actual gross weight
The sum of the container weight plus the payload contained in it.
Maximum allowable weight of payload (actual weight minus tare
Gross shipping weight.
air waybill (AWB) or
air consignment note is a receipt issued by an international airline
for goods and an evidence of the contract of carriage, but it is not
a document of title to the goods. Hence, the air waybill is
bill of lading
(sometimes abbreviated as B/L or BoL) is a document
issued by a carrier (or his agent) to acknowledge receipt of cargo
for shipment. In British English the term relates to ship transport
only, in American English to any type of transportation of goods.
A pallet with at least three fixed, removable, or collapsible
Cargo transported not in a container. It may be in loose packages or
in loose form, such as machinery.
See break bulk.
The metal device inserted into the handle assembly on the door of
the container to prevent or to detect entry. The seal has a number
that is recorded. In addition, this number is often noted on the
bill of lading. The sophistication of seals can range from a simple,
numbered plastic tag - called an entry seal and used on an empty
container - to an electronic seal that immediately indicates through
global electronic positioning technology when and where it has been
The weight ton in the United States is the short ton, 2,000 pounds,
or the long ton, 2,240 pounds. In British countries it is the
English long ton, or gross ton, of 2,240 pounds. In France and other
countries having the metric system, the weight ton is 2,204.62
pounds. The measurement ton is usually 40 cubic feet, but in some
instances a larger number of cubic feet is taken as a weight ton.
Most ocean freight is taken at weight or measurement (W/M), ship's
The weight of the cargo. Cargo weight plus tare weight equals gross
A narrow, prescribed range of temperatures in a container during
transit that maintains the ideal temperature in the product and
protects the product from harm. This information is displayed on a
label attached to the container.
A wheeled carriage onto which a container is mounted for
over-the-road conveyance. More specifically, it is a skeletal frame,
semi-trailer which is equipped with license, lights, reflectors,
brakes, etc., to meet the legal operating codes and requirements of
the jurisdictions within which it operates. This unit has locking
devices that secure the container to the frame. In the case of
container yard operations, it is a skeletal trailer, generally
without a license for use on the public roads, for moving containers
within a yard.
Also, the part of a motor vehicle that includes, the frame,
suspension system, wheels, steering mechanism etc., but not the
engine or the body.
When used in an intermodal industry context, this refers to a steel
or aluminum box into which goods or a commodity are packed for
A container is considered contaminated when residue of previous
cargo cannot be cleaned by normal sweeping or by normal steam
cleaning. The remedy may then be:
contaminated floor boards,
Defined by one or more physical defects on a container that affects
the cargo carrying capabilities of the unit. This could have been
caused by a single or a series of events, such as impact, abrasion,
or contamination. Damaged containers are inspected and repaired to
the ICII standards.
A load sufficient in size to fill a container either by cubic
measurement or by weight.
container load plan
A list and a graphic picture of the inside of a container showing
where and how the cargo is stowed and the loading sequence.
Cargo that will fit into a container and result in an economical
shipment consistent with delivery requirements.
A term used in reference to a refrigerated container to indicate it
is a type that permits the temperature within the container to be
controlled. The reason that this is important is so a gas such as
nitrogen can be maintained in a stable condition within the
container. Nitrogen reduces the spoilage rate of fruits and
A vertical structural member at each of the four corners of a
container. These are made onto a square unit by top and bottom
horizontal posts. The vertical and horizontal members are connected
at the corner castings, thereby forming an end frame or corner
Has two meanings: (1) the carrying capacity of a container in terms
of cubic measurement; and (2) the cubic space available for the
stowage of cargo.
feet per minute
Unit of measurement for the movement of a volume of gas or liquid
per unit of time.
A measurement of 12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches or 1,728 cubic
A measurement of 1 meter by 1 meter by 1 meter. Abbreviated: CBMCM
Dry 20-foot container.
Dry 40-foot container.
The number of long tons (see ton) of cargo, stores, water, and fuel
a vessel can transport. Relative to cargo, the weights for stores,
water, and fuel are not significant. You can use DWT as a quick
reference for the cargo carrying capacity of a ship.
