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The following shipping terms are words that might be unfamiliar to you. Browse the entire list or click a letter below to quickly go to all terms beginning with that letter.



  • AATA: Acronym for the Animal Transportation Association. Aninternational non-profit organization dedicated to the safe and humane transport of animals.
  • AAR: Acronym for the Association of American Railroads. The AAR represents North America's major freight railroads as well as Amtrak. Based in Washington, DC, the organization is committed to keeping the railroads of North America safe, fast, efficient, clean and technologically advanced.
  • ABC: Abbreviation for automated commercial environment. A method used to automate the process of tracking U.S. imports and provide a systematic approach to border control.
  • ACE: a person authorized to transact business for and in the name of another.
  • ACS: Abbreviation for automated commercial systems. The U.S. Customs/Department of Homeland Security master computer system. ACS is a comprehensive system designed to track, control and process all commercial goods imported into the United States.
  • ADA: Acronym for the AirlineDeregulation Act. A federal law enacted in the late-70s designed to remove government regulation from commercial aviation and subject the passenger airline industry to market forces.
  • AID: Acronym for the Agency for International Development. A U.S. government organization responsible for most non-military foreign aid. The AID receives foreign policy guidance from the U.S. Secretary of State and seeks to extend a helping hand to those people overseas struggling to make a better life, recover from a disaster or striving to live in a free and democratic country.
  • AMS: Abbreviation for the U.S. Customs/Department of Homeland Security Automated Manifest System. The AMS is a modular cargo inventory control and release notification system. It interfaces directly with other systems to allow faster identification and release of low risk shipments.
  • ATA: Acronym for the American Trucking Association. The ATA is the national voice for the trucking industry before Capitol Hill, regulators, the courts and the news media. It is the driving force in effecting change, ensuring that the industry’s interests are vigorously promoted and improving the business climate for trucking companies.
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  • BAA: Acronym for the British Airports Authority. The BAA is the world’s leading airport company. They own and operate seven UK airports as well as operations in Italy, Australia, Hungary and the USA.
  • BACA: Acronym for the Baltic Air Charter Association. BACA represents the interests of commercial aviation companies particularly in the air charter industries and their related markets. Members include air brokers, charter airlines, airports, business aircraft operators, freight forwarders and consultants.
  • BAF: Abbreviation for bunker adjustment factor. A method used to compensate a water transport vessel for irregular fuel costs. Sometimes referred to as a fuel adjustment factor (FAF.) The term bunker refers to oil and may also refer to a compartment on a ship for storing fuel.
  • BB: Abbreviation for break-bulk cargo. Loose cargo such as cartons, stowed directly in a vessel's hold as opposed to containerized or bulk cargo.
  • B/B: Abbreviation for break-bulk cargo. Loose cargo such as cartons, stowed directly in a vessel's hold as opposed to containerized or bulk cargo.
  • BCO: Abbreviation for beneficial cargo owner. A term ascribed to an importer who assumes responsibility for freight upon delivery, but does not partake in the movement of that same cargo.
  • B/L: Abbreviation for bill of lading. A bill of lading is a document issued by a carrier to the shipper acknowledging that they have received a shipment of goods. It also verifies that those goods have been placed on board a particular vessel bound for a particular destination, and states the terms in which those goods are to be transported.
  • BOM: Abbreviation for bill of material. A BOM describes a product's assemblies and basic parts. It is an essential part of the design and manufacture of any product.
  • B2B: Abbreviation for business-to-business. A term most often used in a marketing context. B2B strategies and services are designed to enable or improve relationships within firms and/or between two or more companies.
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  • CAA:Acronym for the Civil Aviation Authority. A government body that regulates airlines based in the United Kingdom. The CAA oversees all civil aviation functions such as economic regulation, airspace policy, safety regulation and consumer protection.
  • CAF: Abbreviation for currency adjustment factor. A charge applied to compensate ocean carriers on currency fluctuations. The CAF is expressed as a percentage of a base rate.
