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".

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.

Berth note or booking note. Fixtures of vessels on "berth note" are now very uncommon. Such berth notes or booking-notes referred to shipment of a part cargo. In the early days, the master of the ship could sign a letter or form giving fundamental details of the ship. The note was endorsed later by the owners, agents or disponent owners (charterers).


Bonded stores. Ship’s stores which can be delivered under special arrangements direct from a bonded warehouse to the vessel without payment of Customs duties.


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:

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.


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

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.

Baltic Freight Index (BFI). Twelve frequently fixed routes were chosen and daily reports of actual fixtures (or estimates from a broker panel) on these routes calculated, using a weighted average system, into a statistical index. The weighting indicates the frequency of fixtures on that route.


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.

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.