There are various shipping terms when it comes to moving bulk cargo across the ocean. These terms are designed to indicate which party is responsible for each activity. 

FLT stands for “Full Liner Terms” and is a shipping term whereby the shipowner is responsible for the loading, stowage, trimming, transportation and unloading of the bulk cargo. The shipper is only responsible for delivering the cargo to the dock for loading.

Here are the responsibilities for each party with regards to the FLT shipping term: 

  • Loading (shipowner’s responsibility)
  • Stowage (shipowner’s responsibility)
  • Trimming (shipowner’s responsibility)
  • Transport (shipowner’s responsibility)
  • Unloading (shipowner’s responsibility)

In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the FLT shipping term and who is responsible for each individual activity.

What Does the FLT Shipping Term Cover? 

Here is a clear explanation of activities for the FLT shipping term. The shipowner is offering full liner services with the FLT term, meaning that they are responsible for the entire service that includes loading at the origin port, stowage, trimming, transport and unloading at the destination port. 

Shipper & Consignee Responsibilities:

The shipper is only responsible for ensuring that the cargo is delivered to the port of loading so that the shipowner can proceed with the loading process. On the other hand, the consignee or nominated transporter is responsible for the final delivery at destination under the FLT liner term.

Shipowner Responsibilities:

  • Loading – The shipowner is required to pay and facilitate the loading of bulk cargo into the vessel. They will usually subcontract these services to the terminal operator at the port of loading.
  • Stowage – The shipowner is also responsible for the stowage of bulk cargo in the vessel. Cargo types could range from grains to drums or other types, depending on the product. 
  • Trimming – Some types of bulk cargo require trimming, so that the products are evenly distributed across the vessel. The FLT terms stipulate that this is part of the shipowner’s responsibility. 
  • Unloading – The shipowner is also responsible for the unloading of cargo at the port of discharge. This is typically arranged with the terminal operator or done through the bulker cranes which are located on the vessel.
  • Transportation – a shipowner’s obligation also extends to the transportation of goods from the port of loading to the port of discharge. Ship dues, such as pilotage fees, channel lighting and berth usage are also included. 

How Vessel Demurrage Works With the FLT Shipping Term

When it comes to break bulk shipments under the FLT liner term, no demurrage fees are chargeable to the shipper, as the shipowner has the responsibility of loading and unloading the vessel. 

Therefore, all fees that arise due to delays during the loading and unloading process will be borne by the shipowner. Under FLT terms, there is also no laytime mentioned, as it falls under the shipowner’s responsibility. 

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Gerrit Poel

Co-Founder & Writer
at freightcourse

About the Author

Gerrit is a certified international supply chain management professional with 16 years of industry experience, having worked for one of the largest global freight forwarders.

As the co-founder of freightcourse, he’s committed to his passion for serving as a source of education and information on various supply chain topics.