- When should I start planning for my move?
Ideally, you should start around 3 to 4 months in advance, but try to start planning at least 4 to 6 weeks before your scheduled move.
- 2. What types of services does Guardian offer?
Guardian Cargo Logistics offers full container loads – FCL and partial shipments, or less than a container load – LCL. In plain English it basically means that we can handle any type and size of international move. We also transport Automobiles to various destinations world-wide.
- Can you pack for me?
Yes. Guardian offers professional packing services you’ll love. We can pack your fine art, book collection, antiques, glassware, and more. Call our relocation experts for more information.
- Can you store my goods?
Yes. We have various storage locations in the US and can help you with both short and long term storage for your international move.
- Can you store my household or commercial goods?
Yes, we can store your goods at one of our many storage facilities located throughout the U.S. We offer both long and short term storage options.
- Can you take care of the paperwork for me?
We sure can. Guardian can handle your paperwork both in here the U.S. and anywhere else in the world. Our professional team is trained to handle customs clearance documents and can assist you in arrangements and preparations.
- Is Guardian an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau?
Yes we are, and we have a great reputation we are proud of.
International Moving Price
Thanks to our worldwide connections and our large operating facilities, Guardian Cargo Logistics is able to offer our customers affordable, yet professional international moves.
Depending on the size needed for your household or commercial load, will determine your specific price. With Guardian’s international moves, you can also choose from a variety of our services, such as packing and full service; these will also be a factor in determining price.
The most common type of international service our customers choose is our door to door service. This service includes our professional movers going to your home and loading your goods onto a container or truck, then your items will be transported to the according port and shipped to the country of your choice. All paperwork for your international shipment will be handled by Guardian; so you don’t have to worry. From there on of our local agents will accept your goods and deliver them to your new home. If you have ordered our packing services, our local agent will do the unpacking for you and dispose of any packing materials.
Our door to port or terminal services involve the same great services as above, up until your items reach your destination port or terminal. This service requires you to arrange for your own transportation, as well as handle the customs clearance yourself.
Guardian’s door to port or terminal self load service involves sending a container to your house where you will load your household goods yourself. The rest of this service is the same as our door to port or terminal offer.
One of our relocation experts will help you determine which of these international plans are best for you and your budget.
Clearing customs can be a nightmare, but Guardian Cargo Logistics has the experience and know-how required to get you through customs with ease.
Our team of experts will help you complete the required documents and will forward all information to our destination agent. If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding your paperwork, one of our representatives will be glad to help you out. We will provide you with customs rules and regulations, a list of prohibited items, and so on to make sure you are prepared to clear customs.
If you want to pass through customs hassle free, then you are better off hiring a professional international moving company such as Guardian Cargo Logistics. We have the experience and knowledge needed in order to complete all paper work correctly and to pack your shipment according to customs. Allow Guardian to make your customs experience stress free.
The Guardian team is more than capable of professionally handling your international shipment. For more information on clearing customs or in regards to international shipping in general, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our relocation experts.
Guardian Cargo Logistics offers valuation and full coverage insurance on international moves. Valuation covers sixty (60) cents per pound, per article and is free of charge. Full coverage insures 3% of the total declared value. Guardian highly recommends that our customers purchase full coverage insurance for the following reasons:
- Ensures coverage from a licensed insurance agent
- Insures high value items
- Covers all items listed on inventory list in contract, at full replacement cost
- Is typically more comprehensive than most homeowner policies
For more information on these types of insurance policies you can call or email a Guardian representative.
International Moving Tips
- • Contact Guardian Cargo Logistics at least 3 months before your expected pick up date for the planning and pricing of your shipment.
- • Reserve your moving date at least 3 to 4 weeks in advance.
- • Prepare a complete inventory list of your shipment for your relocation consultant.
- Complete all required paperwork and documents, along with evaluating the value of your shipment for insurance purposes.
- • Contact the local U.S. consulate in your destination country for all customs information
- • Understand all your rights and customs regulations
- • Prepare invoices for recently purchased goods (new items)
- • Provide your relocation specialist with all necessary contact information (phone number, email address, and so on)
- • Guardian recommends that you do not ship the following items:
- Important paperwork, such as birth certificates, social security cards, family records and so on
- Fire Arms
- Jewelry and other expensive collections
- Pressure spray cans
- Open bottles containing liquids
For more details and information regarding your international move, please contact your Guardian relocation expert.
International Packing Tips
- Refrain from exceeding a weight of 50 pounds per box
- Remember to insulate your boxes with enough cushioning to absorb shock
- Only use durable, sturdy boxes/cartons/packing materials
- Pack boxes so they have no empty space remaining
- Pack and label your boxes by room
- Pack in order of least used items first, and most used items last
- Empty all drawers of breakable items, liquids, and so on
- You can pack items by size and type together
- Pack pieces to disassembled items together and make sure to label them
- Wrap and fasten electrical cords
- Wrap your fragile items with clean paper such as tissue, paper towels, and so on
- For outer wrapping you can use newspaper as a double layer
- Use paper to cushion the bottom of boxes
- Pack boxes in layer with heaviest items on the bottom
- Fill empty box space with crushed paper
- Use a lot of cushioning for your fragile items
- Pack all small and fragile items in small boxes and don’t forget to cushion them well
- Seal cartons that don’t need the mover’s inspection tightly with packing tape
- List the contents on the side of each box
- Clearly write your name on every box
90 Days before Moving Date
- Contact local consulate of your destination country for information on necessary procedures and paperwork
- Have all required documents, paperwork, and passports in order
- Consider getting an international driving license
- Check available electrical supply in destination country
- Read up on currency in destination country
- Research health information and health care in your destination country
60 Days before Moving Date
- Contact Guardian Cargo Logistics with your inventory list
- Research customs regulations, as well as regulations for shipping your pet; can obtain this information from local consulate in destination country
- After you have researched and compared moving companies, choose a mover and set up a moving date
- Book all travel arrangements
- Complete change of address procedures
30 Days before Moving Date
- Sort out and get rid of unwanted items
- Clean and prepare belongings for packing
- Donate, give away, or sell unwanted items
7 Days before Moving Date
- Finish cleaning and preparing items for packing
- Send out new address to family, friends, and so on
- Contact your Guardian Cargo Logistics representative to confirm moving information
- Prepare adapters or transformers
2 Days before Moving Date
- Prepare your luggage and destination stickers
- Clean and disconnect appliances
- If possible, reserve a parking spot for the truck driver
Move out Day
- Keep important items and sensitive documents with you, such as cash, passports, expensive jewelry, and so on
- Before moving crew leaves do a sweep of your home to make sure no items were left behind
Moving Companies to Hawaii
If you need to get your household or commercial goods to Hawaii, then Guardian Cargo Logistics is the company for you. Our professional team has the know-how, resources, and experience needed to successfully pull off your move to Hawaii. Guardian has been transporting people’s goods to and from Hawaii for several years now; so we have picked up a few tricks and skills along the way that greatly benefit our customers.
