Person who signs up with a shipowner or ship’s manager to serve aboard a vessel. The crew is composed of officers and of men acting under officers’ orders.


Lightweight upper deck. Shelterdeck-type vessels have at least two gunwales and the upper deck openings have no permanent means of closure, thus reducing the registered tonnage.

Ship Broker

Nowadays acting freely, ship brokers engage in charter brokerage, in other words they act as intermediaries between the owner or freighter and the charterer. They are also brokers for the purhcase and sale of vessels.


Provision of fuel, food and other supplies aboard a vessel, as necessary for a transport operation.

Shipowner or Ship’s Manager

Professional who fits out and operates vessels for merchant shipping purposes; the term also designates the owner of a given vessel.


Owner of part or all of the cargo aboard a given vessel, as represented by a bill of lading; person who ships or consigns the cargo.

Shipping Agent or Shipping Agency

Authorized agents of one or more shipowners, their representatives in all ship management functions; can have very wide-ranging responsibilities and act as forwarding agents or even as freight forwarders.

Ship’s Agent

Authorized agent whose role is to assist the shipowner and ship’s captain on a technical level (taking charge of the vessel upon entry into port, tugging, reception of cargo, loading).

Ship’s Rail

Part of the vessel which marks the physical limit of the deck and which in certain incoterms is the designated line of demarcation for the transfer of risks and costs.

Short-Sea Shipping

Coastal shipping, namely navigation in proximity to the coastline and over short distances, subject to the national regulations of the countries concerned.


Metal cable used to gain hold of and to handle a consignment.


Computer-based international freight information system set up by French Customs to process customs and commercial documents.


Device suspended from a piece of lifting equipment such as a gantry crane, conventional crane or lift truck, which permits a load requiring multiple lift points to be secured and lifted.


Piling of loads (sacks, bags, containers).


The right-hand side of the vessel when the vessel is moving forward (opposite of port, or portside).


Dock worker in the Atlantic Seaboard, Channel and North Sea ports.

Stowage (or Stowing)

The operation that consists in securing cargo on board the vessel.

Stuffing (or Vanning)

Action of filling of a container.


Subleasing of a vessel.


Vessel manoeuvre that consists in the vessel turning round on herself in order to change directions.