B/L (Bill of Lading)

The conditions for the transport of goods by sea are laid down in the transport agreement, called a Bill of Lading (B/L). It is the carrier that issues the Bill of Lading. The type of chartering agreement or charter party determines the carrier: in the case of voyage chartering it is the shipowner, in the case of time chartering and bare hull chartering it is the charterer. The Bill of Lading has three important functions: proof of receipt, proof of transport agreement and title of ownership.

BAF (Bunker Surcharge)

When fuel prices are subject to major price fluctuations, the shipping company sometimes levies a bunker surcharge or BAF (Bunker Adjustment Factor) so as to compensate for the risks of price fluctuations.

Break bulk

Goods that cannot be transported in or on a container by (seagoing) vessel due to their exceptionally large dimensions or weight. When sea transport does take place by container ship, it is called break bulk shipping. When these goods are transported by means of a special ship (i.e. not a container ship), it is called conventional shipping.


A broker mediates between a buyer and a seller. If you want to import goods into the USA, a local broker must be appointed.

BSC/ Bordereaux Suivi de Cargaison

Some national ports are subject to pre-registration of the shipment. This used to be called a wavier destination, but these days it is referred to as the BSC (Bordereaux Suivi de Cargison) or Cargo Tracking Note. BSC applies for ports in the following countries: Burkina Fasso, Niger, Rep. San African, Cameroon, Gabon, Republic Congo, Benin, Togo, Ivoor Kust /Cote D’ivoire, Angola, Senegal, Democratic Republic Congo.


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