Like many industries, logistics has a number of terms with specialized meanings. To help our customers and website visitors, we’ve compiled this handy list.
If we missed an important phrase or term, be sure and let us know. Use the simple form in the right hand column to suggest an addition. We appreciate that and we know our readers will too.
Accessorial charges are for services that are in addition to typical transportation services such as: inside delivery, a residential delivery, liftgate delivery, and other similar services.
Air Bill (Air Waybill)
An Air Bill (Air Waybill) is the document for an air carrier that provides information about the freight, weight, freight charges, shipper, consignee, and the party responsible for freight charges. An air bill is essentially an LTL freight bill, but for an air carrier.
An arrival notice is the notice that the consignee receives when their freight has arrived at its destination. See also Delivery Receipt
Astray freight is freight that is separate from the waybill, but has markings that indicate freight origin and destination.
Bill of Lading
The Bill of Lading (BOL) is the contract between the shipper and the carrier. This transportation contract identifies the freight, consignee, shipper, and the terms of the agreement.
A bonded warehouse is a warehouse that is approved by the Treasury Department. These warehouses are used for storing goods under bond until duties are paid.
Breaking bulk consists of breaking down a load from one shipper that is being sent to multiple consignees.
Break Bulk Point
A break bulk point is the terminal or location that break bulk takes place.
C.O.D. (Cash On Delivery)
C.O.D. is a request to the carrier from the shipper. This request is for the carrier to pick up a check upon delivery that is payment for the goods being delivered. A C.O.D. request will be stated on the bill of lading and will state accepted forms of payment (company check or cashier’s check).
A carrier can be an individual, partnership, or corporation that is in the business of transporting goods.
Cartage consists of hauling freight between locations in the same town, city, or continuous municipalities.
A claim is filed to request payment from a carrier due to loss or damage alleged to have occurred while they possessed the shipment. A claim is filed to request a carrier for refund of an overcharge. See Overcharge.
Classification is used to assign rates to shipments. They are based on density, size, and value of the freight. The NMFC board has created a guide that is universally accepted by all major LTL freight carriers. Correct classification is crucial to receiving accurate freight quotes.
Collect terms state that the consignee is responsible for the freight charges.
Concealed damage consists of damage to the contents of a package without the damage being apparent externally.
The consignee is the individual or business that receives the freight being shipped.
The consignor is the person or business that originates the shipment. Also, known as the shipper.
A container is anything that items are packed in.
A contract is a legal document between parties. In regards to freight, a contract states specifics of the freight shipment process.
Corrected Bill of Lading (CBL)
A corrected bill of lading (CBL) is a documented that the shipper would issue to amend the original bill of lading (BOL).
A credit application is used to verify customer information in regards to credit worthiness.
A dedicated charge is when a company commits specific equipment to a customer for their use only. Dedicated charges can include runs or deliveries outside of the typical system.
Deficit weight is weight added to a bill so that the shipment will cost less due to the rate reduction for higher weights.
Delivery Receipt (DR)
A delivery receipt (DR) is a document that is used when a shipment is delivered. The consignee signs this document to confirm delivery, and is also known as a Proof of Delivery.
Demurrage is the detention of a container or freight vehicle beyond the estimated time-frame.
Density is the measurement of the volume of a shipment. The calculation for density is equal to the weight of the product divided by (length x width x height / 1728). Density is measured in pounds/cubic foot. DPCF Equals [Weight/(LXWXH/1728)]
Detention is the time that a driver is made to wait before loading/unloading at a customer’s facility. This time may cause an increase in cost for the shipment.
A direct point is a zip code that receives service by the contracted carriers own equipment and driver. See also Indirect Point.
Dispatching is the process of scheduling and managing intra-city traffic (line haul) and intercity pickup and delivery (P&D).
A diversion is a route change made to a shipment in transit.
A dock receipt is given when a shipment is received or delivered at a pier or a dock. The dock receipt is surrendered to the transportation line and a bill of lading is issued when delivery of shipment is completed.
A dock worker is a person who maintains dock spaces by transferring freight from one container to another.
A dolly is a piece of equipment that has two wheels and is used to attach a trailer to another trailer to make sets.
Doubles are tractors with a set of two trailers connected to them.
Drayage is a charge that occurs when freight is hauled on carts, drays, or trucks.
Driver collect is a term that relates to freight charges. It means that the driver collects the freight charges from the consignee at the time of delivery.
