Landed cost, waybill, dunnage & dead-head.

We’ve realized that sometimes trying to decode the specialized vernacular of the Transportation Industry is tough. To ensure you are always in the know — the Approved ‘Ohana wants to help.

So, we’ve created a Glossary of common terms. We think this will simplify and bring clarity to everyday business; as well as help to broaden the knowledge of all of our partners.

Bookmark this page, and check back as we add to the list.

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3PLA 3PL is a third-party, or contract, logistics company to whom a firm outsources part or all logistics services. a 3PL will typically handle many of the following tasks: purchasing, inventory & warehouse management, transportation management and order management.
AllianceGroup of airlines or ocean carriers, who coordinate and cross list schedules; sell capacity on each other’s flights/voyages.
BackhaulFreight movement in a direction (or lane) of secondary importance or light demand.
BobtailSlang term for a tractor driven without its trailer. Can be used to refer to a straight truck.
Bulk CargoCargo which is stowed loose on transportation vehicles, in a tank or without specific packaging. Handled by a pump, scoop, conveyor, or shovel. Examples: grain, coal, petroleum, chemicals
CabDriver compartment of a truck or tractor.
CarrierProvides transportation services — typically owning and operating transportation equipment. Examples: trucking company, railroad, airline, etc…
Cartage Company A trucker that provides local pick-up and delivery services.
Certificate of InsuranceDocument certifying that one has met specified requirements. Issued by an office of an insurance company stating the party named has insurance coverage in the amounts & types named.
ChassisA piece of trucking equipment which is essentially a set of wheels on a lightweight frame.
ChocksBlock or stop barriers placed behind/in front of the wheels of a trailer, or container, to keep the vehicle from rolling.
CommodityArticle of commerce (goods, merchandise) that is shipped. Proper description of freight commodity is extremely important.
Common CarrierA for-hire carrier providing transportation services to the general public. Obligations: to serve, to deliver, to charge reasonable rates, to avoid discrimination. Previously regulated in the United States; Most are now deregulated.
Concealed DamageDamage to the contents of a package which in good condition externally
Concealed LossLoss or damage to product which cannot be determined until the package is opened.
ConsigneeAn individual or firm to whom freight is shipped. The receiver of the shipment.
ConsolidationA joining together of many small shipments – often from different shippers – into large shipment quantities, in order to take advantage of economies of scale in transportation costs.
ContainerA single, rigid, sealed and reusable metal box in which merchandise is shipped by vessel, truck, or rail. Container types include standard, high cube, hardtop, open top, flatbed and refrigerated or bulk.
Container CraneUsed to lift containers from truck chassis (or rail flatcar, or from the dock) and load onto a ship.
Cross-Dock Transportation terminal in which received items are transferred directly from inbound to the outbound shipping dock. Temporary storage only and used mostly for vehicle transfers. Often owned and operated by large shippers.
Customs BrokerSpecialists in customs procedures who act for importers for a fee; licensed by the Treasury Department.
Dead-HeadA portion of a transportation trip in which no freight is conveyed; an empty move.
Detention & DemurragePenalty charges assessed by a carrier to a shipper or consignee, for holding transportation equipment, i.e. trailers, containers, railcars, kept longer than a stipulated time for loading or unloading.
Diversion; ReconsignmentRerouting of freight by the shipper while the goods are in transit.
DockA platform where trucks are unloaded and loaded.
Door-to-DoorA transportation service arrangement in which freight is moved from origin (shipper), through to the ultimate destination (consignee), for a given rate. Approved provides door-to-door service from/to any point in US and Canada.
DrayageLocal trucking, to and from rail or to and from port facilities.
DunnageWood and packaging materials which are used to keep cargo in place while inside a container or transportation vehicle.
EDI Electronic Data Interchange; A business-to-business interconnection of computers for the rapid exchange of a wide variety of documents.
ETAEstimated time of arrival.
ExpeditingAccelerating transportation times.
FCL; CL; Container load; Full Container loadA direct shipment where an entire container is contracted for direct movement from shipper’s door – via ocean – to its destination. Approved moves many FCL loads each year.
FEUForty-foot equivalent unit; A method of measuring vessel load or capacity of units of forty-foot long containers.
FlatbedA level bed platform with no sides or top. Most often used for oversized shipments. But in Hawaii and Guam – where space is limited – flatbeds are used to deliver freight where no docks are available for off-load.
FlatrackSimilar to flatbed trailer offering a level platform with no top. However, there are sideboards at each corner that allow stacking of the unit for vessel transport.
Fork LiftA machine used to move goods loaded on pallets or skids.
Freeze & ChillTemperature controlled equipment used for the transport of perishable goods.
Freight Bill-of-LadingA document providing a binding contract between a shipper and a carrier for the transportation of freight.  Specifies obligations of both aprties. Serves as a receipt of freight by the carrier for the shipper. Usually designates the consignee, and FOB point
Freight ForwarderAn agency that receives freight from a shipper and arranges for transportation with one or more carriers to the consignee. Often used for international shipping. Will usually consolidate freight from many shippers to obtain low, large volume transportation rates from carriers (through contract). Often owns pick-up and delivery equipment; uses to transport freight to/from consolidation facilities. Frequently provide packaging, temporary freight storage, and customs clearing services. Approved is a licensed freight forwarder.
