ABC analysis

An ABC analysis involves customers, products and even delivery flows being divided into three categories based on a certain value (revenue, consumption, etc.). The categories are given priorities, making it possible to obtain a rough picture of the actual situation (status quo). The result makes it possible to estimate expenditure and funds available for marketing campaigns.

Acceptance of Goods

The process of receiving a consignment from a consignor, usually against the issue of a receipt. As from this moment and on this place the carrier’s responsibility for the consignment begins.

Act of God

Accidents of a nature beyond human control such as flood, lightning or hurricane usually quoted as ‘force majeure’

Ad Valorem

In proportion to the value: A phrase applied to certain freight or customs duties levied on goods, property, etc. set as a percentage of their value.


The so-called aftermarket comprises specific services and offerings after the sale of a product. They include, for instance, replacement or servicing of parts. The aftermarket is particularly prevalent in the automotive industry.

Airport Code

A three letter code assigned to all airport locations worldwide.

Air freight

Air freight is the transport of goods by air.

Air Waybill (AWB)

Air waybills document the completion and contents of a transportation order by air.

American Bureau of Shipping

Abbreviation: ABS

American classification society which has established rules and regulations for the classification of seagoing vessels or equipment.


The process of referring to an agreed person for judgement on issues of dispute, without requiring the use of courts.

Arrival Date

The date on which goods or a means of transport is due to arrive at the delivery site of the transport.

Arrival Notice

A notice sent by a carrier to a nominated notify party advising of the arrival of a certain shipment or consignment.

ATA Carnet

The ATA Carnet, also referred to as the “merchandise passport”, is a customs booklet for temporary imports.


An audit refers to “examining and verifying a company’s financial records”. Audits are a recognized method of examining virtually all areas of a company in terms of costs, progress, efficiency and quality. It is frequently a matter of comparing the target and actual situation, in other words, looking for deviations from targets set and achieved. To ensure they are successful, audits need to be carried out at regular intervals – either by internal or external auditors.

Available to promise (ATP)

With ATP, a supplier guarantees the customer that goods will be delivered on a specific date. It is hence part of a customer-oriented logistics system and means “readily available”.


Abbreviation for “Bill of Lading.”

BAF (Bunker Adjustment Factor)

An adjustment in shipping charges to offset price fluctuations in the cost of bunker fuel. Also known as a Bunker Surcharge (B/S).

Bank Guarantee

An undertaking by a bank to be answerable for payment of a sum of money in the event of non performance by the party on whose behalf the guarantee is issued.


Barcodes are used to label, identify and trace all types of articles.They are read automatically with the aid of barcode scanners. These scanners must be passed over the barcode in order to scan it.


The cargo-carrying vehicle which may or may not have its own propulsion mechanism for the purpose of transporting goods. Primarily used by Inland water carriers, basic barges have open tops, but there are covered barges for both dry and liquid cargoes.


A location in a port where a vessel can be moored often indicated by a code or name.

Bilateral Transport Agreement

Agreement between two nations concerning their transport relations.

Bill of Exchange

An unconditional order in writing to pay a certain sum of money to a named person.

Bill of Lading (BOL)

A document issued by an entity providing transportation services that serves three purposes: 1) serves as receipt for the goods delivered to the carrier for shipment, 2) defines the contract of carriage of the goods from the point of origin to the point of destination according to the responsibilities of the service provider listed on the bill of lading, 3) under certain conditions, provides evidence of title for the goods.


A document that establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company. It serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage and a receipt for goods. Multi-use documents that are essential to conduct the day-to-day operations when transportation of supplies, materials, and personal property is required. These primary documents are used to procure freight and express transportation and related services from commercial carriers, including freight forwarders.

Bill of Material

A list of all parts, sub-assemblies and raw materials that constitute a particular assembly, showing the quantity of each required item.

Bonded warehouse

A bonded warehouse is a facility or consolidation center that is authorized by customs to store goods. The payment of duties and taxes are only payable once the goods are removed.