There are a lot of moving companies out there trying to get in on shipping goods to Hawaii, but none of them have the expertise and experience necessary to do the job right. Not to mention Guardian Cargo Logistics employs a wealth of professional and highly trained individuals that will work hard for you. Guardian is the best company for your move to Hawaii.
AAR Abbreviation for:– Against All Risks (insurance clause).– Association of American Railroads.
Abatement A discount allowed for damage or overcharge in the payment of a bill.
ABI U.S. Customs’ “Automated Broker Interface,” by which brokers file importers’ entries electronically.
Aboard Referring to cargo being put, or laden, onto a means of conveyance.
Absorption One carrier assumes the charges of another without any increase in charges to the shipper.
Acceptance– A time draft (or bill of exchange) that the drawee (payer) has accepted and is unconditionally obligated to pay at maturity.– Broadly speaking, any agreement to purchase goods under specified terms.
Acquittance A written receipt in full, in discharge from all claims.
ACS (A.C.S.) or ACE U.S. Customs’ master computer system, “Automated Commercial Systems.” Now being replaced by the Automated Commercial Environment system.
Act of God An act beyond human control, such as lightning, flood or earthquake.
Ad Valorem A term from Latin meaning, “according to value.” Import duty applied as a percentage of the cargo’s dutiable value.
Advanced Charge Transportation charge advanced by one carrier to another to be collected by the later carrier from the consignor or consignee.
Agency Tariff A tariff published by an agent on behalf of several carriers.
Agent (Agt.) A person authorized to transact business for and in the name of another person or company. Types of agents are:(1) brokers,(2) commission merchants,(3) resident buyers,(4) sales agents,(5) manufacturer’s representatives.
Aggregate Shipment Numerous shipments from different shippers to one consignee that are consolidated and treated as a single consignment.
Agreed valuation The value of a shipment agreed upon in order to secure a specific freight rate.
Agreed Weight The weight prescribed by agreement between carrier and shipper for goods shipped in certain packages or in a certain number.
Air Waybill The forwarding agreement or carrying agreement between shipper and air carrier and is issued only in nonnegotiable form.
All In The total price to move cargo from origin to destination, inclusive of all charges.
Alternative Rates Privilege to use the rate producing the lowest charge.
American Bureau of Shipping U.S. classification society which certifies seagoing vessels for compliance to standardized rules regarding construction and maintenance.
Arrival NoticeA notification by carrier of ship’s arrival to the consignee, the “Notify Party,” and – when applicable – the “Also Notify Party.” These parties in interest are listed in blocks 3, 4 and 10, respectively, of the Bill of Lading.
ASC X12American Standards Committee X12 responsible for developing EDI standards for the United States.
AssignmentA term commonly used in connection with a bill of lading. It involves the transfer of rights, title and interest in order to assign goods by endorsing the bill of lading.14
Bill of Lading (B/L)A document that establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company. It serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage and a receipt for goods.
Blind Shipment A B/L wherein the paying customer has contracted with the carrier that shipper or consignee information is not given.
Block Stowage Stowing cargo destined for a specific location close together to avoid unnecessary cargo movement.
Bond Port Port of initial Customs entry of a vessel to any country. Also known as First Port of Call.
Booking Arrangements with a carrier for the acceptance and carriage of freight; i.e., a space reservation.
Booking Number Reservation number used to secure equipment and act as a control number prior to completion of a B/L.
Bottom–Air Delivery A type of air circulation in a temperature control container. Air is pulled by a fan from the top of the container, passed through the evaporator coil for cooling, and then forced through the space under the load and up through the cargo. This type of airflow provides even temperatures.
Bridge Point An inland location where cargo is received by the ocean carrier and then moved to a coastal port for loading.
Broker A person who arranges for transportation of loads for a percentage of the revenue from the load.
Brokerage Freight forwarder/broker compensation as specified by ocean tariff or contract.
Bulk Cargo Not in packages or containers; shipped loose in the hold of a ship without mark and count.” Grain, coal and sulfur are usually bulk freight.
Bulk–Freight Container A container with a discharge hatch in the front wall; allows bulk commodities to be carried.
Bulkhead A partition separating one part of a ship, freight car, aircraft or truck from another part.
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.
Car Seal Metal strip and lead fastener used for locking freight car or truck doors. Seals are numbered for record purposes.
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 sub– item 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.
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.
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.
Cartage Usually refers to intra–city hauling on drays or trucks. Same as drayage.
CBM (CM)Abbreviation for “Cubic Meter.”
CE Abbreviation for “Consumption Entry.” The process of declaring the importation of foreign–made 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 of Inspection– A document certifying that merchandise (such as 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 Origin A certified document showing the origin of goods; used in international commerce.