Freight SizeMost commonly measured by weight. But is often measured by cube – or cubic feet — of the shipment.
FTL; TL; Truckload; Full TruckloadTrucking industry terms to describe a contract for direct point-to-point service of an entire truck.
High CubeA trailer or container which allows above average cubic capacity.
Household Goods CarrierAn HHG Carrier is any carrier authorized to transport furniture, household goods, and other properties involved in a change of location. Our sister companies Royal Hawaiian Movers, Royal Alaskan Movers, and DeWitt Guam are all certified HHG Carriers.
Hundredweight; CWT100 weight; common weight unit for domestic mainland moves. Payer is charged a determined amount per 100lbs of freight.
In-BondStorage of goods in custody of government bonded warehouses, or carriers from whom goods can be taken only upon payment of duties, to appropriate government agencies.
Interline ShipmentShipments moving from origin to destination via two or more carriers. Frequently occurs in rail transportation.
IntermodalTransportation which uses a specialized container that can be transferred from the vehicle of one mode to the vehicle of another.
JITJust in Time; A manufacturing system which depends on frequent, small deliveries of parts and supplies, to keep on-site delivery to a minimum.
Landed CostThe total cost of a shipment to the port of destination. Can include cost of goods, transportation, insurance and all taxes
LCL; Less-Than-ContainerloadShipping industry term which refers to a shipment which will not require an entire container.
Linehaul Movement of freight between cities usually more than 1,000 miles apart.
Lo-lo Lift-on, lift-off services. Cranes are used to move containers onto and off of ocean vessels.
LonghaulTerminal-to-terminal freight movement in transportation for long distance moves, as distinguished from local freight moves.
Loss or Damage Loss or damage of freight shipments while in transit or in a carrier-operated warehouse.
LTL; Less-Than-TruckloadTrucking industry term for a shipment which does not require an entire truck.
LTL; Less-Than-TruckloadTrucking industry term for a shipment which does not require an entire truck.
NVOCCA Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier. Owns no vessels (ships), but provides ocean freight-forwarding services. Provides consolidated negotiated rate services, for ocean and inland water carriers.
Open TopContainers with sides but no permanent tops.
Over Dimensional MovementRefers to shipment where size and weight are over legal restrictions.
OverageExcess freight over the quantity believed to have been shipped, or more than the quantity shown on the shipping document.
Over-the-RoadCommonly referred to as OTR, it is the transport of goods by road; usually in trucks.
Owner-OperatorDrivers who own and operate his or her own truck.
P&DAbbreviation for pick-up and delivery of freight.
Packing ListA detailed inventory of items contained in a shipment.
Pallet Small, typically wooden or plastic platform on which goods are placed for handling and movement to and from facilities; or for simple movement and storage in a warehouse. Standard pallet dimensions are 40″x48″ — but can vary greatly. Oversized pallets (greater than 40″x48″) can limit the amount of freight that can be loaded into a container
Pick-Up and Delivery (Cartage)Local hauling of freight. Transferring freight from the shipper to a terminal, or from a terminal to a consignee.
PlacardA diamond shaped sign attached to a vehicle hauling hazardous materials, which indicates the class & type of the materials being moved.
Private CarrierOwned and operated by a shipper. Usually, refers to private trucking fleets. Components include vehicle fleet, drivers, maintenance equipment.
Proof of DeliveryThe “POD” is a delivery receipt copy of a signed freight bill at the time of delivery.
ReeferA shortened name for a refrigerated container. Must be plugged into a ship’s power system.
Ro-roRoll-on, roll-off; Using a vessel with ramps which allows wheeled vehicles to be loaded and discharged without cranes.
SemitrailerA term referring to a truck and trailer/container combination, constructed so that the front end rests upon a truck tractor.
Shipper; ConsignorIndividual or firm who sends freight. The freight originator.
Shippers AssociationA not-for-profit association of shippers using collective bargaining and freight consolidation to obtain lower, high-volume transportation rates.
Shipping OrderA document providing instructions to a carrier for transportation of a shipment; usually, this is simply the bill of lading.
SKUStock-keeping unit; a line-item of inventory which refers to a specific type or size of good.
Sleeper TeamA pair of drivers who alternate driving and resting.
Straight TruckVehicles on which all axles are attached to a single frame
TerminalTransportation facility with one of the following roles:
TEUTwenty-foot equivalent unit; a method of measuring vessel load or capacity, in units of containers which are twenty feet long.
Transportation BrokerAn agency that obtains negotiated large-volume transportation rates from carriers, and resells this capacity to shippers. Unlike freight forwarders, brokers will not handle freight and owns no pick-up-/delivery equipment or storage facilities.
TransshipmentOff-loading of shipments from one type of container or trailer, to another type, for transport.
VansTrucking term meaning trailers.
WaybillA description of goods sent with a common carrier.
1. System Access: Points where freight enters and leaves the transportation system.
2. Freight Consolidation & Distribution
3. Mode Transfer, for example – rail to truck.
4. Vehicle Transfer: within a single mode, freight may transfer from one vehicle to another
5. Storage and Warehousing
6. Fleet Maintenance

Want a Printable Copy of the Approved Transportation Glossary?

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