Glossary

A

All-Risk-Insurance 

"All risks" is a type of insurance coverage which automatically covers any risk that could occur except those that are especially excluded. 

AQL (Acceptable Quality Limit) 

 The acceptable quality limit is the minimum tolerable process average that is considered acceptable.  

ATF (Airline Terminal Fees) 

 Any air shipment goes along with an airline terminal fee. It's charged by the airline and payed by the customer for any shipment via air as a fee for transporting and managing the freight. 

AWB (Air Waybill) 

 An air waybill is a document assigned to an air cargo shipment. It serves as a contract of carriage between airline and the consignor of the cargo. The dispatcher is in charge of the correctness and completeness. 

B

BAF (Bunker Adjustment Factor) 

 The bunker adjustment factor refers to floating bunker oil prices. By an additional charge, the carrier tries to offset fluctuation. 

Blank Sailing 

 "Blank sailing" is a logistic term used for the drop out of a sailing. It might occur that only one port is being skipped or the entire trip is canceled.  

Blind Shipment 

 Blind shipment is when the receiver doesn't know who the shipper is. 

Bobtail Fee 

Bobtail fees apply to drayage shipments. When a truck offloads a full container load at a warehouse but leaves empty, the shipper will incur a fee which is normally around half of the cost of the trucking charge. It can be avoided with a drop and pick. 

BOL (Bill of Lading) 

 The bill of lading is one of the most important shipping documents. The BOL is like the identification card of the transported cargo containing all the important information. The one who holds the bill of lading is generally considered responsible for the cargo.  

Bonded Goods 

 Goods that are being stored in a bonded warehouse as long as the import tax isn't paid. 

Break Bulk 

 Break bulk refers to cargo that has to be transported separately because of its irregular form. 

Bulk Cargo 

 Bulk cargo is any good which can be shipped en masse due to its uniform physical properties. 

C

CAF (Currency Adjustment Factor) 

The Currency Adjustment Factor is a percentaged surcharge, which is applied to sea freight according to tariff, to compensate financial deficits due to change in currency exchange rates.

CAIN (Customs Assigned Importer Number) 

 The CAIN is a registration number used in the U.S. for foreign importers. 

Cargo Insurance 

Cargo Insurance provides coverage against all risks of physical loss or damage to the customers freight during the transportation from any external cause, whether by land, sea or air.

Cargo List 

 A document that provides information about the goods on board a ship. In order for goods to be unloaded, the list must be given to customs before arrival. 

Carnet ATA 

 The Carnet ATA ist a contract between 77 states, among them every one of the EU, to simplify and accelerate the preliminary import of goods. 

Carrier 

 A business that provides transportation services to customers. 

Carrier's Lien 

 Carrier's lien is the right to hold the receiver's freight until the payment for transporting is made. 

Cartage 

 It is a fee for transporting goods over short distances, for example within an industrial area or a small town. 

Certificate of Origin 

A document declaring in which country the good or commodity was manufactured. It also contains information regarding the product and its destination.

CFS (Container Freight Station) 

 A CFS is a facility where LCL cargo is both consolidated and separated. The warehouse charges a fee. 

CFS (Container Freight Station) Charge 

 The CFS charge is a general fee which accrues with arrival of the container at the freight station. The charge depends on the size of the container. 

Chassis 

 A chassis is a type of truck equipment upon which ocean containers get transported over the road. 

Chassis Fee 

 The chassis fee is for truck trailers carrying the ocean containers. The charge depends on the carrier and whether it is FCL or LCL. 

Chassis Split Fee 

 If the chassis is at a different location as the container, a trucking company needs to rent it from somewhere else and transport it from a different location. Therefore, the trucking company charges a Chassis Split Fee due to the extra service. 

CFR (Cost And Freight) 

CFR is an incoterm. It means that the supplier is obligated to deliver the goods on board the vessel heading to the port of destination. The seller bears all costs and risks until delivery. He also has to conclude the contract of carriage. 

CIF (Cost, Insurance And Freight) 

 CIF is an incoterm. It means that the supplier is obligated to deliver the goods on board the vessel heading to the port of destination. The seller bears all costs and risks until delivery. He also has to conclude the contract of carriage. Additionally, the supplier is committed to negotiate a cover of insurance. 

