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Freight forwarding is a complex market with even more complex industry terms. Our goal is to make these terms easier to understand for everyone. As a crucial part of freight forwarding, we have added all necessary information at your disposal.

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Short formFull designation
EXWEx Works
FCAFree Carrier
CPTCarriage Paid To
CIPCarriage and Insurance Paid to
DPUDelivered Place Unloaded
DAPDelivered At Place
DDPDelivered Duty Paid
FASFree Alongside Ship
FOBFree On Board
CFRCost and Freight
CIFCost, Insurance and Freight

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Download: Logistics Dictionary (English)

Short formFull designationDescription
3PLThird Party LogisticsA company’s use of a third-party to outsource its distribution, warehousing and other services.
4PLFourth Party LogisticsA company outsources its logistics organisation and management to a single partner. 4PL providers manage the complete supply chain on behalf of the manufacturer or service provider.
ADRAccord Dangereux RoutierADR stands for Dangerous Goods by Road (European regulations concerning the international transport of dangerous goods by road).
AGSAden Gulf SurchargeGulf of Aden Surcharge is the surcharge due to security measures when sailing through the Gulf of Aden
AGVAutomated Guided VehicleMaterials handling robot that follows along marked long lines or wires on the floor, or uses radio waves, vision cameras, magnets, or lasers for navigation. They are most often used in industrial applications, such as factories and warehouses.
AS/RSAutomated Storage and Retrieval SystemsConsists of a variety of computer-controlled systems for automatically placing and retrieving loads from defined storage locations.
ATAActual Time of ArrivalThe exact time of arrival at its destination
ATA-CarnetTemporary AdmissionInternational temporary export and import document which simplifies the customs clearance and replaces all export, import and transit documents.
ATDActual Time of DepartureThe exact time of departure from the point of origin
ATR-CertificateAdmission Temporaire Roulette CertificateCustoms document that can be used with trade between EU countries and Turkey.
AWActual WeightActual weight is exactly what the product weighs including packaging.
AWBAir Way BillTransportation document for airfreight.
B/LBill of LoadingRequired document issued by a carrier to a shipper, detailing a type of shipment, quantity and the destination of the shipment.
B2BBusiness to BusinessTrade between companies.
B2CBusiness to ConsumerTrade between company and the consumer of the goods.
BAFBunker Adjustement FactorSurcharge levied on shipping companies, the floating price level of fuel in ocean freight shipping and is typically updated on a quarterly basis.
BarcodeBarcodeIdentification of the goods
Block palletBlock palletType of pallet with 9 blocks of wood placed in all four corners. The dimensions of a block pallet are 120 x 100 cms.
Break BulkGoods that must be loaded individuallyGoods that cannot be transported in or on a container by (ocean going) vessel due to their exceptionally large dimensions or weight.
BulkGoods that is transported unpackaged in large quantitiesBulk shipping is the transportation of goods in large quantity, usually not packed but loaded directly into a vessel.
CAFCurrency Adjustment FactorCurrency surcharge.
CarrierCompany that provides transportation servicesA company that is legally entitled to transport goods by land, water, and air. 
CBMCubic MeterA volume that is made by a cube that is 1 meter on each side.
ChassisSemi hangarTrailer chassis for transporting goods in containers.
CMRCarriage of goods documentCMR stands for (Convention relative au contrat de transport international de marchandises par route). Is a carriage of goods document, used during international trade activities when goods are being transported by road.
Co-LoaderA co-loader consolidates LCL shipmentsA third party who consolidates the cargo of two or more LCL shipments in a container before handing it over to the carrier.
CODChange of DestinationChange of agreed delivery address
CommodityCommodityA commodity is a good used in commerce.
Community GoodsCommunity GoodsCommunity goods are goods that are still in free circulation in the EU. As such, no import duties have to be paid on these goods.
ConsigneeConsigneeThe consignee is the reciever of the goods.
ConsignorSender/ShipperThe sender/shipper of the goods is where the goods is sent/shipped from.
ConsolidationConsolidationConsolidation is the process where a carrier or a shipping company combines several smaller shipments into one full container.
Control TowerControl TowerAn expert group that seamlessly manages, drives and further develops the supply chain and product flow for your business.
Conversion KeyConversion KeyConversion factor from cbm/LM to weight.
COOCertficate Of OriginA document declaring in which country a commodity or good was manufactured.
Cross-dockingCross-dockingCross-docking is the practice of unloading goods from inbound delivery vehicles and loading them directly onto outbound vehicles
Customs ClearanceCustoms ClearanceThe act of taking goods through the customs authority to facilitate the movement of cargo into a country (import) and outside the country (export)
CWChargeable WeightThe actual gross weight or the volumetric weight of the shipment – whichever is higher.
CYContainer YardLocation of where containers are stored on the terminal or dry port before they are loaded or offloaded from a ship.
