Logistics Glossary

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1PL
1PL stands for First Party Logistics. In 1 PL manufacturer handle the transporting of goods to the consignee without outsourcing them. The manufacturer has dedicated departments to handle such functions.
3PL
Third-party Logistics Provider
4PL
In Fourth Party Logistics or 4PL, the company outsources its logistics activities and the management of the logistics activities to the outside party. In 4PL the involvement of the third-party company is really high as they closely monitor the supply chain for better performances.
A
AMS
AMS stands for Automated Manifest System. This is a rule implemented in the USA to minimize terrorist attacks. Refer AMS filling to learn more
ATA
ATA is the abbreviation for Actual Time of Arrival.  This is the time a vessel actually reached the port. Port charges like dockage calculated by considering the ATA and the vessel’s departure time.
ATD
ATD is the abbreviation uses for Actual Time of Departure. This is the time a vessel departure from a port or a terminal.
Airfreight
Cargo Carry by air
Related article you may be interested in What is Freight?
B
BAFF
Bunker Adjustment Charges
BL
Bill of Lading
BL Cut off
Deadline for submission of BL instructions
Break Bulk Shipping
Break bulk shipping is the oldest cargo transporting method in shipping. There are vessels dedicated to carrying break bulk cargo. Few types of cargo in bulk form carrying in one ship refers to the break bulk shipping.
Bunkering
Pumping fuel to vessels. Bunker fuel refers to the fuel oil used to keep the ship’s engine moving. Click here to know about the future bunker fuel
C
CAFF
Currency Adjustment Charges
CBM
CBM is the abbreviation for cubic meter. The volume of a shipment is measured in CBM in international shipping.
CEU
Car Equivalent Units
CHA
Customs House Agent
CMR
CMR is a Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road. This was signed in 1956 in Geneva. Most of the EU countries have ratified this convention and the international Road Transport Union (IRU) has developed a CMR waybill for road transportation.
COO
COO stands for the Certificate Of Origin. This is an issue to show the origin of the product/materials. COO is one of the supporting documents for cargo in international trade
CPT
CPT stands for carriage paid to. Please refer to INCOTERMS to learn more
CSC Charges
CSC stands for Container Service Charge. This is a charge billed to the top of the sea freight charge. Also, know as THC or Terminal Handling Charge. Not every shipping line bill this charge.
Cargo
Goods
Cargo Cut off
Latest time to deliver cargo to the terminal/stuffing party
Cargo List
Cargo list is a report with the list of cargo carry onboard a vessel. All the onboard cargo details which will discharge in a particular port are listed here and it should be submitted to the customs of the discharging port prior to arrival/upon arrival based on the country’s customs regulations.
Carrier
Shipping Line /Airline
Coloader
Intermediary party in between shipping line and the freight forwarder
Consignee
Person /Business sell the cargo
Consignor
Cargo supplier
D
DAF
Delivered At Frontier or DAF incoterm has expired from the 1st January 2011.  DAF has been replaced by DAP and DAT. The “Frontier” should be properly agreed before shipping as the frontier could be any place. Once cargo is delivered to the agreed frontier, sellers’ obligations become full filled.
DDU
DDU stands for Delivered Duty Unpaid. This comes under INCOTERMS and shippers deliver goods to consignees doorstep, yet paying import taxes and duties in importing country is a responsibility of the consignee.
DG Cargo
Dangerous Goods
DWT
Deadweight Tonnage (Cargo capacity of a vessel)
Damage Protection Plan
The damage protection plan is insurance for containers by container leasing companies. The leasing company charges the client for the insurance against the container.
De Mounting
Accurate word for “Putting a container out of the trailer”
De Stuffing
Unpacking cargo from a container
Dead Freight
The payment for the received space in a ship, which did not fill with cargo
Detention
The payment charged for not returning the container within the given free time period
Disembarking
Passengers getting down from a cruise vessel
Dwell time
The time, cargo, or ship spend at a port
E
ETA
ETA stands for Expected Time of Arrival. This is the estimated time a vessel expects to arrive a port. Port or the terminal does the berth allocation based on the ETA of a vessel.
ETD
ETD stands for Expected Time of Departure. This is the time a vessel expects to sail from a port after receiving the services at the port. ETD may differ from the Actual time of Departure (ATD). The difference between ATD and ETD could be the delays at port or port arrival delay.
EUR.1 Document
EUR.1 or EUR.1 certificate or EUR.1 document is a certificate certifying the origin of the product/products. The EUR1 certificate is a form that is used in international commodity traffic. EUR.1 supports importers to enjoy low taxes and duties at the time of importing due to the EU trade agreements.
EX1 Document
EX1 is a document issued for the goods produced and sold from the EU. Having an ex1 document helps to trade goods without paying VAT.
