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Supply Chain & Logistics Terms (A-Z)

3PL (Third-Party Logistics): A service provided by companies that manage and execute logistics operations for other businesses, including transportation, warehousing, and distribution, often integrating these services to streamline the supply chain.

4PL (Fourth-Party Logistics): A 4PL provider offers a higher level of supply chain management by acting as a single interface between the client and multiple logistics service providers. Unlike 3PLs, 4PLs manage the entire logistics process, often without owning any assets.

Accessorial Charges: Additional fees charged by carriers for services beyond the standard pickup and delivery, such as liftgate service, inside delivery, or storage.
Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS): A process that integrates production and logistics planning to enhance manufacturing efficiency and align it with distribution capabilities, often using sophisticated software.

Advanced Shipping Notice (ASN): An electronic document sent by the supplier to the customer in advance of a shipment, detailing the contents, packaging, and expected delivery details of the order.

Aggregate Shipment: The consolidation of multiple smaller shipments into one larger shipment, transported as a single unit to optimize cargo space, reduce shipping costs, and improve delivery efficiency.

Air Freight: The transportation of goods by aircraft, typically used for expedited or high-value shipments that require rapid delivery.

Air Waybill (AWB): A contract between the shipper and the airline that details the terms and conditions of the air freight shipment, acting as a receipt and a document of title for the cargo.

All-Risk Insurance: Comprehensive coverage against all types of loss or damage to goods during shipping, excluding specified risks like war or natural disasters.

Asset-Based Carrier: A transportation provider that owns and operates its own fleet of trucks, ships, or aircraft, as opposed to non-asset-based carriers who arrange for transportation services without owning the vehicles.

Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV): A mobile robot used in warehouses and manufacturing facilities to move materials around without human intervention, following markers or wires on the floor or using vision, magnets, or lasers for navigation.

Backhaul: The process of transporting goods on the return leg of a trip, often at a reduced rate, to avoid returning an empty vehicle to its origin.

Barge: A flat-bottomed vessel used for transporting bulk goods on rivers and canals.

Bill of Entry: A legal document submitted to customs authorities detailing the nature, quantity, and value of goods that have been imported.

Bill of Lading (BOL): A legal document issued by a carrier to a shipper, outlining the details of the goods being transported, terms of transportation, and serves as a receipt of shipment.

Blockchain in Logistics: The application of blockchain technology to enhance transparency, security, and efficiency in logistics operations by providing a decentralized ledger for recording transactions.

Bonded Warehouse: A secured warehouse facility supervised by customs authorities where imported goods can be stored without paying duties until they are dispatched for domestic use or re-exported.

Break Bulk: The process of handling cargo individually rather than in containers, typically used for oversized or heavy items that do not fit in standard containers.

Bulk Cargo: Unpackaged goods shipped in large quantities, such as oil, grain, or coal, typically loaded directly into the vessel’s cargo space.

Bulk Carrier: A ship specially designed to transport bulk cargo, equipped with large cargo holds and minimal equipment on deck.

C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism): A voluntary supply chain security program led by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, aimed at improving the security of private companies’ supply chains with respect to terrorism.

Cabotage: The transport of goods or passengers between two places in the same country by a vehicle registered in another country, often regulated to protect domestic transportation industries.

Capacity: The maximum amount of goods a vehicle, vessel, or facility can transport or store at one time.

Capacity Management: The process of managing a company’s ability to meet changing demands for its services, by adjusting its capacity to transport or store goods efficiently.

Cargo: Goods transported by a ship, plane, or truck.

Cargo Insurance: Insurance policy that protects the shipper against financial loss due to damaged or lost cargo during transit.

Cargo Security and Safety: Measures and protocols put in place to protect cargo from theft, damage, or tampering during transportation and storage.

Carrier: A company or individual that undertakes the transportation of goods or people by land, sea, or air.

Carrier Liability: The legal responsibility of a carrier for loss, damage, or delay of cargo while in its possession during transit.

Carrier Management: The process of selecting, managing, and evaluating the performance of carriers to ensure efficient, cost-effective transportation services.

Cartage: The process of transporting goods over a short distance, typically within a local area or region, often involving the final leg of delivery or the first stage of transportation from a shipper’s origin.

