NEWS  |  Holiday Notice
April 2022 sailing schedules updated

Sailing schedules of April has been updated, please check the following link for your information:

Sailing schedule

Hong Kong office will be closed:

3 Jun 2022 (FRI)
- Tuen Ng Festival

1 Jul 2022 (FRI)
- HKSAR Establishment Day


China office will be closed:

3-5 Jun 2022 (FRI-SUN)
- Dragon Boat Festival


Indonesia office will be closed:

1 Jun 2022 (WED)
- Pancasila Day

10 Jul 2022 (SUN)
- Eid al-Adha

30 Jul 2022 (SAT)
- Islamic New Year


Singapore office will be closed:

11 Jul 2022 (MON)
- Hari Raya Haji Holiday

The Netherlands office will be closed:

5-6 Jun 2022 (SUN-MON)
- Whit Sunday and Whit Monday

We will resume on next working day.

Happy Holiday!

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Competent and quick handling of our enquiries,... Read more

Rainer Jungjohann
Managing Director

As a long time customer we apprciate the excellent services of ENSIGN here in Hong Kong.
Competent and quick handling of our enquiries, very transparent reporting, and total solution for our logistics here in Hong Kong and abroad. Can highly recommend the great services of the ENSIGN Team.

They run our key distribution hub in Asia... Read more

Mika Rihtila
Executive Vice President & CFO
Halti Oy

Ensign has been our logistics services provider since 2011.

They run our key distribution hub in Asia for value added logistics services, receiving goods from our suppliers in China and South East Asia and distributing to our clients in both Asia and Europe. Ensign has proven to be a professional, efficient and trustworthy logistics partner. We have been extremely pleased with the services provided by Ensign.

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Advice of Shipment

A notice sent to a local or foreign buyer advising that shipment has gone forward and containing details of packing, routing, etc. A copy of the invoice is usually enclosed and sometimes, if desired, a copy of the bill of lading.

Air waybill

The air waybill (also called air consignment note) is the forwarding agreement or carrying agreement between shipper and air carrier and is obtained from the airline used to ship the goods in question. Air waybills are issued only in nonnegotiable form.

Activity Based Costing

An accounting system that measures the cost and performance of specific activities performed within an organisation. For example, an ABC approach might measure the cost incurred by the accounts receivable department in handling calls for billing errors, whereas the traditional accounting approach ignores the activity and measures the cost of the accounts receivable department as a percentage of revenue.

Cargo Declaration Amendment Fee

A fee that covers re-submission of necessary information required by Customs due to an amendment request that is made by the customer after the carrier has submitted the documentation to local customs authorities. Import countries where this is applicable: - European Union - Norway - Switzerland - United States - Canada - Puerto Rico - Mexico


Income after a company's taxes and all other expenses have been paid. Also called profit or net income.


Transportation conveyance utilised to relay cargo from the mother vessel to ultimate destination or from first receipt port to mother vessel.

Gantry Crane

Gantry Crane Port crane used to load and discharge containers from vessels, can be positioned by moving along rail tracks.

Handling Costs

The cost involved in transferring, preparing and otherwise contracting inventory.

Independent Action

Independent Action.
A carrier can take an independent action in a conference, resulting in a unique rate for that carrier within a conference; ability to file a rate independently of other carriers' actions.


In this method of inventory control, warehousing is minimal or non-existent; the container is the moveable warehouse and must arrive "just in time," i.e. not too early and not too late.

Label Cargo

Cargo, including all commodities, requiring a label according to the provisions of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code.


Entire listing of all cargo on board a vessel as required by the relevant local authorities e.g. customs.
Same as cargo manifest.

Negotiable Bill of Lading

Something that can be negotiated, transferred or assigned from one person to another in return for equivalent value by being delivered either with endorsement (as of an instrument to order) or without endorsement (as of an instrument to bearer) so that the title passes to the transferee who is not prejudiced in his rights by any defect or flaw in the title of prior parties nor by personal defenses available to prior parties among themselves provided in both cases that the transferee is a bona fide holder without notice e.g. bills of lading, bills of exchange, promissory notes, and cheques that are payable to bearer or order are negotiable instruments, as are also, in some jurisdictions, some other instruments (as bonds, some forms of stock) i.e. negotiable paper/negotiable securities. "Negotiable" used analogously for "transferable" - see also negotiability/transferability.

Packing List

List of packages for each shipment, showing individual breakdown in weights/measure and quantity.


A person authorized to transact business for and in the name of another person or company.

