Logistics Terms

You may find useful the following glossary of common terms used in the logistics industry.


Logistics Glossary


Third-Party Logistics


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Positive, not negative. See “Yes”!

AFV (Alternative Fueled Vehicle):

Vehicle powered by a fuel other than gasoline or diesel.

AVI (Automatic Vehicle Identification):

System combining an on-board transponder with roadside receivers to automate identification of vehicles. Uses include electronic toll collection and stolen vehicle detection. (See IVHS)


Labor intensive warehouse work designed to put together a finished product per the specification of individual client from several sku’s stored in warehouse.

Actual Weight:

The actual scale weight of a shipment. See also Dimensional Weight or Chargeable Weight.

Air Waybill:

The contract between shipper and carrier covering international and domestic transportation of cargo to a specified destination. The air waybill may also be referred to as the source document.


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Abbreviation for business-to-business, typically referring to courier delivery service or transportation from one business to another.


Abbreviation for business-to-consumer, typically referring to residential delivery service, either curbside delivery or inside delivery, aka White Glove Delivery Service

Bill of Lading:

The legal document that sets out the details of a shipment such as consignor, consignee, pieces, weight, product description, collect, prepaid, declared value and any particular service requirements. The bill of lading is signed by the shipper and the driver picking up the freight.

Blanket Wrapping:

Specialized transportation handling service designed to protect certain commodities such as furniture, large appliances, household goods, or large office machines such as copiers.


Carrier facility designed to unload consolidated shipments and cross dock them on to delivery vehicles.

Bulk Shipment:

A shipment of loose boxes, parcels, packages, or pieces.

Business Delivery:

Courier delivery messenger services to an office or a place of business.


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anything put in or on something for conveyance or transportation; freight; cargo, load, packages, parcels

Cargo Weight:

Combined weight of all loads, gear and supplies on a vehicle.

Cartage Company:

Company that provides local (within a town, city or municipality) pick-up and delivery.

CDL (Commercial Driver’s License):

License which authorizes an individual to operate commercial motor vehicles and buses over 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. For operators of freight-hauling trucks, the maximum size which may be driven without a CDL is Class 6 (maximum 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight).

Chargeable Weight:

Charges based on the greater of scale weight or the dimensional weight. See also Actual Weight or Dimensional Weight.

Chassis Weight (Curb Weight, Tare Weight):

Weight of the empty truck, without occupants or load.


The spreading, delivery or transmission of something to a wider group of people or area. The distribution of newspapers, magazines, periodicals, etc


Not to be confused with Collect. COD is, collect upon delivery. Payment is required immediately from the consignee.


Billing terms in which consignee receives freight invoices instead of the shipper.

Common Carrier:

Freight transportation company which serves the general public. May be regular route service (over designated highways on a regular basis) or irregular route (between various points on an unscheduled basis).


The party to which a given shipment is addressed on freight bill.


Something entrusted to another’s care


Converting individual smaller shipments into larger, multi-shipment loads in order to achieve transportation savings.

Container (Shipping Container):

Standard-sized rectangular box used to transport freight by ship, rail and highway. International shipping containers are 20 or 40 feet long, conform to International Standards Organization (ISO) standards and are designed to fit in ships’ holds. Containers are transported on public roads atop a container chassis towed by a tractor. Domestic containers, up to 53 feet long and of lighter construction, are designed for rail and highway use only.

Contract Carrier:

Company that transports freight under contract with one or a limited number of shippers.

Courier Delivery:

A small package delivery service, providing same day or next day package delivery, usually

Cross Docking:

The operational process of transferring freight from one truck to another at a dock facility. Usually involves skidded and shrunk-wrapped LTL freight transferred with the use of forklifts.

Cube (Cubic Capacity):

Interior volume of a truck body, semi-trailer or trailer, measured in cubic feet.


cour·i·er [kur-ee-er, koor-] a messenger, usually traveling in haste, bearing urgent news, important reports or packages, diplomatic messages, etc.


Hundred weight increments.


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Dangerous Goods:

Dangerous Goods (also referred to as hazardous materials (HazMat) or restricted articles), are described as articles or substances that are capable of posing a significant risk to health, safety or property when transported by air. The following are some examples of dangerous goods that must be declared at time of booking:

  • Alcohol
  • Any compound, liquid or gas that has toxic characteristics
  • Automobile batteries
  • Bleach
  • Flammable adhesives
  • Fuel for camp stoves, lanterns, torches or heating elements
  • Industrial solvents
  • Infectious substances
  • Insecticides, garden chemicals (fertilizers, poisons)
  • Kryptonite
  • Lithium Batteries (not in cameras)
  • Machinery (chain saws, outboard engines containing fuel)
  • Magnetized materials
  • Oil-based paint and thinners (flammable liquids)
  • Perfume

Refer to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations Manual for more examples and information.


