Freight Glossary

Commonly Used Industry Terms

A carrier is a company responsible for the transportation of freight from one location to another.

Consolidation is the process of combining multiple smaller shipments into a single shipment to increase efficiency and reduce shipping costs.

A container is a standardized, large metal box used to transport goods by ship, rail, or truck.

Cross-docking is the process of unloading goods from an incoming truck or railcar and immediately loading them onto an outbound truck or railcar, with little to no storage in between.

Customs Broker
A customs broker is a licensed professional who helps importers and exporters navigate the customs process, including document preparation and tariff classification.

Demurrage is a fee charged by carriers for the extended use of their equipment, such as containers, beyond the allowed free time.

Expedited Shipping
Expedited shipping is a faster-than-standard shipping service, often used for time-sensitive shipments.

Freight Class
Freight class is a standardized classification system used to determine the cost of shipping a specific item based on its dimensions, weight, and density.

Intermodal Transportation
Intermodal transportation refers to the use of two or more modes of transportation (e.g., truck, rail, or ship) to move goods from origin to destination.

Less-than-Truckload (LTL)
Less-than-Truckload is a shipping method for smaller shipments that do not require a full truckload. LTL carriers consolidate multiple shipments onto a single truck.

A pallet is a flat, portable platform used to stack and secure goods for transportation.

Proof of Delivery (POD)
Proof of Delivery is a document that confirms the receipt of goods by the consignee, often signed upon delivery.

A reefer, or refrigerated trailer, is a temperature-controlled shipping container used to transport perishable goods.

Third-Party Logistics (3PL)
Third-Party Logistics providers are companies that offer outsourced logistics and supply chain management services, including warehousing, transportation, and inventory management.

Tracking Number
A tracking number is a unique code assigned to a shipment, which allows customers and carriers to track the status and location of the shipment throughout the shipping process.

A warehouse is a large storage facility used for storing goods before they are shipped to their final destination.