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.

Breakbulk (cargo) (BB). Packages of cargo or "parcels" (small quantities) known as "general cargo" and individually carried in the cargo compartments of a ship. Such cargo is not in "bulk cargo" form and not in unitised or containerised form. If the term is used as a verb "to break bulk", it indicates "to open hatches and commence discharge".

 

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.

Ballast. In order to increase the stability of ships, which have to be dispatched without cargo and to ensure that the propeller will be immersed sufficiently, say about two-thirds of its diameter, a sufficient quantity of ballast will be loaded before sailing. The quantity of ballast depends on the type of vessel, quantity of water which can be taken in the ballast tanks and also the voyage to be made. Seasonal weather conditions which may be expected on the voyage must also be considered.

 

BBB. "Before breaking bulk", that is, before commencing discharge or opening of the ship's hatches.

Blue Certificate. This is a document that may be carried by a ship; it indicates that the shipowner has entered into an agreement with the ITF (the International Transport Workers' Federation) that the crew are being paid wages and salaries, which are specified by the ITF.

Bilge. The bilge of a vessel with double bottom tanks is a triangular channel on both sides formed by the margin plate of a double bottom, the curvature of the outer skin of the vessel and the bilge ceiling.

Berth rates or liner rates. These expressions relate the freight rates applying to shipments by regular lines engaged in the trade in question. These freight rates become "standard" for a particular liner route and particular cargo.

 

Bulbous bow (BB). The shape of the foremost portion of the ship, the bow, in the form of a rounded bulb instead of the traditional V shape, in order to reduce hull resistance and its effect on speed in the water.

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”.

 

Bill of lading identifier. In the United States the Customs authorities require that all shipping documents covering cargo imported into the U.S. be marked with an identity code, identifying the issuer of tile bill of lading.

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

 

Bonding. This is an operation that was performed (and can still be used in some ports) on oil tankers to prevent electrical discharges caused by a difference of discharged.

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

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