Cargo of such a nature that one long ton is stowed in less than 70
dry cargo When used in a tariff, this means cargo other than liquid
cargo or cargo requiring temperature control.
When used in a tariff, this means cargo other than liquid cargo or
cargo requiring temperature control.
Material used in stowing or bracing cargo to prevent movement.
Abbreviation for the International Standards Organization designated
"Forty-Foot Equivalent Unit."
See flat rack container.
A special container for cargo too long or wide for standard
Static weight of cargo and the dynamic force of handling equipment,
such as a forklift, for a particular container.
Openings in the sides of containers for the insertion of forks by a
A three or four wheeled mechanical unit with forks at the front
designed for lifting, carrying, and stowing cargo, pallets, or
forty-foot equivalent unit
Abbreviated FEU. Refers to container size standard of 40 feet. 1
40-foot container equals 2 TEU. This equivalency standard was set by
A container loaded, completely or almost, to its maximum weight
limit or cubic content.
One U.S. gallon equals 231 cubic inches or 0.1337 cubic feet.
Generator used to supply power to a refrigerated container.
Garment on hangar. Indicates a container that has been converted
from a dry box to a garment container.
On a drop-frame chassis, the gooseneck is the upper level at the
front of the chassis together with the structure connecting it to
the lower level behind it. The gooseneck on the chassis structure
fits into the gooseneck tunnel recess of containers built with this
feature. This provides the securing and stability for the container
at the front. The rear of the container is secured with the normal
twist lock assembly.
The recess in the front portion of a container understructure into
which the gooseneck structure of a chassis fits.
2,240 pounds. See short ton.
This is not a measurement of weight as we traditionally think of it.
It is a measurement of the amount of vessel space: a ton is 100
cubic feet. A ship's gross tonnage is all the cubic feet in its
enclosed spaces: cargo holds, engine room, and deck house divided by
100. See net tonnage.
As a measurement, gross means the item you are evaluating consists
of the overall total exclusive of deductions. When, for example,
referring to an in-gate operation this is the total weight of the
equipment - such as tractor, including fuel and driver - and chassis
and cargo. But, if you were referring to the gross weight of the
container only, this would be a combination of the container tare
weight plus the cargo weight.
Removing the container from the stack train and putting it on a
An open top container, sometimes fitted with removable covers, that
is 4'3''/1.30m high.
A container that exceeds 8 feet 6 inches in height.
Flexible bags usually made from vinyl material; can be inflated
within the void spaces of a stow to prevent movement of the cargo.
A container insulated on the walls, roof, floor and doors, to reduce
the effect of external temperatures on the cargo.
International Standards Organization
An organization founded in the late 1940's and headquartered in
Geneva, Switzerland. Through the participation of its members, it
establishes many world standards; for example, ISO 9002 as a
business practice. In the intermodal area, the ISO is best known for
establishing in the mid 1960's the standard for the size of a
container, including all its components, such as the specifications
for the corner casting. This reversed the situation where, by the
time there were 20,000 containers worldwide in 1965, there were 11
different sizes. The resulting uniformity coordinated and
established by the ISO permitted the evolution from containerization
See International Standards Organization.
Damage discovered before or at the time of delivery of a shipment.
A loss discovered before or at the time of delivery of a shipment.
Kilo or metric ton. Equals 2,204.6 pounds.
Means the same as "loaded (aboard a vessel)."
To hold goods in position by the use of securing devices such as
wire rope, lines, chains and straps.
A cargo securing device in the floor fixed to the interior side
panels of a container that provide for the lashing or securing of
See lashing fitting.
A stout metal rod used in on-deck container stowage that secures
containers to the deck. It ties a container corner casting to a
fitting on the deck or on the lashing bridge. Used in conjunction
with the interbox connector, this stabilizes the stacks on deck.
This is necessary to compensate for the effects of ship movement in
the open sea.
To load a vehicle or container. The freight in a vehicle or
container. A container filled with freight that is moved from the
customer-designated origin to the customer-designated destination.
