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Gross register tonnage (GRT):
Gross register tonnage or gross tonnage (GT) represents the total internal volume of cargo vessels. 1 GRT = 100 cubic feet ≈ 2.83 cubic metres. Although the term contains the word tonne, the gross register tonnage cannot be equated with measurements of weight such as carrying capacity – nor should it be confused with the standard displacement used to rate a warship, the long ton. Gross register tonnage (GRT) and net register tonnage (NRT) have been replaced by gross tonnage (GT) and net tonnage (NT) which express the size and volume of a ship as a simple dimensionless figure. Port fees and charges for canal passages, locks and pilots are calculated according to the GT or NT.
Deadweight tonnage (dwt):
Deadweight tonnage indicates the carrying capacity of a ship in tonnes.
In logistics, the term “freight rate” is used to indicate the price a carrier charges its customers for transporting goods from one place to another. There are so-called “all-in rates“ which include all incidental costs, fees and documentation costs, while other rates cover the costs of transportation alone. Sea freight rates differ greatly across routes.
Tonnage measurements are used to indicate the technical data of a ship such as the total internal volume, displacement, carrying capacity, draught, length and speed. Ship sizes and performance vary according to function and national unit of measurement.
Register of shipping:
All ships must be registered in a country’s shipping register. The ship is then considered part of the territory of the country under whose flag she sails. All the laws and regulations of this country (employment law, social security law etc.) apply on board the ship. Some nations (such as Panama, Liberia and the Bahamas), however, have so-called open shipping registries, where any ship-owner can register his ship. As the employment and social security laws of many countries do not protect workers as well as those in Europe, and safety practices are far less stringent, labour and thus transportation under these flags is much cheaper (flags of convenience).
TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit, standard container):
A TEU is the standard container used today to transport goods worldwide. As the term suggests, a TEU is about 20 feet long. A foot is equal to 30.48 centimetres. A TEU measures about 8 feet in both width and height. Not only ships, but also railway wagons and articulated trucks are constructed according to this standard, meaning that containers can be transferred seamlessly between different modes of transport.
A measure of freight transportation output. A transportation output of 1 tonne-mile is achieved when a tonne of cargo is moved 1 nautical mile (1.853 kilometre).
Dry cargo is a collective term for all non-liquid freight. Important types of dry cargo are iron ore, coal, grain, bauxite/aluminium oxide and phosphate.
GPS is a global satellite-based navigation system that provides accurate location and time information. The Automatic Identification System (AIS) used by ships to communicate their positions and other data to each other has been employing GPS for some years now. AIS makes shipping safer and more efficient as it allows the maritime authorities to track and monitor vessel movements.