Chassis A frame with wheels and container locking devices in order to secure the container for movement.
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.
Claim A demand made upon a transportation line for payment on account of a loss sustained through its alleged negligence.
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.
Clearance Limits The size beyond which cars or loads cannot use bridges, tunnels, etc.
CM Abbreviation for “Cubic Meter” (capital letters).
Collection A draft drawn on the buyer, usually accompanied by documents, with complete instructions concerning processing for payment or acceptance.
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 relating to the shipment.
Commercial Transport Vessel Any ship which is used primarily in commerce (1) For transporting persons or goods to or from any harbor(s) or port(s) or between places within a harbor area;(2) In connection with the construction, change in construction, servicing, maintenance, repair, loading, unloading, movement, piloting, or salvaging of any other ship or vessel.
Concealed Damage Damage that is not evident from viewing the unopened package.
Connecting Carrier A carrier which has a direct physical connection with, or forms a link between two or more carriers.
Consignee A person or company to whom commodities are shipped.
Consignee Mark A symbol placed on packages for identification purposes; generally a triangle, square, circle, etc. with letters and/or numbers and port of discharge.
Consolidation Cargo containing shipments of two or more shippers or suppliers. Containerload shipments may be consolidated for one or more consignees, often in containerload quantities.
Consolidator A person or firm performing a consolidation service for others. The consolidator takes advantage of lower full carload (FCL) rates, and passes on the savings to shippers.
Consular Declaration A formal statement describing goods to be shipped; filed with and approved by the consul of the country of destination prior to shipment.
Container A truck trailer body that can be detached from the chassis for loading into a vessel, a rail car or stacked in a container depot. Containers may be ventilated, insulated, refrigerated, flat rack, vehicle rack, open top, bulk liquid or equipped with interior devices. A container may be 20 feet,
40 feet, 45 feet, 48 feet or 53 feet in length, 8’0″ or 8’6″ in width, and 8’6″ or 9’6″ in height.
Container Manifest Document showing contents and loading sequence, point of origin, and point of destination for a container. Vessels are required by law to carry such a document for each container carried.
Container Terminal An area designated for the stowage of cargoes in container; usually accessible by truck, railroad and marine transportation. Here containers are picked up, dropped off, maintained and housed.
Container Load A load sufficient in size to fill a container either by cubic measurement or by weight.
Contraband Cargo that is prohibited.
Contract A legally binding agreement between two or more persons/organizations to carry out reciprocal obligations or value.
Contract Carrier Any person not a common carrier who, under special and individual contracts or agreements, transports passengers or property for compensation.
Controlled Atmosphere Sophisticated, computer–controlled systems that manage the mixtures of gases within a container throughout an intermodal journey reducing decay.
Cu. An abbreviation for “Cubic.” A unit of volume measurement.
Cube Out When a container or vessel has reached its volumetric capacity before its permitted weight limit.
Cubic Foot 1,728 cubic inches.A volume contained in a space measuring one foot high, one foot wide and one foot long
Customhouse A government office where duties are paid, import documents filed, etc., on foreign shipments.
Customhouse Broker A person or firm, licensed by the treasury department of their country when required, engaged in entering and clearing goods through Customs for a client (importer).
Customs Government agency charged with enforcing the rules passed to protect the country’s import and export revenues.
Customs of the Port (COP)A phrase often included in charter parties and freight contracts referring to local rules and practices which may impact upon the costs borne by the various parties.
Customs–Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C–TPAT) It is a voluntary supply chain security program, launched in November 2001 and led by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) which focuses on improving the security of private companies’ supply chains with respect to terrorism. In exchange for companies participation CBP will provide reduced inspections at the port of arrival, expedited processing at the border and penalty mitigation.
Cut–Off Time The latest time cargo may be delivered to a terminal for loading to a scheduled train or ship.
Cwt. Hundred weight (United States, 100 pounds; U.K.,112)
CY Abbreviation for:– Container Yard.– The designation for full container receipt/delivery.
DDC Abbreviation for “Destination Delivery Charge.” A charge, based on container size, that is applied in many tariffs to cargo. This charge is considered accessorial and is added to the base ocean freight. This charge covers crane lifts off the vessel, drayage of the container within the terminal and gate fees at the terminal operation.
Deconsolidation Point Place where loose or other non–containerized cargo is ungrouped for delivery.
Demurrage A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying the carrier’s equipment or vessel beyond the allowed free time. The free time and demurrage charges are set forth in the charter party or freight tariff. See also Detention and Per Diem.
Density The weight of cargo per cubic foot or other unit.
Depot, Container Container freight station or a designated area where empty containers can be picked up or dropped off.
Despatch An incentive payment paid by the vessel to the charterer for loading and unloading the cargo faster than agreed.Usually negotiated only in charter parties. Also called “dispatch.”
Destination– The place to which a shipment is consigned.– The place where carrier actually turns over cargo to consignee or his agent.
Detention A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying carrier’s equipment beyond allowed time. Demurrage applies to cargo; detention applies to equipment. See Per Diem.
Devanning The unloading of a container or cargo van.
Diversion A change made either in the route of a shipment in transit (see Reconsignment) or of the entire ship.
Division Carriers’ practice of dividing revenue received from rates where joint hauls are involved. This is usually according to agreed formulae.
Dockage Refers to the charge assessed against the vessel for berthing at the facility or for morring to a vessel so berthed.
Docket Present a rate proposal to a conference meeting for adoption as a conference group rate.
Dolly A set of wheels that support the front of a container; used when the automotive unit is disconnected.
Door–to–Door Through transportation of a container and its contents from consignor to consignee. Also known as House to House. Not necessarily a through rate.
D.O.T.U.S. Department of Transportation. The executive branch department that coordinates and oversees transportation functions in the United States.
Drayage Charge made for local hauling by dray or truck. Same as Cartage.
