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Stevedoring Handling activities on board of ships
Stevedore Maritime handling company that provides loading or unloading services for ships.
Docking Docking of a ship along the wharf

Leasing of the ship. The charter is about the use and enjoyment of the ship by the charterer (the "fret owner” make the ship available to the charterer).

Maritime (or consignee) agent (shipping agent)

See consignee


Agreement between the shipowners on major global shipping routes.


An operation that consists of attaching the ship to the bollards of the wharf by means of ropes (moorings).


Fixed or floating platform allowing boats to dock or moor in harbours, rivers or estuaries that are subject to the tide.

Owner, armaments (shipping company)

Natural or legal person that fits out and operates the vessel, as owner or tenant

Stowage (stowage)

The installation of the cargo on board the vessel to ensure the conservation of the goods, the safety of the ship and easy service to ports of call. The vessel master shall establish a stowage plan (cargo plan) that indicates the location of goods on board the vessel.

Mooring line

Large rope used for the mooring of vessels.


Damage to the ship or its cargo.

Refuelling (shipchandler)

Activity consisting in the supply of fuels and necessary supplies on board a ship for transport execution.



Set of buoys and devices reporting obstacles or indicating the access to the channel to ships.


Double-bottom device used in vessels to store fuel (fuel ballast tank) and to ballast the ship or change their balance (water ballast).

Barge (chaland)

Inland waterway or maritime parallelepipedic vessel with no means of propulsion.

Bay-plan ( loading plan)

A plan which gives information on each container in each cell.


Built in cast steel, the bollard is the stone, which serves to set ashore the mooring of a ship at the Port.


Build Operate and Transfer: A form of partnership in which the concessionary builds a structure then operates it over an agreed period before transferring it back to the licensor.


Floating device installed on the water to guide ships.


Coastal shipping (Short Sea Shipping)

Short distances navigation near coasts, subject to national regulations of the countries concerned.


Compartment of the vessel placed under the lower deck for the purpose of containing goods.

Car Ferry

Ship carrying passengers and their vehicles

The vehicles enter the ship by a door opening directly on the garage.

Tank barge

Barge intended for the carriage in bulk of liquid.

Charger (shipper)

Person (owner or not of the goods) which ships the goods.

Straddle carrier

Mobile park cart mounted on tires which impales the container with a fork to lift it, move or bind it, moving on a flat, reinforced surface

Access channel

Path laid out on the water surface and marked for the passage of ships.


A constituent of cement


A device floating on the water surface to moor ships

Shipping company

Marine carrier.

Disbursements account

Invoice sent to the ship-owner and indicating all services provided on its behalf during the stopover of his ship.

Liner conference

Group of ship-owners serving the same lines, who arrived among themselves at tariff agreements, traffic, organization of services, with the aim of controlling competition.

Bill of lading

A title representing goods during shipping, serving as a receipt that the shipowner load the ship. This bill provides a description of the goods.


An agent representing the operator of the ship (or charterer) in all shipping operations, in the Port of call of the ship. This person organizes the stay at the Port of call, recruits freight, delivers goods, and assists the captain and crew in the completion of all the formalities for the stopover. He is paid by commissions on freight and consignment fees (agency fees).


A usually metallic "box" of parallelepiped shape, with standard dimensions, for the transport of goods different, solid or liquid that can be handled in an interchangeable manner on trucks, rail cars, barges and ships. There are different sizes but the most commonly used containers are the 20 feet and 40 feet type. There are many types of containers which are: • The container for general use, • The refrigerated container, • The open top container (open top), • The tank container.

Transit corridor

Route chosen by the shipper from remote areas of the coast, which includes Port and the route used for of pre and post forwarding



Rectangular basin equipped with docks for the berthing of ships.


Operation consisting for a ship, to drain the compartments (ballasts) of sea water which has filled it for the purpose of becoming heavier during its empty trips.


Devices hung at the wharf to protect ships in berthing.


Dispersion of goods on arrival at destination to the different addressees (see grouping).


Movage of a ship along the dock by making use of its moorings.


The action of emptying a container of its content.

Deflections of trade

The practice whereby trafficking is dispatched by shippers in a country or intended for such ,transit by a foreign Port.


A dam is an embankment built to block or deflect a flow of water


Port worker who loads and unloads the ship.


This describes a container filled (stuffed) at the place of production of the commodity (plant) to be emptied at the place of use.

DOOR TO PIER (dock door)

This describes a container filled (stuffed) on the production site of the commodity (plant) to be emptied at the terminal Wharf.


Operation that consists of digging or remove sediments (sand, mud, etc) at the bottom of ponds or channels to improve or maintain the depths of water


Gear used for the dredging of the seabeds or of lagoons

Dolphin pillars

Beam poles of wood, steel tubes concrete blocks embedded in the bottom of the ponds or channels, on which a ship can tie up or lean.


