Back to Back Charter – Contract between a charterer and a sub charterer whose terms and conditions are identical to the contract, known as the head charter, between the charterer and the shipowner. The purpose of agreeing identical terms is to ensure that any money for which the charterer may be liable to in the sub-charter, for example dispatch money, is recoverable from the shipowner.
Backfreight – Freight payable to a shipowner for the carriage of goods back to the port of loading or to another convenient port when the vessel is unable to reach the port of destination because of an excepted peril or because the consignee fails to take delivery of The goods or provide instructions for their disposal.
BAF – Bunker adjustment factor.
Bale / Bale Capacity – Total cubic capacity of a ship’s holds available for the carriage of solid cargo which is not capable of filling the spaces between the ship’s frames. It is expressed in cubic feet or cubic meters. Where a cargo is free flowing and is capable of filling the spaces between the ship’s frames, the corresponding cubic capacity is known as the grain or grain capacity.
BB – Ballast Bonus – Sum of money paid by a time charterer to a shipowner in recognition of the fact that the shipowner is unlikely to find a cargo near to the place of redelivery of the ship at the end of the period of the charter and is therefore obliged to ballast his ship elsewhere.
Baltic Mercantile & Shipping Exchange – Institution, located in London, England, also known as the Baltic Exchange or simply the Baltic, whose main function is to provide facilities for the chartering of ships by its members: chartering agents, acting on behalf of charterers, negotiate with shipbrokers who represent shipowners on the “floor” of the Baltic. Other activities include air chartering, futures trading and sale and purchase of ships.
Baltime – General purpose Time Charter Party published by BIMCO.
Bareboat Charter – The hiring or leasing of a ship for a period of time during which the shipowner provides only the ship while the charterer provides the crew together with all stores and bunkers and pays all operating costs. This type of charter is favored by persons or companies who wish to own a ship for investment purposes but who do not have the desire or expertise to operate the ship. Similarly, it is favored by persons or companies who have a particular requirement for a ship and the expertise with which to operate one but without the wish or ability to purchase. A ship hired out in this way is said to be on bareboat charter. Also referred to as a demise charter or a charter by demise.
Bareboat Charterer – Person or company who charters a ship for a period of time, provides crew, bunkers and stores and pays all operating costs. Also known as a demise charterer or charterer by demise.
Bareboat Charter-Party – Document containing the contract between the owner of a ship and the demise charter, and signed by both, in which are all the terms and conditions such as the period of the charter, the rate of hire, the trading limits and all the rights and responsibilities of the two parties. Also referred to as a demise Charter-Party.
Barecon ‘A’ – Standard bareboat Charter-Party published by BIMCO.
Barecon ‘B’ – Standard bareboat Charter-Party used for newbuildings financed by mortgage, published by BIMCO.
Base Cargo – Minimum quantity of cargo required by a shipping line to make it worthwhile to call at a particular port of loading.
Base Rate – Basic rate of freight of a shipping line or liner conference onto which are added, or on which are calculated, the various surcharges such as the currency adjustment factor or bunker surcharge.
BBB – Before Breaking Bulk – A condition of carriage that freight, or some percentage of it, becomes payable before breaking bulk (discharge of a vessel commences).
BD – Bundle.
Bearer of a Bill of Lading – Person who tenders the Bill of Lading to the ship at the place of discharge in exchange for the goods. Bills of lading are often made out to bearer.
Bends – Both Ends – At both loading and discharging ports. This term is often used together with GSAAAAB (good safe always afloat always accessible berth), with OSP (one safe port), with OSB (one safe berth) and to qualify the prices of the bunkers on delivery and redelivery in a time charter. Also used to state agency determination (ex. Carrier’s agents bends).
Berth Charter Party – Charter-Party in which a particular berth is nominated by the charterer. The time allowed for loading or discharging, as the case may be, does not start to count until the ship reaches the berth, unless berth is occupied in which case time starts counting when NOR is tendered.
Berth Standard of Average Cause – Clause in a Charter-Party setting out the contribution to be made by the charterer to any claim for loss or damage to cargo for which the shipowner is liable.