Dry Cargo Cargo that is not liquid and normally does not require temperature control.
Dry–Bulk Container A container constructed to carry grain, powder and other free–flowing solids in bulk. Used in conjunction with a tilt chassis or platform.
Dumping Attempting to import merchandise into a country at a price less than the fair market value, usually through subsidy by exporting country.
Dunnage Any material or objects utilized to protect cargo. Examples of dunnage are blocks, boards, burlap and paper.
Dutiable Value The amount on which an Ad Valorem or customs duty is calculated.
Elevating– A charge for services performed in connection with floating elevators.– Charges assessed for the handling of grain through grain elevators.
Embargo Order to restrict the hauling of freight.
Entry Customs documents required to clear an import shipment for entry into the general commerce of a country.
Equalization A monetary allowance to the customer for picking up or delivering at a point other than the destination shown on the bill of lading. This provision is covered by tariff publication.
“Ex Dec” Contraction for “Shipper’s Export Declaration.”
Expiry DateIssued in connection with documents such as letters of credit, tariffs, etc. to advise that stated provisions will expire at a certain time.
Export Shipment of goods to a foreign country.
Export Declaration A government document declaring designated goods to be shipped out of the country. To be completed by the exporter and filed with the U.S. Government.
Export License A government document which permits the “Licensee” to engage in the export of designated goods to certain destinations.
FCL Abbreviation for “Full Container Load.”
Feeder Service Cargo to/from regional ports are transferred to/from a central hub port for a long–haul ocean voyage.
Feeder Vessel A short–sea vessel which transfers cargo between a central “hub” port and smaller “spoke” ports.
FEU Abbreviation for “Forty–Foot Equivalent Units.” Refers to container size standard of 40 feet. Two 20–foot containers or TEU’s equal one FEU.
Flat Rack/Flat Bed Container A container with no sides and frame members at the front and rear. Container can be loaded from the sides and top.
FMC (F.M.C.) Federal Maritime Commission. The U.S. Governmental regulatory body responsible for administering maritime affairs including the tariff system, freight forwarder licensing, enforcing the conditions of the Shipping Act and approving conference or other carrier agreements.
Force Majeure The title of a common clause in contracts, exempting the parties for non–fulfillment of their obligations as a result of conditions beyond their control, such as earthquakes, floods or war.
Foreign Trade Zone A free port in a country divorced from Customs authority but under government control. Merchandise, except that which is prohibited, may be stored in the zone without being subject to import duty regulations.
Fork Lift A machine used to pick up and move goods loaded on pallets or skids.
Foul Bill of Lading A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were damaged when received. Compare Clean Bill of Lading.
Four–Way Pallet A pallet designed so that the forks of a fork lift truck can be inserted from all four sides. See Fork lift.
Free In and Out (FIO)Cost of loading and unloading a vessel is borne by the charterer/shipper.
Free Port A restricted area at a seaport for the handling of duty–exempted import goods. Also called a Foreign Trade Zone.
Free Time That amount of time that a carrier’s equipment may be used without incurring additional charges. (See Storage, Demurrage or Per Diem.)
Free Trade Zone A port designated by the government of a country for duty–free entry of any non–prohibited goods. Merchandise may be stored, displayed, used for manufacturing, etc., within the zone and re–exported without duties.
Freight Refers to either the cargo carried or the charges assessed for carriage of the cargo.
Freight Bill A document issued by the carrier based on the bill of lading and other information; used to account for a shipment operationally, statistically, and financially. An Invoice.
Freight Forwarder A person whose business is to act as an agent on behalf of the shipper. A freight forwarder frequently makes the booking reservation. In the United States, freight forwarders are now licensed by the FMC as “Ocean Intermediaries.”
GATT Abbreviation for “General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.” A multilateral treaty to help reduce trade barriers between the signatory countries and to promote trade through tariff concessions. The World Trade Organization (WTO) superseded GATT in 1994.
Global Maritime Intelligence Integration (GMII)It is within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, with the mission to ensure govern-ment–wide access to maritime information and data critical to intelligence production and to serve as the focal point and oversight agent for maritime specific information issues.
Go–Down In the Far East, a warehouse where goods are stored and delivered.
Gooseneck The front rails of the chassis that raise above the plane of the chassis and engage in the tunnel of a container leading to the connection to tractor.
GRI Abbreviation for “General Rate Increase.” Used to describe an across–the–board tariff rate increase implemented by conference members and applied to base rates.
Gross Tonnage (GT) Applies to vessels, not to cargo, (0.2+0.02 log10V) where V is the volume in cubic meters of all enclosed spaces on the vessel. Since 1994, it replaces “Gross Registered Tonnage.” An approximate conversion ratio is 1NT = 1.7GT and 1GT = 1.5DWT.
Gross Weight Entire weight of goods, packaging and freight car or container, ready for shipment. Generally, 80,000 pounds maximum container, cargo and tractor for highway transport.
Groupage A consolidation service, putting small shipments into containers for shipment.
GVW Abbreviation for “Gross Vehicle Weight.” The combined total weight of a vehicle and its container, inclusive of prime mover.
Hague Rules, The A multilateral maritime treaty adopted in 1921 (at The Hague, Netherlands). Standardizes liability of an international carrier under the Ocean B/L. Establishes a legal “floor” for B/L. See COGSA
Harbor Any place to which ships may resort for shelter, or to load or unload passengers or goods, or to obtain fuel, water, or supplies. This term
applies to such places whether proclaimed public or not and whether natural or artificial.
House–to–House See Door–to–Door.
House–to–Pier Cargo loaded into a container by the shipper under shipper’s supervision. When the cargo is exported, it is unloaded at the foreign pier destination.
Humping The process of connecting a moving rail car with a motionless rail car within a rail classification yard in order to make up a train. The cars move by gravity from an incline or “hump” onto the appropriate track.
Import To receive goods from a foreign country.