CFS (Container Freight Station): A facility where goods are loaded into or unloaded from containers, often used for consolidating or deconsolidating cargo before shipment or after arrival.

Chassis: A wheeled frame specifically designed for carrying containers over short distances, especially within ports or from ports to nearby locations.

Chock: A wedge or block placed against a vehicle’s wheels to prevent accidental movement or rolling, ensuring safety during loading, unloading, or when parked.

CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight): A trade term used in international shipping where the seller is responsible for covering the cost of the goods, insurance, and freight charges to transport the goods to the buyer’s nearest port.

COFC (Container on Flat Car): A type of intermodal freight transport where a container is loaded on a flat railcar, allowing for seamless transfer between different transportation modes without handling the freight itself.

Consignee: The individual or entity that is the recipient of goods being shipped or transported, to whom the shipment is to be delivered by the carrier upon completion of the transport.

Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, and Replenishment (CPFR): A business practice where supply chain partners share information and resources to forecast demand, plan production, and replenish inventory in a collaborative manner.

Compliance Management: The process of ensuring that a company and its supply chain partners adhere to all regulatory requirements and standards relevant to their operations.

Consignor: The person or entity that sends goods by a carrier to a consignee at a distant location, often the seller or shipper of the goods.

Consolidated Billing: A billing practice where multiple shipments are combined into one invoice to simplify the payment process for the customer.

Container: A large, standard-sized metal box used for transporting goods securely and efficiently by various modes of transport, such as ship, rail, and truck.

Container Terminal: A specialized facility where cargo containers are transshipped between different transportation vehicles, such as ships and trucks, or where they can be stored temporarily.

Continuous Improvement Programs: Initiatives aimed at constantly enhancing processes, services, and products within an organization, often involving feedback loops and performance metrics.

Contract Negotiation: The process of discussing and agreeing on the terms of a contract between two or more parties, in logistics often involving rates, service levels, and other
conditions of carriage.

Cost-to-Serve Analysis: An analysis to determine the total cost associated with providing a product or service to a specific customer, including all aspects of logistics and distribution.

Cross-Border Logistics: Refers to the planning, implementing, and controlling of the movement and storage of goods across international borders, including managing the flow of information, materials, and products between points of origin and destinations in different countries.

Cross Trade: International trade where a company in one country ships goods directly from one foreign country to another foreign country, bypassing the company’s own country.

Cross-Docking: A logistics process where incoming shipments are directly transferred from receiving docks to shipping docks, minimizing or eliminating storage time.

Customs Broker: A professional who acts as an intermediary between importers/exporters and the customs authorities, helping to clear goods through customs by preparing and submitting necessary documentation and fees.

Customs Brokerage Services: Assistance provided by licensed professionals to facilitate the import and export of goods across international borders, including preparation and submission of documentation, calculation of duties and taxes, and ensuring compliance with customs regulations.

Customs Clearance: The process of obtaining permission to import or export goods from one country to another, involving the submission of documents and payment of duties and taxes.

Customs Duty: A tax imposed on imports and exports of goods, calculated based on the value, weight, dimensions, or nature of the goods.

Dangerous Goods: Materials or items with hazardous properties that, if not properly controlled, present a potential hazard to human health and safety, infrastructure, and/ or their means of transport.

Data Logger: A device used to record specific environmental conditions or variables over time, such as temperature and humidity, during the transportation and storage of sensitive goods.

Deadhead: The movement of a transportation vehicle, such as a truck or train, without any cargo, typically returning to its point of origin after delivering a load.

Dedicated Contract Carriage: A logistics service where a carrier provides dedicated equipment and drivers to a single customer for its exclusive use, often under a long-term contract.

Dedicated Fleet Management: The administration and operation of a fleet of vehicles reserved for the exclusive use of a single business or organization, including maintenance, scheduling, and driver management.

Dedicated Freight: Refers to transportation services provided by carriers for a single client, involving exclusive use of vehicles or capacity for that client’s shipments. This service ensures consistent and reliable transportation, often tailored to specific requirements, routes, or schedules, minimizing handling and optimizing supply chain efficiency.

Delivery Order: An official document issued by a consignee or freight forwarder to a carrier, shipper, or terminal operator, authorizing the release and delivery of cargo to a designated party, containing details such as goods description, quantity, and destination.