Embarking
Passengers getting on to a cruise vessel
Ex ship
Ex ship or delivered ex ship was an INCOTERM used in international trade until January 2011. In e ship, the seller is responsible and liable until the cargo arrives at the destination port. Once the cargo-carrying ship arrives at the destination port, it is considered as cargo delivered and risk transfers to the consignee.
F
FCL
Full Container Load
FENEX
FENEX is the Netherlands Association for Forwarding and Logistics. FENEX is the sole body representing the operators in the logistics and forwarding industry of Dutch.
FIOT
FIOT stands for Free In Out and Trimmed.  In the event of a FIOT, charges only include the actual transport cost from one port to another. Or simply the freight rate without loading, unloading, and trimming of goods. So the loading, unloading, and trim should be paid separately by the shipper or consignee separately.
FSC
Fuel Surcharge
Flexibag
Flexibag is a fine alternative to ISO containers. These bags can load up to 25 tonnes and stuff in general-sized containers. Though the uses of flexibags are high, they are costly and not much environmentally friendly.
16,000 to 26,000 liters ranged flexibags are available for use.
Freight Collect
Freight collect refers to when the Freight rate for transporting goods from one port to another is paid at the destination. Normally freight collects terms to use when the consignee arranges the carrier in international trade. FOB, EXW, FAS are few INCOTERMS with freight collect terms.
Freight forwarder
Freight forwarder is a 3PL company who arrange the transport /do clearance on behalf of the company
Fumigated Pallets
The pallets which are treated with chemicals or heat for disinfection and pests control are called fumigated pallets. The IPPC stamp on the side of the pallet shows how the pallet is fumigated.
G
Groupage
Groupage is the action of transporting a set of small shipments together. So the groupage is the same as LCL shipment.  Groupage also refers to consolidation.
H
HS Code
Harmonized Commodity System/ Harmonized System
High Security Seal
The high-security seal is a seal used to secure the container as soon it is stuffed with cargo. Container securing initiative has taken due to the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program (C TPAP ) and as per the International Ship & Port Facility Security Code (ISPS code). These seals are used to prevent theft while transporting and the seal should meet the requirements of ISO / PAS 17712 certification.
I
IBC
IBC or I.B.C stands for Intermediate Bulk Container. Two categories of IBC’s are flexible IBC and rigid IBC. These containers are also known as pallet tanks, IBC tanks, or IBC totes. IBCs are designed to handle liquids, solids, and semi-solids.  IBC comes with a wood or metal base and forkliftable.
INCOTERMS
International Commercial Terms (Terms/Methods use for transporting goods)
ISF
ISF stands for Importer Security Filing.  ISF is also known as the 10+2 rule. When importing goods to the USA, the importer must declare the details on the goods to the USA border control body. The shipping line should have done the AMS filling for the importer to submit the ISF. The latest 24 Hours of cargo loading from the origin county consignee should submit the ISF and failing to do such leads to huge penalties.
In Gauge cargo
Cargo which can be stacked on open-top containers or flat rack containers is in gauge cargo. Since this cargo fits the containers no additional cargo slots of the vessel are required to carry this special cargo.
K
KN- Knot
Nautical Miles Per Hour (Speed measuring unit at sea)
L
LC
Letter of Credit
LCL
Less than Container Load
Laden Container
Container filled with cargo
Letter of Conformance
Letter of conformance is also known as certificate of conformance or certificate of compliance. This is a document issued by an authorized authority confirming a specific product meets its technical specification.
Letters of Indemnity
Letter of Indemnity is a document given by the shipper to the shipowner (master of the ship).  This is commonly known as LOI. LOI contains the indemnification of the shipper and the shipowner demands an LOI to protect their interests. Letter of Indemnity could contain both qualitative and non-qualitative clauses. The shipowner must be careful when accepting an LOI, as some LOI’s are not valid before the law.
Lighter
A lighter is a small boat with a flat bottom use to transport cargo. Commonly, lighters use to transfer cargo from river ports/ small depth ports to large vessels. Since the large vessels are unable to come to small ports cargo from small ports to large vessels transfer using lighters.
Loading Meter – LDM
The loading meter is the measurement used in truck transportation. One loading meter equals one meter of loading space of the truck’s length. A loading meter is useful to identify the volume of goods that can be transported at once.
M
MSDS
Material Safety Data Sheet
Manifest
Manifest is a document with the list of goods carried from one place to another in international trade. Manifest submits to the border control body of the country where the goods are imported. Shipping lines and freight forwarders who issue BL’s for the cargo should submit the manifest prior to the vessel’s arrival to the port for cargo unloading.