Also Notify Party

A second notify party to whom carrier sends its arrival notice advising of goods coming forward for delivery.

Arrival notice

Advice that carrier sends to consignee advising of goods coming forward for delivery. Pertinent information such as BL number, container number and total charges due from consignee, etc are included and sent to consignee prior to vessel arrival. This is done gratuitously by carrier to ensure smooth delivery but there is no obligation by carrier to do so and the responsibility to monitor transit and present himself to take timely delivery still rest with the consignee.

Master Bill of Lading

A document provided by the shipper after handing over the cargo to the carrier, tells the carrier how the B/L should be raised. Also known as B/L instruction or shipping instruction.

Bank guarantee

Guarantee issued by a bank to a carrier to release cargo in lieu of original bill of lading.

Bill of lading

Official legal document representing ownership of cargo; negotiable document to receive cargo; contract for cargo between shipper and carrier.


Shipments moving under a country Customs bonds.

Bonded Logistics Park

It Improves logistics between free trade zones and ports when free trade zones are isolated from the ports.

Within a bonded logistics park, there are bonded warehousing, allotment and distribution, information processing, import and export trade, customs check and maintenance, commodities exhibition, and centralized Customs declaration.

Import, export and distribution of the cargo do not undergo Customs check procedures of both the ports and the free trade zones. The customs process in bonded logistics parks significantly achieves the advantages of the country’s preferential policies for both the FTZ and ports.

Bonded warehouse

A warehouse bonded by customs authorities for storage of bonded goods prior to cargo being cleared.
A facility or consolidation centre that is authorized by customs to store goods, usually separately on dutiable & non-dutiable goods, pending customs inspection and clearance. The goods in it are secured under customs custody. The payment of duties and taxes are only payable once the goods are removed.
Authorized operators of bonded warehouse are often required to provide custom bond.


Arrangements with a carrier, often a steamship or airline, for the acceptance and carriage of passengers or freight.

Booking number

A reference number for booking registered. It should be unique without duplication in three years period.


Common term for an ocean going freight container.

Break-bulk cargo
B/B Cargo

Goods shipped loose in the vessel’s hold and not in a container.


A person who arranges for transportation of loads, usually large operations, for a percentage of the revenue from the load


Fee paid to freight forwarder by the carrier for services performed.

Bunker surcharge

Bunker Adjustment factor (BAF) is surcharges assessed by carrier to freight rates to reflect current cost of bunker.


Heavy oil used as fuel for ocean vessel.

Currency Adjustment Factor

Currency Adjustment Factor. Percentage by which the rate is either increased or decreased in response to fluctating exchange rates.

Cubic meter

Cubic meter. A measure of cargo volume


A kind of cargo movement by container. Delivered loose at origin point with vanning by carrier, devanned by carrier at destination, and picked up loose at destination.


A kind of cargo movement by container. Loose cargo received at origin point, loaded in a container by carrier, then delivered intact at destination.


One of the INCOTERMS
"Cost and Freight" means that the seller delivers when the goods pass the ships's rail in the port of shipment.


One of the INCOTERMS
"Carriage and Insurance paid to..."means that the seller delivers the goods to the carrier nominated by him, but the seller must in addition pay the cost of carriage necessary to bring the goods to the named destination. This means that the buyer bears all risks and any additional costs occurring after the goods have been so delivered. However, in CIP the seller also has to procure insurance against the buyer's risk of loss of or damage to the goods during the carriage.


One of the INCOTERMS "Carriage paid to ..." means that the seller delivers the goods to the carrier nominated by him bsut the seller must in addition pay the cost of carriage necessary to bring the goods to the named destination. This means that the buyer bears risks and any costs occurring after the goods have been so delivered.


Cargo loaded in a full container by a shipper at origin, delivered to pier facility at destination, and then devanned by carrier for loose pick up.


Cargo loaded by shipper in a full container at origin and delivered to carrier's terminal at destination for pick up intact by consignee.


Any of various customs documents required for crossing some international borders.


Any individual, company or corporation engaged in transporting goods.


Usually refers to intracity hauling on drays or trucks.

Certificate of origin

Document certifying the country of origin of goods which is normally issued or signed by a Chamber of Commerce or Embassy.


A wheeled flat bed or a trailer constructed to accommodate containers moved over the road.

Closing date

Last day on which export cargo can be accepted for a nominated sailing.

Combined transport

Carriage by more than one mode of transport against one contract of carriage.

