Freight Glossary

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  • 3

  • 3PL (3rd Party Logistics)
    3PL aka 3rd Party Logistics is a third-party company providing outsourced logistics services, such as integrated operation, warehousing, and transportation which can be adjusted based on customers' needs. 3PLs don't own vehicles or(...)
  • a

  • Adjustments
    Any inconsistencies between the actual shipment and what is stated on the BOL (aka bill of lading). They may result in additional charges for the shipper from the carriers.
  • Axle Load
    The transportation of freight has weight limit. When talking about axle load, it refers to the weight limit allowed for each axle over the highways.
  • b

  • Backhaul
    A carrier's return trip, where a freight company can offer customers a lower shipping rate, or backhaul rate, to fill the empty truck. About 80% of truck on the roads are returning empty.
  • Bill of Lading (BOL or B/L)
    A Bill of Lading, also known at BOL or B/L, is a contractual document between carrier and shipper including details of shipment, often used as a receipt given to the person shipping the goods. More Details: The bill of lading or(...)
  • Blocking and Bracing
    Blocking and Bracing A method of securing the shipment in place throughout the shipping process, using metal and wooden bars.
  • Bulk Freight
    Bulk freight is a commodity freight that is not packaged and transported in large quantities. It refers to material in either liquid or granular, particulate form, as a mass of relatively small solids, such as petroleum/crude oil,(...)
  • c

  • Call Before Pickup
    A request for the carrier to call ahead of pick up. Check out our website for a list of trucking companies and carriers we've partnered with.
  • Cargo Insurance
    Cargo Insurance Full or partial coverage for freight that is damaged or lost during shipping.
  • Carrier
    A carrier is a person or a trucking company that transports goods using their own assets: trucks, trains, ships, or airplanes.
  • Class
    Each product is given a class ranging from 50-400 (determined by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association) based on its density and its assumed risk/liability for hauling.
  • Collect on Delivery/Cash on Delivery (COD)
    COD - Collect on Delivery / Cash on Delivery A process where driver collects payment for the shipment from the consignee before releasing the freight.
  • Consignee
    Entity who is the buyer and generally the receiver of a freight shipment.
  • Consolidation
    When several shipments are combined to save on freight shipping costs.
  • Container
    A container is a large metal box used for the transportation of freight by road, rail, sea, or air. The standard length are 20ft (6.06m) and 40ft (12.2m).      
  • Containerization
    Containerization The system of intermodal freight transportation using intermodal containers of standardized sizes. Containers removed the need for manual handling and warehousing at ports.
  • Crane Loaded
    Shipping oversized cargo, containers, anything that is too big/heavy for a forklift.
  • Crate
    A crate is a large container with four walls and a bottom, with or without a top, used for transporting and/or storing large, heavy or fragile items.
  • Cross-Docking
    Cross-docking A method of logistics where the freight is unloaded from inbound transportation and loaded onto outbound transportation with little or no storage time in-between.
  • Cubic Capacity
    Total volume inside a truck, train, or ship, measured in cubic feet.
  • Curtain Top
    Hard top with roll up curtain sides. Used for side loading cargo that needs weather protectant.
  • Customs Broker
    A customs broker is a licensed person or company responsible for clearing goods through customs on behalf of importers and exporters, usually businesses. Trucking companies work with customs brokers to clear freight at the border.
  • d

  • Dimensions
    Freight shipment’s length, width and height. Measure the largest dimension for every axis.
  • Drop Deck Flatbed
    A drop deck flatbed is a platform semi-trailer with no roof, sides and doors, and it has two deck levels. The floor drops down after it clears the tractor unit. The lower deck allows for hauling taller loads than a regular straight(...)
  • e