Import License A document required and issued by some national governments authorizing the importation of goods.
In Bond Cargo moving under Customs control where duty has not yet been paid.
In Transit In transit, or in passage.
In–Transit Entry (I.T.) Allows foreign merchandise arriving at one port to be transported in bond to another port, where a superseding entry is filed.
Incentive Rate A lower–than–usual tariff rate assessed because a shipper offers a greater volume than specified in the tariff. The incentive rate is assessed for that portion exceeding the normal volume.
INCOTERMS The recognized abbreviation for the International Chamber of Commerce Terms of Sale. These terms were last amended, effective July 1, 1990.
Indemnity Bond An agreement to hold a carrier harmless with regard to a liability.
Independent Action Setting rate within a conference tariff that is different from the rate(s) for the same items established by other conference members.
Independent Tariff Any body of rate tariffs that are not part of an agreement or conference system.
Inducement Placing a port on a vessel’s itinerary because the volume of cargo offered at that port justifies the cost of routing the vessel.
Inspection Certificate A certificate issued by an independent agent or firm attesting to the quality and/or quantity of the merchandise being shipped. Such a certificate is usually required in a letter of credit for commodity shipments.
Installment Shipments Successive shipments are permitted under letters of credit. Usually they must take place within a given period of time.
Insulated Container A container insulated on the walls, roof, floor, and doors, to reduce the effect of external temperatures on the cargo.
Insulated Container Tank The frame of a container constructed to hold one or more thermally insulated tanks for liquids.
Insurance with Average–clause This type of clause covers merchandise if the damage amounts to three percent or more of the insured value of the package or cargo. If the vessel burns, sinks, or collides, all losses are fully covered. In marine insurance, the word average describes partial damage or partial loss.
Insurance, All–risk This type of insurance offers the shipper the broadest coverage available, covering against all losses that may occur in transit.
Insurance, General–Average In water transportation, the deliberate sacrifice of cargo to make the vessel safe for the remaining cargo. Those sharing in the spared cargo proportionately cover the loss.
Insurance, Particular Average A Marine insurance term which refers to partial loss on an individual shipment from one of the perils insured against, regardless of the balance of the cargo. Particular–average insurance can usually be obtained, but the loss must be in excess of a certain percentage of the insured value of the shipment, usually three to five percent, before a claim will be allowed by the company.
Intercoastal Water service between two coasts; in the U.S., this usually refers to water service between the Atlantic and Pacific or Gulf Coasts.
Interline Freight Freight moving from origin to destination over the Freight lines of two or more transportation carriers.
Intermediate Point A point located en route between two other points.
International Ship and Port Security Code (ISPS) It is an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention (1974/1988) on minimum security arrangements for ships, ports and government agencies. Having come into force in 2004, it prescribes responsibilities to governments, shipping companies, shipboard personnel, and port/facility personnel to “detect security threats and take preventative measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international trade.”
Invoice An itemized list of goods shipped to a buyer, stating quantities, prices, shipping charges, etc.
Inward Foreign Manifest (IFM) A complete listing of all cargo entering the country of discharge. Required at all world ports and is the primary source of cargo control, against which duty is assessed by the receiving country.
I.S.O. International Standards Organization which deals in standards of all sorts, ranging from documentation to equipment packaging and labeling.
Issuing CarrierThe carrier issuing transportation documents or publishing a tariff.
Jacket A wood or fiber cover placed around such containers as cans and bottles.
JIT Abbreviation for “Just In Time.” In this method of inventory control, warehousing is minimal or non–existent; the container is the movable warehouse and must arrive “just in time;” not too early nor too late.
Joint Rate A rate applicable from a point on one transportation line to a point on another line, made by agreement and published in a single tariff by all transportation lines over which the rate applies.
KTKilo or metric ton. 1,000 Kilos or 2,204.6 pounds.
Kilogram1,000 grams or 2.2046 pounds.
King PinA coupling pin centered on the front underside of a chassis; couples to the tractor.
Laden Loaded aboard a vessel.
Lading Refers to the freight shipped; the contents of a shipment.
Landbridge Movement of cargo by water from one country through the port of another country, thence, using rail or truck, to an inland point in that country or to a third country. As example, a through movement of Asian cargo to Europe across North America.
Landed Cost The total cost of a good to a buyer, including the cost of transportation.
Landing Certificate Certificate issued by consular officials of some importing countries at the point or place of export when the subject goods are exported under bond.
LCL Abbreviation for “Less than Container Load.” The quantity of freight which is less than that required for the application of a container load rate. Loose Freight.
Less Than Truckload Also known as LTL or LCL.
Liftvan A wooden shipping crate constructed of plywood with a skidded base for easy handling. They range is size from 10 – 250 cubic feet and can be constructed to fit any size of goods shipped.
Letter of Indemnity In order to obtain the clean bill of lading, the shipper signs a letter of indemnity to the carrier on the basis of which may be obtained the clean bill of lading, although the dock or mate’s receipt showed that the shipment was damaged or in bad condition.
Licenses– Some governments require certain commodities to be licensed prior to exportation or importation. Clauses attesting to compliance are often required on the B/L. – Various types issued for export (general, validated) and import as mandated by government(s).
Line–Haul Transportation from one city to another as differentiated from local switching service.
Liter 1.06 liquid U.S. quarts or 33.9 fluid ounces.
Liquidated Damages The penalty a seller must pay if the construction project does not meet contractual standards or deadlines.
Lloyds’ Registry An organization maintained for the surveying and classing of ships so that insurance underwriters and others may know the quality and condition of the vessels offered for insurance or employment.
Local Cargo Cargo delivered to/from the carrier where origin/destination of the cargo is in the local area.
Long Ton 2,240 pounds
Loose Without packing.
Manifest Document that lists in detail all the bills of lading issued by a carrier or its agent or master for a specific voyage. A detailed summary of the total cargo of a vessel. Used principally for Customs purposes.
