Welcome to the Braemar Shipping Services Glossary. This contains terminology used in the shipping industry.


Generally used to mean a vessel sailing empty of cargo. Strictly speaking it is the carriage of water (usually in dedicated tanks) or sometimes solids when the vessel is free of cargo in order to increase vessel stability for safe passage.

Ballast ratio

Time at sea without cargo as a percentage of total time.


Charter where the charterer hires a vessel for a period of time free (or bare) of crew. The management and operation of the vessel are therefore entirely the responsibility of the charterer. Usually bareboat charters are for periods of several years (some


The primary unit by which crude oil is measured and sold. The petroleum barrel is 42 US Gallons (158.99 litres)

BOXi Index

Our container charter rate index (BOXi) is distilled from a basket of the rates for 2 vessel types which we deem most representative of the charter market. Each ship type is weighted according to its commercial importance and prevalence in the market.


Company or person acting as an intermediary or agent in the negotiation of contracts for the chartering, building, sale or purchase of vessels.

Bulk Cargo

Cargo of a homogeneous nature that is free of packaging. May be liquid (e.g. oil) or dry (e.g. iron ore).

Bulk Carrier or Bulker

Strictly speaking a vessel designed to carry homogeneous cargo whether in liquid or solid form though more usually it is used to mean a dry bulk vessel. Bulkers differ from general cargo vessels in so far as they have single rather than multiple, removable


Fuel used for the propulsion or power generation of a vessel. Usually petroleum oil based and stored in purpose built tanks. Name derived from early days of coal fired steam turbines when the coal was stored in coal bunkers aboard ship and at the port.


The ship’s fuel.

To search the glossary please click A-Z to browse by initial, or click 'ALL'. Initials that have no glossary entries are greyed out.

AMEG: Middle East Gulf
USAC: US Atlantic Coast
USG: US Gulf
WAF: West Africa
TCE: Time Charter Equivalent
WS: Worldscale
TEU: Twenty Foot Equivalent Units