  • CCEF: Abbreviation for customs centralized examination facility. A privately operated facility not in the charge of a Customs officer, but at which merchandise is examined by customs officers. A CES may be established in any port or any area under the province of a port director.
  • CE: Abbreviation for consumption entry. The filing process required to import foreign goods for use in the United States. A CE must be made with the U.S. Customs Department to address issues such as the payment of estimated duties, taxes and fees resulting from the release of those goods for sale in America.
  • CFS: Abbreviation for container freight station. A shipping dock where cargo is loaded or unloaded from containers.
  • C&F: An abbreviated term used for a quoted price that includes the cost of goods and freight.
  • CISG: Shorthand expression for the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. The CISG was enacted in 1988 to eventually replace the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) as the primary legislation governing international sales and contracts of sale.
  • CKD: Abbreviation for completely knocked down. A term used to describe unassembled parts and subassemblies being transported to an assembly plant.
  • COFC: Abbreviation for container on flatcar. A shorthand expression used to describe the process of placing containers directly on the back of a flatcar.
  • COGSA: Acronym for the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act. A law enacted in 1936 to protect carriers from liability arising from damage to cargo caused by inadequate packaging.
  • CMI: Acronym for the Committee Maritime International. Established in 1897, CMI is the oldest international organization in the maritime field and was the first of its type concerned exclusively with maritime law and related commercial practices.
  • CSCMP: Acronym for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. Formerly the Council of Logistics Management, the CSCMP was formed to lead the evolving supply chain management profession by developing, advancing and disseminating supply chain knowledge and research.
  • CY: Abbreviation for container yard. A method of measurement used to express the capacity of materials handling/storage facility used exclusively for loads in containers.
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  • DAT: Abbreviation for dangerous articles tariff. A duty imposed on shipments containing dangerous items such as combustibles, corrosives, acid or other hazardous materials.
  • DCA: Acronym for the Department of Civil Aviation. A term broadly used to describe a foreign country's aviation oversight body responsible for establishing regulation and air traffic management guidelines.
  • DDP: Abbreviation for delivered duty paid. An arrangement in which the shipper rather than the recipient, has the option of paying for destination duties and taxes on a shipment. This arrangement is also known as free domicile.
  • DDU: Abbreviation for delivered duty unpaid. An arrangement in which the destination duty and taxes are paid by the consignee.
  • DEQ: Abbreviation for delivered ex quay (duty paid). An arrangement in which the seller fulfills the contract obligations to deliver when goods are made available to the buyer at the wharf of the destination port.
  • DF: Abbreviation for dead freight. A term used to describe freight when the merchant agrees to return cargo and he fails to do so, and lets the ship return in ballast. That merchant must then compensate the shipper in the amount of the freight - this cargo is called dead freight.
  • D&H: Abbreviation for dangerous and hazardous cargo. A term used to describe cargo capable of inflicting physical harm or contamination if its container is damaged or packaged inadequately. Examples of such cargo are explosives, corrosives, inflammables, etc.
  • DDC: Abbreviation for destination delivery charge. Based on container size, a DDC is a charge that involves many freight tariffs. This charge covers crane lifts off the vessel, container drayage and gate fees.
  • DOT: Acronym for the Department of Transportation. The DOT is the most common name for a government agency in North America devoted to transportation oversight. The largest is the United States Department of Transportation, which oversees interstate travel. All U.S. states, Canadian provinces and many local agencies also have similar organizations.
  • DRP: Abbreviation for distribution resource planning. A systematic approach to the design, implementation and management of a distribution system based on quick response and continuous replenishment concepts. DRP also provides guidelines on how to dramatically improve the accuracy of product deliveries, reduce levels of inventory, lower operating costs and refine productivity.
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  • EMC: Abbreviation for export management company. A third-party entity that manages the export activities of a shipper for a fee.
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  • FAF: Abbreviation for fuel adjustment factor. Same as bunker adjustment factor. A method used to compensate a water transport vessel for irregular fuel costs.