Commercial invoice

Represents a complete record of the transaction between exporter and importer with regard to the goods sold. Also reports the content of the shipment and serves as the basis for all other documents about the shipment.


Article shipped.

Commodity rate

Rates of freight applied individually to articles which move regularly and in large quantities.


An association of ship owners operating in the same trade route who operate under collective conditions and agree on tariff rates.

Connecting carrier

A carrier that has a direct physical connection with another or that forms a link between two or more carriers.


The merchant named by the consignor (usually a seller) in the transportation documents (such as bill of lading) as the party to whose order a consignment will be delivered at the port of destination. The consignee is considered to be the owner of the consignment for the purpose of filing the customs declaration, and for paying duties and taxes. Formal ownership (title) of the consignment, however, can be transferred from consignor through endorsement, or until the consignee pays for them in full under consignor's straight consignment to the consignee.

Consolidated cargo

Cargo containing of shipments of two or more shippers, usually shipped by a firm called a consolidator. The consolidator takes advantage of lower F.C.L. rates, and savings are passed on to shippers.

Container freight station

Consolidation depots where parcels of cargo are grouped and loaded into containers.

Container number

The unique identification of a container.

Container size

The length of a container i.e. 20'', 40'' and 45'' (feet).

Contract carrier

Any person not a common carrier who, under special and individual contracts or agreements, transports passengers or property for compensation.

Cost, insurance and freight

One of 13 INCOTERMS.
"Cost, Insurance and Freight" means that the seller delivers when the goods pass the ship's rail in the port of shipment.

Customhouse broker

Also known as Custom Broker. A person or firm, licensed to engage in entering and clearing goods through customs and/or the government office (Custom house) where duties and/or tolls are placed on imports or exports. The duties of a broker include preparing the entry blank and filing it; advising the importer on duties to be paid; advancing duties and other costs; and, arranging for delivery to his client, his trucking firm, or other carrier.

Cut-off time

Lastest possible time cargo may be delivered to vessel or designated point.


One of the INCOTERMS.
"Delivery duty paid" means that the seller delivers the goods to the buyer, cleared for import, and not unloaded from any arriving means of tranport at the named place of destination. The seller has to bear all the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods thereto including where applicable, any "duty"(which term includes the responsibility for and the risk of the carrying out of customs formalities and the payment of formalities, customs duties, taxes and other charges) for import in the country of destination.


One of the INCOTERMS.
"Delivery duty unpaid"means that the seller delivers the goods to the buyer, not cleared for import, and not unloaded from any arriving means of transport at the named place of destination. The seller has to bear the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods thereto, other than, where applicable, any "duty" (which term includes the responsibility for and the risks of the carrying out of customs formalities, and the payment of formalities, customs duties, taxes and other charges) for import in the country of destination. Such "duty" has to be borne by the buyer as well as any costs and risks caused by his failure to clear the goods for import in time.


Estimated time of arrival.


Estimated time of departure.


One of the INCOTERMS.
"Ex works"means that the seller delivers when he places the goods at the disposal of the buyer at the seller's premises or another named place (i.e. works, factory, warehouse, etc) not cleared for export and not loaded on any collecting vehicle.

Export Declaration

A government document permitting designated goods to be shipped out of the country.

Sea waybill

A special facility granted by carrier under guarantees from shipper/consignee to release cargo to named consignee without presenting original B/L.


Freight All Kind. System whereby freight is charged per container, irrespective of nature of goods, and not according to a Tariff. (Please also refer to All Commodity Rate)


Full Container Load.
Arrangement whereby shipper utilizes all the space in a container which he packs himself.


Stands for Free On Board which is a mercantile expression used in sale contracts denoting that goods have to be delivered by the shippers on board the vessel at a particular place, free of charges.


One of the INCOTERMS.
"Free Carrier" means that the seller delivers the goods, cleared for export, to the carrier nominated by the buyer at the named place. It should be noted that the chosen place of delivery has an impact on the obligations of loading and unloading the goods at that place. If delivery occurs at the seller's premises, the seller is responsible for loading. If delivery occurs at any other place, the seller is not responsible for unloading.

Feeder Vessel

Vessel employed in normally short sea routes to fetch or carry goods and containers to and from ocean going vessels.

Final Destination

End of carrier’s liability where carrier delivers the cargo to consignee.