Demurrage: A charge levied by a carrier on cargo that remains at a terminal longer than the allotted free time, typically applied to containerized shipments.

Detention: A fee charged to shippers or consignees by carriers when trucks are detained beyond a specified loading or unloading time.

Dispatch: The process of sending out vehicles, freight, or cargo to a designated location, often involving scheduling and route planning.

Distribution Center: A specialized facility that serves as a central location for the storage, handling, and redistribution of goods, designed to efficiently receive products from suppliers, sort and store them, and then facilitate their timely delivery.

Distribution Network: The interconnected group of storage facilities and transportation systems that move goods from manufacturers to consumers.

Distribution Strategy: The plan developed by a business to ensure the efficient delivery of goods to the final customers, including choosing distribution channels and fulfillment logistics.

Dock Leveler: A device that bridges the gap between a dock and a truck or trailer, facilitating the safe and efficient loading and unloading of goods.

Dock Receipt: A document issued by a carrier or freight forwarder acknowledging the receipt of goods for shipment at a dock or warehouse.

Double-Stack Train: A rail transport system designed to carry two layers of intermodal containers, significantly increasing the cargo capacity of freight trains.

Drayage: The transport of goods over a short distance, typically within or between ports, terminals, and warehouses, often involving the transfer of containerized cargo.

Drop Trailer: A trailer left by a carrier at a customer’s facility for loading or unloading at the convenience of the customer, to be picked up later by the carrier.

Dry Van: A fully enclosed, standard trailer used for transporting non-perishable goods, providing protection from the elements and security for the cargo.

E-commerce Logistics: The processes involved in storing, handling, and transporting goods sold via e-commerce, from order fulfillment to delivery to the end customer.

E-commerce Logistics Strategies: Plans and practices developed to optimize the supply chain and logistics operations of e-commerce businesses, focusing on efficient order fulfillment, inventory management, and delivery.

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange): The computer-to-computer exchange of business documents in a standard electronic format between business partners, streamlining transactions such as purchase orders and invoices.

ELD (Electronic Logging Device): A technology used in commercial vehicles to automatically record driving time and hours of service, ensuring compliance with regulations.

Embargo: A prohibition or restriction on the movement of goods through a particular route or to a specific destination, often imposed for political or safety reasons.

Ex Works (EXW): An international trade term where the seller makes the goods available at their premises, with the buyer responsible for all subsequent costs and risks.

Expedited Shipping: A service that guarantees faster delivery of goods than standard shipping methods, often used for time-sensitive shipments.

FAK (Freight All Kinds): A shipping agreement where different types of goods are shipped together at the same rate, simplifying the freight classification process.

FCL (Full Container Load): A shipping term referring to a container filled with goods for one consignee, maximizing the use of container space and often reducing costs.

FIFO (First In, First Out): An inventory management method where goods first received are the first to be shipped out, ensuring that older stock is used or sold before newer stock.

Flat Rack Container: A type of container with open sides and no roof, designed to transport oversized or heavy loads that cannot be loaded into standard containers.

Flexitank: A large, flexible bag or bladder used inside a standard 20-foot shipping container for transporting non-hazardous liquids in bulk.

FMC (Federal Maritime Commission): A U.S. government agency responsible for regulating the international ocean transportation system for the benefit of exporters, importers, and the American consumer.

FOB (Free on Board): An international trade term indicating that the seller is responsible for delivering the goods to a specified port, with the buyer taking over responsibility and costs from that point.

Freight Audit and Payment: The process of reviewing, adjusting, and verifying freight bills for accuracy, and then processing payments to carriers, often facilitated by third-party services.

Freight Bill: A document issued by a carrier to a shipper, detailing the terms of the freight shipment, charges, and the description of the goods.

Freight Broker: An intermediary between shippers who have goods to transport and carriers who have the capacity to move that freight, facilitating logistics and negotiation of shipping transactions.

Freight Brokerage: A service that acts as an intermediary between shippers who have goods to transport and carriers who have the capacity to move those goods, facilitating logistics arrangements without owning vehicles.

Freight Class: A classification system used by carriers to determine the cost of transporting goods, based on factors such as weight, density, value, and risk.

Freight Consolidation: The practice of combining several small shipments into one larger shipment to reduce transportation costs and improve efficiency.

