A

Air Waybill (AWB)

A freight document issued by a carrier for goods transported by air that counts as a contract of carriage, delivery instructions and a cargo receipt.

Airline Terminal Fee

A mandatory handling fee in air freight.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

The measurement (in percentage) of alcohol content in any alcoholic beverage.

Anti-dumping Duties (AD)

Dumping refers to foreign manufacturers 'price-dumping' their products in the U.S., i.e. selling them at a lower price than their fair market value to be more competitive. The US charges anti-dumping duties (AD) to close this pricing gap.

B

Backhaul

The return trip of a trucker to the original destination with either a partial or full load, usually at a cheaper rate than the headhaul.

Barrel

A standard unit of measurement in the U.S. equivalent to 31.5 gallons or 119 litres.

Benchmark

Refers to key performance indicator (KPI) thresholds to measure supply chain performance.

Bill of Lading (BOL or B/L)

A bill of lading is a shipping document that describes the trajectory of a shipment's voyage. It counts as a contract of carriage, cargo receipt and proof of ownership.

Blank Sailing

A blank sailing or 'void sailing' is a voyage that has been canceled by the carrier. This means one or all scheduled ports are skipped.

Blind Shipment

When a third party is involved in shipping a product from a seller, their information can be concealed. This means the buyer only sees the seller details but is 'blind' as to who actually shipped their goods.

Bobtail Fee

A fee (also known as a 'Drop Fee') charged by a trucker to deliver an FCL container to a warehouse, and then pick up the same container once it's been unloaded. 'Bobtail' refers to a truck without a trailer.

Bonded Goods

Goods for which customs duties are yet to be paid, held in a Bonded warehouse until payment is settled.

Bonded Warehouse

A secure warehouse under customs supervision to store goods for which customs duties needs to paid (known as bonded goods).

Break Bulk

Goods that don't fit into standard shipping containers and need to be transported separately, such as large machines or vehicles.

Bulk Cargo

Goods that are shipped 'loose', such as oil, coal or grain. Bulk cargo can be classed as free flowing, liquid, or dry, and is deposited or poured into the hull of a vessel, truck / tanker or train without requiring packaging or containers.

Bulkhead

A steel wall partition attached inside a container that protects and separates a flexitank from the door

Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF)

BAF is a fee charged by sea freight carriers, per container, to buffer against fluctuations in fuel prices. Freight rates usually include BAF.

C

Capacity

In logistics, capacity usually refer to the availability of hireable freight shipping assets (containers, trucks, etc).

Cargo Insurance

Insurance is vital to protect cargo between pickup to final delivery from loss, damage or delays.

Cargo Ready Date

The date that cargo is expected to be ready for pickup at a warehouse, container yard or terminal.

Carrier (VOCC / NVOCC)

The company that transports the cargo. there are two classifications of carrier, VOCC (Vessel Operating Common Carrier) and NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier). A VOCC typically owns ships (more commonly known as 'ocean carriers') whereas a NVOCC refers to freight forwarders that have partnerships with VOCCs.

Cartage

Cartage refers to moving cargo via truck to and from a CFS.

Centralized Examination Station (CES)

If U.S customs holds back a shipment for inspection, it's kept in a CES. Costs associated with an inspection fall entirely on the importer, including transport to the CES, the CES fee and storage costs.

Chassis

A type of truck trailer/truck undercarriage (usually in 20' or 40' container size) used in road transportation of ocean containers.

Chassis Fee

The flat fee associated with requiring a chassis for container transportation. The full fee is charged to FCL shipments, and a by-volume percentage of the fee to each LCL shipper.

Chassis Split

The fee charged when a trucker has to travel to collect a chassis, and bring it to where the container is stored.

Clean Truck Fee

An extra fee charged only in the ports of L.A and Long Beach in the U.S, to help reduce air pollution.

Cold Chain Logistics

A temperature-controlled supply chain, where production, storage and distribution are all refrigerated.

Co-Loader

A third party who consolidates the cargo of LCL shipments into a shared container in a CFS.

Commerce Control List (CCL)

A list of product groups and categories used to determine if a U.S export license is required.

