This glossary of maritime terms is offered as an aid to better understanding what is meant by those who make their living from ports and ships.
FAK – Freight all kinds – a system where freight is charged per container, irrespective of the nature of goods and not according to tariff.
FAS – Free Along Side (of ship).
FEEDER SHIP – Ships that handle transhipped cargo from one port to another.
FEU – Forty-Foot Equivalent Units (Containers).
FIREMAN – an unlicensed member of the engine, room staff whose duties consist in standing watch in the boiler room and insuring the oil burning equipment is working properly.
FIXTURE – Conclusion of shipbrokers negotiations to charter a ship – an agreement
FLAGS OF CONVENIENCE (FOC) – The registration of ships in a country that offer favourable tax structures and regulations; also the flag representing the nation under whose jurisdiction a ship is registered. Ships are always registered under the laws of one nation but are not always required to establish their home location in that country. FOC states often offer low tax rates and their requirements concerning manning or maintenance are not stringent. The term always denotes registration of vessels in foreign nations.
FOB (FREE ON BOARD) – Cost of a product before transportation costs are figured in.
F.O.B. – Free on Board: Export term in which the price quoted by the exporter does not include the costs of ocean transportation, but does include loading on board the vessel.
FORCE MAJEURE – Clause limiting responsibilities of charterers, shippers and receiver of cargo
FORECASTLE – The raised part of the forward end of a ship’s hull, taking its name from the days of sailing ships where the forecastle was effectively a ‘castle’ on the ship’s prow used for defending the ship. On some ships this area may be used for crew accommodation or quarters but on most new ships the space is used for the storage of paints, tackle, deck and engine stores, tarpaulins, etc.
FPSO – Floating Production, Storage & Offloading vessel. Usually out of service tankers are utilised as FPSO’s.
FREEBOARD – The distance between the statutory deck line and the waterline.
FREIGHT FORWARDER – A person or persons who represents the cargo owner and who arranges shipments for that owner.
FREIGHT RATE – The charge made for the transportation of freight.
FREIGHT TONNE – The greater weight or measurement of goods where 1 tonne is equal to 1,000kg or 1 cubic metre.
GA – General Average
GANG – term used to describe a selected work force or team that works as a team in a harbour environment, usually in stevedoring.
GANGWAY – a narrow portable platform used as a passage, by persons entering or leaving a vessel moored alongside a pier or quay.
GAS TANKER – Specially designed for the transport of condensed (liquefied) gases. The most important gases are: ammonia, ethylene, LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas), which consists mainly of methane, and is cooled to a temperature of minus 163 degrees Celsius, and LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) such as butane and propane.
GATF – General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade.
GATT – General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade, an international agreement embodying a code of practice for fair trading in international commerce. Is headquartered in Geneva.
GDP – Gross Domestic Product: The total value of goods and services produced by a nation over a given period, usually 1 year.
GENERAL CARGO – A non-bulk oil cargo composed of miscellaneous goods.
GNP – Gross National Product: GDP plus the net income accruing from foreign sources.
GREAT LAKES PORTS – Ports in the lakes of Canada and/or USA popular for grain shipments. Also refers to ports on the Great lakes of East Africa
GREAT LAKES SHIP – Cargo ship developed to carry raw materials and manufactured
goods on the Great Lakes. Most carry bulk cargoes of grain, iron ore or coal.
GROSS & NET TONNAGE(GT and NT) – Gross tonnage is the basis on which manning rules and safety regulations are applied, and registration fees are reckoned. Port fees are also often reckoned on the basis of GT and NT. GT and NT are defined according to formulas which take account, among other things, of the volume of the vessel’s enclosed spaces (GT) and the volume of its holds (NT).
GROSS REGISTERED TONS – A common measurement of the internal volume of a ship with certain spaces excluded.