  • FAK: A shorthand expression for freight all kinds. Goods that are usually charged a higher rate and often reside in full container loads of mixed shipments.
  • FAS: Abbreviation for free alongside ship. An arrangement in which the seller pays for the transportation of goods to the port of shipment. The buyer then pays loading costs, freight, insurance, unloading costs and transportation from the port of destination to his factory.
  • FCL: Abbreviation for full container load. The opposite of a less than container load (LCL.) Simply put, FCL refers to a shipping container that is full.
  • FEU: Abbreviation for forty-foot equivalent unit. A unit of cargo capacity, especially for container ships. One FEU represents the cargo capacity of a standard container 40 feet long, 8 feet wide and a little over 8 feet high.
  • FIATA: Acronym for the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations. A non-governmental organization comprised of 40,000 forwarding and logistics firms. FIATA has consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the UN Commission on International Trade Law.
  • FMC: Acronym for the Federal MaritimeCommission. The U.S. Governmental regulatory body responsible for administering maritime affairs including the tariff system, freight forwarder licensing, the enforcement of the Shipping Act and the approval of carrier agreements.
  • FMCSA: Acronym for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA was established as a separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000, pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999. Its primary mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.
  • FO: Abbreviation for free out. An arrangement in which the cost of unloading a vessel is borne by the chartering party.
  • FOB: Abbreviation for free on board. A term used to describe a situation in which the seller pays for transportation of the goods to the port of shipment, plus loading costs. The buyer then pays freight, insurance, unloading costs and transportation from the port of destination to his factory.
  • FOC: Abbreviation for flag of convenience. A flag of a specific country, flown by a ship owned by a citizen of another country. the country providing the flag charges money for that service. The ship owner can thereby often avoid taxes and make registration easier.
  • FTZ: Abbreviation for free trade zone. One or more areas of a country in which tariffs and quotas are eliminated, and bureaucratic requirements lowered as a means of raising the incentives for companies to conduct business there. Most FTZs are located in developing countries.
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  • GATS: Acronym for the General Agreement on Trade and Services. GATS is a treaty of the World Trade Organization (WTO) that was created to extend the multilateral trading system to services in the same way the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) provides such a system for merchandise trade. All members of the WTO are signatories to GATS.
  • GATT: Acronym for the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. A multilateral treaty designed to reduce trade barriers between its signatory countries and promote trade through tariff concessions. GATT included a reduction in tariffs as well as other international trade barriers and is generally considered the precursor to the World Trade Organization.
  • GBL: Abbreviation for government bill of lading. A Government operations document used when transportation of supplies, materials and personal property are required. The GBL procures freight and express transportation as well as related services from commercial carriers, including freight forwarders.
  • GDSM: Abbreviation for general department store merchandise. A way of describing goods shipped by mass-merchandise companies via service contracts.
  • GO: Abbreviation for general order. An action taken when the U.S. Customs Department orders shipments without entries to be kept in their custody in a bonded warehouse.
  • GPS: Abbreviation for global positioning system. Also known as a geophysical positioning system, a GPS is a fully-functional navigation system comprised of more than two dozen satellites. The GPS broadcasts precise timing signals by radio to its receivers, thereby allowing them to accurately determine their exact location: longitude, latitude, and altitude, in any weather conditions - day or night, anywhere on Earth.
  • GRI: Abbreviation for general rate increase. A term used to describe a tariff rate increase applied to base shipping rates.
  • GSA: Abbreviation for general sales agent. Usually a broker or freight forwarder acting on behalf of an airline.
  • GT: Abbreviation for gross tonnage. A term that applies to vessels, not to freight. GT is the total volume in cubic meters of all enclosed spaces on ship.
  • GVW: Abbreviation for gross vehicle weight. The combined total weight of a vehicle and its container, inclusive of prime mover.