Operating a truck without cargo.

Declared Value:

The value of goods declared by the shipper for the purposes of determining charges and/or establishing the limit of the carrier’s liability for loss, damage, or delay. Valuation charges will be assessed to shippers who declare a value of goods higher than the value of the carrier’s limits of liability.

Dedicated Trucks:

Trucks which contain freight from a single exclusive shipper.


de·liv·er·y [dih-liv-uh-ree] The carrying and turning over of letters, goods, etc., to a designated recipient or recipients.

Delivery Courier Service

: A delivery company providing various courier and package delivery services.

Desktop Delivery:

Inside delivery of small shipment directly to end user’s desk.

DIM (Dimensional Weight):

The space or volume of a shipment. Determined by multiplying the length by the width by the height and dividing the product by 194 for domestic shipments or by 166 for international shipments. See also Actual Weight or Chargeable Weight.


A method of effecting a speedy delivery of goods. To send off or away with speed, as a messenger, courier or telegram.


The delivery or giving out of an item or items to the intended recipients, as mail or newspapers.


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EDI (Electronic Data Interchange):

The interconnection of computers between enterprises for the rapid exchange of a wide variety of documents, from bills of lading to build tickets at auto plants.


A short and quick trip to accomplish a specific purpose, as to buy something, deliver a package, or convey a message.

Exempt Carrier:

Company which transports commodities exempted from Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) economic regulation.

EV (Electric Vehicle):

Vehicle powered by electric motor(s) rather than by an internal combustion engine. Most common source of electricity is chemical storage batteries.


to speed up the progress of; hasten: to expedite shipments.


a system or method of sending freight, parcels, money, etc., that is faster and safer, but more expensive, than ordinary courier delivery service

Expedited Delivery:

Express delivery service, typically handled exclusively to completion.


Our level of service


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For-Hire Carrier:

Company engaged in the service of transporting freight belonging to others (see Private Carrier).

Freight Delivery:

A larger parcel delivery requiring a van or truck. Usually provided by package delivery companies or local delivery company.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol):

a set of rules for exchanging files between computers via the Internet.


the process or activity of handling and executing customer orders, as packing, shipping, or processing checks.


What we have every day! We love our jobs!


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GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight):

Total weight of a vehicle and everything aboard, including its load.

GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating):

Total weight a vehicle is rated to carry by the manufacturer, including its own weight and the weight of its load.


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Hazmat (Hazardous Materials):

as classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Transport of hazardous materials is strictly regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation.


: You need it, we offer it!


Moving, going, or operating without a stop; fast: a hot shot express delivery


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IAC (Indirect Air Carrier):

means any person or entity within the United States not in possession of a Federal Aviation Administration air carrier operating certificate, that undertakes to engage indirectly in air transportation of property and uses for all or any part of such transportation the services of a passenger air carrier. Each Indirect Air Carrier must adopt and carry out a security program that meets TSA requirements.

IACMS (Indirect Air Carrier Management System):

a management system used by the TSA to approve and validate new and existing Indirect Air Carriers. This management system and application is intended for freight forwarders wishing to receive TSA approval to tender cargo utilizing an Indirect Air Carrier certification. The IACMS is not intended for individuals wanting to ship cargo. New applicants and those needing to renew their security can go to the Indirect Air Carrier Management System for further information.


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JIT (Just-In-Time):

Manufacturing system which depends on frequent, small deliveries of parts and supplies to keep on-site inventory to a minimum.


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Known Shipper:

a person or entity that is authorized to ship cargo on Passenger Air Carriers. A systematic approach is used to assess risk and determine the legitimacy of shippers. Passenger Air Carriers and Indirect Air Carriers must comply with a broad range of specific security requirements to qualify their clients as Known Shippers.


A metal originally found only on the planet Krypton. Considered hazardous material to Superman under our yellow sun.


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A lifting platform installed at the rear of trucks and vans to facilitate the loading and unloading of cargo.


The quantity borne or sustained by something; burden: The truck carried a load of pineapples.


(Adj) Pertaining to, characteristic of, or restricted to a particular place or places.


(Noun) A local person or resident.

Local Delivery:

Any parcel, packages, or cargo, delivered by a local delivery company, for final destination in a limited geographic area.


The management of materials flow through an organization, from raw materials through to finished goods.

Loose Shipment:

A shipment that is tendered as individual boxes or pieces. Also referred to as a Bulk Shipment.


Open flat-bed trailer with a deck height very low to the ground, used to haul construction equipment or bulky or heavy loads.

