Shipping Terms Glossary
All definitions are from USF Holland’s “Freight Definitions” book, unless otherwise noted (4/14/05).
Accessorial Charges or Service:Charges made for additional special or supplemental services which are normally over and above the line haul services. ( Inside delivery, residential delivery, sort and segregate and lift gate, are good examples of accessorial charges.)
Arbitrary: Most often refers to a fixed amount to be added to the line haul rate, or to the base point in order to arrive at charges to another destination, or an amount added to the base rate for small shipments.
Assembly Service: When an assembler or motor carrier receives and assembles many LTL shipments for one consignee at a common assembly point. The assembler then ships to the consignee as one line haul shipment to destination. There is a handling charge by the assembler for this work.
Audit: An examination of freight bills to determine billing errors in transportation charges. Can be conducted internally by company officials or externally by an outside firm or trade association.
B/L-Bill of Lading: A shipper’s receipt for the goods and a contract between the shipper and the carrier for the transportation of the shipment.
Box Maker’s Certificate: All fibre boxes that are to conform to specifications of the Classification must bear a legible Certificate of the box maker guaranteeing that boxes do conform.
Broker: Any person not included in the term “motor carrier” and not a bona fide employee or agent of any such carrier, who, as principal or agent, sells or offers for safe transportation subject to the Motor Carrier Act, or negotiates for, or holds himself out by advertisement, solicitation, or otherwise, as one who sells, provides, furnishes, contracts or arranges for such transportation.
Cartage Service: Any person who undertakes to transport property for compensation when such transportation is performed wholly within a municipality or between contiguous municipalities, or within a zone adjacent to and commercially a part of any such municipality or municipalities.
Classification by Analogy: The class for any article not provided for, either by its specific name or in an NOI item, is determined by an article, which in the carrier’s judgment most closely describes the same.
Class Rates: Line haul rates governed by a rating in the Classification applying in cents per 100 weight between two points in the US.
Combination Rate: Combination of two or more rates which are added together; applies from point of origin to point of destination, and may be a combination of any types of rates. Normally involving 2 or more carriers.
Commodity Rates: Normally lower than class rates, and usually a point to point rate applicable to a specific commodity between certain points. This type of rate is based primarily on volume and regularity of shipments.
Common Carrier: Any person who holds himself out to the general public to engage in the transportation of property by motor vehicle over regular or irregular routes in Interstate, Intrastate or Foreign Commerce.
Concurrence: Normally used in Routing Agreements between carriers when the carriers agree in writing and publish in the tariffs the interchange of freight between themselves to protect the through rates.
Consignee: The party to whom the shipment is consigned at final destination (receiver of the goods or shipment).
Consignor: Shipper or the party making or shipping the shipment.
Consignee Unloading: The complete unloading service must be performed by the consignee, including the removing of the freight from the trailer, without assistance from the carrier, and carrier’s employee must be released while unloading is performed.
Consolidation: Combining LTL shipments at a centrally located point of origin and transporting them as a single shipment to a destination point.
Containerization: Generally refers to the use of containers for overseas shipping. Containers are usually 20 or 40 feet in length; motor carriers perform the same basic services for containerized movements as they do under piggyback service.
Contract Carrier: Any person engaging in transportation by motor vehicle for compensation under continuing contracts with one person, or a number of persons, either for the furnishing of transportation services exclusive to each person contracted, or to meet the distinct need for each individual customer.
C.O.D. Collect on Delivery: Applies when a shipper wants a carrier to collect charges for the commodities being shipped at the time they are delivered to the consignee. This collection must be received from the consignee in cash or certified check, unless the shipper advises differently.
Damage-Concealed: Internal damage to freight without the container showing corresponding damage.
Damage-Visible: Damage to lading which is apparent and noted on the carrier’s freight bill when shipment is offered for delivery.
Deficiency: On mixed shipment s where the actual weight of the shipment does not meet the minimum weight requirements for rating purposes. The difference between actual weight and minimum weight is the deficiency weight, and must also be rated.
Density: The weight of an article in kilograms per cubic meter or pounds per cubic foot; the ratio of mass to bulk or volume. Density is represented as either product density or stowed density.
