common shipping terms

Freight Forwarding Glossary for Shipping Industry Terms

Paige Logistics offers superior trucking services Full Truckload, LTL, Flatbed, Warehousing, Courier & Specialized Cargo Services to Canada, U.S.A &  Worldwide Container Shipping 

Welcome to the world of shipping and logistics, where a myriad of terminologies and jargon form the backbone of the industry. Navigating through the complex web of freight cargo-related terms can often be overwhelming for newcomers and experienced professionals alike. 

In this comprehensive Freight Cargo Glossary, we embark on a journey to demystify the intricacies of the shipping industry. Whether you are a budding entrepreneur, a logistics enthusiast, or an established player in the field, this glossary serves as your ultimate guide, offering a clear and concise explanation of the essential terms that define the global freight cargo landscape.

From understanding the nuances of containerization and different types of cargo vessels to deciphering the legalities of international trade agreements, this glossary delves deep into the terminology used across various facets of the shipping industry. We explore concepts like freight rates, customs clearance, warehousing, and supply chain management, shedding light on the terminology that shapes the movement of goods across borders and oceans.

Our goal is to empower you with knowledge, providing you with the necessary tools to make informed decisions in the world of freight cargo. Whether you are involved in sea freight, air freight, road transport, or a combination of these, having a solid grasp of the terminology is indispensable. With this glossary, we aim to simplify the learning curve, ensuring that you can confidently engage in discussions, negotiations, and transactions within the shipping industry.

So, whether you are a shipper, a carrier, a freight forwarder, or simply someone intrigued by the mechanics of global trade, dive into this Freight Cargo Glossary to unravel the language of shipping. Equip yourself with the vocabulary that powers the movement of goods around the world, and embark on a voyage of knowledge through the intricate terminology of the shipping industry.

Picture of Alexander Crane
Alexander Crane

Author, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Paige Logistics Ltd. → Experienced operations leader with a demonstrated history of working in the Freight Shipping, Trucking and the Railroad Industry.

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 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. PTG Transport, in the context of logistics and transportation, often refers to a service that specializes in providing Power Tailgate (PTG) solutions.

A Power Tailgate, also known as a lift gate, is a hydraulic or electric platform mounted at the rear of a truck or a van. PTG Transport, therefore, signifies a transportation service equipped with vehicles featuring this specialized hydraulic lifting mechanism. PTG Delivery, in this context, pertains to the process of unloading or loading goods using these power lift gates.

This technology is particularly useful when handling heavy or bulky items that cannot be easily lifted manually. PTG Transport and Delivery services are crucial in ensuring the safe and efficient handling of goods, especially in scenarios where there are no loading docks or for deliveries to locations without heavy lifting equipment.

These services streamline the logistics process, making it more accessible and secure for various types of cargo.

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.

These trailers are also referred to as a “single drop” or “drop deck” trailers. They are used to haul many of the same types of freight as a flatbed. The advantage is that this trailer can haul a higher load without having to buy permits for the load. Most trailers are 48′ long. It is also available in a 53′ length. The upper deck is usually either 10′ or 11′ long. The step deck can transport 44,000 to 45,000 lbs of cargo. For more detail see our page on Truckload Trailer Types

Freight Cargo Glossary for Shipping Industry Terms

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