Breakbulk (cargo) (BB). Packages of cargo or "parcels" (small quantities) known as "general cargo" and individually carried in the cargo compartments of a ship. Such cargo is not in "bulk cargo" form and not in unitised or containerised form. If the term is used as a verb "to break bulk", it indicates "to open hatches and commence discharge".


Bulbous bow (BB). The shape of the foremost portion of the ship, the bow, in the form of a rounded bulb instead of the traditional V shape, in order to reduce hull resistance and its effect on speed in the water.

Breakdown clause. Time charterparties contain a clause providing that if the ship is unavailable for the charterer's use because there is loss of time as a result of "...breakdown or damages to hull, machinery or equipment..." (among other causes) payment of the hire money to the shipowner ceases for all or some of the time lost.

Broker. In the context of chartering, the most common "broker" is a "shipbroker". In general, in shipping, a broker is a person who acts as a "middleman" between two parties and negotiates the terms of a contract into which the two parties enter. The broker acts as an agent and usually represents only one of the parties, negotiating with the other party directly or with another broker representing the other side. In addition to a shipbrokerwho can be an owner's broker or a charterer's agent negotiating a charter.

Bilge. The bilge of a vessel with double bottom tanks is a triangular channel on both sides formed by the margin plate of a double bottom, the curvature of the outer skin of the vessel and the bilge ceiling.

BARECON "B". A financial-type of standard-form bareboat charterparty used particularly for new building ships financed by mortgage.


Black list. Because oil tankers frequently load oil from Islamic countries these countries may place certain ports on a "black list" such as Israeli or South African ports, and if tankers are known to have called at ports in those countries, the tankers' names are on this black list and the ship can be boycotted and refused entry or cargo.

Bill of health. The Bill of Health is the certificate that used to be issued by the local authorities indicating the general health conditions in the port of departure or ports of call.

Basis of calculation: All rate calculations, which are made in U.S. dollars, are per tonne for a full cargo for the standard vessel based upon a round voyage from loading port or ports to discharging port or ports and return to first loading port using the under-mentioned factors.

Back haul. This may be a diversion for a tanker to move cargo on the return leg of a voyage in order to minimise the ballast mileage.

Box rates. This is the freight rate for the carriage of a container, usually irrespective of the cargo in the container although some conferences and liner operators may offer their services on a box commodity rate.


Bulkheads. These are steel divisions across the vessel either transversely or fore and aft. The functions of bulkheads are:

BB. This abbreviation can be and is used for a variety of different terms such as: "Ballast Bonus", "Below bridges", "Breaking bulk" and "Bulbous bow".

BBB. "Before breaking bulk", that is, before commencing discharge or opening of the ship's hatches.