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  • HS: Acronym for the harmonized system of codes. An international goods classification system for describing international cargo under a single commodity-coding scheme.
  • HTS: Abbreviation for harmonized tariff schedule. A system for classifying all goods according to the international Harmonized Commodity Coding and Classification System established by the World Customs Organization.
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  • I/A: Abbreviation for independent action. In the transportation industry, an I/A is the right of a conference member to publish a rate of tariff rule that departs from the Agreement's common rate or rule.
  • IATA: Acronym for the International Air Transport Association. The IATA is the global trade organization for the air transport industry. It fights for the interests of airlines across the globe, challenging unreasonable rules and charges, holding regulators and governments to account, and striving for sensible regulation.
  • ICAO: Acronym for the International Civil Aviation Organization. A UN agency, the ICAO codifies the principles of international proper air navigation and fosters the planning of air transport practices to ensure safe and orderly growth. It also adopts air navigation standards, seeks to prevent unlawful interference and facilitates border-crossing procedures for international civil aviation.
  • ICTF: Abbreviation for Intermodal container transfer facility. An on-dock facility for moving containers from ship to rail or truck.
  • ICC: Abbreviation for the InternationalChamber ofCommerce. An international organization that supports global trade. It serves as an advocate for the interests of economic growth, job creation and prosperity.
  • IE: Abbreviation for immediate exit. In the United States, a Customs IE Form must be executed when goods are brought into the U.S. that will be immediately re-exported without being further transported within the confines of the U.S.
  • IMDG Code: Acronym for the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code. IMDG Code was developed as a uniform international systematic identification system for the transport of dangerous goods by sea covering such matters as packing, container traffic and stowage.
  • IMO: Acronym for the InternationalMaritime Organization. Based in London, the IMO promotes cooperation among governments and the shipping industry to improve maritime safety and prevent marine pollution.
  • INCOTERMS: Acronym for the InternationalChamber of CommerceTerms of Sale. A list of freight shipping phrases designed to provide a set of international rules for the interpretation of the most commonly used trade terms in used foreign trade.
  • IPI: Abbreviation for inland point Intermodal. A term that refers to non-port inland points served by carriers on a through bill of lading.
  • ISO: Acronym for the International Standards Organization. ISO is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from national standards bodies. Founded in 1947, the organization produces world-wide industrial and commercial standards - the so-called ISO standards. ISO also works closely with the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC), which is responsible for standardization of electrical equipment.
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  • JIT: Abbreviation for just-in-time. An inventory strategy designed to improve business return on investment by reducing in-process inventory and related costs.
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  • KT: Abbreviation for Kilo or metric ton. A kilo is the equivalent of 2,204.6 pounds.
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  • LCL:Abbreviation for less than container load. A quantity of freight less than that required for the application of a full container load rate.
  • L/C: Abbreviation for letter of credit. Also referred to as an LOC or a documentary credit, a letter of credit is a document issued by a financial institution which acts as an irrevocable guarantee of a payment to a beneficiary.
  • LIS: Abbreviation for logistics information system. A software tool designed to optimize the business of freight transport companies by administering the management of customer and service provider relationships, logistics, vehicles stocks and warehouse services.
  • Lo/Lo: Abbreviation for lift-on/lift-off. A method by which cargo is loaded onto and discharged from an ocean vessel by the use of a crane.
  • LTL: Abbreviation for less than truckload. A term used to describe relatively small freight shipments. LTL carriers typically collect individual freight shipments from multiple shippers and once their trailer is full, they return to their terminal to unload their cargo. Each item is then individually weighed and rated for billing purposes.
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  • MBM: Abbreviation for 1,000 board feet. One MBM equals 2,265 cubic meters.
  • MFN: Abbreviation for most favored nation. A designation for countries which receive preferential tariff rates.
  • Min. B/L: Abbreviation for minimum bill of lading. A minimum requirement for a shipment based on either dollar value or weight expressed in cubic meters.
