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.

TIR Carnet
A document that can be issued to simplify border crossings in Europe. Customs at a European location place a seal on a container and issue the TIR Carnet. The document and seal allow the container to cross borders within the EU without undergoing customs inspection until it reaches its destination country.
Tare weight
The weight of an empty container. Gross weight = net weight + tare weight.
A list of published rates, rules and regulations applicable to the transportation of goods in specified trade lanes or between two areas.
Terminal Handling Service-Destination
This service covers the cost of handling a container at the destination port or terminal. It is applicable to all shipments.
Terminal Handling Service-Origin
This service covers the cost of handling a container at the origin port or terminal. It is applicable to all shipments.
Terminal Receiving Charge
Charge assessed by the terminal for cargo being delivered for export.
Terms of Sale
The delivery and payment terms agreed between a buyer and a seller. In international trade, Terms of Sale also set out the rights and obligations of buyers and sellers as applicable in the transportation of goods.
Third-party providers
Companies that are employed (hired) to complete tasks for another compan
Through rates
A rate applicable from point of origin to destination. A through rate may be either a joint rate or a combination of two or more rates.
To order of shipper
When a shipper, by way of endorsement and the passing of the document, allows the transfer of rights to take delivery of the goods listed in the document (e.g. a bill of lading).
Total Average Inventory
(1) The sum of average order quantity (one half of order quantity) plus safety stock. Safety stock is the amount on hand after the arrival of the order.
(2) The average normal-use stock, plus the average lead stock, plus safety stock.
Total Cost of Distribution
The sum of purchasing, transportation and storage costs in the movement of finished products through the post production channel.
Total Quality Management (TQM)
An approach to business management that focuses on quality and typically has a strong customer orientation, total involvement, measurement systems, systematic support and focus on continuous improvement.
A request on a transportation line to trace a shipment for the purpose of expediting its movement or estimating the delivery date. Common usage of this term has been simplified to mean any request for the status of a shipment.
Trailer on Flat Car Rail
A container loaded onto a rail carriage for transportation.
The transfer of containers between vessels. Synonymous with trans-shipments.
Transmittal letter
A document that lists the particulars of a shipment and a record of the documents being transmitted, as well as instructions for the disposition of the documents.
Twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU)
A measure of container capacity still used by some institutions. The dimensions of one TEU are equal to that of a standard 20-foot shipping container. One TEU can accommodate 9-11 pallets, depending on the type of pallet. Two TEUs are to equal one FEU (forty-foot equivalent unit).