The offering by a shipper of cargo for transport and the acceptance of the offering by the carrier or his agent.

Bulk cargo

Bulk cargo comes in the form of grains, dust or piecemeal in different sizes and includes, for example, ores, sand, coal and cereals. A characteristic feature of bulk cargo is that it retains its shape during transport and cannot be consolidated into a unit without using other resources.

Bulk Carrier

There are two types of bulk carriers, the dry-bulk carrier and the liquid-bulk carrier, better known as a tanker. Bulk cargo is a shipment such as oil, grain, or one which is not packaged, bundled, bottled, or otherwise packed and is loaded without counting or marking


  • Transport of goods between two ports or places located in the same country.
  • Transport of cargo in a country other than the country where the vehicle is registered road-cargo
  • The carriage of a container from a surplus area to an area specified by the Owner of that container, in exchange of which and during which the operator can use this container.

CAD (Cash Against Documents)

A method of payment for goods in which documents transferring title are given to the buyer upon payment of cash to an intermediary acting for the seller.

CAF (Currency Adjustment Factor)

A surcharge on freight charges by a carrier to offset foreign currency fluctuations.


Merchandise/commodities carried by means of transportation.

Cargo Insurance

Insurance to protect the financial interest of the cargo owner during transportation in the event of a loss.


A customs document permitting the holder to carry or send merchandise temporarily into certain foreign countries without paying duties or posting bonds

Cash On Delivery

Abbreviation: COD

Terms of payment: if the carrier collects a payment from the consignee and remits the amount to the shipper (air cargo).

Certificate of Origin

A certificate, showing the country of original production of goods. Frequently used by customs in ascertaining duties under preferential tariff programmes or in connection with regulating imports from specific sources

CFS (Container Freight Station)

The term CFS at loading port means the location designated by carriers for the receiving of cargo to be packed into containers by the carrier. At discharge ports, the term CFS means the bonded location designated by carriers in the port area for unpacking and delivery of cargo.


A customs term for the placement of an item under the correct number in the customs tariff for duty purposes. At times this procedure becomes highly complicated; it is not uncommon for importers to resort to litigation over the correct duty to be assessed by customs on a given item.


The loading, on the way, of cargo from another shipper, having the same final destination as the cargo loaded earlier

Commercial Invoice

A document showing commercial values of the transaction between the buyer and seller.


Indication of the type of goods. Commodities are coded according to the harmonised system


The party such as mentioned in the transport document by whom the goods, cargo or containers are to be received.


A separate identifiable number of goods (available to be) transported from one consignor to one consignee via one or more than one modes of transport and specified in one single transport document.


The party who originates a shipment of goods (shipper). The sender of a freight shipment, usually the seller.

Consolidated Shipment

An arrangement whereby various shippers pool their boxed goods on the same shipment, sharing the total weight charge for the shipment.


A single, rigid, sealed, reusable metal “box” in which merchandise is shipped by vessel, truck, or rail. Container types include standard, high cube, hardtop, open top, flat, platform, ventilated, insulated, refrigerated, or bulk. Containers (except for flat-rack vehicle rack and portable liquid tank types) have a closure or permanently hinged door that allows ready access to cargo. All containers have constructions, fittings, and fastenings able to withstand, without permanent distortion, all stresses that may be applied in normal service use of continuous transportation. Containers must bear the manufacturer’s specifications.

Container (Air Cargo)

Air cargo containers are designed in various sizes and irregular shapes to conform to the inside dimensions of a specific aircraft.

Container (Ocean).

Designed to be moved inland on its own chassis, an ocean container can be loaded at the shipper’s plant for shipment overseas. The average outside dimensions are generally 20 and 40 feet in length, 8 feet wide, and 8 feet high

Customs Broker

A firm that represents importers 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 Value

The value of a shipment as declared by the shipper or appraised by Customs to enable determination of accurate import duties.

