The objective of the Glossary is to achieve, to the extent possible, consistency with definitions in our industry.


    • Accessorial Fees

      Accessorial fees are a term used that refers to all extra charges that are added to the invoice in relation to the additional services required as part of a basic delivery, i.e. door-to-door delivery. This can be heated service, a need for a hydraulic tailgate or simply waiting times exceeding the limit granted by the carrier.
    • Adjustments

      Adjustments or additional loads are usually added after the transport movement is performed. These extras are related to facts not specified during shipping such as a specific requirement during delivery such as an "Inside delivery". They can also arise when checking a weight declared "reweigh" or a revision of the dimensions provided at the beginning. Be vigilant to avoid unpleasant surprises.
    • ATA

      Actual Time of Arrival
    • Axel load

      This term refers to the limit permitted on each axle of road equipment during the transit of a consignment. The weight may vary by province or state depending on the case and the season during thaw periods as an example.


    • Back Hauls

      This is the cargo that brings the carrier back to its point of origin or to its main area of operation. Generally dependent on the territories and regions, these shipments are often carried out at a lower cost since they allow the operator to return to the point of departure.
    • Beneficial Owner

      It is a legal document that specifies the actual and current owner of the goods transported, even if the shipping documents show another beneficiary in law and title. We find this type of document most often in international transport.
    • Blind Shipment

      In some cases, the actual seller of the goods uses his distributor or manufacturer in order to execute the shipment. Obviously, in order to protect his customers and prevent his customer from sourcing from the latter during future orders, he keeps the anonymity of the sender and executes everything without reporting in any way from the actual point of origin. The term "blind shipment" therefore applies.
    • Blocking and Bracing

      The method used to block, secure and secure the load inside a trailer or container.
    • Bobtail

      Refers to a tractor truck that drives without a trailer being stowed to it.
    • Bogie

      The bogie is a trolley equipped with axles and necessarily wheels used by the rail to be able to enter under the chassis of a wagon and facilitate the negotiation of curves. Once installed, they are able to rotate independently of each other.
    • BOL / Bill Of Lading

      This is the bill of lading, the legal contract of carriage that binds and details the terms and conditions of the shipment between the shipper and the carrier. This document specifies all the aspects that have taken place between the parties as well as the nature of the goods transported. It may in certain cases be given to the consignee and be proof of delivery.
    • Broker

      Similar to 3 PL, the "broker" is an intermediary between the shipper and the carrier in order to ensure transport movements. Brokers serve as connectivity between carriers and customers who require logistics services. This term can also be used to describe an independent truck operator.
    • Bulk

      This term is used to describe a cargo that has no containers or packaging of any kind. These types of shipments are very often liquid chartered in tanks or rock or sand in dump trucks.
    • Bulk trailer

      This type of equipment is used to transport unpackaged materials in large quantities. ( Ex: Dump truck, dump trailer)


    • Capacity

      Defines the ability of a carrier to transport goods on a given route depending on the availability of its equipment, drivers and market fluctuations such as return possibilities as well as fuel.
    • Carrier

      Commercial enterprise used to transport many types of goods and shipments to and from customers and / or suppliers.
    • CFS

      Container Freight Station - Deconsolidation warehouse (in case of LCL).
    • CI

      Commercial Invoice
    • Classification

      The classification of the convenience shipped determines the pricing level. The more fragile or bulky a product is, the higher the rate is likely to be. Amenities are associated with specific classifications that are determined based on the risk or volume space required. These classifications apply strictly to LTL shipments.
    • COD

      Cash on Delivery - payment required prior to delivery.
    • Commodity

      This term refers to the description of the parts that make up a shipment. It specifies the product shipped. For example: A shipment of chairs. Commodity = Furniture / Chairs.
    • Common Carrier

      These are common road hauliers that operate specific corridors with well-established and generally fixed timetables and tariffs. Their LTL cargoes bring together several shippers in the form of volume consolidation.
    • Concealed Damage