Commercial Invoice

A document specifying the quantity and value of goods, as well as supplier and buyer details, essential for customs declarations.

Common Carrier

Common carriers offer shipping services to the public, unlike private carriers that can pick and choose who they serve.

Compliance Assessment

An audit of a company's customs dealings.

Condensation

Also known as 'container sweat' or 'container rain' condensation (water droplets) forming in airtight containers due to temperature fluctuations can be a real problem to vulnerable cargo.

Consignee

Sometimes referred to as the buyer or recipient, the consignee is legally responsible for ownership of the goods upon delivery to destination.

Consolidation

In shipping, consolidation refers to adding several LCL shipments into a single container at a CFS.

Container

A steel box especially designed to ship cargo in, across various modes of transportation including sea freight and rail. Containers are standardized by size; 20 foot, 40 foot, 40 foot High Cube (HC) - which is a foot taller - and 45 foot High Cube.

Container Freight Station (CFS)

A warehouse that consolidates and deconsolidates cargo. A CFS takes LCL shipments to consolidate them into a shared container. Upon arrival at the destination port, there's another CFS ready to do the same process in reverse (deconsolidation). The fee charged to do this is called a CFS Fee.

Container Freight Station Cut-Off (CFS Cut-off)

The date prior to a sailing by which a container must be checked-in ('gated-in') by at the CFS.

Container Freight Station Fee (CFS Fee)

The fee charged to consolidate and deconsolidate cargo in a CFS, based on volume of goods.

Container rain

Also known as 'container sweat', condensation (water droplets) forming in airtight containers due to temperature fluctuations can be a real problem to vulnerable cargo.

Container Yard (CY)

A coastal facility / depot for ocean container storage, and from where all containers are loaded onto cargo vessels.

Container Yard Cut-Off

The date prior to a sailing (usually 2 days before) by which a container must be checked-in ('gated-in') by at the container yard.

Continuous Customs Bond

A type of customs bond that covers all your imported goods for a full year, but doesn't cover customs clearance fees.

Contract of Carriage

A written contract between the carrier and the shipper for the transport of cargo, specifying the obligations of each party. Contracts of carriage may be a Bill of Lading, Air Waybill, Sea Waybill or Charter Party.

Control tower

A centralized logistics information hub, not an actual physical 'tower'.

Countervailing Duties (CVD)

Duties, determined per country, that protect U.S. manufacturers from cheap foreign goods that take advantage of foreign tax subsidies.

Country of Origin

Country where goods are manufactured or produced. For trade, this is determined by the Rules of Origin.

Cross Dock

The process of unloading product at a receiving facility and reloading it on another truck to complete shipment with very little to no storage in between.

Cubic Meter (CBM)

Measurement most commonly used in the shipment of less than container loads (LCL) to determine the space and associated price of that shipment.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Otherwise known as U.S border control or U.S customs, CBP regulates trade and travel into the U.S.

Customs Assigned Importer Number (CAIN)

A number used for foreign import into the U.S. when importers don't have an EIN.

Customs Bond

A document, similar to insurance, that must be purchased to import high-value shipments into the U.S. In the event that import fees, taxes and duties on shipped goods aren't paid by the importer, CBP can collect from the intermediary broker, and the broker can pursue legal means to collect from the importer. A customs bond, also known as an import bond, is mandatory for import of goods over $2,500 into the U.S.

Customs Broker

An agent that helps prepare customs documents for import and export.

Customs Clearance

The authorization mandatory for goods to enter or leave a country.

Customs Entry

A document used in customs clearance that declares the type, amount, and value of goods entering or leaving a country.

Customs Exam

An inspection of goods by the CBP. In the U.S., a customs exam is an X-ray, Tail Gate or Intensive Exam. Shipments are chosen for a customs exam based on information from the AMS and ISF.

Customs Exam Fee

A fee charged for undergoing the customs exam, which is the importer's responsibility to pay if their goods are flagged for further inspection. The fee differs based upon what type of customs exam is performed.

Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT)

A supply chain security program of U.S customs. Companies that are CTPAP certified benefit from fewer (and faster) customs inspections and access to the FAST lanes at the U.S - Mexico and U.S - Canada borders.

D

Declared Value Coverage

A type of coverage, where the carrier's financial liability matches the declared value of the cargo whilst they are in possession of the shipment. A carrier will pay out only in the event of negligence on their part. Declared Value Coverage is distinct from Cargo Insurance, which is much broader spectrum and covers all eventualities.

Deconsolidation

The opposite of consolidation; deconsolidation is the process of sorting the contents of a container into the separate LCL shipments at a CFS.

Delivery Labor Fee

A fee charged when the trucker needs to unload cargo.

Delivery Order (DO)

A document given to the trucker containing all the pickup and delivery information.

Demurrage

A port / terminal fee charged for a 'late' pickup of a container, after the 'Last Free Day'.

Detention

Also know as Per Diem, Detention is a daily fee charged by a carrier for keeping the container in the port past the 'Last Free Day'. This fee is usually costly, as it's meant to deter importers from keeping much-needed containers out of circulation.

Devanning

Devanning is the term for unloading cargo from a container.

Disbursement Service Fee

A service fee (usually a percentage of the duties) charged when importers themselves don't directly pay the necessary customs duties and taxes, but rely on a third party to do so.

Distributor

An intermediary party that buys products to resell to a retailer. Distributors are part of the three-tier system to sell alcohol.

Distributor

A third-party that purchases products to resell to a retailer. In the U.S., distributors are part of the three-tier system to sell alcohol.

Double Blind Shipment

A double blind shipment is when the shipper doesn't know the delivery destination and the consignee doesn't know shipment origin. It protects the anonymity of both parties.

Draught Beer

Draft beer or draught beer is beer that is unpasteurized and unfiltered. It's stored in kegs, casks, barrels or serving tanks and must be protected from sunlight.

Draught Beer

Beer drawn from kegs, casks or serving tanks rather than cans, bottles or other packages.

Drayage

Drayage is the term for transporting a full container from the port to a warehouse.

Drop

A 'drop' is a type of delivery where the trucker leaves a container at the warehouse, without unloading it, and then returns to pick it up once it's empty. It's a good option when unloading will take a long time (or when it can't be unloaded straight away), to avoid a Trucking Wait Fee.

Drop and Pick

Similar to a 'Drop', but in this case the trucker picks up a different, empty container as they leave and don't need to return. It's a cheaper option than a Drop.

Drop Fee

The fee charged by a trucker (also known as a 'Bobtail Fee') for a 'drop' delivery, since an extra trip is required by the trucker to pick up the empty container.

Drum

Shipping drums are tough, waterproof cylindrical containers used for bulk liquids and granular materials, including hazardous liquids. They are metal, plastic, or corrugated fiberboard and come in standard sizes.

Dry container (DC)

A no-frills standard shipping container made of steel or aluminum. 90% of goods shipped by sea are transported with dry containers.

Dry Run

When a trucker can't pick up or deliver a shipment, they have to try again later. In this scenario, the trucker charges a Dry Run Fee to compensate for the extra trip.

Dry Van Shipping

Any shipping that doesn't need to be temperature controlled or transported on a flatbed trailer.

Dunnage

Packing material like loose wood or padding used to protect goods and keep them in position during transport.

Duty

A duty, or duties, are indirect import / export tariffs on goods, based purely on value. They are separate from VAT, sales tax, excise tax and other customs fees.

Duty Drawback

A type of U.S. government refund for U.S. traders for certain products. These refunds (Drawbaks) are only paid out when the imported goods either exported or destroyed.

E

Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI)

A EORI number is how the E.U legally identifies businesses. It's mandatory for import or export into the European Union.

EDI

Communications between two businesses via a structured set of messages to exchange documents like purchase orders and invoices.

Electronic Logging Device (ELD)

A piece of tech used to log trucker hours.

Emergency Bunker Surcharge (EBS)

A surcharge charged by ocean carriers when fuel prices rise very high, to cover their losses.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An EIN, Also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is how the U.S. legally identifies businesses.

