International freight forwardersGLOSSARY

 Freight terms:



  1. Shipper: A person or a company sending freight (theoriginator
  2. Consignee: A person ora company receiving the freight (the receiver)
  3. Carrier: A transportation provider (truckers, railroad, airline, steam line)
  4. Freight bill of lading: A legal shipping document between a shipper and a carrier for the transportation of freight (reflect all parties involved and shipping terms of sales)
  5. Free on Board (FOB): ex-factory charges up to the origin port / airport
    are for the shipper’s account. Consignees are responsible once delivered to the port / airport of origin all the way to their site.
  6. Cost of freight (C & F) or Cost of Freight + Insurance (CIF): Freight
    charges payable by shipper & up to the destination port / airport only. (Always refer to ETC International Freight system disclosure / information sheet)
  7. Loss or damage cargo: While in transit in a carrier’s possession will fall
    under the terms & conditions of the carriers’ liability coverage, as shown on their terms & conditions. If am insurance coverage is purchased through ETC International Freight System & a claim is filed timely with the carriers with supporting documents, the insurer will handle the insurance refund.
  8. Common Carrier: Transportation providers
  9. Freight forwarder: A booking agent on behalf of the shippers handles the export declaration to the USA Customs and other logistical freight services
  10. Customhouse broker: A clearing house through Customs for importers
  11. Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier: Wholesaler of space. Buy from carriers’yearly space in bulk.
  12. 3PL: A 3rd party outsourced logistic company (warehousing & distribution)
  13. Interline Shipment: When more than one carrier is used during
    transportation to move a container from the destination port to a door location (IE# Hong Kong to Chicago via Long Beach)
  14. Door to Door: Transportation services from the origin / destination curb sides (duty paid or unpaid to be defined). The originator of the request (shipper or the consignee) is responsible to pay all charges. (Always refer to ETC International Freight system disclosure / information sheet)
  15. Consolidation services: NVOCC re-group shipments into a warehouse from various shippers, load a full container load, ship to a destination port to their agent known as the break-bulk agent that will segregate the each shipment readying it for its final destination (refer to your shipping terms)
  16. Terminal / Deport: Where cargo is shipped or picked-up from.
  17. Cross-dock: A terminal receiving (inbound), storing & exporting
  18. Full Truck Load (FTL): using the whole trailer (53’)
  19. Less Than A Container Load (LTL): Consolidating a shipment with others into a truck.
  20. Full container Load (FCL): exclusive use of 1×20’ or 1×40’ ocean
  21. Less Than a Container Load (LCL): Consolidated shipments into a full
    container load Intermodal: Ocean containers transferred onto a truck chassis or railroad for final or depot delivery
  22. Reefer: Refrigerated ocean container
  23. Drayage: Local trucking
  24. Line-haul: Trucking from depot to airlines warehouses
  25. Long-haul: Long distance from terminal to terminal
  26. Detention / Demurrage: Assessed by the carriers to the shipper / consignee for keeping a shipment longer than the authorized time.
  27. Diversion / Re-consignment: Change of consignee name on the bill of lading while the freight is in transit (cost associated with it)
  28. Bulk Cargo: vehicles, tank, grain moved by bulk-ship types
  29. Break-bulk cargo: Each piece is handled by the terminal handler
  30. Pallet or Skid: a 48” x 42” heat treated (HT stamped for export) wooden platform on studs
  31. Dunnage: Materials inside a container used to secure (IE# bracing &
    blocking a vehicle)
  32. Stock-keeping unit (SKU): A line-item of inventory that is a different
    type or size of good. Freight weight measures: Short ton (American) 2000 lbs. Long ton (English) 2240 lbs. Metric ton (1000 kg. 2.2046 lbs.
  33. 20’ ocean container unit (TEU) Standard 20’ container: Measuring capacity for a vessel.
  34. 40’ ocean container (FEU):Standard or High Cube container: Measuring
    capacity for a vessel
  35. Slot: Location of a container on a ship
  36. Liner shipping: regular sailing schedules between specified ports
  37. Tramp shipping: irregular sailing schedules (IE# Bulk ship)
  38. Ocean conference: cartel of vessels sharing trade points with set rates
  39. Alliance: airlines or steam lines coordinating each other’ s schedules and selling capacity
  40. Container leasing: supplied by the carriers to shippers for the duration
    of the voyage
  41. Lo-Lo: lift on & lift off for conventional container cargo ships. Cranes are used on the quay to load /unload.
  42. Ro-Ro: roll on, roll off. A method by which the cargo is wheeled on & off a Ro-Ro ship

More terms are available, some more obscure. For a quote please contact us at or email us at

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