- CAD (Cash Against Documents) - A method of payment for goods in which documents transferring title are given to the buyer upon payment of cash to an intermediary acting for the seller.
- CAF (Currency Adjustment Factor) - A surcharge on freight charges by a carrier to offset foreign currency fluctuations.
- Cargo Insurance - Insurance to protect the financial interest of the owner of the cargo in the event of a loss during transportation.
- Carnet - A customs document permitting the holder to carry or send merchandise temporarily into certain foreign countries without paying duties or posting bonds. All of the goods traveling under a Carnet must be returned to the origin country to avoid penalties.
- Carrier - Any person who, through a contract of carriage, undertakes to perform or procure the performance of carriage by rail, road, sea, air, inland waterway, or by a combination of modes.
- Certificate of Manufacture - A document used under a letter of credit containing an affidavit that goods have been manufactured and are being held for the account and risk of the buyer.
- Certificate of Origin - A document containing an affidavit to prove the origin of imported goods. It is used for customs or foreign exchange purposes or both. Certificates of Origin are commonly certified by an official organization in the country of origin such as a consular office or a chamber of commerce.
- CFS (Container Freight Station) - The term CFS at loading port means the location designated by carriers for the receiving of cargo to be loaded into containers by the carrier. At discharge or destination ports, the term CFS means the bonded location designated by carriers for devanning of containerized cargo.
- CFS/CFS (Pier to Pier) - The term CFS/CFS refers to cargo delivered at origin in less-than-containerload quantities to a container freight station (CFS) to be loaded into containers and to be unloaded from the container at destination CFS.
- CFS Charge (Container Freight Station Charge) - The charge assessed for services performed at the origin or destination for loading or unloading of cargo into/from containers at a CFS.
- CFS Receiving Services - The service performed at the loading port in receiving and packing cargo into containers from CFS to CY or shipside.
- Chargeable Weight - Rate for airfreight goods where dimensional weight factor exceeds the actual weight of the cargo.
- Charter - Originally meant a flight where a shipper contracted hire of an aircraft from an air carrier, but has usually come to mean any non-scheduled commercial service.
- Chassis - A rectangular steel frame, supported by springs and wheeled axles constructed to accept mounting of containers for over-the-road transport.
- CIA (Cash in Advance) - A method of payment for goods whereby the buyer pays the seller prior to shipping the goods.
- Classification - A term for the determination of the correct tariff number in a Customs tariff for admissibility and duty purposes.
- Combination Vessels - A type of ship that accommodates both container and break-bulk cargo. It can be either self-sustaining or non-self sustaining. Also known as a Container/Break-bulk Vessel.
- Commercial Invoice - Receipt for a transaction and or goods purchased (invoice) indicating the sender or seller and the receiver or purchaser. A commercial invoice should contain an itemized list of the merchandise with the complete description of goods with their unit value and extended total value. Depending on the Customs requirements of the destination country, there may be additional requirements, statement or clauses that must appear as well.
- Conference - A group of vessel operators joined together for the purpose of establishing freight rates.
- Confirmed Letter of Credit - (See Letter of Credit, Confirmed)
- Consignee - The individual or company to whom a seller or shipper sends merchandise and who, upon presentation of necessary documents, is recognized as the merchandise owner for the purpose of declaring and paying customs duties.
- Consignor - A term used to describe any person who consigns goods to himself or to another party in a bill of lading or equivalent document. A consignor might be the owner of the goods, or a freight forwarder who consigns goods on behalf of his principal.
- Consolidated Shipment - A method of shipping whereby an agent (freight forwarder or consolidator) combines individual consignments from various shippers into one shipment made to a destination agent, for the benefit of preferential rates. (Also called "groupage") The consolidation is then de-consolidated by the destination agent into its original component consignments and made available to consignees. Consolidation provides shippers access to better rates than would be otherwise attainable.
- Consolidator - An agent who brings together a number of shipments for one destination to qualify for preferential rates.
- Consular Documents - Special forms signed by the consular office of a country to which cargo is destined.
- Consular Invoice - A document required by some countries describing a shipment of goods and showing information such as the consignor, consignee, and value of the shipment. Certified by a consular official, a consular invoice is used by the country's customs officials to verify the value, quantity, and nature of the shipment.