To load a program into a computer after the program has been
translated into machine code. Any procedure for getting a computer
or other device ready to operate by providing that device with the
magnetic tape or disks that it needs to function.
2,240 pounds. See also ton.
Abbreviations for: A meter, or 39.37 inches.
A level of cube utilization that closely approximates the stated
cubic capacity of a container.
maximum gross weight
Weight of a container and its payload.
Maximum cargo that can be loaded into a container either by weight
1,000 board feet. 1 MBM equals 2,265 C.M.
1 meter equals 39.37 inches. Also spelled metre.
An alternative spelling of meter.
2,204.6 pounds; or 40 cubic feet - used in water transportation
rate-making. The same as a measurement ton. Also see ton.
Abbreviated MAMOS. A blend of gases tailored to a specific load of
cargo that replaces the normal atmosphere within a container.
Measurement ton. See metric ton.
The weight of an empty cargo-carrying piece of equipment plus any
fixtures permanently attached.
Net tonnage measures volume of airspace. Like deadweight tonnage, it
is used to rate a ship's cargo carrying capacity.
determine NT, the cubic footage of all non-cargo spaces - crew
accommodations, machinery and navigation areas, the engine room, and
the fuel and water tanks - are measured. This measurement is divided
by 100 to convert it to net tons. This figure is then subtracted
from the gross tonnage figure. The result is net tons of cargo
carrying capacity in cubic measure. See also gross tonnage.
When referring to goods, this is the weight of the product exclusive
of all packaging.
Front of the container.
Cargo that can by its nature contaminate its container, the vessel,
or other cargo, for example: hides or fish meal.
See open top container.
container fitted with a solid removable roof, or with a tarpaulin
roof that can be loaded or unloaded from the top.
The highest level of cube utilization that can be achieved when
loading cargo into an ocean-freight container.
Cargo extending above the height of an open top container.
Standard size platform on which packages can be stacked and then
unitized - for example, with bands or plastic wrap for easy movement
by a forklift truck. See pallet wrapping machine. Europe, the
1,200mm by 1,000mm pallet is in general use. The U.K. equivalent is
48 inches by 40 inches. Growing in popularity is the 48 inch by 48
Individual items of cargo loaded on a pallet.
General, this is the revenue-producing or useful load a means of
transportation can carry. Translated to intermodal language, it is a
container's maximum permitted cargo weight, not including cargo
securing devices and dunnage.
Refrigerated container, equipment or cargo.
Industry language for the term "refrigerated cargo," which cargo
requiring temperature control. See refrigeration.
Industry language for the term "refrigerated container."
In its simplest terms, refrigeration is simply the removal of heat
from one medium to another by use of inert gas. In the case of
refrigerated containers, it is removal of heat from inside the box -
the cargo and surrounding air - to outside the box. The inert gas
most commonly used is named R-12.
A percentage of the amount of moisture in air relative to saturated
air at the same temperature.
Metal strip and lead fastener used for locking freight car or
container doors. Seals are numbered for recording purposes. A seal
is generally affixed after Customs exams have been completed, and
prior to the container being loaded on the first conveyance. See
The point, or points, at which the thermostat in a refrigerated
container is set, that will maintain the ideal pulp temperature in
A notation on the transport document, known as a bill of lading in
the case of ocean carriage, stating the temperature at which the
cargo must be maintained. This term is most commonly used in
relation to a refrigerated container. Also known as air delivery
setting/air delivery temperature
Abbreviated ST. 2,000 pounds. See also ton.
Refers to planks placed under a box, crate or piece of machinery to
enable the piece to be easily handled by a mechanical lifting
device. Battens, or a series of parallel runners, fitted beneath
boxes or packages to raise them clear of the floor to permit easy
access of forklift blades or other handling equipment.
A flat piece of cardboard that replaces a pallet.
Highly perishable commodities that require special handling to
arrive at their destination in optimum condition. Some examples are
fish, meat, photographic film, fruit, and some candies.