CIP (Carrier And Insurance Paid To) 

 CIP is an incoterm. It means that the supplier is obligated to deliver the goods to an arranged location paying the transport to this point. He also has to conclude the contract of carriage and the insurance contract. (The seller is only committed to negotiate a statutory minimum cover of insurance) 

Closing Date 

 Closing date is the deadline on which cargo has to be delivered to a port or warehouse to avoid additional fees. It also impacts whether or not a shipment is allowed on a ship. 

Co-Loader 

A Co-Loader consolidates goods into a LCL container.

Commercial Invoice 

 A commercial invoice is the basic document between the buyer and seller providing details surrounding the purchase. The invoice is typically provided by the seller. 

Consignee 

 A consignee is the party in a trade which buys and receives the goods or commodities. 

Consolidation 

 To consolidate means to combine two or more LCL shipments into the transportation vessel. 

Container 

 A container is a standardized "box" for transporting cargo. Common container sizes include 20', 40', to 40' High Cube and 45' High Cube. Additionally, there are further specialized containers such as refrigerated (Reefer) for temperature-controlled goods, or tank containers for liquids. 

Contract of Carriage 

 The contract of carriage is a documented negotiation between the carrier and the shipper for the transportation of goods. 

CPT (Carriage Paid To) 

 CPT is an incoterm. It means that the supplier is obligated to deliver the goods to an arranged location paying the transport to this point. He also has to conclude the contract of carriage. 

CRD (Cargo Ready Date) 

The cargo ready date is the day the cargo is available at an arranged place. It might happen that the shipping is delayed due to traffic, weather or other factors.

Cross-Docking 

 Cross-docking occurs when incoming goods are directly loaded onto/ into outbound trucks or other transporting vehicles without need for intermediate storage. 

Customs Clearance 

 The documented permission for import and/ or export of goods. 

D

DAD (Delivery Authorization Document) 

 The delivery authorization document provides approval for the pick up of a transportation by a related party. 

DAP (Delivered At Place) 

DAP is an incoterm. It means that the supplier is obligated to deliver and prepare the goods to be unloaded at an arranged place of delivery. The seller bears all costs and risks until delivery. 

DPU (Delivered At Place Unloaded) 

DPU is an incoterm. It means that the supplier is obligated to deliver and unload the goods to an arranged place. It doesn't matter whether the terminal is covered or not. The seller bears all costs and risks until delivery. 

DDC (Destination Delivery Charge) 

Destination delivery charges are additional costs when shipping FCLs to the United States. 

DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) 

 DDP is an incoterm. It means that the supplier is obligated to deliver and prepare the goods to be unloaded at the disposal of the consignee. The supplier has to manage customs clearance for import. He also bears all costs and risks until delivery. 

Dead-head 

 A dead-head refers to any movement of a transport vehicle in which no cargo is being handled. An example would be a truck driving from point A to B with a container and returning from B to A with no cargo. The return journey is a dead head. 

Declared Value Coverage 

 The declared value coverage is a special type of covering your damaged or lost cargo. The practice of declaring value for your goods just increases the carrier's financial liability. Declared value coverage is no cargo insurance. There are both benefits and disadvantages compared to cargo insurance. 

Deconsolidation 

 Deconsolidation is simply the opposite of consolidation. In most instances it means to split (unpack) an LCL shipment.  

Delivery Labor Fee 

 Delivery labor fee is when the trucker charges an extra fee for helping to offload goods at a certain destination. 

Delivery Order 

 The delivery order is the written order to dispatch the goods, directed to the party which has responsibility for the cargo. 

Demurrage 

Demurrage is a fee taken by the terminal if the container stays longer at the port than the last free day. The charge varies between different ports and terminals.

Detention 

 Detention fees are charged for every additional day a container didn't return to the port or container depot. 

Devanning 

 Depositing a container. 

Double Blind Shipment 

 Double blind shipment is when neither shipper nor consignee know the other party in the transaction. 

Drawback 

 Drawback refers to reimbursed duties on imported goods. If duties were paid for goods which were subsequently processed and re-exported, the payee would receive the funds back. 

Drayage 

 Drayage denominates the transportation of a fully loaded container coming from a port and heading to a nearby warehouse. 

Drop and Pick 

 Drop and pick is when the trucker drops off his container at a certain destination and in return picks up a different and empty container. This version is less expensive than a simple drop. 

Drop Fee 

 For having to return to pick up the empty container the trucker will charge a fee. 

Drop Off 

 A drop is when a trucker leaves the container at a certain destination and then leaves without waiting for the cargo to be offloaded. However, the trucker may return to pick up the empty container. 