E.T.A. (Estimated time of arrival)

Date and time of arrival of the vessel at the Port of call (if it does not specify GMT then it is local time).

E.t.c. (empty transcontainer)

Empty Container.

E.T.S. (Estimated time sailing)

Date and time scheduled for departure (see E.T.A.).


An opening in the deck of a ship and used generally for the boarding and disembarkation of goods. One often wrongly employs, like synonym, the word panel which is the closing of the hatchway (hatch cover).


Wire rope used by lifting gear to grasp packages and handles them.


A process that consists in filling a cargo container before its shipment by land or sea.

Turning basin

A water surface broad enough to allow a ship to turn around



Technique that consists of putting together bundles of branches, of wicker woven at the bottom of the water or on the banks to protect ships against situation or erosion.

FCL (Full Container Load)

A container fully loaded for transport from home to home. The shipping company is not involved in the stuffing and destuffing of goods.

Feeder (feeder vessel, collection vessel)

Relatively small vessel which makes it possible to split up , on different ports, a cargo brought in a main Port by a large vessel making few stops, and conversely, to collecting the goods in the secondary ports to assemble them in the main Port.


Organization of lines of feeders (collection and redistribution of goods by feeders’ vessels).

Flat (container)

Containers that only have flooring and mounts and that can be stacked when they are empty.

Perils of the sea

Accident of all kinds occurring at sea to ship and cargo.

Handling Charges

Costs resulting from different handling incurred by containers in stores or terminals.

Cargo (freight)

Freight Cost of transport of goods by sea. It is payable either in advance (freight prepaid), or receipt (at destination or freight collect). Deadfreight is a compensation for the shipowner by a shipper that has retained the space but has not delivered the goods. There may be surfrets Cargo also designates the goods itself, which is embarked on the ship.


Renting of a ship by its owner; parallel to Charter, renting of a ship.





Any surface with open sky for the gathering of the freight of export or for the placement of waiting freight of importation of the inland transport.


Stacking of containers one on the other. The height of stacking is the number of superimposed containers.


Action consisting of group shipments of goods that may come from different chargers, for example grouping of parcels in a container

Deck crane

See Derrick

Grue sur pneumatiques (RTG - Rubber Tyred Gantry)

Tyred mobile crane used for the movement and the positioning of containers in a park with containers This type of crane can also be used to load and unload containers transported by train.

Crane operator

Driver of handling equipment: cranes, gantries.


Input used in the manufacturing process of cement


Sorting and auction market

Hangar for the sorting and sale of fish for local fisheries.


Geographic area of economic influence or commercial hinterland of a Port.

Harbour Hub

Port Platform used for transshipment where the connection of goods, generally containerized cargo, is organized.



Successive implementation of multiple modes of transport means for avoiding unloading and reloading wastes time


Measure (tonnage)

Official measurement of the internal capacities of ships. The unit is the gross ton, or register ton . One distinguishes: 1 - Gross tonnage which is the internal capacity of the ship and its superstructures. 2 - gross tonnage proper (gross register tonnage T.J.B/G.R.T.) who is the capacity of the ship below the bridge. 3- Net register tonnage (T.J.N/N.R.T.) This is the capacity that is usable for goods.

Just in time

Organization of the production in tight flows aimed at minimizing stocks.


Mooring services

Operation consisting with the mooring, the shifting or the dropping of the mooring lines of the ship.

Berthing pilot

Professional who ensures piloting activities

Casting off

Operation consisting in detaching the mooring lines of a ship which must depart.

LCL (Less than Load Container)

A container which is not filled by the same client. A LCL container is composed of lots from various clients that share the same origin and destination. This mode is normally used when goods do not have sufficient volume to use a full container (FCL). In such cases, they are consolidated at the point of origin in a container by a logistic operator, in order to reduce expenses. On arrival at destination, goods are deconsolidated again before delivery to various customers.


A deadweight (water, pig moulds of cast iron, sand, etc…) ensuring the stability of the ship. To ballast = to put some ballast.

Lift on-lift off (lo/lo)

Technical of vertical handling consisting in the transfer of goods aboard ship and vice versa from the ship with the help of cranes or of equipment on quay. This also describes some modern ships equipped with vertical manipulation gear for pre slung packages , with large panels and without dragging on board


Inscription painted on the hull and approved by the company classification marking the water line which the ship loaded should not exceed. It is also called freeboard mark.

Regular line

Service operated by a shipping company, its ships covering the distance are organized according to a regular calendar between given ports. (in opposition to chartered ships or tramping).


Principal maritime line, generally operated by large ships (see mother ship).

Llyods register

British bureau for classification. Refers to the international register which indexes all the ships manufactured in the world, including their main characteristics.