      This term is used when damage occurs to the goods often after delivery. The reason is that this damage is not apparent and is only found after unpacking and could not be seen otherwise. Be careful because the time limit to serve a claim for damage on the carrier is 60 days.
    • Consignee

      The point of destination or the place where the cargo is to be delivered without the consignee necessarily being the owner.
    • Consignor

      The person who ships goods to a consignee and who is the owner of the goods until the consignee pays his due to him in full. It is usually the one who sells the said goods.
    • Consolidation

      It is a question of benefiting from a grouping of several shippers shipping to a common point. These shipments are of the LTL type and are intended to create substantial savings for each of them. In return, several receivers from the same sector may also join together to receive goods from the same point of origin. Some warehouses specialize and are consolidators, that is, they bring together several shipments destined for the same point of reception and coming from an unlimited number of suppliers. The big chains in North America often do this.
    • Container​​​​​​​

      The container is nothing more and nothing less than a box resembling a closed trailer (Dry Box). However, they are of different sizes and smaller, either 20 or 40 feet in length. Once placed on a chassis on wheels, the container becomes mobile and intermodal that can be used for transport by road, rail or sea.
    • COO

      Certificate Of Origin - Required to benefit from preferential tariff treatment under a free trade agreement.
    • Cross Dock

      This term refers to a warehouse that is configured with doors on each side (face to face) in order to facilitate the transhipment of trailers and especially to accelerate the pace. LTL and small parcel carriers use this type of infrastructure.
    • Cube​

      Refers to the space occupied by the goods inside a trailer or container in order to determine its volume. If the minimum weight per cubic foot required is not reached, billing will be done according to volume.
    • Cubic Capacity​​

      This term refers to the carrying capacity of a truck, wagon or cargo ship. It expresses its carrying capacity in cubic feet, which is the one that cannot be legally exceeded. Be vigilant about your carrier's legal limits.
    • Customs broker

      ​​​​​​​This is the person or company that represents exporters and importers in order to cross borders in international shipments. He makes sure to clear these shipments on your behalf and that all the necessary documentation is submitted to the cross-border authorities. The customs broker must hold a License in order to exercise his mandate.
    • CY

      Container Yard (in case of FCL).


    • Day Cab

      This term describes a truck or semi-trailer that does not contain a berth attached to it. Most often used for regional and city operations.
    • DECA / CAED

      Canadian Exportation Declaration (Form B13A) is needed if you are exporting non-restricted commercial goods valued at CAN$2,000 or more from Canada to any other destination (some conditions apply).
    • Demurrage

      Demurrage charges are applied for storage of laden containers whilst in the steamship line's care in a port, rail terminal, feeder terminal, inland depot or container yard.
    • Detention

      Detention charges are applied for the storage or holding of containers whilst in customers’ care outside a port, rail terminal, feeder terminal, inland depot or container yard.
    • Dispatch

      Maintains control of the movements of goods, equipment and drivers while remaining in contact with them in order to direct and orchestrate their tasks.
    • DOT (Department of transportation)

      The Federal Department is responsible for the safety of national motorways, railways and aviation.
    • Drayage

      The transport of goods over a short distance. These are movements by intermodal connecting road, usually from a marshalling yard or port to the final destination or from the origin to a marshalling yard or port.
    • Driver

      It is the individual behind the wheel of the truck and / or semi-trailer. He is not necessarily the owner of the equipment or the company that operates it.
    • Drop and hook

      When a driver drops off his trailer at a specific location without waiting to be unloaded, and attaches to another trailer usually already loaded.
    • Dry Box

      A semi-trailer used to transport cargo that is not sensitive to temperature variations. This type of trailer usually measures 53 feet, but there are also 48 feet that are rarer nowadays, and are mostly used for local deliveries and city work in smaller locations.
    • Dwell Time

      It refer to the waiting time between vessel unloading and rail load.