Deep SeaDeep SeaThe maritime transport of goods on intercontinental routes, crossing ocean
D/ODelivery OrderA document from a consignee, or an owner or his agent of freight carrier which orders the release of the transportation of cargo to another party
DemurrageDemmurageA document from the consignee, shipper, or owner of freight, ordering a terminal operator, carrier or warehouseman to deliver freight to another party.
DetentionDetentionThe charged payment by shipping companies to their clients for the use of their containers outside the free period, after they have left the terminal.
DGDDangerous Goods DeclarationDocument for the shipper to provide critical information to the aircraft operator or carrier in a format that is consisten throughout the transportation industry.
DGRDangerous Goods RegulationsGlobal reference for shipping dangerous goods by air and the only standard recognized by the global Airline industry.
Dry Bulk CargoDry Bulk CargoDry bulk cargoes cover a range of produce and raw materials that have two features in common: they are unpacked and are homogeneous
EANEuropean Article NumberingA series of letters and numbers in a unique order that helps identify specific products within your own inventory.
EDDExplosives Detection DogsScreening technique for explosives detection, with this screening method dogs are used.
EDIElectronic Data InterchangeThe intercompany communication of business documents in a standard format.
ERPEnterprise Resource PlanningA process used by companies to manage and integrate the important parts of their businesses.
ETAEstimated Time of ArrivalThe time when a ship, vehicle, aircraft, cargo, emergency service or person is expected to arrive at a certain place.
ETDEstimated Time of DepartureThe time when a ship, vehicle, aircraft, cargo, emergency service or person is expected to depart at a certain place.
EUR-1EUR-1 CertificateAn EUR1 certificate is used to proof the origin of goods moving into the European Union (EU) territory
EUR-PalletEURO-PalletAccording to EPAL (European Pallet Association), Euro pallets are the standard pallets used for transport in Europe. The dimensions of a Euro pallet are 100 x 80 cms.
EX-AEX-A DocumentAn export document which is required when a shipment, that has been originated in the EU (or has been Customs cleared in the EU), leaves the European territory.
ExportExportExport is the process of transporting locally produced goods from one country to another for future sales.
FCLFull Container LoadOcean shipment in which the cargo occupies a full container
FeederFeederA short-sea network between ports with the objective of consolidating or redistributing freight to or from a deep sea service in one of these ports, the so-called hub port
FEU/FFUForty Equivalent Unit/ Forty Foot UnitA measure of volume in units of 40-foot long containers
ForwarderForwarderAn agent who acts on behalf of shippers to arrange the transportation of goods.
FSCFuel SurchargeCharge to cover the fluctuating cost of fuel.
FTLFull Truck LoadThe ground transportation service in which a complete truck is dedicated to a single load or, in other words, to a single customer
FYCOPhysical InspectionInspection by Customs in which the doors of the container are opened and. the contents of the container are physically inspected
GSP CertificateGeneral System of Preference CertificateA preferential tariff system granted by bunch of developed countries to developing or least developed countries
GWGross WeightActual weight of the shipment
HAWBHouse Air Way BillA transport document, which is used in air shipments, issued and signed by a freight forwarder, generally on a natural air waybill format, evidences the terms and conditions of the carriage of goods as specified by the freight forwarder.
HAZMATHazardous MaterialSubstances in quantities or forms that may pose a reasonable risk to health, property, or the environment
HB/LHouse Bill of LoadingA document created by a freight forwarder or non-vessel operating company (NVOCC). The document is an acknowledgment of the receipt of goods that are to be shipped. I
HSHarmonized Statistic CodeThe common standard worldwide for describing the type of commodity.
HTHeat TreatedA group of industrial, thermal and metalworking processes used to alter the physical, and sometimes chemical, properties of a material
IATAInternational Air Transport AssociationThe trade association of the world’s international airline industry.
IBCIntermediate Bulk ContainerA transporting and storing container for liquids and solids
IM-A Upon entry of goods from outside the EU, that are intended to remain in the EU, there has been import of those goods. This import is controlled by an import document (IM-A document).
ImportImportImport is the process of receiving or bringing in goods from abroad for the purpose of trade.
IncotermInternational Commercial TermsIs an abbreviation for “International Commercial Terms.” This term represents a very useful way of communication and it’s actually aimed at reducing confusion between buyers and sellers.
ISPSInternational Ship and Port Facility Security CodeA set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities
Lashing / SecuringLashing / SecuringFixing of cargo on or in a container with wood, chains or other materials to stuff the cargo safe and seaworthy.
LCLetter of CreditA letter from a bank guaranteeing that a buyer’s payment to a seller will be received on time and for the correct amount
LCLLess than Container LoadLCL (less than container load) is a mode of shipping via ocean. An LCL shipment will be consolidated with other LCL shipments into one container.
LDMLoading MeterA loading meter is the standard unit of measurement for transport by truck. In other words, a LDM is equal to one meter of loading space of the truck’s length.
