Saturday, February 12, 2011


API - The American Petroleum Institute, founded in 1919, was the first oil trade association to include all branches of the petroleum industry.

API Gravity (Relative Density) - A means used by the petroleum industry to express the density of petroleum liquids. API gravity is measured by a hydrometer instrument having a scale graduated in degrees API.

Backhaul - A deviation to move cargo on the return leg of a voyage for the purpose of minimizing ballast mileage and thereby reducing transportation cost.

Bare Boat Charter - A Charter in which the bare ship is chartered without crew; the charterer, for a stipulated sum taking over the vessel with a minimum of restrictions usually for 10 or more years. See Demise Charter.

Barrel - The standard unit of liquid volume in the petroleum industry. It is equal to 42 U.S. gallons.

Canceling Date - A stated date after which, if a vessel is not ready to load, the intending charterers have the option of canceling the charter. The passing of the canceling date leaves the owner’s obligation unimpaired unless the charterer releases him.

Bareboat Charter - Owner lets an unmanned ship for a long period at a rate that covers any depreciation and nominal return.  As the name indicates the Shipowner hires out the "bare ship" and the Charterer is responsible for appointing the staff and crew and has complete control of the vessel as if it was his own. All costs and expenses in running the ship are for the Charterers account. Also known as demise charter.

Disponent Owner - Charterer who has sublet the vessel and is acting as the owner per the terms of the contract.  The Charterer of the vessel under a Demise, Time or Voyage Charter who then charters the vessel to another party is known as the Dispo- nent Owner in the new Charter Agreement.

Contract of Affreightment (COA) - A service contract under which a ship owner agrees to transport a specified quantity of fuel products or specialty products, at a specified rate per ton between designated loading and discharge ports. This type contract differs from a spot or consecutive voyage charter in that no particular vessel is specified. (Rates are usually discounted below other forms of contracts.)

Spot (Voyage) Charter - A charter for a particular vessel to move a single cargo between specified loading port(s) and discharge port(s) in the immediate future. Contract rate (spot rate) covers total operating expenses such as port charges, bunkering, crew expenses, insurance, repairs, and canal tolls. The charterer will generally pay all cargo-related costs. This is primarily a contract to carry cargo on defined voyage or voy- ages with the Shipowner receiving freight calculated according to the quantity of cargo carried. The Shipowner is responsible for all voyage costs unless otherwise agreed

Time Charter (T/C) - A charter for varying periods of time, usually between two and ten years, under which the owner hires out the vessel to the shipper fully manned, provisioned, stored and insured. The charterer is usually responsible for bunkers, port charges, canal tolls and any crew overtime connected with the cargo. The charter rate (hire) is quoted in terms of a cost per month per deadweight ton. Charterer is free to use the vessel for trading within the geographical limits specified in the Charter Party. The Charterer is responsible for issuing all voyage orders to the ship. The Owner’s remuneration is termed "hire" and is generally paid monthly in advance.

Subcharterer: As soon as the original Charterer re-lets or charters out the vessel to another party that other party becomes known as the sub-Charterer.

Classification of Petroleum - Classes "A-C" of petroleum are considered flammable and have a flash point of 80° F or below. Examples of these classes range from very light napthas (Class A) to most crude oils (Class C). Class D cargoes such as kerosene and heavy crudes are considered combustible and have a flash point above 80° F but below 150° F. Class E cargoes are the heavier fuel oils and lubricating oils and have a flash point above 150° F.

Clean Service - Tanker transportation of products lighter than residual fuels, e.g. distillates, including No. 2 Heating Oil.

Clingage - The residue that adheres to the inside surface of a container, such as a ship’s tank or shore tank, after it has been emptied. The material clinging to all surfaces within emptied cargo tanks other than bottom surfaces.  Chemical residues which adhere to the surface of tank walls and structures on completion of discharge.

