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Basic ship terminologies that confuses people not familiar

The shipping industry has its own unique set of terminologies that can be confusing to those who are not familiar with the industry. In this article, we will discuss some common ship terminologies to help readers understand the jargon used in the shipping industry.



  1. Bow - the front part of a ship

  2. Stern - the back part of a ship

  3. Port - the left side of a ship, facing the bow

  4. Starboard - the right side of a ship, facing the bow

  5. Draft - the distance between the waterline and the lowest part of the ship's hull

  6. Ballast - water or other heavy materials used to stabilize a ship

  7. Cargo - goods or materials being transported by a ship

  8. Container - a standardized metal box used for transportation of cargo

  9. Deadweight - the total weight of cargo, fuel, water, provisions, and crew that a ship can carry

  10. Displacement - the weight of water displaced by a ship

  11. Gross tonnage - a measure of a ship's internal volume, including all enclosed spaces

  12. Net tonnage - a measure of a ship's carrying capacity, calculated by subtracting certain spaces from the gross tonnage

  13. Beam - the width of a ship at its widest point

  14. Hull - the main body of a ship, including the bottom, sides, and deck

  15. Keel - the central structural component of a ship, running from bow to stern

  16. Mast - a vertical pole or spar used to support sails or other equipment

  17. Rudder - a movable device at the stern of a ship used for steering

  18. Propulsion - the means by which a ship moves through water, typically through the use of engines or sails

  19. Anchor - a heavy object used to hold a ship in place

  20. Bridge - the navigational control center of a ship, typically located at the top or front of the vessel

These are just some of the many terminologies used in the shipping industry. Understanding these terms is essential for anyone involved in the industry, including crew members, port workers, cargo handlers, and other stakeholders.


The shipping industry has a language of its own, with unique terminologies that may be unfamiliar to those outside the industry. By learning and understanding these terms, individuals can better understand and navigate the complex world of shipping.

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