Customs Invoice

Document required by the customs in an importing country in which an exporter states the invoice or other price (e.g.selling price, price of identical goods), and specifies costs for freight, insurance and packing etc., terms of delivery and payment, for the purpose of determining the customs value in the importing country of goods consigned to that country.

Dangerous Goods

Goods are to be considered dangerous if the transport of such goods might cause harm, risk, peril, or other evil to people, environment, equipment or any property whatsoever.

Dangerous Goods Declaration

Document issued by a consignor in accordance with applicable conventions or regulations, describing hazardous goods or materials for transport purposes, and stating that the latter have been packed and labeled in accordance with the provisions of the relevant conventions or regulations.


Slots paid for but not used.


Abbreviation: DWT

The total weight of cargo, cargo equipment, bunkers, provisions, water, stores and spare parts which a vessel can lift when loaded to her maximum draught as applicable under the circumstances. The dead-weight is expressed in tons.

Delivery Instruction

Document issued by a buyer giving instructions regarding the details of the delivery of goods ordered.

Delivery Order

Document issued by the Customs broker to the ocean carrier as authority to release the cargo to the inland carrier.


A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying the carrier’s equipment beyond the allowed free time. The free time and demurrage charges are set forth in the charter party or freight tariff.


The location to which a shipment is being delivered.

Detention Charge

Charges levied on usage of equipment exceeding free time period as stipulated in the pertinent inland rules and conditions.


Dangerous Goods.

Dimensional Weight

The weight calculated by measuring the length x width x height of a package: used when calculating the rate of oversized pieces.

Distribution Centre

A warehouse for the receipt, the storage and the dispersal of goods among customers.

Door-to-door transport

Door-to-door transport involves goods being transported directly from the sender to the recipient. There is no warehousing involved. One can also change the means of transport used.


Sometimes called a Bank Drafter Bill of Exchange, the Draft is a negotiable instrument which contains an order to pay. It must be signed by the drawer (seller) and be payable at sight or by a certain time. The Draft must contain an unconditional order to pay a certain sum of money to the drawee (buyer). Drafts are used in both collection and Letter of Credit methods of payment.

Drop off Charge

Charge made by container owner and/or terminal operators for delivery of a leased, or pool container into depot stock. The drop-off charge may be a combination of actual handling and storage charges with surcharges.


Stowage material, mainly timber or board, used to prevent damage to cargo during carriage.

Duty Drawback

A refund of duty paid on imported merchandise when it is later exported.

Duty Free Zone (DFZ)

An area where goods or cargo can be stored without paying import customs duties while awaiting manufacturing or future transport.

Electronic Data Interchange

Abbreviation: EDI

The transfer of structured data, by agreed standards from applications on the computer of one party to the applications on the computer of another party by electronic means.

Electronic Data Processing

Abbreviation: EDP

The computerised handling of information (e.g. business data).


End-of-life refers to goods that have reached the end of their shelf life. These can include obsolete items or items that cannot be repaired.


End-to-end refers to the complete cycle of logistics activity. End-to-end supply chain management comprises the sourcing and transport of goods from point of origin to final customer destination.

Estimated Time of Arrival

Abbreviation: ETA

The expected date and time of arrival in a certain airport.

Estimated Time of Departure

Abbreviation: ETD

The expected date and time when a certain airport is left.

Export Airbill

A non-negotiable document prepared by the shipper which includes pertinent information. For example, Shipper and consignee name and address, Account Number, brief description of goods, etc.

Export License

A Government authorization which allows a shipper to export specified goods to designated countries.

Export Trading Company

A firm that buys domestic products for sale overseas. A trading company takes title to the goods; an export-management company usually does not.


The person sending goods produced in one country to another country.

Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)

Regulatory agency responsible for rates and practices of ocean carriers shipping to and from the United States.


A vessel normally used for local or coastal transport (for carriage of cargo and/or containers) to and from ports not scheduled to be called by the main (ocean) vessel, directly connecting these ports to the main (ocean) vessel.


40 foot equivalent unit.