    • E-Manifest (eManifest)

      E-Manifest (eManifest) is a term used to describe the advance, electronic conveyance of freight information to customs officials prior to a shipment arriving at a border.
    • Embargo

      This term defines the impossibility of accepting shipments to or from a specific region. These prohibitions are usually ratified by countries that have conflictual situations with the place affected by the embargo for which they use this means as a sanction.
    • ERS

      Expedited Rail Service - Priority loading on rail.
    • ETA

      The estimated time, or date, and approximate time that shipment is expected to arrive at its destination.
    • Exceptions

      The term indicates that there was a problem with the shipment. It can be a shortage, damage or an incorrect account that causes a surplus. Most companies have customer service that takes care of the exceptional situation and help solve the problem.


    • FCL

      (Full Container Load) means the goods are packed in a full container.
    • FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration)

      The DOT federal agency regulates the trucking industry in the USA.
    • Freight

      Generally refers to the usually palletized cargo ship. The term may also describe goods of any kind transited, shipped or handled by a carrier for remuneration. The term is most often used to characterize the cargo.


    • Gross Weight

      The total weight of a shipment including its packaging and pallets.


    • HBL

      House Bill of Lading
    • Headhaul

      The exit movement from the sender to the receiver is often the most successful for the operator.
    • High Cube Trailer

      Trailers can have some differences in dimensions that range from 40 feet to 53 feet. The width and height may also vary. For maximum space, ask for a "High Cube" type equipment. It offers a length of 53 feet, a width of 102 inches and a height of 116 inches.
    • HS Code

      Harmonized Code - Numerical method for classifying traded products.


    • Inbound

      Refers to an incoming cargo in the language of an operator. Similar to the term ''Back haul''
    • Incoterms

      Incoterms, a widely-used terms of sale, are a set of 11 internationally recognized rules which define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers.

      EXW / FCA / CPT / CIP / DPU / DAP / DDP / FAS / FOB / CFR / CIF
    • Interline

      This term is used when more than one operator is involved in the transport of a consignment. The carriers then work together to get to the destination. The responsibility for any possible losses either in number or in damage lies with the one who is in "custody and control" of the goods and the signatures during the succession has an importance in order to define who is responsible among the collaborators. Be vigilant.
    • Intermodal

      Term used when more than one mode of transportarion is used to cover the entire journey required. It can be road/rail, road/ship, etc.
    • IPEC / ACI

      Advance Commercial Information document


    • Just in time

      This expression is used to define the just in time arrival of goods to the supply chain. That is, in order to keep inventory levels as low as possible, manufacturers and distributors alike prefer to receive their material only or almost when needed. These practices also help limit the space required for storage.


    • Lane

      (Line Served) The route served by the carrier on a regular basis.
    • LCL

      (Less than Container Load) is a mode of shipping via ocean. If you don't have enough cargo to fill up an entire container, consider shipping LCL. An LCL shipment will be consolidated with other LCL shipments into one container.
    • LFD

      Last Free Day - Before storage, demurrage or detention will start.
    • Linehaul

      Refers to the transport from an origin to a destination excluding its distribution (most often, city to city). Operators analyze their capacity flow according to the number of trips to go out and to bring back, that is to say according to their language, the "linehaul".
    • LTL

      "Less than truck load". This is a cargo that does not require the full use of equipment. EX: 4 normal sized pallets of 48 "X 48". This term is most often used when the weight is between 150 to 15,000 lbs and requires less than 20 linear feet of the trailer. But it can also be used for a load requiring 30 or 40 linear feet. (Less than a full charge)
    • Lumper

      (Laborer / Handler) Staff required and paid to load and / or unload a trailer or container.


    • Motor carier

      The term is used to refer to a trucker. Refers to a carrier operating one or more road vehicles.
    • Mover

      This term defines an operator moving personal or corporate goods, whether domestic, regional or international.


