Glossary: B

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Back-to-Back Letter of Credit - A new letter of credit opened in favor of another beneficiary on the basis of an already existing, non-transferable letter of credit.

Backhaul - Traffic for a return movement; also to bring traffic back partway along a route that it has already traveled.

BAF - Abbreviation for Bunker Adjustment Factor. Used to compensate steamship lines for fluctuating fuel costs. Sometimes called Fuel Adjustment Factor or FAF. Baggage - Personal effects of a traveler that are needed immediately upon arrival at destination. (Note: Baggage may accompany a traveler or be transported separately)

Baggage, Accompanied - Baggage that consists of coats, brief cases, suitcases, and similar luggage that accompanies a traveler free under carriers' tariffs on a transportation ticket.

Baggage, Hold - Unaccompanied baggage that is transported in the hold of a ship.

Baggage, Unaccompanied - That part of a HHGs shipment that: 1)is not carried free on a ticket used for personal travel; 2)ordinarily is transported separately from the major bulk of HHG; and 3)is usually transported by an expedited mode because it is needed immediately or soon after arrival at destination for interim housekeeping pending arrival of major portion of the HHG.

BAH - Basic allowance for housing

Bailment - A contract (such as a bill of Lading) which allows a carrier to take possession of goods without ownership.

Balance Due Bill - A bill rendered by the carrier for undercharges.

Balance of Trade - The difference between a country's total imports and exports; if exports exceed imports, a favorable balance of trade exists; if not, a trade deficit is said to exist.

Balloon Freight - Light, bulky articles.

Bank Acceptance - A bill of exchange drawn on or accepted by a bank to pay specific bills for one of its customers when the bill becomes due. The acceptance becomes a financial instrument that can be discounted for immediate payment.

Bank Guarantee - Guarantee issued by a bank to a carrier to be used in lieu of lost or misplaced original negotiable bill of lading.

Barratry - An act committed by the master or mariners of a vessel, for some unlawful or fraudulent purpose, contrary to their duty to the owners, whereby the latter sustain injury. It may include negligence, if so gross as to evidence fraud.

Barrel (BBL) - A term of measure referring to 42 gallons of liquid at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Barter - Trade in which merchandise is exchanged directly for other merchandise without the use of money. Barter is an important means of trade with countries using currency that is not readily convertible.

Base Rate - A tariff term referring to ocean rate less accessorial charges, or simply the base tariff rate.

Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) - BAH is given to service members who live off of the installation to offset the cost of housing and housing-related expenses, such as utilities.  The rate received depends on rank, dependency status, and where the service member is stationed

BCO - Abbreviation for Beneficial Cargo Owner. Refers to the importer of record, who physically takes possession of cargo at destination and does not act as a third party in the movement of such goods.

Beam - The width of a ship.

Bearer Document - A negotiable instrument, commercial paper, document of title or security that is issued payable or transferable on demand to the individual who holds the instrument. A bearer document authorizes the payment of funds or the transfer of property to the bearer when the bearer presents the document to the person, such as a bank or a shipper, that is holding the funds or property.

Beggar Thy Neighbor Policy - A course of action through which a country tries to reduce unemployment and increase domestic output by raising tariffs and instituting non-tariff barriers that impede imports, or by accomplishing the same objective through competitive devaluation in currency.

Belt Line - A switching railroad operating within a commercial area.

Beneficiary - The person in whose favor a draft is issued or a letter of credit opened.

Berth Term - Shipped under rate that rate that does not include cost of loading or unloading carrier.

Best Value - Selection of contractors/carriers to support Defense Transportation System (DTS) requirements based on a trade-off between cost and other factors, such as past performance and about to perform service within stated requirements. Low cost will not be the primary factor and it is possible that the low-cost carrier will not receive the award in a best value selection. Past performance factors could include on-time pickup and delivery percentage lost or damaged cargo percentage and number of claims. Service factors could be in-transit visibility (lTV) ability, response time for requirement, and routing ability.

Beyond - Used with reference to charges assessed for cargo movement past a line-haul terminating point.

Bilateral - A contract term meaning both parties agree to provide something for the other.

Bilateral Trade Agreement - A formal agreement involving commerce between two countries. Such agreements list the quantities of specific goods that may be exchanged between participating countries within a given time period.

Bill of Adventure - A written certificate used if goods are shipped under the name of a merchant, shipmaster, or ship owner. It certifies that the property and risk in the goods belong to a person other than the shipper and that the shipper is accountable to that other person.

Bill of Exchange - An unconditional order in writing, signed by a person (drawer) such as a buyer, and addressed to another person (drawee), typically a bank, ordering the drawee to pay a stated sum of money to yet another person (payee), often a seller, on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time. Also see "Draft".

Bill of Lading (B/L) - The document issued on behalf of the carrier describing the kind and quantity of goods being shipped, the shipper, the consignee, the ports of loading and discharge and the carrying vessel. It serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage, and a receipt for goods.

Bill of Lading Port of Discharge - Port where cargo is discharged from means of transport.

Bill of Sale - Confirms the transfer of ownership of certain goods to another person in return for money paid or loaned.

Bill to Party - Customer designated as party paying for services.

Billed Weight - The weight shown in a waybill and freight bill.

Binding Quote - A guaranteed price based on the inventory or information provided

Blanket Bond - A bond covering a group of persons, articles or properties.