Capable to be set on fire under given circumstances. (Amendment 25 IMO DGS).

Flat Bed

A type of truck with no side panels on to which cargo is usually strapped, chained or otherwise attached.

Flat Rack

Usually a wheel-less piece of equipment to which a piece of cargo is attached, strapped, or otherwise secured. Standard size is 20′ or 40′ long.


Any group of means of transport acting together or under one control.

Fork Lift Truck

A three or four wheeled mechanical truck with forks at the front designed for lifting, carrying and stowing cargo.

Free Trade Zone

A port designated by the government of a country for duty-free entry of any non-prohibited goods. Merchandise may be sorted, displayed, used for manufacturing, etc., within the zone and re-exported without duties being paid. Duties are imposed on the merchandise (or items manufactured from the merchandise) only when the goods pass from the zone into an area of the country subject to the Customs authority.

Freight Forwarder

A firm that represents shippers by arranging transport and completing documentation required for international shipping. Some freight forwarders also act as cargo consolidators.

Full Container load (FCL)

A term used when goods occupy a whole container

Full truck load (FTL)

A full truck load describes a truck that is fully laden with goods. FTL makes transportation particularly cost-effective as the full capacity of the means of transport is utilized.

Garments On Hangers

Clothes in containers on hangers and hung from rails during transit, reducing the handling required for the garments.

Gateway City

Key cities of entry/departure for international shipments, strategically located for the most efficient movement of goods.

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

Abbreviation: GATT

Major international agreement on trade and tariffs between many nations all over the world. The discussions are now held by the WTO.

General Cargo

  • Cargo, consisting of goods, unpacked or packed, for example in cartons, crates, bags or bales, often palletised. General cargo can be shipped either in break bulk or containerized.
  • Any consignment other than a consignment containing valuable cargo and charged for transport at general cargo rates (air cargo)


  • Common term indicating movable property, merchandise or wares
  • All materials which can be used to satisfy demands.
  • Whole or part of the cargo received from the shipper, including any equipment supplied by the shipper

Goods in Transit

The goods which have departed from the initial loading point and not yet arrived at the final unloading point.

Goods Receipt

Document issued by a port, warehouse, shed, or terminal operator acknowledging receipt of goods specified therein on conditions stated or referred to in the document.

Groupage service

Groupage service involves partial loads and small shipments by different senders that are loaded along a transport chain into transport containers. At the destinations, the goods are unloaded by different recipients. This does not necessarily have to be performed by several shippers; one shipper can offer all services. Groupage service differs from LCL in that the goods may be carried via virtually any form of transport.


The inland transport service which is offered by the carrier under the terms and conditions of the tariff and of the relative transport document.


Road carrier.

Hazardous goods

Any substances or objects that can cause harm during transport are referred to as hazardous goods. These include radioactive, explosive, combustible, poisonous and caustic chemicals.


In logistics, Hub stands for a main transshipment base. Hubs are used as collection and nodal points for transshipment and for combining flows of goods in all directions. In the postal service, hubs are frequently parcel centers. The means of transport used for onward conveyance vary (ships, aircraft, trucks).

Import License

Many countries have currency exchange controls which serve to limit the amount of currency available for the purchase of foreign merchandise. The import license is used to control orders sent to foreign exporters. It is important for exporters to understand their foreign buyer’s licensing requirements as payment negotiations are made prior to any exportation.

In Transit

The status of goods or persons between the outwards customs clearance and inwards customs clearance.

Inbound logistics

Inbound logistics involves supplying production and assembly plants. The supply chain reaches from the suppliers right through to the individual workplaces at a factory. Inbound logistics comprises planning, transport, interim storage and delivery right up to the conveyor belt.


Incoterms, or international commercial terms, are stipulations used to regulate the international movement of goods between countries. They stipulate the terms and conditions of delivery or the obligations and rights of vendors and purchasers. Individual Incoterms are differentiated, in particular, based on the places where the transfer of costs and risks occurs.