Detention: Detention charges are assessed by a carrier against the consignor or consignee as a penalty for holding a carrier’s driver and/or trailer beyond a certain stated period of “free time”. This is an accessorial service and charge.
Distribution Service: When shipper ships one shipment consisting of many smaller LTL shipments from origin to a distribution point. The distributor or motor carrier then delivers each smaller shipment to the proper parties at final destination. There is a distribution charge by the distributor for this service.
Diversion: See Reconsignment
Driver Collect: The driver collects payment at the time of delivery.
Dunnage: Material used around or under cargo to prevent damage, breakage or to secure lading for transportation. Normally furnished by the shipper, and weight for same is charged for in the rating of the shipment.
Exclusive Use: Upon demand by the consignor or consignee, the exclusive use of a freight carrying vehicle can be assigned to the transportation of a shipment. Only one trailer per shipment is furnished. The trailer is devoted exclusively to the transportation of the equipment without transfer of lading, and without the breaking of seals. Special exclusive use charges are applied based on truckload rates and minimum weights.
F.A.K. (Freight all kinds): Certain commodity rates are named showing this description. This applies on all articles shipped and packaged according to NMFC.
F.C. (Flat Charge): A charge in dollars and cents which takes the place of a rate in cents per hundred pounds.
F.O.B. (Free on Board): Indicates place where responsibility for expenses and risk for goods is passed from seller to buyer.
F.O.B. (Destination, Freight Collect): Title passes to buyer, freight charges paid by buyer. (Seller owns goods in transit and files claims for loss or damage. Buyer pays and bears freight charges and files for overcharge claims.)
F.O.B. (Destination, Freight Collect and Allowed): Title passes to buyer, freight charges paid by buyer then charged to seller by deducting amount from the invoice. (Buyer pays freight charges and files overcharge claims, Seller bears freight charges, owns goods in transit, and files for loss or damage claim.)
F.O.B. (Destination, Freight Prepaid): Title passes to buyer, freight charges paid by seller. (Seller pays and bears freight charges, owns goods in transit and files all claims for loss, damage or overcharge.)
F.O.B. (Factory, Freight Allowed): Free on board factory, freight prepaid from origin point.
F.O B. (Origin, Freight Collect): Title passes to buyer, freight charges paid by buyer. (Buyer pays and bears freight charges, owns goods in transit and files all claims for overcharge, loss and damage.)
F.O.B. (Origin, Freight Prepaid): Title passes to buyer, freight charges paid by seller, then collected from the buyer by adding the amount of freight charges to the invoice. (Seller pays freight charges and files claim for overcharges. Buyer bears freight charges, owns goods in transit and files claim for loss or damage.)
F.O.B. (Origin, Freight Prepaid and Charged): Title passes to buyer, freight charges paid by seller, then collected from the buyer by adding the amount of freight charges to the invoice. (Seller pays freight charges and files claim for overcharges. Buyer bears freight charges, owns goods in transit and files claim for loss of damage.)
F/A (Free Astray):The movement of property between two points without charge. This will apply when a shipment or part of a shipment has gone astray, or has been damaged, and is being returned or put together with the original shipment that has the total freight charges on it.
Freight Bill: The document for common carrier shipment that describes the freight, amount of charges, taxes and whether prepaid or collect; charges paid by the shipper are called prepaid freight bills and charges collected at destination are called destination or collect freight bills.
Freight Claim: A claim against the carrier due to the loss of, or injury to, freight and/or erroneous rates and weights in assessment of freight charges.
Freight Forwarders: One who gathers together less than truckload shipments from various shippers and consolidates them into solid carloads or truckloads, each car or truck being made up of articles taking a similar classification; he forwards them to destination consigned to his own branch or agent.
GBL (Government Bill of lading): This Bill of Lading must be used when the property belongs to the Government or to others when the freight charges are to be paid by the Government directly to the carrier.
In Packages: A packing provision of the national Motor Freight Classification that means articles can be accepted for transportation in any container, or in any other form tendered to carrier which permits handling into or out of vehicles as units, providing the containers or tendered forms render the transportation of freight reasonably safe and practical. Does not include in bulk, loose, or on skids (See Rule 680 in NMFC).
Inside Pick-up or Delivery: If operating conditions permit a shipment may be moved beyond the immediately adjacent loadin or unloading area of the customer. When this service is performed an “inside pick-up or delivery charge” is applied.
