Logistics Jargon

The logistics jargon or the logistics terminologies are important to know when you deal with the industry. We are trying our best to support you with your daily logistics terminologies.


Cargo Carry by air becomes air freight


Bunker Adjustment Factor is a surcharge on the vessel’s fuel (Bunker). Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) set the BAF to protect shipping lines on bunker price fluctuation. BAF is only applicable to some logistics trade route and container rates adjust with the BAF.


Some people use as BOL. These are short forms for the Bill of Lading. It is a document issued by the carrier/ freight forwarder as a transport document when handover cargo to ship. BL has main three functions as “Document of Tittle, Evidence of Contract, Receipt for Cargo”. Different types of BL’s are available based on the issuer and the use of it.

BL Cut off

BL cut off is the deadline for submission of BL instructions. When transporting goods, carrier and the freight forwarder issue the BLs. The consignee or the consignor provides the cargo details to prepare the BL. These details call as BL instructions.


Bunkering is the industry jargon for pumping fuel to vessels. Or refuelling. Different types of bunkers are available like Marine Gas Oil, Residual oil for bunkering.


The CAF stands for the Currency Adjustment Factor. Same as BAF, CAF is developed to alter container rates with exchange rate differences. CAF increases when the USD rate decreases.


The Goods which are to be shipped/Ready to use or ready to use for production. Cargo carries on different transportation modes like the sea, air, rail or road to deliver them to the destination.  

Cargo Cut off

The Latest time to deliver cargo to the terminal or the stuffing party is the cargo cut off time. When the cargo delivers as FCL, it delivers to the port or the terminal. When cargo is LCL it delivers to the stuffing party.


The carrier in logistics is any transportation mean which uses for the transportation of cargo. The transportation can arrange by air, water and or by combining all or few of the modes.


Car Equivalent Units. The CEU uses to measure the capacity of RORO terminals and RORO ships. One CEU equals to one vehicle

Customs House Agent

Customs House Agent, CHA, Customs broker, Wharf Clerk, Wharf assistance are different names for CHAs. The name used depends on your country. Customs brokers are the intermediary party between the Customs or the border regulators and the consignees/consignors. It is mandatory to have a CHA pass to do the cargo clearance from customs. Freight Forwarders are available with the CHA pass.


Intermediary party in between carrier and the freight forwarder. Also known as NVOCC


The Person or the Business who buy the cargo in the sales of goods contract. The ownership of goods transfers to the consignee from the consignor as per the agreement pertaining to the sales.


The cargo supplier in the sales of goods contract is the consignor. The consignor and the shipper can be the same person/company at the same time. If the consignor export goods by him/herself then consignor become the exporter.


Short form for the Customs Declaration. CusDec uses to declare importing or exporting goods to the Customs or the border control body of the country. CusDec contains details like consignee, consignor, description of goods, quantity, volume, value.

Dead Freight

The payment for the reserved space in a ship, which did not fill with cargo. Shipper has to pay dead freight to the shipping line or the trucking company. Most of the time dead freight only charge if the booking cancellation do at the last moment.


When containers discharge at ports, ports give a specific free period to clear the containers/cargo in port yard. If the cargo not cleared within the free period, port charges a per-day rate from the cargo owner. This is the demurrage charge.

De Mounting

Accurate word for “Putting a container out of the trailer”. This should not say as “Discharging container”.

De Stuffing

Unpacking cargo from a container. Or when container discharged at the destination the process of taking cargo out from the container box.


The payment charged for not returning the container within the given free time period. The shipping line charge detention from the consignee.

DG Cargo

Dangerous Goods. Also known as hazardous goods. Dangerous goods have few categories based on their danger. Cargo packing, labelling, loading, stowing should do according to the DG category of the goods. To avoid/reduce risks of cargo while transporting it is important to identify the DG category of cargo.


Passengers getting down or leave a cruise vessel, airplane or any other craft.

Dwell time

The time, cargo or ship spend at a port. Shorter the dwell time of the ship is higher the productivity or shorter the ship turn around time. For cargo shorter the dwell time, reduce the storage charges.


Deadweight Tonnage is the cargo capacity of a vessel. The capacity identifies in tons. To keep the vessel’s stability DWT differ with the size of each vessel.


