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Logistics, Shipping & Trade Glossary 1 of 68
A.T.D.: Actual time of departure
ABC Analysis: A classification of items in an inventory according to importance defined in terms of
criteria such as sales volume and purchase volume.
Accessibility: A carrier's ability to provide service between an origin and a destination.
Accessorial Charges: A carrier's charge for accessorial services such as loading, unloading, pickup, and
delivery, or any other charge deemed appropriate.
Advanced Shipment Notice (ASN): An EDI term referring to a transaction set (ANSI 856) where the
supplier sends out a notification to interested parties that a shipment is now outbound in the supply
chain. This notification is list transmitted to a customer or consignor designating items shipped. The
ASN may also include the expected time of arrival.
Agency Tariff: A rate bureau publication that contains rates for many carriers.
Agent: An enterprise authorized to transact business for, or in the name of, another enterprise.
Agglomeration: A net advantage a company gains by sharing a common location with other companies.
Aggregate Tender Rate: A reduced rate offered to a shipper who tenders two or more class-related
shipments at one time and one place.
Air Cargo: Freight that is moved by air transportation
Air Carrier: An enterprise that offers transportation service via air
Air Taxi: An exempt for-hire air carrier that will fly anywhere on demand; air taxis are restricted to a
maximum payload and passenger capacity per plane.
Air Waybill (AWB): A bill of lading for air transport that serves as a receipt for the shipper, indicates
that the carrier has accepted the goods listed, obligates the carrier to carry the consignment to the airport
of destination according to specified conditions.
Air Cargo Agent: An agent appointed by an airline to solicit and process international airfreight
Air Cargo Containers: Containers designed to conform to the inside of an aircraft. There are many
shapes and sizes of containers. Air cargo containers fall into three categories: 1) air cargo pallets 2)
lower deck containers 3) box type containers.
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Airport and Airway Trust Fund: A federal fund that collects passenger ticket taxes and disburses
those funds for airport facilities.
All Water: Term used when the transportation is completely by water.
All-Cargo Carrier: An air carrier that transports cargo only.
Anti-Dumping Duty: An additional import duty imposed in instances where imported goods are priced
at less than the "normal" price charged in the exporter's domestic market and cause material injury to
domestic industry in the importing country
Any-Quantity (AQ) rate: A rate that applies to any size shipment tendered to a carrier; no discount rate
is available for large shipments.
API: Application Programming Interface
Arrival Notice: A notice from the delivering carrier to the Notify Party indicating the shipment's arrival
date at a specific location (normally the destination).
Assignment: The transfer of rights, duties, responsibilities, and benefits of an agreement, contract, or
financial instrument to a third party.
Average Cost: Total cost, fixed plus variable, divided by total output.
Accreditation: Certification by duly recognized body of the facilities, capability, objectivity,
competence, and integrity of an agency, service, or operational group or individual to provide the
specific service or operation needed. For example, the Registrar Accreditation Board accredits those
organizations that register companies to the ISO 9000 series standards.
Ad Valorem: In proportion to the value.
All Risk Insurance - It is a clause in marine insurance policies which covers loss and damage from
external causes, like fire, collision, pilferage, etc. excluding innate flaws in the goods, like decay,
germination and faulty packaging, improper packing/ loading or loss of market, war, strikes, riots and
All-Risk Clause: It is an insurance provision providing additional coverage to an Open Cargo Policy. It
covers theft, pilferage, non-delivery, fresh water damage, breakage, and leakage. It does not cover
inherent vice, loss of market, and losses caused by delay.
Alongside: It is a term used for the side of a ship. The goods to be delivered "alongside" are placed on
the dock or barge within the reach of the transport ship's tackle so that they can be loaded aboard the
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AMS: Automated Manifest System. An application that expedites the clearance of cargo for the
subsequent release of containers when imported to the U.S. through electronic submission of cargo
manifests in lieu of bulk paper manifests.
Awkward cargo: Cargo of irregular size that can either be containerized (packed in container) or non-
containerized (without equipment associated with) during transportation. It requires prior approval on a
case by case basis before confirmation of booking.
Back Haul: The return movement of a means of transport that has provided a transport service in one
Back order: The process a company uses when a customer orders an item that is not in inventory; the
company fills the order when the item becomes available.
Backhaul: A vehicle's return movement from original destination to original origin.
Backup: Making a duplicate copy of a computer file or a program on a disk or cassette so that the
material will not be lost if the original is destroyed; a spare copy.