Closed Gauging System - A method of obtaining measurements of the tank contents without opening the tank. This may be accomplished by using automatic tank gauges or by taking measurements through a pressure/vapor lock standpipe. This type of gauging is done extensively on vessels with inert gas systems. Such a system that allows no vapors to be lost to the atmosphere is a true closed system while other types that allow minimum vapors to be lost to the atmosphere are called "restricted systems."

Composite sample (weighted): sample obtained by combining a number of spot samples in defined proportions so as to obtain a sample representative of the bulk of the product

Consignee - The person to whom cargo is consigned as stated on the bills of lading.

Consignor - The shipper of the cargo.

Contamination - The result from commingling of a grade of cargo with a sufficient quantity of another grade to destroy the characteristics of the cargo.

Cost and freight:- In a contract for the sale of cargo upon these terms the seller arranges and pays for the cost of the transportation to the agreed port of dis- charge. The cargo normally becomes the property of the buyer, and is at the buyers risk during the voyage from the point when it passes the ships manifold at the port of loading.

Cubic Limitation - Reaching cargo tank capacity before vessel sinks to its load-line. This is usually caused by loading a light crude (crude with a high API) or clean products.

Custom of the Trade - A phrase sometimes used to describe an action or procedure that is not committed to writing, but which has been followed for a long time, and is considered ‘standard practice’ by practitioners in the trade.

Dead bottom sample: spot sample taken from a point on the tank bottom. Note: Such samples require the use of a device with a bottom opening, commonly used for free water samples.

Dead freight:- This is the name given to the compensation due to the Shipowner where the Charterer has failed to load the minimum quantity of cargo in accordance with the charter party.

Demise Charter- Also called bareboat charter in which the bare ship is chartered without crew; the charterer, for a stipulated sum, taking over the vessel with a minimum of restrictions usually for 10 or more years..

Demurrage - A fixed sum, per day or per hour, agreed to be paid for the detention of the vessel under charter at the expiration of laytime allowed. Compensation paid by a Charterer under a Voyage Charter Party or Supplier/Receiver under an Oil Contract as Liquidated Damages for delaying a ship beyond a contractually agreed time (Laytime) for load- ing and/or discharging.

Deviation - A departure from a voyage pattern on either the forward or return leg of a voyage.

Dirty Service - Tanker transportation of crudes and residual fuels.

Dispatch - The function of issuing voyage instructions or sailing orders to vessels. Also an agreed amount to be charged by terminals for prompt vessel turn around.

Displacement Tonnage - Expressed in tons it is the weight the water displaced by the vessel which in turn is the weight of the vessel at that time. The vessel’s light displacement is the weight of the vessel only and the vessel’s loaded displacement is the weight of the vessel and all cargo, stores, fuel, water, etc. on board.

Disponent Owner - Charterer who has sublet the vessel and is acting as the owner per the terms of the contract.

Ensign - The flag carried by a ship as insignia of her nationality.

Filling Density - The ratio of the weight of liquid in a tank to the weight of distilled water at 60° F. the tank will hold. It is expressed as a percent.

Flame Screen (or Arrester) - A device comprised of a fine wire gauze that is fitted into the discharge end of a vent line. It prevents the passage of flame, but will allow vapor to pass through. Flame screens are also fitted to removable ullage plugs used to cover ullage holes on cargo tank tops.

Force Majeure - Clause permitting contract to be broken in the event of uncontrollable events, e.g. war, strike government action, which preclude its fulfillment.

Free Discharge (FD) - The charterer is responsible for the cost of unloading the cargo.

Free In And Out (FIO) - The charterer is responsible for both the costs of loading and unloading the cargo.

Free on Board (FOB) - The charterer is responsible for the cost of loading the cargo. In a contract for the sale of cargo upon these terms the seller delivers the oil on board the ship provided by the buyer at the port of loading. The seller bears all costs and risks of the cargo only until such time as it passes the ship’s manifold at the loading port, whereafter it normally becomes the property of and at the risk of the buyer.