Ex cellar

An outdated term used in trading wine and liquor. It's now replaced by EXW Ex Works in Incoterms.

Ex Works (EXW)

An Incoterm, that assigns most of the transport, handling, and associated payment and risk responsibility onto the buyer. EXW means the seller takes the cost and risk responsibility to make the cargo available for pick up, and that's it.

Excise

A type of tax / duty that is charged on importing certain goods, such as alcohol and tobacco.

Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS)

A computerised system that controls the movement of excise goods on which excise duties still need to be paid.

Expedited Shipment

The faster than normal delivery of a product from its origin to its destination.

Export Control Classification Number (ECCN)

A number used to classify U.S. exports in the CCL, used to determine if an export license is needed.

Export Declaration

A document handed in at the export port.

Export License

A license that gives someone the legal right to export. Only certain products require an export license, which can be found in the CCL.

Express Bill of Lading

A type of Bill of Lading that obligates the carrier to deliver the cargo to the consignee. This is usually used if the importer has already paid for the goods before shipping.

F

Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)

The U.S. agency responsible for regulating ocean transport and commercial shipping.

First In / First Out (FIFO)

FIFO means products are to be used in chronological order; the 'oldest' products must be the first to be used, consumed, delivered or sold.

First Sale Valuation

A valuation method to obtain the lowest possible import value, which helps lower Customs tariffs. Declaring the value cost to Customs as the cost paid by the first buyer directly to the manufacturer (the 'first sale') for example.

Flexitank

A type of robust inflatable bag used for bulk liquids that fits into a standard container, effectively transforming it into a type of tanker.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

A U.S. government agency that inspects certain regulated items in U.S. customs.

Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)

Secure economic locations, in or near a U.S. Port of Entry (but outside of CBP control) where goods are not (yet) taxed. Foreign goods will only be taxed when they exit the Free Trade Zone and enter the U.S.

Forklift

A small heavy-load vehicle that can stack boxes or other items, common in warehouses.

Forty-foot Equivalent Unit (FEU)

An FEU is a standard unit of measurement used in freight shipping, which refers to the volume in a 40-foot container. Two 20-foot containers (TEUs) equal one FEU.

Free Carrier (FCA)

An incoterm, frequently used in containerized ocean shipments. It obligates the seller to clear the cargo for export and to deliver the goods to a specified origin location. The delivery destination (e.g. a CFS, warehouse, etc.) must be named when using this incoterm.

Free on Board (FOB)

An incoterm, used for shipments delivered directly onto an ocean vessel. It obligates the seller to clear the goods for export, move the cargo to the port and on board a waiting vessel.

Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

An agreement between countries to help the import and export of goods between them and so boost trade for all parties.

Freight forwarding

A service that manages all aspects of the moving (forwarding) of cargo between countries on behalf of shippers. Freight forwarders frequently provide additional services such as cargo insurance, customs services, warehousing and more.

Fuel Surcharge (FSC)

A fee charged by a carrier to compensate for fluctuations in fuel prices.

Full Container Load (FCL)

When cargo from a single seller takes up a full container.

Full Truckload (FTL)

A type of cargo space requirement that can be reserved with a transportation provider. A FTL usually refers to occupying an entire 53-foot long truck trailer.

G

Gating in

Another word used for checking-in containers or shipments at the container yard or CFS.

General Average

When a disaster occurs during ocean freight, that requires cargo to be thrown over board to save the crew or ship, this law comes into force. It means that all parties involved in the shipment (the vessel owner and the shippers) will compensate those who have suffered losses.

General Order (GO)

A status given to goods that are held in Customs because of an issue with clearance (such as missing documents). After 15 days, goods under GO will be moved to a GO bonded warehouse, and those costly associated transport and storage fees fall on the importer.

General Rate Increase (GRI)

A price increase that ocean carriers have the right to charge if announced 30 days in advance. Rates can be lowered at any time without notice.

Golden Week

A Chinese holiday, the first week of October, that can affect shipments.

Gross Weight

The total weight of a load. That includes the weight of the truck, trailer, the cargo, fuel, the driver, and passengers.

