A system of ropes and lines (tackle) and pulleys (block) used to gain mechanical advantage to move heavy objects or rigging; collectively called “running rigging.” Sometimes it is pronounced “taykle.”

Tail Shaft – See “Shaft.”

Tandem Tow

One tug pulling two or more barges at the same time. See “Deck Barge” in Appendix F.

Tare Weight

The weight of packing material, container, vehicle, etc., i.e. everything except the cargo. The tare weight is deducted from the total weight to calculate the weight of the cargo load being transported.


A publication setting forth the conditions, charges, rates, and rules of transportation companies for carrying cargo.

Temperature Recording Devices

  • Built-in Temperature Recorder (Partlow) – The temperature recording device that is part of a reefer container’s cooling equipment. During transit, the temperature of the air coming out of the cooling equipment, before it enters the cargo container, is continuously recorded on a round chart, i.e. the Partlow chart. As the equipment cycles on and off (just like a home refrigerator) “peaks” and “valleys” are produced on the chart as the output is recorded. The chart is in the possession of the carrier before, during, and after the voyage.
  • Portable Temperature Recorder (RYAN, COX and other brands) – A battery powered self-contained temperature recording device that is independent of a reefer container’s cooling equipment. One or more units are placed in a container (usually by the supplier) when the cargo is loaded. During transit, the temperature of the air inside the cargo container is continuously recorded on a roll of paper, e.g. the Ryan tape. When the cargo is unloaded at its final destination, the unit is removed by the consignee, who usually opens the unit and removes the tape. The unit can be sent to the manufacturer for testing and authentication of its accuracy.


1. See “Vessel Types” Appendix F.

2. To offer for acceptance; e.g. as tender of abandonment of property or the tender of defense of a lawsuit.

3. To offer goods for transportation or to make railcars, trucks or containers available for loading or unloading of cargo.


A large open storage area adjoining a wharf, pier, or runway for loading or unloading dry, bulk, or container cargo from vessels or aircraft to trucks or railcars.

Terms of Sale – See Appendix G.

TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit)

A standard size designation of an ocean cargo container, since the early containers were 20 feet in length. Later containers were 40 feet in length and were sized by their cargo carrying capacity in terms of 20 foot units; i.e. a 40 foot container is the equivalent of two 20 foot containers; 1 FEU = 2 TEU’s. Vessels are sized by the number of containers of a certain size they can carry; i.e. the number of TEU’s or FEU’s.


Persons stealing property. See “Assailing Thieves.”

Third Party

A person or company outside the two parties to a contract; e.g. someone other than the Assured or the insurance company.

Thwartship – See “Transverse.”


The alternating rise and fall of the oceans of the world (usually twice a day) as they react to the gravitational attraction between the earth and the sun and the moon. Tides are made up of two components: the height of the water and the flow of the current as the height changes. No two tides are the same height.

Some of the more common terms to describe various stages of tide are:

  • Rising Tide – The vertical movement of water as the current flows in towards land.
  • Falling Tide – The vertical movement of water as the current flows out from land.
  • Current – The horizontal movement of water which leads to the rise and fall in the level of water.
  • Flood Tide – The horizontal flow of water (current) towards the land. (This is the opposite of wind direction which is expressed in the direction the wind is blowing from).
  • Ebb Tide – The horizontal flow of water (current) out to sea.
  • Slack Water – The brief time when the current is not in motion as it reverses between flood and ebb and vice versa.
  • High Tide or High Water - When the water reaches its greatest height in the tidal cycle.
  • Low Tide or Low Water – When the water reaches its lowest height in the tidal cycle.
  • Spring Tides – Tides which have the greatest range between low water and high water. This usually occurs once a month when the earth, sun, and moon are aligned and results in the greatest amount of current.
  • Neap Tides – Tides which have the least range between low and high water. This usually occurs once a month when the earth, sun, and moon are out of alignment and results in the least amount of current.

Time Charter – See “Charter Party.”

Time Policy

A policy covering the subject matter for a specified period of time.

Time Zones - See Appendix C.

TLO - See “Total Loss Only.”

Tonnage (Vessel)

  • Deadweight Tonnage – Actual weight in tons (2240 lbs.) of cargo, stores, fuel, passengers and crew that can be carried by a vessel when fully loaded to summer load line mark. See “Load Line.”

  • Displacement Tonnage – Weight of water in tons (2240 lbs.) that a vessel displaces either empty or loaded.
  • Gross Tonnage – The total capacity in cubic feet of all the spaces within the hull and the enclosed spaces above the deck available for cargo, stores, fuel, passengers and crew. One gross ton equals 100 cubic feet of capacity.