Gas Free Certificate - A certificate issued by a chemist after sampling the air in a tanker's cargo tanks after the cargo has been pumped out. It is endorsed with one of the following notations: (1) Safe for men, (2) Not safe for fire, (3) Safe for men and fire, (4) Not safe.

General Average - A general contribution of money paid by all parties concerned in a marine adventure in direct proportion to their several interests when a voluntary or deliberate sacrifice has been made of one or more of the party’s goods in time of peril with a view to saving the remainder of the property.

Gross Tonnage - The internal capacity of a vessel measured in units of 100 cubic feet.

Guarantee Items - Repair of guarantee items that develop during the first year of service of a new vessel and are usually corrected by the builder under a guarantee.

In Class – A vessel currently meeting all the requirements of its Classification Society is "in-class".

In-transit loss: difference between the Total Calculated Volume on board a vessel after loading and the Total Calculated Volume on board before discharge

Inert Gas (IG) - A gas used by marine tank vessels to displace air in cargo tanks to reduce oxygen content to 8 percent or less by volume and thus reduce possibility of fire or explosion. The inert gas used is usually nitrogen, carbon dioxide or a mixture of gases such as flue gas.

Inert Gas System (IGS) - A mechanical method of introducing inert gas into a vessel’s tanks. An inert gas is one which has little or no ability to react with other gases, or to heat. Examples of inert gases are nitrogen and CO2. Shipboard inert gas systems utilize CO2, either from flue gas sources or from inert gas generators.

Inerting - A procedure used to reduce the oxygen content of a vessel’s cargo spaces to 8 percent or less by volume by introducing an "inert" gas blanket such as nitrogen or carbon dioxide or a mixture of gases such as flue gas.

Inhibitors: A compound (usually organic) that retards, controls, or stops an undesired chemical reaction, such as corrosion, oxidation, or polymerization

Innage - The amount of space within a tank that is occupied by oil. Innages are sometimes called soundings or body gauges.

Independent Inspector (Cargo Surveyor) - A person or organization of persons acting independently, but on behalf of, one or more parties involved in the transfer, storage, inventory or analysis of a commodity for purposes of determining the quantity, and/or quality of a commodity. They may also be assigned to the calibration of various measurement instruments and/or storage tanks ashore or on vessels.

Intake Certificate - A document issued by the shipper indicating the amount of cargo loaded aboard the vessel as calculated from the shore tank gauges. Freight is paid on the basis of these figures.

Intertanko – International association of independent tanker owners.

In-transit loss: difference between the Total Calculated Volume on board a vessel after loading and the Total Calculated Volume on board before discharge.

Isherwood System - A method framing a vessel which employs closely spaced longitudinals with extra heavy floors spaced further apart. Most tankers use this type of framing system.

Jettison - The act of pumping cargo/ chemicals  overboard to lighten/ prevent explosion in an emergency.

Lay days - The period of time described in the charter party during which the owner must tender his ship for loading. The charterer is not obliged to start loading before the commencement of lay days. The charterer may cancel the charter if the ship does not tender prior to the expiration of lay days. Laycan- When chartering a vessel a given period of time is agreed between an Owner and a Charterer for presenting the vessel to the Charterer at the designated port. If the vessel arrives before the first day of the period the Charterer does not have to accept the vessel until the commence- ment of the agreed laydays. If the vessel arrives after the last day of the agreed period then the Charterer can reject the vessel and cancel the charter.

Laytime: -The period of time allowed to a Charterer/Cargo Supplier/Receiver physically to load and discharge the cargo. Laytime traditionally com- mences when Notice is tendered by the Master of the ship’s readiness to load or discharge, whether a berth is available or not.

Letter of Protest or Notice of Apparent Discrepancy - A letter issued by any participant in a custody transfer citing any condition with which issue is taken. This serves as a written record that the particular action or finding was questioned at the time of occurrence.