Balance of Trade: The surplus or deficit which results from comparing a country's exports and imports
of merchandise only.
Bale: A large compressed, bound, and often wrapped bundle of a commodity, such as cotton or hay.
Barge: The cargo-carrying vehicle which may or may not have its own propulsion mechanism for the
purpose of transporting goods. Primarily used by Inland water carriers, basic barges have open tops, but
there are covered barges for both dry and liquid cargoes.
Barter: The exchange of commodities or services for other commodities or services rather than the
purchase of commodities or services with money.
Base Currency: The currency whose value is "one" whenever a quote is made between two currencies
Basing-point pricing: A pricing system that includes a transportation cost from a particular city or
town in a zone or region even though the shipment does not originate at the basing point
Batch picking: The picking of items from storage for more than one order at a time.
Benchmarking: A management tool for comparing performance against an organization that is widely
regarded as outstanding in one or more areas, in order to improve performance
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Benefit-cost ratio: An analytical tool used in public planning; a ratio of total measurable benefits
divided by the initial capital cost.
Bill of Lading (BOL): A document issued by an entity providing transportation services that serves
three purposes: 1) serves as receipt for the goods delivered to the carrier for shipment, 2) defines the
contract of carriage of the goods from the point of origin to the point of destination according to the
responsibilities of the service provider listed on the bill of lading, 3) under certain conditions, provides
evidence of title for the goods./ A contract document agreement between the shipper and the customer
that acts as a receipt for the goods delivered to the carrier for shipment; a definition or description of the
goods; and evidence of title to the relative goods
Bill of Lading Number: The number assigned by the carrier to identify the bill of lading.
Bill of Lading, Through: A bill of lading to cover goods from point of origin to final destination when
interchange or transfer from one carrier to another is necessary to complete the journey
Billing: A carrier terminal activity that determines the proper rate and total charges for a shipment and
issues a freight bill.
Binder: A strip of cardboard, thin wood, burlap, or similar material placed between layers of containers
to hold a stack together.
Blanket rate: A rate that does not increase according to the distance a commodity is shipped.
Bond, In: Goods are held or transported In-Bond under customs control either until import duties or
other charges are paid, or in order to avoid paying the duties or charges until a later date.
Bonded warehousing: A type of warehousing in which companies place goods in storage without
paying taxes or tariffs. The warehouse manager bonds himself or herself to the tax or tariff collecting
agency to ensure payment of the taxes before the warehouse releases the goods.
Booking: The act of requesting space and equipment aboard a vessel for cargo which is to be
Booking Number: The number assigned to a certain space reservation by the carrier or the carrier's
Boxcar: An enclosed railcar, typically forty to fifty feet long, used for packaged freight and some bulk
Bracing: To secure a shipment inside a carrier's vehicle to prevent damage.
Break Bulk Cargo: Cargo that is shipped as a unit or package (for example: palletized cargo, boxed
cargo, large machinery, trucks) but is not containerized.
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Break Bulk Vessel: A vessel designed to handle break bulk cargo.
Break-bulk: The separation of a consolidated bulk load into smaller individual shipments for delivery
to the ultimate consignee. The freight may be moved intact inside the trailer, or it may be interchanged
and rehandled to connecting carriers.
Broker: There are 3 definitions for the term "broker": 1) an enterprise that owns & leases equipment 2)
an enterprise that arranges the buying & selling of transp., goods, or services 3) a ship agent who acts for
the ship owner or charterer in arranging charters.
Buffer Stock: A quantity of goods or articles kept in storage to safeguard against unforeseen shortages
Bulk area: A storage area for large items which at a minimum are most efficiently handled by the
Bulk Cargo: Goods not in packages or containers.
Bundling: An occurrence where two or more products are combined into one transaction for a single
business logistics: The process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, effective flow
and storage of goods, services, and related information from the point of origin to the point of
consumption for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements.
Buyer: An enterprise that arranges for the acquisition of goods or services and agrees to payment terms
for such goods or services.
Bow: The front of a vessel.
BPS: Business Process and Systems - section within ISD responsible for implementation of IRIS-2 and
user support in system and business processes.
Bull rings: Cargo-securing devices mounted in the floor of containers; allow lashing and securing of
Bunker surcharge (BAF, BSC): Bunker Adjustment factor (BAF), or Bunker Surcharge (BSC) are
surcharges assessed by the carrier to freight rates to reflect current cost of bunker.
Bunkers: Heavy oil used as fuel for ocean vessels.
