Builder’s certificate. As the name indicates, this certificate is issued by the shipbuilding yard, containing a true account of the estimated tonnage; the year and place where the vessel was built and also the name of the owners and other details. This certificate is required in addition to the declaration of ownership , on the first registry of the ship.


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

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.


Both ends (Bends). This expression is frequently used when negotiating for the chartering of a ship, as regards rate of loading and discharge; loading and discharging expenses; appointment of charterers' or owners' agents at port of loading/discharge, etc. This term implies that the arrangements agreed upon apply both at the loading and discharging port(s).

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.

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.

Brokerage (or Commission). It is customary to express the remuneration for the broker's time and efforts in negotiating and arranging the contract as a certain percentage of the money earned by the shipowner. (In marine insurance, the broker is generally paid a commission by the underwriter although the assured is the broker's client and the services are for the client.) In shipbroking, the term "brokerage" is generally preferable instead of "commission" because the latter term is usually related to the charterer's reward as "address commission".

Boycott clause. A charterer may insist that a charterparty contains a clause, which causes the shipowner to take the risks if the vessel is delayed by a "boycott" by labour.

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.


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.


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".


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.

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.