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Air Waybill AWB
Arbitrary ARB
Arrival Notice A/N
Automated Broker Interface ABI
Automated Export System AES
Bill of Lading B/L
Bonded Warehouse
Booking BKG
Buyer's Consolidation B.C
Cargo Manifest

Certificate of Origin


Chargeable Weight
Commercial Invoice
Consignee CNEE
Container & Container Number CTNR / CTNR#
Container Freight Station CFS
Continuous Bonds
Cubic Feet CFT
Cubic Meter CBM
Customs Broker CHB
Dangerous Goods D.G.
Dangerous Goods Declaration

Delivery Order
Destination Authorized Delivery D.A.D.
Dimensional Weight
Dock Receipt D/R
Door to Door Service
Duty Drawback
Entry Summary
Estimated Time of Arrival ETA
Estimated Time of Departure ETD
Export License
Final Destination
Free Time
Freight Collect CC
Freight Prepaid PP
Full Container Load FCL
General Order warehouse G.O.
Gross Weight
Harbor Maintenance Fee HMF
Harmonized Tariff Schedule No. HTS#
High Cube container HC
Import License
Importer of Record
Kilogram KG
Less than Container Load LCL
Letter of Credit L/C
Liquidation Notice
Long Ton
Merchandise Processing Fee MPF
Metric Ton M/T
Minimum Charge
Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier NVOCC
Notify Party
Open Top Container O/T
Packing List
Port of Discharge
Port of Entry
Port of Loading
Pound LB
Pro Forma Invoice
Reefer Container RFC
Roll-on/Roll-off vessel Ro/Ro
Schedule B Classification No.
Shipper SHPR
Shipper's Export Declaration SED
Shipper's Letter of Instruction SLI
Short Ton
Single Entry Bond
Storage Charge
Temporary Importation Bond


Terms and Conditions - Air Waybill  
Terms and Conditions - Bill of Lading  
Transhipment T/S
Waiting time

Air Waybill - AWB
The air shipping document and contract of carriage, confirming receipt of goods. Please see attachment for Terms and Conditions.

Arbitrary - ARB

Part of transportation costs. For ocean, normally an add-on inland cost to o/f. For air, normally a constructed rate, combining the normal rate fro major airport A to major airport B, then the added rate to minor airport C.

Arrival Notice - A/N

An import document send to the notify party and/or importer's broker containing all necessary arrival info for Customs clearance; normally with freight charges.

Automated Broker Interface - ABI
A system that allows customs brokers to file entry electronically with U.S. Customs.

Automated Export System - AES
A system that allows exporters to file export declarations eletronically with U.S. Customs.

Bill of Lading- B/L
Issued by the carrier evidencing receipt of goods for transportation from a specified origin to a specified final destination. Please see attachment for Terms and Conditions.

Bonded Warehouse - BW

A U.S. Customs authorized facility allowed to receive, store and ship cargo not yet cleared through Customs. The facility is licensed by Customs and operates under Customs authority.

Booking - BKG
A reservation with carrier arranged by the shipper or his representative for space and/or equipment aboard a specific ship or aircraft departing at a specific time.

Buyer's Consolidation - B.C.

Acting on buyer's behalf to receive,consolidate and containerize consignments from multiple suppliers and to ship them as a full container load to minimize shipping costs.

Cargo Manifest
A shipping document specifying shipment details & flight/vessel information. Issued by the carrier and reported to U.S. Customs.

Certificate of Origin - C.O.
A signed statement from a semiofficial organization certifying the origin of an export item, required by certain nations.

Chargeable Weight
For air, the actual gross weight of the shipment (in kg or lbs) or the volume weight (in cubic cm or cubic inches), whichever is greater (basis 6000 cubic cm/366 cubic inches per kg, or 166 cubic inches per lb), that will generate the largest revenue. For ocean LCL shipments, it is calculated basis 1 cbm/1000 kg.

Commercial Invoice - INV

The seller's invoice to the buyer itemizing the specific type, quantity & true value of the goods, specifying the amount due for payment.

Consignee - CNEE
The person or firm listed on the AWB-B/L who is to receive the goods.

Container & Container Number - CTNR / CTNR#

A uniform, sealed, reusable metal box in which cargo is shipped by sea, truck or rail. Its identification number consists of a 4 letter prefix followed by 6 digits and 1 check digit. The 4 letters identify the container's owner or the carrier, and the length of the container. The air equivalent is called a ULD (Unit Load Device).

Container Freight Station - CFS
A facility where consolidated shipments are stripped, segregated, stored and made available to importers.

Continuous Bonds

A type of customs bond offered by U.S. Customs and renewed on an annual basis.