Freight Consolidation Services: The process of combining multiple smaller shipments from different shippers into one larger shipment to allow for more efficient and cost-effective transportation.

Freight Forwarder: A company that arranges the shipment of goods on behalf of shippers, providing services such as documentation, warehousing, and customs clearance.

Freight Forwarding Analysis: The examination and evaluation of a company’s shipping needs and options, often conducted by a freight forwarder to optimize logistics and reduce costs.

Full-Truck-Load (FTL): A shipping mode where a truck carries cargo dedicated to a single customer, filling the entire space or weight capacity of the vehicle. This method is typically faster than less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping, as it involves direct delivery without the need for goods consolidation or deconsolidation.

Gantry Crane: A type of overhead crane with a girder mounted on freestanding legs that move on wheels or along a track system, commonly used for loading and unloading heavy items.

General Average: A principle in maritime law where all parties in a sea voyage proportionally share the loss resulting from a voluntary sacrifice of part of the ship or cargo to save the whole in an emergency.

Global Positioning System (GPS): A satellite-based navigation system used to determine the precise location of a vehicle, vessel, or other assets, enhancing tracking and routing capabilities.

Global Trade Management: The practice of managing and optimizing the processes involved in international trade, including compliance, logistics, and finance.

GPS Tracking: The use of GPS technology to monitor the real-time location and movement of vehicles, shipments, or assets for security and operational efficiency.

Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW): The total weight of a vehicle and its cargo, including the weight of the vehicle itself plus fuel, passengers, and goods.

Gross Weight: The total weight of goods, including packaging, wrapping, and internal material, used for the calculation of freight charges.

Harmonized System (HS) Code: An internationally standardized system of names and numbers for classifying traded products, used to determine customs tariffs and statistics.

Hazardous Materials: Substances that pose risks to health, safety, and property during transportation, subject to specific regulatory requirements for handling and shipping.

High Cube Container: A type of shipping container that is taller than standard containers, offering additional space for cargo that does not require more width or length.

Hub: A central point in a logistics network where goods are collected, sorted, and distributed to their final destinations, often a warehouse or distribution center.

Import License: An official permission required by some countries for the importation of certain goods, ensuring compliance with national regulations and policies.

Incoterms: A series of pre-defined commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce, used to communicate the tasks, costs, and risks associated with the transportation and delivery of goods in international trade.

Indirect Air Carrier: An entity that offers air transportation of cargo without operating aircraft, typically consolidating shipments and booking space on airlines on behalf of shippers.

Inland Carrier: A transportation company that specializes in the movement of goods over land, typically involving trucks or trains, within the interior of a country.

Interline: A partnership arrangement between two or more carriers to move freight from origin to destination by using each other’s services, facilitating seamless transportation across different networks.

Intermodal: The use of more than one mode of transportation to move containers or goods from origin to destination, combining the strengths of ship, rail, and truck.

Inventory Management: The systematic process of ordering, storing, tracking, and controlling inventory levels to ensure the timely availability of goods while minimizing holding costs and optimizing supply chain efficiency.

Inventory Management Solutions: Systems and technologies designed to optimize the tracking, ordering, storing, and using of inventory, helping businesses manage their stock levels efficiently.
ISO Container: A standardized shipping container built according to specifications set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ensuring compatibility across global transportation modes.

JIT (Just In Time): A logistics strategy that aligns raw-material orders from suppliers directly with production schedules to reduce inventory costs and increase efficiency.

JIT II (Just In Time II): An evolved inventory management strategy that emphasizes the integration of suppliers directly into the customer’s production process to reduce inventory levels, minimize waste, and enhance efficiency.

Jumbo Trailer: A type of trailer larger than standard sizes, designed to carry oversized loads or a greater volume of goods, often used in specialized haulage.

Kanban: A scheduling system for lean and just-in-time (JIT) production, helping manage work by balancing demands with available capacity through visual cues.

Lading: The act of loading cargo onto a transportation vehicle, or the cargo itself; also referred to as the contents listed on a bill of lading.

LASH (Lighter Aboard Ship): A shipping system in which barges are loaded onto a larger vessel for ocean transport, allowing the barges to be directly floated on or off the ship.

Last Mile Delivery: The final step of the delivery process where goods are transported from a distribution center or facility to the final delivery destination, typically a personal residence or business.

