See below the full XPand Logistics Glossary of Terms.



Third-party logistics or otherwise referred to as 3PL is the outsourcing of ecommerce logistics processes which can include inventory and warehousing management. 


Air Freight Forwarder:

An air freight forwarder uses air transportation to move freight, by either passenger aircrafts or specific cargo aircrafts. Depending on the size of the cargo, destination and other factors will affect the type of freight aircraft. 

Airway Bill:

An airway bill or otherwise referred to as an AWB, is a document which accompanies the goods shipped via an international courier service. This document can be tracked, and serves as a contract between the shipper and the carrier. 

Air Container Specification:

Air container specification refers to the average external dimensions and weight limitations of the primary containers used for air container transportation.

See the full list of XPand’s air container specifications on our guide here.

All-Cargo Aircraft:

All-cargo aircrafts are of variable sizes, which are designed for the sole purpose of shipping cargo-only goods. These aircrafts may travel from short-distance flights to long haul, depending on goods and shipper. 

All-Risk Insurance:

All-Risk Insurance covers general goods against risks of physical loss and damage caused by any external cause. This type of insurance is the broadest, and most comprehensive type of insurance for logistics services. 


Bill of Lading:

A bill of lading or otherwise referred to as a BL or BoL, is a legal document which is used by a carrier to a shipper which details information about the goods. 

This information includes the type, amount and destination of these goods. A bill of lading also is referred to as a shipment receipt if the carrier delivers goods at a predetermined destination. 

Regardless of type of logistics transportation, the bill of lading document must always be signed by an authorised representative. 

Billed Weight:

Billed weight is the actual weight of a shipment which is shown on the freight bill and document.

Bonded Terminal:

A bonded terminal is a terminal that is approved by customs authorities, for the storage of imported goods to be held temporarily until custom duties have been paid for. The bonds are required to identify whether the goods can be released officially and legally. 


A broker is referred to as either a business firm or person who arranges transactions between a buyer and a seller. This is usually for a commission when the transaction has been officiated. 

Bulk Cargo:

This term is used to describe shipping items that are loosely shipped and transported, in comparison to being shipped in containers or packages. Examples of bulk cargo shipments can involve oil and coal goods.


Cargo Manifest:

A cargo manifest is a document used for shipments made either by road, air or ocean to show the shipment’s consignor and consignee. It also lists product details such as origin and destination. 


A carrier is used to describe a company or person who is legally responsible and entitled to transport goods via water, land and air forms. There are two main types of carriers; common carriers and contract carriers. 

Cartage Agent:

A cartage agent is a trucking company that is contracted to pick up and deliver goods in areas which large companies do not operate in. Moreover, cartage agents mostly work for large air and road freight logistics companies.

Certificate of Origin:

A certificate of origin is a document which declares the country that goods were manufactured in. This document is an important form as it can help determine whether certain goods are eligible for importing or exporting, and whether they are subject to duties.

Chargeable Weight:

Chargeable weight is either the volumetric or the gross weight of the shipment, this depends on whatever shipment is greater. Larger items with a light overall weight can take up more space on a chosen aircraft, in comparison to a small heavier item. 


A consignee is a person or company who receives or sends goods or documents to sign for. 

Moreover, a freight forwarder is an intermediate consignee as they take possession of the goods before delivering them to the official consignee. 


Consolidated stocks tend to trade within price ranges and offer few opportunities of trading until another pattern emerges. 

Container Yard (CY):

A container yard is either a dry port or terminal which is used to store containers before they are loaded or offloaded from a ship.

Customs Clearance:

This is a process which involves more than the simple process of passing goods across borders. Moreover, it involves the preparation and submission of certain documents to facilitate exports and imports.


Dangerous Goods:

Dangerous goods can be goods which are classed as pure chemicals, a variety of substances, goods which can be a high risk to people, animals and the environment if they are not handled professionally.

Deferred Air Freight:

Deferred air freight is a type of freight which is of a lower priority and which may be delivered at a lower cost on other flights which are convenient to the airline based on the tariffs of the different types of air carriers. 


Demurrage is a term which defines a result of failure to abide by the rules which have been set and agreed to in a charter agreement. 


Drayage refers to a logistics service which carries freight over a short distance. Moreover, it is also referred to as a shipping service to move large containers for trucks, railways and ships. 

In shipping, drayage is a vital process when moving freight and a huge part of the container shipping industry.



