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A tanker size range defined by Clarksons as between 80,000 and 120,000 dwt.


Ballast voyage

A voyage with no cargo on board to get a ship in position for the next loading port or docking. On voyage the ship is said to be in ballast.


Bareboat charter

The hire or lease of a vessel from one company to another (the charterer), which in turn provides crew, bunkers, stores and pays all operating costs.



Baltic and International Maritime Council. See more in our BIMCO guide here.



The ship's fuel.



Transport of goods between two ports or places located in the same country, often restricted to domestic carriers. See more in our cabotage guide here.



Bulk ship size range defined by Clarksons as 100,000 dwt or larger.



Compensated gross tonnage. This unit of measurement was developed for measuring the level of shipbuilding output and is calculated by applying a conversion factor, which reflects the amount of work required to build a ship, to a vessel's gross registered tonnage.


Cargo Ships

See more in our ultimate cargo ships guide here.



See more in our charter types guide here.



Cargo owner or another person/company who hires a ship.



Transport contract between shipowner and shipper of goods.



Cost, insurance and freight. Delivery of goods is the seller's responsibility to the port of discharge. The freight is paid for by the supplier of goods. See more in our CIF guide here.


ClarkSea Index

A weighted average index of earnings for the main vessel types where the weighting is based on the number of vessels in each fleet sector.


Clean oil

Refined oil products such as naphtha.



Contract of Affreightment. An agreement to transport a defined amount of cargo at an agreed freight rate, with the shipowner choosing the ship. See more in our COA guide here.


Combination carrier

Ship capable of carrying oil or dry bulk cargoes, thereby increasing the productivity of the vessel. Typically termed OBO or Ore/Oiler.


Commodities derivatives

See more in our commodities derivatives guide here.



Naturally occurring substance in oil and gasfields which can be shipped in tankers.


Crude oil

Unrefined oil.

See more in our crude oil guide here.



See more in our customs clearance guide here.


Daily operating costs

The costs of a vessel's technical operation, crewing, insurance and maintenance, but excluding costs of financing.



Money paid to shipowner by charterer, shipper or receiver for failing to complete loading/discharging within time allowed according to charter-party. See more in our demurrage guide here.

ship at port, at night


Dirty oil

Less refined oil products such as fuel oil.


Dry (market)

Generic term for the bulk market.


Dry bulk cargo

Unpackaged cargoes such as coal, ore and grain. See more in our dry bulk guide here.

cargo ship in sea


Dry cargo carrier

A ship carrying general cargoes or sometimes bulk cargo.


Dry docking

To put a vessel into a dry dock for inspection, repair and maintenance. Normally done on a regular basis. See more in our dry docking guide here.



Deadweight ton. A measure expressed in metric tons (1,000 kg) or long tons (1,016 kg) of a ship's carrying capacity, including bunker oil, fresh water, crew and provisions. This is the most important commercial measure of the capacity.


Energy transition

See more in our energy transition guide here.



Vessels of under 2,500 teu which distribute containers regionally between hub ports.



A Forward Freight Agreement is a cash contract for differences requiring no physical delivery based on freight rates on standardised trade routes.



Free On Board. Cost of the delivery of goods is the seller's responsibility only up to the port of loading. The freight is paid for by the buyer of the goods. See more in our FOB guide here.


FOB (estimate)

Forward Order Book represents estimated commissions collectable over the duration of the contract as principal payments fall due. The forward order book is not discounted.



Forward Ship Value Agreement. An FFA based product designed specifically for the sale and purchase market.


Freight Forwarding

Freight forwarding involves the movement of goods via air, sea, rail and/or road. See more in our freight forwarding guide here.


Freight rate

The agreed charge for the carriage of cargo expressed per ton(ne) of cargo (also Worldscale in the tanker market) or as a lump sum. See more in our freight rate guide here.


Green shipping

See more in our green shipping guide here.



Bulk ship size ranges of ships defined by Clarksons as 10-40,000 dwt and 40-60,000 dwt.



International Maritime Organisation: a United Nations agency devoted to shipping. See more in our IMO guide here.

sea wave



See more in our incoterms guide here.


ISM code

International Safety Management code for the safe operation of ships and for pollution prevention as adopted by the IMO. See more in our ISM code guide here.



Large Gas Carrier. Vessel defined by Clarksons as 40,000-60,000 cbm.



Liquified Natural Gas. See more in our LNG guide here.



Liquified Petroleum Gas. See more in our LPG guide here.


Maritime Law

See more in our maritime law guide here.


Mini Bulk Carrier Ship

Ensuring the safe and efficient shipping of goods may be critical to your operations. See more in our mini bulk guide here.



Memorandum of agreement.



Oil, Bulk, Ore carrier (see Combination carrier).


Offshore Renewable Energy

Offshore renewable energy, including wind, wave, tidal & thermal.  See more in our offshore energy guide here.


Offshore Wind Turbine Installation 

See more in our offshore wind turbines installation guide here.


Oil tanker

Tanker carrying crude oil or refined oil products.



Bulk ship size range defined by Clarksons as 60-100,000 dwt. Strictly speaking the largest ship capable of navigating in the Panama Canal.


Parcel tanker

Tanker equipped to carry several types of cargo simultaneously.


Post fixture

Operational administration of a vessel once employed.


Product tanker

Tanker that carries refined oil products.



A vessel capable of handling refrigerated cargoes such as meat, fish and fruit.



See more in our regasification guide here.



An abbreviation for roll-on roll-off, describing vessels where vehicles drive onto and off the vessels.



A person/company who on behalf of shipowner/shipper negotiates a deal for the transportation of cargo at an agreed price. Shipbrokers also act on behalf of shipping companies in negotiating the purchasing and selling of ships, both second-hand tonnage and newbuilding contracts.



The term ‘shipping’ refers to the transport of cargo as a business. See more in our shipping guide here.


Ship maintenance and repair

See more in our ship maintenance and repair guide here.


Shuttle tanker

Tanker carrying oil from offshore fields to terminals.


Spot business

Broker commission negotiated and invoiced within the same business year.


Spot market

Short-term contracts for voyage, trip or short-term time charters, normally no longer than three months in duration.



A tanker size range defined by Clarksons as 120,000-200,000 dwt.



Twenty foot Equivalent Units. The unit of measurement of a standard twenty-foot-long container.


Time charter (t/c)

An arrangement whereby a shipowner places a crewed ship at a charterer's disposal for a certain period. Freight is customarily paid periodically in advance. The charterer also pays for bunker, port and canal charges.


Time Charter Equivalent (TCE)

Gross freight income less voyage costs (bunker, port and canal charges), usually expressed in US$ per day.



Imperial/Metric ton of 2,240 lbs/1,000 kilos (2,204 lbs).



Ultra Large Crude Carrier. Tanker of more than 320,000 dwt.


Vacuum gas oil

Similar to fuel oil.


Vessel sizes

See more in our bulk vessel size guide here.



Very Large Crude Carrier. Tanker between 200,000 and 320,000 dwt.



Very Large Gas Carrier. Vessel defined by Clarksons as more than 60,000 cbm.


Voyage charter

The transportation of cargo from port(s) of loading to port(s) of discharge. Payment is normally per ton(ne) of cargo, and the shipowner pays for bunker, port and canal charges.


Voyage costs

Costs directly related to a specific voyage (e.g. bunker, port and canal charges).


Wet (market)

Generic term for the tanker market.


Worldscale (WS)

An international index of freight for tankers. Worldscale is a schedule of freight rates for a standard ship in US dollars per tonne of oil for an array of oil routes. The rates listed in the table are designated as Worldscale Flat or WS100 and are revised annually.