Dictionary of Shipping Terms


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A method which during storage uses standard units or lot sizes with a single card attached to each.

A pull system used at a stock point in which a supply batch is ordered only when a previous batch is withdrawn.

Note: Kanban in Japanese means loosely translated 'card or sign'.

Longitudinal girder at the lowest point of a vessel from which the framework is built.
Kimbal Tag
A label containing bar coded information about product size, colour etc.
Kind of Packing
Description of the packaging material used for goods to be transported.
King Pin
The coupling pin, welded or bolted in the centre of the front underside of a semi-trailer chassis, which couples to the fifth wheel of the towing tractor or dolly convertor.
Unit of measurement for the speed (of a vessel) equal to a nautical mile (= 1852 metres) per hour.
Kyoto Convention
The convention for the International Customs Co-operation Council held in Kyoto in 1974 for the simplification and harmonisation of national customs procedures.

On 25th of June 1999 the updated and restructured International Convention on the simplification and harmonisation of Customs Procedures (Kyoto Convention) was unanimously adopted by 114 customs administrations.

This convention was restructured to deal with computerised controls and to ensure better co- operation between customs authorities mutually and with trade in general.


A slip of e.g. paper or metal attached to an object to indicate the nature, ownership, destination, contents and/or other particulars of the object.
Laden Vessel
See Loaden Vessel
Land Bridge
Overland transport between following and/or preceding sea transport of goods and/or containers.
To hold goods in position by the use of, e.g., wires, ropes, chains and straps.
See Lighter Aboard Ship
Lashing Point
Point on a means of transport to which wires, chains, ropes or straps, which are used to hold goods in position, are attached.
Last Carrier
The participating airline over which air routes the last section of carriage under the Air Waybill is undertaken or performed (air cargo).
Last In First Out
Abbreviation: LIFO
A method of which the assumption is that the most recently received (last in) is the first to be used or sold (first out).
Lateral and Front Stacking Truck
High-lift stacking truck capable of stacking and retrieving loads ahead and on either or both sides of the driving direction.
The angular distance of a position on its meridian north or south from the equator, measured in degrees ('a vessel at 25 degrees north latitude').
Lay Days
The number of days allowed in a charter party for the loading and discharging of cargo. Lay days may be indicated in different ways e.g. consecutive days, working days, weather working days.
Lay Up a Vessel
Temporary cessation of trading of a vessel by the shipowner.
Layout Key
See United Nations Layout Key
Place where goods are fumigated, or where a person under quarantine is quartered.
Lead Time
  1. The amount of time between the request of a service and the actual provision of this service.
  2. A span of time required to perform an activity. In a logistics context, the time between the initiation of a process and its completion.
A contract by which one party gives to another party the use of property or equipment, e.g. containers, for a specified time against fixed payments.
Leasing Company
The company from which property or equipment is taken on lease.
Leasing Contract
A contract for the leasing of property or equipment.
Less than Container Load
Abbreviation: LCL
  1. A general reference for identifying cargo in any quantity intended for carriage in a container, where the Carrier is responsible for packing and/or unpacking the container.
  2. For operational purposes a LCL (Less than full container load) container is considered a container in which multiple consignments or parts thereof are shipped.
Less than Truck Load
Abbreviation: LTL
A term used if the quantity or volume of one or more consignment(s) does not fill a standard truck.
The party to whom the possession of specified property has been conveyed for a period of time in return for rental payments.
The party who conveys specified property to another for a period of time in return for the receipt of rent.
Letter of Credit
Abbreviation: L/C
A written undertaking by a bank (issuing bank) given to the seller (beneficiary) at the request, and on the instructions of the buyer (applicant) to pay at sight or at a determinable future date up to a stated sum of money, within a prescribed time limit and against stipulated documents.
Letter of Indemnity
Written statement in which one party undertakes to compensate another for the costs and consequences of carrying out a certain act. The issue of a letter of indemnity is sometimes used for cases when a shipper likes receiving a clean Bill of Lading while a carrier is not allowed to do so.
Eastern end of the Mediterranean.
Legal responsibility for the consequences of certain acts or omissions.