Inland Waterways Bill of Lading

Transport document made out to a named person, to order or to bearer, signed by the carrier and handed to the sender after receipt of the goods.

Insurance policy/certificate

An insurance policy (or certificate) is a document signed by the insurer with regards to the conclusion of an insurance contract. While an individual policy serves as an instrument of evidence for the insurance of a single merchandise item, a general policy provides evidence of an ongoing insurance contract with insurance protection for all shipments carried out and notified to the insurer over an extended period. The insurer is only obliged to pay upon presentation of the policy.


The coordinated movement of freight using different methods of transport, often a combination of truck and rail.

International Air Transportation Association (IATA)

IATA is an international association of airlines. It regulates airfares and coordinates air schedules between countries. IATA was established in 1945 and has its headquarters in Montreal, Canada.

International Maritime Organisation

Abbreviation: IMO

A United Nations agency concerned with safety at sea. Its work includes codes and rules relating to tonnage measurement of vessels, load lines, pollution and the carriage of dangerous goods. Its previous name was the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organisation (IMCO).


Inventory includes raw materials, components, unfinished goods and/or end products. Inventory refers either to individual warehouses, to storage areas or to all of the articles that a company has in stock.


An account from the supplier, for goods and/or services supplied by him.


Goods thrown or lost.


The act of intentionally throwing cargo overboard e.g. with the objective of lightening a vessel, which has run aground, such for the common good of all interests: vessel, crew and remaining cargo.


A mole or breakwater, running out into the sea to protect harbours or coasts. It is sometimes used as a landing-pier.

Just In Time

Abbreviation: JIT

The movement of material/goods at the necessary place at the necessary time. The implication is that each operation is closely synchronised with the subsequent ones to make that possible. A method of inventory control that brings stock into the production process, warehouse or to the customer just in time to be used, thus reducing stock piling.


The term kitting comes from the area of supply and production logistics. “Kitting” is derived from the word “kit” which means an assembly of components. Kitting involves the logistics operator assembling kits according to the customer’s requirements and delivering the entire assembly either as a kit or preassembled, as desired. This enables the customer to reduce its warehouse capacity and speed up manufacturing of the end product.

Knots Per Hour

Units of measure for ship’s speed: Nautical Miles per Hour. One nautical mile is 1852 meters


A slip e.g. paper or metal attached to an object to indicate the nature, ownership, destination, contents and/or other particulars of the object.


Lading can be used as another word for cargo or freight. It can also refer to the loading and placement of cargo into the vessel for transportation to its destination. When the carrier issues a receipt for this type of cargo, it is called a bill of lading.


To hold goods in position by the use of, e.g., wires, ropes, chains and straps.

Lead Logistics Provider (LLP)

An LLP is the lead supplier of supply chain coordination and management services. While the LLP might own some of the services provided, it may also coordinate and integrate services of others with complementary or supporting capabilities.

Less than Container Load

Abbreviation: LCL

For operational purposes an LCL is considered a container in which multiple consignments or parts thereof are shipped.

Less than truckload (LTL)

An LTL shipment does not fill a standard truck.


The party to whom the possession of specified property has been conveyed for a period of time in return for rental payments.

Letter of Credit

The Letter of Credit is a financial Instrument issued by an importer’s bank (opening bank, on behalf of the importer). The opening bank substitutes its own credit for that of the importer, and undertakes a commitment to designated beneficiary (the exporter) to pay a stated amount within a stated time frame, provided that the exporter complies with all the terms and conditions of the Letter of Credit.


Document, which lists the specifications of goods, loaded in a means of transport or equipment for transportation purposes. As a rule, agents in the place of loading draw up manifests for cargo. For P&O Nedlloyd a manifest represents a cumulation of Bills of Lading for official and administrative purposes.

Marine Insurance Policy

An insurance policy protecting the insured against loss or damage to his goods occurred during ocean transport.

