COMMON TERMINOLOGY IN TRANSPORTATION AND LOGISTICS
Every industry has its own jargon and abbreviations. Transportation and logistics are no different. Knowing all the common (and uncommon) transportation terms is important for those involved in managing a supply chain. It is even more important when contracting out vital services to vendors and partners. For those who are new to the transportation industry or those who just want to brush up on the terminology we offer the following resources.
A SAMPLING OF SOME COMMON TRANSPORTATION TERMS
Charges for additional, supplemental or special services such as; arrival notification, inside delivery, insurance, liftgate service, storage, COD, fuel surcharge, or layovers.
BILL OF LADING (BOL)
An official transportation document outlining the contract of carriage and terms and conditions between the shipper and carrier. Includes details of every item to be shipped.
When a shipment is being challenged by the person or organization listed on the Bill of Lading as being responsible for paying the freight charges.
BONDED WAREHOUSE / TERMINAL
A warehouse approved and authorized by Customs Authorities for storing goods until duty is paid or goods are released in some other proper manner.
BREAK BULK CARGO
Taking a single consolidated bulk load and separating it into smaller individual shipments for delivery to different destination.
Cargo such as petroleum, grain or coal that is not in packages or containers but is shipped as bulk freight, loose in the hold of a ship without mark and count.
Licensed by US Treasury Department, customs brokers or customs brokerages provide the service of “clearing” goods through customs for importers and exporters.
Tax levied on imports (sometimes exports) by the customs authorities of a country – based on the value of goods or weight, dimensions, or some other criteria.
Freight bills (freight invoices) are carrier invoices. They are similar to Bills of Lading but they also contain additional charges, information, or stipulations.
An individual or company that sells transportation without actually providing it, matching shippers with carriers. (Also Freight Forwarder and Shipper’s Agent)
Combined weight of goods, packaging and freight car or container that is ready for shipment. 80,000 pounds is generally the maximum for container, cargo and tractor for highway transport.
CWT means ‘cents per hundred pounds’ and is a transportation pricing unit. CWT in freight is calculated by dividing the total weight of a shipment by 100.
The movement of cargo containers using more than one mode of transportation (motor, rail, sea, and air) and where the container is compatible with multiple transportation systems. (also Multimodal)
LESS THAN TRUCKLOAD (LTL)
Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) carriers transport goods weighing less than 10,000 pounds from many different customers on one truck/trailer.
The movement of freight, usually by truck, of heavy loads for long distances or between cities. Line haul does not include pickup and delivery service.
LOSS DAMAGE CLAIM (L&D)
Loss and damage claims result from an alleged failure of the terms and conditions of the Bill of Lading Contract such as shortages, damage to freight, or late delivery. Terms for handling claims are usually spelled out in the Freight Bill.
National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) is a freight classification system created by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA). Classifications are used to standardize freight pricing.
A PRO Number is a shipment tracking number, usually 10 digits with no spaces, used by freight carriers. (abbreviated from Progressive Rotating Order)
An ocean cargo shipping term abbreviated from ‘Roll On/Roll Off’ indicating wheeled cargo that can be loaded and unloaded without the use of cranes. Also refers to specialized vessels with the ramps to accept Ro/Ro cargo.
Tariff refers to the determination of the cost of shipping freight for the shipper and the carrier. Tariff books that list class and rate for thousands of shipped commodities are used by rating departments to determine the cheapest way to ship freight.
A transportation hub, building, or assigned area where containers or freight are prepared for loading into a vessel, train, truck, or plane or are stored temporarily pending additional handling or transfer between locations.
TRUCKLOAD / FULL TRUCKLOAD
Truckload is the quantity of freight required to fill a truck. Full Truckload (FTL) carriers transport full trucks or containers carrying goods from just one customer.
WEIGHT & RESEARCH CERTIFICATE
A Weight & Research Certificate (W&R) is a document issued by the carrier to certify the weight of a shipment. This document lists the actual weight, which may be different from the weight indicated on the Bill of Lading.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
At CFS, we provide innovative, customized logistics solutions that serve a broad range of retail, manufacturing and industrial customers. Ask us how we can help streamline your supply chain and support your business growth.