LTL (Less-Than-Truckload)

: A quantity of freight less than that required for the application of a truckload (TL) rate; usually less than 10,000 pounds. (See TL)

LTL Carrier:

Trucking company which consolidates less-than-truckload cargo for multiple destinations on one vehicle. (see TL Carrier)


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mes·sen·ger [mes-uhn-jer] A person who carries a message or goes on an errand for another, esp. as a matter of duty or commerce.

Mixed Charges:

When the shipping and other charges are split between the shipper and the receiver (consignee).


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Next Flight Out (Unrelated to UFO)

Next Day:

Overnight service picking up a package at point A today, and delivering package to point B tomorrow morning before noon.


Sorry, we do not know the definition of this word! See “Yes”


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OS&D (Over, short & damaged):

A report designed to provide all exception from a consolidated shipment once received by delivering carrier. This report is critical in the transfer of cargo liability.

Oversized Package:

A package that is between 84″ and 130″ in length and girth but weighs less than 30 lbs. will be rated at the 30 lbs. small package rate. (This is a standard provision established by UPS).


People who own and operate his/her own truck(s).


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Pickup and delivery.


A bundle of something, usually of small or medium size, that is packed and wrapped or boxed; parcel.


An act or instance of packing or forming packages: At the end of the production line is a machine for packaging.


An object, article, container, or quantity of something wrapped or packed up; small package; bundle


Weight of the cargo being hauled.

Pick & Pack

: The fulfillment of orders of more than one sku into a shipping container from the warehouse floor.


Proof of delivery. Signature


When the shipper is responsible for payment of charges.


Something given special attention. highest or higher in importance, rank, privilege, etc.


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The act of picking up a parcel or shipment at the destination

Recovery Time:

The amount of time it takes to process a shipment and have it available for pick up after a flight arrives at the final destination.


Refrigerated trailer with insulated walls and a self-powered refrigeration unit. Most commonly used for transporting food.

Relay (Relay Driving):

Common practice in the less-than-truckload industry, in which one driver takes a truck for 8 to 10 hours, then turns the truck over to another driver, pony express style.

RFG (Reformulated Gasoline):

Gasoline blended with pollution reducing additives.


Press of work, operational activities, traffic, etc., requiring extraordinary effort or haste.

Residential Delivery:

Courier & delivery services to a place of residence, usually a house or apartment.


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Your package is Priority1. Urgent Door-to-Door Courier Delivery Service anywhere in Hawaii, the same day!

Scale Weight:

The actual weight of a shipment.


A quantity of freight or cargo shipped at one time. Something that is shipped.

Shipping Weight:

“Dry” weight of a truck including all standard equipment, but excluding fuel and coolant.

Small Package Delivery:

A service specializing in small parcels and speedy delivery to business or residential customers, usually same day or next day.


capacity or space for storing.

Supply Chain:

The network of retailers, distributors, transporters, storage facilities and suppliers that participate in the sale, delivery and production of a particular product.


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The act of dropping off a shipment at the origin.


When the person/company paying shipping and related charges is neither the shipper nor the consignee.

Third-Party Logistics:

(3PL) The art of providing warehousing, transportation, freight management, contract packaging, and staffing solutions.

TL (Truckload):

The quantity of freight required to fill a trailer; usually more than 10,000 pounds. (see LTL)

Tractor Trailer:

Tractor and semi-trailer combination.

Trip Leasing:

Leasing a company’s vehicle to another transportation provider for a single trip.

TSA (Transportation Security Administration):

a component of the Department of Homeland Security and is responsible for the security of the nation’s transportation systems. With state, local and regional partners, the TSA oversees security for highways, railroads, buses, mass transit systems, ports, and 450 U.S. airports. The TSA is charged with developing policies to ensure the security of U.S. air traffic and other forms of transportation.


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Unknown Shipper:

A person or entity that does not meet the security status of a “Known Shipper”. Unknown Shippers cannot ship cargo on Passenger Air Carriers.


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VMRS (Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards):

Set of codes developed to facilitate computerized tracking of parts and labor used in equipment repair. Established and maintained by the American Trucking Associations.


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A building, or a part of one, for the storage of goods, merchandise, etc.


To place, deposit, or store in a warehouse.

Warehousing In Fee:

the charge associated with receiving freight into a warehouse. This fee covers the costs of labor, forklift handling and storage of the freight. Typically, the In Fee is charged on a per pallet basis.

Warehousing Out Fee:

the charge associated with moving freight out of a warehouse. This fee covers the costs of labor, forklift handling and retrieving the freight from inventory. Typically, the Out Fee is charged on a per pallet basis.

White Glove Delivery:

In-home delivery and light assembly of related items as well as removal of all packaging materials.


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Affirmative, Positive, as in “Yes, We Can!”


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Liveliness or energy; animating spirit. Invigorating or keen excitement or enjoyment:


To convey with speed and energy: I’ll zip you downtown on my motorcycle.

More questions? Please contact us.