Glossary

What does LT stand for? What does on-carriage mean? What's a time charter?

Shipping jargon and terminology can be confusing. In this section, we explain the meaning of the most commonly used international shipping terms.

If you still need a specific shipping term explained in detail, simply contact your nearest Safmarine office – we’re happy to help.

D
Dangerous Cargo Service
A fee covering the additional costs incurred by the carrier when moving dangerous cargo to or from an inland location. These additional costs consist of licenses and permits, as well as the use of specialised certified vendors. The fee is applicable to bookings for dangerous cargo when inland haulage (export or import) has been requested by the customer.
Delivered Ex Ship
For more information, see > www.iccwbo.org
Delivery
(1) The physical and legal transfer of a shipment from consignor to carrier and from carrier/transport agent to consignee.
(2) The act of putting property into the legal possession of another, whether involving the actual transfer of physical control of the object from one to the other or being constructively effected in various other ways.
Delivery Duty Unpaid
For more information, see > www.iccwbo.org
Delivery Ex Quay
For more information, see > www.iccwbo.org
Delivery Order
A document from a consignee, shipper or owner of freight instructing the terminal operator, carrier or warehouse to deliver the freight to another party. On imports, a delivery order may also be referred to as a pier release.

Though not a bill of lading or a waybill, a delivery order contains an undertaking that the carrier will deliver the stated goods to the recipient named in the document. A delivery order can also be used to transfer contractual rights by way of endorsements, but cannot be used to pass rights of ownership.
Demand Chain
Another name for supply chain, with emphasis on the customer or party controlling demand.
Demurrage
A fee applicable when the customer holds carrier equipment, such as a container, in the terminal location for longer than the agreed amount of time (free days). Demurrage can be incurred for both exports (early drop-off) and imports (late pick-up).

Export: Demurrage days are counted from gate-in (full) to container loading, minus the number of allocated free days.

Import: Demurrage days are counted from container discharge to gate-out (full), minus the number of allocated free days
Detention Fee - Export
A fee that is charged if a customer keeps carrier equipment, such as a container, for a period that exceeds that specified in the agreement. Detention days are counted from pick-up empty to gate-in full, minus the number of allocated free days. (Calculation methods may vary by country.)
Detention Fee - Import
A fee that is charged when the customer keeps carrier equipment, such as a container, for a period that exceeds that specified in the agreement. Detention days are counted from gate-out full to gate-in empty, minus the number of allocated free days. (Calculation methods may vary by country.
Detention in Transit Service
A service in which the carrier holds shipments at the trans-shipment port until further instructions are received from the customer. This gives the customer the flexibility to delay cargo arrival if it suits their business. A DIT charge is usually applicable.

Note: The carrier is unable to hold containers for longer than 14 days unless the customer submits a letter of indemnity to the carrier that states that the carrier will not be liable for any cargo damage not covered by insurance, during the extra detention period.
Differential
The amount added to or deducted from the base rate to create a new rate for shipping to or from another point or via another route.
OR
The amount added to or deducted from a base rate when changes are made to a shipping agreement. For example, changing the destination or route.
Distribution
The full range of activities and planning required to move a product from the production line to the end user.
Distribution Requirements Planning
A system used to determine demand for inventory at distribution centres. The information is then used in production planning.
Diversion Charge
A fee charged for diverting cargo from the original destination port to a new location.
OR
A fee charged for diverting en route cargo to another destination.
Dock Receipt
A receipt given for a shipment received or delivered at a pier or dock. When delivery of a foreign shipment is completed, the dock receipt is exchanged for a bill of lading with the transportation line.
Double Stack Car
A rail car capable of carrying two containers stacked on top of one another.
Draft (Marine)
The depth to which a vessel’s hull extends underwater (i.e. the distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull).
Draft (Rail)
A cut of coupled rail carriages.
Draft Financial
A signed order by one party that instructs another party to pay a third party a specific amount. Also known as a bill of exchange.
Drawback
A 99% refund of import or duty fees on materials that are to be re-exported.
Drayage
Inland transportation of a container from a vendor to a port of shipment, or from the discharge port to a point where the container is stripped. Drayage is undertaken for CY and CFS cargo.
Dry Dock
A waterless area where vessels are laid up for repair.
Dunnage
The material placed around cargo to prevent breakage or shifting. Dunnage is normally provided by the shipper, and its weight is included in the transport rate.
Duty Drawback
(1) Payment returned for cargo re-exported or trade show material.
(2) A customs refund on re-exported cargo.