Dunnage 

 Dunnage, commonly waste material, is used to fill and secure goods during their transportation. 

Duty 

 Duty is a fee incurred either in the importation or exportation of goods from a given country. 

DWT (Deadweight Tonnage) 

 Deadweight tonnage is a measure of how much weight a vessel can bear. 

D2D (Door-to-Door) 

Door-to-door describes what the person booking is in charge of booking.

E

EBS (Emergency Bunker Surcharge) 

 The emergency bunker surcharge is an extra fee applied by the maritime carrier to counter fuel price fluctuations. 

ELD (Electronic Logging Device) 

 A device to monitor and control the working hours of a commercial operating vehicle. The ELD has replaced the EOBR and paper logs in many countries. 

EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) 

The EORI-number is the successor of the customs number and serves as a trader identification to facilitate the automated customs handling. 

Export License 

This licence grants the right to export a defined amount of goods to a specific country. Mostly needed for the export to developing countries and other particular countries. 

Express Bill of Lading 

The express bill of lading is when no original bill of lading is made out, but the carrier is engaged to carry the commodities regardless. It isn't a document serving as the title of the cargo. Mainly used to save time. 

EXW (Ex Works) 

 EXW is an incoterm (See definition). It means that the buyer is responsible for the complete delivery except placing goods at the disposal. 

F

FAS (Free Alongside Ship) 

 FAS is an incoterm. It means that the shipper is obligated to deliver the goods alongside an arranged vessel. The seller bears all costs and risks until delivery. 

FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) 

FBA means that Amazon is storing, packing and transporting your goods.

FCA (Free Carrier) 

FCA is an incoterm. It means that the seller delivers the goods to an arranged location where the carrier takes over. The seller also has to prepare the goods for export.

FCL (Full Container Load) 

 When all of the contents of a container belong to one shipper, as opposed to less-than-container-load, where goods from multiple shippers may be packed. 

FEU (Forty-Foot Equivalent Unit) 

 The forty-foot equvalent unit is a scale unit measured in 40-foot-long containers. One FEU is equivalent to one 40-foot container.  

First Sale Valuation 

First sale valuation is a legal method of reducing the customs duties on imported goods in the U.S. 

FOB (Free on Board) 

 FOB is an incoterm. With FOB the seller is liable for all costs and risks until the shipment is on board of the vessel named by the consignee. Once on board, the consignee is responsible. 

Forklift 

 The forklift is a vehicle used to move heavy merchandise with its pronged parts. 

Freight Forwarder 

 A freight forwarder is a service corporation that coordinates the transportion of goods and commodities on behalf of customers. 

FSC (Fuel Surcharge) 

 The fuel surcharge constitutes the extra fuel charge the shipper pays to offset fuel pricing inconsistency. 

FTL (Full Truckload) 

 A full truckload is similar to FCL shipments. The goods take up a full trucking container (commonly 53' foot long). Therefore, the trucker typically delivers directly from seller to buyer devoid of intermediate stops. 

G

Gating In 

 Gating in means to check a container into a port.  

General Average 

 The partitioning of financial burden in the aftermath of a marine disaster among all parties with financial interest in the trip. 

Genset (Generator Set) 

 In case the normal energy source isn't sufficient to power a reefer container anymore, the genset is used to power it. 

GO (General Order) 

 If cargo imported into the U.S. has poor documentation or different problems it receives the status General Order. 

Gross Weight 

 Gross weight is the amount that a vessel, truck, container etc. weighs when it is fully loaded with goods or persons. 

H

Hazmat 

 Hazmat is the abbreviation for hazardous materials. These goods typically need to be shipped with extra caution. 

HC (High Cube) Container 

 The high cube container is one foot taller than the standard container. 

HMF (Harbor Maintenance Fee) 

 The harbor maintenance fee is charged when importing goods into the U.S. and subtracts 0,125% of the cargo value. There is no limit or minimum charge amount. 

House Bill of Lading 

 The house bill of lading is a document containing all the important information concerning the shipment. It is often issued by a freight forwarder or NVOCC (see definition) to its customer as an acknowledgement for the goods being shipped. 

HS (Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System) 

 HS Codes were established by the World Customs Organization to grade and categorize customs products. 

HTS (Harmonized Tariff Schedule) Codes 

 HTS codes were established by the World Customs Organization to grade and categorize customs products. 

