Maritime Directory
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Aframax - AFRA stands for Average Freight Rate Assessment. As the name suggests, Aframax are medium-sized oil tankers with a dead weight tonnage (DWT) between 80,000 and 119,999. Though relatively small in size in comparison to VLCC and ULCC, Aframax tankers have a capacity to carry up to 120,000 metric tonnes of crude oil. They are just ideal for short to medium-haul oil trades, and are primarily used in regions of lower crude production, or the areas that lack large ports to accommodate giant oil carriers.
Aft - the stern (or back) of the ship.
Aggregates - sand, gravel, crushed rock and other bulk materials generally used by the construction industry.
Anti-fouling - a technique used to combat the growth of marine organisms, such as barnacles, on a ship’s hull. A special coating is applied to the underside of the ship, which needs to be reapplied regularly.
Approach - the channel of water approaching a port or set of the locks.
Ballast - material, usually seawater, placed in a vessel not carrying cargo to obtain or maintain proper stability, trim or draft. (A ship so laden is “in ballast.”) The voyage is a voyage “in ballast.” The vessel is said to be “ballasting” to the next port.
Barge - a flat-bottomed boat, either motorised or towed, used to carry products in rivers or canals. In the context of bunkering, a bunker barge is usually a small tanker and not a barge as defined here. A bunker barge will deliver marine fuel to ships, usually in port.
Barometer - an instrument that measures atmospheric pressure.
Barrel - a unit of liquid that is equal to 42 U.S. gallons. It is the standard unit of liquid volume in the petroleum industry.
Beam - width of the vessel at the widest point.
Berth - a location in a port where a vessel can be moored.
Berthing - the action of a ship coming into berth at a port.
Bill of Lading - prepared by the carrier or freight forwarder, the bill of lading is an original shipping contract that lists the dates, services, and actual charges involved in transportation of the goods. It also acts as a receipt for the shipper’s belongings. The bill of lading is needed by the buyer to take possession of the goods.
Bollard Pull - refers to a tug’s capability to pull, measuring how many tonnes of pull can be applied.
Break-bulk - general cargo stowed conventionally and handled individually, palletised, or unitised, as opposed to bulk and containerised freight.
Bulk Cargo - usually a homogeneous cargo stowed in bulk, that is to say loose and not enclosed in any container.
Bulkhead - a name given to any vertical partition which separates different compartments or spaces from one another. It is like a shore-side “wall.”
Bulwarks - the vertical plating running along each side of the vessel above the weather deck helping to keep the decks dry and serving also as a type fence.
Bunker(s) - (Noun) a tank or compartment for storing fuel; also the fuel itself. (Verb) to load fuel into a vessel’s bunkers for its own use as distinguished from loading fuel as cargo.
Buoys - a floating object that is anchored to the seabed or attached to another object. It is used as a navigational aid, surface marker, or an a loading point for cargoes (see Single Point Mooring Buoy).
Capesize Bulk Carrier - very large and ultra large cargo vessels with a capacity over 150,000 DWT. They are categorized under VLCC, ULCC, VLOC and ULOC and can be as large as 400,000 DWT or even more. They serve regions with largest deep water terminals in the world and are primarily used for transporting coal and iron ore. Because of their giant size, they are suitable to serve only a small number of ports with deep water terminals.
Captain - an officer who is licensed to command a merchant ship. Also referred to as Master.
Cargo Battens - are strips of wood fitted to the inboard side of frames in the hold or cargo spaces of a steel vessel in order to keep the cargo away from the shell plating and avoid all contact with metallic surfaces. These battens are usually about 6 by 1-1/2 in., running fore and aft and bolted to the frames about 1ft, apart – also called holding sparring, hold battens, sparring battens. A general rule is that when stowing general or mixed cargoes the cargo comes into contact with the cargo battens, not the steel skin or frames of the ship. When carrying bulk cargoes, cargo battens, if fitted, must be removed. They protect the cargo from ship’s sweat, heat etc.
Carriage - the transportation, and the associated charges, of passengers, cargo or freight.
Ceiling - a covering, usually wood, placed over the tank top for its protection. (Note the difference from the shore side/non-maritime meaning.)
Charter - contract to hire or lease a ship.
