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 of flatcar; intermodal container that ships without
chassis on rail flatcars.
Consignee - The receiver of a freight shipment.
Consignor - The sender (shipper) of a freight shipment.
CWT - Hundredweight or per 100 lbs.
Demurrage - Charges that are assessed when consignor or consignee
fail to load or unload shipments in 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 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.
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
routings 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
Intermodal - Shipments moving two modes, ie: rail and ground.
Intrastate California - This is the most popular segment of the
trucking business on the West Coast.
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
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
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'
Piggyback - Rail-truck service. Same as intermodal.
Rail Shipments - Rail shipments are also known as piggyback or
intermodal shipments. 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
SLC - Shippers Load & Count; notation on Bill of Lading.
TOFC - Trailer on Flatcar; truck trailer that ships on rail flatcar.
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.
Truckload - Full truckloads (FTL or sometimes TL) utilizing van or
flatbed 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.
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).