Shipping and Logistics - Level 4 Diploma

This course is specially designed for students who wish to learn how international trade operates, and how increased exports can help GDP. The course will also outline clearly how imports and exports may be handled in a practical way.

This course is closely related to Maritime Management, international business, and globalization.

Entry Qualifications

Students must have a good knowledge of the English Language. No other formal qualifications are required though 4 GCE's or their equivalent must have been achieved.

Duration of course

The duration of the course is 24 weeks. There is normally only one intake of students per year, commencing in late September and ending in March the following year.


There are five units:

Shipping and Logistics - Level 4 Diploma

There are 5 subjects delivered over a 24-week period so you can qualify for a Diploma from ABMA at level 4. The subjects are:

Unit 1 - Introduction to Shipping Practice

Unit 2 - Introduction to International Maritime Logistics

Unit 3 - Introduction to Shipping Insurance and Salvage

Unit 4 - The movement of dangerous goods

Unit 5 - Overseas Trade Law

Assessment and Grading Criteria

The units for this qualification are assessed via examination.

In order to pass each of the units, learners are required to demonstrate that they can meet the stated learning outcomes outlined in the syllabus. Learners must study and understand the full unit content as any part of this could be tested during the examination.

Each question in an examination is weighted at 20% of the total marks. It is the accumulated total of marks for each question which will determine if a learner has achieved a Pass, Merit or Distinction for the unit. Marks of 39% or less will be graded as a Fail. A learner must achieve a minimum mark of:

  • 40% to achieve a Pass
  • 60% to achieve a Merit
  • 75% to achieve a Distinction

Unit 1: Introduction to Shipping Practice

Unit Aim

The unit aims to introduce key aspects of shupping practice to the learner. It covers all major aspects of importing and exporting and the procedures with which these are carried out, including issues concerning documentation. The unit also aims to help learners understand the roles and responsibilities of the various parties and operators involved in shipping practice, as well as the various financial options available in international trade.

Unit Overview

This unit is for learners considering a career in shipping and logistics, and who wish to gain an understanding of mercantile and shipping practice. Learners will study various aspects of import and export procedures and will develop their understanding of how goods are shipped by maritime means across the globe. Learners will compare the work of shipping organizations, agents, and shippers, and understand how all the relevant parties work together to ensure a smooth and efficient shipping process.

Unit Content

Learning Outcome 1: Analyse the principles and processes related to importing and exporting

a. International Commercial Terms (Incoterms)

b. Shipment arrangements and shipping documentation

c. Customs clearance and payment of duties and taxes

d. Receipt of consignment and other record keeping

e. Government policy and regulation

f. Banking and financial practices

Learning Outcome 2: Analyse the main procedures for importing and exporting goods

a. Documentation required to import or export a consignment

b. Information required in each document

c. Calculation of import duty using the shipping and insurance documents

d. Submission of information to the carrier and the freight forwarder

e. Submission of information for the purposes of completing a Customs Declaration

f. Maintenance of internal company records to show all import and export transactions

Learning Outcome 3: Apply the principles related to the finance of international trade in context

a. Importance and function of each type of document used in international trade

b. Insurance document raised by the insurance company

c. Bill of lading raised by the carrier

d. Role of banks and other financial institutions in international trade finance

e. Suitability of each type of finance related to the relationship between the seller and buyer

f. Impact of national policy and financial and fiscal controls on trade

Learning Outcome 4: Analyse the roles and responsibilities of the parties and operators involved in mercantile practice

a. Importers

b. Exporters

c. Freight forwarders and carriers

d. Differences between a freight forwarder and a logistics provider

e. Consolidators and ‘non-vessel operating common carriers’ (NVOCC)

f. Structure of shipping companies

Learning Outcome 5: Evaluate the roles of organizations overseeing shipping practice and vessel management

a. Shipping companies, classification societies, and flags of convenience (FOC)

b. Vessel management companies

c. Liner/shipping agents in international ports

d. Ship chandlers

e. Stevedoring agencies

f. Port control, health and customs authorities

Unit 2: Principles of International Maritime Logistics

Unit Aim

The unit aims to introduce learners to the fundamentals of international maritime logistics. It helps the learner gain an understanding of the international supply chain as well as multi-modalism in maritime logistics. The unit explores the various elements of maritime logistics in the context of the shipping business as a whole.

Unit Overview

This unit is for learners considering a career in shipping and logistics and those who wish to gain an understanding of the different elements of international maritime logistics. Learners will study various aspects of maritime logistics and their application to shipping and logistics overall. They will also learn the function of multi-modalism, warehousing, storage, and inventory, how logistics impact international supply chains and the Incoterms.