Last Mile Delivery Solutions: Technologies and logistical strategies designed to optimize the efficiency and reliability of delivering goods to the end customer’s location.

LCL (Less than Container Load): A shipment that does not fill an entire container and is consolidated with other goods to maximize container space, reducing costs for shippers.

Lead Time: The amount of time from the start of a process until its completion, often referring to the time taken for goods to be delivered from supplier to customer.

Lean Logistics: An approach to logistics that focuses on reducing waste and improving efficiency throughout the supply chain, based on principles of lean manufacturing.

Less Than Truckload (LTL): Freight that does not require the full space of a truck and is combined with other partial loads to improve efficiency and reduce shipping costs.

Line Haul: The movement of freight between cities or major points, excluding local pickup and delivery services, often involving long distances.

Load Board: An online marketplace where shippers, brokers, and carriers can post and find loads to transport, facilitating the matching of freight with available transportation capacity.

Load Factor: The ratio of a vehicle’s cargo weight to its maximum carrying capacity, indicating the efficiency of cargo space utilization.

Load Planning and Optimization: The process of efficiently organizing and loading goods for transportation to maximize space, reduce costs, and improve delivery times.

Logistics: The detailed coordination and management of the movement, storage, and handling of goods, materials, and information from the point of origin to the point of consumption to meet customer requirements.

Logistics Optimization: The application of strategies and technologies to improve various aspects of logistics operations, including transportation, warehousing, and inventory management.

Logistics Service Provider (LSP): A company that offers logistics services to other businesses, including transportation, warehousing, and distribution, among other supply chain management functions.

Managed Transportation Services: Outsourced services where a third party manages and executes the transportation needs of a business, including planning, execution, and optimization.

Manifest: A comprehensive document listing the cargo, passengers, or crew aboard a vehicle, such as a truck, ship, or airplane, used for customs, insurance, and regulatory compliance.

Maquiladora: A manufacturing operation in Mexico where factories import materials and equipment on a duty-free and tariff-free basis for assembly or manufacturing and then export the assembled products.

Maritime Law: A body of laws, conventions, and treaties that govern international private business or other matters involving ships, shipping, or crimes on open water.

Maritime Shipping: The transport of goods or passengers over water, encompassing a wide range of vessel types and cargo.

Milk Run: A delivery route that picks up or delivers goods at multiple stops, optimized to reduce transportation costs and improve efficiency.

Mode Optimization: The process of selecting the most efficient and cost-effective method of transportation for a particular shipment, based on factors like speed, cost, and the nature of the goods.

MRP (Materials Requirement Planning): A production planning and inventory control system used to manage manufacturing processes by determining the quantity and timing of materials needed.

Multimodal: Involves the transportation of goods under a single contract but performed with at least two different means of transport; the carrier is liable for the entire carriage, even though it is performed by several different modes of transport (e.g., rail, ship, and truck).

Multimodal Transportation Solutions: Services that integrate different modes of transport for the movement of goods, optimizing efficiency, cost, and environmental impact by leveraging the strengths of each transport mode.

Nearshoring: The practice of transferring a business operation to a nearby country from a more distant one, often to reduce costs and improve supply chain efficiency and responsiveness.

Network Modeling: The process of creating a digital representation of a supply chain network to analyze and optimize the flow of goods, information, and financials.

Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC): A cargo consolidator in ocean trades who will buy space from a carrier and sub-sell it to smaller shippers; the NVOCC issues bills of lading, publishes tariffs, and otherwise conducts itself as an ocean common carrier, except it does not provide the actual ocean or intermodal service.

Ocean Bill of Lading: A document that serves as a contract of carriage and a receipt for goods shipped by sea; it specifies the terms under which the goods are transported and is used to transfer ownership.

Ocean Freight: The transportation of goods by sea, typically involving large container ships that carry cargo containers from one port to another across the world’s oceans.

Offshoring: The relocation of a business process from one country to another—typically an operational process, such as manufacturing, or supporting processes, like accounting.

Omni-Channel Distribution: A seamless and integrated approach to logistics and supply chain management that enables companies to fulfill orders and provide customer service across multiple sales channels.

On-Demand Transportation: Services that provide transportation on an as-needed basis, typically facilitated by digital platforms that connect users with transportation providers in real time.

