Do you want to understand the freight shipping process better? With a deep understanding of logistics terminology, you can get to know the freight industry better. We’ve put together this glossary of common logistics terminology to use as a quick and easy resource.
Whether you’re new to the business, you’re a customer who works frequently with freight transportation companies, or you’re just interested in learning more, we hope you find this logistics terminology helpful!
Freight Transportation and Logistics Terminology
Adjustments—Costs that occur after the delivery of a shipment.
Agent—Someone who supervises customs procedures, documentation, insurance, etc. and/or makes decisions on behalf of another company or person.
Back Haul—A return trip.
Beneficial Owner—Someone who has specific property rights to freight despite not being the legal owner according to the title; often used in ocean freight and rail freight.
Bill of Lading or BOL—The contract that binds carriers, brokers, and/or agents to the shipper; defines the shipping arrangement.
Blocking and Bracing—Supports used to secure shipments.
Blind Shipment—A shipment in which the receiver and shipper do not know one another.
Brokerage License—A license that is legally required for a broker to make shipping arrangements.
Bulk—When freight is not boxed, packaged, or contained.
Classification— Freight class is assigned to LTL shipments to determine transportation charges.
Consignee—The person who is financially responsible for the receipt of a freight shipment; usually the receiver.
Consignor—The person who sends goods to the consignee; usually the seller.
Customs Broker—A person or company licensed to act on behalf of importers and exporters.
Embargo—Any event that prevents freight from being handled or accepted.
Inbound Freight—Shipments coming in from vendors.
Interline—When freight is transferred from one carrier to another before reaching its destination.
Intermodal—When two or more modes of transportation are used for the same shipment (truck, rail, air, ocean, etc.)
Less Than Truckload or LTL—A shipment that does not fill a standard size trailer.
NMFC—The National Motor Freight Classification, the catalog that defines freight classes.
Not Otherwise Indicated or NOI—A general class rate assigned to freight that has no rate listed in the NMFC.
Through Rate—The total rate from the point of origin to the final destination.
Time-Definite Delivery—A delivery that is guaranteed to arrive at a specific time or on a specific day.
Truckload—A shipment that fills up a standard size trailer by volume or weight, typically contracted to a single customer.
Volume Rate—Used to determine LTL shipments that are either 7,000 pounds or more, or 750 cubic feet in volume or more.
Warehousing—Storing goods or cargo in a facility prior to shipping them out.
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