  • Eco-Driver Training
    Eco-Driver Training Training to drive more economically, reducing fuel consumption and cost. Includes better planning, smoother driving, using optimal revs, reducing air conditioning and idling. Learn more about Freightera's(...)
  • Expedited Freight
    Expedited freight refers to the transportation of goods that are time sensitive or perishable and need to be shipped immediately, such as frozen fish, fresh fruit or samples that need to be tested urgently. For a list of trucking(...)
  • f

  • Flatbed Truck
    A flatbed truck (or flatbed lorry in British English) is a type of truck which has an entirely flat, level "bed" body with no sides or roof. This allows for quick and easy loading of goods, to transport heavy loads that are not(...)
  • Forklift
    A forklift is a powered truck used to lift and move goods short distances. Indispensable in manufacturing and warehousing. Also called a fork truck, a lift truck, or a forklift truck.
  • Freight
    1. Goods to be transported by truck, rail, ship, or airplane Synonyms: goods, cargo, load, merchandise "freight carried by rail". 2. The system by which goods are shipped "shipped by freight" .
  • Freight broker
    A freight broker or broker is a person or company connecting businesses that ship goods (shippers) with transportation or trucking companies for a fee.
  • Freight Class
    Freight class or freight classification is a number assigned to less than truckload shipments based on weight, size, density, handling, value, and liability. 18 freight classes defined by the National Motor Freight Classification®(...)
  • Freight Forwarder
    A freight forwarder or forwarding agent, also known as a Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC), is a person or company that organizes shipments for individuals, organizations or businesses to get goods from the manufacturer or(...)
  • Freight Lanes
    Freight lanes or lanes, carrier lanes or shipping lanes, are transportation routes from point A to point B that carriers run regularly. Freight lanes examples: Los Angeles to New York Toronto to Chicago Vancouver to(...)
  • Fuel Efficiency
    Fuel Efficiency Energy efficiency of a vehicle, given as a ratio of distance traveled per unit of fuel consumed. It is dependent on engine efficiency, transmission, and tire design. Can also be stated as “energy economy” and(...)
  • Full Container Load or FCL
    It is the transport of freight that fills up a full ocean shipping container to capacity (20ft or 40/45ft) or fills up most of the container at a better price than LCL.  
  • Full TruckLoad (FTL or TL) Shipping
    What is Full Truckload FTL or Full TruckLoad is the transport of goods that fill up a full truck, or a partial load shipment occupying an entire truck. Bulk foods are typically shipped by FTL. FTL is contracted to one customer.(...)
  • g

  • Gross Vehicle Weight or GVW
    Total weight of the vehicle including its cargo.
  • i

  • Inside Delivery/Pick Up
    Inside Delivery/Pick Up A special handling service where the carrier picks up or delivers the shipment beyond the curb (within the threshold of the door/garage).
  • Intermodal Transportation
    Intermodal Transportation is the shipping of freight using more than one mode of transportation such as truck-rail shipments. Learn(...)
  • j

  • Jigger/Pallet Jack
    A tool used for lifting and moving pallets.
  • Just in Time Delivery
    Just in Time Delivery A delivery method that brings materials to production or goods to the customer just in time for their use. It allows to save on warehousing and puts more value on meeting delivery schedules than maximizing(...)
  • l

  • Less than Container Load or LCL
    A shipment that does not take up the entire available space of a 20ft. or 40/45 ft. ocean shipping container. LCL freight combines shipments from multiple shippers at a lower costs.      
  • Less Than Truckload (LTL) Shipping
    Less Than Truckload shipping aka LTL shipping is the transport of goods that do not take up the entire available space on the truck. LTL freight combines shipments from multiple customers. Typically slower delivery time; less(...)
  • Limited Access Location
    Any area where pickup or delivery is restricted. Typically includes commercial or non-commercial sites that may have gates or security inspections, and don’t have access to loading dock or platform. Examples: military and(...)
  • n

  • Nested
    Nested are goods that are stacked inside each other to reduce space taken during shipping.
  • o

