In stevedore/cargo language, what does "W B" mean ?

29th August 2007, 22:04
I read that a vessel was in " Berth number 1, WB, sails 0800 on the.... " Anyone know what "WB" means? Douglas.

29th August 2007, 22:53
suggest that it means
water ballast

Jim MacIntyre
30th August 2007, 00:31
Could it be 'Weather Bound' ??

The Captain
30th August 2007, 02:55
Could it be an abreviation for a "Terminal" ie "West Bank" or something similar. For instance "No. 5 Berth, West India Docks" could be "No. 5 Berth, WID". I don't think "WD" is "wharfie speak" I think it more likely an abreviation for a georaphic position, probably from a newspaper.


Keith Adams
30th August 2007, 03:44
I agree with "lakercapt" as meaning Water Ballast since the question was about cargo/stevedore code-words ... Snowy

30th August 2007, 04:48
Would suggest West Bound. Colin

John Cassels
30th August 2007, 08:11
WITH ballast ?.

30th August 2007, 08:19
It might have something to do with the cargo handling, such as "wheat, bulk" or "Wheat Board".

Tony Breach
30th August 2007, 09:47
Try "Waiting Bunkers"


30th August 2007, 11:44
No 1 Berth,West Branch perhaps ???? This was used in Tilbury Docks I believe. EB (East Branch), CB (Centre Branch)

Frank Holleran
30th August 2007, 11:51
Berth No 1 West Berth

30th August 2007, 12:27
In the section, 'Abbreviations in common use in Shipping and Insurance Documents' printed towards the back of the book ' Handy Book for Shipowners and Masters' by H.Holman, 15th. ed. published 1953, W.B. refers to Water Ballast. Bruce.

Alan Hill
30th August 2007, 19:39
Interesting question. I wouldn't know offically either way but I leaned toward "West Branch"; did we decide which it was? Alan Hill Bridgeport, Pa. USA

30th August 2007, 20:10
Work Boat ?

Tony Breach
31st August 2007, 19:55

As you can see we have several differing ideas about this, any one of which could be correct. Although WB is the normal abbreviation for water ballast, is there any reason for it to explain why the ship is in berth, unless it was to take water ballast? If so it would be more likely to state "ballasting". As the abbreviation is obviously intended to impart operational information it would be most helpful to know to which port, area or even nation the query refers.
I am sure that if you can give us that info you will have a definitive response PDQ. (If I were a betting man I'd go for "weatherbound")


3rd September 2007, 22:41
Hi, and thanks to all for your thoughts.
I saw the entry in the Ardrossan Harbour berthing and cargo book for 30th October 1962, held in the Mitchell Library, Glasgow.
The entries for that day read;
Hima due 2nd November, to discharge 9900 tons petrol and gas oil, berth 12, tugs, pilot and patrolman ordered.
Lairdsrock, berth 1, WB.
Clipper, berth 3, sails pm 30th.
Pointer, berth 4, sails 8/9pm 30th.
and so on.

Vessels were arriving and leaving all day, so probably weather bound may be discounted.
Vessels were bunkering all the time at the port, but only in this instance is WB is listed. Lairdsrock arrived that day at 0200 from Belfast with 300 tons scrap, and sailed at 2245 that night for Glasgow.
I am happy with all the suggestions, all are likely, but which one is correct. One of life's little mysteries.

Tony Breach
4th September 2007, 10:35

I'm sure you'll get a response from someone who knows the operations at Ardrossan.

LAIRDSROCK was pretty small, only 715 dwt, motorship, built 1935. Engines were aft so she may have needed to ballast for'd before sailing.