Charter Party - a written contract of hire for a ship or aircraft for the transportation of goods on a specific voyage or flight. In shipping, the charter party is usually made between the Owner of a vessel and a Charterer. The charter party will normally include the freight rates or hire and the ports involved in the transportation.
Chinamax - very large bulk carrier which can't be longer than 360m (1,180 ft), wider than 65 m (213 ft) and her draft can't be more than 24 m (79 ft). The deadweight tonnage of these vessels is 380,000–400,000 DWT. Ship's maximum measurements are defined by the Chinamax standards, allowing ports to determine whether they can accommodate ships in this class. As the name suggests, these ships are often used to move cargo to and from China along several trade routes, such as the iron ore route from Brazil to China.
Chronometer - an extremely accurate time-keeping device that is relatively unaffected by movement or temperature changes. It can be used for determining longitude at sea.
Classification - a ship built in accordance with a Classification Societies’ Classification Rules will be assigned a classification, or class, designation by the society on satisfactory completion of the relevant Surveys.
Classification Rules - Classification rules are developed by Classification Societies to assess the structural strength and integrity of essential parts of the ship’s Hull and its appendages, and the reliability and the function of the propulsion and steering systems, power generation and those other features and auxiliary systems which have been built into the ship in order to maintain services on board.
Clean Ship - refers to tankers that have their cargo tanks free of traces of the dark persistent oils which remain after carrying crude and heavy fuel oils.
Common carriers - for example, waterborne vessels, airplanes, trucks or railroads. Referred to in freight forwarding.
Compressed - a process of reducing the volume and density of natural gas so that it can be transported. Usually referred to as CNG (Compressed Natural Gas)
Computer Aided Design or CAD - the use of a wide range of computer based tools that assist marine engineers and naval architects in design and construction planning, in a maritime context, of waterbourne transport.
Containers - a sealed, reusable metal box used for moving goods in by ship, road or rail. Containers, or boxes, are of standard designs, normally 20ft (referred to as TEU – 20-foot equivalent unit), 40ft (referred to as FEU – 40-foot equivalent unit) or 45 ft in length. Containers may be ventilated, insulated, refrigerated, flat rack, vehicle rack, open top, bulk liquid or equipped with interior devices.
Crew - a person employed, engaged or assigned in any capacity on board a vessel, aircraft or train.
Crude Oil - unprocessed and unrefined oil.
Cubic Capacity - (Cube) Each ship has two cubic capacities: 1. Grain cubic and 2. Bale cubic. Grain cubic is the maximum space available for cargo measured in cubic feet or cubic meters, the measurement taken to the inside of the shell plating of the ship (or to the outside of the frames and to the top of the beams (or underside of the deck plating). In other words, if a bulk cargo such as grain were loaded, it would flow in between the frames and beams, thereby occupying the maximum space available, or the grain cubic capacity. The Bale cubic capacity is the space available for cargo measured in cubic feet to the inside of the cargo battens, to the inside of the frames or to the underside of the beams. The Bale cubic applies when dealing with bagged cargoes or a general cargo of mixed commodities. In loading hand-stowed cargo, the cargo rests against the frames or against the cargo battens (if fitted); it does not came into contact with (extend to) the skin of the ship.
Currents - a large-scale circulation of water caused by thermodynamics and winds. One example of a well-known current is the Gulf Steam, which carries warm water down the Atlantic and moderates climates in countries that would otherwise be much colder, such as Iceland and the United Kingdom.
Cutter Suction Dredgers - stationary dredgers that have to be towed to their work site by tugs. Once in position, so-called spud poles keep the cutter dredger in place. Winches then lower the cutter head to the seabed and as it turns and is pulled across the bottom horizontally the cutter head cuts into the soil. Loosened material is then dredged up and pumped to its destination via a floating pipeline.
Deadweight (of a vessel) - the number of long tons (2240lbs) or metric tons (about 2204.6lbs) which a ship is capable of carrying in cargo, fuel, stores, fresh water, and crew on the ship’s summer freeboard. “Deadweight” and “deadweight all told” are identical in meaning.
Deadweight Cargo Capacity - the weight carrying capacity of a vessel expressed in long tons or metric tons for a particular voyage after allowance for fuel, water, stores and crew at a particular draft and water density.