Lo/LoLift on/Lift offLift on/lift off vessel using a crane.
LOILetter of indemnityA letter of indemnity is a document exempting one party from liability to any claim that may arise from the other party.
LTLLess Than TruckloadThe transportation of products or goods that does not require a full truckload due to the smaller nature of the parcel
MAWBMaster Air Way BillA transport document which is issued by the air cargo carrier or its agent
MBLMaster Bill of LadingDocument created for shipping companies by their carriers as a receipt of transfer
Missing IODMissing IODNo information on delivery of the goods.
MSDSMaterial Safety Data SheetA document that contains information on the potential hazards (health, fire, reactivity and environmental) and how to work safely with the chemical product
Non-Community GoodsNon-Community GoodsNon-Community goods are goods that are not in free circulation in the EU and must remain under customs control.
NORNon-Operating ReeferReefers that serve as dry boxes by disabling the refrigeration unit for a journey
Notify PartyNotify PartyAny party that is notified with shipment information by a carrier upon the arrival of cargo at its destination
NRFCNot Ready For CarriageAdditional charges in case of the shipment needs extra handling (adjusting AWB, re-pack, unloading)
NVOCCNon Vessel Operating Common CarrierAn ocean carrier that transports goods under its own House Bill of Lading, or equivalent documentation, without operating ocean transportation vessels
PDABarcode ScannerHandheld scanner for reading the barcode on labels.
PODProof Of DeliveryA document that confirms receipt of an item
POLPort Of LoadingPlace where shipments are loaded and secured aboard a vessel.
PrefixPrefixA three-digits identificatior by every airline, approved by IATA and ICAO and standing in the beginning of each Airwaybill
RFCReady For CarriageA shipment that is acceptable to carrier and ready to be transported by carrier.
ReeferA refrigerated containerA refrigerated container for the transportation of temperature-sensitive cargo.
RESTRemote Explosive Scent TracingA survey methodology based on using dogs and rats to detect landmines and explosive remnants of war
Ro/RoRoll on/Roll offA vessel that is specialized for transporting wheeled cargo such as cars, busses, trailers, tractors, railroad cars, etc, which are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels.
ShipperShipper of cargoSender of the goods.
SSSShort Sea ShippingThe maritime transport of goods over relatively short distances, as opposed to the intercontinental cross-ocean deep sea shipping
SLAService Level AgreementAn agreement between a logistics service provider and the customer regarding delivery times.
SSCSecurity SurchargeAdditional cost according to safety risks involved.
StevedoreStevedoreA person who is employed to load or unload cargo of a vessel.
StorageStorageThe activity of storing products at warehouses and logistics centers.
StrippingStripping of containerStripping is the unloading of various small consignments from a single container.
StuffingStuffing of containerIs the process by which goods are loaded into a container to be shipped.
SWBSea Way BillTransportation document for ocean freight. Not to be confused with B/L. A Sea Way Bill, however is not needed for cargo delivery and is only issued as a cargo receipt.
T1T1 DocumentA transit document which allows for goods which originated outside the European Union to move freely within the European Union
T2T2 DocumentDocument for the movement of free circulation goods within the community for which the duties and other charges had been paid at the place of entry itself.
TEUTwenty-Foot Container Equivalent UnitThe TEU is equivalent to a 20 feet long (6 meters) and 8 feet wide (2.40 meters) container.
THCTerminal Handling ChargesTerminal and handling costs.
TMSTransportation Management SystemPlatform designed to streamline the transportation process, and may be part of an entrerprise resource planning (ERP) system.
Ton-KilometerTon-KilometerA unit that is used in transport geography and the transport economy to indicate the evolution of freight traffic.
Transit PortTransit PortA port where the cargo handled is merely en route to its destination.
ULDUnit Load DeviceContainer used to transport cargo specially adapted for airfreight.
VALValuable CargoHigh value shipments need special care to ensure a safe and secure transport.
W/MWeight/MeasurementWeight and Measurement of the shipment
WaiverCargo Tracking Note of WaiverWaiver is a shipping document needed when transporting goods to or through Central and Western Africa countries.
WMSWarehouse Management SystemSoftware appliction developed to support and and optimize distribution center management and warehouse functionality.
X-RayEnergetic High-Frequency Electromagnetic RadiationScreening technique specially developed to screen large cargo volumes at the same time. With this screening method a highly advanced machine will be used, pallets size up to 180 cm wide and 180 cm high can be scanned.
YOCYard Occupancy Charge 
DRDirect RepresentationEuropean legislation allows for declarations for customs regulations to be made as a direct representative. This means that this declaration is effectuated in the name and at the expense of a different party.
KCKnown consignorA shipper of freight or mail authorised to ship on its own account, and whose processes meet the common security standards and regulations for transporting the relevant freight or mail by air
CFSContainer Freight Station 

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