Common Shipping Terms

  • Term
    Definition
  • ABLE BODIED SEAMAN
     A member of the deck crew who is able to perform all the duties of an experienced seamen
  • ABS
     American Bureau of Shipping: A U.S.-based private classification,or standards setting society for merchant ships and other marine systems.
  • ACCOMODATION UNIT  
    Fitted with cabins and catering facilities for offshore crews. Semisubmersible accommodation units are often called 'Flotels'.
  • ADMEASUREMENT
     The confirmed or official dimensions of a ship.
  • AFT  
    In, near, or toward the stern of the vessel.
  • AGENCY FEE  
    A fee charged to the ship by the ship's agent, representing payment for services while the ship was in port. Sometimes called attendance fee.
  • AHT
    (Anchor-handling tug) - Moves anchors and tow drilling vessels, lighters and similar.
  • AHTS
    (Anchor-handling Tug/Supply) - Combined supply and anchor-handling ship. Seismic ship: Conducts seismic surveys to map geological structures beneath the sea bed.
  • AIMS  
    American Institute of Merchant Shipping.
  • ALLISION  
    The act if striking or collision of a moving vessel against a stationary object.
  • AMC
     American Maritime Congress.
  • AMIDSHIPS
     In or toward the center of the ship.
  • API  
    American Petroleum Institute.
  • ARBITRATION  
    Method of settling disputes which is usually binding on parties. A clause usually in a charter party.
  • ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT  
    The document containing all particulars relating to the terms of agreement between the Master of the vessel and the crew. Sometimes called ship's articles, shipping articles.
  • ASTERN  
    A backward direction in the line of a vessel's fore and aft line; behind. If a vessel moves backwards it is said to move astern; opposite to ahead.
  • AT SEA  
    In marine insurance this phrase applies to a ship which is free from its moorings and ready to sail.
  • AUTOMATIC PILOT
     An instrument designed to control automatically a vessel's steering gear so that she follows a pre-determined track through the water.
  • AWO  
    A merican Waterway Operators. The national trade association for the barge and towing industry and the shipyards employed in the repair and construction of these craft
  • B/d
     Barrels per day (measure of petroleum production).
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