Cubic Feet - CFT

A unit of shipping volume calculated by mutiplying the carton's dimensions (LxWxH) in inches and dividing the result by 1728.

Cubic Meter - CBM

A unit of shipping volume calculated by mutiplying the carton's dimensions (LxWxH) in cm and dividing the result by 1,000,000.

Customs Broker - CHB
A person licensed by U.S. Customs to transact Customs business on behalf of others, including entry, classification/value, and the payment of duties, taxes, etc on imported goods. Also, the refund, rebate or drawback thereof.


The latest delivery time of cargo to a designated location for loading to a vessel or aircraft as booked.

Dangerous Goods - D.G.
Items capable of presenting a risk to the health and safety of individuals or property normally requiring special attention when shipped. Such goods are highly regulated by by the U.S. and all world governments.

Dangerous Goods Declaration

A document issued by factory/shipper in accordance with applicable regulations stating hazardous materials have been properly packed and labeled in accordance with the provisions of the relevant regulations for transport purposes.

Delivery Order - D.O.

A document from the consignee, shipper or owner of the cargo ordering the delivery of of the cargo to another party.

A charge which occurs after free storage time at the terminal/CFS has expired, and the cargo has not been removed (a charge for excess storage).

Destination Authorized Delivery - D.A.D.
A document issued by U.S. Customs confirming Customs release of the goods and authorizing their delivery.

Dimensional Weight

Chargeable weight calculated by the dimensions of pkgs by applying shipping industy formulas. (See chargeable weight)

Dock Receipt - D/R
A receipt used to transfer accopuntability when the cargo is delivered to the port and left with theinternational carrier for export. The dock receipt, listing cargo particulars, is used as documentation to prepare the Bill of Lading. It is evidence of delivery of the loaded & sealed container to the terminal.

Door to Door Service

A type of service offered by the carrier;entailing through transport of cargo from shipper's door to receiver's door.

A tax imposed on imports by the Customs authority of a country, usually based upon the value of the goods.

Duty Drawback

A program administratered by U.S. Customs which permits a refund of 99% of the customs duties paid on merchandise that has been imported into the U.S. and is thereafter exported or used as raw material of a finished product.

Entry Summary
U.S. Customs Form 7501,containing the entry date, importer of record and their tax ID#, shipment detail and duty rate and amount to be paid as duty to customs.

Estimated Time of Arrival - ETA
The projected date and time a shipment is scheduled to arrive at its destination.

Estimated Time of Departure - ETD

The projected date and time a shipment is scheduled to depart from the port/airport of origin.

Export License
document issue by local gov't which permiting a company to perform the exportation of designated goods to certain destination

Final Destination
The final delivery point of the shipment.

Free Time
The period of time allowed for free storage upon shipment availability at the CFS or terminal.

Freight Collect - CC
Freight charges to be collected at destination from the consignee by carrier

Freight Prepaid - PP

Freight charges to be paid by the shipper at origin to carrier.

Full Container Load - FCL

A container that is fully loaded by cargo, occupying all space, or loaded to the maximum permissable weight. It can contain cargo from multiple shippers, but normally is consigned to the same consignee. The shipment is expected to be delivered to the consignee with the shipper's seal intact.

General Order warehouse - G.O.

A warehouse where U.S. Customs sends merchandise that has not been claimed or entered within 5 working days after arrival at the CFS or the terminal. All storage charges incurred will be the responsibility of the importer.

Gross Weight - G.W.

Actual weight of shipment including packing material

Harbor Maintenance Fee - HMF

Charges assessed to harbor users for maintenance purposes. Part of customs duty; currently 0.125%

Harmonized Tariff Schedule No. - HTS#

An international cargo classification number adopted by U.S. Customs that is needed to file customs entry and the duty rate application for specific items.

High Cube container - HC

A type of container with exterior dims of 40'(L)x8'(W)x9'(H), used to transport large volume but low weight cargo.

Import License

A document required and issued by some national gov'ts authorizing the importation of specific commodities into their countries.

Importer of Record

The owner or purchaser of the goods as defined by U.S. Cusoms that is inputed as the importer in an entry.

Kilogram - KG

An international unit of weight; 1kg is equivalent to 2.2046 pounds.

Less than Container Load - LCL
A shipment that takes up only a portion of a consolidated container. LCL shpts are to be picked up at a CFS only, whereas FCL are to be picked up at a container yard/terminal.

Letter of Credit - L/C
A financial document issued by a bank at the request of the Consignee guaranteeing payment to the Shipper for cargo if certain terms and conditions are met.

