U.S. enactment of The Hague Rules.

Collecting

A bank that acts as an agent to the seller's bank (the presenting bank). The collecting bank assumes no responsibility for either the documents or the merchandise.

Collection

A draft drawn on the buyer, usually accompanied by documents, with complete instructions concerning processing for payment or acceptance.

Combination Export Mgr.

A firm that acts as an export sales agent for more than one noncompeting manufacturer.

Combination Rate

A rate made up of two or more factors, separately published.

Commercial Invoice

Represents a complete record of the transaction between exporter and importer with regard to the goods sold. Also reports the content of the shipment and serves as the basis for all other documents about the shipment.

Commodity

Article shipped. For dangerous and hazardous cargo, the correct commodity identification is critical.

Commodity Rate

A rate published to apply to a specific article or articles.

Commercial Invoice

Represents a complete record of the transaction between exporter and importer with regard to the goods sold. Also reports the content of the shipment and serves as the basis for all other documents about the shipment.

Commodity

Article shipped. For dangerous and hazardous cargo, the correct commodity identification is critical.

Commodity Rate

A rate published to apply to a specific article or articles.

Common Carrier

A transportation company which provides service to the general public at published rates.

Common Law

Law that derives its force and authority from precedent, custom and usage rather than from statutes, particularly with reference to the laws of England and the United States.

Concealed Damage

Damage that is not evident from viewing the unopened package.

Conference

An association of ship owners

 

 
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