HR glossary of terminology

# a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Freight Rate

The Freight Rate is the amount of money charged by a company for transporting freight.

Freight Forwarder

A Freight Forwarder is a person or company who represents the owner of cargo and who arranges shipments for them.


Freight is goods or merchandise that are transported in bulk by ship. (Or any other form of transport.)

Free On Board (FOB)

Free On Board (FOB) refers to the cost of a product before transportation costs are added in.

FPSO Vessel

FPSO stands for Floating Production Storage & Offloading vessel or unit. FPSO Vessels are used by the offshore oil and gas industry for storing oil and producing and processing hydrocarbons. Often these vessels are former service tankers.

Forty Foot Equivalent Unit (FEU)

A Forty Foot Equivalent Unit is used to describe the storage capacity of a container ship a FEU is a unit of measure unique to the maritime industry. It is equal to the space taken by a forty foot shipping container.

Forenoon Watch

The Forenoon Watch is the period of being on duty (AKA Watch) that takes place onboard a vessel between 0800hrs and 1200hrs.


The Forecastle is the raised part of the forward end of a ship's hull - i.e. at the bow. Its name comes from the sailing ships of olden days where the Forecastle was almost literally a 'castle' at the fore of the ship and used to defend the vessel. On the majority of newer vessels this area is now used for storing equipment such as tackle paint tarpaulins and other essential items. However on some older ships it may still be used as crew quarters (crew accommodation.).

Floating Crane

A Floating Crane is a heavy duty crane that can handle extremely heavy cargo that regular gantry cranes are unable to.


Fleeting is an area in which tugboats towboats and barges are berthed until required.

Flag of Convenience (FOC)

The Flag of Convenience is a practice in which the owner of a ship registers the vessel in a country other than their own. The ship then flies the civil ensign of that country - this country is known as the flag state. This is a tactical business decision as vessels that are registered under ‘flags of convenience’ are able to cut operating costs or bypass stricter regulations in the owner's country. Not all countries allow this practice so a shipowner will need to find a country that has an open ship registry or a nation that allows vessels owned by foreign entities to be registered. Some countries are well-known for this; Panama is one.

First Watch

The First Watch is the period of being on duty (AKA Watch) that takes place onboard a vessel between 2000hrs and 0400hrs.

First Dog Watch

The First Dog Watch is the period of being on duty (AKA Watch) that takes place onboard a vessel between 1600hrs and 1800hrs. It is 2 hours shorter than the usual four hour watches as it is split into First Dog Watch and Second Dog Watch so that those on duty may eat their evening meal.


FAK stands for Freight All Kinds which is a method in which freight is charged per container regardless of the nature of goods in that container.


A Fathom is a nautical measurement used for discerning the depth of water and length of rope. 1 Fathom = 6 ft. = 1.83m

Feeder Port

A Feeder Port is smaller in size to a main port and is not accessible to bigger vessels. It is primarily used by Feeder Vessels which collect containers from that port and deliver them to a main port so that they can be 'fed' to the larger vessels which will transport them to their destination.

Feeder Vessel

A Feeder Vessel Container Feeder or Feedermax is a mid-sized ship whose primary purpose is to collect shipping containers from ports and deliver them to central container terminals or hubs where they are then loaded onto larger container ships for onward transport. In this sense the feeder vessel is ‘feeding’ the larger ship with containers. 

Fender Pile

A Fender Pile is an upright wooden or plastic pile normally freestanding on the outer edge of a dock harbor or wharf that absorbs the shock and protects the structure from the impact of a ship docking. 


A Ferry is any vessel that is used for transporting passengers and often vehicles from one point to another and back again. For example across a river a harbor or across relatively short distances via sea.


FiFi (FIre FIghting) is the fire fighting capability of a vessel. The higher the FiFi rating is the greater the water capacity is and the vessel’s fire fighting abilities.


The water-based or offshore cousin to a fire engine or fire truck the Fireboat is a vessel that has onboard equipment such as nozzles hoses and pumps that are used to fight and extinguish fires both on other ships as well as along the coastline on docks and in ports and warehouses.