Free Trade Zone

Sometimes called "customs free zones" or "duty free zones". It is a generic term referring to special commercial and industrial areas. At which by special customs procedures it allows the importation of non-prohibited foreign goods (including raw materials, components, and finished goods) without the requirement that duties be paid immediately. If the merchandise is later exported, duty free treatment is given to re-exports.
The zones are usually located in or near ports of entry. Merchandise brought into these zones may be stored, assembled, processed or used in manufacture prior to re-export or entry into the national customs territory.


Treatment with a pesticide active ingredient that is a gas under treatment conditions.


General Rate Increase


Port at which container is discharged from ocean vessel to start the inland or intermodal part of its journey. In TAT, it usually refers to Montreal (for cargo going to the US Midwest).

Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System

A multi-purpose international goods-classification for manufacturers. Transporters, exporters, importers, customs officials, statisticians, and others in classifying goods moving in international trade under a single commodity code. Developed under the auspices of the Customs Cooperations Council (CCC), an international customs organization in Brussels, this code is a hierarchically structured product nomenclature containing approximately 5,000 headings and subheadings describing the articles moving in international trade.


Charge made for local hauling by dray or truck.


The participating carrier responsible for drayage.

Heavy-Lift Charge

A charge made for lifting articles too heavy to be lifted by a ship's tackle.

House B/L

Bill of lading issued by NVOCC (Non-vessel Owning / Operating Common Carrier), either be Forwarders, or Consolidators when they issue B/L instead of FCR (Freight Cargo Receipt), or slot charters, for carriage of goods on vessel which s/he neither owns nor operates. House B/L is commonly not acceptable in the L/C negotiation unless otherwise authorized in the letter of credit (L/C).

IATA Cargo Agent

It is also a type of freight forwarder who specializes in air cargo. They are registered with the International Air Transport Association (IATA). They act for airlines which pay them a fee (usually 5%). It is very typical that an IATA Cargo Agent also performs the function of an Air Freight Forwarder in reserve booking for air freight, issue air waybill.


International Shipping & Port Security.
International anti-terrorist legislation organised by IMO.

Import License

A document required and issued by some national governments authorizing the importation of goods into their individual countries.

Import Permit

Usually required for items that might affect the public health, morals, animal life, vegetation, etc. Examples include foodstuffs, feedstuffs, pharmaceuticals (human and veterinary), medical equipment, seeds, plants and various written material (including tapes, cassettes, movies, TV tapes or TV movies). In some countries an import permit is the same as an import license.


Incoterms are a set of uniform rules codifying the interpretation of trade terms defining the rights and obligation of both buyer and seller in an international transaction, thereby enabling an otherwise complex basis for a sale contract to be accomplished in three letters. Incoterms are drafted by the International Chamber of Commerce.

Intermodal Transport

Moving ocean freight containers by various transportation modes. The fact that the containers are of the same size and have common handling characteristics permits them to be transferred from truck to railroad to air carrier to ocean carrier.


Less than Container Load. Cargo in quantity less than required for the application for the application of a container load rate.


A container ship onto which and from which containersare lifted by crane.


Transportation from one city to another as differentiated from local switching service.


Vessel plying a regular trade/defined route against a published sailing schedule.

Load Factor

Percent of loaded containers against total capacity of vessel or allocation.


Mother Vessel


Minimum Quantity Commitment.
Volume of cargo that a customer commits to ship over the duration of their contract (in TEU)

Import Permit

Usually required for items that might affect the public health, morals, animal life, vegetation, etc. Examples include foodstuffs, feedstuffs, pharmaceuticals (human and veterinary), medical equipment, seeds, plants and various written material (including tapes, cassettes, movies, TV tapes or TV movies). In some countries an import permit is the same as an import license.

Letter of Indemnity

Guarantee from shipper or consignee to indemnity carrier for costs and/or loss, if any, in order to obtain favorable action by carrier, e.g. sometimes, it is used to allow consignee to take delivery of goods without surrendering B/L which has been delayed

Marks & Nos.

Marks & Numbers placed on packages for export for identification purposes; generally a triangle, square, circle, diamond, or cross with letters and/or numbers and port discharge.

Mate's Receipt

A receipt signed by a mate of the vessel, acknowledging receipt of cargo by the vessel. The individual in possession of the mate's receipt is entitled to the bill of lading, which in due course is issued in exchange for that receipt.

Ocean Bill of Lading

Document indicating that the exporter will consign a shipment to an international carrier for transportation to a specified foreign market. Unlike an inland B/L, the ocean B/L also serves as a collection document. if it is a Straight B/L the foreign buyer can obtain the shipment from the carrier by simply showing proof of identity. If a negotiable B/L is used, the buyer must first pay for the goods, post a bond or meet other conditions agreeable to the seller.

