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A service that is not considered "standard" will incur additional fees. Accessorial charges may include, but are not limited to: arrival notification, inside delivery, insurance, lift gate service, COD, hazardous materials, fuel surcharge.

Accessorial Charges

Are charges made for performing freight services beyond normal pickup and delivery such as inside delivery, waiting time, fuel surcharges and storage charges etc.


When a bill of lading is accepted or signed by a shipper or shipper's agent without protest, the shipper is said to acquiesce to the terms, giving a silent form of consent.

Act of God:

An act beyond human control, such as lightning, flood or earthquake.

Advanced Charge:

A charge advanced by one carrier to another to be collected by the later carrier from the consignor or consignee.

Aggregate Shipment:

Numerous shipments from different shippers to one consignee that are consolidated and treated as a single consignment.

Agreed Valuation:

The value of a shipment agreed upon in order to secure a specific freight rate.

Agreed Weight:

The weight prescribed by agreement between carrier and shipper for goods shipped in certain packages or in a certain number.

Alternative Rates:

Privilege to use the rate producing the lowest charge.

Ambient Temperature:

The temperature of a surrounding body. The ambient temperature of a container is the atmospheric temperature to which it is exposed.

Any Quantity (A.Q.):

Usually refers to a rating that applies to an article regardless of size or quantity.

Apparent Good Order:

When freight appears to be free of damage so far as a general survey can determine.


A stated amount over a fixed rate to one point to make a rate to another point.

Arrival Notification:

Carrier notifies and schedules a delivery date and time with the receiver.


To haul a shipment back over part of a route it has traveled.

Bill to Party:

Customer designated as party paying for services.

Billed Weight:

The weight shown in a waybill and freight bill, i.e, the invoiced weight.

Blanket Rate:

A rate applicable to or from a group of points. A special rate applicable to several different articles in a single shipment.

Blind Shipment:

A bill of lading wherein the paying customer has contracted with the carrier that shipper or consignee information is not given.

Block Stowage:

Stowing cargo destined for a specific location close together to avoid unnecessary cargo movement.

Blocked Trains:

Railcars grouped in a train by destination so that segments (blocks) can be uncoupled and routed to different destinations as the train moves through various junctions. Eliminates the need to break up a train and sort individual railcars at each junction.

Blocking or Bracing Wood or metal supports (Dunnage):

To keep shipments in place to prevent cargo shifting.

Bonded Freight:

Freight moving under a bond to U.S. Customs or to the Internal Revenue Service, and to be delivered only under stated conditions.

Bonded Warehouse:

A warehouse authorized by Customs authorities for storage of goods on which payment of duties is deferred until the goods are removed.

Bottom Side Rails:

Structural members on the longitudinal sides of the base of the container.

Break Bulk:

To unload and distribute a portion or all of the contents of a rail car, container, or trailer.


A person who arranges for transportation of loads for a percentage of the revenue from the load.

Bulk Cargo:

Not in packages or containers; shipped loose in the hold of a ship without mark and count." Grain, coal and sulfur are usually bulk freight.

Bulk-Freight Container:

A container with a discharge hatch in the front wall; allows bulk commodities to be carried.


A partition separating one part of a ship, freight car, aircraft or truck from another part.

Bill of lading (BOL):

A legal contract between the shipper and the carrier for the transportation of goods. The shipper always retains one copy of the bill of lading as a receipt for the goods shipped, and the carrier retains the shipping order copy. The bill of lading shows, among other information, where the freight is going, where the freight originated, description of the freight, number of pieces and weight.


Usually refers to intra city hauling on drays or trucks.

Cash Against Documents (CAD):

Method of payment for goods in which documents transferring title are given the buyer upon payment of cash to an intermediary acting for the seller, usually a commission house.

Cash in Advance (CIA):

A method of payment for goods in which the buyer pays the seller in advance of the shipment of goods. Usually employed when the goods, such as specialized machinery, are built to order.

Cash With Order (CWO):

A method of payment for goods in which cash is paid at the time of order and the transaction becomes binding on both buyer and seller.

Certificate of Origin:

A certified document showing the origin of goods; used in international commerce.


A frame with wheels and container locking devices in order to secure the container for movement.


A piece of wood or other material placed at the side of cargo to prevent rolling or moving sideways.


A demand made upon a transportation company for payment due to loss or damage of freight alleged to have occurred while shipment was in possession of carrier.


Refers to the Classification rating or number that specifically identifies the approximate size, value and difficulty of transporting a particular type of product that can be shipped by a carrier.


A publication such as Uniform Freight Classification (railroad) or the National Motor Freight Classification (motor carrier), that assigns ratings to various articles and provides bill of lading descriptions and rules.

Classification Yard:

A railroad yard with many tracks used for assembling freight trains.

Clean Bill of Lading:

A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were received in "apparent good order and condition," without damage or other irregularities. If no notation or exception is made, the B/L is assumed to be "clean".


The size beyond which cars or loads cannot use limits bridges, tunnels, etc.

Combination Rate:

A rate made up of two or more factors, separately published.

Commercial Invoice:

Represents a complete record of the transaction between exporter and importer with regard to the goods sold. Also reports the content of the shipment and serves as the basis for all other documents about the shipment.

Commodity Rate:

A rate published to apply to a specific article or articles.

Common Carrier:

A transportation company which provides service to the general public at published rates.

Common Law:

Law that derives its force and authority from precedent, custom and usage rather than from statutes, particularly with reference to the laws of England and the United States.

Concealed Damage:

Damage that is not evident from viewing the unopened package.


An association of ship owners operating in the same trade route who operate under collective conditions and agree on tariff rates.

Confirmed Letter of Credit:

A letter of credit, issued by a foreign bank, whose validity has been confirmed by a domestic bank. An exporter with a confirmed letter of credit is assured of payment even if the foreign buyer or the foreign bank defaults.


A person or company to whom commodities are shipped.


A stock of merchandise advanced to a dealer and located at his place of business, but with title remaining in the source of supply. A shipment of goods to a consignee.


A person or company shown on the bill of lading as the shipper.

Consolidation Cargo:

Containing shipments of two or more shippers or suppliers. Container load shipments may be consolidated for one or more consignees.


A person or firm performing a consolidation service for others. The consolidator takes advantage of lower full carload (FCL) rates, and savings are passed on to shippers.


A truck trailer body that can be detached from the chassis for loading into a vessel, a rail car or stacked in a container depot. Containers may be ventilated, insulated, refrigerated, flat rack, vehicle rack, open top, bulk liquid or equipped with interior devices. A container may be 20 feet, 40 feet, 45 feet, 48 feet or 53 feet in length, 8'0" or 8'6" in width, and 8'6" or 9'6" in height.

Container Terminal:

An area designated for the stowage of cargoes in container; usually accessible by truck, railroad and marine transportation. Here containers are picked up, dropped off, maintained and housed.

Container Yard (CY):

A material handling/storage facility used for completely unitized loads in containers and/or empty containers. Commonly referred to as CY.

Containerizable Cargo:

Cargo that will fit into a container and result in an economical shipment.