A dropped COD occurs when a driver does not pick up a COD check at the time of delivery.
Exceptions are discrepancies taken note of at the time of interchange or delivery and are related to the physical characteristics or number of pieces of the freight.
Feeder Line Service
Feeder line service consists of short transportation lines that go from a truck line to nearby areas in order to collect and distribute freight. A feeder line service is typically 25 to 35 miles long.
A flatbed is a semi-trailer that has no sides.
A free astray is a shipment that was unloaded at or miscarried to the wrong terminal and is then billed and forwarded to the correct terminal for free.
Free On Board (FOB) Destination
Free on board (FOB) destination means that the title changes hands at the consignee location upon receipt so the freight charges are prepaid.
Free On Board (FOB) Dock
Free on board (FOB) dock means that the title changes hands at the shippers dock so the freight charges are collect.
Free time is the amount of time that freight is held before storage charges begin accruing.
A freight bill is a common carrier shipment document. The freight bill describes the freight, amount of charges, the rates, and the terms of the shipment. See also Bill of Lading.
The freight charge is the amount that is due for freight transportation.
A freight forwarder is a company that consolidates freight for shippers, manages shipments through LTL carriers, and forwards on lower rates to customers due to a higher volume of shipments than individual shippers obtain.
(a) Gross weight is the weight of the freight including the packaging.
(b) Gross weight is the weight of a truck including its contents.
A haustler is equipment used to move trailers around a terminal facility.
A hoopie is a tractor and a trailer that are on the same frame and do not disconnect. A hoopie is usually used for deliveries in downtown city spaces.
Imaging is a system that is used to store digital images of documents.
Goods on which a duty or tax is due are “in bond” when placed in the custody of a government or bonded warehouse or are moving by bonded carrier. Bonding guarantees that the duty will be paid.
An inland carrier is a transportation line that carries import or export traffic between ports and inland areas.
Inland Tariff Bureau
The Inland Tariff Bureau is an organization that publishes tariffs and manages updates while ensuring that the public has access to the documents.
Interchange points are where freight is interchanged between two transportation lines. The interchange point zip code typically determines the split of the revenue.
An interline is a transportation company that performs one part of the freight transaction. They typically agree to bill or pay other carriers for the other parts of the freight transaction so that their customer only receives one bill.
Interline freight moves over the lines of two or more transportation companies from point of origin to destination.
An intermediate carrier is a transportation line that hauls a shipment between two transportation systems. An intermediate carrier does not originate or deliver the shipment.
Interstate Commerce Commission
The Interstate Commerce Commission is the federal organization that is responsible for enforcing acts of Congress relating to interstate commerce.
Less Than Truckload (LTL)
Less than truckload (LTL) is an amount of freight that is less than what is required for the application of truckload rates. LTL freight shipping is the easiest and most economical way to move large and bulky items.
A legal claim upon goods for the satisfaction of a debt or duty
A lift gate attaches to the back of a trailer that can be raised and lowered between the ground and the trailer deck. There is typically an accessorial charge for lift gate service.
A line driver is a driver that does not typically pick up or deliver shipments. Instead a line driver moves freight between terminals.
A line haul consists of equipment and people who work together to move freight from one terminal to another.
The manifest is a document that describes the shipment or the contents of a vehicle, container, or ship.
Marks are made up of letters, numbers, and characters and are put on packages for identification.
The master bill consolidates multiple BOLs that are going to the same consignee at the same time. This is done to receive a lower rate because of a higher total weight.
The maximum rate is the highest contracted rate that might be charged.
The minimum rate is the lowest contracted rate that might be charged.
Items are nested when they are packed one within another.
The origin carrier is the carrier that picks up the freight from the shipper. The origin carrier also receives the bill of lading.
The origin terminal is the terminal that picks up the freight from the shipper. The origin terminal also receives the bill of lading.
Over the Road (OTR)
Over the road (OTR) means that the freight is between terminals or within the line haul system.
Overage, Short and Damaged (OS&D)
Overage, short, and damaged (OS&D) are discrepancies between the bill of lading and the freight on hand. Most of these discrepancies are noted at delivery, pickup, or interchange. Overage is when freight on hand is not shown on the BOL. Short is when freight shown on the BOL is not on hand. Damaged means that there is damage to the freight.
Overcharge occurs when the charge is more than the amount that was contracted.