  • MLB: Abbreviation for mini-land bridge. A method for indirectly moving cargo between locations normally served by sea transport, by using land transport as an intermediate mode.
  • MMFB: Acronym for the Middlewest Motor Freight Bureau. One of the primary LTL rate publishing sources in the United States. During the 1980's, the MMFB aggressively entered the computerized rating system market and became one of the most widely-used rate publishing systems available.
  • MRP: Abbreviation for materials resource planning. A computerized approach to inventory planning, manufacturing and supplier scheduling, and overall corporate planning. The MRP system provides the user with information about timing (when to order) and quantity (how much to order), generates new orders, and reschedules existing orders as needed.
  • M/R: Abbreviation for mate's receipt. An acknowledgement that the ship-owner has received the goods in the condition stated therein, but usually has no further legal relevance. It is usually a preliminary document only, which is later given up in return for the bill of lading.
  • MT: Abbreviation for metric ton. The equivalent of 1000 kilograms.
  • mt: Shorthand expression for the word empty. Self-explanatory.
  • MV: Abbreviation for motor vessel. Self-explanatory.
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  • NCITD: Acronym for the National Committee on International Trade Documentation. A federal law enacted to ensure international trade documents are eliminated, consolidated and standardized, and that the essential information in them is transmitted as fast and efficiently as possible.
  • NITL: Acronym for the NationalIndustrial TransportationLeague. Established in 1907 to represent shippers in their dealings with various regulatory bodies. The NITL seeks to ensure a safe and efficient freight transportation industry, and to see the needs of shippers and the entire economy are best met.
  • NMFC: Abbreviation for national motor freight classification. The NMFC is a pricing tool that provides a comparison of commodities moving within interstate, intrastate and international commerce. Commodities are grouped into one of 18 classes based on an evaluation of four transportation criterion: density, stow ability, handling and liability. These characteristics collectively establish a commodity’s transportability.
  • NOR: Abbreviation for notice of readiness. A state that occurs when a shipmaster informs a chartering party that a vessel is ready to load according to the terms in the charter party's agreement.
  • NT: Abbreviation for net ton. The U.S. equivalent of 2000 pounds.
  • NVOCC: Abbreviation for non-vessel owning common carrier. A party such as a forwarding agent, who does not own or operate a sea vessel but who contracts with a shipping line for the transport of third party cargo.
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  • OBL: Abbreviation for original bill of lading. A document which requires signatures in order to consummate a shipping contract. The OBL must be marked as "original" by the issuing carrier.
  • OCP: Abbreviation for overland common point. A term that appears on the BOL that offers lower shipping rates to select importers.
  • ODS: Abbreviation for operating differential subsidy. An amount of money the U.S. government pays its shipping companies that qualify for this subsidy. The intent was to help offset the higher subsidy and the the cost of operating a U.S. vessel. The ODS program is administered by the U.S. Maritime Administration and is being phased out.
  • OECD: Acronym for the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. Comprised of 30 member countries sharing a commitment to democratic government and the market economy, the OECD plays a prominent role in fostering good governance in public service and in corporate activity.
  • O/N: Abbreviation for order-notify. A bill of lading term used to surrender the original bill of lading before freight is actually released. An O/N is usually associated with a shipment covered by a letter of credit.
  • ORFS: Abbreviation for origin rail freight station. Same as CFS at origin except an ORFS is operated by the rail carrier participating in the shipment.
  • OSRA: Acronym for the OceanShipping Reform Act. First enacted in 1984, OSRA permitted confidential service contracts between ocean carriers and shippers. An amendment to this act was then implemented in 1998 which reformed liner shipping regulations.
  • OPIC: Abbreviation for overseas private investment corporation. The OPIC is an agency of the U.S. government established in 1971 that helps U.S. businesses invest overseas and promotes economic development in new and emerging markets.
  • OS&D: Abbreviation for over, short or damaged. A short-hand expression used to describe the condition of a shipment upon being unloaded.
