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Glossary of terms for phrases beginning with “B”

Back Haul

To obtain transport on the home run from B to A after having performed a full transport from A to B.

Bank Guarantee

(1) Under certain circumstances, accepted in lieu of original bill of lading to release cargo.

(2) A statement issued by an importer's bank guaranteeing the payment of (L/C) drafts to the exporter or to the carrier.

(3) Other forms of guarantees by banks in favour of a beneficiary.

Banker's Acceptance

A form of financing used in import/export transactions.


A series of bars and spaces read by a scanning device for translation into a numeric or alphanumeric identification code that represents data in machine-readable or computerised form.

Barcode, 2-D

The PDF 1000 style barcode is used to store up to 1800 characters of text. Designed to allow more information to be stored and retrieved electronically; it has not achieved wide use.


Conveyance used to carry loose cargo or containers in small volumes.

Base Port

Ports from which standard tariff rates apply to those normally serviced directly by members.

Basing Points

A point (location) used in construction of through rates between other points.


Section of vessel in which containers are held.


The process of comparing a firm's performance against the practices of other leading companies – in or outside of an industry – for the purpose of improving performance. Companies also benchmark internally by tracking and comparing past performance.


Vessel docking area.

Best Practice

Also known as competitive benchmarking, the methodology that determines state-of-industry performance or application.

Bill of Exchange

1. A signed, written order by one company that instructs another company to pay a third party a specific amount.

2. An unconditional written order addressed by one person to another and signed by the person placing it. It requires the person, to whom it is addressed, to pay on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time, a certain sum of money to the order of a specified person or to bearer. The drawee is not liable on it until he has accepted it.

Usually used in foreign transactions.

Bill of Lading

Legal document signed by or for the captain/master, agents, owners of a vessel or the (common) carrier. It is written evidence of the contract of carriage by sea and/or by land. It is

(1) A receipt of the goods (in the owner's/carrier's or his/their agent's custody) and

(2) An undertaking to carry and deliver the goods safely to the place directed/agreed, dangers of the sea excepted, against

(3) Surrender of the document where/when provisions in the document stipulate delivery to order of a named person, to order (blank) or to bearer

4) It evidences the terms of the contract of carriage.

Billed Weight

Weight stated in a waybill and/or (freight) bill of lading.


Bolero is a neutral, open platform, intended to be a cross-industry community moving world trade onto the Internet. The focus is to process trade documents fully electronically via a secure communication platform (CMP). The initial focus has been on the carrier's bill of lading through the Title Registry replicating the paper bill of lading functionality and bill of lading parties' roles.

Bonded Warehouse

Warehouse owned by persons approved by the relevant customs and excise authorities (for example in the USA it is the Treasury Department), and under bond (or guarantee) for the strict observance of the revenue laws. Utilised for storing goods until duties are paid or goods are otherwise properly released.

Bonded Warehouse – Export

A secure building or area, approved by customs, where cargo, for which export clearance has been performed, is stored. Goods are considered foreign and must go out for export. In some countries, a bonded warehouse is defined as a warehouse with customs officials onsite. In others, it is a warehouse in which customs inspect cargo prior to authorising export clearance. Ensure the local definition is established. In some countries, some manufacturers are also granted a licence to operate a bonded warehouse in which they can store manufactured products in anticipation of export and hence suspend payment of local taxes (e.g. on cigarettes).

Bonded Warehouse – Import

A secure building or area, approved by customs, where cargo, for which export clearance has been performed, is stored.


1. Act of recording arrangements for the movement/transportation of goods by vessel or other conveyance.

2. To express in advance a desire for something in order to reserve it e.g. transportation of goods.

3. Also known as a booking request.

Box Rate

A lump sum charged to move cargo in various size containers from origin to destination.

Break Bulk

Cargo which is not containerised due to its weight and/or size e.g. steel pipes, boats etc.


A person or firm, other than a motor carrier or agent of a motor carrier that as a principal or agent sells, offers for sale, or holds itself out by solicitation, advertisement or otherwise as selling, providing or arranging for transportation by motor carrier for competition. A broker is a middleman that brings together the shipper and carrier; a broker does not take responsibility for the transportation. An agent/middleman who for a fee or commission negotiates contract e.g. purchase and sale (such as real estate, commodities or securities) between buyers and sellers without himself taking title to that which is the subject of negotiation and usually without having physical possession of it.

Brokerage Licence

Authority granted by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to persons to engage in the business of arranging for the transportation of persons or property in interstate commerce.