On Board

Means that cargo has been loaded on board a combined transport mode of conveyance. Used to satisfy the requirements of a letter of credit, in the absence of an express requirement to the contrary.

Open-Top Container

A container fitted with a solid removable roof or with a tarpaulin roof that can be loaded or unloaded from the top.


Location where shipment begins its movement at cargo's expense.


Outward bound.
Direction of vessel or cargo going out from port of loading or point/place of receipt.


Port of Discharge where cargo is discharged from vessel. In case of transshipment is needed, there can be a number of POD during the course of shipment until it reaches the final POD.


Port of Loading where loading to vessel takes place


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

Perishable Cargo

Cargo subject to decay or deterioration.


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

Power of Attorney

Authority given by the first party to the second party to act for the first party. For example, when carriers give power of attorney to an agent to publish tariffs for those carriers.


One of the payment status where freight and charges are required to be paid by shipper before original bill of lading is released to them except for shipment under Sea Waybill (or Express BL) as no original bill of lading is required or for shipment under credit arrangement.

Quarantine declaration

A document signed by the captain and the ship’s doctor before the port health officer when a ship arrives at the quarantine station. It gives the name of the ship, tonnage, number of crew, first port of voyage and date of sailing, intermediate ports called at , number of passenger for the port at which the vessel is arriving, number of transit passengers, cases of infectious diseases during voyage, deaths, nature of cargo, name of agents.The port health officer then proceeds with the medical inspection of passengers and crew. Also called entry declaration.

Quarantine dues

A charge against all vessels entering a harbor to provide for the maintenance of medical control service. Also called quarantine fees.


Rail terminal where containers are either loaded or disharged from a train (A rail Ramp is a CY)


n the industry, it is the generic name for a temperature controlled container. The containers, which are insulated, are specially designed to allow temperature controlled air circulated within the container. A refrigeration plant is built into the rear of the container.

Revenue ton

The greater weight or measurement of goods where 1 ton is either 1000 kilos or 1 cubic metre (for metric system). Also known as bill of lading ton or freight ton. It is used to calculate freight charge.


A feature designed in a specially constructed vessel in both the loading and discharging ports.


Shipping Instruction.

Seal (Container)

Metal strip and lead fastener used for locking freight car or truck doors. Seals are numbered for record purposes.

Shipped on board

Endorsement on a bill of lading confirming loading of goods on vessel

Shipped on board

Endorsement on a bill of lading confirming loading of goods on vessel


The person for whom the owners of a ship agree to carry goods to a specified destination and at a specified price. The merchant who can be consignor, exporter, or seller (who may be the same or different parties) named in the shipping documents as the party responsible for initiating a shipment, and who may also bear the freight cost.'

The conditions under which the transportation is effected are stipulated in the bill of lading.

Shipper owned container

The container used for cargo shipment is owned by shipper.

Shipper's Load & Count

Shipments loaded and sealed by shippers and not checked or verified by the carriers.

Shipping order

Usually for same set of Shipping Order, there are a number of copies with same form and contents but with different name such as the 1st copy is called Shipping Order and remainders are called Shipping Order Copy or Dock Receipt for different purposes such as space control, surveyor and sworn measurer, documentation .After EDI is so popular nowadays and used by both shipper and Customs, hardcopy Shipping Order is no longer widely used now.

Shipping permit

Issued by a shipping or carrier company; authorizes the receiving clerk at pier, dock, warehouse, airport or on board to receive a stipulated amount of goods or materials from a specified firm.


The loading of a container.


Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit. ( 20'') TEU.

Terminal Handling Charge

A charge assessed by the terminal for handling FCLs at ocean terminals.

Tank Container

A specially constructed container for transporting liquids and gases in bulk


A publication setting forth the charges, rates and rules of transportation companies.


The offer of goods for transportation or the offer to place cars for loading or unloading.


An assigned area in which containers are prepared for loading into a vessel or are stacked immediately after discharge from the vessel.


Goods onboard which upon their arrival at a certain port are not to be discharged at that port.


A term sometimes used for stowing cargo in a container.

Voyage Number

The numeric identification of a round trip sailing of a vessel on a fixed trade lane.


A place for the reception and storage of goods.


Charge assessed by a pier or dock owner against freight handled over the pier or dock or against a steamship company using the pier or dock.