Bill of Lading to Order – Bill of Lading which requires an endorsement by a consignee before goods can be delivered to him by the carrying ship. Also called a “to order Bill of Lading.”
BIMCO (The Baltic and International Maritime Council) – Association whose main object is to promote and defend the interests of shipowners. It also has a membership of shipbrokers and has been responsible for contributing to the creation of a large number of Charter-Parties and other shipping documents.
Bimcosale – Standard bill of sale published by BIMCO, used for the purchase of ships.
B/L – Bill of Lading – Document issued by a shipowner to a shipper of goods. It serves as a receipt for the goods, evidence of the contract of carriage and document of title. As a receipt it contains the description and quantity of the goods as well as suitable notations if the goods are not in apparent good condition when received by the ship. As evidence of the contract of carriage, the Bill of Lading contains the terms and conditions of the contract or, where the contract is represented by a Charter-Party, a reference to the Charter-Party As a document of title, the “to order” Bill of Lading is used by a third party to take delivery of the goods from a ship.
Blacklist – List of countries published by a particular government which will not allow ships to trade at its ports if they have traded at ports in the countries on that list.
Blt – Built.
B/N – Booking Note – Document containing the terms and conditions of a contract between a shipper and a shipping line for the carriage of goods on a particular ship between specified ports or places.
B.N.A. – British North America.
Boffers or BO – (asking) best offers.
Book Space (to) – As a shipper or his agent, to reserve space in a ship for the carriage of certain defined goods from a place of loading to a place of discharging.
Booking – Reservation made by a shipper or his agent with a carrier for the carriage of certain defined goods between defined places.
Booking List – List of all cargo bookings for a particular sailing. It is compiled by a shipping line from lists sent in by the line’s agents responsible for taking bookings for the various ports on the ship’s itinerary.
Both to Blame Collision Clause – Clause in a Bill of Lading or charter party which stipulates that, in the event of a collision between two ships where both are at fault, the owners of the cargo must indemnify the carrying ship against any amount paid by the carrying ship to the non-carrying ship for damage to that cargo. This clause arises because, under American law, a cargo owner is not able to make any recovery from the carrier for damage resulting from negligent navigation but may instead sue the non-carrying ship which in turn seeks recovery from the carrying ship in proportion of his fault. This would render a carrier indirectly liable for a loss for which he is not directly liable to the cargo owner. The clause has, however, been held to be invalid in the American courts when incorporated with a common carrier.
Box Rate – Rate of freight per shipping container, as opposed to per ton or per cubic meter. Since a box rate is unaffected by the actual quantity loaded into the container, it is in shipper’s interest to load as much cargo as possible, subject to the maximum allowed, to effectively reduce the cost of carriage for each ton or cubic meter.
Break Bulk (to) – To commence to discharge a bulk cargo. It is sometimes a condition of carriage that freight, or some percentage of it, becomes payable on breaking bulk.
Breakbulk – Relating to cargo lifted on and off ships one piece or bundle at a time by means of cranes or derricks, as opposed to cargo shipped on trailers or in shipping containers. Such goods may be described as breakbulk cargo; the ships which carry them are sometimes referred to as breakbulk ships which are operated on a regular basis between advertised ports, provide a breakbulk service. The term breakbulk is often used to denote the opposite of containerized.
Broken stowage – Amount of unused space in a ship or a hold by virtue of the irregular shape of the cargo. For example, the space taken up by a bundle of bars of irregular length would be calculated on the basis of the longest length, as if all the bars were of that length.
Brokerage – Fee or commission payable by a shipowner to a shipbroker for successful negotiation of a charter, It is normally expressed as a percentage of the freight or hire and demurrage. Brokerage may or may not be payable, according to the terms of the Charter-Party, should the voyage or period of the charter not be completed.
B/S – Bunker Surcharge – Extra charge applied by shipping lines, or set by liner conferences on behalf of their members, to reflect fluctuations in the cost of bunkers. This surcharge is expressed either as an amount per freight ton or as a percentage of the freight. Also referred to as bunker adjustment factor (BAF), or fuel oil surcharge (FOS), or fuel adjustment factor (FAF).
BT – Berth Terms – Expression signifying that the contract of carriage is subject to the customs and conditions of the ports of loading and discharging.