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Education Section: Basic Glossary



A tanker ship with a cargo size of 79,000 - 120,000 DWT.



Provides in-port services to the vessel, keeps Owners and Charterers updated on vessels' movements in port and deals with local administrative matters.



Weight added to a vessel to increase draught and maintain the vessel in a safe condition of stability when there is no cargo onboard.  Water is usually used and on tankers this is pumped into dedicated ballast tanks usually positioned in compartments at the bottom of the vessel, or on the sides.



Where a vessel is chartered for a period of time and where the hire payment excludes crew and maintenance costs.


Bill of Lading

A Bill of Lading (BOL) has three functions:


  • a document signed by the Master of a vessel confirming receipt of a specific amount of cargo.
  • a contract of carriage where the parties are the Master and the Consignees.
  • a document of title, the holder of which has legal title to the cargo stated in the document.  In many circumstances the BOL will be a negotiable document that can be traded.


Brent Crude

A type of crude oil sourced from the North Sea.



They bring business to ship owners and provide information about the market.


Bulk Cargo

Unpacked homogeneous cargo poured loose or pumped into a vessel that can be either dry or liquid e.g. oil and grain.



The fuel used by ships.


Charter Party

The contract between a ship owner and the charterer.



The ship owner's customer will be given the use of the whole carrying capacity of the ship for a specified time (time charter or bareboat charter) or to carry a specific cargo from certain port(s) to another port(s) (voyage charter).



Cost, Insurance and Freight.  Transportation term in which the price quoted by the exporter includes the cost of ocean transportation to the port of destination and insurance.



Contract Of Affreightment.



Company to whom cargo is consigned as stated in the Bill of Lading.



Company named in the Bill of Lading as the one to whom the goods have been received for shipment.


Contract Of Affreightment

An agreement by a shipowner to provide cargo space on a vessel at a specified time and for a specified price.


Crude condensate

A by-product of gas exploitation mainly used in chemical industry.


Crude Oil

Oil in its natural state before refining.



The weight a vessel can carry including cargo, bunkers, fresh water and stores.



Liquidated damages paid by charterers to compensate Owners for exceeding the time allowed under a charter party for load and discharge (see laytime).



The process of pumping the oil from the vessel to the receiving terminal.


Double Hull

The hull has two layers to minimise the risk of spills especially in low impact collisions/groundings.



Waterless dock allowing access to hull/propulsion mechanism when repairs or servicing are required.  Vessels are usually taken into drydock at 3-5 yearly intervals.



Deadweight Tonnes



Free on Board. An export term.  The price quoted by the exporter does not include the cost of ocean transportation, but does include loading cargo onto the vessel.  



Floating Production Storage & Offloading. FPSO vessels are floating production platforms which can store crude oil as it is extracted from the bottom of the sea before delivering to export tankers.



The money a ship owner is paid in return for carrying a cargo.


Full Summer Deadweight

The maximum weight a vessel can carry in the summer loadline zone.


Handy size

Crude or product tanker with cargo size of up to 45,000 DWT



The body of a vessel. Can either be single, double, double sided or double bottomed.


Idle Days

Time during which the vessel is unemployed.



International Maritime Organization


IMO number

A vessel's unique identification number issued by the IMO which remains with the vessel throughout its life.



Longitudinal girder that forms the "backbone" of a ship.



When a vessel is carrying cargo.



The dates between which the vessel must present herself at the first loadport.



The amount of time the charterer is allowed to use for loading and discharging.


Market Quote

The initial quote of business received from a broker. Usually in the form of Charterer name / Minimum Quantity / Route / Laycan.


Nautical mile

1 Nautical mile = 1.84 kilometres = 1 minute of latitude.


No-heat fuel oil

Residual oil which does not require heating in transit.



Time during which repairs are carried out on the vessel. This time is charged to the owner's account.



Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Includes Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Venezuela.



The name is the registered tradename of Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) for a mixture of 70% bitumen and 30% water.



The amount of cargo carried by the vessel over and above the minimum quantity stated in the charter party.


P & I Club

Protection & Indemnity Club



The largest type of vessel that when fully laden can pass through the Panama Canal with a cargo size of up to approx 80,000 DWT.



When oil is refined it is broken down into its chemical components which are referred to as "products".


Single Hull

The hull has only a single layer.


Small tankers

Up to approximately 10,000 DWT, mainly used for product transportation.


Spot Fixture

When a vessel is chartered for a single voyage i.e. voyage charter.


Statute mile

1 statute mile = 1.61 kilometres



The largest type of tanker that when fully laden can pass through the Suez Canal with a cargo size of between 120,000 DWT and 200,000 DWT.



Time Charter Equivalent



Time Charter Warranty


Time Charter

When a vessel is hired for a specified period of time. Hire payments include compensation for crew and maintenance whichis provided by Owners.


Time Charter Equivalent

The amount of money earned in US$ per day on a particular voyage, net of commercial operation costs.


Time Charter Warranty

Information provided by the owner of a ship giving a warranty on the performance of a vessel including maximum speeds and fuel consumption.


Tonne Miles

Tonnes of cargo multiplied by the distance transported. A measure of shipping capacity or demand.



Ultra Large Crude Carrier, more than 320,000 DWT.



Very Large Crude Carrier, 200,000 - 320,000 DWT.



Four vessels traded in the Tankers International Pool, built in 2002 and 2003 and each exceeding 441,000 dwt.



Vessel’s Particular Questionnaire. Provides detailed information about a vessel.


West Texas Intermediate

A type of crude oil which is normally referenced in Western reports on oil prices


World Scale

A universal basic freight scale used by ship owners to price their services which changes with demand and supply.



West Texas Intermediate



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