A thru D

3PL / 4PL - Third or fourth party Logistics Companies that can be employed (hired) to assume tasks that were previously performed in-house by the client.

AA Always Afloat. A contract term requiring that the vessel not rest on the ground. In some ports the ship is aground when approaching or at berth.

AAR Abbreviation for: – Against All Risks (insurance clause). – Association of American Railroads.

Abaft A point beyond the midpoint of a ship’s length, towards the rear or stern.

Abandon A proceeding wherein a shipper/consignee seeks authority to abandon all or parts of their cargo.

Abatement A discount allowed for damage or overcharge in the payment of a bill.

ABC countries in Latam Area containing Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Columbia

ABI U.S. Customs’ “Automated Broker Interface,” by which brokers file importers’ entries electronically.

Aboard Referring to cargo being put, or laden, onto a means of conveyance.

Absorption One carrier assumes the charges of another without any increase in charges to the shipper.

Acceptance – A time draft (or bill of exchange) that the drawee (payer) has accepted and is unconditionally obligated to pay at maturity. – Broadly speaking, any agreement to purchase goods under specified terms.

Acceptance of Good The process of receiving a consignment from a consignor, usually against the issue of a receipt. As from this moment and on this place the carrier's responsibility for the consignment begins.

Accessorial Charges Charges that are applied to the base tariff rate or base contract rate, e.g., bunkers, container, currency, destination/delivery.

ACI - Advance Commercial Information System Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) require that some key data elements to be transmitted electronically 24 hours before loading at the foreign port using ACI-EDI cargo reporting

Acquiescence When a bill of lading is accepted or signed by a shipper or shipper’s agent without protest, the shipper is said to acquiesce to the terms, giving a silent form of consent.

acquitance A written receipt in full

ACS - Alameda Corridor Surcharge Surcharge applied to IPI and MLB cargo moving via the Rail System where the port of Long Beach/Los Angeles is the Gateway.

Act of God An extraordinary force of nature (such as a severe flood or earthquake) that experience, prescience or care cannot reasonably foresee or prevent.

Active Inventory Covers raw material, work in progress, finished products, which will be used or sold within a given period without extra cost or loss. This term does not cover the so-called reserve inventory.

Ad Valorem (Latin) According to Value (English); For example, if a bill of lading shows a value for the cargo being carried, an Ad Valorem charge will be levied. This charge is required because the insurance liability of the carrier increases. This charge may be a levied as a percentage of the value that has been shown.

Advising Bank Bank where a shipper negotiates documents or where documents are first presented, usually at country of origin. Also, often referred to as the negotiating bank.

aft The back part of vessel That is the part upper the rudder

Agent A person or organisation authorised to act for or on behalf of another person or organisation.

Aggregated Shipments Numerous shipments from different shippers delivered to one consignee, that are consolidated and treated as a single consignment.

AI All Inclusive.

air Container Any unit load device, primarily intended for transport by air, having an internal volume of 1 m3 or more, incorporating restraint provisions compatible with an aircraft restraint system, and an entirely flush base bottom to allow handling on roller-bed cargo handling systems.

Air Freight Forwarder A non-asset based firm that negotiates low shipping rates with airlines, then takes orders at a higher rate in order to make a profit using the airline's assets to move the product.

Air Waybill - Abbreviation: AWB A document made out by or on behalf of the carrier(s) confirming receipt of the goods by the carrier and evidencing the contract between the shipper and the carrier(s) for the carriage of goods as described therein.

All Water When a shipment is transported from its origin to its destination solely by water transportation.

AMS - Advanced Manifest system (valid for USA imports)Now replaced with the ISF 10+2 filing (see below for further explanation

Any Quantity [AQ] A rating that applies to an item regardless of weight.

AQI Agriculture Quarantine Inspection.

Arrival Notice Documentation that notifies the consignee of arrival information for the goods and the freight charges due to be paid in exchange for the goods.

Asset-Based, Third Party Provider A third party provider that owns transportation and/or warehouse assets.


  1. The transfer to another of one's own legal interests or rights.
  2. Especially the transfer of property to be held in trust or to be used for the benefit of creditors.
  3. The document by which such an interest or right is transferred.

ATD Artificial Tween Decks Forty feet long, eight feet wide, one foot thick steel platform with hardwood flooring. Equipped with ten bullrings for securing oversized, heavy lift or wheeled cargo.

Automatic Identification A means of identifying an item e.g. a product, parcel or transport unit by a machine (device) entering the data automatically into a computer. The most widely used technology at present is bar code, others include radio frequency, magnetic stripes and optical character recognition.

Auto transport A specialized trailer or truck/trailer combination used for transporting passenger vehicles.

Average Adjusters In general average affairs average adjusters are entrusted with the task of apportioning the loss and expenditure over the parties interested in the maritime venture and to determine which expenses are to be regarded as average or general average.

Average Inventory The average inventory level over a period of time.

AW, AWR, AWS - All Water Service Imported traffic moving to a destination port where the sea vessel is the only mode of transport.

AWDINH All working days including holidays

AWWG Condition used in chartering term that means terms applied if all weather condition is well

'B' train Double A special set-of-doubles: the second (usually shorter) trailer is hooked directly to the first via a fifth wheel on the rear of the first one (two semis).