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A legal claim upon real or personal property to pay a debt or duty.
Life Cycle Cost
Encompasses all costs associated with the product's life cycle. These include all costs involved in acquisition (research & development, design, production & construction, and phase-in), operation, support and disposal of the product.
Lift-On Lift-Off Vessel
Abbreviation: LOLO
Vessel of which the loading and discharging operations are carried out by cranes and derricks.
See Barge
Lighter Aboard Ship
Abbreviation: Lash
A vessel which carries barges.
The carriage of goods within a port area by a barge, e.g. from a vessel to a quay.
Weight of an empty vessel including equipment and outfit, spare parts required by the regulatory bodies, machinery in working condition and liquids in the systems, but excluding liquids in the storage tanks, stores and crew.
Line Item
See Order Line
Line Number
See Flight Number
Linear Programming
A mathematical procedure for minimising or maximising a linear function of several variables, subject to a finite number of linear restrictions on these variables.
Liner Conference
A group of two or more vessel-operating carriers, which provides international liner services for the carriage of cargo on a particular trade route and which has an agreement or arrangement to operate under uniform or common freight rates and any other agreed conditions (e.g. FEFC = Far Eastern Freight Conference).
Liner In Free Out
Abbreviation: LIFO
Transport condition denoting that the freight rate is inclusive of the sea carriage and the cost of loading, the latter as per the custom of the port. It excludes the cost of discharging.
Liner Service
The connection through vessels between ports within a trade.
Liner Shipping Company
A company transporting goods over sea in a regular service.
Liner Terms
Condition of carriage denoting that costs for loading and unloading are borne by the carrier subject the custom of the port concerned.
Inclination of a ship to port or starboard caused by eccentric weights such as cargo or ballast.
Live Stock
Cargo consisting of live animals, such as horses, cows, sheep and chickens.
Lloyd's Register of Shipping
British classification society.
Quantity or nature of what is being carried. This term normally refers to transport by truck.
Load Factor Management
The process of maximising the utilisation of the (slot) capacity of vessels and or other means of transport.
Loaden Vessel
Vessel where cargo has been put on board.
The process of bringing cargo into a means of transport or equipment.
Loading Platform
A flat surface to facilitate loading usually alongside a warehouse.
A load-calculator designed for a vessel approved by a classification bureau for the calculation of the vessels stability.
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Local Charge
See On-line Charge
Local Rate
See On-line Rate
Locating Pin
See Cones
  1. Any named geographical place, recognised by a competent national body, with permanent facilities used for goods movements associated with international trade, and used frequently for these purposes.
  2. Geographical place such as a port, an airport, an inland freight terminal, a container freight station, a container yard, a container depot, a terminal or any other place where customs clearance and/or regular receipt or delivery of goods can take place.
  3. An area (e.g. in a warehouse) marked off or designated for a specific purpose.
For marine purposes: A space, enclosed at the sides by walls and at each end by gates, by which a vessel can be floated up or down to a different level.
A compartment, in a shed or on board of a vessel, used as a safekeeping place to stow valuable goods, which can be secured by means of a lock.
Log Book
The daily report, authenticated by the master of all events and other relevant particulars of a vessel, attested by the proper authorities as a true record.
Logistics (CEN)
The planning, execution and control
  • of the movement and placement of people and/or goods
  • and of the supporting activities related to such movement and placement within a system organised to achieve specific objectives.
Logistics Chain
All successive links involved in the logistic process.
The angular distance of a position on the equator east or west of the standard Greenwich meridian up to 180o east or west.
Motor truck used for transport of goods.

Note: Motor truck is an American term. British synonym for motor truck is Heavy Goods Vehicle. This British term means any vehicle exceeding 7.5 metric tons maximum laden weight.

Luffing Crane
A crane with which the load can be moved to or from the crane horizontally.
Travellers' baggage, suitcases, boxes etc., normally accompanied by a passenger.
An agreed sum of money, which is paid in full settlement at one time. This term is often used in connection with charter parties.
Lump-sum Charter
A voyage charter whereby the shipowner agrees to place the whole or a part of the vessel's capacity at the charterer's disposal for which a lump-sum freight is being paid.


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