Logistic terms

We’ll help you make sense of the industry jargon and terms used.

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Both Days Inclusive.

Both Days Inclusive.

Bill of landing.

Back Letter

1. Back letters are drawn up in addition to a contract in order to lay down rights and/or obligations between both contracting parties, which, for various possible reasons, cannot be included in the original contract.

2. This expression is sometimes used for letters of indemnity.

Back Order

Customer order or commitment, which is unfilled due to insufficient stock.


1. The quantity of goods still to be delivered, received, produced, issued, etc., for which the planned or agreed date has expired. 2. The total number of customer orders which have been received but not yet been shipped.


Bunker adjustment factor.

Balance of Trade

Difference between a country’s total imports and exports. If exports exceed imports, a favorable balance of trade exists; if not, a trade deficit is said to exist.


The capacity of cargo spaces under the deck of a vessel (including hatchways but excluding void spaces behind cargo battens and beams) expressed in cubic meters or cubic feet.


Materials carried to improve the trim and the stability of the vessel. Vessels usually carry water in tanks as ballast. The tanks are specially designed for this purpose.

Bank Draft

Check issued by a bank.

Bank Guarantee

Undertaking by a bank to effect payment of a sum of money in the event of non performance by the party on whose behalf the guarantee is issued.

Bank Release

Negotiable time draft drawn on and accepted by a bank that adds its credit to that of an importer of merchandise.

Banker's Acceptance

“Time draft” drawn on a bank and bearing the bank’s promise to pay at a future date.

Banking System

For marine purposes the practice of always keeping more than one piece of cargo on the quay or in the vessel ready for loading or discharging in order to avoid delays and to obtain optimal use of the loading gear.

Bar Coding

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.

Bareboat Charter

Charter whereby the charterer leases the bare ship and appoints the master and crew itself.


Flat-bottomed cargo transport vessel designed for canals, rivers and shallow waters with or without its own propulsion.


Unlawful act or fraudulent breach of duty on the part of a master of a ship or of the mariners resulting in the injury of the owner of the ship or cargo

Basic Stock

Items of an inventory intended for issue against demand during the re-supply lead time.


Collection of products or data which is treated as one entity with respect to certain operations (e.g. processing and production).

Batch Production

Production process where products/components are produced in batches and where each separate batch consists of a number of the same products/components.


Vertical division of a container vessel from stem to stern, used to indicate stowage places for containers. The numbers run from stem to stern; odd numbers indicate a 20-foot position, even numbers indicate a 40-foot position.

Bay Plan

Stowage plan which shows the locations of all the containers on the vessel.

BC Code

Bulk Cargo Code


Under-floor area of an aircraft.


Measurement and comparison against a standard, of efforts and results in the business process (e.g. input, output, reliability, quality and customer satisfaction).


Entity or person on whom a Letter of Credit has been opened or a draft has been drawn.

Benefit of Insurance Clause

Clause by which the bailee of goods claims the benefit of any insurance policy effected by the cargo owner on the goods in care of the bailee. Such a clause in a contract of carriage issued in accordance with the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act is void at law.


Location in a port where a vessel can be moored, often indicated by a code or name.

Bilateral Trade

Commerce between two countries, usually in accordance with specific agreements.

Bilateral Transport Agreement

Agreement between two nations concerning transport relations.

Bill of Lading

Abbreviation: B/L. Document that establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company under which freight is to be moved between specified points for a specified charge. Usually prepared by the shipper on forms issued by the carrier, it serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage, and a receipt for goods.

Bill of Lading Clause

Particular article, stipulation or single provision in a Bill of Lading.

Bill of Material

List of all parts, sub-assemblies and raw materials that constitute a particular assembly, showing the quantity of each required item.

Bimodal Trailer

1. Road semi-trailer with retractable running gear to allow mounting on a pair of rail boogies.

Synonym: Road-Rail Trailer 2. Trailer which is able to carry different types of standardized unit loads (e.g. a chassis which is appropriate for the carriage of one FEU or two TEUs).

Block Train

Complete train moving straight from origin station to destination station without marshalling or decoupling of wagons.


Member of the vessel’s crew.


Post, fixed on a quay to lash mooring ropes.


Container Bolster

Bona Fide

In good faith; without dishonesty, fraud or deceit.

Bonded Shipments

Shipments which are permitted to travel to inland destinations before customs clearance.

Bonded Transit Warehouse

Warehouse under customs control holding cargo in transit to further destination.


Warehouse under customs control holding cargo in transit to further destination.

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