Freight and Shipping Terms Glossary
For your convenience, Logistics Worldwide offers a Freight Terms Glossary compiled by the Georgia Institute of Technology in association with the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute. The glossary includes over 750 freight, shipping and supply chain & logistics terms for all modes of transportation for our visitors and customers. To use the glossary, simply click on the letters corresponding to the word or phrase you are searching for.
Using this glossary can help you determine the definitions of specific acronyms, slang, payment, credit, and other shipping terms. We believe you’ll find all your transportation industry definition of terms in this glossary but if you are unable to find what you are searching for or need clarification, please contact us and we will be more than happy to assist you.
Logistics Worldwide is pleased to provide a glossary of freight and shipping terms for all modes of transportation to our visitors and customers. To use the glossary, click on the letters below corresponding to the word or acronym you are searching for. If you are unable to find what you are searching for, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Abbreviation for "Bill of Lading."
To haul a shipment back over part of a route it has traveled.
Abbreviation for "Bunker Adjustment Factor." Used to compensate steamship lines for fluctuating fuel costs. Sometimes called "Fuel Adjustment Factor" or FAF.
- Balloon Freight
Light, bulky articles.
- Bank Guarantee
Guarantee issued by a bank to a carrier to be used in lieu of lost or misplaced original negotiable bill of lading.
An act committed by the master or mariners of a vessel, for some unlawful or fraudulent purpose, contrary to their duty to the owners, whereby the latter sustain injury. It may include negligence, if so gross as to evidence fraud.
- Barrel (BBL)
A term of measure referring to 42 gallons of liquid at 60o F.
- Base Rate
A tariff term referring to ocean rate less accessorial charges, or simply the base tariff rate.
Ballast Bonus (Special payment above the Chartering price when the ship has to sail a long way on ballast to reach the loading port.)
Abbreviation for "Beneficial Cargo Owner." Refers to the importer of record, who physically takes possession of cargo at destination and does not act as a third party in the movement of such goods.
The width of a ship.
- Belt Line
A switching railroad operating within a commercial area.
Entity to whom money is payable.
- Berth Terms
Shipped under rate that includes cost from end of ship's tackle at load port to end of ship's tackle at discharge port.
Used with reference to charges assessed for cargo movement past a line-haul terminating point.
A contract term meaning both parties agree to provide something for the other.
- Bill of Exchange
In the United States, commonly known as a "Draft." However, bill of exchange is the correct term.
- Bill of Lading
Multi-use documents that are essential to conduct the day-to-day operations when transportation of supplies, materials, and personal property is required. These primary documents are used to procure freight and express transportation and related services from commercial carriers, including freight forwarders.
- Bill of Lading Port of Discharge
Port where cargo is discharged from means of transport.
- Bill of Sale
Confirms the transfer of ownership of certain goods to another person in return for money paid or loaned.
- Bill to Party
Customer designated as party paying for services.
- Billed Weight
The weight shown in a waybill and freight bill, i.e, the invoiced weight.
- Blanket Bond
A bond covering a group of persons, articles or properties.
- Blanket Rate
A rate applicable to or from a group of points. A special rate applicable to several different articles in a single shipment.
- Blanket Waybill
A waybill covering two or more consignments of freight.
- Blind Shipment
A B/L wherein the paying customer has contracted with the carrier that shipper or consignee information is not given.
- Block Stowage
Stowing cargo destined for a specific location close together to avoid unnecessary cargo movement.
- Blocked Trains
Railcars grouped in a train by destination so that segments (blocks) can be uncoupled and routed to different destinations as the train moves through various junctions. Eliminates the need to break up a train and sort individual railcars at each junction.
- Blocking or Bracing
Wood or metal supports (Dunnage) to keep shipments in place to prevent cargo shifting.
Abbreviation for "Bales."
To gain access to a vessel.
- Board Feet
The basic unit of measurement for lumber. One board foot is equal to a one_inch board, 12 inches wide and one foot long. Thus, a board ten feet long, 12 inches wide, and one inch thick contains ten board feet.
Movement of a tractor, without trailer, over the highway.
A set of wheels built specifically as rear wheels under the container.
A device fitted on a chassis or railcar to hold and secure the container.
- Bond Port
Port of initial Customs entry of a vessel to any country. Also known as First Port of Call.
- Bonded Freight
Freight moving under a bond to U.S. Customs or to the Internal Revenue Service, and to be delivered only under stated conditions.
- Bonded Warehouse
A warehouse authorized by Customs authorities for storage of goods on which payment of duties is deferred until the goods are removed.
Arrangements with a carrier for the acceptance and carriage of freight; i.e., a space reservation.
- Booking Number
Reservation number used to secure equipment and act as a control number prior to completion of a B/L.
- Bottom Side Rails
Structural members on the longitudinal sides of the base of the container.
- Bottom-Air Delivery
A type of air circulation in a temperature control container. Air is pulled by a fan from the top of the container, passed through the evaporator coil for cooling, and then forced through the space under the load and up through the cargo. This type of airflow provides even temperatures.
The front of a vessel.
A closed rail freight car.
- Break Bulk
To unload and distribute A portion or all of the contents of A rail car, container, or trailer.
- Bridge Point
An inland location where cargo is received by the ocean carrier and then moved to a coastal port for loading.
- Bridge Port
A port where cargo is received by the ocean carrier and stuffed into containers but then moved to another coastal port to be waded on a vessel.
- Broken Stowage
the loss of space caused by irregularity in the shape of packages.
A person who arranges for transportation of loads for a percentage of the revenue from the load.
Freight forwarder/broker compensation as specified by ocean tariff or contract.
- Bulk Cargo
Not in packages or containers; shipped loose in the hold of a ship without mark and count." Grain, coal and sulfur are usually bulk freight.
- Bulk-Freight Container
A container with a discharge hatch in the front wall; allows bulk commodities to be carried.
A partition separating one part of A ship, Freight car, aircraft or truck from Another part.
- Bull Rings
Cargo-securing devices mounted in the floor of containers; allow lashing and securing of cargo.
- Bunker Charge
An extra charge sometimes added to steamship freight rates; justified by higher fuel costs. (Also known as Fuel Adjustment Factor or FAF.)
A Maritime term referring to Fuel used aboard the ship. Coal stowage areas aboard a vessel in the past were in bins or bunkers.