Operational Audit and Enhancement: The systematic review of an organization’s operations, focusing on processes, efficiency, and effectiveness, with the aim of identifying opportunities for improvement.

Outbound Logistics: The process involved in moving products from the manufacturer’s warehouse to the distributor, retailer, or end consumer.

Outsourced Fleet Management: The practice of hiring a third-party company to manage aspects of a company’s vehicle fleet, including maintenance, tracking, and driver management.

Over-the-Road (OTR): Refers to long-distance hauling where truck drivers transport goods over extensive road networks, often crossing state lines and covering hundreds or thousands of miles.

P&D (Pickup and Delivery): Services that involve the transportation of goods from a starting point to a designated destination, typically covering short distances within a local area.

Pallet: A portable platform used to package items and provide a solid foundation for the transportation and storage of goods in warehouses and vehicles.

Pallet Jack: A tool used to lift and move pallets within a warehouse or loading dock; it can be manual or powered.

Panamax: A term that refers to the maximum size of the vessel that can navigate through the Panama Canal, subject to the canal’s dimensions.

Parcel: A package or box that is typically handled by postal and courier services, designed for shipping smaller volumes of goods.

Parcel Delivery: The process of delivering small packages and parcels to destinations, often involving door-to-door service for items purchased online.

Peak Season: A period during which demand for transportation services is significantly higher than usual, often due to seasonal factors like holidays or harvests.

Per Diem: A daily allowance for expenses—a term commonly used in logistics to refer to charges that can accrue while freight is held beyond a specified period.

Performance Reporting: The systematic tracking, analysis, and communication of various performance metrics that measure the efficiency and effectiveness of logistics operations.

Pick and Pack: A process in warehousing where goods are picked from incoming shipments and packed directly into shipping containers to fulfill individual orders.

Pier Pass: A fee charged for the use of port facilities, often implemented to manage traffic and congestion by incentivizing off-peak pickups and deliveries.

Placard: A standardized label affixed to a vehicle or freight container indicating the presence of hazardous materials, designed to provide immediate hazard identification for emergency responders.

POD (Proof of Delivery): A document signed by the recipient to confirm the receipt of goods, providing verification that the delivery was completed as per the agreement.

Port Congestion: A situation where a port experiences overcrowding and delays in handling ships and cargo, often due to high volumes of traffic or operational inefficiencies.

Port of Entry: A designated location at a country’s border or within its territory where officials oversee the entry and exit of people and goods, serving as a checkpoint for customs, immigration, and other regulatory procedures.

Pre-Carriage: The initial segment of a journey where goods are transported from the shipper’s premises to the port of shipment, prior to the main ocean leg.

Predictive Analytics in Logistics: The use of data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data, aiming to improve logistics operations.

Prepaid Freight: Charges for transportation services paid by the shipper before a shipment is transported.

Quality Control: Processes and measures implemented to ensure that services and products meet defined quality standards within the logistics and supply chain.

Quarantine: The isolation of goods or vehicles to prevent the spread of disease or pests, typically upon entry to a new country or region.

Queue Time: The duration that vehicles, such as trucks or ships, spend waiting in line to be loaded or unloaded.

Rail Freight: The transportation of goods over land via train networks, offering cost-effective and efficient long-distance hauling capabilities.

Rate Benchmarking: The process of comparing a company’s freight rates against market standards or the rates of competitors to assess competitiveness and identify opportunities for cost savings in shipping and logistics operations.

Rate Confirmation: A document issued by a carrier or broker confirming the agreed-upon price and terms for transporting cargo, serving as a binding agreement between the shipper and carrier.

Real-Time Tracking and Tracing: Technology-enabled systems that provide live updates on the location and status of shipments, enhancing visibility and control over the supply chain.

Reefer: A refrigerated shipping container used for transporting perishable goods that require temperature control, such as food and pharmaceutical products.

Reefer Plug: An electrical outlet on a ship, train, or terminal used to power refrigerated containers (reefers) during transportation and storage to maintain the required temperature.

Regional Carrier: A transportation company that operates within a specific geographical area, typically offering more localized service than national or international carriers.

Reverse Logistics: The process of moving goods from their typical final destination for the purpose of capturing value, or proper disposal, including returns, recycling, and refurbishment.