A legally binding agreement between two or more persons/organizations to carry out reciprocal obligations or value.

Contract Carrier:

Any person not a common carrier who, under special and individual contracts or agreements, transports passengers or property for compensation.

Correspondent Bank:

A bank that, in its own country, handles the business of a foreign bank.

Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF):

Cost of goods, marine insurance and all transportation (freight) charges are paid to the foreign point of delivery by the seller.

Countervailing Duty:

An additional duty imposed to offset export grants, bounties or subsidies paid to foreign suppliers in certain countries by the government of that country for the purpose of promoting export.

Cross Member Transverse:

Members fitted to the bottom side rails of a container, which support the floor.


Term used to describe how much loading space (percentage) inside a trailer has been used or is available. For example, a trailer that is loaded exactly half full would be called 50 percent cubed out of a possible 100-percent cube.

Cube Out:

When a container or vessel has reached its volumetric capacity before its permitted weight limit.

Cubic Foot:

1,728 cubic inches. A volume contained in a space measuring one foot high, one foot wide and one foot long.

Customs Brokerage (Brokers):

A profession that involves the "clearing" of goods through customs barriers for importers and exporters (usually businesses). This involves the preparation of documents and/or electronic submissions, the calculation and payment of taxes, duties and excises, and facilitating communication between government authorities and importers and exporters.

Custom house:

A government office where duties are paid, import documents filed, etc., on foreign shipments.

Custom house Broker:

A person or firm, licensed by the treasury department of their country when required, engaged in entering and clearing goods through Customs for a client (importer).

Customs Bonded Warehouse:

A warehouse authorized by Customs to receive duty-free merchandise.

Customs Entry:

All countries require that the importer make a declaration on incoming foreign goods. The importer then normally pays a duty on the imported merchandise.

Customs Invoice:

A form requiring all data in a commercial invoice along with a certificate of value and/or a certificate of origin. Required in a few countries (usually former British territories) and usually serves as a seller's commercial invoice.

Cut-Off Time:

The latest time cargo may be delivered to a terminal for loading to a scheduled train or ship.


Abbreviation for "Dangerous and Hazardous" cargo.


Abbreviation for "Doing Business As." A legal term for conducting business under a registered name.


Department of Transportation.

Dangerous Goods:

Are solids, liquids, or gases that can harm people, other living organisms, property, or the environment. They are often subject to chemical regulations. In the United States and sometimes in Canada dangerous goods are more commonly known as hazardous materials, (abbreviated as HAZMAT or HazMat).

Declared Value:

To receive a lower rate a shipper declares a lower than actual value for a shipment. Similar to released value.

Declared value is for a complete shipment whereas released value is for each piece in a shipment.

Deconsolidation Point:

Place where loose or other non-containerized or truckload cargo is ungrouped for delivery.

Deficit Weight:

The weight by which a shipment is less than the minimum weight.

Delivery Instructions Order:

To pick up goods at a named place and deliver them to a pier. Usually issued by exporter to trucker but may apply to a railroad, which completes delivery by land. Use is limited to a few major U.S. ports. Also known as shipping delivery order.

Delivery Receipt (DR):

A document which evidences delivery of a shipment. Same as POD.


A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying the carrier's equipment beyond the allowed free time. The free time and demurrage charges are set forth in the charter party or freight tariff.


The weight of cargo per cubic foot or other unit.


The place where carrier actually turns over cargo to consignee or his agent.

Destination Control Statements:

Various statements that the U.S. government requires to be displayed on export shipments. The statements specify the authorized destinations.


A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying carrier's equipment beyond allowed time. Demurrage applies to cargo; detention applies to equipment. See Per Diem.


A carrier offering its services under contract to one shipper in a consistent lane or region.


An amount added or deducted from base rate to make a rate to or from some other point or via another route.

Discrepancy Letter of Credit:

When documents presented do not conform to the requirements of the letter of credit (L/C), it is referred to as a "discrepancy". Banks will not process L/C's which have discrepancies. They will refer the situation back to the buyer and/or seller and await further instructions.


The weight, in tons of 2,240 pounds, of the vessel and its contents. Calculated by dividing the volume of water displaced in cubic feet by 35, the average density of sea water.


A change made either in the route of a shipment in transit (see Reconsignment) or of the entire ship.


A set of wheels that support the front of a container; used when the automotive unit is disconnected.


The through transportation of a container or trailer and its contents from consignor to consignee. Also known as House to House. Not necessarily a through rate.

Double Drop:

A type of open deck trailer which has a raised section at the front and rear and a "well" in the middle. Used for transporting very tall equipment.

Draft, Bank:

An order issued by a seller against a purchaser; directs payment, usually through an intermediary bank. Typical bank drafts are negotiable instruments and are similar in many ways to checks on checking accounts in a bank.


A partial refund of an import fee. Refund usually results because goods are re-exported from the country that collected the fee.


The individual or firm that issues a draft and thus stands to receive payment.


Charge made for local hauling by dray or truck. Same as Cartage.

Dry Cargo:

Cargo that is not liquid and normally does not require temperature control.

Dry-Bulk Container:

A container constructed to carry grain, powder and other free-flowing solids in bulk. Used in conjunction with a tilt chassis or platform.

Dry Van:

A trailer, generally 53’ in length by 8’6" wide by 9’6" tall (13’6" from ground). A dry van may be heated or vented but does not have refrigeration equipment.


Term used to described material used for the securing of freight.

Electronic data interchange (EDI):

Computer-to-computer communication between two or more companies that is used to generate documents such as purchase orders and invoices. EDI also enables firms to access the information systems of suppliers, customers and carriers to determine real-time status of shipments and inventory.


Order to restrict the hauling of freight.

Eminent Domain:

The sovereign power to take property for a necessary public use, with reasonable compensation.

Empty Repo:

Contraction for Empty Repositioning. The movement of empty containers.


A legal signature usually placed on the reverse of a draft; signifies transfer of rights from the holder to another party.


Customs documents required for clearing an import shipment for entry into the general commerce of a country.


A monetary allowance to the customer for picking up or delivering at a point other than the destination shown on the bill of lading. This provision is covered by tariff publication.

Equipment Interchange Receipt (EIR):

A document transferring a container from one carrier to another, or to/from a terminal.


Estimated time of arrival.

Ex - "From":

When used in pricing terms such as "Ex Factory" or "Ex Dock," it signifies that the price quoted applies only at the point of origin indicated.

Export Dec Contraction:

For "Shipper's Export Declaration."


Notations made when the cargo is received at the carrier's terminal or loaded aboard a vessel. They show any irregularities in packaging or actual or suspected damage to the cargo. Exceptions are then noted on the bill of lading.

Expiry Date:

Issued in connection with documents such as letters of credit, tariffs etc. to advise that stated provisions will expire at a certain time.


Shipment of goods to a foreign country.

Export Declaration:

A government document declaring designated goods to be shipped out of the country. To be completed by the exporter and filed with the U.S. Government.

Export License:

A government document which permits the "Licensee" to engage in the export of designated goods to certain destinations.

Export Rate:

A rate published on traffic moving from an interior point to a port for transhipment to a foreign country.

