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    AEO, ISPS or TEU – the technical jargon used by port logistics experts is often totally incomprehensible to laymen. What is a spreader? What is a straddle carrier? On this page you will find definitions that are helpful for a better understanding and communication.

    • AEO AEO is the abbreviation for “Authorised Economic Operator”. AEO is a term relating to European customs law. Companies can apply for the status of Authorised Economic Operator to facilitate the handling of customs procedures.
    • Combined transport Container transport where the major part of the journey is by rail or inland waterways. Initial and final legs carried out by road are as short as possible.
    • Consignor The consignor is the “shipper” of the containerised goods. A person or company who puts goods in the care of others (freight forwarder, carrier or other service providers) to be delivered to a consignee.
    • Container In commercial shipping, containers are used to transport goods. These are usually steel boxes that comply with the standards of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and are the same the world over. Standardisation makes it possible to tranship containerised loads quickly and easily on any means of transport anywhere in the world. The container was invented in 1956 by US American Malcolm McLean. It was the invention of the container that made globalisation possible. Basically a distinction is made between two types of container: 20-foot containers (6.095m x 2.352m x 2.393m) and 40-foot containers (12.032 m x 2.352 m x 2.393 m). The 20-foot container is regarded as the standard container. In addition there exist a number of special containers such as high-cube, open-top or flat-rack containers.
    • Container crane A container gantry is a crane with a jib used for loading and unloading container vessels. At EUROGATE’s container terminals the world’s biggest gantry cranes are in operation. The largest of these are in Wilhelmshaven. They have a pylon height of 83 m and weigh 1.750 tonnes. Their waterside jib 69 m spans 25 container rows on deck. They have a load-bearing capacity of 120 tonnes. The container gantries were manufactured in Shanghai (China) by ZPMC.
    • Container freight station (CFS) At a container freight station (CFS) goods are sorted and packed in containers for safe transport by road, rail or sea. EUROGATE operates a CFS at its Bremerhaven location directly on the terminal site. CFS services are also provided in Hamburg and Wilhelmshaven by company-owned subsidiaries.
    • Customs seaport Customs seaport is a term relating to customs law. A customs seaport is a depot belonging to the customs area of the European Union, to which special customs supervision rules apply. In a customs seaport goods not produced in the EU may only be stored temporarily. (Source: HABIS-Website der Hamburg Port Authority. See “Glossary”.) On 1 January 2013, Hamburg was granted the status of customs seaport. Wilhelmshaven is also a customs seaport, while Bremerhaven is in a free zone.
    • ETA Abbreviation for “Estimated Time of Arrival”.
    • ETD Abbreviation for “Estimated Time of Departure”.
    • Feeder ship Feeder ships transport loads between ports called at by larger ocean-going vessels and ports not called at by the big liners. Ports called at by bigger vessels have a hub function for container transports. Feeder ships have become bigger and bigger in recent years and have increasingly higher transport capacities. Feeder ships are a central element of the transhipment concept.
    • Freeport (Free zone) In a freeport goods can be imported, produced or stored without customs or import duties being levied. Import duties are only levied when the goods cross the customs boundaries and are entered into the internal market. The Hamburg freeport was abolished on 1 January 2013 and changed to the status of a customs seaport. Wilhelmshaven also has the status of customs seaport, while the Bremerhaven container terminals are in a free zone.
    • Freight forwarder A “freight forwarder” organises the transport of goods for the consignor, including all necessary formalities. This may encompass, for example, booking transport capacities on vessels and customs clearance.
    • Gantry crane Gantry cranes are normally used for road/rail interchange. EUROGATE operates gantry cranes at its combined transport facilities. Gantry cranes straddle the load tracks through a horizontal gantry mounted on legs.