Mate's Receipt

A document signed by the chief officer of a vessel acknowledging the receipt of a certain consignment on board of that vessel. On this document, remarks can be made as to the order and condition of the consignment.

Minimum Weight

The shipment weight specified by the carrier’s tariff as the minimum weight required to use the TL or CL rate; the rate discount volume.

Multimodal Operator (MTO)

An MTO is a combined transport operator for shipments involving several carriers and several transfers. The freight forwarder issues the negotiable FIATA Combined Transport bill of lading for this purpose.

NCV (No Commercial Value)

Shipments declared as having no commercial value but having a value for Customs. Best example would be business documents.


Those goods which are exempt from duty as per each nation’s Customs regulation.

Non-vessel operator (NVO)

An NVO is a carrier who charters ships but is not a ship owner himself; also a company that carries out shipments using its own containers but does not have its own ships

Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier

Abbreviation: NVOCC

A party who undertakes to carry goods and issues in his own name a Bill of Lading for such carriage, without having the availability of any own means of transport.

Notify Address

Address of the party other than the consignee to be advised of the arrival of the goods.

Notify Party

The party to be notified of arrival of goods.


The carriage of goods (containers) by any mode of transport to the place of delivery after discharge from the ocean vessel (main means of transport) at the port (place) of discharge.

On-Deck Cargo

Cargo usually stowed on the deck of a vessel. This cargo is usually subjected to wind and sea water.

Open Top Container

A freight container similar in all respects to a general-purpose container except that it has no rigid roof but may have a flexible and movable or removable cover, for example one made of canvas or plastic or reinforced plastic material normally supported on movable or removable roof bows.

Order Picking

Selecting or “picking” the required quantity of specific products for movement to a packaging area (usually in response to one or more shipping orders) and documenting that the material was moved from one location to shipping.

Outbound logistics

Outbound logistics covers the entire goods supply chain from manufacturing and retailing right through to the end customer. It includes, among other things, manufacturing waste management, packaging, intermediate storage, picking, packing, final assembly, dispatch and spare parts management.


The subcontracting to external companies of tasks considered to be outside an organization’s core competence. Logistics outsourcing is one of the most popular forms.

Over carrier

An over carrier is a shipping company in a pool arrangement that ships a larger volume of cargo than its legitimate, allotted volume. The opposite is the under carrier. In the pool arrangement, an over carrier has to compensate an under carrier – if the latter has adhered to its schedule.

Oversized Pieces

Shipments of 85 inches or greater that are too large to fit on a pallet.


Materials used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery and presentation of goods and the activities of placing and securing goods in those materials.

Packing Instruction

Document issued within an enterprise giving instructions on how goods are to be packed.

Packing List

Document specifying the contents of each individual package.


A platform on which goods can be stacked in order to facilitate the movement by a forklift or sling.


A palletizer is a machine that is frequently used in warehouses and at transshipment points. It stacks parcels and packages onto pallets according to a prearranged pattern.


Products that require expedited transport or special attention to prevent spoilage or decay such as fruits, vegetables, frozen fish or certain chemical products.

Pick Up Service

Retrieving goods from a shipper to be brought to their destination for a fee.


Petty stealing of goods from a ship’s hold, cargo shed or warehouse.

Place of Delivery

The location where a consignment (shipment) is delivered to the consignee viz. the place where the carrier’s liability ends for the transport venture.

Place of Despatch

Name and address specifying where goods are collected or taken over by the carrier (i.e. if other than consignor).

Place of Receipt

The location where a consignment (shipment) is received by the carrier from the shipper viz. the place where the carrier’s liability for transport venture commences.


Port of Discharge – Port where vessel is off loaded.
Also Proof of Delivery – The receipt signed by the consignee upon delivery.

Point of Origin

The location where a shipment first starts out.

Port of Loading

The port where the cargo is actually loaded on board the sea (ocean) going vessel.