Flat Car:

A rail car without a roof and walls.

Flat Rack/Flat Bed Container:

A container with no sides and frame members at the front and rear. Container can be loaded from the sides and top.


Food and Drug Administration.


A factor is an agent who will, at a discount (usually 2 to 8% of the gross), buy receivables.


The actions of a factor in the ordinary course of business.


Abbreviation for "Freight All Kinds." Usually refers to full container loads of mixed shipments.

False Billing:

Misrepresenting freight or weight on shipping documents.


Abbreviation for "Full Container Load."


Abbreviation for "Forty-Foot Equivalent Units." Refers to container size standard of forty feet. Two twenty-foot containers or TEU's equal one FEU.

Fifth Wheel:

The semi-circular steel coupling device mounted on a tractor which engages and locks with a chassis semi-trailer.


A capacity measurement equal to one-fourth of a barrel.

Fixed Costs:

Costs that do not vary with the level of activity. Some fixed costs continue even if no cargo is carried. Terminal leases, rent and property taxes are fixed costs.


A type of open deck trailer. Generally 40-48 feet in length some maybe as long as 53 feet.

Flat Car:

A rail car without a roof and walls.

Flat Rack/Flat Bed Container:

A container with no sides and frame members at the front and rear. Container can be loaded from the sides and top.

Force Majeure:

The title of a common clause in contracts, exempting the parties for non-fulfillment of their obligations as a result of conditions beyond their control, such as earthquakes, floods or war.

Fork Lift:

A machine used to pick up and move goods loaded on pallets or skids.

Foul Bill of Lading:

A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were damaged when received. Compare Clean Bill of Lading.

Four-Way Pallet:

A pallet designed so that the forks of a fork lift truck can be inserted from all four sides. See Fork lift.

Free Alongside (FAS):

The seller must deliver the goods to a pier and place them within reach of the ship's loading equipment. See Terms of Sale.

Free Astray:

An astray shipment (a lost shipment that is found) sent to its proper destination without additional charge.

Free on Board (FOB - U.S. Domestic Use):

Shipped under a rate that includes costs of delivery to and the loading onto a carrier at a specified point. Also means the point at which title to the goods passes from seller to buyer.

Freight Management:

The management of third-party carriers to ensure the swift, safe and cost-efficient delivery of shipments, often involving the integration of a range of services.

Free Port:

A restricted area at a seaport for the handling of duty-exempted import goods. Also called a Foreign Trade Zone.

Free Sale Certificate:

The U.S. government does not issue certificates of free sale. However, the Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland, will issue, upon request, a letter of comment to the U.S. manufacturers whose products are subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act or other acts administered by the agency. The letter can take the place of the certificate.

Free Time:

That amount of time that a carrier's equipment may be used without incurring additional charges.

Free Trade Zone:

A port designated by the government of a country for duty-free entry of any non-prohibited goods. Merchandise may be stored, displayed, used for manufacturing, etc., within the zone and re-exported without duties.

Freeze Delivery:

The delivery of goods under freezing conditions (below zero).


Refers to either the cargo carried or the charges assessed for carriage of the cargo.

Freight Bill:

A document issued by the carrier based on the bill of lading and other information; used to account for a shipment operationally, statistically, and financially. An Invoice.

Freight Forwarder:

A person whose business is to act as an agent on behalf of the shipper. A freight forwarder frequently makes the booking reservation.

Fuel Surcharge (FSC):

An additional charge to the customer to make up for an increase in fuel prices.

Full Visible Capacity:

Defined as that quantity of freight which, in the manner loaded, so fills a vehicle that no additional article in the shipping form tendered identical in size to the largest article in the shipment can be loaded in or on the vehicle; or that maximum quantity of freight that can be legally loaded in or on a vehicle due to weight limitations.

Gateway Industry-related:

A point at which freight moving from one territory to another is interchanged between transportation lines.

General Order (G.O.):

When U.S. Customs orders shipments without entries to be kept in their custody in a bonded warehouse.

Generator Set (Gen Set):

A portable generator which can be attached to a refrigerated container to power the refrigeration unit during transit.


The front rails of the chassis that raise above the plane of the chassis and engage in the tunnel of a container leading to the connection to tractor.


Abbreviation for "General Rate Increase." Used to describe an across-the-board tariff rate increase implemented by conference members and applied to base rates.

Gross Weight:

Entire weight of goods, packaging and freight car or container, ready for shipment. Generally, 80,000 pounds maximum container, cargo and tractor for highway transport.


A consolidation service, putting small shipments into containers for shipment.


Abbreviation for "Gross Vehicle Weight." The combined total weight of a vehicle and its container, inclusive of prime mover.


An industry abbreviation for "Hazardous Material."

Hazardous materials:

Commodities classified by the Department of Transportation as hazardous, and which require special handling and documentation.

Heavy Specialized Carriers:

A trucking company made to transport articles, which, because of size, shape, weight, or other inherent characteristics, require special equipment for loading, unloading or transporting.

Heated Delivery:

The delivery of goods under the conditions of the goods being kept above room temperature.

High-Density Compression:

Compression of a flat or standard bale of cotton to approximately 32 pounds per cubic foot. Usually applies to cotton exported or shipped coastwise.


The process of connecting a moving rail car with a motionless rail car within a rail classification yard in order to make up a train. The cars move by gravity from an incline or "hump" onto the appropriate track.


A unit of weight arrived at by dividing the actual weight by 100. Hundredweight (also called CWT) is a standard presentation of LTL carrier rates.


To receive goods from a foreign country.

Import License:

A document required and issued by some national governments authorizing the importation of goods.

In Bond:

Cargo moving under Customs control where duty has not yet been paid.

In Transit:

In transit, or in passage.

In-Transit Entry (I.T.):

Allows foreign merchandise arriving at one port to be transported in bond to another port, where a superseding entry is filed.

Incentive Rate:

A lower-than-usual tariff rate assessed because a shipper offers a greater volume than specified in the tariff. The incentive rate is assessed for that portion exceeding the normal volume.

Indemnity Bond:

An agreement to hold a carrier harmless with regard to a liability.

Independent Action:

Setting rate within a conference tariff that is different from the rate(s) for the same items established by other conference members.

Independent Tariff:

Any body of rate tariffs that are not part of an agreement or conference system.


Placing a port on a vessel's itinerary because the volume of cargo offered at that port justifies the cost of routing the vessel.

Inherent Vice:

An insurance and cargo claims term referring to any defect or other characteristic of a product that could result in damage to the product without external cause (for example, instability in a chemical that could cause it to explode spontaneously). Insurance policies may exclude inherent vice losses. Carriers do not cover cargo claims made for inherent vice.

Inland Carrier:

A transportation line that hauls export or import traffic between ports and inland points.

Inspection Certificate:

A certificate issued by an independent agent or firm attesting to the quality and/or quantity of the merchandise being shipped. Such a certificate is usually required in a letter of credit for commodity shipments.

Inside Delivery:

When a driver is required to go beyond the front door or loading dock to pick up or deliver a load rather than remaining in his/her truck or on the loading dock.