Unit Content

Learning Outcome 1: Analyse the fundamentals of international logistics

a. Logistics

b. The international supply chain

c. Multi-modalism

d. Containerisation

e. Full Container Loads (FCLs) and less-than Container Loads (LCLs)

f. Consolidation and groupage

Learning Outcome 2: Apply the Incoterms to international trade

a. Origin and development of the Incoterms

b. Role of the Incoterms in international trade

c. Operation of the Incoterms in defining payment terms

d. Operation of the Incoterms in defining when risk transfers between parties

e. Definition of all 11 Incoterms

f. Application of Incoterms

Unit 3: Principles of Shipping and Insurance Management

Unit Aim

The unit aims to introduce many aspects of shipping and insurance management to the learner. It covers the business of shipping, shipping management, and insurance principles, and gives details on how these principles are applied.

Unit Overview

This unit is for those considering a career in shipping and logistics and who wish to gain an understanding of the different elements of shipping and insurance management. Learners will be taught the various types of shipping operations, including container trades, dry and liquid bulks as well as how these markets work and operate. Additionally, learners will also study different aspects of the shipping industry including the different types of charter agreements as well as how goods and vessels are insured.

Unit Content

Learning Outcome 1: Analyse the fundamental elements of the business of shipping

a. Liner trades, liner alliances and groupings

b. Tramp, breakbulk, dry bulk and liquid bulk sectors

c. Container lines, routes operated and allocation of containers to shippers

d. Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) and Forty-Foot Equivalent Unit (FEU), Full Container Load (FCL) and Less-than-Container Load (LCL)

e. The capacity of container vessels and stowage plans, tallying cargo, draft surveys and draft marks, stowage and hatch surveys

f. Measuring cargo quantity and quality to process potential insurance claims against the carrier and calculating vessel operator/owner liability in relation to damage or loss of quality to cargo during transit

Learning Outcome 2: Analyse the principles of dry and liquid bulk shipping

a. Types of the dry bulk carrier and the nature, function, and operation of the Baltic Dry Index (BDI)

b. Hydrocarbon products carried in liquid bulk carriers

c. Carriage of chemical and petrochemical products and liquefied gases

d. Tankers used to transport oil products, chemicals and liquefied natural gas (LNG)/ liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)

e. Safety, loading and unloading requirements and features for such vessels

f. Dry bulk and minor bulk commodities and the vessels used to transport them

Learning Outcome 3: Apply the principles of vessel chartering in the context of international shipping

a. Chartering agreements

b. Obligations of ship owners, operators, shipbrokers, and shippers of bulk cargoes

c. Legal and commercial responsibilities of parties in such an agreement

d. Application of each type of charter party agreement to different kinds of bulk transport

e. Circumstances under which each type of agreement should be used and the documentation required for each type of contract

Learning Outcome 4: Evaluate the importance of marine insurance

a. Insurable interest

b. The principle of Uberrimae Fidei (utmost good faith)

c. Indemnity and subrogation

d. Hull and Machinery insurance

e. Underwriting and insurance brokerage, Institute of London Cargo Clauses A, B and C

f. Role of Lloyd’s of London and Protection & Indemnity (P&I) Clubs and their levels of liability

Learning Outcome 5: Analyse the importance of salvage as part of the process of vessel management and operations

a. Principle and application of General Average and the nature of peril

b. York-Antwerp Rules

c. Principles and application of Total Loss and Partial Loss

d. Indemnity and compensation

e. Pure salvage and contract salvage and the function of the Lloyd’s Open Form

f. The viability of vessel repair in the event of accident or grounding

Learning Outcome 3: Analyse the role of the supply chain in international trade

a. Components of the supply chain

b. The link between suppliers and customers

c. Primary and secondary suppliers

d. Primary and secondary customers

e. Goods in transit

f. Work in progress

Learning Outcome 4: Evaluate the elements of logistics as they apply to international trade

a. Means of moving goods

b. Relative costs for the movement of goods

c. Expediency and convenience of delivery

d. Logistics providers and freight forwarders

e. Multi-modalism

f. Role of the Non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC)

Learning Outcome 5: Analyse the purpose of warehousing and managing inventory

a. Warehousing

b. Storage

c. Inventory

d. Inventory Systems

e. Materials management

f. Interrelationships between warehousing, storage, and inventory

Unit 4: The Movement of Dangerous Goods

Unit Aim

The unit introduces the learner to many aspects of the movement of dangerous goods. It covers the movement of hazardous and dangerous goods both in ports and on board vessels and how the principles of moving these goods are applied, including practice and procedures. It also explores the various types of dangerous and hazardous goods, their classification, packaging, and movement.

Unit Overview

This unit is for learners considering a career in shipping and logistics, and who wish to gain an understanding of the movement of dangerous goods. Learners will study how dangerous and hazardous goods of different properties are transported and stored both on board vessels and at ports, as well as the conventions and codes which determine how they are moved and stored. In addition, learners are taught the importance of labeling goods correctly as well as having the correct dangerous goods documentation that accompanies such goods.