  • Oversize / Heavy Haul Load
    Every state/province has regulations about the dimensions and the weight of loads that can be shipped on open deck trailers (flatbeds and stepdecks). If a shipment exceeds the legal height, width or weight limit, it may require(...)
  • p

  • Pallet
    Pallet (often referred to as Skid in the freight industry) is a wooden, or sometimes plastic, or metal platform on which boxes or cargo are stacked and sometimes shrink-wrapped. [caption id="attachment_1949" align="alignleft"(...)
  • Pallet Size
        Pallet Size Dimensions of the pallet (Length x Width x Height) measured in inches. The standard loaded pallet size is 48x40 inches. When measuring a pallet, always include the dimensions of the pallet itself.
  • Pallet vs Skid
    A pallet is a flat structure with both a top and a bottom deck, consisted of three or four stringers that connect several deck boards. A skid only has a top deck. Pallets are used for transport, while skids are usually used for(...)
  • Parcel Shipment
    Parcel Shipment A shipment of small packages/boxes.
  • Physical Internet
    Physical Internet A new way to design open and interconnected logistics leading to a more efficient and sustainable way of moving, storing and using physical goods. Similar to packets of information in the Digital Internet, in(...)
  • Pickup by Appointment
    A request for an exact date and time or a window for pick up.
  • Platooning Technology
    Platooning Technology Technology for managing the synchronous movement of platoons, i.e. groups of automobiles or trucks, including following a lead vehicle, keeping right distance, breaking at the same time, and splitting and(...)
  • Procurement
    Procurement is the process of acquiring goods, services or works from an external source, often via a tendering or bidding process.
  • Proof of Delivery (POD)
    Proof of Delivery or POD is a document signed by the freight recipient or consignee, confirming time, date & condition of delivery.
  • r

  • Reefer (refrigerated truck)
    A refrigerated truck, railroad car, or ship. A refrigerated container or reefer is an intermodal container (shipping container) used in intermodal freight transport that is refrigerated for the transportation of temperature sensitive(...)
  • Roll-Tite
    Rolling tarp system for protecting open load cargo.
  • s

  • Shipper
    A shipper or consignor is a person or company like a manufacturer, retailer or distributor that needs to ship goods. They are usually the supplier or owner of the goods. Shippers work with trucking companies to get their freight(...)
  • Shipping Label
    Shipping Label A label affixed to the packaging. It includes the contents of the packaging, and the pick up/delivery locations.
  • Special Handling
    Special services provided by the carrier. For example, Call Before Delivery.
  • Straight Truck
    A truck that can fit into narrow streets, e.g. streets in residential areas.
  • Supply Chain
    A supply chain is a network of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in handling or distributing and moving a product or service from the supplier to the customer.
  • t

  • Tailgate / Liftgate
    A platform at the rear of the truck, used for loading and unloading heavy freight at locations without docks or forklifts.
  • Tanker
    A tanker is a vehicle or vessel carrying liquid or gas cargo in bulk like petroleum, milk or natural gas. It can be a truck, train, ship, or freight aircraft.
  • Tarping (for Flatbed)
    Covering of the flatbed load to protect it from elements.
  • The π-containers
    Containers in Physical Internet that are smart, eco-friendly and modular, ranging from the size of a small box to ocean container. π-containers are assigned a unique MAC address and digitally interconnected through the Internet of(...)
  • Tracking Number
    Tracking Number A number assigned to the shipment after it has been picked up, for the purpose of shipment tracking.
  • Transit Time
    The total time of transit from pick up to delivery of the cargo.
  • Transportation Management System (TMS)
    Online platform, application or on-premises system that offers shipment booking and management, documentation, data storage and reporting as well as integration with carriers and other systems.
  • w

  • Warehousing
    Warehousing is the storage of goods and materials in a commercial building (warehouse) for a certain period of time. Warehouses are used by manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, transport businesses, customs...
  • Weight per Item
    Weight per pallet, box, crate etc.