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What does it mean?

Often, the meaning of technical terms and abbreviations related to shipping, transport, customs, and Incoterms is not immediately obvious. We have compiled a glossary of shipping lingo to explain the most important terms:

From A to Z



Accord européen relatif au transport international des marchandises Dangereuses par Route; in English: European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road.



German Freight Forwarders' Standard Terms and Conditions (Allgemeine Deutsche Spediteurbedingungen      / » ADSp)


AES(Automated Export System)

As of July 1, 2009, the amended versions of the EU customs regulation and the German Foreign Trade Ordinance stipulate mandatory electronic registration and transmission of export declarations to the customs administration office. The customs authorities expect AES to speed up customs clearance processes and provide faster, easier tracking of export shipments.



Automated Tariff and Local Customs Handling System



Bunker adjustment factor // balance for changing fuel costs



Bill of Lading



Currency adjustment factor



Container freight station



rent of container, if the container is not picked up at the port within a set time



rent of container, if the empty container is not returned on time



Export Control System, see AES



» Excise Movement and Control System

IT-supported movement and control system for » excise goods.



Electronic administration document for the EMCS.




Economic Operators´ Registration and Identification number 

EORI number validation



estimated time of arrival



estimated time of departure



full container load. The container space is fully occupied by the goods.



full container load // door to door service



consignments in one container from one sender for several recipients



fourty foot equivalent unit (40' container unit)



The Intrastat trade statistics system is used to evaluate the trade in goods between the European countries. The result of the evaluation is published in the form of a balance of trade in order to visualize the economic relationships between the member states (countries) of the European Union. Intrastat declarations are created for every cross-border shipment.

What companies are subject to mandatory reporting?

VAT/sales tax registered companies whose shipments to other EU countries exceeded the value of 400,000.00 euros in the previous year are required to submit monthly reports. If the value threshold is exceeded during the current year, the mandatory reporting requirement takes effect as of the month in which the threshold was exceeded.



Less than (a) container load. General cargo units whose quantity and volume do not occupy the entire container space.



Several shipping agents and only one consignee (recipient) per container. The container is stuffed (loaded) by the carrier and stripped (unloaded) by the consignee.



partial deliveries, which are put into one container in the container freight station and then separated at the destination


M. S.

Motor Ship


NCTS (New Computerised Transit System)

Electronic system for the control and management of Community and common transit processes.


POD - proof of delivery = Ablieferbeleg


SEED (System of Exchange of Excise Data)

Covering all economic operators within the European Union (EU), this system compiles the data relevant to movement under duty suspension arrangements and makes it exchangeable between the member states (countries). Each member state is required to make its national SEED data accessible to all other member states. At present, the German data is transmitted once daily via a secure data connection to the European Commission. Source: » www.zoll.de

SEED - Excise Authorisation Verification


Excise duty

Excise duties are levied for the consumption or use of goods, and include, among others, beer tax, duty on spirits, liquor tax, sparkling wine tax, and taxes imposed on other certain alcoholic beverages (Zwischenerzeugnissteuer).Excise duties can be subject to sales tax/VAT, so that the price of the goods may rise accordingly.


Customers who waive insurance (Verzichtskunden)

Customers who take out insurance policies themselves can submit a » waiver and prohibit a forwarding agent, shipping company, or carrier from taking out an insurance policy for their goods.



terminal handling charge // handling costs for container



transit time



weight or measurement // calculation of sea freight based on tonnes or cubic meters, depending which is higher