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International Shipping

International Shipping

The Shipping glossary gives you a good overview of all the terminology used in the logistics world. Read through the different terms and ensure you understand the lingo. We are here to help with any questions.

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Shipping Glossary
Make sure you are up to date with the international cargo shipping glossary terms/ jargon used by the industry. Every word counts!
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air cargo:Freight that is moved by air transportation.

air carrier:An enterprise that offers transportation service via air.

business logistics:The process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods, services, and related information from the point of origin to the point of consumption for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements.

Cargo:Merchandise carried by a means of transportation.

Carriage:See Transportation.

Cartage:There are two definitions for this term: 1) charge for pick-up and delivery of goods 2) movement of goods locally (short distances).

Cash Against Documents (CAD):A method of payment for goods in which documents transferring title are given to the buyer upon payment of cash to an intermediary acting for the seller.

Cash In Advance (CIA):A method of payment for goods whereby the buyer pays the seller in advance of shipment of goods.

Cash with Order (CWO):A method of payment for goods where cash is paid at the time of order, and the transaction becomes binding on both buyer and seller

Clearance:A document stating that a shipment is free to be imported into the country after all legal requirements have been met.

Container:This term is associated with more than one definition:

1) anything in which goods are packed
2) a single rigid receptacle without wheels that is used for the transport of goods (a type of carrier equipment into which freight is loaded).
ContainerLength (m)Width (m)Height (m)Cubic (m)
20 ft5.8982.3522.39433.20
40 ft12.0312.3522.39467.74

Dangerous Goods:Articles or substances capable of posing a significant risk to health, safety, or property, and that ordinarily require special attention when transported.

Freight Forwarder:An enterprise that provides services to facilitate the transport of shipments. Services can include documentation preparation, space and equipment reservation, warehousing, consolidation, delivery, clearance, banking and insurance services, and agency services. The forwarder may facilitate transport by land, air, ocean, or may specialize in one mode of transport. Also called Forwarder or Foreign Freight Forwarder.

Full Container Load (FCL):A term used when goods occupy a whole container.

Full Truck Load (FTL): Same as Full Container Load, but in reference to motor carriage instead of containers.

Goods:A term associated with more than one definition: 1) Common term indicating movable property, merchandise, or wares. 2) All materials which are used to satisfy demands. 3) Whole or part of the cargo received from the shipper, including any equipment supplied by the shipper.

Insurance:A system of protection against loss under which a number of parties agree to pay certain sums (premiums) for a guarantee that they will be compensated under certain conditions for specified loss and damage.

LCL: See Less than Container Load.

Less than Container Load (LCL): A term used when goods do not completely occupy an entire container. When many shippers' goods occupy a single container, each shipper's shipment is considered to be LCL.

Less than Truck Load (LTL): The same as Less than Container Load, but in reference to trucks instead of containers.

Logistics: The process of planning, implementing, and controlling procedures for the efficient and effective storage of goods, services, and related information from the point of origin to the point of consumption for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements. This definition includes inbound, outbound, internal, and external movements.

LTL: See Less-than-Truckload.

LTL shipment: A less-than-truckload shipment, one weighing less than the minimum weight a company needs to use the lower truckload rate.

Packing List: A document containing information about the location of each Product in each package. It allows the recipient to quickly find the item he or she is looking for without a broad search of all packages. It also confirms the actual shipment of goods on a line item basis.

pallet: A platform device (about four feet square) used for moving and storing goods. A forklift truck is used to lift and move the loaded pallet.

Pick-Up Order: A document indicating the authority to pick up cargo or equipment from a specific location.

Service Provider:Is an enterprise which offers and supplies goods or services.

Shipment: A shipment is a user-defined unit containing goods (single or multiple units) and requires transportation from one location to another. A shipment becomes a shipment when it leaves the consignor's location. A shipment is complete when it arrives at the consignee's destination.