Belly Cargo: It is a term for freight accommodation below the main deck.
Berth: It is a term for the place beside a pier, quay or wharf where a vessel is loaded or discharged.
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Berth Liner Service: It is a regular scheduled steamship line having regular published schedules to and
fro the defined trade areas.
Berth or Liner Terms: It is the condition of carriage followed by a shipping company. It also states that
the costs for loading and unloading are borne by the carrier subject to the custom of the port concerned.
Cabotage : It is the transportation of goods or persons between ports within the same country.
Cargo : It is a term for merchandise/ commodities/ freight carried by means of transportation.
Cargo Receipt : It is a receipt of cargo issued by a consolidator for shipment. It is used in ocean freight.
Carnet : It is a customs document, which permits the holder to carry or send merchandise into a certain
foreign countries temporarily for display, demonstration, or any other related purpose without paying the
duties or posting bonds.
Carrier, Common : It is public or privately owned firm or corporation which transports goods of others
over land, sea or air for a predefined freight rate.
Chargeable Kilo : A term used for rate of goods where the volume exceeds six cubic meters to the
Charter: It is a contract to hire or lease transportation.
Charter Party: It is a contract between the owner of a vessel and a "charterer" who rents use of the
vessel or a part of its freight space. It usually includes the freight rates and the ports that are involved in
Combi: It is an aircraft having main deck divided into two sections, one fitted to seats and the other used
Consignee: A term for an individual or firm to whom the goods are shipped under a bill of lading.
Consignment: Goods shipped to an overseas agent when an actual purchase has not been made, but
when the consignee agrees to sell the goods.
Consignor: The shipper of goods, or shipper of a transportation movement.
Container Freight Station (CFS) : It is the facility in ocean carrier where the goods are received by
carrier for loading into containers or unloading from it and the carrier may also assemble, hold, or store
its containers or trailers in the place./ The location designated by carriers for receipt of cargo to be
Logistics, Shipping & Trade Glossary 7 of 68
packed into containers/equipment by the carrier. At destination, CFS is the location designated by the
carrier for unpacking of cargo from equipment/containers.
Container Freight Station Charge: The charge assessed for services performed at the loading or
Container Freight Station to Container Freight Station (CFS/CFS): A type of steamship-line
service in which cargo is transported between container freight stations, where containers may be
stuffed, stripped, or consolidated. Usually used for less-than-container load shipments.
Container I.D.: An identifier assigned to a container by a carrier.
Container on Flat Car (COFC): A carriage of intermodal containers detached from their chassis on
rail flat cars.
Container Terminal: An area designated to be used for the stowage of cargo in containers that may be
accessed by truck, rail, or ocean transportation.
Container Vessel: A vessel specifically designed for the carriage of containers.
Container Yard: The location designated by the carrier for receiving, assembling, holding, storing, and
delivering containers, and where containers may be picked up by shippers or redelivered by consignees.
Container Yard to Container Yard (CY/CY): A type of steamship-line service in which freight is
transported from origin container yard to destination container yard.
Containerization: The technique of using a boxlike device in which a number of packages are stored,
protected, and handled as a single unit in transit.
Contingency planning: Preparing to deal with calamities (e.g., floods) and noncalamitous situations
(e.g., strikes) before they occur.
Continuous replenishment (CRP): A system used to reduce customer inventories and improve service
usually to large customers.
Continuous-flow, fixed-path equipment: Materials handling devices that include conveyors and drag
Contract carrier: A for-hire carrier that does not serve the general public but serves shippers with
whom the carrier has a continuing contract. The contract carrier must secure a permit to operate.
Conveyance: The application used to describe the function of a vehicle of transfer.
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Conveyor: A materials handling device that moves freight from one warehouse area to another. Roller
conveyors utilize gravity, whereas belt conveyors use motors.
Cooperative associations: Groups of firms or individuals having common interests; agricultural
cooperative associations may haul up to 25 percent of their total interstate nonfarm, nonmember goods
tonnage in movements incidental and necessary to their primary business.
Coordinated transportation: Two or more carriers of different modes transporting a shipment.
CORBA: Common Object Request Broker Architecture.
Cost and Freight (C & F): The seller quotes a price that includes the cost of transportation to a
specific point. The buyer assumes responsibility for loss and damage and pays for the insurance of the
Cost of lost sales: The forgone profit companies associate with a stock out.
