Condition in which a carrier is responsible for all liability and is not protected by normal exemptions found in a bill of lading or common law liability.
Charges for supplementary services and privileges (ACCESSORIAL SERVICES) provided in connection with line-haul transportation of goods. These charges are not included in the freight charge and usually take the form of a flat fee. Some examples are: pickup/delivery, in-transit privileges, demurrage, switching, loading/unloading.
A service rendered by a carrier in addition to regular transportation service.
A Latin phrase meaning "according to value." Freight rates set at a certain fixed percentage of the value of articles are known as ad valorem rates.
Freight or charge on a shipment that is advanced by one transportation company to another, or to the shipper, to be collected from the consignee.
ADVICE OF SHIPMENT
Notice to local or foreign buyer that shipment has occurred, with packing and routing details. A copy of invoice usually is enclosed, and sometimes a copy of the bill of lading.
Usually a carload/truckload rate that applies to multiple shipments that move at one time in one vehicle from the consignor to one consignee. An all-commodity rate is established based on actual transportation cost rather than "value of service."
Deduction from the weight or value of goods. Allowed if a carrier fails to provide necessary equipment and that equipment is furnished by the shipper.
Point of delivery beside a vessel; statement designating where the title to goods passes from one party to another.
Routing that is less desirable than the normal, but results in identical terms.
A notice, furnished to consignee, of the arrival of freight.
Freight that has been separated from its freight bill.
Operating rights granted a motor carrier by the ICC.
BARRELL WHEELER OR BARREL TRUCK
A dolly-like hand truck designed specifically to move drums or barrels.
Geographic point to which transportation rates are set so that rates to adjacent points can be constructed by adding to/deducting from the basing point rate.
BILL OF LADING (BL or B/L)
The principal transportation document by which a carrier acknowledges receipt of freight, describes the freight, and sets forth a contract of carriage. Terms and conditions, responsibilities, and liabilities vary with manner and place of use. Bills of lading may be negotiable or non-negotiable.
The weight shown on a freight bill.
Moving highway freight by air.
Right side of truck and trailer.
Wood or metal supports to keep shipments in place in trailers.
Tractor operating without a trailer.
A two-axle assembly at the rear of some trailers or tractors. Also called a tandem axle.
Heavy freight that must be loaded on the trailer floor and not on top of other merchandise.
A type of penalty pay which is incurred when equipment breaks down.
Vessel that carries bulk commodities such as petroleum, grain, or ore, which are not packaged, bundled, bottled, or otherwise packed.
Freight not in packages or containers such as wheat, petroleum, etc.
BUYER’S RIGHT TO ROUTE
When a seller does not pay freight charges, the purchaser has a right to designate the route for shipment. Seller is responsible for following the buyer’s instructions. Complete routing is permitted for rail shipments, but only for the first carrier in motor shipments.
Driver’s compartment of a truck or tractor.
Truck or tractor with a substantial part of the driving cab located over the engine.
A heavy steel cable used to secure closed trailer doors. It can only be removed with heavy duty cable cutters.
CARLOAD (CL or C/L)
An individual, partnership or company in the business of transporting goods or passengers, in most cases for a fee.
A four wheeled platform used to move several pieces of freight across the dock at one time.
Information shown on the outside of a shipping carton, including destination and contents.
CASH BEFORE DELIVERY (CBD)
Seller assumes no risk and extends no credit because payment is received before shipment.
CASH ON DELIVERY (COD)
Buyer pays carrier the price of goods before they are delivered; seller assumes risk of purchaser refusing to accept goods.
CERTIFICATE OF MANUFACTURE
Document used with letters of credit when drafts are paid/negotiated on presentation of a certificate stating that goods have been completed and are being held for shipment.
A wooden, metal, or rubber wedge used to block the wheels of a trailer at the dock. Also used in trailers to keep floor freight from shifting.