Deadweight Scale - a scale on which are plotted the deadweight capacities corresponding to the various drafts of water between light and loaded displacements. (Also called Displacement Scale.) This scale usually is included in the vessel’s “Capacity Plan.”
Demurrage - the money payable to the owner for delay for which the owner is not responsible in loading and/or discharging after the laytime has expired.
Derivatives - investment products whose value is derived from, or based on, the value (either current or expected) of an underlying security or currency. Examples of derivatives include options and futures.
Derricks - ship’s lifting apparatus, used like a crane for hosting boats, cargo and other heavy weights.
Despatch - the money payable by the owner if the ship completes loading or discharging before the laytime has expired.
Dirty Ship - refers to tankers which have been carrying crude oil and heavy persistent oils such as fuel oil and dirty diesel oils.
Dismantling Slip - a slipway where ships can be hauled free from the water for ship recycling.
Displacement - the weight of the ship and everything is contains (which is the same as the weight of water it displaces.)
Dock - a wharf, pier or quay forming all or part of a waterfront facility, or the action of a ships when they arrive at the berth.
Double Bottom - watertight compartments between the inner bottom plating, or the tank top, and the shell plating, used for the carriage of water ballast, fuel oil, fresh water, etc.
Down to Marks - this expression means that the vessel has been loaded to her maximum permissible draft, either winter, summer or tropical loadline as the case may be. If both deadweight and cubic capacity have been fully utilized, the ship is “full and down.”
Draft - the distance a vessel extends below its waterline, measured vertically to the lowest part of the hull, propellers or other projecting point. (Contrast this to depth of water, which must of necessity be a greater figure than “draft,” if the vessel is to be afloat.) Traditionally expressed in feet and inches but often routinely in meters.
Dry-dock - an enclosed watertight structure that can be flooded for a ship to enter in a normal fashion. The water is then pumped out allowing the underside of the ship to be inspected, repaired, painted and/or cleaned.
Dunkirkmax - (289 m. max. 175,000 DWT (approx)):Maximum allowable beam = 45 m for eastern harbor lock in Dunkirk, France.
Dunnage - the use of sufficient dunnage (pieces of wood etc.) is one of the principal precautions against damage to stowed cargo. Materials that are not affected by moisture are used as dunnage, such as: boards, matting, burlap, rattan. The dunnage is laid on the ceiling and along the wooden cargo battens and all other places where necessary. The object is to prevent or limit damage by crushing, chafing, shifting of cargo, sweat, moisture, contact with hold pillars, etc.
Economic Speed - this is the speed of a vessel producing the best possible financial results for owners, giving proper consideration to the following: 1. The prices of bunkers in the ports en route. 2. Fuel consumption of the vessel at various speeds. 3. Daily operating costs. 4. The net freight per ton of cargo. 5. Operating profit per day. 6. Subsequent available employment of vessel and anticipated freight.
Electronic Charts - an electronic display of maps designed to assist navigation by sea.
Ex-pipe - used to describe a mode of delivery for marine fuels, or bunkers, to ships. The fuel is delivered directly to the ship at the load or discharge terminal from a pipe.
Export Declaration - A document, prepared by exporter or freight forwarder declaring full details about goods being exported, including the contents, value, and destination of an export shipment.
Feeder (ship) - a ship normally used for local or coastal transport of cargoes, usually containers, to and from major ports not on the schedules of the major liner operators.
Feeders - when liner-type vessels or other non bulkcarriers load grain in bulk, feeders are erected to direct the cargo to the different parts of the holds or compartments. Thereby filling all free space, grain in bulk may settle as much as 5% during a voyage; therefore measures must be taken to prevent the shifting of grain, which could result in the listing of the vessel.
First Open Water - a time in spring or early summer when rivers, lakes or seas are unfrozen and sufficiently free of ice to be open to navigation. The term is normally used in the Great Lakes or Baltic trades and typically refers to sometime in April.
Fixed Operating Expense - the daily or monthly out-of-pocket cost of operating a vessel, which may include amortization and interest, but does not include fuel or any other variable voyage costs.
Fixture - the completed negotiation that results in a charter party.
Flag of Convenience (FOC) - flag of a country which allows the registration of vessels owned by nationals of other countries and which imposes no rigid restrictions on the nationality of the seamen employed or on the nationality of the managers.