Inter-Modal: The coordinated transport of freight especially in connection with relatively long-haul movements using any combination of freight forwarders, piggyback, containerization, air fright, assemblers and motor carriers.
Interstate Shipments: Shipments moving from one state to or through another state. Applies on local or joint line traffic, as well as inter-modal. Final destination at time of shipment is the determining factor.
Intrastate Shipments: Shipments moving wholly within one state with a regulated carrier.
K.D. (Knocked Down): An article must be taken apart, folded or telescoped in such a manner as to reduce its bulk at least 33-1/3 percent from its normal shipping cubage when set up or assembled.
K.D.F (Knocked Down, Flat): The article must be taken apart, folded or telescoped in such a manner as to reduce its bulk at least 66-2/3 percent from its normal shipping cubage when set up or assembled.
Line Haul Charges: The charges from the point of origin to destination (door to door). These charges include one pickup and one delivery, plus movement between the two points.
Linehaul: The movement of freight between cities, excluding pickup and =delivery service.
Loaded to Full Visible Capacity: That quantity of freight which equals the maximum legal load carrying capacity of the vehicle authorized by law; or that quantity of freight which fills a standard truck so that no additional articles in the shipping form tendered identical in size to the largest article in the shipment can be loaded in or on the truck.
LTL-Less than Truckload: Rates or classes are those applicable to a quantity of freight less than the volume of truckload minimum specified for the same article.
MC (Minimum Charge): The lowest charge that a carrier will assess for any given amount of freight moving between two points.
NC (Notification Charge): A charge applied on shipments tendered for delivery with the request that the consignee be notified by telephone or telegram on arrival.
NMFC (National Motor Freight Classification): An index or list of thousands of articles which groups or classifies the commodities for the purpose of applying rates or charges.
Nested: Three or more different sizes of an article must be placed each smaller within the next larger; or, three or more of the same articles must be placed one within the other so that each upper article must not project above the next lower article by more than 1/3 of its height.
Nested Solid: Three or more of the same articles must be placed one within or upon the other so that the outer side surfaces of the one above will be in contact with the inner surfaces of the one below, and so that each upper article will not project above the next lower article by more than ¼ inch.
NOIBN (Not Otherwise Indexed by Name, Description of freight): The classification of commodities where the description is not more specifically described.
On Hand Notice: Written notice sent to the customer advising that freight is on hand, either because of no one being available to accept shipment, or because of the customer’s refusal or inability to accept delivery. This normally means storage provisions are being applied.
Operating Authority: Except for those persons that are exempt from regulations, all other persons who engage in transportation must have written authority from the proper Government Agency to transport property or passengers.
Operating Ratio: The proportion of operating expenses to operating income. (Operating expenses divided by operating revenues and multiplied by 100 gives the percentage of the operating revenues which are required to pay the operating expenses.)
Order Notify bill of Lading: A negotiable instrument which gives the holder title to the goods. Order Notify Bills must be properly endorsed, and given to the carrier before delivery can be made. Often used by the shipper when he wants to make certain that he receives payment for the merchandise he has sold before surrendering the goods to the purchaser.
OS &D (Overages, Shortages and Damage, Freight): Freight that has not reached the destination according to the agreement of the Bill of Lading Contract.
Overflow Freight: Freight moving on one Bill of Lading that is in excess of what can be loaded on a standard trailer.
PC-Pier Charge: Applies to import or export shipments that are moving through a pier area.
P & D: Pick up and delivery are for a specific terminal.
Piggyback Service: See TOFC.
Pounds Per Cubic Foot (Figuring): Density is the weight of an article divided by its volume. Volume is determined by multiplying the greatest straight line dimensions of length, width and depth in inches, including all projections and dividing the total by 1728 cubic inches (one cubic foot) transportation is for the purpose of sale, lease, rent or bailment, or in furtherance of any commercial enterprise.
Precedence of Rates: Rates, either class or commodity, specifically designated which are assembly-distribution-piggyback-air-water-etc. Must be applied on such shipments to the exclusion of all other rates not so designated.