Lighter - 1) General name for a broad, flat-bottomed boat used in transporting cargo between a vessel and the shore. The distinction between a lighter and a barge is more in the manner of use than in equipment. The term "lighter" refers to a short haul, generally in connection with loading and unloading operations of vessels in harbor while the term "barge" is more often used when the cargo is being carried to its destination or over a long distance. 2) To load or discharge cargo to or from another vessel. VTBL vessel to be lightered.

Lighterage - 1) Fee charged for conveying cargo by lighters or barges. 2) Area where vessels normally lighter.
Lightering - Conveying cargo with another vessel known as a lighter from a ship to shore, or voyage.

Limited Liability - The law that permits a shipowner to restrict his liability to the value of this vessel after the accident plus the earnings for the voyage.

Limber Holes - Holes in the bottoms of stringers through which cargo flows through to the suction strums.

Load Displacement - The displacement of a vessel when it floats at its loading draft.

Load on Top (LOT) - is defined as both a procedure and a practice.

Outturn- quantity of a cargo discharged from a vessel, measured by a shore terminal.

Outturn certificate- statement issued by a receiving terminal certifying the outturn.

Out turn loss- difference in the weight or standard volumes of oil between the quantity shown on thBill of Lading and the quantity shown on the Outturn Certificate.

Procedure: Load on top is the shipboard procedure of collecting and settling water and oil mixtures, resulting from ballasting and tank cleaning operations (usually in a special slop tank or tanks), and subsequently loading cargo on top of and pumping the mixture ashore at the discharge port.

Practice: Load on top is the act of commingling on-board quantity with cargo being loaded.

Loaded Passage - The passage during which the tanker is carrying cargo.

Long Ton - A unit of weight = 2,240 pounds or 1,106 kilos.

Marine Custody Transfer (MCT) - A custody transfer activity involving a marine tank vessel(s). Loading, discharging or lightering a ship or barge is a marine custody transfer.

Marine Surveyor - A duly qualified person who examines ships to ascertain their condition, on behalf of owners, underwriters, etc. Also called "ship surveyor" or simply "surveyor".

Maritime Law - That system of jurisprudence that prevails in courts having jurisdiction of marine causes. Also called marine or admiralty law. It is a branch of both international and commercial law.

Metric Ton – A unit of weight 2,204.6 pounds (1,000 kilograms).

Midship Draft - The draft read at the midship markings. This draft can, and often does, differ from the Mean Draft due to hogging or sagging.

Net Registered Tonnage - The internal capacity of a vessel measured in units of 100 cubic feet less the space occupied by boilers, engines, shaft alleys, chain lockers, officer’s and crew quarters and other spaces not available for carrying passengers or freight. Net registered tonnage is usually referred to as registered tonnage or net tonnage.

Net Tonnage - The volumetric cargo capacity of a ship expressed on the basis of 100 cubic feet to the ton. On passenger vessels it also includes space used by passengers.

OBQ (On Board Quantity) - The material remaining in vessel tanks, void spaces, and/or pipelines prior to loading. On-board quantity includes water, oil, slops, oil residue, oil/water emulsions, sludge, and sediment.

OCIMF – The oil companies’ international marine forum is an organization of oil companies that own or operate ships.

Outage (Ullage) - The depth of the space in a tank not occupied by oil. Same as ullage. It is measured from the flange of the ullage hole to the surface of the oil. Also the space left in a petroleum product container to allow for expansion as a result of temperature changes during shipment and use.

Out-Turn Certificate - A document issued by the receivers of cargo indicating the amount of cargo 
Panamax - The maximum size ship that can fit through the Panama Canal in terms of width, length and draft generally about 80,000dwt.

Plimsoll Mark - The mark on the side of a classed vessel which indicates its safe load lines at varying seasonal conditions.

Port Charges - General term which includes charges and dues of every nature assessed against the vessel or its cargo in a port. It usually includes harbor dues, tub boat charges, pilotage fees, custom house fees, consular fees, etc.

