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It is likely before reaching this page that you would have come across many logistic jargons that you are not familiar with, it is even more likely you will hear such terms when communicating with freight forwarders, courier and other services. Below is a list of logistic terms we have drawn up for you to refer to.

Air Waybill– A document that accompanies goods shipped by an international courier to provide detailed information about the shipment and allow it to be tracked

Bill of Lading– A document issued by a carrier, or its agent, to the shipper as a contract of carriage of goods. It is also a receipt for cargo accepted for transportation, and must be presented for taking delivery at the destination

Business to Business (B2B)– Where one business makes a commercial transaction with another

Business to Consumers (B2C)– Commercial transactions conducted directly between a company and consumers who are the end users of its products or services.

Cargo Consolidation– A service provided by a freight forwarder in which several smaller shipments are assembled and shipped together to avail of better freight rates and security of cargo

Carriers-A commercial entity that gets paid to transport goods

Cellular Vessel-A shipping vessel designed to efficiently store stacked containers, equipped with uniform restraints to secure cargo units. The majority of international shipping vessels are designed for cellular storage

Certificate of Origin-An international trade document that certifies that goods in a particular export shipment are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country. They also serve as a declaration by the exporter.

Collection Manifest-A document listing parcels to be sent. A proof that goods have been collected/dropped off

Commercial Invoice-The commercial invoice is the primary document used for importation control, valuation and duty determination. This document identifies the products being shipped.

Courier-A company that transports commercial packages and documents up to 75kg (likely less depending on carrier)

Customs Broker-Party certified to handle the customs clearance on account of importers / exporters

Customs Duty-A tax collected on imports and some exports by the customs authorities of a country. It is usually based on the value of the goods that are imported.

Custom Clearance- The custom clearance is typically given to a shipping agent to prove that all applicable customs duties have been paid and the shipment has been approved

Custom Invoice-A document detailing the contents and value of goods for custom purposes

Door-to-Door- A logistics arrangement to ensure direct flow of goods from the exporter to the importer (from the point-of-origin to the point-of-sale)

Drawback-Customs paid on exports previously imported

FEU (Forty foot equivalent unit)- A containerised cargo (Ocean freight) equal to one forty-foot (40 x 8 x 8 feet) or two twenty-foot (20 x 8 x 8 feet) containers.

Freight Bill-A bill rendered by a carrier to a consignee of freight and containing an identifying description of the freight, the name of the shipper, the point of origin of the shipment, its weight, and the amount of charges

Freight Forwarders- A company that receives and ships goods on behalf of other companies.

FCL (Full Container Load)- Full Container Load means that all goods in the container are listed on a single Bill of Lading, and as such are owned by a single party.

Import Restrictions-Import licenses or import quotas that limit the total quantity of goods imported, or imported from a certain country.

Inbound logistics-The transportation, storage and delivery of incoming goods into a business

Insurance Certificate-Document issued by an insurance company, it certifies that an insurance policy has been bought and shows an abstract of the most important provisions of the insurance contract.

Intermodal-Shipping that incorporates two or more different modes of transportation in conveying goods.

LCL (Less than container load) – A term used to describe the transportation of small ocean freight shipments not requiring the full capacity of an ocean container
Lift on/Lift off- Lift-on/lift-off or LoLo are cargo vessel that are equipped with cranes to load and unload cargo.

Loss and Damage- Loss or damage of freight shipments while in transit or in a carrier-operated warehouse. Terms for the handling of claims are usually stipulated in the freight bill.

Modes-A term used to describe the different types of transportation (e.g. Air, Road, and Sea)

Outbound Logistics-The process of transporting materials or goods to a manufacturer, supplier, warehouse, or retail store

Pallet-A pallet is a wooden or plastic flat transportable platform on which goods can be moved, stacked, and stored, with the aid of a forklift

Prohibited Goods- These are goods whose importation or exportation are absolutely banned

Proof of Delivery-A document that confirms that the recipient has received the contents sent by the sender

Quota- A quota is a government-imposed trade restriction that limits the number, or monetary value, of goods that can be imported or exported during a particular time period.

Reefer Container- A refrigerated container used to transport perishable cargo and has its own stand alone (self-powered) cooling system

RO-RO (Roll-on, Roll-Off)-A method of ocean cargo service using a vessel with ramps allowing vehicles (such as cars, trucks) to be driven on or off

Restricted Goods– Restricted goods refer to those which are subject to import or export controls – that is, goods which may not be imported or exported except under licence or permit

Shipper-An individual or firm that sends freight.

Single Administrative Document (SAD) – Known as Form C88 in the UK is the main customs form used in international trade to or from the European Union Customs Union.

Subrogation-The legal right of insurance companies to make counter claims on carriers for loss or damage.

TEU (Twenty-foot equivalent unit) – Method of measuring vessel load or capacity, in units of containers that are twenty feet long (20 x 8 x 8 feet). A 40 feet long container measures 2 TEUs

UCN (Unique Consignment Number)- The Unique Consignment Reference UCR is a reference number for Customs use and may be required to be reported to Customs at any point during a Customs procedure.

Valuable Cargo-Any article having a declared value of carriage of GBP 450.00, or more per gross kilogram.  This commonly includes jewels, cash, medical equipment, bank documentation, high couture fashion, but mostly precious artwork

Warehouse to warehouse-A marine insurance policy clause under which goods are covered from the time they leave the consignor’s warehouse (initial point of shipment) until the time they reach the consignee’s warehouse (final point of shipment)

3PL-A third-party or contract, Logistics Company. A firm to which logistics services are outsourced.