FOB (free on board)
FOB FREE ON BOARD
(... named port of shipment)
Firm For Reply or Firm for Immediate Reply. During chartering negotiations, telexes and similar messages are transmitted by one parry's brokers to brokers for the other party using introductoryterminology such as these terms. In chartering practice, such terminology has become common and acceptable to most, if not all, shipping professionals.
Flat rate. A vessel may be chartered for shipment of various kinds of cargo, the specific nature of which is not known at the time of the fixture, or it may have to load for several ports within a certain range, out of which one port will be selected as the final port of discharge. In such cases the agreed freight rate is a "flat rate". An example of reported fixture on a "flat rate" could read:
FILO (Free in liner out). If a charterparty states that the cargo will be loaded free of expense to the shipowner or other carrier but that he will pay for the discharging, the discharging is on liner terms (or "gross terms"), hence the use of this abbreviation.
Note that for financial accounting, the abbreviation can also refer to the manner in which stock is valued, "first in, last out". This has no relevance to chartering.
First Open Water (FOW). This expression in a fixture report or in a charterparty refers to the date when a port is free from ice conditions sufficiently to allow ships to enter, load /discharge and leave. For example, a ship can be fixed to “ . . . load at First Open Water St Lawrence Seaway . . . ".