Unit Content

Learning Outcome 1: Analyse the fundamentals of the movement of dangerous and hazardous goods

a. Defining and describing dangerous and hazardous goods

b. Classification of dangerous goods according to the International Movement of Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code

c. United Nations (UN) Classification Number

d. Marine Pollution (MARPOL) 73/78 Convention

e. Packaging, storage, handling and movement of dangerous goods

f. Dangerous goods documentation including the Dangerous Goods (DG) Note and Document of Compliance (DOC)

Learning Outcome 2: Analyse dangerous goods operations

a. Packaging used to carry dangerous goods

b. Methods of transporting dangerous goods

c. Method of loading and storage of cargo aboard container vessels

d. Specific loading and storage of dangerous goods aboard container vessels

e. Packaging, marking, labeling, handling, storage and documentation of each including the considerations concerning pressure and temperature for gases and flammable liquids

f. UN classification codes

Learning Outcome 3: Analyse port facilities and procedures concerning the handling of dangerous goods

a. Types of dangerous goods, solids, liquids, gases

b. Handling, transferring and storing solids, liquids gases

c. MFAG and EMS schedule in the IMDG code supplement

d. Types of vessels used to carry dangerous goods

e. Procedures involved in the handling and transfer of dangerous goods in bulk by tanker

f. Procedures involved in the handling of dangerous goods by container

Learning Outcome 4: Evaluate shipping precautions and procedures concerning the movement of dangerous goods

a. Special procedures in the handling, storage, and movement of dangerous/hazardous goods

b. Safe storage and segregation of dangerous goods on board a vessel

c. Regular inspections of facilities

d. Stowage error/negligence and the consequences of this

e. Codes, procedures, and records for safety and if accidents occur

f. Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) 1974 Convention, MARPOL 73/78 convention

Learning Outcome 5: Apply documentation and labeling to dangerous goods being transported by ship

a. Dangerous goods documentation

b. Dangerous goods identification on-road vehicles

c. Documentation and labeling to determine nature and identification of dangerous goods

d. Dangerous Goods (DG) Note

e. Multi-modal DG Form

f. Transport Emergency Card (Tremcard)

Unit 5: Overseas Trade Law

Unit Aim

The unit aims to introduce the learner to overseas trade law. It covers the legal aspects of shipping and international trade by looking at the various types of laws, contracts, and rules which govern overseas trade.

Unit Overview

This unit is for learners considering a career in shipping and logistics and who wish to gain an understanding of the different elements of overseas trade law. Learners are introduced to the common legal terms used in overseas trade law. They also learn about the different types of contracts, mainly Free on Board (FOB) and Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF), and the implications of each type of contract on the seller and buyer. Furthermore, learners are taught the different rules which govern the carriage of goods by sea and the relevance of each in the overseas trade, as well as European law.

Unit Content

Learning Outcome 1: Analyse the legal terminology of overseas trade and basic contract components

a. Offer and acceptance, consideration, implied terms

b. Free on Board (FOB) contracts and Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) contracts

c. International rules and conventions relating to carriage by sea

d. Legislation and legal precedent in English Law and English Law in contracts and the resolution of international disputes

e. Components of the basic contract

f. UK Consumer Rights legislation

Learning Outcome 2: Analyse the principle of the agency

a. Definition and role of an agency/agent

b. Legal agent

c. Types of agent employed in maritime traded

. Relationship between the agent and the third party

e. Rights and responsibilities of the principal and of the agent in the event of agency disputes

Learning Outcome 3: Evaluate differences between FOB and CIF contracts

a. Principles of FOB contracts

b. Meaning and implications of FOB under current Incoterms

c. Principles of CIF contracts

d. Meaning of and implications of CIF under current Incoterms

e. Determining which type of contract to be used

f. Rights and responsibilities of the seller and of the buyer under FOB and under CIF

Learning Outcome 4: Apply different national and international laws to the carriage of goods by sea

a. Rules and conventions in the national law concerning the carriage of goods by sea

b. International rules, their evolution, implementation and the incorporation of rules into UK Acts concerning the carriage of goods by sea

c. Differences between the rules and their applicability

d. Countries that have attached/will attach each rule to their national maritime legal systems

e. Duties and responsibilities of the vessel’s master according to the rules

f. Carriers’ liability for the loss or damage of cargo whilst in transit under the rules

Learning Outcome 5: Analyse the principles of European legislation in relation to international trade

a. Origins of the Treaty of Rome

b. The Treaty of Rome 1957

c. Purpose of the Treaty and the effect of the Treaty on the shipping industry

d. Creation of the European Union (EU)

e. Creation of single market by the Single European Act 1986

f. Development of free trade agreements and their impact on the shipping industry

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Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated October 25, 2018
This course is Campus based
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24 weeks
2,500 GBP
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