Overall length

Linear measurement of a ship, from bow to stern


Bonded warehouse

Storeroom for goods generally located in a short distance from quays


Summary of the bills of lading covering the goods charged on a ship.

Containerized goods

Goods transported in a container.

Various goods (general cargo )

Goods made up of various parcels in opposition to liquid and solid bulk.


Any person who commits to the ship-owner to be used on board a ship. The crew is made up officers and operational staff.


(deck crane ) Lifting equipment installed on the ship and allowing it to autonomously handle cargo.

Nautical mile

A maritime distance measurement of approximately 1852 meters. It corresponds to the minute of the meridian line. The 1/10 of a mile is the cable length: 185

Flour mill

A plant for processing flour (mill).


A open storage between two basins.

Anchorage or mooring

Anchorage is a maritime term that refers to both a safe haven for a ship, but also the manoeuvre to drop the anchor.

Anchorage on buoy

The anchorage which is carried out on buoy


Successive use of several means of transport to transport goods of a point to another.



See nautical mile

"Panamax" ship

A ship whose width allows the crossing of the Panama Canal.

"Post-panamax ship

"Ship whose dimensions, larger than 32 m wide and more than 11 m of draught, prevent it from passing through the Panama Canal.

Ship cargo liner

Ship used for the carriage of goods in various forms.


Ship specialized in the transport of liquid products in bulk (oil products, chemicals, gas, wine, oil…)


Ship operating on regular lines.

Feeder ship

, Collecting ship -- see feeder.

Multi-purpose ship

(General-purpose Cargo liner)

Non specialized ship

Quite unspecialized ship intended for the carriage of goods (cargo, whether or not packed in bags, in bulk, containers, cars, manufactures, etc. as well as the goods packed in non-traditional formats)

Container vessel

Ship specialized in the transport of containers.

RORO vessel

or ro-ro transport using ships equipped with ramps (placed on the rear or on the side) inside and allowing loading and unloading of equipment rolling and cargo trailers.

Ship tanker or oil tanker

Tanker specializing in the transport of oil products

Tramping ship

As opposed to a regular line ship, a ship without a fixed itinerary whose destinations vary according to availability of embarked cargo or cargo to be embarked.

Ship bulk carrier

This type of ship generally exploits an affreightment contract and may make a stopover in any port of the world, depending on loading offers.

Mother ship

Ship specializing in the transport of goods in bulk (minerals, cereals, etc...).

Nose of docks

Transoceanic cargo liner, sailing on mothers lines, making few stops and connecting with smaller ships for transhipment, see feeder.


Upper part of the wharf located on the water side.

knot or nodal point

Marine unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour (1852 m/h).




Is a container whose roof is open.



Describes a ship whose width does not allow the crossing of the Panama canal (approximately 60 000 DWT and 42 m wide). This term is also used for handling equipment adapted to overpanamax ships.

See "under-hoist" ADX

Sling load

Parcel of goods grouped handled with a sling, a hoist or a net for loading and unloading


A device suspended with an elevating lifting gear such as gantry, crane, forklift, which allows the fixing and the lifting of a load requiring several catches container electricity socket.



Fairway of the Vridi Canal

Sea outlet of the Vridi canal


Country of registration of a ship GRAM

Oil tanker

A tanker specialized in the transportation of liquid hydrocarbons


Pilotage is in particular the assistance provided to the vessel masters by qualified operators (pilots) to conduct their ships during entry and exit maneuvers from and to the Port of Abidjan, as well as during their movements in the waters of the Port of Abidjan..

Professional pilot

An operator who assists and advises the captain in the movements of entry and exit of the Port.

Pilot boat

High-speed motorboat used to take along the pilot aboard ship for assistance or to bring him back to the piloting station after the operation


Pipe used for the transport of liquid products (hydrocarbons, wines, oils…).


Mean high water

(HMM) Average highest level reached by the water when the tide rises..


(Deck load) Goods loaded on deck and thus exposed to the weather

Market Port

Port providing transit of goods from or to its hinterland, as opposed to a transshipment Port.

Dry Port

Intermodal site inland which offers Port services: handling, storage...

Barge carrier

A ship transporting barges of a given type and loaded with goods to be later conveyed to river ports.


Crane on rails used for the loading and unloading of containers and heavy parcels.

Over-panamax gantry

Gantry with dimensions adapted to those of a post-panamax ship


See overpanamax.


Pre and post routing

Surface transport to convey goods from its place of origin to the seaport and from the seaport to its destination.


handling Technique which consists in gathering goods in unit loads ready to be loaded via a spreader.

Open roadsteads

Basins or natural harbours (often mouths of the rivers) used in the past by ships for and to anchorage and for commercial deals


Ship or refrigerating container. Transporting or containing goods under controlled temperature.


