Glossary of Terms


A person who is responsible for co–ordinating shipping services for particular vessels. Can be engaged by either the ship owner or the cargo owner.


Salt water pumped into various tanks on a ship to maintain a safe stability and stress condition.


Non–bulk cargo that is not containerised. This can include unutilised cargo, and/or miscellaneous goods in boxes, bales, cases or drums (eg assembled cars, steel, coil, pallets of timber).

Bulk Cargo

Cargo (such as coal, ore or oil) that is carried loose, takes up the shape of the ship’s hold, and is handled by direct application of conveyors, grabs, pumps, elevators and so on.

Bulk Container

Container (20′ or 40′) with watertight trapdoors in roof and doors, and used for dry bulk cargo or general cargo.

Car Carrier

A vessel fitted with portable decks serviced by ramps or in some cases using ship’s gear, where the motor vehicles are driven to their stowage points and lashed. A specially designed car carrier has numerous decks and ramp access in the ship’s side and/or provides a stern ramp.

Charter Vessel

A ship not on a regular service that has been engaged for a particular voyage.

Container Ship

A ship specially designed for transporting containers. The holds have vertical cell guides into which containers are lowered to form secure stacks. Containers are also carried on the deck of the ships in stacks, secured by twist locks and lashing rods.

Common User

Port facilities, including berths and equipment such as straddle carriers and cranes, that can be used by a number of stevedores who have a contract with the Port Company.


Single item of cargo described for freighting, import/export documents, physically carried from origin to one destination.


Standardised steel box (20′ or 40′ and 8 feet wide and high) used to carry cargo.

Container Park

Facility for large–scale parking of containers.

Container Sizes

Length external: (20′ or 40′)
Width external: (8′).
Height: external various.
Internal dimensions: consult specification for specific container.

Container Terminal

Area where large scale container handling, packing and storage facilities are available and used for transport of containers between at least two different transport media (rail, road, sea, air).

Dead Weight Tonnage (DWT)

Weight in tonnes of cargo, stores, fuel, passengers and crew carried by the ship when loaded to their maximum summer load line.


A facility used by shipping companies to pack and unpack containers.


The distance between the water level and the bottom of a ship.

Dry Bulk

Bulk cargo that is dry, such as wheat, coal and woodchips.


Loose packing material used to protect a ship’s cargo during transport.

Environmental Harm

Any adverse effect, or potential adverse effect (whether temporary or permanent and of whatever magnitude, duration or frequency) on an environmental value, including environmental nuisance.

Full Container Load (FCL)

A container filled by a shipper or consolidator and used exclusively for their own cargo.

General Cargo

Any containerised cargo not requiring refrigeration.

General Container

20′ or 40′ container with solid roof and sides (8′ or 8’6″).

Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT)

Broadly speaking – the capacity in cubic measurement of the spaces within the hull and of the enclosed spaces above deck, available for cargo, stores, fuel, passengers and crews.

Gross Weight

The weight of the container plus contents plus packaging/dunnage.


It is a funnel like mobile structure that free flowing cargo is poured through. Trucks are positioned below the hopper for loading.


An activity which, in the course of any trade or business, involves the manufacture, production, processing, repair, recycling or storage of any article, material or thing (whether solid, liquid or gaseous) or scientific or technological research, investigation or testing or the disposal of waste of any kind whatsoever.

Industrial and Operational Safety

The protection of members of the public from any existing or potential sources of harm, existing either naturally or from processes being undertaken at the Port.

Lift–on/Lift–off (LoLo)

A conventional vessel specially stiffened below (mechanised below), tank tops, etc sheer removed with bulkheads along ship sides, 5 – 10 tonne cranes or gears to handle unit loads, strapped pallets, containers, etc, and stowed by machines (forklift trucks and forklift cranes) working below.


Maximum overall length of a vessel.


A list of cargo carried on a ship.


A person who receives cargo from road/rail and accepts it from the stevedore ready for dispatch.

Metric Tonne

1 Tonne = 1,000 kilograms or 2,204.62 lbs.


Wharf frontage, or line beyond which no structure may project (if there is no wharf in place).

Reefer Container

Container for carriage of refrigerated cargo.

Reefer Ship

Fully refrigerated conventional ship – specially designed for the carriage of bulk or palletised refrigerated cargoes.

Roll–on/Roll–off (RoRo)

Ships which can accept any cargo that can be driven on board (eg trailers, lorries, etc) or containers, pallets and unit–loads, which are carried on board by forklift trucks or side lift trucks.


A person or enterprise having a commercial arrangement with a shipping organisation for the shipment of cargo. A shipper is the consignor of cargo.

Shipping Schedule

A list generated daily showing all arrivals and departures for the Port of Tauranga.


A person who is employed in the loading or unloading of ships.


The loading and unloading of ships’ cargoes.

Stevedoring Industry

Includes bulk, break–bulk and container operations.


Vessels built to particular specifications and size for the carriage of bulk liquid cargoes such as oil, petrol, wine, acid, liquid, gas, etc.

Tare Weight

The weight of a container including fittings when empty. The weight of a road vehicle when empty.

TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit)

20 foot ISO freight container size used as a unit of measure to describe a number of containers. One 40′ container is equivalent to 2 TEUs.


When used in shipping terms it refers to a defined shipping route between two or more countries.


Where a consignment is transported aboard more than one vessel to reach its destination – via an intermediate port.

Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit

Container counting based on the International Standards Organisation 20 foot by 8 foot container. (See also TEU).


Any premises used or intended for use for the storage of goods, merchandise or materials in large stocks, whether or not storage is required for an adjoining shop or other commercial premises, pending their distribution or sale to persons who purchase for the purpose of resale only.

Wet Bulk

Bulk cargo that is wet and cannot be containerised, or which it is uneconomical to containerise (eg oil).