Port State – A state that has ports to which ships call. The port state makes regulations the calling ships must adhere to. The port state control is the controlling authority of the port state on shipping such as the coast guard or naval authorities
Port Time (Two Types) – 1) Seabuoy to Seabuoy - The time elapsed between the vessel’s passing the port’s seabuoy upon entrance to re-passing it upon exit. It includes time for steaming in and out of berth, delays, hose connections, anchorage time, clearing and loading or unloading time. 2) Port to Port - Includes only time for delays, hose connections, anchorage time, clearing and loading or unloading time. Use must be consistent with voyage mileage basis.

Portable Measurement Unit (PMU) - A device designed to measure the ship’s cargo when its tanks are closed to the atmosphere. It is used in conjunction with a vapor control valve.

Portable Sampling Unit (PSU) - A device designed to sample the ship’s cargo when its tanks are closed to the atmosphere. It is used in conjunction with a vapor control valve.

Pressure/Vacuum Valve (P/V Valve) - An automatic dual purpose valve, commonly fitted in the vent lines of tankers. When in the closed position, the function of this valve is to relieve either pressure or vacuum in a tank. When in the open position it allows the passage of air or vapor into and out of the tank.

Reducer- A short section of pipe, having one end of smaller diameter than the other and having a flange on each end, for connecting a smaller hose or pipe to a pipe of constant diameter.

Restricted Measurement System – A measurement system designed to measure the ship’s cargo when its tanks are closed to the atmosphere. During measurements a minimum amount of cargo vapors might escape to the atmosphere

ROB (Remain on Board) - The material remaining in vessel tanks, void spaces, and/or pipelines after discharge. Remaining on board quantity includes water, oil, slops, oil residue, oil/water emulsions, sludge, and sediment.

Rogue Wave – An ocean wave much larger than the current wave sequence. This wave may also be outside the current wave direction and may be 100 feet or more in height

Routing - A complex of measures concerning routes aimed at reducing the risk of casualties; it includes traffic separation schemes, two-way routes, tracks, areas to be avoided, inshore traffic zones, and deep water routes.

Sag (Sagging) - The condition of a vessel caused by the unequal distribution of cargo. When a vessel loads too heavily in the center it causes a bending downward of the hull at the midships area. This can also be caused by the vessel working in heavy seas with large waves under each end and no support under the center of the ship. Sag is the opposite of Hog.

Sea Trials - A series of trials conducted by the builders during which the owner’s representatives on board act in a consulting and checking capacity to determine if the vessel has met the specifications.

Seaworthiness - The sufficiency of a vessel in materials constructions, equipment, crew and outfit for the trade in which the it is employed. Any sort of disrepair to the vessel by which the cargo may suffer; overloading; untrained officers; may constitute a vessel unseaworthy.

Seaworthiness Certificate - A certificate issued by a classification society surveyor to allow a vessel proceed after she has me with a mishap that may have affected its seaworthiness. It is frequently issued to enable a vessel to proceed, after temporary repairs have been effected, to another port where permanent repairs are then carried out.

Short-Handed - Said of a vessel inadequately manned or without the regular number of men.

Sister Ships - Ships built on the same design.

Slops - A mixture of petroleum and water normally arising from tank washings.

Sludge - A mixture of petroleum and water, usually semi-solid, frequently containing sand and scale.

Special Survey - The survey requirement of a classification society that usually takes place every four years. At the special survey vital pieces of equipment are opened up and inspected by the classification surveyor.

Stem  To order or arrange for, e.g bunkers.

Submarine Loading Terminal - A terminal where loading is carried out by means of an offshore hose run along the sea bottom.

Suezmax – The maximize size ship that can sail through the Suez canal generally considered to be between 150-200,000 DWT depending on ships dimensions and draft.

Tender (TO) - A master tenders his vessel when he advises the charterer or supplier that he is ready to load.

Time-Charter - A form of charter party wherein owner lets or leases his vessel and crew to the charterer for a stipulated period of time. The charterer pays for the bunkers and charges in addition to the hire.

Tonnage Tax – Taxes, fees, harbor dues etc. paid on the vessel based on a tonnage calculation.