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  • PADAG: An abbreviation for Please Authorize Delivery Against Guarantee. A request from the consignee to the shipper to allow the carrier or agent to release cargo against either bank or personal guarantee. A PADAG is in order when the consignee is unable to produce original bills of lading.
  • PIERS: PIERS maintains the most comprehensive database of timely, accurate, import and export information on cargo moving through ports in the U.S., Mexico, Latin America and Asia. It collects data from over 25,000 BOL's everyday, then translates the raw data into meaningful intelligence that companies around the world can use.
  • POD: An abbreviation for point-of-delivery or point-of-discharge. Self-explanatory.
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  • R&C: Abbreviation for rail and canal. Self-explanatory.
  • R/C: Abbreviation for re-consigned. The act of changing the destination of cargo already in transit.
  • Regs.: Abbreviation for registered tonnage. A maritime shipping term used to express a measurement of the enclosed space in a sea vessel.
  • RT: Abbreviation for revenue ton. A ton on which the shipment is freighted. If cargo is rated as weight or measure, whichever produces the highest revenue will be considered the revenue ton. Weights are based on metric tons and measures are based on cubic meters.
  • Ro/Ro: Abbreviation for roll on/roll off. A maritime shipping service provided on a vessel with ramps that allows wheeled vehicles to be loaded and removed without cranes.
  • RVNX: Abbreviation for released value not exceeding. A measure designed to limit a carrier's liability when cargo is damaged in-transit by placing a ceiling on the value of a shipment.
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  • SABS: Acronym for the South African Bureau of Standards. A statutory body established via the Standards Act of 1945 and continues to operate as the national institution for the promotion and maintenance of standardization and quality in connection with commodities and their related services.
  • SED: Abbreviation for shipper's export declaration. A U.S. Commerce Department document - the SED is used for developing export statistics and export control. An exporter must submit an SED when the value of a single Schedule B commodity exceeds USD $2,500, or when an export license is required for a shipment from the U.S. to another country.
  • S&FA: Abbreviation for shipping and forwarding agent. Any federally-licensed freight forwarder or shipper. A freight forwarder is any entity acting on the behalf of a shipper. The freight forwarder handles all shipping matters and documentation for a manufacturer or exporter, including the use of one or more carriers.
  • SHEX: Abbreviation for Saturday and holidays excluded. A shorthand term used to ensure any party to a shipping agreement understands that stated service and rate quotes DO NOT apply to Saturdays and holidays.
  • SHINC: Abbreviation for Saturday and holidays included. A shorthand term used to ensure any party to a shipping agreement understands that stated service and rate quotes apply to Saturdays and holidays.
  • SIT: Abbreviation for stopped in transit. A term usually used to describe adjustments to rate and service provisions when a shipment is involuntarily halted.
  • SITC: Abbreviation for standard international trade classification. A standard numeric code developed by the United Nations to classify commodities used in international trade.
  • SL&C: Abbreviation for shipper's load and count. A provision from the Bill of Lading Act designed to protect motor carriers for physical damages and freight losses when the loss or damage did not or could not have happened during transport.
  • SL&T: Abbreviation for shipper's load and tally. A term that specifies the contents of a car loaded and counted by the shipper but not checked or verified by the railroad.
  • S/N: Abbreviation for shipping note. An instrument that enables the shipper to complete a single document for all consignments regardless of destination. It provides the receiving authority with complete data and also provides those with an interest in the consignment with adequate information at each stage.
  • SR&CC: Abbreviation for strikes, riots and civil commotions. A term typically used when describing insurance coverage issues involving loss or damage to cargo due to labor strikes, locked-outs and labor-related civil unrest.
  • SS: Abbreviation for steamship. Any sea vessel powered by steam-driven turbines.
  • STCC: Abbreviation for standard transportation commodity code. A coding structure designed to classify all commodities or articles which move in freight transportation. The STCC is published by the Association of American Railroads and contains product information used on waybills and other shipping documents.
