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stanchion

Stanchion: vertical pillar on the rail of a ship or equivalent serving to mark the point at which goods change hands when loading a ship for departure. If a crane operator drops an item on the landward side of the stanchion, it has not changed ownership. Goods often (but not always) changes hands once loaded aboard ship. There are a number of reasons for changing or retaining the ownership of goods aboard a ship at sea, primarily for insurance purposes. A ship owner is more likely to write off insured cargo without attempting to salvage it than a terrestrial trader. A ship’s salvage claim may be counted as a tonnage, whereas a trader will have a monetary value on the insurance policy. Equivalent reference points exist on loading bays for airplanes and railway rolling stock, but the form will depend on the goods being carried. The word stanchion is derived from the medieval French estanchon.

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