Float-on Float-off Vessel - otherwise known as a "Flo/Flo" or Semi-Submerging Vessel is a type of vessel that have a long and low well deck that can go down under water allowing oil platforms, other vessels, or other floating cargo to be moved into position for loading. The tanks are then pumped out, and the well deck rises higher in the water, lifting its cargo, and is ready to sail wherever in the world the cargo needs to be transported.
Fore - the head (or front) of the ship.
Free Pratique - this expression means that the vessel has a clean bill of health from the local health authorities. This is a formality usually executed by the ship’s agents before the vessel actually obtains a berth. After berthing, the health authorities may board the vessel in order to verify the “free pratique.” Loading or discharge cannot take place until it is obtained.
Freeboard - the vertical distance measured on the vessel’s side amidship from the water line to the upper side of the main deck.
Freight - goods transported in bulk by train, truck, ship or aircraft or the transport of the goods.
Freight Rate - a monetary amount charged by a ship owner or operator for moving a commodity from one point to another. Freight rates vary by distance and the type of commodity.
Gantry Cranes - track-mounted cranes supported on wide, high legs used for the loading and unloading of breakbulk cargo, containers and heavy lifts.
Gas - commonly referred to an Liquefied Natural Gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas in the maritime industry. LNG is natural gas converted to liquid form by cooling to a very low temperature. LPG is a gas consisting primarily of propane, propylene, butane, and butylene in various mixtures, which is stored as a liquid by increasing pressure.
Gear - cranes or other lifting equipment on ships.
General Average - a loss made intentionally to save the total venture. For example, throwing cargo overboard in order to save a ship from a particular peril. All parties involved, eg ship, cargo, and freight, proportionately share the losses resulting from the voluntary and successful sacrifice.
GPS - Global Positioning System - a worldwide radio-navigation system developed by the US Department of Defense, using a system of satellites and receiving devices to compute precise positions on the Earth.
Gross Registered Tons (GRT) - expressed in tons of 100 cubic feet; the entire internal cubic capacity of the hull and erections on and/or above the upper deck to the hull of the ship excepting certain spaces which are considered exempt.
Handymax Bulk Carrier - between 35,000 and 50,000 tonnes deadweight ( 150 - 200 m length & 11 ~ 12 m draft. ) These bulkers are well suited for small ports with length and draught restrictions, or ports lacking transshipment infrastructure. Primarily used for carrying dry cargo such as iron ore, coal, cement, finished steel, fertilizer, and grains etc.
Handysize Bulk Carrier - are small-sized ships with a capacity ranging between 15,000 and 35,000 DWT. These vessels are ideal for small as well as large ports, and so make up the majority of ocean cargo vessels in the world. They are mainly used in transporting finished petroleum products and for bulk cargo.
Helm - the steering wheel of a ship which steers the ship by turning its rudder.
HGV - heavy goods Vehicle, a large road vehicle for the carriage of goods with a maximum laden weight in excess of 7.5 tonnes (common in British use).
Hold - the space for stowing cargo inside of a ship.
Hub - in the context of ports, a hub port caters for the larger ships on the water, allowing smaller Feeder (ships) to transport cargo, usually Containers, from the hub ports to smaller feeder ports. Hub ports have excellent infrastructure links to allow cargo to move to/from the port smoothly.
Hull - the ship frame or body.
Husbandry - managing the ship’s non-cargo related operations under the instructions of the Master, Owner or Operator.
International Safety Management (ISM) - International Safety Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention. The ISM Code establishes an international standard for safe management and operation of ships by setting rules for the organization of company management in relation to safety and pollution prevention, and for implementation of a safety management system (SMS.) ISM was adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 1993 with entry into force depending on the type of ship, commencing from July 1, 1998.
Kamsarmax - (229 m. (max) 82,000 DWT (approx) )Maximum size allowed for port Kamsar in Equatorial Guinea.
Keel - the centreline of a ship running fore and aft. The keel is the lowest longitudinal strength member of a ship and is usually the first piece laid, when the ship is constructed.
Knot - a unit of speed. The term “knot” means velocity of one nautical mile per hour. A nautical mile is 1.15 the distance of a land (statute) mile.
Laytime - the period of time agreed between the parties during which owner will make and keep the ship available for loading/discharging without payment additional to the freight.