Groupage

A Groupage shipment is when a single shipping container is shared by different suppliers, each of their shipments grouped together. Groupage in warehousing can mean consolidation; which is more of an organizational process.

H

Harbor Maintenance Fee (HMF)

A mandatory fee charged by U.S. Customs on ocean-imported goods through U.S. ports. It's calculated at 0.125% of the cargo value that was declared on the commercial invoice.

Heatpad

Headpads are used in freight when liquids solidify in tanks (common for fatty or oily goods with a low melting point) and need to liquified to make unloading possible.

High Cube (HC) Container

A type of container which is 1 foot taller than the standard container size. HC containers are usually 40-foot or 45-foot lengths.

House Bill of Lading (HBL)

A House Bill of Lading is created by a non-vessel operating company (NVOCC) and released to the supplier once the cargo has been received. It's distinct from a Master Bill of Lading which is issued by the carrier.

HS / HTS Codes

Codes used by Customs to classify goods. HS (Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System) is a standard code used worldwide, and HTS (Harmonized Tariff Schedule) is a more detailed version of a HS used by the U.S.

I

Importer of Record

The party that takes responsibility for customs documents, requirements, and duties.

Importer Security Filing (ISF)

Information (sometimes known as a '10+2') about import, that must be filed to Customs 24 hours before goods are shipped to the U.S. Failure to do so results in a hefty fine.

Incoterms

Terms of sale that indicate what responsibilities the buyer or the seller assume in a shipment. Incoterms® is shorthand for “International Commercial Terms” as defined by the International Chamber of Commerce.

Inherent Vice

An exclusion in an insurance policy, that accounts for a defect or 'inherent characteristic' of a product (E.g. metal will rust in humid conditions, so a claim cannot be made if the metal was not adequately protected by the shipper) Responsibility for correct packaging always lies with the shipper.

Inside Delivery Fee

A fee charged by the trucker if they have to enter the delivery location past the front door or loading dock, e.g. to install hardware.

Insulation liner

An insulation liner covers all the internal surfaces inside a shipping container. It reflects heat to significantly reduce the temperature within a container, avoiding large thermal fluctuations that can affect temperature-sensitive goods like wine.

Intensive Exam

The most thorough type of customs inspection, typically taking at least a week.

Intermediate Bulk container (IBC)

An IBC (also known as IBC tote, IBC tank, or pallet tank) is a type of industrial tank used in mass transport of bulk liquids, pastes, solids or semi-solids.

Intermodal Transportation

The movement of freight by two or more modes of transportation. This can be any combination of rail transport, road transport, sea shipping or air freight.

International Roadcheck

A 3-day event where CVSA (Commercial Vehicle Safety Association) inspectors examine as many trucks as they can for safety violations. Some carriers won't operate during this event, to avoid the hassle and potential penalizations.

International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) Code

A security measure (safety code) that allocates responsibility in the marine shipping industry to detect terrorism threats.

ISO tank

A highly protective, stainless steel tank built to the ISO standard (International Organisation for Standardisation). ISO tanks carry all types of bulk liquids, including hazardous liquids.

J

Just-in-time (JIT)

An inventory control system where materials arrive just-in-time for use, when they're required, instead of days or weeks before. It reduces storage requirements and costs.

K

Keg

A cylindrical container, usually made of steel, frequently used to store and transport pressurized beer. In the U.S., kegs come in various different sizes, commonly a full size keg (1/2 barrel keg) = 15.5 gallons, a Pony Keg (1/4 barrel keg) = 7.75 gallons, a Sixtel (1/6 barrel keg) = 5.23 gallons.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

(KPI) Critical measurable metrics that highlight the performance of your supply chain.

Known Shipper

A shipper must be defined as a 'Known Shipper' by the TSA to be able to transport cargo by passenger plane from the U.S. Known Shippers benefit from cheaper freight rates, less delays and more route options.

L

Last Free Day

Storage at an ocean terminal is free, for a set time. When the Last Free Day passes, fees such as demurrage start being charged.

Less than Container Load (LCL)

When container space is shared by multiple shippers' cargo.

Less than Truckload (LTL)

When truck space is shared by multiple shipper's cargo.