    • Nested

      When a shipment can stack and fit together, it saves a lot of space in a shipment. The term "nested" is used to describe this type of movement.
    • Net weight

      ​​​​​​​The total weight of a shipment excluding its packaging and pallets. (Different from "Gross Weight" which includes packaging).
    • Not otherwise indicated (NOI)

      The term is used to refer to a trucker. Refers to a carrier operating one or more road vehicles.


    • OTR

      (Over the road) means that the freight travels by road or by truck.
    • Owner Operator

      (Independent Trucker). This is a trucker who owns a small business or the equipment he makes available to a transporter, but as an independent subcontractor. He is then not considered as an employee, but as an operator. He very often works under the licenses and insurance of the operator who uses his services. Most often, his or her equipment is identified with the name of the operator who hires him. The term "Broker" is also used to refer to it.


    • PL

      Packing List
    • POD (Proof of delivery)

      This is a trucker who owns a small business or the equipment he makes available to a transporter, but as an independent subcontractor. He is then not considered as an employee, but as an operator. He very often works under the licenses and insurance of the operator who uses his services. Most often, his or her equipment is identified with the name of the operator who hires him. The term "Broker" is also used to refer to it.


    • Refer (Refrigerated)

      Trailer or truck equipped with a refrigeration unit and insulation suitable for transporting goods sensitive to cold or frozen temperature. Some types of "refer" can also be reversed to warm the interior.


    • SKU

      ​​​​​​​(Stock Keeping Unit). A product identifier used to track and control inventory and is often listed in alpha and / or numeric code and using bar codes. SKUs represent a specific product in inventory in the supply and distribution chain.
    • Sleeper Cab

      ​​​​​​​(Truck with sleeper). A compartment which is attached to a cab of a truck in order to allow the driver (s) to take rest during their journey which requires more than a day of transit and by not exceeding the permitted hours of regulated driving.
    • SOC

      Shipper Owned Container


    • Tariff

      (Tariff) Establishes the cost and contract between a carrier and a shipper or consignee for a freight shipment.
    • Team drivers

      This is a team of drivers operating the same equipment in order to shorten the transit time between two points and to deliver earlier. They are often in demand during emergencies commonly referred to as "expedited shipments" or at very long distances over 3,000 miles.
    • Third Party Logistics / 3PL

      (Third party Logistics) Logistics services offered by an intermediary in conjunction with a third party that performs the movement of transport as well as many facets of the supply chain and supply chain activities.
    • Through Rate

      Refers to a "through rate", which is from a point of origin to a specific point of destination.
    • Time Critical

      This term is used to express the urgency of delivering a shipment to its destination as soon as possible and describes the critical situation as an eminent production shutdown.
    • Time Definite

      Defines a precise delivery time, that is, the day and time it should take place. These are scheduled deliveries.
    • TMS / WMS

      (Transport management system / Warehouse management system). IT systems that support and manage freight transport activities as well as warehouse operations, such as receiving, leaving and moving.
    • Transit time

      Refers to the time required for the delivery of a shipment from its point of origin.
    • Truckload / TL / FTL

      This term refers to "Truck Load" or Full Truck Load "which means the maximum load capacity of an equipment in space or weight. In such a case, the shipper uses the exclusivity of the equipment to carry out the movement whether it is of dimensions of 48 or 53 feet and this in `` dry box '' or in `` refer '' and / or also in open specialized equipment.


    • Volume Rate

      This term refers to LTL shipments that are subject to a minimum weight and cubic volume. (EX; Min 10 lb per cubic foot)


    • Warehousing

      ​​​​​​​Refers to the storage of goods for a given period, determined or not, therefore long term or short term. More specifically, the goods are in custody and control in a warehouse on a temporary basis until required. Shippers, often manufacturers or distributors, use it for additional space requirements according to given schedules either for production or for requisitioning their customers.