LCL - less than container load – a Container shipment that is not full. Normally it will be consolidated with other LCL shipments to make an FCL (full container load).
Length Overall (LOA) - the maximum length of a ship from the most forward point of the bow to the aftermost point of the stern.
Less than container load or LCL - container shipments of less than a full container.
Light Displacement - the weight of the ship excluding cargo, fuel, water, stores and other items which are necessary for use on a voyage. This measurement is useful when a ship is being sold for scrap.
Lighter - the general name for a broad, usually flat-bottomed barge, frequently used in loading or discharging a larger vessel at anchor.
Lightering - the act of discharging cargo into a lighter or barge, usually so that vessel which has been lightened can get into shallow berths.
Liner - A cargo-carrying ship operating on a regular trade or defined route between advertised ports of loading and discharge. Not restricted to the container trades.
Linesmen - responsible for all mooring and casting off operations for ships calling at Port.
Liquefied - a process of converting gas to liquid form by cooling to a very low temperature.
Long Ton - a unit of weight of 2,240 pounds (1016.047 kgs.)
Malaccamax - as the name suggests, Malaccamax ships are the largest ships that can pass through the Strait off Malacca which is 25 m (82 ft) deep. As per the current permissible limits, a Malaccamax vessel can have a maximum length of 400 m (1,312ft), beam of 59 m (193.5 ft), and draught of 14.5 m (47.5 ft).
Manifold - the loading and discharging connections of a tanker, usually located near the midship section.
Marks - refers to the vessel’s permitted load line mark (Plimsoll Marks.)
Master - an officer who is licensed to command a merchant ship.
Master’s Ticket - Colloquial term for a Master’s License - the highest level of qualification available for someone to command a ship.
Mate’s Receipt - a document signed by one of the vessel’s mates, or someone else on behalf of the vessel, acknowledging receipt of cargo in good order, unless otherwise noted, on board the ship. It determines the contents of a bill of lading, but in itself is not a negotiable document.
Metric Ton - a unit of weight of 1,000 kilograms (2,204.6223 pounds.)
Mini Bulk Carrier - (100-130m length , less than 10m draft & 3000 ~ 23,999 DWT) employed in coastal trade, serving as feeder vessels to large ships. Their main trade consists of short sea voyages, carrying limited quantities of bulk cargoes generally to smaller ports without restriction on size of vessels.
Moored - when a ship is secured to the dock or wharf with cables and/or ropes.
Nautical Charts - a graphical representation of waters (and any adjacent land) that can be navigated. The chart will show water depths, heights of land, natural features of the seabed, coastline detail, navigational hazards, locations of natural and man-made aids to navigation, information on tides and currents, local details of the Earth's magnetic field, and man-made structures such as harbours and bridges.
Nautical Mile - the standard unit of measure for marine navigation composed of 1852 meters (6076.1 feet) thus, approximately 1.15 statute miles.
Newbuilding - a new ship being built or a ship that has been contracted to be built, although the actual construction has not yet started.
Newcastlemax - ( Usually Capesize) 185,000 DWT (approx) Maximum allowable beam = 47 m for port of Newcastle in Australia.
Ocean Marine Insurance - Ocean Marine Insurance policies (wet policies) generally insure against loss or damage to three separate interests: the hull or the ship itself; the cargo; and the freight which would be received for the carriage of the goods.
Officer - a person authorised to serve in a position of authority on a vessel, above ratings in rank.
Oil Rigs - rig used in drilling for crude oil or gas.
Outturn Weight - the delivered weight of the cargo, which is determined after discharge.
Panamax/ New Panamax Bulk Carrier - as the name suggests, Panamax and New Panamax ships are travelling through the Panama Canal. They strictly follow the size regulations set by the Panama Canal Authority, as the entry and exit points of the Canal are narrow. A Panamax vessel can't be longer than 294,13 m (965 ft), wider than 32,31 m (106 ft) and her draught can't be more than 12,04 m (39.5 ft). These vessels have an average capacity of 65,000 DWT, and are primarily used in transporting coal, crude oil and petroleum products. They operate in the Caribbean and Latin American regions. The New Panamax has been created as a result of the expanding plans for Panama Canal locks. Expanded locks will be around 427 m (1400 ft) long, 55 m (180 ft) wide and 18,30 m (60 ft) deep so Panama Canal will be able to handle larger vessels.