Letter of Indemnity (LOI)

A document from the shipper outlining their responsibility in case of breach of a contract (such as the Bill of Lading).

Live Unload

A live unload is when a trucker waits on site while a container is unloaded by warehouse staff.

Load Tender

A shipment offer to a carrier.

M

Master Bill of Landing (MBL)

Issued, printed and signed by the carrier, an MBL acts as a contract of carriage. The shipper will only receive a Master Bill of Lading if they are working directly with a mainline carrier or a freight forwarder. As soon as the carrier confirms cargo arrival, the MBL is released to the party who made the booking.

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)

Also known as Hazmat papers, MSDS is mandatory for dangerous shipments.

Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF)

A fee charged by U.S. Customs on most U.S. imports.

N

Negotiated Rate Arrangement (NRA)

A document from the FMC that makes sure ocean freight rates are accepted before cargo loading.

Non Operating reefer/refrigerated container (NOR)

A reefer (refrigerated container) that deactivates its refrigeration unit is referred to as a Non Operating Reefer, and can basically be used as a normal container (although slightly smaller due to its thick walls).

Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC)

An ocean carrier, such as a freight forwarder, that doesn't operate it's own vessels but instead has partnerships with VOCCs. An NVOCC can be described as a shipper to carriers and a carrier to shippers.

Notify Party

Once cargo arrives at its destination, shipment details are communicated to the Notify Party.

O

Origin Charge

Fees that cover the services provided before a shipment departs. Who pays this charge depends on the incoterms agreed upon.

Origin Engineering

Relocating a part of the manufacturing process to another country in order to avoid high duties or other undesirable restrictions.

Original Bill of Lading (OBL)

A type of Bill of Lading (B/L). There are 8 types of B/L.

Over-the-Road (OTR)

Long-distance road transportation (usually several weeks) with a truck.

P

Packing List (PL)

A document necessary for Customs. It needs to specify product details such as quantity, weight, dimension and carton count. Failure to correctly fill in the PL can result in a customs inspection.

Pallet

A flat, heavy load, usually wooden, transport structure made in standard sizes and adhering to standard specifications.

Pallet Exchange Fee

A fee charged (per pallet) if a trucker doesn't bring pallets with them to a cargo pickup, to compensate for 'keeping' them.

Partner Government Agency (PGA)

A U.S. government agency that oversees the entry of certain regulated goods into the U.S. There are several PGAs, the FDA is one of them.

Peak Season Surcharge (PSS)

A surcharge that carriers may add during high season, like before certain holidays like CNY.

Per Diem Charge

Also know as a Detention fee, a Per Diem is a daily fee charged by a carrier for keeping the container in the port past the 'Last Free Day'. This fee is usually costly, as it's meant to deter importers from keeping much-needed containers out of circulation.

Pier Pass fee

An extra fee charged only at the Port of L.A / Long Beach during peak hours, to reduce traffic congestion.

Port of Discharge

The port where a shipment is unloaded.

Port of Entry (POE)

The port where goods cross into a country, and pass through customs.

Preferential Duties

A duty that is cheaper than a normal duty rate. Preferential duties are given when products originate from a country that has an FTA.

Pre-Pull

A pre-pull is when a trucker picks up a container from the port and stores it at a trucker's yard. It helps avoid demurrage fees when a container can't immediately be delivered. A pre-pull fee falls under an 'origin or destination charge'.

Proof of Delivery (POD)

Documents or information supplied by the carrier that specify who signed for the shipment, when it arrived, and any other essential shipping information.

Q

Quality Control (QC)

The assessment process to check the quality of products and the manufacturing process.

R

Readiness form

Also known as a Notice of Readiness (NOR - not to be confused with Non Operating Reefer) a readiness form is a document used by the captain of the ship to notify that his ship is ready to load and/or unload the goods.

Real-Time

In logistics, this refers to a shippers ability to track an order as it travels along its delivery journey.

Refeer

A refrigerated shipping container for temperature-sensitive or perishable cargo.

Refrigerated Carrier

Sometimes known as 'Reefer trucks'. these vehicles are refrigerated and can transport temperature-sensitive goods.