Installment Shipments:

Successive shipments are permitted under letters of credit. Usually they must take place within a given period of time.

Insulated Container:

A container insulated on the walls, roof, floor, and doors, to reduce the effect of external temperatures on the cargo.

Insulated Container:

Tank The frame of a container constructed to hold one or more thermally insulated tanks for liquids.

Insurance, All-risk:

This type of insurance offers the shipper the broadest coverage available, covering against all losses that may occur in transit.

Interchange Point:

A location where one carrier delivers freight to another carrier.

Interline Freight:

Freight moving from origin to destination over the Freight lines of two or more transportation carriers.

Intermediate Point:

A point located en route between two other points.


Used to denote movements of cargo containers interchangeably between transport modes, i.e., motor, water, and air carriers, and where the equipment is compatible within the multiple systems.


An itemized list of goods shipped to a buyer, stating quantities, prices, shipping charges, etc.

Irrevocable Letter of Credit:

Letter of credit in which the specified payment is guaranteed by the bank if all terms and conditions are met by the drawee and which cannot be revoked without joint agreement of both the buyer and the seller.

Issuing Bank:

Bank that opens a straight or negotiable letter of credit and assumes the obligation to pay the bank or beneficiary if the documents presented are in accordance with the terms of the letter of credit.

Issuing Carrier:

The carrier issuing transportation documents or publishing a tariff.


1,000 grams or 2.2046 pounds.

King Pin:

A coupling pin centered on the front underside of a chassis; couples to the tractor.

Knocked Down (KD):

Articles which are taken apart to reduce the cubic footage displaced or to make a better shipping unit and are to be re-assembled. In truck transportation KD is defined as an object which when knocked down can be shipped at less than 2/3 of it’s normal size.

Knocked Down Flat (KDF):

Articles which are taken apart to reduce the cubic footage displaced or to make a better shipping unit and are to be re-assembled. In truck transportation KDF is defined as an object which when knocked down can be shipped at less than 1/3 of it’s normal size.


One nautical mile (6,076 feet or 1852 meters) per hour. In the days of sail, speed was measured by tossing overboard a log, which was secured by a line. Knots were tied into the line at intervals of approximately six feet. The number of knots measured was then compared against time required to travel the distance of 1000 knots in the line.

Known Loss:

A loss discovered before or at the time of delivery of a shipment.


Kilo or metric ton. 1,000 Kilos or 2,204.6 pounds.


Abbreviation for "Letter of Credit."


Loaded aboard a vessel.


Movement of cargo by water from one country through the port of another country, thence, using rail or truck, to an inland point in that country or to a third country. As example, a through movement of Asian cargo to Europe across North America.

Landed Cost:

The total cost of a good to a buyer, including the cost of transportation.

Landing Gear:

A support fixed on the front part of a chassis (which is retractable); used to support the front end of a chassis when the tractor has been removed.


Abbreviation for "Less than Container Load." The quantity of freight which is less than that required for the application of a container load rate. Loose Freight.


Less Than Truckload Also known as LCL. Is an acronym for Less-Than-Load, meaning cargo that is not of the quantity to require an entire truckload (TL) by itself. Typically, an LTL shipment ranges from 100 lbs to 20,000 lbs.

Letter of Credit (LC):

A document, issued by a bank per instructions by a buyer of goods, authorizing the seller to draw a specified sum of money under specified terms, usually the receipt by the bank of certain documents within a given time.

Letter of Indemnity:

In order to obtain the clean bill of lading, the shipper signs a letter of indemnity to the carrier on the basis of which may be obtained the clean bill of lading, although the dock or mate's receipt showed that the shipment was damaged or in bad condition.


Some governments require certain commodities to be licensed prior to exportation or importation. Clauses attesting to compliance are often required on the B/L. Various types issued for export (general, validated) and import as mandated by government(s).


A legal claim upon goods for the satisfaction of some debt or duty.

Lift gate Service:

A lift gate is a motorized platform affixed to the back of some trucks that raises and lowers cargo between the ground and the truck. When the shipping or receiving location does not have a loading dock, manual loading or unloading is necessary. Accessorial fees will apply for this service.


Transportation from one city to another as differentiated from local switching service.


A vessel sailing between specified ports on a regular basis.

Liquidated Damages:

The penalty a seller must pay if the construction project does not meet contractual standards or deadlines.


1.06 liquid U.S. quarts or 33.9 fluid ounces.

Load Locks:

A rubber footed bar used to secure freight from moving.

Load Ratio:

The ratio of loaded miles to empty miles. Also sometimes called "load bars".

Local Cargo:

Cargo delivered to/from the carrier where origin/destination of the cargo is in the local area.


Is that part of the supply chain process that plans, implements, and controls the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods, services, and related information from the point of origin to the point of consumption in order to meet customers' requirements.

Logistics Trailer or Logistics Van:

A type of trailer outfitted with special load protections and restraints. Typically logistics trailers will have a combination of E-Track, straps, pads, and other equipment. The term logistics trailer is a term of art and types of equipment carried vary.

Long Ton:

2,240 pounds.


Individual employed in a port to load and unload ships.

Loose Without packing:

Low-Boy A trailer or semi-trailer with no sides and with the floor of the unit close to the ground.


A writ issued by a court; requires that specific things be done.


Document that lists in detail all the bills of lading issued by a carrier or its agent or master for a specific voyage or trip. A detailed summary of the total cargo of a vessel or trailer.

Marine Insurance:

Broadly, insurance covering loss or damage of goods at sea. Marine insurance typically compensates the owner of merchandise for losses sustained from fire, shipwreck, etc., but excludes losses that can be recovered from the carrier.


Letters, numbers, and other symbols placed on cargo packages to facilitate identification. Also known as marks.


A pointed metal spike, used to separate strands of rope in splicing.

Master Inbound:

U.S. Customs' automated program under AMS. It allows for electronic reporting of inbound (foreign) cargoes in the U.S.


1,000 board feet. One MBM equals 2,265 C.M.

Measurement Cargo:

Freight on which transportation charges are calculated on the basis of volume measurement.

Mechanically Ventilated Container:

A container fitted with a means of forced air ventilation.

Memorandum Bill of Lading:

An in-house bill of lading. A duplicate copy.


39.37 inches (approximately).

Metric Ton:

2,204.6 pounds or 1,000 kilograms.


A cargo movement in which the water carrier provides a through service between an inland point and the port of load/discharge. The carrier is responsible for cargo and costs from origin on to destination. Also known as IPI or Through Service.


A unit equal to 5,280 feet on land. A nautical mile is 6076.115.

Mini Landbridge:

An intermodal system for transporting containers by ocean and then by rail or motor to a port previously served as an all_water move (e.g., Hong Kong to New York over Seattle).

Minimum Bill of Lading:

A clause in a Bill of lading which specifies the least charge that the carrier will make for issuing a lading. The charge may be a definite sum or the current charge per ton for any specified quantity.

Minimum Charge:

The lowest charge that can be assessed to transport a shipment.

Mixed Container Load:

A container load of different articles in a single consignment.


Abbreviation for "Mini Landbridge."

