Key Shipping Terms Every Mover Should Understand

Shipping Terms: Important Moving Terms You Should Know

Posted on:
Jan 17, 2018

Moving cross country is all about preparation. You have planned for this day and are ready… or are you? When the day is nearly upon you, sometimes you accidentally skip over something while in a whirlwind of things to complete. Knowing the moving vocabulary is essential as you may hear these shipping terms frequently.

Why are shipping terms important?

Sometimes, following shipping terminology seems unnecessary. However, managing numerous logistics operations can become messy without naming them correctly. The ability to describe your actions and pinpoint the supply chain members can create logistics inconveniences and misunderstandings. Thus, it’s vital to determine supply chain processes using general shipping terms.

Understanding popular moving terms will make it easier for you to ask the right questions and prepare appropriately. Using logistics vocabulary as the code, you can identify the roles of every supply chain participant and know whom to address in problematic situations. Besides, you’ll feel more confident about your business strategy and management.

Popular shipping terms

Due to multi-level supply chain organization, your logistics vocabulary grows constantly. However, there are some moving terms that you’ll regularly face during your shipments.

Bill of lading

A bill of lading is a required document to move all shipments. It acts as a receipt for the services you require. It is a legal contract between the shipper and the carrier for the shipment. You can’t ship without having one. It must accompany the imported goods and be signed by the carrier, shipper, and receiver. In addition, the bill of lading includes the most critical information about your products. It allows the supply chain members quickly check the cargo and verify its quantities.


The consignee is the individual who will be on the receiving end of the shipment. The cosigner is the person at the origin location that launches the cargo. The shipping terms “consignee/consigner” typically entail correctly spelled names of both parties and origin and destination addresses. If you’re making a move where you are the sender and receiver, you are technically both the consignee and the consigner.

Accessorial charges

Any additional services outside of the standard services you add to your shipment are considered accessorial charges. That’s the simplest way to understand it. The benefits can include inside pickup and delivery, liftgate service, or shipping to limited access locations, to name a few. It’s always good to understand these charges before you sign the bill of lading. Evaluate your freight’s requirements and see if it needs extra handling. If you can successfully load and handle your cargo yourself, you may skip additional services and save your costs.


In the incidence of damage or loss, a claim indicates what occurred. It is an important document to file if you should require it, always file a claim as soon as possible to ensure it can be covered. If you want to facilitate the process of filing freight claims and get extra protection, consider applying for freight insurance. This option ensures your financial safety in logistics inconveniences and helps you receive a refund faster.

Linehaul charges

These are actual charges you may see mentioned on your final bill. They consist of basic costs for long-distance moves based on the mileage and weight of the shipment. In the case of shipping specialized freight or using particular vehicle units (i.e., reefer trucks), your total linehaul charges may increase. Still, cooperating with affordable shipping providers like GoShip guarantees partnering with carriers according to your logistics budget.


After loading your shipment onto a truck, your carrier will visit a weigh-in station to provide them with an accurate total weight. The bill’s total could be changed if you provided an inaccurate weight value. This is why it’s crucial to have your dimensions and weight as accurate as possible. Be maximum precise when measuring your freight to prevent unwanted expenses later.

Operating authority

This is a certification that the government will issue that authorizes the movement of your shipment between different geographical areas. These documents are essential for the carrier to have before you sign the bill of lading. Operating authority helps to pass the checkups quickly and easily. Don’t worry if you meet unfamiliar moving terms; you are still learning. If you need help, always ask questions. Your carrier will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have before or after your shipment.

But now, you at least have further knowledge of what you may hear or read the next time your shipment goes out. At GoShip, we try to make it an easy solution when you schedule a shipment. Our experts are here for you if you need assistance the next time you ship with us. Give us a shot to see why and how we can make a difference for you. Get your free quote, and schedule your shipment!

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