The rate charged for commodities grouped according to similar shipping characteristics. Class Rate applies to numbered/lettered groups/classes of articles contained in the territorial rating column in classification schedules.
Two shipments from different terminals combined to ship as one load.
Shipment where collection of freight charges/advances is made by delivering carrier from the consignee/receiver.
Truck or tractor coupled to one or more trailers (including semi-trailers).
Itemized list issued by seller/exporter in foreign trade showing quantity, quality, description of goods, price, terms of sale, marks/numbers, weight, full name/address of purchaser, and date.
Any article of commerce. Goods, merchandise.
One that may be transported in interstate commerce without operating authority or published rates.
Any carrier engaged in the interstate transportation of persons/property on a regular schedule at published rates, and whose services are available to the general public on a for-hire basis. Regulated by the ICC.
When goods in an apparently undamaged container are damaged.
Document signed by carrier and filed with the ICC. Verifies carrier participates in rates published in a tariff by a given agent.
A carrier that originates or completes transportation of a shipment, but does not haul it the entire distance from origin to destination.
Send goods to a purchaser or an agent to sell.
Any person who receives goods shipped from an owner.
Any person or company that ships articles to customers.
Combining less-than-carload or less-than-truckload shipments to make carload/truckload movements.
Any carrier engaged in interstate transportation of persons/property by motor vehicle on a for-hire basis, but under continuing contract with one or a limited number of customers to meet specific needs of each customer. Contract Carriers must receive an authorization permit from the ICC.
Rates which are part of a total contract negotiated between shipper and a carrier.
Tractor with the engine in front of the cab.
COST, INSURANCE, AND FREIGHT (CIF)
The basis for quotation by seller that indicates seller will pay insurance and freight charges to destination only.
Transfer of freight from one trailer to another at a terminal.
A rate based on trailer space instead of weight. Used for light, bulky loads.
A specialist in customs procedures who acts on behalf of importers for a fee. Licensed by the Treasury Department.
Non-powered rear axle on tandem truck or tractor (also called "tag axle").
DEAD WEIGHT TONNAGE (DWT)
Estimated number of tons of cargo a vessel can carry when loaded to maximum depth.
Carrier returns a portion of freight charges to shipper. In exchange, shipper gives all/most shipments to carrier over specified period, usually six months. Rebate payment is deferred for similar period.
Penalty for exceeding free time, usually 48 hours, allowed for loading/unloading under terms of railroad/ocean and motor carrier traffics.
The weight of an article per cubic foot.
A charge made for a vehicle held by, or for, consignor or consignee for loading, unloading or for forwarding directions.
Amount added to/deducted from base rate to make rate to/from some other point or via another route.
Difference in rates not justified by costs.
A change made in consignee, destination, or shipment route while in transit.
The floor or platform where trucks load and unload.
Metal plate used to bridge the space between a trailer and a dock platform.
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT)
The various federal agencies that regulate the operation of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment.
Refund of customs duties paid on material imported and later exported.
Transporting freight by truck, primarily in local cartage.
The axle(s) which are connected to the engine by a drive shaft and power the vehicle. Also called "power axle."
Refers to a shipment for which the driver must collect freight charges at the time of delivery.
A 28-foot trailer designed to be pulled two or three at a time by one tractor. Also referred to as a "pup" or "doubles."
Term used for cardboard, empty pallets, plywood, foam rubber, air bags, or other items used to cushion or protect freight while in transit.
END-OF-THE-LINE TERMINAL (EOL)
A local terminal which handles the pick-up and delivery of the customer’s freight (as opposed to a consolidation center). Also referred to as a "satellite" or "group" terminal.
For-hire motor carrier exempt from ICC economic regulation.
Moving shipments through regular channels at an accelerated rate.
EXPORT LETTER OF CREDIT
When importer has arranged with bank for letter-of-credit financing of purchases, he applies for issuance of individual letters of credit to cover purchase contracts as made.
FIRST IN, FIRST OUT (FIFO)
Warehouse term meaning first items stored are the first used.