Topping-Off - 1) the operation of completing the loading of a tank to a required ullage. 2) Filling up cargo tanks which were only partially filled at the loading port because of port or canal draft restrictions. The filling up occurs outside the loading port via lightering activities, or at another loading port.

Total port time: The period of time between the ships arrival off the port at the end of her sea passage inward bound and her passing the same point out- ward bound to commence her next sea passage. Total Port Time, as distinct from "Laytime", covers the entire period the ship is within the (influence of a) Port and includes all time harbour/river steaming in and out of the berth as well as time spent on the berth.
Total Port Time commences and ends at a defined position off the port which is, usually, a normal Sea Pilot embarkation/disembarkation area, (or other agreed point) and are the positions where Harbour Steaming starts and finishes for Tanker Port Performance purposes.

Track - The recommended direction or path to be followed when proceeding between pre-determined position.

Traffic - Movement of shipping.

Traffic Lane - An area within definite limits inside which one-way traffic is established.

Traffic Separation Scheme - A scheme which separates traffic proceeding in opposite or nearly opposite directions by the use of a separation zone or line, traffic lanes or by other means.

Underwriter- In marine insurance one who subscribes his name to the policy indicating his acceptance of the liability mentioned therein consideration for which he receives a premium.

Unseaworthiness - The states or condition of a vessel when it is not in a proper state of maintenance, or if the loading equipment or crew, or in any other respect is not ready to encounter the ordinary perils of sea.

Used Laytime - The amount of lay time that was taken by the vessel for loading and discharging on a voyage.

Vapor Control Valve (VCV) – This valves is used in conjunction with closed and restricted measurement equipment to allow measurements in ship’s tanks that are closed to the atmosphere. Once a portable measurement unit (PMU) is attached to the VCV, the valve is opened and the PMU’s probe is dropped into the tank to perform the required measurements.

Vapor Recovery System (VRS) - Procedures and equipment for the collection of hydrocarbon vapors from vessel’s tanks and the transfer to shoreside recovery equipment.

Vessel Experience Factor (VEF) - A factor based on the compilation of the history of the total calculated volume (TCV) vessel measurements, adjusted for on-board quantity (OBQ) or remaining on board (ROB), compared with the TCV shore measurements. This factor if developed according to the latest industry standards may be used to obtain a better ship shore comparison of volumes.

Vetting - The general process of approving a vessel for use.  (From old English "To Vet" - to look at or review again.)  Note: actual procedure varies from company to company.

Wall Wash Test - The procedure of introducing an appropriate liquid into a vessel’s tank to test for hydrocarbon, color and other contaminants. This test is done by physically pouring the liquid down vessel’s tank bulkheads and trapping a portion on filter paper. This test is also done on vessel’s steam coils and sumps.

Watertight Door - A door so constructed that, when closed, it will prevent water under pressure from passing through.

Water/Cut Measurement - The procedure of locating the oil/water interface for the purpose of determining the volume of free water in a shore tank or vessel compartment. It is also used to refer to the line of demarcation of the oil/water interface.

Wedge Formula - A mathematical means to approximate small quantities of liquid and solid cargo and free water on board prior to loading and after discharge based on cargo compartment dimensions and vessel trim. The wedge formula is to be used only when the liquid does not touch all bulk heads of the vessel’s tanks.

Wedge Table - A pre-calculated vessel table based on the wedge formula and displayed much like the vessel’s usual innage/ullage tables. These tables, however, are for small quantities (on- board quantities, remaining on board) when the cargo or free water does not touch all bulkheads of the vessel tank.

Wipe Test - The procedure of physically wiping random interior areas and steam coils of vessel’s tanks with absorbent white rags. This procedure is used to test the tank’s coating for possible color contamination.



  1. PRANAAM Capt.

    Do you know Hitesh Sharma from Ajmer? He worked in Mitsui O.S.K. Lines in, i guess, 2009-2010. He is working in Stena Bulk now. Here is a pic, guy standing in the middle...

    If you know..???