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Logistics Jargon Guide

At, we understand that the shipping realm can be inundated with complex terminology. This motivated us to compile a shipping terms glossary. Whether you’re engaging with a courier regarding rates and services or conversing with customers about various delivery choices, you’ll have a reliable reference for freight terms and shipping abbreviations. So, venture into shipping confidently!


a business that offers logistical services, including transportation and storage.


For manufacturing firms, a fourth-party logistics (4PL) provider manages all aspects of logistics, including infrastructure, technology, and resources. They can also be responsible for external third-party logistics (3PL) monitoring. For medium-sized and large enterprises, they develop, construct, and offer supply chain solutions.


A collection of procedures, guidelines, and resources for creating software applications is known as an application programme interface, or API. In essence, an API defines the interface between software components.


A licenced agent handles the cargo ship's business in port operations, handling things like insurance and documents on behalf of the owner.

Arrival Notice

An Arrival Notice is a message sent by the shipping company to inform you that your package has reached its destination.

Base Rate

The cost of shipping a package before any possible additional charges or fees (such handling or residential) are levied is known as the base rate.

Bill Of Lading

a formal document that couriers provide to shippers, detailing the kind, value, and final destination of the cargo they are transporting.

Bonded Warehouse

A private corporation running a warehouse abroad is known as a bonded warehouse.

Bulk Cargo

Commodity cargo that is transported in bulk is unpackaged freight in big numbers.

Bulk Shipping

a significant amount of cargo transported between locations.


A seller's payment to cover the cost, insurance, and freight of a buyer's order during transit is known as "cost, insurance, and freight" (CIF).


a business or individual with the legal right to convey commodities by air, sea, or land.

Carrier Liability

When a carrier is liable for delays, damages, or loss of a package

Certificate Of Origin

A significant international document identifying the nation from where a shipment was being transferred.


a formal demand filed against a carrier by a shipper or consignee for missing or damaged packages.


an organisation that bears the financial burden of receiving a shipment.


a person or organisation in charge of arranging exchanges of goods between two or more parties.

Cross Border Shipping

when products are shipped across international borders.

Custom Clearance

The procedure through which countries conduct customs clearance to permit the import or export of goods into and out of their borders in accordance with certain legal requirements


an official government agency in charge of managing goods imports into a nation

Customs Broker

a licenced company in charge of facilitating the delivery and shipment of products across international borders.

Customs Duty

a levy placed on the import and export of products during cross-border transportation.

Customs Invoice

a paper that is sent overseas with packages that contains the necessary details about the contents.


a strategy for using the internet to raise modest amounts of money from a big number of individuals for a project, product, or business.


Delivery Charge With paid shipping, the vendor assumes all costs and shipping risks associated with the product delivery. See DDP


Delivery Charge Unpaid deliveries require the buyer to cover all import duties, taxes, and customs clearance costs at the time of delivery. See DDU/DPU

Dimension Weight Charge

Couriers use a shipment pricing model where the size of the box is more expensive than its weight.


refers to the phase of shipping where a product is prepared for shipment via packing.

Distribution Center

a sizable hub for wholesalers and merchants where products are redirected to different clients or locations.


a kind of shipping container that will be delivered to the customer's designated location after being picked up from a warehouse.


transporting products by ground freight over a short distance.


a model for fulfilling online retail orders in which goods are bought straight from suppliers and sent straight to customers rather than being stocked in a store.

Duties And Taxes

Taxes that are gathered by the government from the import and export of products. See more info on Duties & Taxes

ETA (Estimated Time Of Arrival)

The estimated time or date on which a cargo is expected to reach the address a client enters.

Exempt Carrier

A business using cars to transport goods or provide services that are exempt from legal regulations.

Expedited Shipping

a kind of commodities shipping in which shipments and goods are delivered more quickly than with regular shipping.


the movement of goods across international borders.

Last Mile

The last mile of the package delivery process, typically from the distribution warehouse to the address the customer supplied.


a kind of shipping in which the provider is still in charge of the products up until they are loaded "on board" a ship. See FOB

Free Trade Zone

a region that can be used for the landing, handling, storage, manufacturing, reconfiguration, and export of commodities.


the bulk products and commodities carried by truck, train, ship or aeroplane in a container.

Freight Shipping

the actual act of moving large items and commodities by truck, train, ship, or aeroplane.

