Basic Shipping Terms

Here are some brief explanations for terms used in connection with shipment of cargo (here: containers) in order to define who is paying what cost:
"Free in and out/stowed". The Shipper (not the carrier) has to pay for loading / stowage and discharging cost of the containers.
Fios l/s /(u)l / (u)s
The shipper has not only to pay for loading/stowage and discharging cost but also for lashing/securing resp. unlashing/unsecuring of containers
Liner terms
The shipowner resp. carrier has to pay for the loading/discharging cost. This is the usual practice in regular conatiner liner trades. Hence this expression.
To avoid disputes it is recommendable always to specify what cost are exactly included., e.g.:
Liner terms hook/hook
The shipper has to pay all cost until the cargo is delivered under vessel's hook (shipcrane) resp. shore crane's hook and vice versa in the discharge port. It's not a common term in containertrade but rather in drycargo trade.
Liner terms pier/pier (alongside ship)
This basically means the same. Shipper has to pay all cost until the cargo is delivered at the pier alongside vessel and vice versa. Also not common in containertrade.
Liner terms stack/stack
Used in containertrade. Shipper has to pay all cost until containers are delivered into the terminal (prestow) stack and vice versa (ie. gate receiving resp. gate-out charges are for shipper's account).
Liner terms gate/gate
Used in containertrade. Shippers has to pay all cost until containers are passing the receiving gate of the terminal and vice versa (only in this case all terminal handling charges incl. gate receiving and handling into prestow stack resp. handling from prestow stack onto truck/ railcar are to be paid by the carrier) BUT ATTENTION: there are containerports/terminals in the world where the gate is not the entry point and costs before/after gate might still incur!