Modified Atmosphere:

A blend of gases tailored to replace the normal atmosphere within a container.

Moving Van:

Similar to a logistics trailer except generally having a dropped floor to increase volume and ease loading from the ground.


Abbreviation for "Metric Ton."


Synonymous for all practical purposes with "Intermodal."


National Motor Freight Classification.

Nautical Mile:

Distance of one minute of longitude at the equator, approximately 6,076.115. The metric equivalent is 1852.


Abbreviation for "Not Elsewhere Classified."

Negotiable Instruments:

A document of title (such as a draft, promissory note, check, or bill of lading) transferable from one person to another in good faith for a consideration. Non-negotiable bills of lading are known as "straight consignment." Negotiable bills are known as "order b/l's."


Abbreviation for "Not Elsewhere Specified."


Articles packed so that one rests partially or entirely within another, thereby reducing the cubic-foot displacement.

Net Tare Weight:

The weight of an empty cargo-carrying piece of equipment plus any fixtures permanently attached.

Net Weight:

Weight of the goods alone without any immediate wrappings, e.g., the weight of the contents of a tin can without the weight of the can.


Abbreviation for "Not Otherwise Indexed."


Abbreviation for "Not Otherwise Indexed By Name."

Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC):

A cargo consolidator in ocean trades who will buy space from a carrier and sub_sell it to smaller shippers. The NVOCC issues bills of lading, publishes tariffs and otherwise conducts itself as an ocean common carrier, except that it will not provide the actual ocean or intermodal service.


Abbreviation for "Not Otherwise Specified."


Front of a container or trailer - opposite the tail.

Ocean Bill of Lading (Ocean B/L):

A contract for transportation between a shipper and a carrier. It also evidences receipt of the cargo by the carrier. A bill of lading shows ownership of the cargo and, if made negotiable, can be bought, sold or traded while the goods are in-transit.

On Board:

A notation on a bill of lading that cargo has been loaded on board a vessel. Used to satisfy the requirements of a letter of credit, in the absence of an express requirement to the contrary.

Open Account:

A trade arrangement in which goods are shipped to a foreign buyer without guarantee of payment.

Open Insurance Policy:

A marine insurance policy that applies to all shipments made by an exporter over a period of time rather than to one shipment only.

Open Top Container:

A container fitted with a solid removable roof, or with a tarpaulin roof so the container can be loaded or unloaded from the top.

Operating Ratio:

A comparison of a carrier's operating expense with its net sales. The most general measure of operating efficiency.

Optimum Cube:

The highest level of cube utilization that can be achieved when loading cargo into a container.

Order-Notify (O/N):

A bill of lading term to provide surrender of the original bill of lading before freight is released; usually associated with a shipment covered under a letter of credit.


Location where shipment begins its movement.

Original Bill of Lading (OBL):

A document which requires proper signatures for consummating carriage of contract. Must be marked as "original" by the issuing carrier.


Abbreviation for "Over, Short or Damaged" Usually discovered at cargo unloading.


To charge more than the proper amount according to the published rates.

Over-dimensional loads:

Any load which exceeds the width, height or weight of a "standard legal load”, and is traditionally determined by the requirement of permits, pilot cars, specialty trailers or special governmental access.

Over-height Cargo:

Cargo more than 9 feet high which thus cannot fit into a standard container or trailer. Also defines a shipment more than 11 feet high which cannot be loaded on a lowboy so as to remain lower than 13’6" from the ground.

Owner Code (SCAC) Standard Carrier:

Abbreviation Code identifying an individual common carrier. A three letter carrier code followed by a suffix identifies the carrier's equipment. A suffix of "U" is a container and "C" is a chassis.


Abbreviation for "Protection and Indemnity," an insurance term.

Packing List:

Itemized list of commodities with marks/numbers but no cost values indicated.


A platform with or without sides, on which a number of packages or pieces may be loaded to facilitate handling by a lift truck. Standard size is 42" x 48". Note what maybe "standard" to a shipper may not be industry standard size. Be sure and check what your shipper means by "standard".

Paper Ramp:

A technical rail ramp, used for equalization of points not actually served. A truck will perform pickup and delivery to the nearest rail ramp and part of that pickup cost is subsidized by the railroad.

Paper Rate:

A published rate that is never assessed because no freight moves under it.

Parcel Receipt:

An arrangement whereby a steamship company, under rules and regulations established in the freight tariff of a given trade, accepts small packages at rates below the minimum bill of lading, and issues a parcel receipt instead of a bill of lading.

Partial Shipments:

Under letters of credit, one or more shipments are allowed by the phrase "partial shipments permitted." When used in domestic (US) truck transportation is the same a LTL (Less than Truckload).

Particular Average:

In ocean marine insurance, a partial loss sustained by a specified cargo or vessel. Ocean marine policies do not necessarily cover partial loss (referred to as "average" loss); those that are covered must be the result of a covered peril. Such cargo losses are usually subject to separate particular average coverage provisions.


A party named in an instrument as the beneficiary of the funds. Under letters of credit, the payee is either the drawer of the draft or a bank.


A party responsible for the payment as evidenced by the given instrument. Under letters of credit, the payer is the party on whom the draft is drawn, usually the drawee bank.

Peedle Run:

Pick-up or delivery route traveled by a city truck.

Per Diem:

A charge, based on a fixed daily rate.


Usually refers to permits issued by the state for the transport of heavy or oversized goods.


The act of calling for freight by truck at the consignor's (shipper) shipping platform.


The structure perpendicular to the shoreline to which a vessel is secured for the purpose of loading and unloading cargo.


A shipment loaded into a container at the pier or terminal, thence to the consignee's facility.


Containers loaded at port of loading and discharged at port of destination.

Piggy Packer:

A mobile container-handling crane used to load/unload containers to/from railcars.


A transportation arrangement in which truck trailers with their loads are moved by train to a destination. Also known as Rail Pigs or Intermodal.

Place of Delivery:

Place where cargo leaves the care and custody of carrier.

Place of Receipt:

Location where cargo enters the care and custody of carrier.


Abbreviation for: Port of Discharge, or Port of Destination.

Point of Origin:

The place at which a shipment is received by a carrier from the shipper.


Abbreviation for: Port of Loading, or Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricants.


Left side of a ship when facing forward. Also opening in a ship's side for handling freight.

Port of Call:

Port where a ship discharges or receives traffic.

Port of Entry:

Port where cargo is unloaded and enters a country.

Port of Exit:

Place where cargo is loaded and leaves a country.


A process employed in the shipment of citrus fruits and other perishable commodities. The fruit is packed and placed in a cold room from which the heat is gradually extracted. The boxes of fruit are packed in containers that have been thoroughly cooled and transported through to destination without opening the doors.

Prepaid (PPD.):

Freight charges paid by the consignor (shipper) prior to the release of the bills of lading by the carrier.

Pro Forma:

A Latin term meaning "For the sake of form."

Pro Forma Invoice:

An invoice provided by a supplier prior to the shipment of merchandise, informing the buyer of the kinds and quantities of goods to be sent, their value, and specifications (weight, size, etc.).

