FAK - See "Freight All Kinds."

FAS (Free Alongside Ship) - See "Cargo Terms of Sale" Appendix G.

Fathom - See "Weights and Measures" Appendix E.

FCL (Full Container Load) - See " Container Load."

FC&S (Free of Capture & Seizure)

Clause excluding war risks from the Marine Insurance Policy. War risks can be covered by issuing a separate War Policy for an additional premium.

FDA (Food and Drug Administration)

A U.S. government agency.

Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)

The U.S. Governmental regulatory body responsible for administering maritime affairs including the tariff system, freight forwarder licensing, NVOCC licensing, enforcing the shipping acts, approving carrier conference agreements, and monitoring confidential service contracts between carriers and shippers under Ocean Shipping Reform Act.

Feeder Service

A vessel which transfers cargo or containers between outlying areas and a central loading area or a larger vessel as part of a long ocean voyage.


A device fastened to or hung over the side of a vessel to prevent the vessel from rubbing or chafing against other vessels, piers, or wharves. See "Camel."

FEU (Forty-foot Equivalent Unit) - See "TEU."

FFD (Fit For Duty) - See "Seaman’s Rights and Remedies."

FIA (Full Interest Admitted)

The insurance company acknowledges the Assured's financial interest in the property and agrees to its value without proof or documentation of ownership. See "PPI ."

Fifth Wheel

The semi-circular coupling device mounted horizontally on the back of a tractor which engages and locks with a trailer allowing the trailer to pivot and turn.

FIO - See "Free In and Out."


One of the perils specified in the Perils Clause in an insurance policy. It includes not only direct damage by flames, but also indirect damage incurred from smoke, or damage from water or chemicals used to extinguish the fire. The definition does not extend to cover spontaneous combustion.

Fire Statute - See "Carrier's Liability Acts (Ocean)."

Fit For Duty (F F D) - See "Seaman’s Rights and Remedies."

Flammable / Inflammable

Easily ignitable, capable of burning. "Flammable" and "Inflammable" have the same meaning. Something that cannot be burned is "nonflammable."

Flat Rack

An open container without sides or top used for carrying odd sized cargo to facilitate loading and stowing in a containership.

Floating Dry Dock - See "Vessel Types" Appendix F.

Floor Board

Removable grating which provides a platform or "floor" over the bilge of a vessel.


Floating wreckage of a vessel or its cargo. See "Jetsam" and "Lagan."

FMC - See "Federal Maritime Commission."

FOB (Free on Board) - See "Cargo Terms of Sale" Appendix G.

FOB/FAS Endorsement

Supplemental insurance coverage purchased by the seller on an export shipment that is sold on FOB, FAS, C&F or similar terms of sale where the seller does not arrange the transit insurance. The buyer’s insurance may only cover the buyer’s interests after the title transfers and may not cover losses before title transfers. This supplemental coverage protects the seller’s interest in the cargo from the time goods leave the point of origin until title transfers to the buyer during transit, usually when cargo is loaded aboard the vessel.

Force Majeure

Superior Force. See "Force Majeure Clause" and "Act of God."

Force Majeure Clause

A clause in a contract exempting the parties from their obligations under the contract as a result of conditions beyond their control. See "Act of God."

Foreign Trade Zone - See "Free Trade Zone."


A vehicle with prongs or forks used to pick up and move cargo loaded on pallets or skids.


Accidental; happening by chance.


In the direction of the bow of the vessel.

Forwarding Charges

The costs necessarily incurred to forward cargo to its intended destination in the event the carrying vessel meets with a casualty and is unable to complete the voyage.


Room and board provided for work, in addition to wages. See "Seaman’s Rights and Remedies."


A vessel sinking as the result of incursion of water into the hull . (A similar word "flounder" meaning "to move clumsily and with difficulty" is probably a combination of "founder" and "blunder"). See "Sinking."

FPA (Free of Particular Average) - See ''Average Clauses."

FPIL– See "Full Premium If Lost."


Either a percentage of insured value or a specified dollar amount in an insurance policy which must be reached before an insured loss is paid in full. It is similar to a deductible in that insured losses less than the franchise amount are not paid, but different from a deductible in that insured losses equal to, or more than, the franchise are paid in full. Also known as a "disappearing deductible." See "Average Clauses."

Free Alongside Ship (FAS) - See "Cargo Terms of Sale" Appendix G.


The vertical distance from the waterline to the top of the main deck, at the side of the vessel, measured amidships.

Free In and Out (FIO)

Cost of loading and unloading a vessel borne by the charterer; i.e. stevedoring expenses.

Free of Particular Average (FPA) - See "Average Clauses."

Free On Board (FOB) - See " Cargo Terms of Sale" Appendix G.

Free Out (F O)

Cost of only unloading a vessel borne by the charterer; i.e. stevedoring expenses (loading costs are borne by someone else).

Free Port - See "Free Trade Zone."

Free Surface Effect

The change in stability of a vessel caused by liquids moving about freely in a tank or hold. As a vessel rolls, liquids in tanks or breached compartments accentuate the roll by moving freely from side to side of the tank accumulating first on one side and then the other. This movement can reduce the stability of the ship. The effect can be reduced by having baffles in a tank to reduce the free movement or by either emptying the tank or filling it completely so there is no "free surface."

Free Time

The period of time cargo will be held for pick up at the port of discharge before storage charges are applied.

Free Trade Zone

A secure zone or area in a port or airport designated for duty-free entry of foreign goods or components. The goods may be stored, displayed or assembled into larger parts. Duty is paid when the finished product enters the U.S. market. If the goods are re-exported to another country, no duty is paid in the U.S. Also called a "Foreign Port" or "Foreign Trade Zone."

Free Water (FW)

The layer of water that forms when water is present with immiscible liquids, such as oil. The lighter liquid forms a layer above the heavier liquid; e.g. oil usually floats above the free water.


  1. The charge made by a carrier for transporting goods.

Some Different Types of Freight Are:

  • Collect Freight - Freight payable at destination provided the vessel delivers the goods in specie.
  • Guaranteed Freight - Freight payable whether the goods are delivered or not, provided the failure to deliver the goods resulted from causes beyond the carrier's control.
  • Advance Freight - Partial payment of the bill of lading freight in advance.
  • Prepaid Freight - Payment of the full bill of lading freight in advance; in other respects is the same as guaranteed freight.
  1. The cargo being transported.


Freight All Kinds (FAK)

A notation on a bill of lading indicating that different kinds of cargo are being shipped.

Freight Forwarder

A party who acts as an agent of the shipper in making transportation arrangements, preparing necessary documents, and generally expediting the entire process of exporting cargo.

Frustration Clause

A clause in the War Policy stating that there has not been a loss simply because of termination (or frustration) of the voyage due to an outbreak of hostilities. There must be actual physical damage to the cargo for there to be a loss.

Full Cargo

A cargo of one kind, usually in bulk form, taking up the entire cargo space of a vessel.

Full Container Load (FCL) - See "Container Load."

Full Premium If Lost (FPIL)

A clause used on hull policies making the entire policy premium fully earned if the insurance company pays a total loss for the insured vessel. There is no return premium due the Assured if the total loss occurs before the end of the policy period.


The fittings or fixtures which, though not actually affixed to the vessel, are for use thereon and are reasonably necessary for its safety and navigation.