Pilings - vertical columns or poles of steel, concrete or timber driven into the ground or seabed to support vertical loads. Used to support docks, quays and wharfs.
Pipeline - a structure that allows the movement of Gas or Crude Oil from an oil field to shore, usually fixed to the seabed.
Platforms - a structure designed to house offshore oil workers and the machinery needed to drill and recover Crude Oil and Gas. Platforms can be attached to the ocean floor or be floating.
Plimsoll Mark - this mark indicates the limit to which a ship may be loaded.
Port - means a protected area within which ships are loaded with and/or discharged of cargo.
Port Charges - a general term which includes charges and dues of every nature assessed against the vessel or its cargo in a port. It usually includes harbor dues, tug boat charges, pilotage fees, custom house fees, consular fees, wharfage, dockage on the vessel etc.
Propeller - a rotating device, with two or more blades, connected to a shaft and powered by an engine to propel a ship through the water.
Q-Max (Qatar-max) - Q-Max's are largest LNG carriers that can dock at the LNG terminals in Qatar. Q-Max ship is 345 metres (1,132 ft) long, 53.8 metres (177 ft) wide and 34.7 metres (114 ft) high, with a draught of approximately 12 metres (39 ft). It has a capacity of 266,000 cubic metres (9,400,000 cu ft), equal to 161,994,000 cubic metres (5.7208×109 cu ft) of natural gas.
Quay - a wharf or bank usually built parallel to the shoreline where ships are loaded and unloaded.
Quayside - the area of land parallel to the shore on a Wharf or bank where ships and other vessels are loaded and unloaded.
Radar - Radio Detection And Ranging – a system that uses electromagnetic waves to determine a distance between an object and a receiver by bouncing radio waves off the object and timing the echo.
Ratings - describes the status of a Seafarer in terms of rank. Ratings are below an Officer in rank.
Recapitulation - sent out by the shipbroker upon completion of a freight deal, recapping what both parties have agreed. Known colloquially as a recap.
Refinery - an industrial process plant where Crude Oil is processed and refined into petroleum products, such as gasoline and jet fuel.
Rig - gear (including necessary machinery) for a particular enterprise, in the maritime context see Oil Rig.
Ro-Pax - roll-on-roll-off passengership/ferry. Combines the cargo capacity of Ro-Ro ships with the passenger facilities of ferries.
Roll on-Roll off - system of loading and unloading a ship where the cargo is driven on and off ramps. Suitable for wheeled cargo such as cars, trucks and trailers. Commonly referred to as ro-ro.
Seafarers - a person employed onboard a ship; its crew. Includes Officers and Ratings.
Seasonal Summer Zone - area in which during stated period(s) of the year vessels may load only down to their summer marks.
Seasonal Tropical Zone - area in which during stated period(s) of the year vessels may load only down to their tropical marks.
Seawaymax - as the name suggests, Seawaymax ships are the largest ships that can pass through the locks of St. Lawrence Seaway. These ships are 225,6 m (740 ft) long, 23,8 m (78 ft) wide and 35,5 m (116 ft) high, with a draught of 7,92 meters (26 ft).
Seismic - gathering data by reflecting sound from underground and underwater strata. Used in Hydrographic Surveying to give an accurate representation of the seabed.
Setouchmax - (299.9 m. (max) 16.1m draft 205,000 DWT):Maximum size allowed for ports in the Setouch Sea in Japan only.
Sextant - A hand-held navigational instrument used to determine angular distances between objects. Used with celestial navigation to calculate distances taking bearings from the sun, moon or stars.
Shaft - a revolving rod that connects the Propeller and the engine to power the ship.
Ship Chandler - a merchant who supplies vessels with all kinds of stores.
Ship's Company - the entire crew of a ship including the officers.
Shoal - a revolving rod that connects the Propeller and the engine to power the ship.
Short Ton - a unit of weight of 2000 pounds ( also known in USA as “net ton.”)
Single Point Mooring Buoys - buoys anchored offshore that serve as a mooring point for tankers to load or offload gas or fluid products. The main purpose of the buoy is to transfer fluids between onshore or offshore facilities and the tanker.
Sisterships - ships built to the same design and under same ownership.