Blanket Rate - A rate that does not increase according to the distance the commodity is shipped.

Blanket Waybill - A waybill covering two or more consignments of freight.

Blind Shipment - A Bill of Lading wherein the paying customer has contracted with the carrier that shipper or consignee information is not given.

Block Stowage - Stowing cargo destined for a specific location close together to avoid unnecessary cargo movement.

Blocked Trains - Railcars grouped in a train by destination so that segments (blocks) can be uncoupled and routed to different destinations as the train moves through various junctions. Eliminates the need to break up a train and sort individual railcars at each junction.

Blocking or Bracing - Wood or Metal Supports used to keep shipments in place in or on trailers, containers or railcars.

Bls. - Abbreviation for Bales.

Board - To gain access to a vessel.

Board Feet - The basic unit of measurement for lumber. One board foot is equal to a one-inch board, 12 inches wide and one foot long. Thus, a board ten feet long, 12 inches wide, and one inch thick contains ten board feet.

Bob-Tail - Tractor operating without a trailer.

Bogie - An assembly of two or more axles; removable set of rear axles and wheels used to support a van container.

Bolster - A device so fitted on a chassis or railcar so as to hold and secure the container

Bona Fide - Latin phrase meaning "in good faith" also used to mean real or true.

Bond - Obligation made binding by payment of a fee, which is lost if the contract is violated, a binding agreement.

Bond Port - Port of initial Customs entry of a vessel to any county. Also known as First Port of Call.

Bonded Freight - Freight moving under a bond to U.S. Customs or to the Internal Revenue Service, and to be delivered only under stated conditions.

Bonded Warehouse - A building authorized by Customs authorities for the storage of goods on which payment of duties are deferred until the goods are removed.

Booking - An arrangement with a carrier for the acceptance and carriage of cargo.

Booking Number - Reservation number used to secure equipment and act as a control number prior to completion of a B/L.

Bordereau - An insurance form, similar to a declaration, which provides for insurance coverage of multiple shipments within a prescribed reporting period, usually a month.

Bottom-Air Delivery - A type of air circulation in a temperature control container. Air is pulled by a fan from the top of the container, passed through the evaporator coil for cooling, and then forced through the space under the load and up through the cargo. This type of airflow provides even temperature.

Bottom Side-Rails - Structural member located on the longitudinal sides of the base of the container.

Box - A rigid rectangular container completely enclosing the product; also, a slang word for intermodal containers.

Bow - The front of a vessel.

Boxcar - An enclosed railcar typically 40 to 50 feet long, used for packaged freight and some bulk commodities.

Bracing - Securing a shipment inside a carrier's vehicle to prevent damage.

Branch Line - Railroad line providing train service to one or more stations beyond a junction with the main line or another branch in the line.

Break Bulk - Loose cargo, such as cartons, stowed directly in the ship's hold as opposed to containerized or bulk cargo. See "containerization"

Breakbulk (BB) ship - A ship with deep holds that are loaded through hatches. Ships are normally self-sustaining.

Bridge Formula - Formula used to determine maximum gross weight carried on any arrangement of consecutive axles.

Broken Stowage - The loss of space caused by irregularity in the shape of packages.

Broker - 1) Agent who arranges interstate movement of goods by other carriers; 2) arranger of exempt loads for owner-operators and/or carriers; 3) one who arranges the buying/selling of goods for a commission; 4) person of insurance who places orders for coverage with companies designated by the insured or with companies of his choosing.

Brokerage - Freight forwarder/broker compensation as specified by ocean tariff.

Bulk Carrier - Vessel engaged in carriage of bulk commodities like petroleum, grains or ore that are not packaged, bundled, bottled or otherwise packed.

Bulk Cargo - Loose cargo that is loaded directly into a ship's hold.

Bulk Freight - Not in packages or containers; shipped loose in the hold of a ship. Grain, coal and sulfur are usually bulk freight.

Bulk Freight Container - A container with a discharge hatch in the front wall; allows bulk commodities to be grasped through loading hatches.

Bulkhead - 1) Upright wall in trailer or rail car that separates and stabilizes a load; 2) Cargo restraining partition in a vehicle or vessel; 3) A structure to resist water.

Bulk Shipments – Shipments that are not packaged, but are, loaded directly into the vessel's holds. Examples of commodities that can be shipped in bulk are ores, coal, scrap, iron, grain, rice, vegetable oil, tallow, fuel oil, fertilizers and similar commodities.

Bull Rings - Cargo securing devices mounted in the floor of containers which provide for the lashing and securing of cargo.

Bunker Charge - An extra charge sometimes added to steamship freight rates; justified by higher fuel costs. (Also known as Fuel Adjustment Factor or FAF.)

Bunkers -A maritime term referring to fuel used aboard the ship. Coal stowage areas aboard a vessel in the past were in bins or bunkers.

Business Logistics - The physical movement of goods from supply point to final sale to customers and the associated transfer and holding of such goods at various intermediate storage points, accomplished in such a manner as to contribute to the explicit goals of the organization.

Buyers Right to Route - When a seller does not pay for freight charges, the purchaser has the right to designate the route for shipments; seller is responsible for following the buyers' instructions. Complete routing is permitted for rail shipments but only for the first carrier in motor shipments.

Buying Agent - See "Purchasing agent"