Liquidation Notice

A notice send by Customs, normally anywhere from 90 days to 1 year after entry of the shipment has been made, advising the importer that the entry has been liquidated by Customs.

Long Ton
1 long ton is equivalent to 2,240 lbs or 1016 kgs.

Merchandise Processing Fee - MPF

A part of Customs duty; currently 0.19%

Metric Ton - M/T

1 metric ton is equivalent to 1000kgs or 2204.6 lbs.

Minimum Charge

The lowest rate applicable on each type of cargo service, no matter how small the shipment.

Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier - NVOCC

An ocean cargo shipment consolidator that functions as a carrier; however, it does not own any vessels. The NVOCC consolidates small shipments, then offers full containers to ocean carriers. NVOCCs transport cargo for clients, issue Bills of Lading, and assume responsibility for shipments.

Notify Party

The name and address of a party in the transport document to be notified by the shipping company of the arrival of a shipment.

The continuation of carriage by any mode of transport to the final destination after discharge from vessel at the port of discharge.

Open Top Container - O/T

A type of container similar to a standard dry container except that it does not have a permanent metal roof. Instaed, it has a removable canvas cover.

Packing List
A shipping document listing all contents of each individual package and declaring the total # of packages, dimensions, weight, shipping marks,etc…

Port of Discharge
A port at which a shipment is off-loaded by a transportation line.

Port of Entry
The port at which foreign goods are admitted into the receiving country.

Port of Loading

The port or airport from which an export shipment leaves a country for a voyage to a foreign country. The port at which a shipment is actually loaded to a vessel or aircraft, or to an exporting truck.

Pound - LB

A unit of weight; 1 lb is equivalent to 0.454 kgs, or 16 ounces.


The initial carriage of goods by any mode of transport from the place of receipt to the port of loading to the vessel or aircraft.

Pro Forma Invoice

An invoice provided by a supplier prior to shipment of the goods, informing the buyer of the kinds and quantities of goods to be sent, their value, and important specifications.The buyer will submit it to Customs for valuation purposes to calculate duties due, and to the central bank to obtain permission and clearance to convert foreign currency into U.S. dollars in order to make payment to seller.

The quantity and kind of goods that may be imported without restriction or additional duties or taxes.

Reefer Container - RFC

Refrigerated container. A thermal container with refrigerating apparatus to control the termperature of its cargo.

Roll-on/Roll-off vessel - Ro/Ro
A type of vessel commonly used for shipping vehicles which can be rolled-on & rolled-off the vessel either by their own power or by towing.

Schedule B Classification No.
A U.S. Bureau of the Census generated classification number for a specific commodity, based on the Harmonized system. The numbers are required to file export declarations(SED) to U.S. Customs prior to shipment on-board the exporting carrier's vessel or aircraft.

Shipper - SHPR
The party in whose name a contract of carriage of goods has been concluded with at carrier or any party by whom, in whose name or on whose behalf the goods are actually delivered to the carrier in relation to the contract of carriage.

Shipper's Export Declaration - SED
U.S. Treasury department form containing the complete particulars on individual shipments used to control exports and act as a source document for official U.S. export statistics.The SED is required from the shipper by U.S. Customs prior to shipment on-board the carrier. (See 15 CFR, Part 30, for complete requirements concerning preparation and filing of SEDs)

Shipper's Letter of Instruction - SLI

A document issue by shipper or their broker to carriers stating their shipping instruction and shipment details. A multi-part form, preparation of the SLI also prepares the SED.

Short Ton - S/T
1 short ton is equivalent to 2000 lbs or 907.2 kgs

Single Entry Bond
A type ofU.S. Customs bond required byCustoms at time of entry. The bond Applies ONLY to that particular shipment.

Storage Charge
Charges assessed by the warehouse for storage after the cargo's free time has expired.

A published document defining the applicable rules, rates and charges for the shipment of goods forming the basis for a contract of carriage among the shipper, consignee and carrier.

Temporary Importation Bond - TIB
A type of bond posted with U.S. Customs covering importation of merchandise claimed exempt from duty, guaranteeing that the same shipment will be exported within a certain period of time, usually 1 year, unless extended.

Terms and Conditions - Air Waybill
Please see attachment for Terms and Conditions.

Terms and Conditions - Bill of Lading
Please see attachment for Terms and Conditions.

Transhipment - T/S

A shipping arrangement in which a shipment is discharged of the vessel at an intermediate port enroute and subsequently reloaded to another vessel for carriage to its final destinationl

Waiting time
A charge, usually assessed by truckers, for excessive time spent waiting for access to the consignee's cargo at the CFS or the pier/terminal or airport.