Freight Cargo Glossary for Shipping Industry Terms

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A bill of lading is a binding contract that serves three main purposes: a receipt for the cargo delivered to the transportation provider for shipment; a definition or description of the goods; and evidence of title to the relative cargo goods, if “negotiable”. See our page Documents to Download and download an easy to edit Bill of Lading and save as in PDF.

Any goods that are to be shipped. 

The party which receives the cargo goods in a freight shipment. Sometimes referred to as the receiver.

The penalty fee for delaying the carrier’s equipment beyond the allotted time. Typical allotted time is 2 hours for loading and 2 hours for unloading a full truckload.

Any product being transported.

A logistics broker is an independent contractor paid to arrange freight transportation. Unlike asset-based carriers, freight brokers have much more available capacity since they are not restricted to a certain set of available assets.

A liftgate is a mechanical device attached to the back of a truck so that a heavy object can be lifted to or from the ground.

A pallet jack is a tool used to lift and move pallets.
The party which sends or ships goods in a freight shipment.

An acronym standing for, “Truck Ordered, Not used.” This fee is a cancellation charge for ordering a truck and then canceling the order.

Sometimes this trailer is called a “van” or “box trailer”. They are used for the transport of freight that must be kept dry. They are normally loaded from the rear by forklifts or pallet jacks. It is available in 48′ or 53′ lengths with the latter being the more common. The weight limit is generally 44,000 lbs for these trailers.
An insulated truck equipped and used as a refrigerator to transport fresh, perishable, or frozen products. The refrigerated and temperature-controlled logistics sector continues to evolve to meet the diverse palette of food manufacturers and distributors and their requirements.
An open truck bed or trailer used to carry objects such as heavy machinery, steel, lumber, building products, etc. Flatbeds utilize numerous securing devices including chains, straps and binders along with various lengths of tarps for weather protection of the transported products. There are a few flatbed subtypes, such as lowboy and drop-deck trailers. Flatbed trailers can haul on average between 44,000 to 48,000 lbs.

Unlike a standard flatbed trailer, this kind of trailer can carry taller cargo that would normally violate height restrictions on another trailer.

Thanks to the lowboy trailer, abnormally high cargo can still be transported without having to find special routes.