Commercial shipping is awash with terms and abbreviations. On occasions, the speed of negotiations is such that much laborious effort can be saved by utilising such a system – but only if both sides have the same understanding of the term of abbreviation used! Some terms have already been used and explained in the Lesson to date. Others that are usefully remembered are: AA: Always Accessible: In connection with the berth of the ship, this signifies that the charterer is obliged to secure a berth that is able to be reached immediately on arrival. For tankers the term Reachable on Arrival is more commonly used. Always Afloat: Signifies that at the berth there will always be sufficient water to prevent the ship from ‘touching bottom’ at any time. AAAA: Always Accessible Always Afloat: Combination of the above terms often used when negotiating to qualify the description ‘Safe Berth’. APS: Arrival Pilot Station: Signifies a location, on arrival at which a vessel will deliver on to a time charter. Of advantage to a shipowner when compared with TIP, which see. BB: Below Bridges: Indicates agreement for a vessel to proceed to that section of a port or a river/canal that is ‘below bridges’ in other words below the place(s) where height restrictions would prevent a vessel navigating beneath certain overhead obstructions. e.g.: ‘Vessel to discharge at one safe berth River Thames, below bridges’. Ballast Bonus: A lumpsum amount paid to a shipowner, usually as a reward (a bonus) for positioning his vessel at a certain place as a prerequisite for her delivery on to time charter – e.g. for a ship ex-Mediterranean Sea, ‘delivering United States Gulf for a time charter trip to the Far East at US$5,000 daily, plus a ballast bonus of US$100,000’. Occasionally paid as a reward for accepting redelivery from time charter in an unfavourable position.A Ballast Bonus may be nett (i.e. free of address commissions and brokerages) or gross (i.e.: subject to deduction of brokerage and address commission).