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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.

 

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".

BALTIME. A Uniform standard form time charter published by BIMCO. In 1974 another edition included a box type format for main details and descriptive text for the clauses. BALTIME generally favours the shipowners' side and contrasts the NYPE, the New York Produce Exchange Form of time charter, which tends to favour the charterer's side.

 

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.

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

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.

Booking office. Conference lines, operating in certain trades, may decide to establish a booking office to take bookings and also ensure that each line carries its agreed share. Shippers may not be permitted to insist on carriage by a specific line although the booking office may try to meet shippers’ wishes in this respect as much as possible.

 

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”.

 

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.

 

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.

Barrel (Bbl). A unit of measurement of liquid cargoes, usually oil. One bbl contains 34.97261 Imperial gallons or 42 U.S. gallons, or 1 cubic metre of oil measures 6.29 bbls. If the specific gravity of the oil is 0.8, one tonne of oil will be approximately 7.9 bbls

 

Cancelling date (Laycan). This is an abbreviation for the "Laydays and Cancelling" clause in a charterparty. This clause establishes the earliest date, when the ship is required by the charterer, (e.g. "Laytime for loading shall not commence before . . .") and the latest date for the commencement of the charter (e.g. “ . . . and should the vessel's Notice of Readiness not be given before . . . ") when the charterers have the option of cancelling the charter.

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