Marine Insurance Broadly, insurance covering loss or damage of goods at sea. Marine insurance typically compensates the owner of merchandise for losses sustained from fire, shipwreck, etc., but excludes losses that can be recovered from the carrier.
Maritime Business pertaining to commerce or navigation transacted upon the sea or in seaports in such matters as the court of admiralty has jurisdiction.
Maritime Security and Safety Information System (MSSIS)It shares and displays vessel Automated Identification System (AIS) data real–time with multiple international users through a web–based, password–protected system.
MBM 1,000 board feet. One MBM equals 2,265 C.M.
Measurement Cargo Freight on which transportation charges are calculated on the basis of volume measurement.
Measurement Ton 40 cubic feet.
Mechanically Ventilated Container A container fitted with a means of forced air ventilation.
Memorandum Freight Bill See Multiple Container load Shipment.
Meter39.37 inches (approximately).
Metric Ton2,204.6 pounds or 1,000 kilograms.
Microbridge A cargo movement in which the water carrier provides a through service between an inland point and the port of load/discharge. The carrier is responsible for cargo and costs from origin on to destination. Also known as IPI or Through Service.
Mile A unit equal to 5,280 feet on land.A nautical mile is 6076.115.
Mini Landbridge An intermodal system for transporting containers by ocean and then by rail or motor to a port previously served as an all–water move (e.g., Hong Kong to New York over Seattle).
be a definite sum or the current charge per ton for any specified quantity.
Minimum Charge The lowest charge that can be assessed to transport a shipment.
Mixed Container Load A container load of different articles in a single consignment.
Modified Atmosphere A blend of gases tailored to replace the normal atmosphere within a container.
MT Abbreviation for “Metric Ton.”
Multi Tank Container A container frame fitted to accommodate two or more separate tanks for liquids.
NCB National Cargo Bureau, established in 1952 as a non-profit marine surveying organization that inspects and surveys ships and cargoes incidental to loading and discharging. It issues certificates as evidence of compliance with the provisions of the Dangerous Cargo Act and the Rules and Regulations for Bulk Grain Cargo.
NEC Abbreviation for “Not Elsewhere Classified.”
Negotiable Instruments A document of title (such as a draft, promissory note, check, or bill of lading) transferable from one person to another in good faith for a consideration. Non–negotiable bills of lading are known as “straight consignment.” Negotiable bills are known as “order b/l’s.”
Nested Articles packed so that one rests partially or entirely within another, thereby reducing the cubic–foot displacement.
Net Tare Weight The weight of an empty cargo–carrying piece of equipment plus any fixtures permanently attached.
Net Tonnage (NT)The replacement, since 1994, for “Net Register Tonnage.” Theoretically the cargo capacity of the ship. Sometimes used to charge fees or taxes on a vessel. The formula is(0.2+0.02 log10(Vc)) Vc (4d/3D)2, for passenger ships the following formula is added: 1.25 (GT+10000)/10000 (N1+(N2/10)), where Vc is the volume of cargo holds, D is the distance between ship’s bottom and the uppermost deck, d is the draught, N1 is the number of cabin passengers, and N2 is the number of deck passengers.) “Ton” is figured as a 100 cubic foot ton. An approximate conversion ratio is 1NT = 1.7GT and 1GT = 1.5DWT.
Net Weight Weight of the goods alone without any immediate wrappings, e.g., the weight of the contents of a tin can without the weight of the can.
Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NNVOCC) A cargo consolidator in ocean trades who will buy space from a carrier and sub–sell it to smaller shippers. The NVOCC issues bills of lading, publishes tariffs and otherwise conducts itself as an ocean common carrier, except that it will not provide the actual ocean or intermodal service.
Ocean Bill of Lading (Ocean B/L)A contract for transportation between a shipper and a carrier. It also evidences receipt of the cargo by the carrier. A bill of lading shows ownership of the cargo and, if made negotiable, can be bought, sold or traded while the goods are in–transit.
Open Insurance Policy A marine insurance policy that applies to all shipments made by an exporter over a period of time rather than to one shipment only.
Open Top Container A container fitted with a solid removable roof, or with a tarpaulin roof so the container can be loaded or unloaded from the top.
Optimum Cube The highest level of cube utilization that can be achieved when loading cargo into a container.
Origin Location where shipment begins its movement.
Original Bill of Lading (OBL) A document which requires proper signatures for consummating carriage of contract. Must be marked as “original” by the issuing carrier.
OS&D Abbreviation for “Over, Short or Damaged” Usually discovered at cargo unloading.
Owner Code (SCAC)Standard Carrier Abbreviation Code identifying an individual common carrier. A three letter carrier code followed by a suffix identifies the carrier’s equipment. A suffix of “U” is a container and “C” is a chassis.
P&I Abbreviation for “Protection and Indemnity,” an insurance term.
Packing List Itemized list of commodities with marks/numbers but no cost values indicated.
PADAG Abbreviation for “Please Authorize Delivery Against Guarantee.” A request from the consignee to the shipper to allow the carrier or agent to release cargo against a guarantee, either bank or personal. Made when the consignee is unable to produce original bills of lading.
Pallet A platform with or without sides, on which a number of packages or pieces may be loaded to facilitate handling by a lift truck.
Partial Shipments Under letters of credit, one or more shipments are allowed by the phrase “partial shipments permitted.”
Per Diem A charge, based on a fixed daily rate.
Perils of the Sea Those causes of loss for which the carrier is not legally liable. The elemental risks of ocean transport.
Phytosanitary Inspection Certificate A certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to satisfy import regulations of foreign countries; indicates that a U.S. shipment has been inspected and found free from harmful pests and plant diseases.
Pickup The act of calling for freight by truck at the consignor’s shipping platform.
Port The structure perpendicular to the shoreline to which a vessel is secured for the purpose of loading and unloading cargo.