Hundredweight 

 Hundredweight is a old unit of weight equal to 100 pounds in the U.S. and to 112 pounds in Britain. 

I

ICS (International Chamber of Shipping) 

 The International Chamber of Shipment is a merchant shipping organization representing the interests of its members globally. In addition to carriers, ICS members include national shipowner associations. One of its main tasks is to be active at the International Maritime Organization. 

IMO (International Maritime Organization) 

 The International Maritime Organization is a special institution of the United Nations responsible for handling anything concerning international seafaring.  

Incoterms 

 Incoterms or International Commercial Terms are a variety of pre-defined conditions concerning international trade including shipment, payment, insurance, freight responsibility etc. created by the International Chamber of Commerce. The Incoterms are updated every ten years. 

Inherent Vice 

Inherent vice is when insurance companies decline to cover damaged goods due to their natural attributes. 

Inside Delivery Fee 

 The inside delivery fee may be charged by the trucker for moving into the location to pick up or offload the goods instead of the loading ramp. 

Intensive Exam 

 An intensive exam is the most diligent inspection of cargo by the customs authority. Usually the exam takes five to seven days. 

Interline Shipment 

 Interline shipment means that cargo is carried by at least two or more freight carriers during its journey.  

IOR (Importer of Record) 

 The importer of record, whether entity or individual, is in charge of execution of customs. 

ISF (Importer Security Filing) 

 In addition to the AMS-filing, the U.S. requires the importer security filing. An extra security check with reference to every company participating in international trading operations. 

ISPS-Code (International Ship and Port Facility Security Code) 

 The international ship and port facility code consists of several security measures regarding ships and harbor facilities. The ISPS-Code was created especially to counteract terrorism, piracy and other security concerns for the international supply chain. 

L

Last Free Day 

 The last free day refers to storage time in certain parts of the supply chain. Whether it is a port, a freight station or an airport terminal, at some point the free storage period expires and after the last free day the customer has to pay extra fees. The free storage time varies among locations. 

Last Mile Delivery 

Last mile delivery typically refers to the final step in a shipment, from a distribution facility to the final recipient, which tends to be short relative to the entire journey. 

LCL (Less than Container Load) 

 If goods do not fill an entire container, rather than shipping partially empty, several smaller shipments from other parties can be consolidated into a single container. This saves time and cost, however it requires additional planning and packing at a loading facility or port. 

Liftgate 

 Liftgates are an optional feature on the back of a truck to make loading and unloading easier, particularly where there isn't an adequate loading dock or equipment. 

Liftgate Fee 

 A charge incurred for booking a truck with a liftgate to accommodate facilities where loading docks are not available. 

Live Unload 

 Live Unloading means that the trucker waits after his delivery for the container to be unloaded so he can take the empty container for the return/next leg afterwards. This is in contrast to drop, where the trucker does not wait. 

LOI (Letter of Indemnity) 

 The letter of indemnity is a contract which calls the shipper to account in case of potential loss or harm of the freight due to an infringement of the contract. 

LoLo (Lift on/ Lift off) 

 A LoLo-Ship is a conventional cargo ship where quay cranes are needed to load or unload the container or goods in general. 

Loose Cargo 

 Loose cargo is the denomination of goods which aren't containerized or consolidated. This are typically palletized, or put on pallets. 

Loss and Damage 

 If the freight suffered loss or damage during shipment, the shipper or consignee has the option of freight claim against a carrier to compensate financial liability. 

M

Mode of Transportation 

 For any shipment there are several ways to transport the relevant goods. The mode of transportation is a term to differentiate the fundamental forms of carriage. The most common modes are transport by air, land (road or rail) and water. Less common modes could be by pipeline, human or animal. 

MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) 

 A document needed for any shipment containing potential dangerous freight like hazardous materials. The component supplier is in charge of providing the document.  

N

Net Weight 

Net weight is simply the weight of a goods per se without its packaging, container, etc.

Notify Party 

The notify party can be any party that gets a notification before the cargo arrives at its destination. It is usually the buyer or the importer named in the documents.

NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier) 

 The term NVOCC characterizes a common carrier, that transports goods over water under its own B/L but without own shipping capacities. In other words, it operates but does not own ships. 

O

OBL (Original Bill of Lading) 

 The original bill of lading is a physical document serving as the title of the freight as well as the carrier's receipt. 

Ocean Freight 

 Ocean freight is the practice of shipping commodities, commonly in containers, over the ocean. 

