• Bank Guarantee

    A document representing an irrevocable obligation of the bank to pay a specified amount of money if the party for which the bank is giving the guarantee does not fulfil its contractual obligations under the Bill of Lading.

  • Barge

    The cargo-carrying vehicle used by Inland water carriers or for discharging of Vessels. Basic barges have open tops, but there are covered barges for both dry and liquid cargoes.

  • Bay

    Section of the ship in which containers are stowed.

  • Beneficial Cargo Owner (BCO)

    The importer of cargo, who physically takes possession of cargo at the final destination. It does not act as third party in the movement of such goods.

  • Bill of Lading (B/L)

    Document which must be issued by the carrier to the shipper. It is a receipt of the Goods (it describes the cargo, with its weight and the number of packages). It is also a proof of the contract of carriage (the Terms and Conditions are in the recto), and it is a document of title on the goods.


    Baltic and International Maritime Council -An independent Shipping Association composed of Ship Owners, Managers, Brokers, Agents and others with vested interest in the Shipping Industry, which promotes higher standards and greater harmony on regulatory matters.

  • Bond

    Written document used for a legal transfer of ownership which binds its debtor to make payment to its creditor.

  • Booking

    Act of recording arrangements for the transportation of goods by Vessel and other conveyance if any.

  • Bottom-Air delivery

    A type of air circulation in a reefer container. This type of airflow provides the most even temperatures for both chilled and frozen cargo. Please click here for more information.

  • Break Bulk

    Usually, loose cargo transported not in a container. On a container ship, break bulk will be carried on one or more flat bed(s) or a platform container(s).

  • Broker

    An intermediary person who buys and arranges for other some services, as transportation of loads, usually large operations, for a percentage of the revenue from the load

  • Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF)

    Surcharge assessed by carrier which is applied to freight rates to compensate unexpected fuel oil price variations. Please click here for more information.

  • Bunkers

    Name given to the fuels used to propel a Vessel.

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The information contained in this glossary is for general information only. The information is made available to CMA CGM’s clients and for internal use. Whilst CMA CGM endeavours to keep the information correct, the company makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability of the terms of this glossary, including, but not limited to, the definitions and interpretations. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.
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