Fuel Surcharge

An additional charge that trucking companies (or other third parties) impose in order to offset the variable cost of fuel


the procedure for receiving, packing, and delivery of items.

Full Container Loaded (FCL)

Every item in the container is owned by the same party and is detailed on a single Bill of Lading.

Full Truck Loaded (FTL)

Full truck loaded, which indicates that the shipment will occupy the whole truck.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

a type of value-added tax that governments impose on the majority of goods offered for sale to the general public.

Gross Weight

the total weight of the products, their packaging, and the shipping container.

Harmonized Systems

A globally uniform system of designations and codes for categorising commercial goods


A company or individual that uses the road to convey products

Hazardous Material

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The parcel is being transported

Inbound Logistics

obtaining, holding, and distributing supplies or materials for utilisation.

Intermodal Transportation

goods transported by use of two or more different means.

Inventory Management

inventory control and effective stock replenishment to guarantee that products are always available for purchase


an accounting record that companies use to keep track of the goods that are transported from a seller to a customer.

Just In Time

a kind of inventory management where products aren't allowed to be sold until they reach the warehouse at a certain time.


The International System of Units' fundamental mass unit (SI)


the procedure of assembling disparate but related SKUs into a package to generate a new SKU.

LCL (Less than Container Load)

loads of cargo being shipped by sea that are not big enough to fit within a shipping container.

LTL (Less-than-truckload shipping)

a shipment or commodities delivery that doesn't need a full truckload.


a kind of package identification that includes a tracking barcode, addresses, names, and weight information to describe what's inside the package.

Landed Costs

The whole cost of a good or shipment that the client has received.

Landing Certificate

a document provided by customs in the country of destination attesting to the entry or clearance of a specific consignment via customs


the complete procedure for obtaining, storing, and moving shipments to their destination.


A transport document that provides a thorough overview of all air waybills or bills of lading that a carrier has provided

Minimum Charge

The least amount that can be charged to ship something.

Net Weight

the product's starting weight without the packaging


the place where a package is initially picked up and transported.

Outbound Logistics

a procedure for keeping, moving, and distributing merchandise and sending it to clients

Packing List

a record that lists every package's weight, dimensions, and contents.

Packing Slip

A packing slip is a document that goes with the goods in a package, listing and documenting the sold items.

Payment Terms

Legalese outlining the payment terms for a transaction.


a freight pickup service at the shipper's location

Pod (Proof of delivery)

an important record demonstrating the completion of a delivery.


the act of holding onto things until suitable testing can confirm their safety over an extended period of time.


a monetary cap on the quantity of a good or product that can be imported in a given period of time.


an offer to sell products with specific terms and for a specified price.

Rate Basis

the combination of particular elements that affect freight prices.

Residential Surcharge

a cost that shipping companies apply to their packages in order to deliver them to residential addresses rather than business addresses.

Return Address

The sender's address where a package should be returned in the event that it cannot be delivered

SKU (Stock Keeping Unit)

utilised by vendors to locate and monitor their stock.


Small and medium-sized companies with fewer employees than a predetermined threshold


The individual or company in charge of getting the shipment ready and co-signing the merchandise with the carrier

Shipping Documents

forms that were sent with a shipment, including information about the date, method, quantity, and specs of the products.

Shipping Order

a document that the carrier issues confirming the booking of a shipment aboard a vessel and outlining the items to be transferred

Software as service (SaaS)

Software in the cloud that is provided online and licenced on a subscription basis.

Supply Chain Management

a procedure for generating and meeting requests for products and services


an extra charge that the carrier adds to the shipping cost.


a levy imposed on top of an existing tax


duties or levies imposed on goods by the government upon entry.

Transit Time

The amount of time it takes to deliver a shipment after it is picked up at the point of departure

Unloading Charges

an expense associated with removing a shipment from a ship.

Value Added Service

Extra services that forwarders offer in addition to the standard offering, include door delivery, customs clearance, and repackaging

Variable Cost

an expense or cost that changes directly with the volume of production.


a physical site for cargo distribution, consolidation, and storage.


document provided by the carrier that contains information about the package, including the tracking number, shipping method, and addresses of the origin and destination.

Xray Charges

a cost assessed by the goods forwarder for checking any air cargo for forbidden items.


a section of a warehouse used for product switching or storage.

Zone Rate

a freight charge determined by the quantity of geographical locations a cargo must travel through on its way to its destination.

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