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Overall status:
Liner Terms is a very ambiguous expression and can be interpreted in a variety of ways in different ports around the world and by different shipowners / agents. Personally we prefer to clearly define the extent of liability when quoting on this basis.


​Terms of line or dock:
Terms of line or dock implies that loading, stowage and unloading operations are quoted within the freight. The cost of operations prior to the hook in loading and after the hook in unloading are excluded.

Full Liner Terms:
This term is somewhat vague depending on the different port practices. However, it generally implies that the freight value provided includes both port and ship handling, lashing / unbolting, padding and waterproofing, insured / uninsured, and all costs of presenting / receiving cargo by steam ; with shippers / receivers only taking care of the cost of unloading / loading the transport, together with the usual port charges, fees, taxes, etc. Often the terms are varied in the various travel destinations e.g. FILO (Free In / Liner Out), LIFO (Liner In Free Out) or FIFO (Free In / Free Out) etc. To be absolutely sure of all the charges to pay, it is always advisable to ask that the terms clearly and concisely indicate that this / is not included in your particular contract - in common terms.

Liner Terms Hook:
Since this is a conceptual point in terms of chartering, it is best described as the shipper / receiver agreeing to the dispatch / receipt of the cargo to / from directly under the steam hook and the steam paying for the work of storing the cargo in its warehouses, as well as lashing and securing the cargo on board and provision of filling and waterproofing material, and unloading again to the steam side. Port handling aspects continue to be the responsibility of the shipper / receiver, however there are some shipowners that may incorporate these costs into their LTHH rates. Once again, it is essential to ask shipowners to clearly define themselves in this regard. Port charges / fees / taxes can be a subject of discussion but are usually considered to be borne by shippers / receivers and there may also be other statutory charges on cargo or freight that may apply. Many shippers / receivers are not aware of these additional costs and do not include them in their costs and consequently may be left with considerable unexpected expenses at the time of the completion of a project.

FI / Free in:
It implies that the expenses corresponding to the loading operation are not included in the freight and will be borne by the merchandise. Stowage and unloading costs are included.


FIO / Free in and out:

 Also for bulk cargoes, it implies that the quoted freight does not include the costs of loading and unloading operations, but stowage.

FILO / Free In, Liner Out: 

The loading costs are paid by the merchandise and the unloading costs are paid by the shipowner or carrier.

FISLO / Liner out:

 The quoted freight does not include loading and stowage operations. Unloading in line conditions, that is, at the owner's expense.


The quoted freight does not include the costs of loading, unloading and stowage operations.

It is extremely important to remember that the reference to “free” is seen from the point of view of the owner, not the shipper. Some shippers misinterpret when they read the word "free" as they incorrectly believe this clause refers to them. Freight rates quoted on a FIOS basis specifically exclude all aspects related to cargo handling. The steam is only responsible for the expenses that arise from its call to port such as trailers, pilots, straightening, etc. Another very important consideration when booking a load under FIOS terms is that the steam has no responsibility for the speed of loading or unloading. Usually the agreed rate includes a fixed time “free” period for loading / unloading operations, after which a daily delay is incurred. Obviously this is of utmost importance where port congestion and handling performance is uncertain. There are many overseas ports that fit into this category and particularly where vapor delay rates can vary significantly, depending on the size and type of vapor nominated to implement the particular project.


Free inside, free from stowage, trimmed and set off the ship. Idem FIO, but excludes the expense of shoveling the grain on behalf of the carrier, being in charge of the merchandise.​


FIOST LS / Free inside, free from stowage, trimmed and set off the ship:
In addition to what is indicated in FIOST, the cost of locking and securing the load (lashing) must be borne by the merchandise.

LIFO / Load out, unload in:
Loading costs are paid by the shipowner or carrier and unloading costs are paid by the merchandise.

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