Reverse Logistics Management: The oversight and control of the reverse logistics process, focusing on optimizing returns, recycling, and waste reduction in the supply chain.

Rework: The process of correcting or modifying a product that does not meet quality or specification standards after its initial production.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification): A technology that uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects, widely used in logistics for inventory management and tracking.

Risk Management: The identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks followed by coordinated efforts to minimize, monitor, and control the probability or impact of unfortunate events in the supply chain.

RoRo (Roll-on/Roll-off): A method of shipping where vehicles, trailers, and equipment are driven on and off the transport vessel, facilitating efficient loading and unloading processes.

Route Optimization: The process of determining the most efficient route(s) for transporting goods, considering factors like distance, traffic conditions, and delivery windows.

Routing Guide: A set of instructions and guidelines provided by shippers to carriers outlining preferred shipping practices, carrier selections, and routing instructions.

SaaS (Software as a Service): A software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a service provider and made available to customers over the internet, commonly used in logistics for systems like TMS and WMS.

Safety Stock: Extra inventory held to guard against stockouts caused by variability in demand or supply, ensuring product availability.

SCM (Supply Chain Management): The management of the flow of goods and services, involving the movement and storage of raw materials, of work-in-process inventory, and of finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption.

Seal: A device used to lock or secure shipping containers and trucks, providing a tamper-evident mechanism that ensures the integrity of the cargo.

Seaway Bill: A receipt for cargo and a contract for transportation between a shipper and a carrier, but unlike a bill of lading, it is not a document of title.

Shipment Visibility: The ability to track and monitor the progress and status of goods as they move through the supply chain from origin to destination.

Shipper: The individual or company that is sending goods to a recipient via a transportation service provider.

Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED): A document required by the government for the export of goods from some countries, detailing the nature, quantity, and destination of the goods being shipped.

Shipping Container: A large, standardized metal box designed for the efficient, secure transport of goods on both sea and land.

Shipping Manifest: A document listing the cargo, passengers, and crew of a ship, airplane, or truck for the use of customs and other officials.

Short Haul: Transportation of goods over a short distance, typically within a region or metropolitan area, often completed within a single work shift.

Short Sea Shipping: The movement of cargo and passengers by sea over short distances, as opposed to intercontinental or long-haul sea voyages.

SKU (Stock Keeping Unit): A unique identifier for each distinct product and service that can be purchased in business, used for tracking inventory levels.

SLA (Service Level Agreement): A formal agreement between a service provider and a client that defines the level of service expected from the service provider.

Slot Charter: An agreement where a shipping company leases space on a vessel owned by another carrier, purchasing a set number of slots, or container spaces, for transporting goods on a specific route.

Slotting: The strategic placement of goods within a warehouse or distribution center to optimize the efficiency of picking and packing processes, organizing inventory based on picking frequency, size, weight, and compatibility.

Stacktrain: A rail service where containers are stacked two high on rail cars, increasing the efficiency and capacity of freight trains.

Strategic Sourcing: The process of developing channels of supply at the lowest total cost, not just the lowest purchase price, to achieve a competitive advantage.

Supply Chain: The network of all the individuals, organizations, resources, activities, and technology involved in the creation and sale of a product, from the delivery of source materials from the supplier to the manufacturer, and ultimately to the consumer.

Supply Chain Analysis: The examination and evaluation of a company’s supply chain to improve efficiency and effectiveness in fulfilling customer demands.

Supply Chain Consulting: Professional services that help businesses identify problems within their supply chain processes and develop strategies to solve them, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.

Supply Chain Engineering: The application of engineering principles and methodologies to design, implement, and optimize supply chains for efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability.

Supply Chain Integration: The process of aligning and synchronizing the flow of products, services, information, and finances among the entities within a supply chain to improve efficiency and responsiveness.

Supply Chain Optimization: The use of various tools, strategies, and methodologies to improve the operations of a supply chain, aiming for the best mix of responsiveness and efficiency for the market demand.

Supply Chain Visibility: The ability of parts, components, or products in transit to be tracked from the manufacturer to their final destination, enhancing transparency, and efficiency.
Tare Weight: The weight of an empty vehicle or container, used in logistics to calculate the net weight of the cargo by subtracting the tare weight from the gross weight.

