Learn the Jargon: Freight Shipping Terms You Need to Know

In the world of freight shipping and logistics, there are a lot of freight shipping terms and acronyms that get thrown around. If you’re not a seasoned logistics professional, this may seem overwhelming and confusing.

At GoShip.com, we want to make sure that you understand these terms and have a quick place to reference. So, to help you out, here is a curated list of some of the most common important terms and their definitions:

 

  • Accessorial Charge – Fees for services beyond normal pickup and delivery. i.e.: shipment storage
  • Back Haul – The second half of a carrier’s round trip. This half is usually cheaper than the first half.
  • Bill of Lading (BOL) – The Bill of Lading, aka BOL, is the contract between the shipper and carrier. It binds the parties together and defines all aspects of the shipping arrangement.
  • Broker – A person who makes freight shipping arrangements on behalf of another person or company.
  • Carmack – Loss or damage of goods.
  • Carrier – Utilizes trucks and/or trailers to move goods from point A to point B.
  • Consignee – The receiver of a shipment.
  • Consolidation – When multiple shipments are combined to save money on shipping.
  • Embargo – An event that prevents freight from being accepted or handled. i.e.: floods, tornadoes, etc.
  • Freight Forwarder – An organization that combines less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments into truckload shipments.
  • Fuel Surcharge (FSC) – The price of fuel can substantially change the cost of moving freight. Therefore, the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy publishes a U.S. National Average Fuel Index every week. Transportation companies will often include a FSC to the cost of moving freight either based on cents per mile or percentage of the line haul amount.
  • Full-Truck-Load (FTL) – Shipments that take up an entire truck.
  • Gross Vehicle Weight – The total weight of the transport vehicle and its cargo.
  • Intermodal Transportation – When freight is shipped using two or more modes of transportation.
  • Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) – Shipments weighing between 100 and 20,000 lbs. and don’t take up an entire truck.
  • Nested – When materials are stacked so that one item goes inside another to reduce the amount of space taken up, which makes LTL shipping more efficient.
  • Owner-Operator – Truck driver who owns and operators their truck(s).
  • Waybill – Non-negotiable document prepared by the carrier. Shows origin point, destination, route, consignor, consignee, shipment description, and price for the service.

 

This list may seem long, but it only contains a fraction of all the freight shipping terms you may come across during shipping. If you have any questions regarding anything, including terms, during your shipment, GoShip.com is happy to help!

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