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Shipping Definitions

Service Terms

Definitions for terms used to describe shipment types and special services are found below:

Bulkhead – A wall or divider installed between freight in a trailer to keep the goods safely separated during transit.

Cubic Feet – A measurement determined by multiplying the greatest dimensions of length, width and height of space a shipment effectively occupies in inches and dividing the total by 1,728 cubic inches.

Deadhead – A trailer that is empty during travel. Deadhead is commonly used when describing a truck or trailer’s journey back to its point of origin.

Dock – Also referred to as a loading dock, it is an area where a carrier receives and dispatches shipments.

Drayage – The process of transporting goods over a short distance, most often used to describe local shipping needs.

Dunnage – Materials such as plastic, wood and bags that are used to protect goods during transportation.

Effectively Occupy – Refers to the line-haul equipment space required to transport a shipment. Also referred to as effectively occupying, effective occupancy and effective cube.

Exclusive Use – With this service, the shipper often has full control over the freight being transported, and no other freight may be added to the trailer.

Expedite Expedited services are necessary when a shipment must arrive at its destination quickly, not just within a certain time frame.

Final-Mile Residential and commercial shipments that require value-added services, such as restricted appointment windows, consumer shipment notifications or enhanced delivery options.

Freeze Protection – A service agreed upon prior to shipping to protect goods that may be damaged in temperatures at 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.

Full Visible Capacity – Defined as the quantity of freight that fills equipment space to the point where no additional articles of the same type of freight can be loaded. The quantity is defined as freight which, in the manner loaded, utilizes a linear length of 24 feet or more and a linear width of five feet or more; or that exceeds 19,999 pounds.

Freight of All Kinds (FAK) – Specifies a variety of load types combined into one trailer or container as consolidated shipments.

Full–Container-Load (FCL) – Designates a container that is filled to capacity without room for additional goods.

Full-Truckload (FTL) Also known as Truckload (TL), typically signifies that there is enough freight to fill a trailer.

Hazmat – Hazardous materials or substances that require extra precaution and consideration when transported.

Intermodal Shipping that incorporates more than one mode of transportation, such as combining the use of trucks and trains to cover more ground in a timely manner.

Knocked Down (KD) – Disassembled goods that have been taken apart to save space and require assembly after delivery.

Less-Than-Container-Load (LCL) – Indicates that multiple shipments are combined into one container.

Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) A shipment of freight in a quantity that typically does not fill a trailer.

Pallet – Most often made of wooden deck boards and offers support and protection for freight through top and bottom decks. Allows freight to be handled by a forklift without damaging the freight.

Skid – A single platform with legs or runners that provides foundational support to cargo during shipment. Allows freight to be handled by a forklift without damaging the freight.

Time Critical Used when a shipment needs to reach a destination by a certain date or time of day.

Warehousing The process of storing cargo or goods for any length of time before, during or after shipment.

Equipment Types

The following terms may be used to describe the equipment type used to transport a shipment:

Flatbed Trailer A trailer with an open body and level bed and no sides or roof that can be loaded from the top or sides.  

Intermodal Container (ISO container) A large container designed for shipping via various modes of transportation — including truck and rail — without unloading and reloading the freight.

Pup/Doubles Trailer – Any trailer 34 feet or less in length.

Standard Trailer – Any trailer 35 feet in length or more.

Trailer – Any standard trailer, van, pup, doubles trailer or any other similar non-powered equipment used by the carrier to transport or move freight from one location to another.

Truck/Vehicle – Any single power unit combined with one or more trailers.


Payment and Billing Definitions

These terms and phrases may be used in reference to the payment and billing options available for a specific shipment:

Accessorial Charges – Additional costs from extra services outside of standard pickup and delivery, such as storage charges, the handling of hazardous materials or inside delivery.

Bill of Lading (BOL) A legal document that outlines the types of goods being shipped as well as the shipping destination. The bill of lading is agreed upon by both the shipper and the carrier, traveling with the goods as an invoice.

Fuel Surcharge An additional charge that may increase or decrease based on fluctuating fuel prices. It is especially important for long-term shipping contracts when a carrier experiences varying fuel costs week by week.

Inbound Collect (IBC) – Collect shipments destined to a facility of the consignee for whom the Specific Account Pricing applies.

Manifest – A document that summarizes the bills of lading that are traveling on a particular trailer or vessel. It summarizes important information like the PRO number, origin, destination, shipper, consignee, weight and number of pieces in each shipment.

Outbound (OB) – Prepaid or collect shipments originating from a facility of the shipper for who the Specific Account Pricing applies.

Outbound Collect (OBC) – Collect shipments originating from a facility of the shipper for whom the Specific Account Pricing Applies.

Outbound Prepaid (OBP) – Prepaid shipments originating from a facility of the shipper for whom the Specific Account Pricing applies.

PRO – Short for Progressive Number, the PRO is a unique identifier assigned to a shipment that tracks its movement from origin to destination.

Specific Account Pricing – Rates, charges, tariff or contract provisions that are restricted to apply only for the identified account. Also referred to as specific account pricing, account pricing, named account pricing, account code pricing and special tariff provisions.

Tariff – A list of rules and rates published by a carrier that includes details and specifications for each service.

Third Party Billing (TPB) – Specific account pricing provisions which apply when the freight charges are to be billed to and paid by the specific account shown as the third party payor of the freight bill, and that party has no affiliation with either the shipper or the consignee.

Tariff Abbreviations 

Tariff items contain several columns of information, most with an abbreviated column heading. Below are explanations for the most common column headings:

ACCT-LOC – An abbreviation for account location(s) and names of the location limitations for which the specific account pricing provisions apply.

CLS/Class – Specifies the actual class or exception rating to be used in conjunction with the discount, weight breaks and payment terms provided.

CODE/Application Prescribes additional conditions that must be satisfied for special pricing provisions to apply.

DIS/Disc – Specifies the percentage discount to be applied. The discount will be shown on the freight bill as a deduction from the otherwise applicable linehaul charges.

RT Scale – Specifies the type of shipment on which the special pricing provisions are applicable.

PE – Used to modify the gross linehaul charges.

TERR-APPL – Names the geographic application for which the specific account provisions apply. If this heading is not used, the territorial application will be the full scope of the tariff.