P & Q – Shipping Terms

Abbreviation for “Protection and Indemnity,” an insurance term.

Packing List
Itemized list of commodities with marks/numbers but no cost values indicated.

Abbreviation for “Please Authorize Delivery Against Guarantee.” A request from the consignee to the shipper to allow the carrier or agent to release cargo against a guarantee, either bank or personal.Made when the consignee is unable to produce original bills of lading.

Paired Ports
A U.S. Customs program wherein at least two designated Customs ports will enter cargo that arrives at either port without the necessity of an in–bound document.

A platform with or without sides, on which a number of packages or pieces may be loaded to facilitate handling by a lift truck.

Panamax Tanker
A liquid cargo vessel of 50,000 to 70,000dwt.

Panamax Vessel
The largest size vessel that can traverse the Panama Canal. Current maximum dimensions are: Length 294.1 meters (965 feet); width 32.3 meters (106 feet); draft 12.0 meters (39.5 feet) in tropical fresh water; height 57.91 meters (190 feet) above the water.

Paper Ramp
A technical rail ramp, used for equalization of points not actually served.

Paper Rate
A published rate that is never assessed because no freight moves under it.

Parcel Receipt
An arrangement whereby a steamship company, under rules and regulations established in the freight tariff of a given trade, accepts small packages at rates below the minimum bill of lading, and issues a parcel receipt instead of a bill of lading.

Partial Shipments
Under letters of credit, one or more shipments are allowed by the phrase “partial shipments permit­ted.”

Particular Average
See Insurance, Particular Average.

A party named in an instrument as the beneficiary of the funds. Under letters of credit, the payee is either the drawer of the draft or a bank.

A party responsible for the payment as evidenced by the given instrument. Under letters of credit, the payer is the party on whom the draft is drawn, usually the drawee bank.

Per Diem
A charge, based on a fixed daily rate.

Perils of the Sea
Those causes of loss for which the carrier is not legally liable. The elemental risks of ocean trans­port.

Phytosanitary Inspection Certificate
A certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to satisfy import regulations of foreign countries; indicates that a U.S. shipment has been inspected and found free from harmful pests and plant diseases.

The act of calling for freight by truck at the consignor’s shipping platform.

The structure perpendicular to the shoreline to which a vessel is secured for the purpose of loading and unloading cargo.

A shipment loaded into a container at the pier or terminal, thence to the consignee’s facility.

Containers loaded at port of loading and discharged at port of destination.

Piggy Packer
A mobile container–handling crane used to load/unload containers to/from railcars.

A transportation arrangement in which truck trailers with their loads are moved by train to a destina­tion. Also known as Rail Pigs.

Place of Delivery
Place where cargo leaves the care and custody of carrier.

Place of Receipt
Location where cargo enters the care and custody of carrier.

Plimsoll Mark
A series of horizontal lines, corresponding to the seasons of the year and fresh or saltwater, painted on the outside of a ship marking the level which must remain above the surface of the water for the vessel’s stability.

Abbreviation for:–Port of Discharge.–Port of Destination.–Proof of Delivery. A document required from the carrier or driver for proper payment.

Point of Origin
The place at which a shipment is received by a carrier from the shipper.

Abbreviation for:–Port of Loading.–Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricants.

Pomerene Act, Also known as (U.S.) Federal Bill of Lading Act of 1916.
U.S. federal law enacting conditions by which a B/L may be issued. Penalties for issuing B/L’s contain­ing false data include monetary fines and/or imprisonment.

–Harbor with piers or docks.–Left side of a ship when facing forward.–Opening in a ship’s side for handling freight.

Port of Call
Port where a ship discharges or receives traffic.

Port of Entry
Port where cargo is unloaded and enters a country.

Port of Exit
where cargo is loaded and leaves a country.

Principal Party of Interest (see USPPI and FPPI).

Port Facility Security Officer
Is the person designated as responsible for the development, implementation, revision and mainte­nance of the port facility security plan and for liaison with the ship security officers and company security officers.

Port Facility Security Plan
Is a plan developed to ensure the application of measures designed to protect persons on board, cargo, cargo transport units and ship’s stores within the port facility from the risks of a security incident.

Port Security
It is the defense, law and treaty enforcement, and counterterrorism activities that fall within the port and maritime domain. It includes the protection of the seaports themselves, the protection and in­spection of the cargo moving through the ports, and maritime security.

Port Security Grant Program (PSGP)
As a result of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2005, fiscal year grant funding is provided annually to the Nation’s most at–risk seaports for physical security enhancements to be used in the protection of critical port infrastructure from terrorism. PSGP funds help ports enhance their risk management capabilities, domain awareness, training and exercises, and capabilities to prevent, detect, respond to, and recover from attacks involving improvised explosive devices and other non–conventional weapons.

Pratique Certificate
Lifts temporary quarantine of a vessel; granted pratique by Health Officer.

A process employed in the shipment of citrus fruits and other perishable commodities. The fruit is packed and placed in a cold room from which the heat is gradually extracted. The boxes of fruit are packed in containers that have been thoroughly cooled and transported through to destination with­out opening the doors.

Prepaid (Ppd.)Freight

charges paid by the consignor (shipper) prior to the release of the bills of lading by the car­rier.

Product Tanker
A liquid cargo vessel of 10,000 to 60,000dwt. Also referred to as a Handymax Tanker. Often built with many segregated cargo tanks and thus sometimes called a “drugstore tanker.”

Pro Forma
A Latin term meaning “For the sake of form.”

Pro Forma Invoice
An invoice provided by a supplier prior to the shipment of merchandise, informing the buyer of the kinds and quantities of goods to be sent, their value, and specifications (weight, size, etc.).

Pro Rata
A Latin term meaning “In proportion.”

Project Rate
Single tariff item, established to move multiple commodities needed for a specified project, usually construction.

Public Service Commission
A name usually given to a State body having control or regulation of public utilities.

Publishing Agent
Person authorized by transportation lines to publish tariffs or rates, rules, and regulations for their account.

Pulp Temperature
Procedure where carrier tests the temperature of the internal flesh of refrigerated commodities to as­sure that the temperature at time of shipment conforms to prescribed temperature ranges.

A short semi–trailer used jointly with a dolly and another semi–trailer to create a twin trailer.


A restraint placed on an operation to protect the public against a health hazard. A ship may be quaran­tined so that it cannot leave a protected point. During the quarantine period, the Q flag is hoisted.

A wedge–shaped piece of timber used to secure barrels against movement.

The quantity of goods that may be imported without restriction during a set period of time.

An offer to sell goods at a stated price and under stated terms.

A structure attached to land to which a vessel is moored. See also Pier and Dock.