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.

IMCO Classification
International Maritime Control Organisation classification for hazardous cargo.
Immediate Transportation (IT)
Immediate Transportation entry allows cargo to move beyond the vessel entry point without customs clearance until it reaches its predefined destination in another US Customs district. For example, cargo entering the US at Los Angeles, destined for Chicago, can move to Chicago before having a customs inspection.
Goods and services brought in from abroad.
An import shipment.
Incoterms 2000 is the latest version of the International Chamber of Commerce's standard trade definitions, commonly known as the INCO terms. The terms consist of 13 rules that are fundamental to international trade, defining the most important responsibilities of buyers and sellers in international sales contracts. Incoterms are a basic reference for sales contracts, recognised as the international standard by customs authorities and courts everywhere. Since they were first published in 1936, Incoterms – a trademarked ICC product – have been updated six times. For more information, see:
OR Incoterms®
Incoterms are the International Chamber of Commerce's standard trade definitions. The Incoterms rules are an internationally recognised standard and are used worldwide in international and domestic contracts for the sale of goods. They help international traders avoid costly misunderstandings by clarifying the tasks, costs and risks involved in the delivery of goods from sellers to buyers. For more information, see:
Independent Action
Action taken by an individual member of a conference agreement, to change the rates or terms of a conference tariff
Independent Carrier
A carrier that is not a member of a shipping conference.
Information System Agreement (ISA)
A leading organisation of ocean carriers that develops, promotes and implements e-commerce solutions for the maritime industry.
Inland Carrier
A company that transports shipments between ports and inland destinations.
Inland point intermodal (IPI)
Cargo transported over land, to or from an inland destination. See also land bridge.
Insurance Certificate
A document that assures the consignee that insurance is provided to cover loss or damage to the cargo while in transit; a certificate issued by an insurer to a shipper (or other party) as evidence that a shipment of merchandise is covered under a marine policy
Integrated Carriers
Carriers that have both air and ground fleets, or other combinations, such as sea, rail and truck. Integrated carriers usually handle thousands of small parcels an hour.
Interleaved 2 of 5
This is strictly a numeric barcode. Each encoded character is made up of five elements, two are wide and three are narrow. The number of characters to be printed must be an even number. If the number of characters to be printed is odd, a zero will be appended to the beginning of the code.
A numeric-only barcode, mainly used in the shipping and warehousing industries.
A numeric-only barcode made up of five bars and five spaces, and mainly used in the shipping and warehousing industries.
Coordinated transport of goods using two or more modes of transport (especially in connection with relatively long-haul movements). For example, a container transported by sea, rail and road.
Intermodal Marketing Company
A company that consolidates container loads from several shippers and then contracts with road and rail transportation providers for volume space.
International Freight Forwarders
Freight forwarders that handle the booking, administration and consolidation of exports.
International Maritime Control Organisation
See IMO.
International Transport Implementation Guidelines Group (ITIGG)
The ITIGG is an international group of experts engaged in the development and implementation of UN/EDIFACT-standard messages for electronic trading in the transport industry. ITIGG is a subgroup of D4, the UN/EDIFACT
Message Development Group for Transport. ITIGG develops recommendations that provide software developers with a series of simple and straightforward tools to assist in designing applications that can be used for trading electronically throughout the world.
Inventory Carrying Costs
The total cost of holding goods in storage, including warehousing, obsolescence, deterioration, spoilage, labour, insurance and taxes. Also known as carrying cost or holding cost.
Inventory Turnover
The cost of goods sold, divided by the average level of inventory on hand. The ratio measures how many times a company's inventory has been sold during the year.
Inventory Velocity
The speed at which products move from the receiving dock to the shipping dock