  • Abbreviation for short ton. A unit of mass equal to 2000 lb. In the United States it is simply called a "ton" without distinguishing it from the metric ton or long ton which is actually 2240 pounds.
  • SW: Abbreviation for shipper's weights. The weight recorded on the transportation waybill that serves as the basis for payment.
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  • TBL: Abbreviation for through bill of lading. A TBL is used to document the characteristics of a shipment involved in at least two different modes of transport from road, rail, air and sea.
  • TBN: Abbreviation for to be nominated. A term used when the name of a ship is unknown.
  • T&E: Abbreviation for transportation and exportation. A customs form used to control cargo movement from the port of entry to port of exit, meaning that the cargo is moving from one country, through the United States to another country.
  • TEU: Abbreviation for twenty-foot equivalent unit. A measure of containerized cargo capacity equal to one standard 20 ft by 8 ft by 8 ft 6" in a shipping container.
  • TIB: Abbreviation for temporary import entry. A form that must be executed when non-consumable goods exist that will be re-exported within 12 months of importation. Security such as a cash deposit or other approved collateral is also required to cover any import duties and/or Goods and Services Tax.
  • TIR: Abbreviation for transport international par la route. A transport operating agreement among European governments and the United States for the international movement of cargo by road. Display of the TIR carnet allows sealed container-loads to cross national borders without inspection.
  • TL: Abbreviation for truckload. A quantity of freight that fills a truck.
  • TOFC: Abbreviation for trailer on flat car. The movement of a highway trailer on a railroad flatcar. Also known as piggyback.
  • Trf: Abbreviation for tariff. A publication setting forth the charges, rates and rules of transportation companies.
  • TSA: Acronym for the Transportation Security Administration. An organization comprised of 43 thousand security officers, inspectors, directors, air marshals and managers. The TSA protects the nation's transportation's systems to ensure safe travel as its officers screen persons and luggage at airports, on rail cars and also subways.
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  • UCP: Abbreviation for uniform customs and practice for documentary credits. The most frequently used standard for making payments in international trade by means such as a letter of credit. Also referred to as "UCP500."
  • UFC: Abbreviation for uniform freight classification. A method by which related products are assigned to rate categories based on bulk, value and ease of handling.
  • ULD: Abbreviation for unit load device. Typically a pallet or container used to facilitate freight loading, shipping and unloading.
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  • VAN: Abbreviation for value-added network. A third-party that acts as a hub for receiving and routing shipping data. VAN's are a pre-requisite for the use of Internet-based electronic data exchange (EDI) systems.
  • VAT: Abbreviation for value-added tax. A sales or consumption tax paid by the end user. Typically a "hidden" tax added to the list price of the goods in question.
  • Ves.:Abbreviation for Vessel. A sea-faring device used to transport freight.
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  • WCO: Acronym for the World Customs Organization. An organization that helps customs administrations throughout the world communicate on customs issues. Headquartered in Brussels, the WCO develops agreed-upon rules on customs procedures and also provides advice and assistance to customs service entities.
  • WPA: Abbreviation for with particular average. An insurance term that refers to partial loss sustained by a shipper's cargo.
  • WR: Abbreviation for war risk. A surcharge typically applied to cover a shipment's increased vulnerability to damage or delay caused by potential domestic or international military conflicts.
  • W/R: Abbreviation for warehouse receipt. A document that verifies the cargo delivered to a freight warehouse. A W/R optionally allows delivery of cargo to be made to a specified party.
  • WTO: Acronym for the WorldTrade Organization. An international organization which sets the rules for the global trading system and resolves disputes between its member states.
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  • ZORF: Acronym for the World Customs Organization. An organization that helps customs administrations throughout the world communicate on customs issues. Headquartered in Brussels, the WCO develops agreed-upon rules on customs Abbreviation for Zone of Rate Flexibility. A measure introduced in the Railroad Revitalization and Regulator Reform Act of 1976 that eased the degree of control over transportation-related pricing in designated areas.
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