Port–to–Door A shipment loaded into a container at the pier or terminal, thence to the consignee’s facility.
Port–to–Port Containers loaded at port of loading and discharged at port of destination.
Piggy Packer A mobile container–handling crane used to load/unload containers to/from railcars.
Piggyback A transportation arrangement in which truck trailers with their loads are moved by train to a destination. Also known as Rail Pigs.
Place of Delivery Place where cargo leaves the care and custody of carrier.
Place of Receipt Location where cargo enters the care and custody of carrier.
POD Abbreviation for:– Port of Discharge.– Port of Destination.– Proof of Delivery. A document required from the carrier or driver for proper payment.
Point of Origin The place at which a shipment is received by a carrier from the shipper.
Port– Harbor with piers or docks.– Left side of a ship when facing forward.– Opening in a ship’s side for handling freight.
Pro Forma A Latin term meaning “For the sake of form.”
Pro Forma Invoice An invoice provided by a supplier prior to the shipment of merchandise, informing the buyer of the kinds and quantities of goods to be sent, their value, and specifications (weight, size, etc.).
Quarantine A restraint placed on an operation to protect the public against a health hazard. A ship may be quarantined so that it cannot leave a protected point. During the quarantine period, the Q flag is hoisted.
Quoin A wedge–shaped piece of timber used to secure barrels against movement.
Quota The quantity of goods that may be imported without restriction during a set period of time.
Quotation An offer to sell goods at a stated price and under stated terms.
Quay A structure attached to land to which a vessel is moored.
Rag Top A slang term for an open–top trailer or container with a tarpaulin cover.
Ramp Railroad terminal where containers are received or delivered and trains loaded or discharged. Originally, trailers moved onto the rearmost flatcar via a ramp and driven into position in a technique known as “circus loading.” Most modern rail facilities use lifting equipment to position containers onto the flatcars.
Rate Basis A formula of the specific factors or elements that control the making of a rate. A rate can be based on any number of factors (i.e., weight, measure, equipment type, package, box, etc.).
Reconsignment Changing the consignee or destination on a bill of lading while shipment is still in transit. Diversion has substantially the same meaning.
Restricted Articles Articles handled only under certain conditions.
Revenue Ton (RT) A ton on which the shipment is freighted. If cargo is rated as weight or measure (W/M), whichever produces the highest revenue will be considered the revenue ton. Weights are based on metric tons and measures are based on cubic meters. RT=1 MT or 1 CBM.
“Ro/Ro” A shortening of the term, “Roll On/Roll Off.” A method of ocean cargo service using a vessel with ramps which allows wheeled vehicles to be loaded and discharged without cranes. Also refers to any specialized vessel designed to carry Ro/Ro cargo.
Roll To re–book cargo to a later vessel.
Rolling The side–to–side (athwartship) motion of a vessel.
Route The manner in which a shipment moves; i.e., the carriers handling it and the points at which the carriers interchange.
Running Gear Complementary equipment for terminal and over–the–road handling containers.
RVNX Abbreviation for “Released Value Not Exceeding.” Usually used to limit the value of goods transported. The limitation refers to carrier liability when paying a claim for lost or damaged goods.
Sanction An embargo imposed by a Government against another country.
Sea–Bee Vessels Ocean vessels constructed with heavy–duty submersible hydraulic lift or elevator system at the stern of the vessel. The Sea–Bee system facilitates forward transfer and positioning of barges. Sea–Bee barges are larger than LASH barges. The Sea–Bee system is no longer used.
SED U.S. Commerce Department document, “Shipper’s Export Declaration.”
Service A string of vessels which makes a particular voyage and serves a particular market.
SHEX Saturday and Holidays Excluded.
SHINC Saturday and Holidays Included.
Ship Demurrage A charge for delaying a steamer beyond a stipulated period.
Ship Load The amount of cargo a ship carries or is able to carry.See also “Full Shipload Lot” and “Full and Down.”
Ship’s Manifest A statement listing the particulars of all shipments loaded for a specified voyage.
Shipment The tender of one lot of cargo at one time from one shipper to one consignee on one bill of lading.
Bulk Carriers All vessels designed to carry bulk homogeneous cargo without mark and count such as grain, fertilizers, ore, and oil.
Combination Passenger and Cargo Vessels Ships with a capacity for 13 or more passengers and any form of cargo or freight.
Freighters Breakbulk vessels both refrigerated and unrefrigerated, containerships, partial containerships, roll-on/roll-off vessels, and barge carriers. A general cargo vessel designed to carry heterogeneous mark and count cargoes.
Full Containerships Ships equipped with permanent container cells, with little or no space for other types of cargo.
General Cargo Carriers Breakbulk freighters, car carriers, cattle carriers, pallet carriers and timber carriers. A vessel designed to carry heterogeneous mark and count cargoes.
Partial Containerships Multipurpose containerships where one or more but not all compartments are fitted with permanent container cells. Remaining compartments are used for other types of cargo.
Roll-on/Roll-off vessel Ships specially designed to carry wheeled containers or trailers using interior ramps. Includes all forms of car and truck carriers.
Shipper The person or company who is usually the supplier or owner of commodities shipped. Also called Consignor.
Shipper’s Export Declaration – SED, “Ex Dec”A joint Bureau of the Census’ International Trade Administration form used for compiling U.S. exports. It is completed by a shipper and shows the value, weight, destination, etc., of export shipments as well as Schedule B commodity code.
ShoreA prop or support placed against or beneath anything to prevent sinking or sagging.
Short Ton (ST) A weight unit of measure equal to 2,000 pounds.
Shrink Wrap Polyethylene or similar substance heat–treated and shrunk into an envelope around several units, thereby securing them as a single pack for presentation or to secure units on a pallet.
Side Loader A lift truck fitted with lifting attachments operating to one side for handling containers.
