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Freight Terms


Arrival notice

Arrival Notice is a shipping document, without legal value, issued by an ocean carrier or its agents to inform the consignee and/or notify party about the arrival of international sea freight shipment. Arrival Notice (or Notice of Arrival) provides shipment details (Bill of Lading number, container numbers, arrival vessel), charges and documents required to the consignee to make customs clearance and arrange pickup and delivery of his/her international shipment. The arrival notice is usually sent a few days prior to the vessel's arrival.



The bayplan is the complete overview of containers stowed on the vessel. This includes slots for each container. It is provided by the terminal to the vessel operator, who will distribute it further, if needed. The associated EDI-message, BAPLIE, is often used instead of the term bayplan.

Bill of Lading (B/L)

Legal document issued to the customer which confirms the carrier's receipt of the cargo from the customer acknowledging goods being shipped and specifying the terms of delivery. There are many different types of B/L. The Bill of Lading is considered finalized (no longer draft), when the draft has been approved by the customer.

Booking request

A request for reservation of space and equipment for a particular vessel/voyage and possibly inland transport.


Cargo release

The action of allowing cargo to leave the container yard typically authorized by the carrier. This is often confused with gate-out, but cargo release is the authorization necessary before shipments can be allowed to gate-out.

Cargo survey

The act of documenting details on the cargo on behalf of the carrier, customer or authorities. This could be the measurement of an out of gauge shipment, packing of dangerous goods or any element which requires specific documentation of the physical condition of the cargo.


The party who is tasked with transporting the cargo is known as the carrier. For example, the shipping line with whom the freight moves would be the carrier for an ocean movement.

Carrier haulage

The inland transport service, which is performed by or on behalf of the ocean carrier under the contract of carriage terms and conditions.


Description of the cargo loaded into a container. Often described using the Harmonized System-classification system.

Confirmed bookings

All bookings intended for a specific vessel. This also includes transshipments and roll-overs from previous vessels. For all confirmed bookings a booking confirmation have been issued.


The consignee is named on the shipping documentation (eg. the bill of lading), and will assume ownership of cargo when it reaches the final destination.

Container grade

The classification system used by carriers internally to define the general appearance and condition of a piece of equipment.

Container packing certificate

A certificate that documents that the underlying cargo has been stored and stowed in a manner which is compliant with existing standards and rules. This could also contain a verification of weight and measurements of the given cargo. This is issued as a result of a cargo survey.


The entity who purchases goods or services from the carrier.

Customs and transit documentation

Official paperwork used for customs clearance in relation to the end-to-end transportation.

Customs manifest

Document that lists in detail all the bills of lading issued by a carrier, its agent or master for a specific voyage and port call. It is a detailed summary of the total cargo of a vessel and is used principally for customs purposes.


The latest point in time where a container has to be delivered to a terminal to be loaded on a vessel, or where certain documentation has to be provided by the Shipper.Example: CY cut-off, FCL cut-off, VGM cut-off, DG cut-off.


Dangerous goods declaration

Document issued by a consignor in accordance with applicable conventions or regulations, describing hazardous goods or materials for transport purposes, and stating that the latter have been packed and labelled in accordance with the provisions of the relevant conventions or regulations.


A designated area where empty equipment is stored. This is also where empty equipment can be picked up and/or dropped off.

Discharge / Discharging of container

The unloading of a container from a vessel.

Discharge instructions

The list of containers that should be unloaded during a port call. This list is provided by a carrier to a terminal. The terminal is consolidating the Discharge Instructions from all container operators that have slots on the vessel.


EDI booking

A booking received via electronic data interchange, meaning that the booking data flows automatically into the carrier’s booking system.


Container or equipment currently not stuffed.


Used for storing cargo in/on during transport. The equipment "size/type" is defined by the ISO 6346 code. The most common equipment size/type is 20'/40'/45' Dry Freight Container, but a number of different versions exist.