A P&D driver is the driver that picks up the shipment or delivers to the consignee.
A rate to move a full 28 foot trailer. The rate can be determined by a spot rate.
A packing list is a detailed list of packed materials.
Pallet (Also Known as Skid)
A pallet is a platform that is portable and holds materials for storage or transportation.
A pallet deck is a metal support that enables two pallets of freight to be stacked on top of each other in a trailer. Pallet decks are usually used in line haul movements.
A payment facility audits and pays freight bills for other companies.
A company that its purpose is to audit and pay freight bills for other companies.
Perishable freight is freight subject to decay or deterioration. PNGLC cannot help you ship perishable freight.
Point of Origin
The point of origin is the zip code of the shipper’s location.
Port of Entry
(a) A port of entry is a government designated port where foreign goods are evaluated before being admitted into a country.
(b) Ports of entry are border stations managed by some states in order to check truck compliance.
Prepaid terms mean that the shipper or a Third Party is responsible for the freight charges.
Pro number is a sequential numbering system that is used to identify freight bills. A Pro number is like your shipments social security number and is unique to each particular shipment.
Proof Of Delivery (POD)
Proof of Delivery (POD) is a document that is used when a shipment is delivered. The consignee signs this document to confirm delivery. See also Delivery Receipt.
The rate is the cost of transporting freight.
Rate base is a published set of rates. See also Tariff.
A release rate is a special, low rate that occurs when the carrier’s liability is limited to an agreed amount for the shipment.
The release value is the value of the goods that is set by the shipper as the carrier’s limit of liability. The release value relates to classification and freight rates.
Return Authorization (RA)
A return authorization (RA) is the document sent out by the original shipper that authorizes the freight to be returned.
(a) A route is the course or direction of the shipment.
(b) A route is the delivery plan laid out for a P&D driver by dispatch.
SCAC stands for Standard Carrier Alpha Code. The Department of Transportation give this code to each freight carrier to uniquely identify them.
A safety rating measures the safety of a company. A safety rating is based on how many miles have been driven between accidents.
A seal is used to make sure that a trailer is not opened during transit.
Section 7 is the area on the BOL that allows the shipper to assign a shipment as collect without recourse if signed. If the carrier delivers the freight on terms, without receiving payment first, it is at the carrier’s own risk and the carrier has no recourse to the shipper if payment is not received from the consignee or third party assigned on the bill of lading.
The service rating measures the amount of on time deliveries.
The shipper is the person or business who originates the shipment. See also Consignor.
Shipper’s Load and Count
Shipper’s load and count occurs when the shipper loads the shipment and verifies the quantity. The shipper is then also responsible for the condition of the shipment in transit.
The shipping order consists of instructions to a carrier regarding the transportation of a shipment. The shipping order is typically a copy of the bill of lading.
Shortage is when the amount of freight delivered is less than the amount of freight received at pickup.
A single consists of one power unit pulling one trailer.
Split Pickup or Delivery
Split pickup or delivery is an accessorial service where portions of volume shipments are picked up or delivered at more than one place.
A statement is a list of one or more bills.
Store Door Delivery
Store door delivery is when goods are shipped to the consignee’s place of business.
System is a term that describes the whole pick up, delivery, and line haul operation within a company.
(a) Tare weight is the weight of the packaging materials.
(b) Tare weight is the weight of the tractor and trailer without its contents.
A tariff is a schedule of transportation rates and rules.
A terminal is a building that handles and stores freight temporarily as it is transferred between trucks.
Terms state who is responsible for paying the freight charges.
Third Party Billing
Third party billing is a scenario where neither the shipper nor the consignee is responsible for paying the freight charges – instead there is a third party who is responsible for the charges.
A tractor is the power unit that pulls trailers. There are single axle tractors and double axle tractors. Single axle tractors are typically used for pickup and delivery while double axle tractors are typically used for line haul moves.
A trailer is the equipment that is used to house goods during transit.
Triples refer to one tractor pulling three trailers.
Full Truckload (FTL)
(a) Truckload (FTL) is the amount of weight that will fill a trailer; (b) Truckload (FTL) is the legal maximum weight for a particular type of trailer.
(c) Truckload (FTL) is the amount of weight that will qualify for a truckload rate.
Warehousing is the storage of goods.
A way bill is a description of goods shipped in a common carrier freight shipment.
A yard dog is a piece of equipment that is used to move trailers around a terminal facility. See also Haustler.