Government publication that prints rules/regulations of federal agencies daily.
In intermodal moves, a pickup/delivery vehicle or ship.
Transporting motor carrier trailers and containers by ship.
Freight costs paid to the destination point, title transfers at destination.
Title to goods and transportation responsibility transfers from seller to factory.
Title/transportation costs transfer after goods are delivered on vessel. All export taxes/costs involved in overseas shipments are assessed to the buyer.
Condition in contract that relieves either party from obligations where major unforeseen events prevent compliance with provisions of agreement.
FOREIGN TRADE ZONES
Goods subject to duty may be brought into such zones duty-free for transshipment/storage/minor manipulation/sorting. Duty must be paid when/if goods are brought from a zone into any part of the U.S.
Mechanical vehicle used to move freight on the dock. Also known as lift-truck, towmotor, or hi-lo.
A firm specializing in shipping goods abroad. Payments made for insurance and other expenses are charged to the foreign buyer.
A shipment that is mis-routed or unloaded at the wrong terminal and is billed and forwarded to the correct terminal free of charge.
FREE ALONGSIDE (FAS)
Selling term in international trade. Selling party quotes price including delivery of goods alongside overseas vessel at exporting port.
FREE ON BOARD (FOB)
Loaded aboard carrier’s vehicle at point where responsibility for risk/expense passes from seller to buyer.
The period freight will be held before storage charges are applied. The period allowed for the owner to accept delivery before storage charges begin to accrue.
1) An individual/company that accepts less-than truckload (LTL) shipments and consolidates them into truckload lots on a for-hire basis.
2) An agent who helps expedite shipments by preparing the necessary documents/making other arrangements for moving freight.
The point at which freight is interchanged/interlined between carriers or at which a carrier joins two operating authorities provision of through service.
Storage of goods in custody of government/bonded warehouse or carrier from whom goods can be taken only upon payment of taxes/duties to appropriate government agency.
Passing freight from one carrier to another between lines.
Freight moving from origin to destination over two or more transportation lines.
Using more than one mode to deliver shipments. For example, rail or ocean vessel carriage of tractor-trailer containers.
Exchanging goods between buyers and sellers in two or more states.
INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION (ICC)
The federal body charged with enforcing acts of Congress affecting common carriers in interstate commerce. Directly responsible to Congress.
When all business between buyers/sellers is carried on within state.
Agreed upon by two or more carriers, published in a single tariff, and applying between point on line of one and point on line of another. May include one or more intermediate carriers in route.
An in-bound manufacturing strategy that smoothes material flow into assembly and manufacturing plants. JIT minimizes inventory investment by providing timely, sequential deliveries of product exactly where and when it is needed, from a multitude of suppliers. Traditionally an automotive strategy, it is being introduced into many other industries.
Total expense of receiving goods at place of retail sale, including retail purchase price and transportation charges.
LAST IN, FIRST OUT (LIFO)
Accounting method of valuing inventory that assumes latest goods purchased are first goods used during accounting period.
LESS-THAN-CARLOAD (LTC or LCL)
A load weighing less than the amount necessary to apply the carload rate charged by railroads.
Less than the quantity of freight required to apply the truckload rate charged by motor carriers.
Party or company with legal possession/control of vehicle (with/without driver), or other equipment owned by another under terms of lease agreement.
Party or company granting legal use of vehicle (with/without driver), or other equipment to another party under terms of lease agreement.
LETTER OF CREDIT (L/C)
A method of paying for goods, where the buyer establishes credit with a local bank, clearly describing the goods to be purchased. Upon receipt of documentation, the bank is either paid by the buyer or takes title to goods and transfers funds to the seller.
Mechanical vehicle used to move freight on the dock. Also known as a fork-lift, towmotor, or hi-lo.
Movement of freight between cities that are usually more than 1,000 miles apart, not including pickup and delivery service.