Equipment discharge / load report

Confirmation & receipt of the equipment loaded/discharged on a vessel during a port call. This information is recorded by the terminal operator and sent to the carrier. This is often done using the EDI message - COARRI. The COARRI message reports that the equipment specified have been discharged from a seagoing vessel (discharged as ordered, over landed or short landed), or have been loaded into a seagoing vessel.


An occurrence in the process, which is a lower ranking contributor to a milestone. 


A series of activities not included in the general process flow as they illustrate the handling of situations that does not follow the rules for the general flow. These are handled in the exception flow.


Feeder operator

An entity operating a feeder service - ref. Feeder vessel.

Feeder vessel

Small vessel which connects the main ports (hubs) with small ocean or inland ports. A feeder vessel only operates in a small, defined regional area.

Financial clearance status

Financial check performed by the carrier to ensure outstanding balance has been paid.



The action of moving a container from a container yard, a terminal or another restricted/controlled area.


Haulage equipment

Gear used to do inland transportation of a container. This can include tools and apparatus used to load/discharge the container onto the intermodal type.

Haulage requirements

Specifications for a haulier set by a carrier in regards to a specific work order, e.g. timeline, capabilities.

Haulage type

The joint term for merchant and carrier haulage. It should be noted that a shipment can have several types of haulage throughout the transport from origin to destination.


The haulier is the party responsible for moving goods by truck.


In gauge cargo

Cargo, which has been loaded into special equipment, but does not exceed the dimensions of a standard 20', 40', or high cube container.

Inland transport request

Internal work document/file facilitating the collection of necessary data prior to issuing the carrier haulage work order.


Late submission

When a shipper submits documentation after a defined deadline set by the carrier.


A leg can be defined as two things:
1. A sea passage in the rotation of ports in a voyage.
2. A specific section of a complete transport of a shipment.

Load / discharge confirmation

This is the confirmation sent to the customer, shipper or consignee, that the equipment has been loaded/discharged. This message is based on the "equipment discharge/load report".

Load / loading of container

The action of lifting any cargo or container on board of the vessel for transportation.

Load list

List of containers sent by the carrier or its agent to the terminal to instruct which containers must be loaded on a specific vessel/voyage. Each vessel can have several load lists in case of vessel sharing agreements.


Manifest corrector

The manifest corrector is used to make changes to a manifest after the manifest in question has been submitted to the relevant authorities.


The transfer of information from one stakeholder to another and/or between software systems. In the Industry Blueprint the focus is on information flow to parties outside of the carrier organization (e.g. carrier to customers). 


A significant occurrence or change of status affecting the process flow of physical or immaterial equipment or documents.


Network / vessel capacity

The operational capacity of a vessel on a specific voyage. This capacity takes into account all limiting factors such as the physical capacity on-board, but it also allows for constraints in the terminals to load / discharge the vessel for the specific voyage.


Off dock storage

A container yard (CY) that is situated outside of the port premises.

Out-of-gauge cargo

Cargo, which has been loaded into special equipment that exceed the dimensions of a standard 20', 40', or high cube container. E.g. Out-of-gauge cargo is overlength, over width, over height, or combinations thereof.



Every entity delivering transportation services within an agreement, e.g. VSA, 3PL.


A facility with piers or docks. Ports are accessed by vessels and represent the destinations of a voyage. Ports can contain one or more terminals.

Port call

A port call is defined as a unique intermediate stop of a vessel in the rotation of ports on the voyage. A vessel may have several terminal calls during a single port call.



When upon the customer's request or because cargo is refused at destination, the container must be returned to the port of loading or another import location.


Re-stowed container means that, at some point along the route, it will be moved from a previous stowage location on board the vessel to another stowage location on board the same vessel. This can be done in one crane move (ship to ship shifting), but more frequently done via shore/the pier (ship to pier shifting).


When an import customer wants to reuse the import container for a new export.

