Liner Trades

Liner Trades

A Group Two Subject/Course : NB: No exemption is permitted from this subject.


  1. To ensure a thorough knowledge and understanding of Liner business.
  2. To develop relevant communication skills.

Definitions Of Liner Trades

  • The characteristics of liner services. The Liner Trades of the world, trade routes and ports. East/west and north/south trades.
  • Service options including round the world (RTW), pendulum, hub and spoke.

The Ships

  • Vessel types – break-bulk, Con-bulk, Ro-Ro, LASH, Reefer and other specialist ships. Container ships including cellular/non cellular, post panamax, hatchless, ‘fast ships’, etc.
  • Terminology of measurements including dimensions, tonnages, cubic capacities, TEUs.
  • Cargo handling equipment on board. Hatches & hold layouts, ro-ro access and other specialised configurations.

Port Terminals And Cargo Handling

  • Commodities – break bulk, palletised and containerised. Heavy lifts, Out of gauge, IMO Dangerous cargo regulations.
  • Port & terminal operations and systems: terminal layout, cargo handling systems and equipment.
  • Other port facilities and value added services.

Liner Shipping Opperations

  • Liner Operating Companies: Structure, management, technical, operations,
    commercial functions.
  • Liner Marketing and sales: in-house or independent agency, FONASBA Liner agency agreements, hinterland sales & agency, sub agents.
  • Ship husbandry and port agency.
  • Shippers, forwarders and NVOs. Logistics operators. e-commerce.

Containerisation, Intermodal Transport & Logistics

  • The concept of unitisation and intermodalism.
  • Container types and terminology.
  • Non-port depots. Inland haulage; Carrier/Merchant haulage, Feeder services.
  • Container management, owning/leasing, repairs and interchange.

Liner Industry Structure

  • Economic trends – balancing supply and demand, capacity management options.
  • Conferences, consortia and alliances: Concepts of the contemporary conference system. Control and regulation including Federal Maritime Commission (USA), Competition Directorate (Europe).
  • Economies of scale, mergers and market share.

Bills Of Lading And Other Documents

  • The paramount importance of bills of lading in the Liner Trades.
  • The functions of bills of lading and their role in international trade.
  • Bill of lading legislation – UK Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1992 or equivalent national legislation.
  • Hague/Hague Visby & Hamburg rules. Rules for combined transport including UNCTAD/ ICC.
  • Clean and ‘dirty’ Bills of Lading. Letters of indemnity, their use, misuse and the avoidance of fraud.
  • Types of Bills of Lading: ocean, through, combined transport, waybills. Major and usual clauses.
  • Other documentation – Booking notes, Shipping notes, Manifests, Dangerous cargo declarations.
  • Regulatory control of imports and exports including customs procedures and licensing.
  • Computers: Application in liner trades and development of paperless trading.

Tariff Construction, Pricing And Agreements

  • Freight rates and Tariff structures including commodity, weight or volume;
    advantages and drawbacks.
  • Adjustment factors including currency fluctuation, bunker charges, war risks and congestion.
  • Container tariffs – their structure and relevance.
  • Pricing management including maximising contribution, revenue or market share, marginal pricing of vacant capacity.

Financial Aspects Of Import And Export

  • Sale of Goods and INCOTERMS.
  • Methods of payment and their impact on shipping documents. ICC Uniform Custom and Practice.

Legal Aspects Of Liner Trades

  • Carriers limitation of liability, Carriers and Merchants responsibilities.
  • Cargo claims, role and responsibilities of the parties. Noting Protest.
  • Insurance arrangements: hull & machinery insurance, P & I Associations.
  • General Average concept and documentation.
  • Liabilities of the Agent: Agent’s authority including binding the Principal, fiduciary duty, breach of warranty of authority.


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