Different terminologies use to identify different activities.  Passengers getting on to a cruise vessel or airplane or to any craft calls as embarking.


Full Container Load. If the cargo fills the whole container or reserve whole container to fill cargo, it become FCL.

Freight Forwarder

The freight forwarders are a 3PL company who arrange the transportation /do cargo clearance/ arrange export, import documentation on behalf of the consignee or the consignor.


The goods transport for commercial purposes. Also known as cargo.


The Fuel Surcharge is similar to the BAF. BAF is for shipping lines and FSC is for trucking companies to protect from fuel price fluctuation. FSC will bill to the customer as a percentage from the base rate.


House Bill of Lading, House BL or HBL use in air and sea transportation. Any BL issued by an intermediary party (Freight Forwarder) between the actual shipping line and the shipper is a HBL. There can be few HBLs under one Master BL

HS Code

HS code is the short form for Harmonized Commodity System. Also known as the Harmonized System. Established by the WCO to have a globally agreed coding system for the trading goods. Every commodity trading in the international market has a HS code for every engaging party to identify the commodity easily.


INCOTERMS is the abbreviation for International Commercial Terms. These are terms or methods use for transporting goods in the international market. INCOTERMS are globally recognised and accepted and ICC has published them to smooth the international trade.


Knot or KN means “One Nautical Mile Per Hour”. This is speed measuring unit at sea, air and space. While the nautical mile measure the distance, knot measures the speed. One knot equals to 1852 m/h or 1.852 km/h

Laden Container

The containers filled with cargo. If the container contains cargo, we call them laden containers. It is the opposite of the empty container.


Letter of Credit is a well-recognised method of arranging payments in international trade. Also consider as the balance method between consignee and consignor on risk and security of the payment.    


Less than Container Load. When the shipper has a small package to send which doesn’t fill a container, it becomes LCL cargo. Normally freight forwarders collect LCL cargo and fill (Stuff) containers and ship as FCL cargo. LCL rates are less than FCL rates


Less Than Truck Load. When the truck trailer has cargo from several shippers and one shipper is unable to fill the truck trailer, it becomes LTL cargo. Rates for LTL is less than truckload rates.


MBL or the Master Bill of Lading is a form of the BL. The BL issued by Shipping lines calls the MBL. Every BL issue under the MBL are subject to the conditions in MBL.


Airlines issue the Master Air Waybill when transporting cargo via air. MAWB is very similar to the MBL. Also, it’s a contract of carriage between the airline and the shipper or the cargo owner.


The logistics terminology or the accurate word for “Putting a container on the trailer”. Most people use this as “loading container” which is wrong. If the container put inside the vessel you can say “Container loading”.


Material Safety Data Sheet also is known as a safety data sheet or material safety data sheet. You need to present the MSDS of cargo especially if your goods fall under dangerous goods. MSDS includes the data including the hazard of cargo, chemical and its compound availability. MSDS format is globally recognised and standardised. MSDS helps to identify the factors like how the goods should handle, store, pack, ship.

Nautical Mile

NM or Nautical Mile. NM is the unit of measurement in sea, air and space to calculate the distance. The distance of sea routes, distance from port to port, port to sea route also measures in NM. 1NM is equivalent to 1,852 m(meters). Approximately 2,025 yards.


Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier. NVOCC act as an agent between the carrier and the shippers/ freight forwarders. Act as the carrier for shippers

OOG Cargo

Out Of Gage cargo. The cargo which is too large to stuff in a container. Or the cargo which has a dimension larger than a container. Normally, the shipping charge for OOG is higher than the container freight rate. Even the size is a larger weight of the OOG may less than the container weight.


POD is the short form of Proof of Delivery. The carrier issues the POD when the goods delivered to the customer at the destination. As the name reflects it is evidence on cargo deliver. Normally POD contains customer’s signature with the acknowledgement on receipt of cargo.

Project Cargo

Cargo which is very large, heavy and special. These types of cargo transport for the use of projects in most of the time. Once a project has completed these type of cargo transport to another location to use in another project. Also, identify as heavy-lift cargo.