Release reference number

Reference number contained in the Cargo Release. It is provided by the carrier to the terminal and to the cargo receiver, and it must be presented upon pick up at the terminal.

Roll over

When an ocean freight cargo is said to have been ‘rolled’, it means it has not been loaded onto the vessel it was meant to be shipped on but rolled to a subsequent vessel.

Route plan

Plan for the end-to-end shipment of a shipment. This includes specification of all transport legs, timings, schedules and interdependencies between transport legs.


Sea Waybill

A Sea Waybill (SWB) is used when the shipper decides to release ownership of the cargo immediately. This means that the goods can be delivered to the person identified in the document, and they will simply have to verify their identity instead of presenting a document to claim the cargo.


A single-use instrument used for securing container or freight car or truck doors.Seals have unique numbers for record purposes.


A Shipment is the realisation of a customer booking for which all containers have a common routing and details of scheduling.


The shipper is the entity or party who is responsible for the shipment. This can be dependent on the INCOTERMS under which the cargo moves. If there are any queries around this, please contact your Beacon Account Manager.

Shipping Instruction

An enrichment to the original booking shared by the shipper to the carrier. The shipping instruction includes volume/weight, shipping dates, origin, destination and other special instructions. The information given by the shipper through the shipping instructions is the information, which is required to create the Bill of Lading.

Short shipment

A short shipment is a situation when a container that should have been loaded on the vessel according to the Load List and the manifest was not loaded but was left behind.

Special cargo

Joint term for cargo, which is not transported in a regular dry container or is considered dangerous goods. This also includes, but is not limited to out of gauge cargo.

Special equipment

All container types other than regular Dry or Reefer containers​. Examples of these can be flat racks (open containers for oversized, irregular and/or heavy cargo), Open tops (fitted with a solid removable roof), etc.

Stowage instructions

The vessel operator's instructions to the terminal on the placement of containers on the vessel to prevent damage or loss, or to ensure safety and compliance.


The act of unloading cargo from containers or equipment.

Stripping location

The location where the process of unloading the cargo of a container takes place.


The process of loading the cargo in a container or in/onto another piece of equipment.



A facility for loading, moving or discharging containers. Terminals can be both inland terminals for trucks and rail or port terminals are accessed by vessels and these can contain multiple berths.

Terminal departure report (TDR)

Upon completion of operations on a particular vessel, a terminal departure report (TDR) is to be sent to the respective shipping lines. This report, prepared from timesheets, includes container vessel operation data and tabulation of productivity. This can be in the form of the EDI-message TPFREP.

Terminal move

Each terminal has a set number of moves, which can be performed on a vessel during a port call. One move is usually defined as the movement (loading or unloading) of one container.


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A terminal operation whereby containers or cargo are transferred from one vessel to another to reach their final destination, compared to a direct service from the load port of origin to the discharge port of destination.


Verified Gross Mass (VGM)

The weight of the container, signed by an authorized person from the shipper or on behalf of said shipper. This includes cargo weight, bracing, dunnage and container tare weight. The information can be transferred using the EDI form, VERMAS. In case a verified container weight has not been passed on, the container will not be allowed to go on board of a vessel. The weight can be determined in two ways: platform scale or weigh bridge, and calculation procedure. 


A floating structure with its own mode of propulsion designed for the transport of cargo and/or passengers. In the Industry Blueprint 1.0 "Vessel" is used synonymously with "Container vessel", hence a vessel with the primary function of transporting containers.

Vessel rotation

The order and sequence in which a vessel calls the ports on its route.

Vessel schedule

The timetable of departure and arrival times for each port call on the rotation of the vessel in question.

Vessel Sharing Agreements (VSA)

An agreement between two or more shipping lines to share vessel capacity on specific routes to increase asset utilization.


A journey by sea from one port or country to another one or, in case of a round trip, to the same port.


Work order

Order for specific transportation work carried out by a third party provider on behalf of the issuing party.

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