Glossary-Shipping Terminology

Glossary of Shipping Terminology used by Duregger Logistics

  • Bill of Lading - The transportation documentation that acts as a contract of carriage between the shipper and carrier; also provides a receipt for the goods tendered to the carrier.
  • COFC -Container on flatcar; Intermodal container that ships without chassis on rail flatcars.
  • Consignee - The receiver of a freight shipment.
  • Consignor -The sender of a freight shipment.  Commonly referred to as the “Shipper” without regard to who is actually paying for the freight charges.  See Shipper.
  • Customer Set Target Rate -Rates set by the customer based upon his own research and experience or based upon information contained in a Duregger Logistics (DL) Market Rate Report or DL Direct Carrier Survey.  This is a rate considered to be a workable Rate which should yield a truck and move a shipment.  When a truck is found at this price, the truck will be booked onto the load with no further authorization from the shipper.  Trucks found at pricing higher than the Customer Set Target Rate must be pre-approved by the shipper prior to booking.
  • CWT - Hundredweight or per 100 lbs.
  • Demurrage - Charges that are assessed when consignor or consignee fail to load or unload shipments within specified time limits. Also known as Detention.
  • Density - The physical characteristic measuring mass in pounds per foot; affects equipment utilization and rate decisions.
  • Detention -See Demurrage.
  • Expedited Shipment - Shipments that need to move more quickly than normal service, usually, but not necessarily, at a higher cost.
  • FAK - Freight all kinds; either a mixture of products and/or special rates being applied.
  • Flatbeds -Some shipments require that the main deck be free of walls or ceiling constraints. To facilitate loading or unloading, these shipments may require a flatbed trailer. A wide variety of flatbed trailers accommodate the trucking of almost any type of surface shipment. Flatbeds are also used for trucking anything that cannot be moved in a van, such as: special equipment; wide, long, oversized or heavy haul loads; or, any other type of trucking that can legally move by highway in North America.  See Equipment Diagrams.
  • Freight Broker - Read Article 
  • Fuel Surcharge - Surcharge imposed by carriers when fuel prices reach over certain levels.
  • Heavy Haul and Oversized Shipments -Heavy haul and oversized are also known as over-dimensional shipments and can pose special challenges for shippers. Shipments can be both heavy haul and oversized in nature. Heavy haul shipments may require special routing because only certain highways allow extremely heavy vehicle weights. These shipments also may require special trucks and trailers or special permits issued by various state or local government agencies.
  • Holiday Reality for Christmas and New Years: The last 2 weeks of the year are terrible for getting things moved as most U.S.  Interstate Heavy Haul and Open Equipment Truckload Carriers will be shut down for the rest of the year, from today, December 20th until January 3, 2011.  Most other types of Interstate Truckload Carriers (Van, Reefer, Etc.) will be heavily affected as well.  These carriers plan on shutting down, and do indeed shut down like this every year.  No matter what day of the week Christmas and New Years fall on, the 2 weeks, that they do fall, are the weeks that these carriers shut down and do return back to work soon after New Year’s Day.  If you want something moved long distance during these 2 weeks, you must plan in advance and expect to pay extra-premium prices for guaranteed service.
  • Intermodal - Shipments moved using two or more modes, i.e.: rail and ground, or ground-rail-ocean, etc..
  • Intrastate Shipment - A shipment where the origin and destination are located in the same State.  
  • Interstate Shipment – A shipment where the origin and destination are located in the different States.  
  • Logistics -  The science of optimizing the distribution of freight and freight-flow from manufacturer to consumer to reduce inventories, cut transportation costs, speed delivery, and improve customer service.  It is the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient flow of goods. 
  • LTL (Less-Than-Truckload) - This is a shipment that does not fill an entire truckload. Specialized carriers provide service exclusively for this type of shipment. These providers’ services are priced by weight, density, value and ease of handling in combination with distance. Pricing is calculated based on cents per hundredweight (CWT) rating. They also consider volumetric pricing, or dimensional weight pricing, if a commodity’s density is the issue. Their services are readily available in the U.S. and Canada. The National Motor Freight Classification standards are commonly used in order to identify the best pricing for a particular commodity on a particular shipping lane. Example: A 10,000 pound shipment of ball bearings takes up less space in a trailer than does 10,000 pounds of ping pong balls! Carriers commonly use a system of pricing that accounts for weight, as well as density, volume and distance.