Postal Code

A four to nine digit number identifying postal delivery zones in Canadian and international cities

Preshipment Inspection

Abbreviation: PSI
The checking of goods before shipment for the purpose of determining the quantity and/or quality of said goods by an independent surveyor (inspection company) for phytosanitary, sanitary and veterinary controls. Presently there is a tendency by developing countries to use the inspection also for the purpose of determining whether the price charged for certain goods are correct.

Pro Forma Invoice

Draft invoice sent to an importer by the exporter prior to order confirmation and shipment to assist in matters relating to obtaining import licences or foreign exchange allocations, or simply to advise the value of a consignment so that letters of credit can be opened.

Project Cargo

Quantity of goods connected to the same project and often carried on different moments and from various places.

Protection and Indemnity Club

Abbreviation: P&I club
A mutual association of shipowners who provide protection against liabilities by means of contributions.


The period during which an arriving vessel, including its equipment, cargo, crew or passengers, suspected to carry or carrying a contagious disease is detained in strict isolation to prevent the spread of such a disease.


That part of a wharf which is intended for the mooring of vessels.


  • The price of a transport service
  • Quantity, amount or degree measured or applied


That part of a transport charge which the carrier agrees to return.


A written acknowledgement, that something has been received.

Reefer Cargo

Cargo requiring temperature control.

Reefer Container

A thermal container with refrigerating appliances (mechanical compressor unit, absorption unit etc.) to control the temperature of cargo.

Reverse logistics

The process of collecting, handling and transporting used, damaged, unwanted or end-of-life goods and/or packaging for disposal, recycling or recovery. Can also refer to the return of reusable transit equipment (pallets, containers etc.) to a point further up the supply chain (i.e. upstream).

Roll-on Roll-off

Abbreviation: RoRo

System of loading and discharging a vessel whereby the cargo is driven on and off by means of a ramp.


The Routing is the process for arranging the course of direction of goods for transport.


A separately identifiable collection of goods to be carried.

Note: In the United States of America the word shipment is used instead of the word consignment.

The (legal) person officially registered as such in the certificate of registry where the following particulars are contained:

  • Name of vessel and port of registry.
  • Details contained in surveyors certificate.
  • The particulars respecting the origin stated in the declaration of ownership.
  • The name and description of the registered owner, if more than one owner the proportionate share of each.


The shipper is the person who offers the goods to the carrier for transport and concludes the ocean freight contract with the carrier. The shipper can also be the freight forwarder. Under the law of freight forwarding, the shipper is the consignor on the waybill.

Shipper's Export Declaration

Abbreviation: SED

A United States customs form to be completed for all exports to assist the government in compiling export statistics.

Shipper's Letter of Instruction

Abbreviation: SLI

A document containing instructions given by the shipper or the shipper’s agent for preparing documents and forwarding (air cargo).

Shrink Wrapping

Heat treatment that shrinks an envelope of polyethylene or similar substance around several units, thus forming one unit. It is used e.g. to secure packages on a pallet.

Single Access Document

Also referred to as “SAD” the Single Access Document required for movement of goods through the countries of the European Economic Community. Generally prepared by Customs Brokers in Europe for imports entering the EC.

Skidded Crate

A crate with skids underneath for easy lifting with fork lifts.


The space on board a vessel, required by one TEU, mainly used for administrative purposes.


Sourcing is the practice of locating and procuring goods and products.

Spare parts logistics

Spare parts logistics is a special area of logistics in industry. Many products need to be supplied with spare parts on an ongoing basis. They are usually independent systems with central warehouses.


An identifiable amount of containers stowed in a orderly way in one specified place on an (ocean) terminal, container freight station, container yard or depot.


The activity of placing goods into a store or the state of being in store (e.g. a warehouse).


The placing and securing of cargo or containers on board a vessel or an aircraft or of cargo in a container.

Stowage Factor

Ratio of a cargo’s cubic measurement to its weight, expressed in cubic feet to the ton or cubic metres to the tonne, used in order to determine the total quantity of cargo which can be loaded in a certain space.

