Boot topping. The boot topping is part of the outside shell of the vessel between the light and loaded draught, that is, that part of the hull which is exposed alternately to wind and water. Moreover, the vessel’s berthing and unberthing and also tugs’ rubbing against the ship in the arrival and departure from ports lead to severe abrasion in this region.

Baltic International Freight Futures Index (BIFFEX). The dry cargo tramp charter market is usually volatile. Both shipowners and cargo interests may be uncertain about movements in the freight rates. BIFFEX allows shippers, shipowners and charterers to "hedge" against changes in freight rates by buying or selling "future" contracts at an expected price. If, for example, in March, it is expected that freight rates for a particular route will rise by October, the price per contract unit for settlement in October will be higher than the March BIFFEX.


Breadth moulded. This expression relates to the maximum breadth of a ship measured amidships between the outside (heels) of the frames, i.e. to the inside of shell plating.

Burden of proof and bills of lading. The "burden of proof" is related to a rule in law concerning evidence of a fact. A fact is said to be proved when the arbitrator or judge is satisfied that the fact is true and correct. The evidence by which this result is caused is called the "proof".

BAF (Bunker adjustment factor). Shipping is an energy-intensive industry just as liner shipping is a capital-intensive industry with the development of containerisation and expensive container ships.

Bills of lading and charterparties. In exercising the authority to sign bills of lading the charterers, agents and masters must ensure that the terms within the bill of lading are consistent with those in the charterparty that require a bill of lading to be signed and issued.

Backloading. On a voyage charter the charterer may wish to have the opportunity to load another cargo at a port of discharge and then discharge this second cargo at any discharge port in an agreed range of ports. Without a Backloading clause, charterers do not enjoy this option. An example from SHELLVOY 5 is given:

Bar draught. This expression relates to the maximum draught enabling the ship to pass over a "bar", for example the Martin-Garcia bar in the River Plate. A "bar" is a restriction in the depth of water, caused by a build-up of sand or silt on the bottom, in a river or across the entrance to a harbour.

Berth note or booking note. Fixtures of vessels on "berth note" are now very uncommon. Such berth notes or booking-notes referred to shipment of a part cargo. In the early days, the master of the ship could sign a letter or form giving fundamental details of the ship. The note was endorsed later by the owners, agents or disponent owners (charterers).


BARECON "A". A standard-form bareboat charterparty used for existing ships, with or without an existing mortgage.


Blank indorsed bills of lading. This covers contract of carriage under bills of lading containing the details of shipment and of carriage but not containing the name of a consignee or endorsee.

Bonded stores. Ship’s stores which can be delivered under special arrangements direct from a bonded warehouse to the vessel without payment of Customs duties.