Cost trade-off: The interrelationship among system variables in which a change in one variable affects
other variables' costs. A cost reduction in one variable may increase costs for other variables, and vice
Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF): The price quote that the seller offers to the buyer, which includes
cost of the goods, insurance of the goods, and transportation charges.
Council of Logistics Management (CLM): A professional organization in the logistics field that
provides leadership in understanding the logistics process, awareness of career opportunities in logistics,
and research that enhances customer value and supply chain performance.
Countertrade: A reciprocal trading agreement that includes a variety of transactions involving two or
Countervailing Duties: Special duties imposed on imports to offset the benefits of subsidies to
producers or exporters of the exporting country.
Country of Destination: The country that will be the ultimate or final destination for goods.
Country of Origin: The country where the goods were manufactured.
Courier service: A fast, door-to-door service for high-valued goods and documents; firms usually limit
service to shipments weighing fifty pounds or less.
Crane: A materials handling device that lifts heavy items. There are two types: bridge and stacker.
Credit Terms: The agreement between two or more enterprises concerning the amount and timing of
payment for goods or services
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Critical value analysis: A modified ABC analysis in which a company assigns a subjective critical
value to each item in an inventory.
Cross Dock: An enterprise that provides services to transfer goods from one piece of transportation
equipment to another.
Cross-docking: The movement of goods directly from receiving dock to shipping dock to eliminate
CSG: Communications Support Group.
Cube Out: The situation when a piece of equipment has reached its volumetric capacity before
reaching the permitted weight limit.
Cubic Capacity: The carrying capacity of a piece of equipment according to measurement in cubic
C.A.F.: Currency Adjustment Factor. Surcharge percentage applied to freight rates to reflect currency
fluctuations./ A surcharge imposed by a carrier on ocean freight charges to offset foreign currency
Customer: An enterprise that uses the services as provided by another enterprise.
Customer Order: The seller's internal translation of their buyer's Purchase Order. The document
contains much of the same information as the purchase order but may use different Product IDs for some
or all of the line items. It will also determine inventory availability
Customer Service: The series of activities involved in providing the full range of services to
Customs: The authorities designated to collect duties levied by a country on imports and exports.
Customs Broker / Customhouse Broker: A firm that represents importers/exporters in dealings with
customs. Normally responsible for obtaining and submitting all documents for clearing merchandise
through customs, arranging inland transport, and paying all charges related to these functions.
Customs Clearance: The act of obtaining permission to import merchandise from another country into
the importing nation.
Customs Invoice: A document that contains a declaration by the seller, the shipper, or the agent as to
the value of the shipment.
Customs Value: The value of the imported goods on which duties will be assessed.
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C.B.M. (C.M.): Cubic meter.
C.K.D.: Abbreviation for Cars Knocked Down. Automobile parts and subassemblies manufactured
abroad and transported to a designated assembly plant. A classification of Third Party International
C.O.D.: Collect (cash) on Delivery; Carried on Docket (pricing); Change of Destination.
Cabotage: A federal law that requires coastal and intercoastal traffic to be carried in U.S.-built and
Cage: (1) A secure enclosed area for storing highly valuable items, (2) a pallet-sized platform with
sides that can be secured to the tines of a forklift and in which a person may ride to inventory items
stored well above the warehouse floor.
CAPSTAN: Computer-Aided Planned Stowage and Networking system.
CARAT: Cargo Agents Reservation Air Waybill Issuance and Tracking.
Carrier: An enterprise engaged in the business of transporting goods.
Carrier Assets: Items that a carrier owns (technically or outright) to facilitate the services they provide.
Carrier Certificate and Release Order: Used to advise customs of the shipment's details. By means
of this document, the carrier certifies that the firm or individual named in the certificate is the owner or
consignee of the cargo.
Carrier liability: A common carrier is liable for all shipment loss, damage, and delay with the
exception of that caused by act of God, act of a public enemy, act of a public authority, act of the
shipper, and the goods' inherent nature.
Cartage: There are two definitions for this term: 1) charge for pick-up and delivery of goods 2)
movement of goods locally (short distances).
Carton flow rack: A storage rack consisting of multiple lines of gravity flow conveyors.
Cash Against Documents (CAD): A method of payment for goods in which documents transferring
title are given to the buyer upon payment of cash to an intermediary acting for the seller.
Cash In Advance (CIA): A method of payment for goods whereby the buyer pays the seller in advance
of shipment of goods.
Cash with Order (CWO): A method of payment for goods where cash is paid at the time of order, and
the transaction becomes binding on both buyer and seller