RORO Ships

RORO stands for Roll On Roll Off. RORO are designed to carry wheeled cargo like cars, trucks, busses. RORO ships carry mainly normal vehicles, High & Heavy cargo and Packages. The package may contain spare parts. Pure car carriers (PCC), Pure Car and Truck Carriers (PCTC) are some examples of RORO vessels.

Sea Freight

When cargo moves via sea it calls as sea freight. Any cargo despite the size, weight and any affecting factor become sea freight as long as cargo move via sea.


The Person or the Business who ship the cargo. In general, the exporter or the manufacturer of the goods become the shipper. When we say exporter, it can be the actual owner of the goods or the person/company ship goods on behalf of the actual cargo owner.

Shipping Line

The party who own ships to transport cargo. The ships can be their very own ships or chartered ships.

Stowage Plan

The plan according to which, cargo loaded on board. The destination of the cargo, nature of the commodity, DG-non DG status are few factors consider when preparing the stowage plan. Stowage plan is very critical as it should consider the stability of the vessel after loading. Also, the last loaded cargo should take out first. Or additional charges for restow has to bear at ports when cargo discharging.


Stuffing is a logistics terminology for packing cargo in a container. Stuffing is done with the maximum utilization of the space. Using container loading software is very popular for space utilization.

Security Surcharge

The SSC or Security Surcharge only applicable to the air freight. This will be charged if the additional security measures are taken for cargo as per the airport authority’s request.


Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit. It is the measurement unit of the container, also use to measure the capacity of container ships and container terminals. One TEU is equal to the size/capacity of the 20-foot container. Forty-foot container considers as 2TEU’s.


 Third-party Logistics Provider. 3PLs are companies specialized in providing end to end logistics solutions to the businesses. The logistics solutions include activities like transportation, warehousing, cargo clearance, Outsourcing facilities.


The transportation is the method of moving cargo or passengers from one place to another.

Transportation Means

The means of transportation are the available crafts/vehicles to carry cargo or passengers in each transportation mode. Vessels, aircraft, buses, trains, trucks, and lorries are some examples of transportation means.

Transportation Modes

Transportation modes available are the air, land (Rail, Road) and water. The selected method for transporting cargo or passengers is called as the transportation modes


Vessel is any craft floating on water. Ships, tugs, boats and barges are some examples for Vessels.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Hydrogen and Biofuel will be Future Shipping’s Fuel

MSC said they will be further exploring the viability of hydrogen and fuels derived from it as a possible fuel source for...

LR Awards Digital Safe Security Certification to “Ever Forward”

LR has awarded Digital Safe Security certification to Evergreen Marine Corp. Ltd. (Evergreen), for its latest 12,000 TEU ultra large container ship...

DCSA Releases Standards for Cargo Operations

It is essential for the vessel operator to forecast the estimated number of container moves (load and discharge) in order to estimate...

Abu Dhabi Ports Acquires MICCO

With the integration of MICCO as part of Abu Dhabi Ports Logistics, the Group’s logistical arm is setting itself apart from the...

DP World to Strengthen the Business with Israel and Dubai

DP World and Dubai Customs signed a series of memorandums of understanding (MOUs) to develop trade links between Israel and the United...

Maersk plans to Open a Carbon Neutral Warehouse in Poland

Maersk plans to Open a Carbon Neutral Phama Warehouse in Poland. This will add more capacity to the existing warehousing capacity in...

More Articles

What is a Free Port

A free port concept can define as an area that is free from the duty/taxes of the country under given conditions. Freeports...

Top 10 World Largest Container Ships in 2020

The world largest container ships have more than 20,000 TEU carrying capacity in 2020. International Chamber of Shipping(ICS) counts 50,000 merchant vessels...

Risks and Losses in Foreign Trade Insurance

We will study risk and losses separately under the Risks and Losses in Foreign Trade Insurance What are the...

Importance of Letter of Credit-LC

The letter of credit considers the most secure payment method for both consignees and consignors in international trade. Importance of Letter of...

10 Largest (Busiest) Ports in the World

10 Largest (or the Busiest) Ports in the World Port of Shanghai

Vendor Managed Inventory-VMI

What is Vendor Managed Inventory? Vendor Managed Inventory simply says VMI. VMI is an inventory management system or a...