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:

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).


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.

Berth charter. If a vessel was chartered for loading "on the berth", the contract of carriage was called a "berth charter". The exact nature of the cargo to be loaded is not known in advance; it being entirely up to the charterers to book the required quantity of cargo. If unsuccessful in booking a cargo, they are responsible for payment of any dead freight. Now a berth charter is a voyage charter where the vessel is chartered to the cargo to a particular berth as the destination.

Baltic Freight Index (BFI). Twelve frequently fixed routes were chosen and daily reports of actual fixtures (or estimates from a broker panel) on these routes calculated, using a weighted average system, into a statistical index. The weighting indicates the frequency of fixtures on that route.


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


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.

Beaufort Wind Scale. At sea the wind speed is expressed in numbers according to the Beaufort scale. The Beaufort Number (BF) is estimated from the sea surface appearance.

Butterworth tank cleaning system. This is a method for cleaning and gas freeing oil tanks by means of high pressure jets of water, either cold or heated. The apparatus consists essentially of double opposed nozzles which rotate slowly about their horizontal and vertical axes, projecting two high pressure streams of water against all inside surfaces of the deck, bulkheads, tank framing and shell plating.


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.


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".

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.