    • Intermodaler transport (or traffic) The European Conference of Ministers of Transport defines the term “intermodality” as follows: „In the following the term intermodality describes a system whereby two or more modes of transport are used to transport the same loading unit or truck in an integrated manner, without loading and unloading, in a door-to-door transport chain.” (Source: Terminology on Combined Transport, compiled by the European Conference of Ministers of Transport and the European Union, 2001)
    • ISPS code “ISPS” is the abbreviation for “International Ship and Port Facility Security”. The ISPS code is a set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities, developed in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks of 11 September 2001 in New York. While port facilities used to be freely accessible, since 2004 access is subject to strict security regulations. These include video surveillance and ID controls. Every terminal also has its own hazard prevention plan.
    • Lashing Lashing refers to securing of containers on board ships to ensure that container freight is not lost overboard in rough seas. EUROGATE’s SWOP subsidiary provides a container lashing service.
    • Multimodal transport Carriage of goods by two or more modes of transport.
    • Neo-Panamax Classification for a ship with dimensions that allow it to pass through the Panama Canal after its extension. Completion of the canal widening is scheduled for 2015. Ships with a length of 366 m, a beam of 49 m and a draught of 15.2 m will then be able to pass through the canal. This ship classification has capacities to carry approximately 13,000 TEUs. EUROGATE’s giant equipment is capable of handling container vessels in the neo-Panamax class.
    • Out-of-gauge “Out-of-gauge” is also abbreviated as “OOG” and stands for oversize cargo that does not fit in a standard container. OOG cargo may be turbines or other machine parts.
    • Panamax Ships in the Panamax class can pass through the locks of the Panama Canal and have a maximum length of 294.13 m, maximum beam of 32.31 m and maximum draught of 12.04 m. They have a capacity to carry approximately 5,000 TEUs. Ships with a beam overall exceeding 32.3 m cannot pass through the canal. The class is called post-Panamax. The Panama Canal is currently being widened to 55 m, so that in future container vessels >10,000 TEUs will be able to pass through the canal. This class will be known as neo-Panamax. The extension is scheduled to go into operation in 2015.
    • Reefer container Reefer containers are special containers for goods that need to be chilled during transport, such as fruit, vegetables, meat or other foodstuffs. The refrigerated containers are supplied with electricity during transport and storage at the terminals via reefer connections.
    • Ship planning “Ship planning” refers to how the containers are stowed on board the vessel, i.e. the stowage position they are allocated on board. Containers are stowed according to size, weight and port of destination. The objective is to obtain the maximum use of the available capacity of the ship and keep the number of re-stowing operations to a minimum, as re-stowage costs time. “Ship planning“ is a highly demanding task and responsibility.
    • Short sea shipping The term “shortsea shipping” refers to intermodal transports of intra-european cargo. The major part of distance is covered by ship.
    • Spreader The container crane lifts containers with the help of a rope, on the end of which a so-called spreader is attached. A spreader is an adjustable fitting designed to engage the four corner fittings of container and lock with a twistlock. Some spreaders can be used in twin operation to lift two 20-foot containers at the same time.
    • Standard container A standard container is a 20-foot container. The unit for a standard container is a TEU.
    • Straddle carrier Straddle carriers (also known as van carriers) are large vehicles for moving or stacking containers on the terminal site. They are operated by drivers. The straddle carriers at EUROGATE’s terminals can stack 4-high, i.e. three containers vertically on top of one another. EUROGATE Uses straddle carriers at all its terminals as this concept has proved to be the most flexible. At 16 m high, the largest EUROGATE straddle carriers are as high as a single-family house.
    • Stuffing In In logistics jargon the loading and unloading of cargo into or from a container.
    • TEU Abbreviation for “twenty-foot equivalent unit”. A TEU is a 20-foot standard container. TEU is the unit used in container handling. The handling capacity of a container terminal or the transport capacity of a vessel are measured in TEUs. There are two basic sizes of container: 20-foot containers and 40-foot containers.
    • Transhipment Transhipment refers to moving container cargo from one ship to another. The cargo is not stowed at the port, but is redistributed. In transhipment, cargoes are loaded from a main ship to a feeder ship or vice versa.
    • Twinlift Twinlift spreaders can lift and move two containers at the same time.
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