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.

Breach of contract. A contract contains obligations of each of the parties to the agreement. If these obligations are not carried out or not performed or, if performed badly, a breach of contract occurs.

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:

Back Letter. Back letters may be drawn up to complement a contract in order to lay down rights and/or obligations between both contracting parties, which, for some reason or other, cannot be included in the original contract. This expression is also used for “letters of indemnity”.

 

Baltic Exchange. Situated in London, England, this is the foremost shipping market-place in the world. Shipbrokers meet in the Exchange daily to charter ships and to exchange information. Trade is also carried out in commodities such as grain. The Baltic also lends its name to an "Index", the Baltic Freight Index (BFI). Since 1985 there has been a development of freight futures (BIFFEX), and these are also transacted on the "floor" of the Exchange.

 

Below bridges (BB). This term can be Found in instructions from port and charterers' agents to the ship to ensure that the ship is kept at the appropriate draft in order to ensure that it will have sufficient clearance above its highest point to pass safely below bridges (or overhead obstructions such as power cables) across a canal, channel or river in the approaches to a berth or port. To ensure the ship's clearance below bridges would be the shipowner's obligation.

 

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".

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.

Bona fide. "Good faith”. This is a legal term that comes from the Latin language and suggests honesty or sincerity. For example, in negotiations for a charter fixture one side must give bona fide information about the ship or the cargo to the other side.

 

BIC-Code. In order to identify all containers manufactured and used especially in shipping, each container is marked with special alpha-numeric codes that appear on the sides or plates of the containers.

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

 

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.

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