Stowage Plan

A plan indicating the locations on the vessel of all the consignments for the benefit of stevedores and vessel’s officers.


The loading of cargo into a container.


Sub-assembly is the processes for putting together individual units to fit with other components to make a finished product.


An additional charge added to the usual or customary freight.


An inspection of a certain item or object by a recognised specialist.

Supply Chain

A sequence of events in a goods flow which adds to the value of a specific good. These events may include conversion, assembling and/or disassembling movements and placements


A vessel designed for the carriage of liquid cargo in bulk.


Tare designates the weight of the packaging of goods. It can be calculated by deducting the gross weight from the net weight.


The schedule of rates, charges and related transport conditions.


A location on either end of a transportation line including servicing and handling facilities.

Terms of Delivery

All the conditions agreed upon between trading partners regarding the delivery of goods and the related services.

Note: Under normal circumstances the INCO terms are used to prevent any misunderstandings


A toll is a fixed charge for using constructions, usually roads or tunnels.


  • Cubic capacity of a merchant vessel
  • Total weight or amount of cargo expressed in tons


The action of retrieving information concerning the whereabouts of cargo, cargo items, consignments or equipment.


A vehicle without motive power, designed for the carriage of cargo and to be towed by a motor vehicle.


Shipment of merchandise to the point of destination in another country on more than one vessel or vehicle. The liability may pass from one carrier to the next, or it may be covered by “through bills of lading” issued by the first carriers.

Transit Cargo

  • Cargo between outwards customs clearance and inwards customs clearance
  • Cargo arriving at a point and departing there-from by the same through flight (air cargo)


Shipment of merchandise to the point of destination in another country on more than one vessel or vehicle. The liability may pass from one carrier to the next, or it may be covered by “through bills of lading” issued by the first carriers.

Ultimate Consignee

Party who has been designated on the invoice or packing list as the final recipient of the stated merchandise.


Unit load device. Refers to airfreight containers and pallets.

Valuable Cargo

A consignment which contains one or more valuable articles.

Value Added Tax

Abbreviation: VAT

A form of indirect sales tax paid on products and services at each stage of production or distribution, based on the value added at that stage and included in the cost to the ultimate customer.

Very Large Crude Carrier

Abbreviation: VLCC

A vessel designed for the carriage of liquid cargo in bulk with a loading capacity from 50.000 till 250.000 DWT.


  • A floating structure designed for the transport of cargo and/or passengers.
  • Boiler, drum


Size or measure of anything in three dimensions.


A journey by sea from one port or country to another one or, in case of a round trip, to the same port.

Voyage Charter

A contract under which the shipowner agrees to carry an agreed quantity of cargo from a specified port or ports to another port or ports for a remuneration called freight, which is calculated according to the quantity of cargo loaded, or sometimes at a lumpsum freight.

Voyage Number

Reference number assigned by the carrier or his agent to the voyage of the vessel.


A building specially designed for receipt, storage and handling of goods.


Non-negotiable document evidencing the contract for the transport of cargo.


A place for berthing vessels to facilitate loading and discharging of cargo.


The fee charged for the use of a wharf for mooring, loading or discharging a vessel or for storing goods.

Empty section.


Fenced off, outdoor storage and repair area.


Variation of the course of a ship to port or starboard caused by the action of waves or wind.

Yield Bucket

The remaining slot capacity for a trade/voyage in a certain port of loading after deduction of the allowance for specific contracts.

Yield Management

The process of maximising the contribution of every slot, vessel, trade and network. Basically it should be seen as the process of allocating the right type of capacity to the right kind of customer at the right price as to maximise revenue or yield. The concept should be used in combination with load factor management.


Area, belt or district extending about a certain point defined for transport and/or charge purpose.

Zone Haulage Rate

The rate for which the carrier will undertake the haulage of goods or containers between either the place of delivery or the carrier’s appropriate terminal. Such haulage will be undertaken only subject to the terms and conditions of the tariff and of the carrier’s Combined Transport Bill of Lading.