Private Carrier: A person not included in the common and contract carrier definition, and who transports by motor vehicle property of which such person is the owner, lessee, or bailee, when such transportation is for the purpose of sale, lease, rent or bailment, or in furtherance of any commercial enterprise.
Pro Number: Short for “Progressional Numbers”; refers to a sequence of umber in which each term is related to its predecessor. Carriers use these numbers in numerical order on their freight bills for identification.
Rate: The figure stated in cents, dollars and cents, or fractions thereof, and used in computing the charge on property transported. Rates are normally in cents per one hundred pounds.
Ratings: The numerals or letters, or combinations thereof, assigned to an article or group of articles in the Classification or used in determining the applicable rate.
Reciprocity: A state permits vehicles from other states to operate in and through the first state providing a similar privilege is given to vehicles domiciled in the first state and operating in and through other states.
Reconsignment or Diversion: A change in the name of the consignor or consignee; a change in the place of deliver; a change in the destination point; or relinquishment of shipment at point
Redeliver: When a shipment is tendered for delivery, and through no fault of the carrier such delivery cannot be accomplished, any additional tenders and final delivery is considered redelivery.
Released Valuation: The released value constitutes the maximum, which a shipper can recover from a carrier in the case of loss or damage of the shipment, otherwise the carrier is liable for full value. The only time this can be used is when rates or ratings are published, and are subject to released valuations. These rates are generally lower than those on the same commodity without the released valuation.
Section 7 of Bill of Lading: When the shipper or consignee signs this section on the Bill of Lading he is stating that the carrier is not to make delivery of the shipment without receiving payment of freight and other lawful charges. Shipper will not be held liable for any lawful charges that he has not already agreed to pay.
Shipper Loading: Shipper performs complete loading service including the counting, without assistance from carrier and carrier’s employee must be released during loading. Loading includes the loading of the freight into carrier’s trailer and stowing and arranging thereof. Shipment must be properly secured for transportation by shipper.
Shipper’s Risk: Shipper takes full responsibility for carrier transporting his shipment. Carrier is not liable for any type of damage claims. Bill of Lading or written agreement should be made.
Single Line Application: When the shipments are carried from origin to destination by a single motor carrier, or when two carriers by tariff publication will protect all rates and charges as though they were on e carrier.
Single Shipment Charge (SS) – Those shipments, which weigh less than 500 pounds picked up at one time and place, unaccompanied by any other shipment from the same consignor or shipper. An additional charge is added to the charges of the shipment, and is in addition to all other lawful applicable charges.
Sort and Segregate: When the carrier is required to sort or segregate a shipment.
Split Pickup or Delivery: Several pickups at various origins or within one origin point, and/or several deliveries at various destinations or within one destination point on a single shipment. There is a charge for each pickup and delivery except for the very first pickup, and the very last delivery. This type of service can apply only on truckload shipments.
SL & C (Shipper’s Load and Count): Notation is to be shown on the Bill of Lading when the shipper loads the trailer; this is very important with commodity rates (see shipper loading).
Stopoff: The stopping of trailers in transit to partially unload or load.
Storage: Undelivered freight and freight awaiting transportation held in carrier’s possession because of an omission by the consigner, consignee or owner and through no fault of the carrier is considered stored and subject to accessorial charges.
SU (Set Up): Articles are in an assembled condition or disassembled, folded or telescoped, but not meeting the conditions of reducing their bulk more than 33-1/3 percent.
Third Party Logistics: A firm that suppliers logistics services to other companies.
Through Rates: Rates that apply from point of origin to final destination, and apply both on single line and joint line hauls for the same charges.
TOFC (Trailer on Flat Car): Applies to piggyback service, where a highway trailer is put on the railroad’s flat car and transported accordingly.
TL (Truckload): Rates or classes are those for which a truckload minimum weight is provided and charges assessed accordingly.
Transfer of Lading: A shipment subject to truckload or volume rates cannot be picked up an accessorial service charge that is applied and/or delivered with a line haul vehicle and it is necessary for the carrier to render pickup and/or delivery with another vehicle.
VNX (Value Not Exceeding): Shown on commodities that contain a “released valuation” in the Classification description.
WB (Way Bill): A carrier’s document used to facilitate the movement of freight. Normally used by railroads as a historical record of the movement of a shipment. Some motor carriers make use of waybills as routing documents