Side–Door Container A container fitted with a rear door and a minimum of one side door.
SIGTTO Society of International Gas Transport and Terminal Operators, an industry organization promoting the exchange of safety information concerning the processing, transporting and handling of liquefied gases.
SL/W Shippers load and count. All three clauses are used as needed on the bill of lading to exclude the carrier from liability when the cargo is loaded by the shipper.
SPA Abbreviation for “Subject to Particular Average.” See also Particular Average.
Starboard The right side of a ship when facing the bow.
Statute Of Limitation A law limiting the time in which claims or suits may be instituted.
Stowage A marine term referring to loading freight into ships’ holds.
Straddle Carrier Mobile truck equipment with the capacity for lifting a container within its own framework.
Surcharge An extra or additional charge
T.&E. Abbreviation for “Transportation and Exportation.” Customs form used to control cargo movement from port of entry to port of exit, meaning that the cargo is moving from one country, through the United States, to another country.
Tare Weight In railcar or container shipments, the weight of the empty railcar or empty container.
Tariff (Trf.) A publication setting forth the charges, rates and rules of transportation companies.
Tender The offer of goods for transportation or the offer to place cars or containers for loading or unloading.
Terminal An assigned area in which containers are prepared for loading into a vessel, train, truck, or airplane or are stacked immediately after discharge from the vessel, train, truck, or airplane.
Terminal Charge A charge made for a service performed in a carrier’s terminal area.
TEU Abbreviation for “Twenty foot Equivalent Unit.”
Third Party Logistics (3PL) A company that provides logistics services to other companies for some or all of their logistics needs. It typically includes warehousing and transportation services. Most 3PL’s also have freight forwarding licenses.
Tonnage 100 cubic feet.
Through Rate The total rate from the point of origin to final destination.
Throughput Charge The charge for moving a container through a container yard off or onto a ship.
TIR Transport International par la Route. Road transport operating agreement among European governments and the United States for the international movement of cargo by road. Display of the TIR carnet allows sealed containerloads to cross national frontiers without inspection.
Top–Air Delivery A type of air circulation in a container. In top air units, air is drawn from the bottom of the container, filtered through the evaporator for cooling and then forced through the ducted passages along the top of the container. This type of airflow requires a special loading pattern.
Towage The charge made for towing a vessel.
Tractor Unit of highway motive power used to pull one or more trailers/containers.
Traffic Persons and property carried by transport lines.
Tramp Line An ocean carrier company operating vessels not on regular runs or schedules. They call at any port where cargo may be available.
Transport To move cargo from one place to another.
Transportation & Exit (T&E)Allows foreign merchandise arriving at one port to be transported in bond through the U.S. to be exported from another port, without paying duty.
Two-Way-Pallet A pallet so designed that the forks of a fork lift truck can be inserted from two sides only.
Unit Load Packages loaded on a pallet, in a crate or any other way that enables them to be handled at one time as a unit.
Unitization– The consolidation of a quantity of individual items into one large shipping unit for easier handling.– Loading one or more large items of cargo onto a single piece of equipment, such as a pallet.
Unloading Removal of a shipment from a vessel.
Validated Export License A document issued by the U.S. government; authorizes the export of commodities for which written authorization is required by law.
Validation Authentication of B/L and when B/L becomes effective
Vanning A term for stowing cargo in a container.
Ventilated Container A container designed with openings in the side and/or end walls to permit the ingress of outside air when the doors are closed.
Vessel Manifest The international carrier is obligated to make declarations of the ship’s crew and contents at both the port of departure and arrival. The vessel manifest lists various details about each shipment by B/L number. Obviously, the B/L serves as the core source from which the manifest is created.
VLCC Very Large Crude Carrier. A tanker of 200,000 to 319,000dwt. It can carry about 2 million barrels of crude oil.
VLFO – Vessel Load Free Out The loading and discharge terms for the cargo to be shipped, as agreed to in the chartger party. The vessel (carrier) pays for the loading of the cargo on board the ship and the receiver pays for the discharge of the cargo from the ship to the pier.
War Risk Insurance coverage for loss of goods resulting from any act of war.
Warehouse A place for the reception, delivery, consolidation, distribution, and storage of goods/cargo.
Warehouse Entry Document that identifies goods imported when placed in a bonded warehouse. The duty is not imposed on the products while in the warehouse but will be collected when they are withdrawn for delivery or consumption.
Weight Cargo A cargo on which the transportation charge is assessed on the basis of weight.
Weights and Measures/Measurement ton
40 cubic ft or one cubic meter•
Net ton/short ton – 2,000 lbs•
Gross ton/long ton – 2,240 lbs•
Metric ton/kilo ton – 2,204.6 lbs•
Cubic meter – 35.314 cubic ft•
Wharf A structure built on the shore of a harbor extending into deep water so that vessels may lie alongside. See also Dock and Pier.
Wharfage Charge assessed by a pier or dock owner against freight handled over the pier or dock or against a steamship company using the pier or dock.
Windy Booking A freight booking made by a shipper or freight forwarder to reserve space but not actually having a specific cargo at the time the booking is made. Carriers often overbook a vessel by 10 to 20 percent in recognition that “windy booking” cargo will not actually ship.
W/M Abbreviation for “Weight or Measurement;” the basis for assessing freight charges. Also known as “worm.” The rate charged under W/M will be whichever produces the highest revenue between the weight of the shipment and the measure of the shipment. The comparison is based on the number of metric tons the cargo weights compared to the number of cubic meters of space the cargo measures. The prior English method was one long ton compared to forty cubic feet.
WPA Abbreviation for “With Particular Average.”
W.T.L. Western Truck Lines.
WWD Weather Working Days.
Yard A classification, storage or switching area.
York–Antwerp Rules of 1974 Established the standard basis for adjusting general average and stated the rules for adjusting claims.
Zulu Time Time based on Greenwich Mean Time.