A container designed to carry over height (open-top container), over
width (flat rack container) or liquid (tank container) cargo.
Containers stowed more than one high and in a orderly way in one
place in a Container Yard, CFS, depot, or on a vessel.
Same as short ton. See also ton.
The placing and securing of cargo or containers on a vessel or on an
aircraft. This also includes placing and securing cargo in a
A diagrammatic picture of the vessel's cargo hatches showing the
location of cargo or containers.
A marine term referring to loading freight into ships' holds.
The ratio of a cargo's cubic measurement to its weight, expressed in
cubic feet to the ton or in cubic metres to the tonne. It is an
expression of the total quantity of cargo which can be loaded in a
Details given by the shipper or his agent about the way cargo is to
See stow plan.
To load a container.
Loading cargo into a container. Also known as vanning.
The static and dynamic load forces imposed downward externally and
vertically on the structure of a container.
A specially constructed container for transporting liquids and gases
The weight of equipment that is empty, that is, not carrying cargo.
For example, an empty FEU of steel construction weighs between 6,000
to 8,380 pounds/2,860 to 3,800 kilograms. See also cargo weight and
Waterproof fabric used for covering the top of an open top
A waterproof device to permanently record the inside temperature of
operating refrigerated containers. The device may be computerized,
mechanical, or both. The chart onto which the information is
inscribed mechanically is called the Partlow chart. Mr. Partlow was
Abbreviation for the International Standards Organization designated
"Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit".
A weight allowance made to reconcile weight variations of certain
A measurement of weight:
. A short ton, used for rough calculations, is 2,000 pounds. This
"abbreviated" ton is used in cargo operations, particularly when
working with break bulk cargo. It useful for doing mental quick
. A long ton, also known as gross ton, used for more precise
calculations, is 2,240 pounds. The genesis of the long ton goes back
to the 13th century, when merchant ships carried large cargoes of
wine in giant casks, which were called "tuns." The number of tuns a
ship could carry was a rough gauge of her capacity. By the 15th
century, England had established a standard for the wine-filled tun:
a capacity of 250 gallons, which converted to 2,240 pounds. In the
17th century, long after wine ceased to be a major cargo, usage
brought about the modern spelling of ton.
measurement of cubic volume
. Measurement ton is 40 cubic feet. Cargo can be taken at either
weight or cubic volume.
This term is used in various contexts in the maritime industry to
. the cubic capacity of a vessel,
. the displacement of a vessel in tons of water,
. the total weight of the cargo, or
. a fee charged per ton of cargo at a port, pier, dock or canal.
Another way to spell the word ton.
twenty-foot equivalent unit
Abbreviated TEU. Refers to container size standard of 20 feet. 2
20-foot containers equal 1 FEU. This equivalency standard was set by
A pallet so designed that the forks of a fork lift truck can be
inserted from 2 sides only.
Packages loaded on a pallet in a crate or any other way that enables
them to be handled at one time as a unit.
Loading 1 or more large items of cargo onto a single piece of
equipment, such as a pallet. The consolidation of a quantity of
individual items into 1 large shipping unit for easier handling.
To consolidate several packages into 1 unit; to strap, band, or
otherwise attach the several packages together.
A number of cartons or other pieces of cargo that are loaded onto a
container as a single unit, typically either on a platform called a
pallet, or a slipsheet. This type of handling fa ciliates handling
by a load truck.
Unloading a container.
A tonne of one thousand kilogrammes. See also ton.
A cargo on which the transportation charge is assessed on the basis
Once a container loaded with cargo has been put on a chassis and
this unit has been attached to a tractor, there is another
consideration: the limitations of the weight-bearing capacity of the
road system between the beginning and end of the over-the-road
segment. In the U.S., these limitations are called "bridge laws," as
they are usually based on the weight that can be supported by a
weights and measures
Measurement ton = 40 cubic ft. Net ton, or short ton = 2,000 lbs.
Gross ton/long ton = 2,240 lbs. Metric ton/kilo ton = 2,204.6 lbs.
Cubic meter = 35.314 cubic ft.