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B / L

A particular article, stipulation or single proviso in a Bill of Lading. A clause can be standard and can be pre-printed on the B / L.

arrow BSI Container Specification
  Accidents of a nature beyond human control such as flood, lightning or hurricane usually quoted as 'force majeure'.
arrow Bank Guarantee

An undertaking by a bank to be answerable for payment of a sum of money in the event of non performance by the party on whose behalf the guarantee is issued.

arrow Bar Coding

A method of encoding data for fast and accurate electronic readability. Bar codes are a series of alternating bars and spaces printed or stamped on products, labels, or other media, representing encoded information which can be read by electronic readers, used to facilitate timely and accurate input of data to a computer system. Bar codes represent letters and/or numbers and special characters like +, /, -, etc.

arrow Bay

A vertical division of a vessel from stem to stern, used as a part of the indication of a stowage place for containers. The numbers run from stem to stern; odd numbers indicate a 20 foot position, even numbers indicate a 40 foot position.

arrow Bay Plan
  A stowage plan which shows the locations of all the containers on the vessel.
arrow Berth
  A location in a port where a vessel can be moored often indicated by a code or name.
arrow Bilateral Transport Agreement
  Agreement between two nations concerning their transport relations.
arrow Bill of Exchange
  An unconditional order in writing to pay a certain sum of money to a named person.
arrow Bill of Health

The Bill of Health is the certificate issued by local medical authorities indicating the general health conditions in the port of departure or in the ports of call. The Bill of Health must have been visaed before departure by the Consul of the country of destination.


When a vessel has free pratique, this means that the vessel has a clean Bill of Health certifying that there is no question of contagious disease and that all quarantine regulations have been complied with, so that people may embark and disembark.

arrow Bill of Lading
  Abbreviation: B/L, plural Bs/L
A document which evidences a contract of carriage by sea.
arrow The document has the following functions:
  A receipt for goods, signed by a duly authorised person on behalf of the carriers
  A document of title to the goods described therein
  Evidence of the terms and conditions of carriage agreed upon between the two parties
arrow At the moment 3 different models are used:

A document for either Combined Transport or Port to Port shipments depending whether the relevant spaces for place of receipt and/or place of delivery are indicated on the face of the document .


A classic marine Bill of Lading in which the carrier is also responsible for the part of the transport actually performed by himself


Sea Waybill: A non-negotiable document, which can only be made out to a named consignee. No surrender of the document by the consignee is required

arrow Bill of Lading Clause
  A particular article, stipulation or single proviso in a Bill of Lading. A clause can be standard and can be pre-printed on the B/L.
arrow Bill of Material
  A list of all parts, sub-assemblies and raw materials that constitute a particular assembly, showing the quantity of each required item.
arrow Block Train

A number of railway wagons (loaded with containers), departing from a certain place and running straight to a place of destination, without marshalling, transhipping or any coupling or de-coupling of wagons.

arrow Bona Fide
  In good faith; without dishonesty, fraud or deceit.
arrow Bonded

The storage of certain goods under charge of customs viz. customs seal until the import duties are paid or until the goods are taken out of the country.


Bonded warehouse (place where goods can be placed under bond)


Bonded store (place on a vessel where goods are placed behind seal until the time that the vessel leaves the port or country again)


Bonded goods (dutiable goods upon which duties have not been paid i.e. goods in transit or warehoused pending customs clearance)

arrow Booking
  The offering by a shipper of cargo for transport and the acceptance of the offering by the carrier or his agent.
arrow Booking Reference Number
  The number assigned to a certain booking by the carrier or his agent.
arrow Break Bulk
  To commence discharge
  To strip unitised cargo
arrow Break Bulk Cargo
  General cargo conventionally stowed as opposed to unitised, containerised and Roll On-Roll Off cargo.
arrow Broker
  Person who acts as an agent or intermediary in negotiating contracts.
arrow Brussels Tariff Nomenclature
  The old Customs Co-operation Council Nomenclature for the classification of goods. Now replaced by the Harmonised System.
arrow Buffer Stock
  A quantity of goods or articles kept in store to safeguard against unforeseen shortages or demands.
arrow Bulk Cargo
  Unpacked homogeneous cargo poured loose in a certain space of a vessel or container e.g. oil and grain.
arrow Bulk Carrier
  Single deck vessel designed to carry homogeneous unpacked dry cargoes such as grain, iron ore and coal.
arrow Bulk Container
  A container designed for the carriage of free-flowing dry cargoes, which are loaded through hatchways in the roof of the container and discharged through hatchways at one end of the container.
arrow Bunker Adjustment Factor

Abbreviation: BAF
Adjustment applied by liner or liner conferences to offset the effect of fluctuations in the cost of bunkers.

arrow Bunkers
  Quantity of fuel on board a vessel.
arrow Bureau Veritas
  French classification society.
arrow Business Process

A business process is the action taken to respond to particular events, convert inputs into outputs, and produce particular results. Business processes are what the enterprise must do to conduct its business successfully.

arrow Business Process Model

The business process model provides a breakdown (process decomposition) of all levels of business processes within the scope of a business area. It also shows process dynamics, lower-level process interrelationships. In Summary it includes all diagrams related to a process definition that allows for understanding what the business process is doing (and not how).

arrow Buyer

Party to which merchandise is sold.


The process of receiving a consignment from a consignor, usually against the issue of a receipt. As from this moment and on this place the carrier's responsibility for the consignment begins.

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