15 Shipping terms everyone should know
Shipping is a common thing nowadays, but, even so, a lot of people are not accustomed with some of its most used terms. Do not worry, it is normal not to know everything and you are lucky to have us. We are here to help you with anything regarding the freight field and this article is going to make your life a little bit easier by explaining 15 of its most common terms.
1. ETA = Estimated Time of Arrival is the period of time in which a vehicle, a ship or a plane is expected to arrive at a specific place. It can be calculated by taking into account some aspects, like the speed of the transport means and the traffic intensity.
2. BOL = A Bill Of Lading is a document written by a transport carrier to a shipper in order to acknowledge the receipt of the goods. It specifies, also, the terms of the delivery. Bills of lading are crucial in the international business because they ensure that the shipper receives its payment and the receiver has the merchandise.
3. Carrier = A carrier is a person or a company that takes the responsibility to transport goods or people by air, sea or land, in its own vehicles or equipment. The same word can be used to name the vehicle which makes that transport.
4. Loading dock / ramps = A loading dock is a zone in which trucks and other vehicles are loaded and unloaded. We can find them especially on warehouses, but also on commercial and industrial buildings. Loading dock and ramps facilitate the access to some storage rooms or freight elevators.
5. Prepaid = This term means that the shipment was paid in advance or before the due date. We usually see it on bills of lading, because many manufacturers or shippers prefer to pay the costs of transport instead of letting that weight on the receiver shoulders.
6. Collect = Collect is another word used on the bills of lading and we can consider it the opposite of prepay. What does it mean? Well, someone has to pay for the delivery and, if the shipper does not want to pay, the receiver must do it.
7. Freight Class = In order to establish standardized freight prices and fair measures, the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) made a classification system based on four characteristics (density, stowability, handling and liability) for all the commodities. There are 18 freight classes, from Class 50 to Class 500. A higher class means a higher shipping rate.
8. Shipper = A shipper is the person who delivers a package. That person may be a manufacturer, a distributor, a reseller or a onetime seller. It does not really matter which his / her activity is, as long as he / she sends the merchandise through a carrier.
9. Receiver = A receiver is the party that completes a shipper and makes a shipment possible. If someone sends an item through a freight company, there must be at least one person who waits for the delivery. Other words that can be used for the receiver are buyer and consignee.
10. Deadhead = We use this term in trucking to describe the situation in which a truck driver is traveling with the trailer empty. Of course, during that period the vehicle does not bring any revenue to its owner.
11. Pallet = In general it is a framework made from wood on which goods are stacked. The design of the pallets facilitates their movement with the help of forklifts. Also, the term refers to a flat base for combining multiple items in order to make a unit load easier to handle, storage and transport.
12. Log Book = A log book is a record in which the drivers write the most significant events. It contains information such as the address of the carrier, the address of the dispatcher and breakdowns or accidents. These logs should be completed daily.
13. LTL = The the abbreviation of the Less Than Truckload and is considered to be the shipping for relatively small loads. It means that many people share the space of a truck because they have a small amount of merchandise that needs to be shipped and each of them pay the transport for its own volume of goods.
14. FTL = FTL stands for Full Truckload and means that a shipment needs the entire truck for itself. This type of shipping is mostly used when we talk about a large quantity of goods. However, there are other particular reasons for which FTL shipping is preferred, for example when the shipment is high risk.
15. Spot Rate = The spot rate, or the “spot price”, is the immediate value settled for an asset (commodity, security or currency). It is based on the value of that specific asset at the moment of the shipping quote. It mostly depends on how much shippers are willing to pay and how much transport carriers are willing to accept.
Now that you know more things about freight, it will be easier for you to make a shipment. We are at your disposal for any need you may have and we would be more than happy to work for you. Please do not hesitate to ask us any question, because only together we can improve ourselves.