Related Parties

A related party transaction is important to U.S. Customs. When the buyer and seller share a 'personal' connection, such as being a family members, sharing business partners, employees, share holders, or directors, they are classed as a 'related party'.

Residential Delivery Fee

A fee charged by a trucker delivering to a residential area.

Rolled Cargo

Cargo that is chosen to 'roll over' to the next shipment. This happens when a vessel runs out of space, which sometimes happens due to overbooking.

Rules of Origin

The legal rules to determine the country of origin of goods. It's not always easy to work out origin, especially if a product has been manufactured from many elements, so these rules are necessary.

S

Shipper's Letter of Instruction (SLI)

A document from the exporter to the freight forwarder providing instructions for the shipment. It is mandatory in exporting goods from the U.S.

Shipping Order (SO)

A document from the carrier that confirms that space for the cargo is booked onboard the vessel. An SO states the location of the empty container for pickup, and usually has sailing information including vessel number and departure time.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Nowadays, many software applications are operated and delivered entirely via the internet. Rather than installing and maintaining software or hardware, everything is accessible online, often as a subscription service.

Special Delivery Fee

A fee charged by a trucker for a delivery under special circumstances, e.g. outside operating hours or to location not normally serviced.

Split Shipment

This refers to when the cargo of a single air shipment is split between two or more flights, which may happen in larger shipments.

Stop Off Fee

A fee charged by the trucker if a road shipment is split between two or more delivery addresses.

Storage Charges

An umbrella term for the fees that may incur due to cargo storage, such as during a Customs exam, Pre-Pull etc.

Stuffing

The process of loading a container. De-stuffing, devanning or deconsolidating are all terms that refer to unloading.

Supply Chain Management (SCM)

The process of monitoring and controlling the production, storage, and distribution of goods from manufacturer to final client.

T

Tail Gate Exam

A type of customs inspection, where a CBP officer will break open a container and look inside, and then decide whether to proceed with an Intensive Exam or let the container pass.

Tender

The official request for transportation services.

Three-tier System in USA

In the U.S. each state regulates the production, sale, and distribution of alcohol within its borders.The three tiers are importers or producers, distributors / wholesaler, and retailers.

Transloading

The process of unloading cargo to move it from one mode of transport to another. Usually transloading happens between ocean and road transport; by unloading an ocean container and reloading it into a truck.

Transport Management System (TMS)

Part of supply chain management, TMS is specifically concerned with streamlining transport processes.

Transtainer

A large gantry crane that stacks or moves containers.

Trucking Wait Fee

A fee charged if a trucker waits more than 1-2 hours for cargo to unload.

Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU)

A TEU is a standard unit of measurement used in freight shipping, which refers to the volume in a 20-foot container. Two 20-foot containers (TEUs) equal one Forty-foot Equivalent Unit (FEU).

U

Ultimate Consignee

The person or business who receives the final shipment.

Unit Load Device (ULD)

An easily moveable airport transport structure (either a pallet or a container) that moves cargo around on the runway.

V

Value Added Tax (VAT) Number

A number essential to import goods into the E.U. VAT numbers are specific per country.

Verified Gross Mass (VGM)

The total weight of cargo including dunnage, bracing and container weight.

W

Wharfage

A fee charged by ocean carriers to use the wharf when unloading a vessel, usually included in the Terminal Handling Charge.

What is Chargeable Weight

Chargeable weight is what an airline will use to charge you for the shipment, based both on volume and kilos. Because it's more about airplane space, shipping 1 kilo of feathers will cost more than shipping 1 kilo of steel, since the feathers take up much more available space than the steel.

X

X-ray Exam

Also known as a Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) or a VACIS (Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System) exam, an X-Ray exam of goods is the 'easiest' Customs exam.

Y

Yard Storage

A fee charged by the trucker if a container is stored in the truckers own container yard.

Z

Zone Rate

Zone rate is based on the number of locations (zones) a shipment travels through, and increases as the number of zones increase.

Zymurgy

The study or practice of fermentation processes specific to winemaking, brewing beer or distilling.