Skin - the hull plating of a ship.
Slipway - an inclined plane on the shore extending into the water.
Sole Trader - a business which legally has no separate existence from its owner, with no limitations of liability. The debts of the business are therefore the debts of the owner.
Spot (vessel) - in both dry cargo and tanker chartering a ship that is immediately available for employment.
Stability - the ability of a ship to return to its original, upright position after displacement by strong winds, sea, or conditions of loading. Stability is concerned with the ship’s centre of gravity.
Stack - a pile of containers that have been stowed in an orderly way in a specified place, usually in stacking areas on the Quay. Stacking can also refer to other cargo units when placed one on top of the other, but is more commonly used in reference to containers.
Stowing - accommodating cargo in an area, usually the ship, the Quay or a storage facility.
Suezmax - vessels named after the famous Suez Canal. They are mid-sized cargo vessels with a capacity ranging between 120,000 to 200,000 DWT. They are designed to pass through the majority of the ports in the world. Currently the permissible limits for suezmax ships are 20.1 m (66 ft) of draught with the beam no wider than 50 m (164.0 ft), or 12.2 m (40 ft) of draught with maximum allowed beam of 77.5 m (254 ft).
Supramax Bulk Carrier - vessels have capacity between 50,000 to 60,000 DWT. Due to their small size, they are capable of operating in regions with small ports with length and draught restrictions. They form the majority of ocean going cargo vessels in the world.
Tanktop - plating forming the top of the double bottom. Also called inner bottom. In non- technical terms, it is the flat surface at the bottom of the hold onto which the cargo is loaded.
Tides - the periodic rise and fall of the world’s oceans caused by the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun on the Earth. Tides are predictable and tide tables are published to plan around tidal movements. The highest tides occur at the new moon and full moon.
Tonne - a British word meaning a metric ton. Used for tanker cargoes in “Worldscale.”
Topography - the physical features of land on or under water, including terrain relief.
Topping Off - a term most commonly used in the grain trade. A ship can partially load in one port and “top off” in another port.
Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger - a large ocean-going vessel that Dredges material from the bed of a body of water by suction. Pumps then transfer the sand dredged up by the suction head into the hold or hopper. Excess water is drained off via overflow pipes and when the hopper is full, the ship sails a reclamation area to unload the dredged material.
Tramp (vessel) - the designation commonly used for vessels with no regular employment whose owners send them wherever they expect to, or can, obtain the most lucrative employment.
Trim - the balance of a ship or an aircraft. On a ship this is the way it floats ion the water in relation to the fore and aft line. The trim can be adjusted by rearranging the cargo or adjusting the ballast levels.
ULCC - or Ultra Large Crude Carriers are the largest shipping vessels in the world with a size more than 320,000 DWT. Called Super Tankers, ULCCs are used for long-haul oil crude transportation from Middle East to Europe, Asia, and North America.
Ullage - the depth of the free space left in tanks above the liquid.
Underwriter - an individual or company that researches and then accepts, rejects, or limits prospective risks for the public or for another insurer.
Very Large Bulk Carrier (VLBC) - (270m and more 20m draft or more & 180,000 DWT and more):Very specialized, mainly purpose-built for specific trades.
VLCC - stands for Very Large Crude Carriers. They have a size ranging between 180,000 to 320,000 DWT. They are very flexible in using terminals and can also operate in ports with depth limitations. VLCCs are used extensively around the North Sea, Mediterranean and West Africa.
Waterways - a body of water serving as a route or way of travel or transport, usually used to describe rivers, streams, creeks, drains and channels.
Wharf - a level quayside area built out over the water and supported by heavy wooden or concrete Pilings, where boats can dock or be moored to load or unload cargo.
Wharfage - charge assessed against vessel or cargo for the use of space on or alongside a dock.
Wing Tanks - tanks located along the sides of the ship, usually under the upper deck. When describing the wing tank care must be taken in stating whether they bleed (flow directly into the ship’s holds) or whether they must be discharged through on-deck hatches. Wing tanks are used only with free-flowing cargoes such as grain.
Winter North Atlantic Zone - the area in which, between stated dates, vessels may load only down to their WNA loadlines.
Winter Zone - the area in which, between stated dates, vessels may load only down to their winter loadlines.