A tariff provision which provides an allowance, usually a fixed sum per hundredweight, to a shipper for loading a carrier’s trailer.
Equivalent to 2,240 pounds or 20 long hundredweights. Also called gross ton.
A control document used to list the contents (individual shipments) during loading and from which the contents are checked during unloading.
MANUFACTURING RESOURCE PLANNING (MRP II)
System of manufacturing controls using computers. Affects purchasing, materials management, inventory control, and production management.
Refers to the combination of light, medium and heavy density freight.
MOTOR CARRIER ACT OF 1935
Act of Congress bringing motor common and contract carriers under ICC jurisdiction.
MOTOR CARRIER ACT OF 1980
Act of Congress that deregulated for-hire-trucking.
See INTERMODAL TRANSPORTATION.
NATIONAL MOTOR FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION (NMFC)
A publication for motor carriers containing rules, commodity descriptions, and classifications for nearly all shippable commodities.
NON-VESSEL-OPERATING COMMON CARRIER (NVOCC)
A cargo consolidator of small shipments in ocean trade, generally soliciting business and arranging for/performing containerization functions at the port.
NOTICE OF ARRIVAL
On arrival of freight at destination, notice is sent promptly to the consignee showing number of packages, description of articles, route, rate, weight, etc.
Points located off regular route highways of line-haul carriers, generally served only on irregular schedules.
Routes, points, and types of traffic that may be served by carrier. Authority is granted by state or federal regulatory agencies.
OPERATING RATIO (OR or O/R)
Comparison of carrier’s operating expenses with gross receipts; income divided by expenses.
OVER, SHORT AND DAMAGED (OS&D)
A report issued at the warehouse when goods are damaged. Used to file a claim with the carrier.
Freight in excess over quantity believed to have been shipped, or more than quantity shown on shipping document.
Drivers who own or operate their own trucks. May lease rig/driver to another carrier.
When owner of goods remains responsible during shipping, relieving carrier of part of risk.
List showing merchandise packed and all particulars. Normally prepared by shipper but not required by carriers. Copy is sent to consignee to help verify shipment received.
A wooden platform upon which freight is stacked for transportation. The pallet provides clearance for forklift blades. A pallet has a wooden deck and bottom boards.
System for shipping goods on lightweight, double-decked wooden platforms called pallets. Permits shipment of multiple units as one large unit.
Latin term meaning "by the day." Daily charge for use of railcars.
Commodities subject to rapid deterioration or decay, which require special protective services such as refrigeration or heating.
Authority granted to contract carriers and forwarders by the ICC to operate in interstate commerce.
A form of intermodal transportation where trailers/containers are carried on railcars.
POINT OF ORIGIN
The station at which a shipment is received from the shipper by a transportation line.
The dividing of revenue/business among two or more carriers in accordance with previous contracts/agreements.
Any progressive or serial number applied for identification to freight bills, bills of lading, etc.
PROOF OF DELIVERY
Copy of waybill signed by consignee at time of delivery as receipt.
Lower than normal rate on segment of through movement to encourage traffic or capture competitive traffic. May be percentage of standard rate or flat rate that is lower between given points.
Storage place renting space to anyone desiring it.
Form buyer uses when placing order for merchandise.
Many governments have established quotas of limiting imports by class of goods or country of origin. Sometimes importing countries require issuance of licenses before U.S. companies may ship to them.
Established shipping charge for movement of goods. In interstate transportation, price/rate is approved by ICC. Intrastate prices are approved by public service commission or similar body.
Formula of specific factors/elements that control making of rate.
When carriers cut rates in an effort to secure tonnage. Can occur in all commodities.
Unlawful practice in which carrier returns part of transportation charge to shipper. Done to encourage shipper to use same carrier again.
Slang term for a refrigerated trailer that hauls perishables.
Commodities that can be handled only under certain specific conditions.
A feature in specially constructed vessels permitting road vehicles to drive on/off a vessel in loading/discharging ports.
