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Frequently used import logistics terminology ( Continue to update)

Updated: Aug 26, 2019

I remember one time, I emailed a customer to inform the owner that tomorrow is the final day you have to pickup cargo from terminal . And I use the abbreviations " LFD" . He immediately wrote back ," what is LFD? " Then I realize , working in this industry is very fast paced, we use a lot of abbreviation and we forgto that not everyone know these logistic terminology

So I would like to summarize the frequent used terms that I know about so you all can talk like a pro even without experience

AWB: Air Way Bill

MAWB / HAWB: Master airway bill / House Airway bill

A/N: Arrival Notice

BOL or B/L : Bill of lading

MBL / HBL: Master bill of laidng / House bill of lading

CI : Commercial Invoice

COD: Cash on delivery. The freight forwarder/ broker . trucker will collect all the charges from customer before making a delivery .

COO: Certificate of ( country ) Origin.

CLP: Container Load Plan

Consolidation: To group and consolidate several of shipments into one container

CFS: Container Freight Station is a facility that transport whole container to their warehouse , unload and stripped each individual LCL cargo

CY: Container Yard

DNL: Do not Load

Door to Door: simply mean handle shipment from pickup place to the deliver to location

DO: Delivery order , issue to trucker ro authorize them to pickup shipment

Dedicated Truck & Partial Truck: think about Uber Pool and Uber X. Dedicated truck is Uber X while Partial trucker is Uber Pool. Dedicated trick refers to a driver pulling freight for one specific customer only, where only that load is on the truck. Partial truck compile multiple shipments from several customers in order to utilize the entire truck but it will cost longer time.

Dry Run: When your freight forwarder/ broker/ trucker orders a truck to pick up but cancels after a truck has been dispatched. There is typically a fee associated with this "dry run" .

Detention: Commonly referred to penalty charges assessed by the port or carrier because of not being able to return the empty container and equipment within certain time period

Demurrage : Commonly referred to penalty charges assessed by the port because no trucker pickup the equipment from the port or rail within certain time period.

ETD: Estimated time of departure . super frequent lol

ETA : Estimated Time of Arrival . super frequent lol

ETS: Estimated time of Sailing

LFD: Last free day

LTL: Less than truckload

LCL: Less container load , an importer will load his goods together with other consignments . The space and cost are shared with other consignments

FSC: Fuel Surcharge

FCL: Full truck Load. if the importer has goods to acooodate in one ful container load, he books an FCL to stuff his cargo

FDA May Proceed: FDA Approved

Freight Class: In LTL shipping, the category of freight as defined by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association. Identifies the size, value, and difficulty of transporting your freight. This determines the carrier’s shipping charges

Firms Code: Facilities Information and Resource Management System code. it is a 4 digit code assigned y US Custom to Container Freight Station , bonded warehouse or foreign Trade Zone. This code identifies these place in AMS system

In Bond: Shipments move under bond from point of entry to an interior U.S. destination for clearance or to another border location for clearance.

Inside Delivery: it is a extra service when a driver must go inside the location rather than pickup at the loading dock or door. This service will require more time and perhaps labor. Therefore , there will be extra service fee.

OFD: Out for delivery

Outturn report : Usually generated by container freight station, it states the cargo condition when the cargo physically arrive warehouse versus manifest cargo conditions .

POD : Proof of delivery or Port of Discharge

PAPS: Pre- Arrival processing system , commonly seen in board crossing from Canada into US

Private carrier: Often more expensive carrier and can serve special needs: fast, high-on time-reliability delivery; special equipment; special handling; availability. Examples: Safeway (grocery), Office Depot (office products).

Reefer : A type of temperature controlled container with insulated walls and a self-powered refrigeration unit. It is most commonly used for transporting food . Trucker will use reefer chassis to transport such cargo

RLF: Remote Location Filling, it means that custom broker can file the entry in different states

SCAC: Standard Carrier Alpha Code to identify the shipping line

Stuffing : the loading of cargo into the container

Stowage: The placing and securing of cargo or containers on board a vessel or an aircraft or of cargo in a container.

Tank container or tanktainer : a kind of container for the transport of liquids, gases and powders as bulk cargo .


White Glove delivery : premium service often required for fragile or high value goods delivery . It could includes inside delivery, debris pickup and many other convenient service


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