Mounting
Accurate word for “Putting a container on the trailer”
Multi Stop
Multi stop is the action of adding jobs to the transporter while cargo is transporting.  When truckload or cargo deliver from origin to destination, the customer may request the trucking company to do some other jobs related to the cargo while transporting like weighing cargo or doing customs formalities on behalf of the customer. These are additional tasks that cost the trucker. These tasks are called multi stop.
N
NM
nautical Miles ( distance measurement unit at sea)
NVOCC
Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier
Net register tonnage (NRT)
Net register tonnage is the cargo carrying capacity of a vessel.  NRT can be calculated by deducting the volume of non-cargo-carrying space of a ship from the gross registered tonnage of the ship. Non-cargo carrying space includes the cabins of the crew, engine room, bridge, etc.
O
OOG Cargo
Cargo which is too large to stuff in a container
One-stop shopping
One-stop shopping or one-stop-shop is also called a one-stop service center. This is a place where the service for consolidated activities can be taken instead of going to a few places.
P
PCTC
PCTC stands for Pure Car and Truck Carrier. PCTC is a vessel type designed to carry passenger vehicles and large-sized trucks. PCTC is one category under RORO carriers.
POD
Proof of Delivery
POD
POD also stands for Port of Discharged. The port where the cargo is destined to be discharged is mentioned as the POD. The logistics involvement at the POD is described as POD logistics. POD logistics include a port to warehouse transportation, clearance arrangements, and storing arrangements.
Peak Season Surcharge
Peak season surcharge levied by shipping line during peak seasons. When the demand for cargo slots on a ship is high the demand may exceed the existing capacity. This leads shipping lines to acquire additional resources to cater to the demand for transportation. The additional cost the lines bears charging on top of the freight rate is the peak season surcharge.
Project Cargo
Cargo which is very large, heavy, and special
R
RFID
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. This is a small electronic chip that can be tagged to cargo. Using GPS these RFIDs can be tracked and tranced to identify the location of goods.
RORO
Roll On Roll Off. RORO is the specialized ships to carry vehicles by sea
Reefer Logistics
Reefer logistics is the process of handling temperature-controlled cargo throughout the supply chain. Reefer cargo carries in reefer containers and the “RE” abbreviation uses to denote reefer containers. Handling reefer cargo categorizes under the cold supply chain.
Reefer Shipping
Reefer shipping is the process of shipping refrigerated containers. These containers are given electricity to control the temperature and reefer shipping charges are generally higher than the general cargo shipping rate.
S
SIGNI
SIGNI stands for the European Code for Signs and Signals on Inland Waterways. SIGNI provides recommendations for the installation and application of buoyage and marking on European inland waterways.
SSC
Security Surcharge
STC
STC stands for Said to Contain. The carrier mentions the cargo details provided by the shipper under the BL description. To safeguard their interests carrier mention S.T. C or STC at top of the description to highlight the cargo description mentioned is as given by the shipper.
Sea freight
Cargo move via sea
Shipper
Person /Business who ship the cargo
Stowage Plan
The plan according to which cargo loaded onboard. Click here to read more on the stowage plan of container ships
Stripping
Stripping is a synonym for de-stuffing.  So the stripping refers to the taking out of goods from a container.
Stuffing
packing cargo into a container
T
T1 Document
T1 document is a detailed sheet on cargo which transport from one customs deport to another customs deport without paying duties or taxes. When non-EU manufactured goods transported in the EU, T1 should be submitted to customs. This allows transporting cargo under customs supervision without doing the cargo clearance in cross-border transactions.
TEU
Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit
Tracking & Tracing
Tracking & tracing is the process of knowing real-time information about physical goods. Most of the shipping companies, airlines, couriers, and even trucking companies have this facility for their customers. Some companies help customers to track and trace the goods from the carrier while some provide the same service with the RFID fitted to the goods.
Transit Time
Transit time is the total time required by goods to reach its destination once it is loaded from the designated loading location. The safety stock of goods, inventory management techniques of a supply chain depend on the transit time.
U
UN Code
UN code is a 4 digits unique number to identify hazardous goods/ substances.
V
VAT
VAT or the value-added tax is a tax levied by a government over the products and services purchases. Most countries levy VAT on goods and services.
VATOS
VATOS stands for Valid At Time Of Shipment. This means whichever the rate is quoted to the customer, applicable variable charges like BAF, CAF at the time of the shipment will be added to the freight rate.
VGM
VGM stands for Verified Gross Mass. This container weighing regulation came into effect on 1st July 2016 with the amendments to SOLAS (Safety of Life At Sea).  This initiative has been taken to improve maritime safety and vessel will be loaded by considering the weight of each container to maintain stability and avoid break-it-back situations.
Vessel
Ship / Aircraft