PRO Number:

This is a tracking number assigned by the carrier to reference your shipment. (PROgressive number)

Proof of Delivery (POD):

Same as delivery receipt (above).

Pro Rata:

A Latin term meaning "In proportion."

Project Rate:

Single tariff item, established to move multiple commodities needed for a specified project, usually construction.

Proof of Delivery:

A document required from the Carrier or driver FOR proper payment.

Public Service Commission:

A name usually given to a State body having control or regulation of public utilities.

Publishing Agent:

Person authorized by transportation lines to publish tariffs or rates, rules, and regulations for their account.

Pulp Temperature:

Procedure where carrier tests the temperature of the internal flesh of refrigerated commodities to assure that the temperature at time of shipment conforms to prescribed temperature ranges.


A short semi-trailer used jointly with a dolly and another semi-trailer to create a twin trailer.


A restraint placed on an operation to protect the public against a health hazard. A ship may be quarantined so that it cannot leave a protected point. During the quarantine period, the Q flag is hoisted.


A structure attached to land to which a vessel is moored. See also Pier and Dock.


A wedge-shaped piece of timber used to secure barrels against movement.


The quantity of goods that may be imported without restriction during a set period of time.


An offer to sell goods or provide a service (transportation) at a stated price and under stated terms.


Top A slang term for an open-top trailer or container with a tarpaulin cover.


A means of transportation. To travel by railroad.

Rail Division:

The amount of money another carrier pays to the railroad for overland carriage.

Rail Grounding:

The time that the container or trailer was discharged (grounded) from the train.


Railroad terminal where containers are received or delivered and trains loaded or discharged. Originally, trailers moved onto the rearmost flatcar via a ramp and driven into position in a technique known as "circus loading." Most modern rail facilities use lifting equipment to position containers onto the flatcars.


The movement where the load initiates at an origin rail ramp and terminates at a consignee's door.


A movement of equipment from an origin rail ramp to a destination rail ramp only with another party providing the local pickup or delivery service.

Rate Basis:

A formula of the specific factors or elements that control the making of a rate. A rate can be based on any number of factors (i.e., weight, measure, equipment type, package, box, etc.).


A generally illegal form of discounting or refunding that has the net effect of lowering the tariff price. See also Malpractice.


The changing the consignee or destination on a bill of lading while shipment is still in transit. Diversion has substantially the same meaning.


A right claim against the guarantors of a loan or draft or bill of exchange.

Red Label:

A label required on shipments of flammable articles.


Refrigerated container or trailer.

Related Points:

A group of points to which rates are made the same as or in relation to rates to other points in group.


A method of continuous transportation of a trailer. In this method multiple drivers or tractor and drivers are stationed along a line of intended travel.

Released Value:

To receive a lower rate or otherwise induce a carrier to provide service, a shipper will agree to receive a lesser value for a potential claim that the actual value. Released value must be in writing and agreed to. Similar to Declared value.


Funds sent by one person to another as payment.

Restricted Articles:

Articles handled only under certain conditions.

Revenue Ton (RT):

A ton on which the shipment is freighted. If cargo is rated as weight or measure (W/M), whichever produces the highest revenue will be considered the revenue ton. Weights are based on metric tons and measures are based on cubic meters. RT=1 MT or 1 CBM.

Reverse IPI:

An inland point provided by an all-water carrier's through bill of lading in the U.S. by first discharging the container in an East Coast port.


Request for quotation.


Removable Goose Neck A type of open deck equipment used for hauling tall equipment which is driven on and off. The front portion of the trailer detaches from the body of the trailer and a ramp is extended to facilitate the loading.


A shortening of the term, "Roll On/Roll Off." A method of ocean cargo service using a vessel with ramps, which allows wheeled vehicles to be loaded and discharged without cranes. Roll-on/Roll-off vessels Ships specially designed to carry wheeled containers or trailers using interior ramps.


The manner in which a shipment moves; i.e., the carriers handling it and the points at which the carriers interchange.

Running Gear:

Complementary equipment for terminal and over-the-road handling containers.


Abbreviation for "Released Value Not Exceeding." Usually used to limit the value of goods transported. The limitation refers to carrier liability when paying a claim for lost or damaged goods.

Said to Contain

In containerized cargo, palletized consignments or large consignments of conventional cargo, the cargo cannot be checked as to contents. By using the statement "said to contain" the carrier places responsibility for the correct description of contents on the shipper.


An embargo imposed by a Government against another country.

Schedule A:

An addendum to a contract. In transportation it is usually the specific service to be provided on a given load or series of loads.

Sea Freight:

Cargo transported, generally for commercial gain, by ship.


The fitness of a vessel for its intended use.


U.S. Commerce Department document, "Shipper's Export Declaration."


Saturday and Holidays Excluded.


Saturday and Holidays Included.


The tender of one lot of cargo at one time from one shipper to one consignee on one bill of lading.


The person or company who is usually the supplier or owner of commodities shipped. Also called Consignor.

Shipper's Export Declaration (SED,"Ex Dec"):

A joint Bureau of the Census' International Trade Administration form used for compiling U.S. exports. It is completed by a shipper and shows the value, weight, destination, etc., of export shipments as well.

Shipper's Instructions:

Shipper's communication(s) to its agent and/or directly to the international water-carrier. Instructions may be varied, e.g., specific details/clauses to be printed on the B/L, directions for cargo pickup and delivery.

Shipper's Letter of Instructions for issuing an Air Waybill:

The document required by the carrier or freight forwarders to obtain (besides the data needed) authorization to issue and sign the air waybill in the name of the shipper.

Shipper's Load & Count (SL&C):

Shipments loaded and sealed by shippers and not checked or verified by the carriers.

Shippers Association:

A non-profit entity that represents the interests of a number of shippers. The main focus of shippers associations is to pool the cargo volumes of members to leverage the most favourable service contract rate levels.

Shipping Act of 1916:

The act of the U.S. Congress (1916) that created the U.S. Shipping Board to develop water transportation, operate the merchant ships owned by the government, and regulate the water carriers engaged in commerce under the flag of the United States. As of June 18, 1984, applies only to domestic offshore ocean transport.

Shipping Act of 1984:

Effective June 18, 1984, describes the law covering water transportation in the U.S. foreign trade.

Shipping Act of 1998:

Amends the Act of 1984 to provide for confidential service contracts and other items.

Shipping Order:

Shipper's instructions to carrier for forwarding goods; usually the triplicate copy of the bill of lading.


A prop or support placed against or beneath anything to prevent sinking or sagging.

Short Ton (ST):

Standard measure in the United States 2,000 pounds.

Shrink Wrap:

Polyethylene or similar substance (usually heat-treated) and shrunk into an envelope around several units, thereby securing them as a single pack for presentation or to secure units on a pallet.

Side Loader:

A lift truck fitted with lifting attachments operating to one side for handling containers.

Side-Door Container or Trailer:

A container or trailer fitted with a rear door and a minimum of one side door. Generally used in transportation of furniture, household goods and store deliveries.

Sight Draft:

A draft payable upon presentation to the drawee.