  • Net Tonnage – Cargo carrying capacity of a vessel; i.e. gross tonnage of a vessel less spaces used for stores, fuel, passengers, crew, navigation and propulsion machinery. One net ton equals 100 cubic feet of cargo capacity.


The upper part of a vessel’s sides, from the waterline to the rail.

Total Loss (TL)

1. Actual Total Loss – Total loss of an entire vessel or an entire cargo shipment when the property is completely lost or destroyed due to one of the following:

  • Physical Destruction – e.g. plywood being totally consumed by fire.
  • Irretrievable Deprivement – the owner of the property is deprived of the use of the property even though it is still intact and undamaged; e.g. a shipment of silver ingots is lost overboard; even though they still exist and are undamaged at the bottom of the ocean, they are irretrievably lost.

  • Loss of Specie – changes in the character of the property so that it ceases to be the thing shipped; e.g. bags of cement wetted by sea water and hardened into concrete.

  • Vessel Lost – a vessel (and its cargo) is posted “missing” at Lloyd’s and is considered an actual total loss, even though there is no evidence of it sinking.

2. Constructive Total Loss (CTL) – A vessel or cargo is so damaged that an actual total loss is inevitable, or the part or remnant remaining can only be recovered and repaired at a cost exceeding the insured value of the property.

3. Compromised (or Arranged) Total Loss – A negotiated total loss settlement between the property owner and the insurance company under unusual circumstances, e.g. a vessel owner accepts a settlement of less than the face value of the hull policy and retains title to the vessel.

Total Loss Only (TLO)

An insurance policy covering ONLY the total loss of an entire vessel, an entire cargo shipment, or other property from an insured peril. A partial loss, even from an insured peril, is NOT covered by the Total Loss Only policy.

Touch & Go – See “Stranding.”

TOVALOP – See “Pollution Liability.”

Tower’s Liability

A tugboat owner’s legal liability arising out of the operation of tugboats towing or pushing barges or other vessels. (Pronounced toe ers, not as in radio tower.)

TPND (Theft, Pilferage, and Non-Delivery)

Theft, pilferage and non‑delivery of cargo.


A self-propelled vehicle used for pulling one or more detachable trailers on a highway; as in “tractor-trailer” combinations. Sometimes it is called a truck tractor or highway tractor to differentiate it from a farm tractor. See “Tractor Tug” in “Vessels Types” Appendix F.

Trade Loss

Commodities shipped in bulk are subject to natural shrinkage and evaporation. A trade loss is the percentage of that particular commodity normally lost during the voyage, and is therefore not a fortuitous loss. When insuring such commodities, insurance companies usually apply a deductible equal to the normal percentage (commonly ½ %) lost, in order to avoid paying inevitable losses.

Trading Warranties

The geographical scope of a vessel’s operation stated in an insurance policy; navigating limits.


The detachable part of a truck that is pulled by the tractor, usually consisting of a wheeled chassis and a cargo container; e.g. tractor-trailer combination.

Tramp Steamer

A vessel maintaining no regular schedule, calling at any port where it may be able to pick up available cargo. See “Liner.”


The vertical portion of a vessel’s stern, connecting its sides, bottom, and decks.

Transshipment (Transhipment)

The transfer of cargo from one vessel or conveyance to another for further transit to complete the voyage and carry the cargo to its ultimate destination; e.g. a connecting carrier.


A large wheeled vehicle used to lift and move containers around a container yard. See “Straddle Carrier.”


Across the width of a vessel; athwartship.

Treaty – See “Reinsurance.”


To adjust sails, rigging, or cargo to balance a ship to achieve optimum performance.

Trimaran – See “Vessel Types” Appendix F.


A tidal wave caused by an earthquake under the sea. See “Storm.”

Tug – See “Vessel Types” Appendix F.


An inward curve of the sides of a vessel.


In water transportation, the time needed for a vessel to dock, discharge cargo, refuel, service machinery, make incidental repairs, load new cargo, and depart. See “Demurrage.”

Twist Lock

A metal locking device with a rectangular cone-shaped top and bottom that is inserted into each of the four corner posts of a container and is turned or twisted to lock the container to the spreader for lifting to or from the vessel deck or to or from another container. See “ Corner Post” and “Spreader.”

D. Noland


A tropical cyclone with winds of 74 mph or greater in the China Seas and the Northwest Pacific Ocean. See “Storm.”