Forum clause. This phrase can be applied to a clause in the charterparty which provides for the place where and the legal system under which any disputes will be decided.
Fake bills of lading. Some fraudsters are capable of forging bills of lading using high quality colour photocopiers that can reproduce even the printed logo of the earner. These fake bills of lading are usually used in persuading buyers or banks to pay for non-existent cargo. This practice can be prevented if the innocent parties check the name and movements of the vessel named on the bill of lading.
Full and down. A vessel is said to be “full and down” when loaded in such a way that upon sailing she is down to her loadline marks-each winter, summer or tropical loadline whilst the cargo space has been fully utilised. Unless rates of freight for heavy and light cargo vary considerably, best results, from a revenue standpoint, are obtained by loading a ship full and down. To achieve this result, a proper ratio between light and heavy cargo must be determined, which depends on the type and quantity of cargo available.
FEU. Forty foot equivalent unit. This is a unit used to measure the space available for containers. One standard size relates to the external length of the box being forty feet or 12.2m. The carriers in the United States emphasise the FEU whereas in other parts of the world the TEU, “twenty foot equivalent unit” is more accepted.
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:
First Class Charterer. When the charterer does not want his identity known too early, he may instruct his shipbroker ("Charterer's agent") to keep his identity hidden, perhaps until serious shipowners have come up with FIRM OFFERS. The shipbroker will indicate that the charterer is directly known to him and he vouches for the charterer. The shipowner should, however, press for some information as to the identity of the charterer so that he can, perhaps, request BIMCO to check in its "Reference Register" if the nominated "Charterer" is recorded as generally being in default of payments.