Battens, or a series of parallel runners, fitted beneath boxes or packages to raise them clear of the floor to permit easy access of forklift blades or other handling equipment.


Shippers load and count. Used as needed on the bill of lading to exclude the carrier from liability when the shipper loads the cargo.


Loaded containers moving within the railroad system that are not clearly identified on any internally generated reports. When used in truck transportation denotes a tractor with a sleeper berth for the driver.


A wire or rope contrivance placed around cargo and used to load or discharge it to/from a vessel.


A vessel's berth between two piers.

Spine Car:

An articulated five-platform railcar. Used where height and weight restrictions limit the use of stack cars. It holds five 40-foot containers or combinations of 40- and 20-foot containers.


Placing a container or trailer where required to be loaded or unloaded.

Spot and Pull:

Placing a trailer at a location for pickup and delivery (see above) and then rotating in additional trailers and pulling out the completed trailer.


Specific Price Quotation.


A piece of equipment designed to lift containers by their corner castings.


The force that holds a vessel upright or returns it to upright if keeled over. Weight in the lower hold increases stability. A vessel is stiff if it has high stability, tender if it has low stability.

Stack Car:

An articulated five-platform rail car that allows containers to be double stacked. A typical stack car holds ten 40-foot equivalent units (FEU's).


A rail service whereby rail cars carry containers stacked two high on specially operated unit trains. Each train includes up to 35 articulated multi-platform cars. Each car is comprised of 5 well-type platforms upon which containers can be stacked. No chassis accompany containers.

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC):

The standard numerical code used by the U.S. Government to classify products and services.

Standard International Trade Classification (SITC):

A standard numeric code developed by the United Nations to classify commodities used in international trade, based on a hierarchy.


The right side of a ship when facing the bow.

Statute Of Limitation:

A law limiting the time in which claims or suits may be instituted.


Said to contain.


Abbreviation for "Standard Transportation Commodity Code."

Steamship Conference:

A group of vessel operators joined together for the purpose of establishing freight rates.

Steamship Guarantee:

An indemnity issued to the carrier by a bank; protects the carrier against any possible losses or damages arising from release of the merchandise to the receiving party. This instrument is usually issued when the bill of lading is lost or is not available.

Step Deck:

A type of open deck equipment which has a raised or standard flatbed height section in the nose and a dropped section towards the tail. Used for transporting shipment between 8’6" and 10’.


The end of a vessel. Opposite of bow.


Individual or firm that employs longshoremen and who contracts to load or unload the ship.

Store-Door Pick-up Delivery:

A complete package of pick up or delivery services performed by a carrier from origin to final consumption point.


A marine term referring to loading freight into ships' holds.

Straddle Carrier:

Mobile truck equipment with the capacity for lifting a container or trailer within its own framework. Used for loading rail cars and ships.

Straight Bill of Lading:

A non-negotiable bill of lading, which states a specific identity to whom the goods should be delivered. See Bill of Lading.


Removing cargo from a container or trailer (same as devanning).


Putting cargo into a container or trailer.


Said to Weight.


To put in place of another; i.e., when an insurance company pays a claim it is placed in the same position as the payee with regard to any rights against others. Also the act of forwarding a claim onto the underlying motor carrier for settlement.

Sufferance Wharf:

A wharf licensed and attended by Customs authorities.

Supply Chain:

A logistical management system which integrates the sequence of activities from delivery of raw materials to the manufacturer through to delivery of the finished product to the customer into measurable components. "Just in Time" is a typical value-added example of supply chain management.


An extra or additional charge.

Surface Transportation Board (STB):

The U.S. federal body charged with enforcing acts of the U.S. Congress that affect common carriers in interstate commerce. STB replaced the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) in 1997.


An additional charge levied on top of a quoted price. See Fuel Surcharge.


An additional extra tax.


Abbreviation for "Transportation and Exportation." Customs form used to control cargo movement from port of entry to port of exit, meaning that the cargo is moving from one country, through the United States, to another country.


Rear of a container or trailer-opposite the front or nose.

Tare Weight:

In railcar or container shipments, the weight of the empty railcar or empty container.

Tariff (Trf.):

A publication setting forth the charges, rates and rules of transportation companies.

Tariff 100:

Tariff 100 includes general rules, facility service rules and fuel surcharge. Depending on the service designated, Tariff 100 applies to domestic or international commerce, intrastate traffic, and interstate traffic.

Tariff 172:

The same regulations as Tariff 100 but applicable only in the United States.


The storage of goods within a certain temperature range as required by the product type, eg., chilled and frozen.

Temperature Recorder:

A device to record temperature in a container while cargo is en route.


The offer of goods for transportation or the offer to place cars or containers for loading or unloading.


Time and date for payment of a draft.


An assigned area in which containers are prepared for loading into a vessel, train, truck, or airplane or are stacked immediately after discharge from the vessel, train, truck, or airplane.

Terminal Charge:

A charge made for a service performed in a carrier's terminal area.

Terms of Sale:

The point at which sellers have fulfilled their obligations so the goods in a legal sense could be said to have been delivered to the buyer. They are shorthand expressions that set out the rights and obligations of each party when it comes to transporting the goods. Following, are the thirteen terms of sale in international trade as Terms of Sale reflected in the recent amendment to the International chamber of Commerce Terms of Trade (INCOTERMS), effective July 1990: exw, fca, fas, fob, cfr, cif, cpt, cip, daf, des, deq, ddu and ddp.

Terms of Sale - CFR (Cost and Freight) (...Named Port of Destination):

A Term of Sale where the seller pays the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination, Terms of Sale but the risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as (continued) well as any additional costs due to events occurring after the time the goods have been delivered on board the vessel, is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods pass the ship's rail in the port of shipment. The CFR term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.

Terms of Sale - CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) (...Named Place of Destination):

A Term of Sale where the seller has the same obligations as under the CFR but also has to procure marine insurance against the buyer's risk of loss or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts for insurance and pays the insurance premium. The CIF term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.

Terms of Sale - CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid To) (...Named Place of Destination):

A Term of Sale which means the seller has the same obligations as under CPT, but with the addition that the seller has to procure cargo insurance against the buyer's risk of loss of or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts for insurance and pays the insurance premium. The buyer should note that under the CIP term the seller is required to obtain insurance only on minimum coverage. The CIP term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.

Terms of Sale - CPT (Carriage Paid To) (...Named Place of Destination):

A Term of Sale which means the seller pays the freight for the carriage of the goods to the named destination. The risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as well as any additional costs due to events occurring after the time the goods have been delivered to the carrier, is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods have been delivered into the custody of the carrier. If subsequent carriers are used for the carriage to the agreed upon destination, the risk passes when the goods have been delivered to the first carrier. The CPT term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.

Terms of Sale - DAF (Delivered At Frontier) (...Named Place):

A Term of Sale which means the sellers fulfill their obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available, cleared for export, at the named point and placed at the frontier, but before the customs Terms of Sale border of the adjoining country. (continued)

Terms of Sale - DDP (Delivered Duty paid) (...Named Port of Destination):

Delivered Duty Paid means that the seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available at the named place in the country of importation. The seller has to bear the risks and costs, including duties, taxes and other charges of delivering the goods thereto, clear for importation. While the EXW term represents the minimum obligation for the seller, DDP represents the maximum.

