International Abbreviations

Air and Ocean Freight Abbreviations

CBM/M³ - Cubic Metres
Height×Width×Length to work out the cubic metre of a shipment
KG - Kilograms
LB - Pounds
CF - Cubic Feet
LF - Linear Feet
R/T - Revenue tonnes
A billing unit used in the international freight industry.
W/M - Weight or Measure
Billing will be based on whichever is greater based on the converstion factor

AWB / HAWB - Air Waybill / House Air Waybill
A waybill is a document issued by a carrier or forwarder giving details and instructions relating to the shipment
B/L or BOL - Bill of Lading
A document issued by the carrier to the shipper as a contract of carriage, it must be presented at destination in order for the goods to be released it is a document of title for the goods
D.O. or D/O - Delivery Order
A document which orders the release of freight to another party. Unless in North America, do not mistake this for delivery instructions or a document of title for the goods. In North America a delivery order IS a delivery instruction.
Freight Release
Referred to in North America as a document that orders the release of freight to another party.
L/C - Letter of Credit
This is a document issued by a bank to another bank to serve as guarantee for payments made to a specified person under specified conditions
MSDS - Material Safety Data Sheet
Provides procedures for handling Dangerous Goods (DG) in a safe manner. It will confirm how the goods can travel and if they can be loaded with other Dangerous Goods
SLI - Shippers Letter of Instruction
A document filled in by the shipper providing all the details related to the shipment - Shipper and Consignee, dimensions and weight, description of the goods and shipping terms

INCO Terms
EXW – Ex Works
Buyer will pay all freight charges from the seller door to the door at destination. The seller needs to ensure the freight is ready for shipping and provide all the correct documents i.e. commercial invoice and packing declaration. The buyer will have full control of the freight.
FOB – Free on Board
Seller will arrange through their freight forwarder the movement of the goods up to the origin port. The goods will then be the buyer’s responsibility. Their nominated forwarder will take control from here. Freight and destination costs will be charged to the buyer.
CFR – Cost & Freight
Costs from the seller’s door to the destination port will be paid by the seller. Given the seller is responsible for transportation, they also nominate the forwarder. The buyer will take care of the destination charges.
CIF – Cost, Insurance & Freight
Similar to CFR but the maritime insurance cost will be paid by the seller. Insurance cover will up to the destination port only.
DAT – Delivery at Terminal
All charges up to the nominated terminal will be paid for by the shipper. Delivery, Customs Clearance and Customs import charges will be paid for by the buyer. The seller will arrange freight to the terminal through their freight forwarder, the buyer can have their own customs and delivery agent takeover from the terminal.
DAP – Delivery at Place
All charges as well as delivery to the buyer facilities will be arranged by the seller. Customs clearance cost can be arranged by either the seller or the buyer depending on the agreement at the time of the freight booking. Import Duty and Taxes will be paid by the buyer at destination.
DDP – Delivered Duty Paid
The seller will arrange and pay for all freight charges to the buyer’s door including customs clearance, duty and taxes at destination. The seller has full control of the shipment.
Choosing the right terms
Each option has its own benefits and risks for both the buyer and the seller.
• Freight Control – Working on tight time frames or stock control it is essential to know where your freight is the majority time
• Buyer – EXW, FOB, CFR/CIF Seller – DAT, DAP, DDP
• Cost Control – Knowing the cost of the freight will help you work out the true cost of your products
• Buyer – EXW, FOB, CFR/CIF Seller – DAT, DAP, DDP
• Lack of visibility – Stock control
• Buyer – DAT, DAP, DDP Seller –EXW, FOB, CFR/CIF
• Unexpected costs – Not having the ability you nominate your forwarder can incur additional costs that you haven’t taken into account, resulting in loss of profit
• Buyer – CFR/CIF, DAT Seller – FOB

People and Places
ATD/ATA - Actual Time of Departure / Actual Time of Arrival
ATF - Approved Transtional Facility
Has site approval and an accredited MAF person to received and inspect import containers
AQIS - Australian Quaratine Inspection Serive
Boarder control in Australia
CFS - Container Freight Station
Container freight handling depot
CNOR/CNEE - Consignor/Consignee
Seller / Buyer
CY - Container Yard
Refering to the shipping lines container storage yards, they are likely to be inland ports
ETD/ETA - Estimated time of Departure / Estimated Time of Arrival
IATA - International Air transport Association
An international organisation of airlines that regulate conditions of operation, safety, schedules and pricing for international air transport - We are ranked No. 1 in New Zealand
NVOCC - Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier
Acts like a shipping line but doesn't own it's own vessels
POL/POD - Port of Loading / Port of Discharge

People and Places
AMS - Amercian Maritime Security
Compliance costs associated with USA border security laws and procedures
BAF - Bunker Adjustment Factor
Fuel Surcharge on a shipping vessel
CAF - Currency Adjustment Factor
Charged to cover currency fluctuation
CABAF - CAF and BAF charges combined
FAF - Fuel Adjustment Factor
Fuel charges on road units or on airfreight
GRI - General Rate Increase
ISPS - International Ship & Port Facility Security
To cover security handling at the origin and destination ports/depots
SCA - Sea Cargo Automation Fee
Applied by Australian Customs to the computer system that coordinates and controls the reporting and delivery of import sea-cargo in Australia

Transport Modes
20FT, 20', TEU - Standard 20 foot shipping container 40FT, 20', FEU - Standard 40 foot shipping container FR - Flat Racks HC - High Cube container OT - Open top container
RF/Reefer - Refrigerated Container
B/B, B/Bulk - Break-Bulk
A large shipment, usually too big for a shipping container, that can be loaded directly onto a ship
DG - Dangerous Goods
Goods that could be harmfully to people and the enviroment and may require special handling
FAK - Freight All Kind
Full container load with a combination of freight from different shippers
FCL - Full Container Load
For higher volume shipments at least over 20 cubic metres total
LCL - Less than Container Load
For smaller sea freight shipments that do not require a full container. Minimum shipment size is 1 cubic metre (CBM/M³) to 1 tonne
LSE - Loose Airfreight
Goods travelling by airfreight on its own and not in a consolidation with other freight
LO LO - Lift on Lift off
Term used by carriers when shipping containers are lifed off the vessel (import) or forwarders truck (export) onto the forwarders truck (import) or vessel (export)
GP - General Purpose Container
Otherwise known as a standard container
OOG - Out Of Gauge
When your shipment over hangs the dimensions of a shipping container
RO RO - Roll On Roll Off
When a shipment can either be driven or towed on and off a vessel
SOC - Shipper Owned Container
Shipping container owned by the shipper rather than the shippng line
U.L.D - Unit Load Device
Spealised containers or pallet bases used in cargo aircraft

DV - Declared Value LCR - Limited Carriers Risk OR - Owners Risk