Slang term for semi-trailer. Also used loosely in referring to tractor-trailer combination.
Form filled out and presented by shipper to outbound carrier at transit point, together with instructions and inbound carrier’s freight bill, asking for reshipping privilege and transit rate on commodity previously brought into transit point.
SHIPPER’S EXPORT DECLARATION (SED)
Form required by Treasury Department and completed by shipper showing value, weight, consignee, destination, etc., of export shipments, as well as Schedule B identification.
SHIPPER’S LOAD AND COUNT (SL&C)
Indicates that the contents of a trailer were loaded and counted by the shipper, the trailer was sealed by the shipper, and the carrier did not observe the loading process.
Piece of freight missing from shipment as stipulated by documents on hand.
A plastic wrap used by shippers to secure cartons on a pallet.
A wooden platform upon which freight is stacked for transportation.
Tractor with a sleeping compartment in the cab.
STANDARD INTERNATIONAL TRADE CLASSIFICATION (SITC)
A numerical code developed by the United Nations and adopted by U.S. airlines as the basis for identifying commodities moving in air freight.
Length of time required by law for carriers to give notice of changes in tariffs, rates, rules and regulations — usually 30 days unless otherwise permitted by authority from ICC or other regulatory body.
Person in charge of loading/unloading ships.
STRAIGHT BILL OF LADING
Non-negotiable document provides that shipment is to be delivered direct to party whose name is shown as consignee. Carrier does not require its surrender upon delivery except when needed to identify consignee.
Emptying truck of cargo, and arranging shipments by destination.
Slang term for loading cargo container.
SUPPLY CHAIN SERVICES / SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT
Designing and implementing complex distribution systems that begin with the sourcing of raw materials and end with delivery of goods to the consumer — and back, if necessary. This includes the operation of technologically superior "smart" warehouses, managing orders and returns, and packaging products for distribution.
Tank built into standard container frame and used to transport liquids.
TRAILER ON FLATCAR (TOFC)
See PIGGYBACK. Shipments moving TOFC receive special rates from tariffs provided for that class of traffic.
Vessel that does not operate along definite route on fixed schedule, but calls at any port where cargo is available.
A term commonly used to denote transfer of goods from one means of transportation to another. The re-handling of goods en route.
Hiring vessel to haul cargo for special voyage.
An arrangement in which a regulated carrier "leases" or hires an owner/operator to make a single run.
A combination of vehicles that has a tractor and three trailers.
U.S. CUSTOMS BONDED WAREHOUSE
A warehouse that is willing/able to validate that commodities will not be released until any necessary duties are paid. (Imports awaiting collection of duty must be stored at the importer's expense in custody of the federal government until import duty — if required — is paid.
Empty space present when container is not full.
The actual value of goods shown on a bill of lading by the shipper when the rate to be applied depends on the value of those goods.
100 cubic feet.
Engaging services of cargo ship for specified trip from one port to another at established tonnage rate.
Place for receiving/storing goods and merchandise for hire. Warehouseman is bound to use ordinary diligence in preserving goods.
Loss of goods due to handling, decay, leakage, shrinkage, etc.
A document containing the description of goods which are part of a common carrier freight shipment. Shows origin, destination, consignee/consignor, and amount charged. Copies of this document travel with goods and are retained by originating/delivering agents. Used by carriers for internal records and control, especially during transit. It is not a transportation contract.
Permanent station equipped with scales at which motor vehicles transportation property on public highways are required to stop for checking of gross vehicle and/or axle weights. Many states also use portable scales to comply with their weight limits. Often combined with port of entry facilities.
In shipping, weight is qualified further as gross (weight of goods and container), net (weight of goods themselves without any container), and legal (similar to net, determined in such manner as law of particular country/jurisdiction may direct).
Unit of track systems within certain area used for storing cars, loading/unloading freight, and making up trains over which movements not authorized by timetable or train order may be made.
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Information in this document is subject to change without notice.
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