Terms of Sale - DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid) (...Named Port of Destination):

A Term of Sale where the seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available at the named place in the country of importation. The seller has to bear the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods thereto (excluding duties, taxes and other official charges payable upon importation) as well as the costs and risks of carrying out customs formalities. The buyer has to pay any additional costs and to bear any risks caused by failure to clear the goods for in time.

Terms of Sale - DEQ (Delivered Ex Quay, [Duty Paid]) (...Named Port of Destination):

A Term of Sale which means the DDU term has been fulfilled when the goods have been available to the buyer on the quay (wharf) at the named port of destination, cleared for importation. The seller has to bear all risks and costs including duties, taxes and other charges of delivering the goods thereto.

Terms of Sale - DES (Delivered Ex Ship) (...Named Port of Destination):

A Term of Sale where the seller fulfills his/her obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available to the buyer on board the ship, not cleared for import at the named port of destination. The seller has to bear all the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods to the named port destination.

Terms of Sale - EXW (Ex Works) (...Named Place):

A Term of Sale which means that the seller fulfills the obligation to deliver when he or she has made the goods available at his/her premises (i.e., works, factory, warehouse, etc.) to the buyer. In particular, the seller is not responsible for loading the goods in the vehicle provided by the buyer or for clearing the goods for export, unless otherwise agreed. The buyer bears all costs and risks involved in taking the goods from the seller's premises to the desired destination. This term thus represents the minimum obligation for the seller.

Terms of Sale - FAS (Free Alongside Ship) (...Named Port of Shipment):

A Term of Sale which means the seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been placed alongside the vessel on the quay or in lighters at the named port of shipment. This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks of loss of or damage to the goods from that moment.

Terms of Sale - FCA (Free Carrier) (... Named Place):

A Term of Sale which means the seller fulfills their obligation when he or she has handed over the goods, cleared for export, into the charge of the carrier named by the buyer at the named place or point. If no precise point is indicated by the buyer, the seller may choose, within the place or range stipulated, where the carrier should take the goods into their charge.

Terms of Sale - FOB (Free On Board) (...Named Port of Shipment):

An International Term of Sale that means the seller fulfills his or her obligation to deliver when the goods have passed over the ship's rail at the named port of shipment. This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks to loss of or damage to the goods from that point. The FOB term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.


Abbreviation for "Twenty foot Equivalent Unit."

Through Rate:

The total rate from the point of origin to final destination.

Time Draft:

A draft that matures either a certain number of days after acceptance or a certain number of days after the date of the draft.


Abbreviation for "Trailer Load."


Abbreviation for "Trailer on Flat Car." The movement of a highway trailer on a railroad flatcar. Also known as Piggyback.


A unit used in comparing freight earnings or expenses. The amount earned from the cost of hauling a ton of freight one mile. Also, the movement of a ton of freight one mile.


Unit of weight measure. In the US a standard ton is 2000 lbs. In the rest of the world a long ton is common. A long ton is 2240 lbs and roughly equivalent to a Kiloton.

Top-Air Delivery:

A type of air circulation in a container or refrigerated trailer. In top air units, air is drawn from the bottom, filtered through the evaporator for cooling and then forced through the ducted passages along the top of the container. This type of airflow requires a special loading pattern.

Tracking and Tracing:

Monitoring and recording shipment movements from origin to destination.


Unit of highway motive power used to pull one or more trailers/containers.

Trade Acceptance:

A time or a date draft that has been accepted by the buyer (the drawee) for payment at maturity.


Persons and property carried by transport lines.


The truck unit into which freight is loaded as in tractor-trailer combination. See Container. Standard trailer sizes (van) are 53’ and 48’ by 8’6" wide.


The act of shipping a product or the action of controlling services over an internationally recognized border dividing two counties.

Transit Time:

The total time that elapses between a shipment's pickup and delivery.


To move cargo from one place to another.

Transportation & Exit (T&E):

Allows foreign merchandise arriving at one port to be transported in bond through the U.S. to be exported from another port, without paying duty.


To transfer goods from one transportation line to another, or from one ship to another.


Point Place where cargo is transferred to another carrier.


Quantity of freight required to fill a truck. When used in connection with freight rates, the quantity of freight necessary to qualify a shipment for a truckload rate. Historical definition is a shipment of 10,000 pounds or more.

Trust Receipt:

Release of merchandise by a bank to a buyer while the bank retains title to the merchandise. The goods are usually obtained for manufacturing or sales purposes. The buyer is obligated to maintain the goods (or the proceeds from their sales) distinct from the remainder of the assets and to hold them ready for repossession by the bank.

Twist Locks:

A set of four twistable bayonet type shear keys used as part of a spreader to pick up a container or as part of a chassis to secure the containers.

Two-Way Pallet:

A pallet so designed that the forks of a fork lift truck can be inserted from two sides only.

U.S. Consular Invoice:

A document required on merchandise imported into the United States.


Abbreviation for "Uniform Freight Classification."


The space not filled with liquid in a drum or tank.

Unclaimed Freight:

Freight that has not been called for or picked up by the consignee or owner.


To charge less than the proper amount.

Unit Load:

Packages loaded on a pallet, in a crate or any other way that enables them to be handled at one time as a unit.

Unit Train:

A train of a specified number of railcars, perhaps 100, which remain as a unit for a designated destination or until a change in routing is made.


Loading one or more large items of Cargo onto A single piece of equipment, such as a pallet. Unloading Removal of a shipment from a vessel or trailer.

Validated Export:

License A document issued by the U.S. government; authorizes the export of commodities for which written authorization is required by law.


Authentication of B/L and when B/L becomes effective.


A term for stowing cargo in a container or trailer.

Variable Cost:

Costs that vary directly with the level of activity within a short time. For business analysis, all costs are either defined as variable or fixed. For a business to break even, all fixed costs must be covered. To make a profit, all variable and fixed costs must be recovered plus some extra amount.

Ventilated Container or Trailer:

A container or trailer designed with openings in the side and/or end walls to permit the ingress of outside air when the doors are closed.

War Risk:

Insurance coverage for loss of goods resulting from any act of war.


A place for the reception, delivery, consolidation, distribution, and storage of goods/cargo.

Warehouse Entry:

Document that identifies goods imported when placed in a bonded warehouse. The duty is not imposed on the products while in the warehouse but will be collected when they are withdrawn for delivery or consumption.


The storing of goods/cargo.

Waybill (WB):

A document prepared by a transportation line at the point of a shipment; shows the point of the origin, destination, route, consignor, consignee, description of shipment and amount charged for the transportation service. It is forwarded with the shipment or sent by mail to the agent at the transfer point or waybill destination.

Weights and Measures:

Measurement ton 40 cubic ft or one cubic meter. Net ton, or short ton 2,000 lbs. Gross ton/long ton 2,240 lbs. Metric ton/kilo ton 2,204.6 lbs. Cubic meter 35.314 cubic ft.