Activity which consists, through the use of tug boats, in assisting a ship during entry , docking and exit operations in the Port, by pushing it or by drawing it

Tug boat

Small size but powerful craft used to tow, push or guide larger ships during certain operations in the Port in particular entry, exit and accosting operations.

Roll one-Roll off

(RO/RO) See ro-ro ship

Breaking bulk

Passage of goods of a means of transport to another.


Solid mooring of a cargo under the responsibility of the vessel master for the purpose of crossing.

Liner service

See linership


The shift, or working in shift, is a practice of harbour work without interruption. Its duration varies from one Port to another from 6 to 8 hours with 8H at a stretch.


Slops are maritime waste, muds and other impurities which remain at the bottom of ship tanks


Site designed to receive a container on a container ship, likely to be the subject of a contractual hiring.


Upon boarding, the merchandise is brought at the expense of the charger vertically of the hooks of the loading hoist. Upon disembarking, the receiver takes the goods under the hook of the hoist. In general, goods directly moved on a tackle directly exits the Port,


Operation of provision of fuel (coal, fuel oil, diesel fuel) necessary to the operation of the vessel.


Rectangular swing bar used for the handling of containers. See Swing bar, lay days, see demurrage

Statement of facts

Port log sent by the agent to the ship-owner. It is the chronological succession of the loading or discharging operations or the calculation of demurrage or the dispatch on the time sheet.


In the ports of the North, these are entrepreneurs who are responsible for handling marine operations such as loading, unloading of goods (unlike the Mediterranean stevedores)


In contracts of affreightment, the ship has a certain time called lay days of board or load days for cargo handling operations. If it exceeds it, it is known as in demurrages and the chargers must pay the ship-owner or the shipper penalties (also called demurrages) calculated with X… per day and in for each hour. Wasted time is noted on the time sheet.

Additionnal fret

Supplement that increases the cost of freight de the depending on the obstruction of ports, additional fret for obstruction (congestion charges), the rise in the price of combustible fuel, additional fret (bunker overloads) etc…


Twenty feet Equivalent Unit



Tare weight

Weight of an empty container.


(transcontainer) Container of 20 ', 30 ', 35 ', 40 '.


Space consisting of a wharf and open storage strip specially landscaped to receive, manipulate, store, and evacuate a certain category of goods (containers, hydrocarbons, etc.)

Open storage

Prepared horizontal surface (slab, bitumen, paved...) used for handling and storage of goods in the Port.

Time sheet

(Time sheet ) Card maintained by the stevedore and recapitulating the calculation of the operations carried out on the vessel in dock (hours of arrival of the ship, working time, hour of beginning of the operations, details of the quantities of handled goods, downtime of work, etc.).

Air draught

Distance between the level of water and the highest above water level of the ship-this is done by counting the cargo booms, etc. Overall height. It is useful to know whenever the ship has to pass under bridges.


For a ship: height between the water line of a ship and the lower level of the keel (lowest part of the ship). For a water level: it is the distance to the vertical between the level of water and the bottom of water; it is the depth minimum necessary so that the ship floats. It is expressed in feet or meters.


See gauge


See gauge

Ton or metric ton

Ton or metric ton: 2 2,204.6 lbs.

GRT or register ton

(Register ton) 2,83m3 ou 100cft. See gauge

Deadweight tons

(TPL) The maximum weight that can be loaded on board a vessel, including cargo, ballast and ship's stores.

Ro-ro traffic

Traffic transported by RORO ships.

Transshipment traffic

Goods coming from a foreign country, unloaded in a given Port and re-embarked on another ship for their Port of final destination.

Transit traffic

Generally indicates the traffic passing by a Port and which is at the origin or bound for a land-locked country. This traffic uses other means of transport (road, railway, river…) for pre one or post routing with the Port.


Transshipment is the operation which consists in the transfer of goods from a first ship to a second ship which undertakes transport towards the final destination. Transshipment is generally carried out via the quay, in a third Port different from the Port of loading and the Port of final destination.

Transit time

Duration of stay -Duration of the passage of a ship or of some

goods in a Port.

Forwarding agent

Agent carrying out formalities for the account of a third shipper or receiving agent- and in particular customs formalities - as well as the operations necessary to the export and the importation of the goods.

Multimode transport

Organization of a transport involving several different means of transport (air, river, maritime, router, railway).

Look-out post or Semaphore

Surveillance station near the coast which ensures missions of surveillance, liaison and information, identification of ships, navigation assistance and of regulating sea traffic. The look-out tower ensures an ongoing monitoring (24h/24) and informs the vessel master's office of ship movements.

Liquid bulk

Freight transported and stored in liquid form rather than in barrel or in similar container.