An ETA is an estimated time of arrival of the time when a ship, vehicle, or aircraft cargo is expected to arrive at a destination.



FAK or known as an acronym for Freight All Kinds, is used in the shipping industry. This term is referred to all rates which are applicable to all types of freight goods which are not restricted to any particular commodity.


A full container load or otherwise known as ‘FCL’ is an ocean freight term which describes cargo loads which are large enough to fill a 20ft or 40ft container.

In comparison to an LCL, shipments fill the entire container. Therefore the container is loaded and sealed at the factory and unloaded when it reaches the warehouse at the desired destination.

Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ):

A foreign trade zone in the USA, is a secure area which is authorised by the government where commercial (domestic or foreign) merchandise receives the similar treatment by customs as if it was outside of the prime location. Foreign trade zones can be used for re-export of cargo to completely avoid applicable duties and tax as the merchandise was considered to never have entered a particular area. 

Full Truck Load (FTL):

A full truck load is a term used to describe products which can either be bulk or liquid, to fill a full truck load space. The opposite to a FTL is Less Than Truck Load (LTL).


Gross Weight:

Gross weight is the total amount of weight of a vehicle including its freight, fuel, accessories, driver, passengers etc. 



Incoterms are a set of individual rules which have been issued by the International Chamber of Commerce. There are 11 rules in total, which all define the responsibilities of buyers and sellers for the sale of goods over international transactions. 

Businesses must familiarise themselves with each individual Incoterm rule so that they can operate smoother more reliable transactions by defining who is responsible for each step of the transaction process. 


Landed Cost:

Landed cost represents the total cost of the cargo on a transportation journey beginning from the first location to the last destination. 

Landed cost consists of the price of goods, the shipment and insurance fees, as well as general custom fees. Calculating the landed cost is extremely vital for business operations. 


Less than a container load or otherwise known as ‘LCL’ is an ocean freight term which describes cargo loads which are not large enough to fill a full container which is either 20ft or 40ft. 

LCL shipments can also be referred to as ‘groupage’ shipments as they fill less than a full shipping container and are grouped with other cargo goods.

Less Than Truckload (LTL):

Less than truckload shipping is referred to as the transportation of relatively small freight. Moreover, these shipping services can accommodate the shipping needs of a high number of businesses which need to move smaller batches of cargo on a frequent basis.


Marine Insurance:

This type of insurance protects businesses from losses incurred during water transportation and freight operations. There are four different types of marine insurance such as cargo, freight revenue, hull and negligence. 


Net Weight:

Net weight is referred to as the weight of a product without its container or package.

Non-vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC):

A NVOCC or Non-vessel Operating Common Carrier is an ocean carrier which transports goods and cargo under its own House Bill of Lading, or an equivalent document. In some other circumstances, it can also operate as a freight forwarder.


A Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier or otherwise referred to as a ‘NVOCC’, is a common carrier which makes ocean freight arrangements with a range of shipping lines for various trade lanes. 

Moreover, they create their own tariffs based on their own liner services with their various clients.


Ocean Container Specification:

Ocean container specification refers to the average external dimensions and weight limitations of the primary containers used for ocean container transportation.

See the full list of XPand’s ocean container specifications on our guide here.


Roll-on/Roll-Off (Ro/Ro):

Roll-on or roll-off ships are defined as cargo ships that are designed to carry wheeled cargo. Such as trucks, cars, trailers, railroad cars etc. These are driven on and off the ships on their own wheels, using a platform vehicle. 


Steamship Line/Carrier:

A steamship line or steamship carrier is usually referred to as a company consisting of a range of departments such as vessel operations, tariff departments, bookings, container operations, inbound and inward rates and finally sales.

Companies can either manage their own steamship operations, or they can appoint steamship line agents to complete similar duties.


Terminal Handling Charge (THC):

A terminal handling charge is collection of costs that are associated with the terminal provider’s property. This charge only applies to ocean freight services. Some costs included in this charge consist of equipment maintenance and use. 

Truck Load (TL):

Truck load is a term in shipping that involves the movement of large amounts of cargo. Moreover, this cargo amount can usually fill an entire intermodal container. 


Unit Load Device (ULD):

A unit load device or ULD is either a container or pallet which is used to load freight on a wide-body aircraft as well as a specific narrow-body aircraft. This then allows a large quantity of cargo to be packed together in a single unit/container.