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Industry Terms

Industry Terms
TEU‘Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit’. The industry standard to measure containers. A 20-foot container’s dimensions are twenty feet long (6.09 meters), 8 feet wide (2.4 meters) and 8 feet six inches high (2.6 meters). These dimensions have been set by the ISO.
TEU Nom. The maximum number of physical TEU slots in both the holds as well as on deck that can be used while still allowing for navigational safety (i.e. line of sight). This is the maximum number of containers (in TEU) that may be carried by a vessel, and it is the typical way of stating the "size" of a container vessel.
TEU at 14 tsAlso known as "homogenous" capacity. It refers to the number of containers (TEU) that a vessel will typically be able to load assuming an average weight of 14 tons per TEU. This number is usually around 25%-40% lower than the nominal capacity (TEU Nom.) since the container ship has a maximum cargo weight capacity (sea DWT), which it can safely carry. A higher TEU AT 14 TS capacity effectively means it is possible to load more cargo. 
DWTDeadweight tonnage (DWT) refers to the amount of cargo that a ship can safely carry. Cargo here includes items like, fuel, fresh water, ballast water, provisions, passengers, and crew. So even if a ship has a DWT capacity of say 35,000 tons, it will likely only be able to carry ca. 32,000 tons of cargo in order to be able to store the required fuel etc.
DraftAlso known as “draught”. Refers to the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the ship’s hull. It is the maximum depth of any part of the vessel, including appendages such as rudders, propellers and drop keels if deployed. Like for L.O.A. or Beam, ports and waterways may feature maximum drafts for vessels to call there. A ship with a maximum draft of 12.5m however may often only travel at a draft of 11 meters when not fully utilized. Also, operators may on purpose choose to not fully utilize the draft of a vessel in order to be able to call a port with such restrictions. 
GTGross tonnage is a nonlinear measure of a ship's overall internal volume. As a unit, it has replaced the earlier “Gross Register Tonnage". In the industry, Gross Tonnage is used to determine items such as manning regulations, safety rules, registration fees, and port dues.
NTNet Tonnage is a dimensionless index calculated by using a mathematical formula. Net tonnage has replaced the earlier “Net Register Tonnage”. Net tonnage is used to calculate port duties. In the United States, net tonnage is used to determine eligibility for registering boats with the federal government. 
L.O.A./BeamRefer to the length (=Length Over All) and width (=beam) of the ship. These dimensions are important for ports- or waterways, where restrictions regarding L.O.A. or beam exist or where ships with too many container rows (=a larger beam) cannot be serviced or serviced effciently by existing infrastructure. 
GearRefers to the loading gear (cranes) that the container ship may or may not be equipped with. As a rule of thumb, “gears” are only ever installed on vessels below 5,000 TEU. The smaller the vessel, the more likely it is equipped with a gear, and approximately 1 in 4 vessels below 3,000 TEU is currently equipped with a loading gear. These gears may be a decisive advantage when ports without efficient container cranes need to be called. They may also be a disadvantage due to increased capital and operational costs and slightly reduced container intake, and gear may “get in the way” of regular container crane operations, where those facilities exist. 
BIMCOThe Baltic and International Maritime Council. The world’s largest international shipping association for shipowners, operators, managers, brokers and agents.
CarrierAn individual, company or corporation engaged in transporting goods. Container shipping lines are sometimes referred to as ocean carriers.
Charter rateA rate for shipping freight agreed upon between the owner of a vessel and the person wanting to use the vessel (the ‘charterer’).
CO­2 emissionsAbbreviation for carbon dioxide emissions. CO2 results from the burning of fossil fuels such as petroleum, and is broadly considered to be a factor contributing to global warming.
ContainerA reusable steel rectangular box for carrying cargo. The sizes of containers are standardized so that they can easily be moved between specially adapted containers ships, trains and trucks.
Container terminalA docking, unloading and loading area within a port designed to suit the sizes and needs of container ships.
Feeder container vesselA container vessel with a carrying capacity of between 1,001 and 3,000 TEU that are mainly deployed in intra-regional services. About half of these vessels are equipped with cranes in order to serve small ports in less-developed regions.
FEU‘Forty-foot Equivalent Unit’. A container that is the same height and width as a TEU but twice the length/capacity.
Freight rateThe charge made by a shipping line for the transportation of freight aboard one of its ships from one place to another.
IntermodalismA system whereby standard-sized cargo containers can be moved seamlessly between different modes of transport, typically specially adapted ships known as containerships, barges, trucks and trains. Regarded as an efficient transporation system due to the cargo not needing to be unloaded from the container every time it is moved from one mode to the other.
IMOThe International Maritime Organization. A specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of international shipping and to prevent marine pollution from ships. It is also involved in legal matters, including liability and compensation issues and the facilitation of international maritime traffic.
ISOAn international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. It was the ISO that prescribed the standard size of shipping containers to make global container trade more efficient.
ISPS CodeInternational Ship and Port Facility Security Code. Agreed between the signatories SOLAS Convention on minimum security arrangements for ships, ports and Coast Guard agencies. The ISPS Code was introduced by the IMO, the overseer of the original SOLAS agreement, in the wake of fears of terrorist attacks on ships and ports after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States in 2001.
KnotA nautical measurement of speed equal to 1.15 miles or 1.85 kilometers per hour on land. The speed of ships is measured in knots.
MARPOLInternational Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. The main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes.
ReeferIndustry term for a temperature-controlled container built to control e.g. temperature, humidity, ventilation and gas levels so as to prevent the deterioration of fresh food or other sensitive goods over long distances and periods of time.
ScrubberAir pollution control devices that can be used to remove some particulates and/or gases from industrial exhaust streams. Fitted/retrofitted on ocean-going vessels to clean exhaust gas emissions.
SOLAS ConventionInternational Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea. Prescribes a set of safety measures in the construction, equipment and operation of merchant ships, e.g. the numbers of lifeboats and other emergency equipment that ships must have.