A Resource for Logistics Terms

Confused Man trying to understand logistics jargonsLike every industry, the logistics industry has abbreviations or jargons or terms that are peculiar to the industry and understanding such jargons could be somewhat tasking especially if you are unfamiliar with the industry. But not to worry, whether you are new to the industry, an expert in the field, or just want to better understand the logistics terminology, this list is for you.

The following list highlights a number of terms and abbreviations that are peculiar to the logistics industry.

  • Air Cargo: Freight that is moved by air transportation.
  • Air Waybill (AWB): A bill of lading for air transport that serves as a receipt for the shipper, indicates that the carrier has accepted the goods listed, obligates the carrier to carry the consignment to the airport of destination according to specified conditions.
  • All-Cargo Carrier: An air carrier that transports cargo only.
  • Berth: a ship’s allotted place at a wharf or dock.
  • 3PL (Third party logisticsis an Individual or company that serves as a liaison between another individual or company that needs shipping services and an authorized motor carrier. A 3PL provides the necessary transportation but does not function as a shipper or carrier.
  • 4PL: (Fourth Party Logistics): Differs from third party logistics in the following ways:

 (1) 4PL organization is often a separate entity established as a joint venture or long-term contract between a primary client and one or more partners;  (2) 4PL organization acts as a single interface between the client and multiple logistics service providers; (3) All aspects (ideally) of the client’s supply chain are managed by the 4PL organization; (4) It is possible for a major third party logistics provider to form a 4PL organization within its existing structure.

  • Bulk Cargo: Unpacked dry cargo such as grain, iron ore or coal. Any commodity shipped in this way is said to be in bulk.
  • Bill of Lading (BOL)Cerasis.com defines a Bill of Lading as a Paper document between a shipper and carrier acknowledging the receipt of goods for transport. Describes the nature of the cargo, amount of cargo by weight, size and/or number of pieces, and the origin and destination of cargo.
  • Broker (freight): Individual or company that serves as a liaison between another individual/company that needs shipping services and an authorized motor carrier. Determines the needs of a shipper and connects that shipper with a carrier capable of transporting the items at an acceptable price.
  • Carrier: Utilizes trucks and/or trailers to move goods from point A to point B.
  • Clearance: A document stating that a shipment is free to be imported into the country after all legal requirements have been met.
  • Competitive Bid: A price/service offering by a supplier that must compete with offerings from other suppliers.
  • Customs Broker: A firm that represents importers/exporters in dealings with customs. Normally responsible for obtaining and submitting all documents for clearing merchandise through customs, arranging inland transport, and paying all charges related to these functions.
  • Customs Clearance: The act of obtaining permission to import merchandise from another country into the importing nation.
  • Demurrage: A charge payable to the owner of a chartered ship on failure to load or discharge the ship within the time agreed.
  • ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) is used to denote the date and time at which a ship is expected to arrive at a port. Usually seen in shipping schedules circulated by shipping lines or information provided to the port.
  • ETB (Estimated Time of Berthing): The date and time at which a ship is expected to berth at a port/terminal. This term is seen in pre-arrival notifications sent to a ship.
  • Freight Forwarder:Facilitates shipping of goods for a third party. Similar to a ‘Freight Broker’ but typically handles international goods, is defined as a carrier and can be held responsible for claims and loss of cargo.
  • FCL (Full container load) : Means that the container has cargo that is shipped by one shipper for delivery to one consignee.
  • Freight Bill: The carrier’s invoice for payment of transport services rendered.
  • FOB (Free on Board): Is a term of sale defining who is to incur transportation charges for the shipment, who is to control the shipment movement, or where title to the goods passes to the buyer; originally meant “free on board ship.”
  • Freight Bill/Way Bill: The carrier’s invoice for payment of transport services rendered. Typically it will show the names of the shipper and service provider, the point of origin of the consignment, its destination, and route.
  • Haulage: The inland transport service which is offered by the carrier under the terms and conditions of the tariff and of the relative transport document.
  • Intermodal Container Transfer Facility: A facility where cargo is transferred from one mode of transportation to another, usually from ship or truck to rail.
  • Intermodal: A single trailer or container that encounters multiple forms of transportation along its route, such as truck/ship or truck/rail.
  • LTL (Less than a truckload): Quantity of freight less than that required for the application of a full truckload (FTL) rate. Often a carrier will place several LTL shipments on the same truck to reduce the cost to the shipper.
  • Shipper: Consignor, exporter or seller named in the bill of lading, who may or may not be the same as the party responsible for initiating a shipment.
  • FCL (Full container load) : A term used when goods do not completely occupy an entire container. When many shipper’s goods occupy a single container, each shipper’s shipment is considered to be LCL.
  • LCL: Less container load
  • L/C: Letter of Credit
  • MOQ: minimum Order Quantity
  • NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier): A shipment consolidator or freight forwarder who does not own any vessel but functions as a carrier by issuing its own BOL and assuming responsibility for the shipments.
  • Proof of Delivery (POD): Signed documents (usually a Bill of Lading) that show a shipment was received at the delivery location.
  • Point of Use Delivery: Delivery right to the production floor of an item.

Do you have more terms to add? Feel free to leave a comment or shoot us an email at helpdesk@moov.com.ng request for more.

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