Tautliner: A type of trailer used in road transport, characterized by its flexible side curtains that can be opened for easy loading and unloading, while providing the security and protection of an enclosed trailer.

Technology Implementation and Integration: The process of adopting and incorporating new technologies into existing logistics and supply chain operations to improve efficiency and capabilities.

Terminal Handling Charge (THC): A fee charged by terminals for handling equipment and cargo, typically applied to both import and export shipments.

TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit): A measure of ship’s cargo carrying capacity, with one TEU representing the space occupied by a standard twenty-foot shipping container.

Third-Party Logistics (3PL): A service that allows businesses to outsource operational logistics from warehousing, all the way through to delivery, thereby enabling the business to focus on other parts of their operation.

Throughput: The amount of material or items passing through a system or process, often used in logistics to measure the efficiency of transportation and warehousing operations.

TL (Truckload): A shipment that fills an entire truck, or a partial load that a shipper agrees to pay as a full load to secure exclusive use of the vehicle.

Track and Trace: The process of locating and following the path of a shipment as it moves through the supply chain, providing real-time or near-real-time data on its location.

Trailer: A large transport container mounted on wheels and typically pulled by a truck, used for hauling goods over long distances.

Transloading: The process of transferring cargo from one mode of transportation to another during its journey from origin to destination, such as from a ship to a truck, without handling the actual cargo inside the container.

Transshipment: The act of shipping goods to an intermediate destination before being moved on to the final destination, often used to consolidate shipments or change the mode of transport.

Transportation Economics: The study of the allocation of resources within the transportation sector, focusing on the costs, benefits, and economic impacts of transportation infrastructure and policies.

Transportation Management System (TMS): A software system designed to manage transportation operations and logistics, from order planning and optimization through to freight audit and payment.

Transportation Procurement: The process of selecting and contracting transportation carriers and services, negotiating terms and rates, and managing ongoing carrier performance.

Truckload: A shipment that is large enough to fill an entire truck by itself or the maximum weight or volume that a truck can carry, as opposed to less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments.

ULD (Unit Load Device): A pallet or container used in the airline industry to consolidate cargo into a single unit, making it easier to load onto aircraft and ensuring efficient use of space and quick handling.

Value Stream Mapping: A lean-management method for analyzing the current state and designing a future state for the series of events that take a product or service from its beginning through to the customer.

Value-Added Services: Additional services provided by logistics companies beyond basic transportation and warehousing, such as packaging, labeling, assembly, and quality control.

Vanning: The process of loading cargo into a container or truck.

Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI): A supply chain initiative where the supplier is responsible for maintaining the inventory level required by the customer, often leading to improved supply chain efficiency.

Vessel: A ship or large boat used for transporting goods and/or passengers over water.

Warehouse Design and Management: The strategic planning and operation of a warehouse to efficiently store, manage, and move inventory while minimizing costs and maximizing space.

Warehouse Management System (WMS): A software application designed to support and optimize warehouse or distribution center management and operations.

Warehouse Receipt: A document issued by a warehouse listing goods received for storage, serving as evidence of the goods’ custody and a document of title.

Warehousing: The process of storing goods within a specified area for the purpose of consolidation, value-added processing, and preparation for further distribution.

Waybill: A document issued by a carrier giving details and instructions relating to the shipment of a consignment of goods, typically not a document of title.

Weight Break: A shipping rate structure in which the cost per unit of weight decreases as the size of a shipment increases, encouraging larger shipments.

X-Dock: Cross-docking; a logistics practice where incoming goods are directly transferred from receiving to shipping with minimal or no storage time.

Yard Jockey: A person who manages the movement and storage of trailers or containers in the yard of a warehouse or distribution center.

Yard Management System (YMS): A software system designed to oversee the movement of trucks and trailers in the yard of a warehouse or distribution center, optimizing efficiency and minimizing delays.

Yield Management: A strategy used in various industries, including transportation and logistics, to maximize revenue through the management of inventory levels and pricing based on demand predictions and customer behavior analysis.

Zero Inventory: A supply chain management strategy aimed at minimizing inventory storage by synchronizing production and delivery processes closely with customer demand, reducing or eliminating the need for stock holding.

Zone Skipping: A logistics strategy used to reduce shipping costs and transit times by bypassing intermediary carrier zones, directly shipping goods to a closer zone to the final delivery destination.