Baffle A partition or separator within a liquid tank, used to inhibit the flow of fluids within the tank. During acceleration, turning, and braking, a large liquid-filled tank may produce unexpected forces on the vehicle due to the inertia of liquids.

Bill of lading (BOL, BL, B/L) A paper document between a shipper and a carrier acknowledging the receipt of goods for transport. Usually describes the nature of the cargo; hazardous materials classification (if any); amount of cargo by weight, size, and/or number of pallets, boxes, barrels, etc; and the origin and destination of the cargo.

Beverage trailer A trailer between 26 feet (7.9 m) and 29 feet (8.8 m) used primarily for the transport of beverages. Colloquially known as a sidebanger, sideloader, or route trailer.

A tractor without a trailer.

Bottom dump A dump with a funnel-shaped floor for unloading through the bottom

Bobtailing Operating a tractor unit with no trailer attached.

Broker A person or company that arranges for the truck transportation of cargo belonging to others, using for-hire carriers to provide the actual truck transportation.

Bulk cargo Large quantities of undivided or unpackaged cargo, such as grain or dry powder.

Bulkhead A strong wall-like structure placed at the front of a flatbed trailer (or on the rear of the tractor) used to protect the driver against shifting cargo during a front-end collision. May also refer to any separator within a dry or liquid trailer (also called a baffle for liquid trailers) used to partition the load.

Cab The interior of a truck where the driver sits to operate the vehicle.

Cab over A short, box-shaped tractor with no hood (UK: bonnet), and a steep vertical front. The "cab" rides "over" the engine and front steering axle. Used when a shorter wheelbase is needed.

CB Citizen's Band Radio. CB radio equipment is found in the vast majority of 18-wheelers and is used by truckers for various purposes, including talking to other truckers on the highway, discussing road and weather conditions, coordinating activity at distribution centers and truckstops and various other purposes, including emergency communications. In the United States, many truckers monitor CB channel 19 (27.185 MHz), commonly known as the "highway channel" or "trucker's channel".

Chip van specially designed bulk dry van with open top for wood byproducts.

Combination vehicle A vehicle composed of two or more separate units, a tractor (powered unit, semi-truck) and a trailer (unpowered unit, semi-trailer)

Common carrier A for-hire carrier that is obligated to serve the general public.

Company Driver Employee of a carrier who is assigned to drive company-owned trucks.

Container Main article: Intermodal container A simple, enclosed box of standardized sizes, used for intermodal transport.

Container skeletal carrier A skeletal trailer composed of a simple chassis for the mounting of an intermodal container.

Covered wagon A flatbed with specially fitted side plates and curved ribs supporting a tarp covering, commonly referred to as a "side kit". Named for the resemblance to horse-drawn covered wagons.

Curtainside Can be either a dry box with tarp sides, or a flatbed with a movable frame of squared ribs supporting a tarp.[43]

Contract carrier A for-hire carrier contracted to one particular shipper. A contract carrier enters into a contract whose terms are negotiated between a specific carrier and specific customer.

Conventional truck A truck or tractor featuring an engine forward of the cab, with a conventional hood configuration.

Consignee The person or entity transferring legal responsibility or ownership of the cargo (or consignment) from the carrier.

Consignment An agreement between a consignee and a consignor in which the goods are taken responsibility for and transported by a third party, the carrier. May also simply refer to the consigned goods (i.e., the cargo).

Consignor The person or entity transferring legal responsibility or ownership of the cargo (or consignment) to the carrier.

Day cab A truck cab without a sleeper berth.

Deadheading Operating a truck empty.
Deep-drop van A specialized dry van that maximizes interior space, with a lowered floor and higher roof. Normally used to transport bulky, relatively light cargo, such as furniture and electronics.[38]

Double decker A specialized trailer with 2 floors to allow for more cargo space.

Doubles trailer A trailer between 26 feet (7.9 m) and 29 feet (8.8 m) long that can be used singularly as a delivery trailer in congested areas or in combination with another trailer for over the road.

Dropdeck A flatbed with a lowered deck, featuring a raised step at the front, where the trailer attaches to the fifth wheel.

Dry bulk A variation of the liquid tank trailer, with a funnel-shaped bottom, used for hauling bulk quantities of dry powder (sometimes called bulk pneumatic). Usually loaded through holes in the top, unloaded through the bottom or through pneumatic force.

Dry van A simple, enclosed non-climate controlled rectangular trailer that carries general cargo, including food and other products that do not require refrigeration. Usually loaded/unloaded through the rear doors, requiring elevated access for forklifts to enter the trailer.

Dump A bucket-like trailer with an open top for loading, commonly used for hauling bulk quantities of dirt, rock, gravel, etc. See dump truck.

Dedicated route A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Regular route drivers usually are at home on regular intervals, given the scheduled nature of their routes.

Dual wheels A pair of tire and wheel assemblies mounted side-by-side on a single axle hub. In some applications it is replaced by a super single. On pickup trucks it is sometimes called a dually. The assembly has a greater load carrying ability as compared to a single wheel. It also provides redundancy so if one of the two tires fail the second will maintain support preventing loss of vehicle control and allowing the vehicle to travel to a repair facility.

Dump truck A truck with a bucket-like cargo area which the front can be raised, hinging on the rear, allowing the load to slide ("dump") out of the cargo area. Often a straight truck, semi-trailers are also common. Flatbeds and refuse container trucks can often "dump", but are rarely called that.