Bearer bill of lading. This document allows the goods to be delivered to the holder of it. The name of the consignee, to whom the goods have been sent, perhaps the buyer, may be stated as "bearer".

Bills of lading and charterparties. In exercising the authority to sign bills of lading the charterers, agents and masters must ensure that the terms within the bill of lading are consistent with those in the charterparty that require a bill of lading to be signed and issued.

Baltic International Freight Futures Index (BIFFEX). The dry cargo tramp charter market is usually volatile. Both shipowners and cargo interests may be uncertain about movements in the freight rates. BIFFEX allows shippers, shipowners and charterers to "hedge" against changes in freight rates by buying or selling "future" contracts at an expected price. If, for example, in March, it is expected that freight rates for a particular route will rise by October, the price per contract unit for settlement in October will be higher than the March BIFFEX.


Boot topping. The boot topping is part of the outside shell of the vessel between the light and loaded draught, that is, that part of the hull which is exposed alternately to wind and water. Moreover, the vessel’s berthing and unberthing and also tugs’ rubbing against the ship in the arrival and departure from ports lead to severe abrasion in this region.

Burden of proof and bills of lading. The "burden of proof" is related to a rule in law concerning evidence of a fact. A fact is said to be proved when the arbitrator or judge is satisfied that the fact is true and correct. The evidence by which this result is caused is called the "proof".

Butterworth tank cleaning system. This is a method for cleaning and gas freeing oil tanks by means of high pressure jets of water, either cold or heated. The apparatus consists essentially of double opposed nozzles which rotate slowly about their horizontal and vertical axes, projecting two high pressure streams of water against all inside surfaces of the deck, bulkheads, tank framing and shell plating.


Berth charter. If a vessel was chartered for loading "on the berth", the contract of carriage was called a "berth charter". The exact nature of the cargo to be loaded is not known in advance; it being entirely up to the charterers to book the required quantity of cargo. If unsuccessful in booking a cargo, they are responsible for payment of any dead freight. Now a berth charter is a voyage charter where the vessel is chartered to the cargo to a particular berth as the destination.

Backloading. On a voyage charter the charterer may wish to have the opportunity to load another cargo at a port of discharge and then discharge this second cargo at any discharge port in an agreed range of ports. Without a Backloading clause, charterers do not enjoy this option. An example from SHELLVOY 5 is given:

BAF (Bunker adjustment factor). Shipping is an energy-intensive industry just as liner shipping is a capital-intensive industry with the development of containerisation and expensive container ships.

Beaufort Wind Scale. At sea the wind speed is expressed in numbers according to the Beaufort scale. The Beaufort Number (BF) is estimated from the sea surface appearance.

Builder’s certificate. As the name indicates, this certificate is issued by the shipbuilding yard, containing a true account of the estimated tonnage; the year and place where the vessel was built and also the name of the owners and other details. This certificate is required in addition to the declaration of ownership , on the first registry of the ship.


Balespace. The balespace of a vessel is the volume capacity of cargo spaces under deck (including hatchways), expressed in cubic feet or cubic metres.