Factor - A factor is an agent who will, at a discount (usually five to 8% of the gross), buy receivables.
FAK - Abbreviation for “Freight All Kinds.” Usually refers to full container loads of mixed shipments.
False Billing - Misrepresenting freight or weight on shipping documents.
FAS - Abbreviation for “Free Alongside Ship.”
FCL - Abbreviation for “Full Container Load.”
FD - Abbreviation for “Free Discharge.”
F.D.A. - Food and Drug Administration.
Feeder Service - Cargo to/from regional ports are transferred to/from a central hub port for a long–haul ocean voyage.
Feeder Vessel - A short–sea vessel which transfers cargo between a central “hub” port and smaller “spoke” ports.
FEU - Abbreviation for “Forty–Foot Equivalent Units.” Refers to container size standard of 40 feet. Two 20–foot containers or TEU’s equal one FEU.
Fifth Wheel - The semi–circular steel coupling device mounted on a tractor which engages and locks with a chassis semi–trailer.
FIO - See Free In and Out.
Firkin - A capacity measurement equal to one–fourth of a barrel.
Fixed Costs - Costs that do not vary with the level of activity. Some fixed costs continue even if no cargo is carried. Terminal leases, rent and property taxes are fixed costs.
Flat Car - A rail car without a roof and walls.
Flat Rack/Flat Bed Container - A container with no sides and frame members at the front and rear. Container can be loaded from the sides and top.
FMC (F.M.C.) - Federal Maritime Commission. The U.S. Governmental regulatory body responsible for administering maritime affairs including the tariff system, freight forwarder licensing, enforcing the conditions of the Shipping Act and approving conference or other carrier agreements.
FOB - See Free On Board. See also Terms of Sale, FOB.
FOR - Abbreviation for “Free on Rail.”
Force Majeure - The title of a common clause in contracts, exempting the parties for non–fulfillment of their obligations as a result of conditions beyond their control, such as earthquakes, floods or war.
Fore and Aft - The direction on a vessel parallel to the center line.
Foreign Sales Corporation - Under U.S. tax law, a corporation created to obtain tax exemption on part of the earnings of U.S. products in foreign markets.Must be set–up as a foreign corporation with an office outside the USA.
FPPI - Foreign Principal Party of InterestThe party to whom final delivery or end use of the exported goods will be made, usually the buyer.
Foreign Trade Zone - A free port in a country divorced from Customs authority but under government control. Merchandise, except that which is prohibited, may be stored in the zone without being subject to import duty regulations.
Fork Lift - A machine used to pick up and move goods loaded on pallets or skids.
Foul Bill of Lading - A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were damaged when received. Compare Clean Bill of Lading.
Four–Way Pallet - A pallet designed so that the forks of a fork lift truck can be inserted from all four sides. See Fork lift.
Forwarder Compensation - See Brokerage.
F.P.A. - See Free of Particular Average.
Free Alongside (FAS) - The seller must deliver the goods to a pier and place them within reach of the ship’s loading equipment. See Terms of Sale.
Free Astray - An astray shipment (a lost shipment that is found) sent to its proper destination without additional charge.
Free Carrier (FCA) - An Incoterm of sale meaning the seller has delivered when the cargo is given to the carrier nominated by the buyer at the named place.
Free In and Out (FIO) - Cost of loading and unloading a vessel is borne by the charterer/shipper.
Free of Particular Average (FPA) - A marine insurance term meaning that the assurer will not allow payment for partial loss or damage to cargo shipments except in certain circumstances, such as stranding, sinking, collision or fire.
Free on Board (FOB – U.S. Domestic Use) - Shipped under a rate that includes costs of delivery to and the loading onto a carrier at a specified point.
FOB Freight Allowed:• - The same as FOB named inland carrier, except the buyer pays the transportation charge and the seller reduces the invoice by a like amount.
FOB Freight Prepaid: • - The same as FOB named inland carrier, except the seller pays the freight charges of the inland carrier.
FOB Named Point of Exportation:• - Seller is responsible for the cost of placing the goods at a named point of exportation. Some European buyers use this form when they actually mean FOB vessel.
FOB Vessel:• - Seller is responsible for goods and preparation of export documentation until actually placed aboard the vessel.
Free on Board (Int’l Use) - See Terms of Sale.
Free Out (FO) - Cost of unloading a vessel is borne by the charterer.
Free Port - A restricted area at a seaport for the handling of duty–exempted import goods. Also called a Foreign Trade Zone.
Free Sale Certificate - The U.S. government does not issue certificates of free sale. However, the Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland, will issue, upon request, a letter of comment to the U.S. manufacturers whose products are subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act or other acts administered by the agency. The letter can take the place of the certificate.
Free Time - That amount of time that a carrier’s equipment may be used without incurring additional charges. (See Storage, Demurrage or Per Diem.)
Free Trade Zone - A port designated by the government of a country for duty–free entry of any non–prohibited goods. Merchandise may be stored, displayed, used for manufacturing, etc., within the zone and re–exported without duties.
Freight - Refers to either the cargo carried or the charges assessed for carriage of the cargo.
Freight Bill - A document issued by the carrier based on the bill of lading and other information; used to account for a shipment operationally, statistically, and financially.An Invoice.
Freight Forwarder - A person whose business is to act as an agent on behalf of the shipper. A freight forwarder frequently makes the booking reservation. In the United States, freight forwarders are now licensed by the FMC as “Ocean Intermediaries.”
Freighters - See Ships.
Full Shipload Lot - The amount of cargo a vessel carries or is able to carry. Practically, it is the amount of cargo which induces the specific voyage. While the cargo lot may take up the majority of the vessel’s space or tonnage capacity, it does not require a vessel’s volume and weight capacity to be fully utilized.
Full and Down - An expression to describe a loaded vessel carrying cargoes of such a volume and weight that it fills all the vessel’s spaces and also brings her down to her tonnage loadline. A rare but optimum revenue condition for a vessel operator.