  • NMFC – National Motor Freight Classification. This publication contains descriptions for commodities transported by LTL carriers. The NMFC contains class descriptions and rankings used to determine pricing.
  • Pallet - A small platform, usually 40 x 48 on which goods are placed. Depending on how it’s loaded into the trailer, 22-24 pallet positions fit in a 48′ trailer; 26-28 pallet positions in a 53′ trailer.
  • Piggyback- Truck-Rail-Truck service. See Intermodal and TOFC.  
  • Rail Shipments- Intermodal Rail shipments are also known as Piggyback, TOFC, or COFC. Shipments can also be loaded directly into box rail-cars, open flatcars, lumber flatcars, liquid tankers, dry bulk tankers, pressure vessel liquid tanker-cars, etc..  Shipping by rail is a cost effective alternative to over the road trucking, but has longer transit time, so if expense is more of a concern than time, rail service becomes a viable option.
  • Reefer - See Refrigerated Vans
  • Refrigerated Vans -Many shipments are serviced by Reefers.  These are Temperature Controlled Van Trailers.  They can be set to keep a load at whatever temperature the shipment requires.  Hard frozen,  frozen, chilled, or used to keep a load from freezing during the winter.  
  • Removable Goose Neck – See RGN 
  • RGN - A double drop deck trailer which is provided with means to lower the trailer platform to the ground where the gooseneck may be detached from the platform to facilitate loading.  These heavy equipment hauling trailers come in various axle, weight, and length configurations to handle a variety of loads from lightweight shipments to Super Heavy Heavy Haul loads, known as Superloads.  See Equipment Diagrams.
  • Shipper - The person or party who has hired the transportation provider to move a shipment.
  • Shipper, large-A shipper who moves more than 100 shipments per month.
  • Shipper, medium-A shipper who moves 25 to 100 shipments  per month.
  • Shipper, small- A shipper who moves 1 to 25 shipments per month.
  • Shipper, occasional – A shipper who moves less than 1 shipment per month.
  • SLC – Shippers Load & Count; notation on Bill of Lading. 
  • Stepdeck - Also known as a single drop deck flatbed.  The lower deck height is 20-24 inches lower than the shorter front upper deck, which is a standard flatbed height of approx. 60 inches.  Deck heights range between 32 to 42 inches from the ground.  Used when the desired cargo load height is greater than 8.6 and lower than 10.4 ft.in. in the eastern states and 6 inches higher in the western states where the overall legal height is commonly 14 ft.  See Equipment Diagrams.
  • Super Heavy Haul Load – See Super Load 
  • Super Load -  A load is considered a Superload when it is so designated by the State, because of the  weight (usually 150,000#s or more) or Extreme Overdimensional measurements of the load and hauling equipment (the carrier’s truck and specialized trailer-s).  See Equipment Diagrams.
  • TOFC – Trailer on Flatcar; usually a van truck trailer that is specially equipped to be loaded onto a rail flatcar.
  • Team Service – Also known as Sleeper Team Service.  This can be the answer to the time-critical or intrinsically valuable large shipment. This is a service used when a shipment requires expedited delivery ­ beyond what normal transit time can deliver. A two-person team drives in shifts and the truck is stopped only for fuel. Team drivers take turns sleeping, while the fresh driver is at the wheel. Although slightly more expensive due to additional labor costs, team service is used when critical shipments need to be moved quickly. These shipments may be so large or heavy that air freight costs are prohibitively expensive. Team service is the fastest, over-the-road shipping option available.
  • Temperature Control Service - Applied to shipments which are temperature sensitive, needing to be kept frozen, chilled,or warmed in transit.  See Refrigerated Vans
  • Truckload – Full truckloads (TL or sometimes FTL) utilizing van or flatbed trailers, or specialty trailers depending upon shipment configuration.
  • Vans- Many shipments are serviced by van trailers, especially loads comprised of loose cartons or unitized or palletized freight. (In order to determine an accurate cost estimate, it is important to know whether or not a palletized shipment can be stacked.) This type of service usually requires 48 or 53-foot trailers. While trailer lengths are standard, styles vary.  There are Dry Vans, Reefer Vans, Intermodal Piggy Back Vans, Vented Vans, Logistics Vans, Connestoga Van/Flatbeds, Walking Floor Vans, etc., etc.  See Equipment Diagrams.
  • Warehousing – Warehousing is sometimes needed, and can be provided, to complement inbound and outbound transportation services. There are 4 distinct types of warehousing available, depending upon load content: for finished goods; for raw materials; for consumer fulfillment; and for vendor-managed inventory (VMI).

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