OOG (Out of Gauge) 

 Out of gauge shipments have bigger physical dimensions than the standard size. Therefore, they don't fit in a standard container. In order to carry an OOG shipment, the carrier typically has to occupy multiple container slots, for which it charges an additional fee. 

Origin Charge 

 The origin charge consists of different aspects like customs clearance or costs covering for issuing certain documents. Who is responsible for the origin charges depends on the incoterm. 

Outsider Line 

 A shipping company which isn't part of an alliance. 

P

Pallet 

 Pallets are a base for cartons to be put on improving the tie-down. It is usually used for air and LCL shipments. 

Pallet Exchange Fee 

 If the goods have been put onto pallets, the trucker has to bring pallets to exchange. If not, the pallet exchange fee emerges. The amount per pallet varies. 

Per diem charge 

After the last free day the container is away from depot, the ocean carrier charges a daily fee. More likely to be known as detention.

PL (Packing List) 

 The packing list gives a detailed insight in the shipped goods.It contains information about quantity, weight and size of the products. It is especially important for customs handling. 

POD (Port of Delivery) 

 The port of delivery is the location where the ocean carrier gets discharged after the main carriage. 

POD (Proof of Delivery) 

 The proof of delivery is a document confirming the arrival of a product or goods. The receiver has to sign the receipt in order for the POD to be generated. 

POL (Port of Loading) 

 The port of loading is the location where the ocean carrier gets loaded up after the pre-carriage. 

Pre-Carriage 

Shipment from the supplier to the main carrier is called Pre-Carriage.

Pre-Pull 

 To avoid demurrage fees, some carriers offer storage in their yard prior to delivering the cargo to its destination. 

PSF (Port Security Fee) 

The port security fee is an additional charge for security documentation.

PSS (Peak Season Surcharge) 

It times of high demand, the carriers sometimes add a peak season surcharge (only for imports from Asia: excluding Japan). The peak season lasts normally from August to the end of the year.

Q

QC (Quality Control) 

 Quality control is a practice by entities evaluating the quality of ventures and their production processes. 

Quay Crane 

A quay crane (also container crane) is a giant dockside crane to load or to discharge 20' or 40' container with its twistlock mechanism on/ off a container vessel.

R

Reconsignment 

 Reconsignment means that the shipper informs the carrier about a new receiver after the goods have already arrived at destination but before delivery or unpacking. The carrier charges an extra fee for this service but also provides the seller with flexibility.  

Reefer 

 Reefer is the logistic term for a refrigerated container, used for cargo that needs to be climate controlled during transit. 

Residential Delivery Fee 

 Due to the extra work the trucker has to manage by delivering to a residential area he may charge an additional residiential delivery fee. 

Revenue Ton 

The revenue ton is a billing unit in logistics. One revenue ton is similar to capacity in cubic meters or heaviness in metric tons. 

Rolled Cargo 

Freight that couldn't be loaded because of a lack of capacity. Vessels sometimes overbook their spots (to protect against cancellations), which can result in undercapacity on a given vessel. 

Ro-Ro (Roll on/ Roll off) 

Possibility for wheeled freight to both enter and leave the cargo ship across a ramp so they don't have to use a crane. 

S

SAD (Single Administrative Document) 

The single administrative document is the common form for customs handling in the global trade. The standardisation reduces the administrative strain for customs clearing. 

SCAC (Standard Carrier Alpha Code) 

 The Standard Alpha Carrier Code consists of two to four letters, utilized for identification of the different carrier. 

Shut Out 

If the potential consignee cancels his order while the carrier is already on his way, you call it a shut out . If this happens, the goods have to be brought back to the supplier.  

Slot 

A slot in the logistics parlance is used for container storing position. 

SO (Shipping Order) 

 Shipping order is the booking confirmation by a carrier. 

Special Delivery Fee 

 If a trucker has to manage the shipment besides his general working conditions (like after hour delivery) he will charge an extra fee. 

Split Shipment 

If your cargo is separated on two or more air shipments it is a split shipment. Accordingly, the shipment arrives in multiple deliveries. 

Stevedore 

 Stevedore is another word for a dockside terminal worker typically involved in the loading and unloading of ships. 

Stop Off Fee 

In case the trucker has to deliver the cargo of one supplier to two or more destinations, he will charge a stop off fee. It might happen that the stop off fee gets summed up within the pickup and delivery charge.