Logistics Glossary

Use our helpful logistics glossary below to learn more about common terms used in freight forwarding.

Air Freight

Air freight is the shipment of goods through an aircraft. It's used for transporting high-value or perishable cargo across long distances in a short time frame. Airlines can offer cargo space on passenger flights or special cargo planes dedicated only to freight


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Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO)

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Bareboat Charter

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Bill of Lading (BOL)

A Bill of Lading (BoL) is a document that serves as a contract between the shipper of goods and the carrier, detailing the type, quantity, and destination of the cargo being shipped.

Bulk Shipping

Bulk shipping is the transportation of large quantities of goods that are generally similar and transported unpackaged in large quantities.


Cargo refers to goods or products transported from one place to another via various modes of transportation, including air, sea, rail, and road.

Cargo Insurance

Cargo insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides financial protection against the loss, damage, or theft of goods during transportation.

Certificate of Origin

A Certificate of Origin (CO) is an international trade document certifying the country where a commodity or good was manufactured, produced, processed, or obtained.

Charter Party

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The consignee is the party that receives the goods being transported in a freight forwarding operation. They are the intended recipient of the shipment at the final destination.


A consignor is the party that sends or "consigns" goods for transportation. The consignor is responsible for preparing the goods for shipment and ensuring that all necessary documentation and information is provided to the freight forwarder or carrier.


A container is a standardised, reusable steel box used for the safe, secure and efficient transportation of goods by sea, road, rail or air.

Cross Docking

Cross docking is a logistics strategy where incoming shipments are directly transferred from the receiving dock to the shipping dock with minimal or no storage in between.

Customs Broker

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Customs Clearance

Customs clearance is a process in international trade that involves preparing and submitting documents required to legally export or import goods across international borders and ensuring that all necessary taxes, duties, and regulations have been adhered to. 

Daily Operating Costs

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Door-to-Door Service

Door-to-door Service in logistics is a comprehensive shipping service that covers the entire process of moving goods from the initial sender's location directly to the final recipient's premises.

Expedited Shipping

Expedited Shipping is a shipping option that ensures goods are delivered faster than standard shipping methods.

Export License

An export license is a document secured from a government that authorises a shipper to export a specific quantity of a particular commodity to a certain country.


Freight refers to goods or cargo transported by land, air, or sea. It plays an important role in global trade, enabling the movement of products across different countries. 

Freight Collect

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Freight Forwarder

A freight forwarder is a company or individual that organises shipments for businesses or individuals to transport goods from one destination to another.

Freight Prepaid

Freight Prepaid is a shipping term used to indicate that the freight charges for transporting goods from the sender to the recipient have been paid by the sender in advance.

Full Container Load (FCL)

Full Container Load, or FCL, refers to a shipping mode where a single container is booked by a shipper to transport goods. This container is exclusively used for one shipper's cargo, meaning the goods inside are not shared with items from other shippers.

Hazardous Goods (Hazmat)

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Hazardous Materials (Hazmat)

Hazardous materials, often abbreviated as Hazmat, refer to substances or materials that pose a risk to health, safety, property, or the environment due to their chemical, physical, or biological nature. These materials' handling, storage, transportation, and disposal are strictly regulated to prevent accidents and ensure public safety.

Import License

An import licence is a document issued by a government authority that permits a company or individual to bring goods into a country.

Inbound Freight

Inbound freight is the goods and materials brought into a business from suppliers or manufacturers. This process includes the transportation, handling, and receiving of these items.


Incoterms, short for International Commercial Terms, are a set of global rules established by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) that define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers for the delivery of goods under sales contracts.

Intermodal Transportation

Intermodal transportation refers to the process of transporting goods using two or more different modes of transportation in a single journey, without handling the freight itself when changing modes. It is distinguished by its use of standardized containers, which are designed to be moved easily from trucks to trains to ships and back.

Last Mile Delivery

Last-mile delivery is the final step of the logistics process, where goods are transported from a transportation hub to their final delivery destination.

Less than Container Load (LCL)

Less than Container Load (LCL)  is a shipping term used when the volume of goods is not enough to fill a standard container.


In international freight shipping, a manifest is a document that provides a detailed list of all the cargo being transported. It is an important record for the shipper, the carrier, and customs authorities, facilitating the smooth movement of goods across international borders.

Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC)

A Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) is a company that provides ocean freight transportation services to customers without operating its own vessels.

Ocean Freight

Ocean freight, also known as sea freight, is transporting goods across the sea in large containers aboard ships. Businesses worldwide rely on ocean freight to import and export products, making it an essential part of global trade. 

On-Board Courier (OBC)

An on-board courier (OBC) is a specialist who provides a personal delivery service for time-sensitive or high-value items across the globe. This person typically travels with the package on commercial flights, ensuring it remains secure and reaches its destination as quickly as possible.


A pallet is a flat, horizontal structure, typically made of wood, plastic, or metal, used to support and lift a load of goods.

Port of Discharge (POD)

The Port of Discharge (POD) is the port where cargo is unloaded from a vessel upon reaching its destination. During the shipping process, it marks the transition of cargo from transit to land distribution.

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