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  • General Logistics Terms
  • Payment Terms
  • Sale Terms

Absolute Liability: Condition in which carrier is responsible for all liability and is not protected by the normal exemptions found in bill of lading or common law liability.

Advice of Shipment: Notice to local or foreign buyer that shipment has occurred with details of packing, routing, etc; a copy of invoice is usually enclosed and sometimes a copy of the bill of lading.

All-Risk Insurance: Name given to a policy which covers against loss caused by all perils except those which are specifically excluded in the terms of the policy. Ordinary policies name the peril or perils specifically covered in the policy.

Arrival Notice: Notice the carrier sends to the consignee when a shipment has arrived.

Bill of Lading: Principal transportation document, by which a carrier acknowledges receipt of freight, describes the freight and sets forth a contract of carriage. Terms and conditions, responsibilities and liabilities vary with manner and place of use. Bills of lading may be negotiable or non-negotiable. Contents of the bill of lading were outlined originally in 1917. Every bill of lading must contain at least the following:
- Date of issue
- Name of consignor
- Place of original consignment
- Place of delivery
- Statement of whether goods are to be delivered to a specific person
- Description of goods/packages containing them
- Signature of carrier

Bonded Warehouse: Warehouse approved by the Treasury Department and under bond/guarantee for observance of revenue laws; used for storing goods until duty or goods are released in some other proper manner.

Carrier: Individual, partnership or corporation engaged in the business of transporting goods or passengers, in most cases for a fee.

Carrier's Liability: Liability begins when goods are delivered at the proper place, and ends when the goods have been delivered to the consignee or when the carrier’s duty has been discharged according to terms of the freight contract.

Certificate of Insurance: Issued (usually on Form E or Form H) by an officer of an insurance company to state agency or other party, stating the fact that the party named has insurance coverage in amounts/types; not a binding agreement.

Certificate of Origin: Indicates country producing goods listed on it, required by customs officials; used to secure "most favored nation" treatment in foreign markets and for correct assessment of import duties.

CHEMTREC: Chemical Transportation Emergency Center; organization available on a 24-hour basis to provide emergency response information to anyone involved in hazardous chemical accidents.

Claim: 1) Demand on Transportation Company for payment, due to loss/damage of freight that occurred during transit; 2) demand on Transportation Company for refund on overcharge; 3) demand by individual/corporation to recover for loss under policy of issuance.

Collect Shipment: Shipment where collection of freight charges/advances is made by delivering carrier from the consignee/receiver.

Consignee: Person who receives goods shipped from one owner (consignor).

Consignor: Person or firm that ships articles to customers (consignees).

Consolidation: Practice of combining less-than-carload (LCL) or less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments to make carload/truckload truckload movements.

Demurrage: Penalty for exceeding free time (generally 48 hours) allowed for loading/unloading under terms of railroad/ocean tariffs; detention is used to mean the same thing for motor carriers.

Density: Weight per cubic foot or kg per cubic meter of space occupied by the article/dimensional weight.

Dock Receipt: A steamship company form, evidencing receipt of the goods at a pier. Copies of this for are made available to shippers as a means of expediting handling at piers. The dock receipt controls the ownership of the goods until the ocean bill of lading is issued.

Door-to-Door: Through transportation of a container/trailer and its contents from consignor's loading facility to consignee's unloading facility.

Drayage: Transportation of freight of freight by truck, primarily in local cartage.

Duty: Tax levied by government on import/export consumption goods.

ETA: Estimated time of arrival.

ETD: Estimated time of departure.

Estoppel: Legal document used in court of law to establish liability.

Ex: Prefix meaning "out of" or "from," used in conjunction with noun of location, mean all charges for transportation and risks of loss/damage are chargeable to account of buyer when goods are delivered to carrier at "ex" location.

Federal Maritime Commission: A regulatory agency that controls services, practices, and agreements of international water common carriers and noncontiguous domestic water carriers.

Flatbed: Trailer with level bed and no sides or tops.

Flat-Rack Container: A container with no sides and frame members at the front and rear of the container. Container can be loaded from the sides and top.

Freight Bill: The carrier's invoice for transportation charges applicable to a freight shipment.

Freight Forwarder: 1) Individual/company that accept less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments and consolidates them into truckload lots on for-hire basis for shipper's; 2) agent who helps expedite shipments by preparing necessary documents/making other arrangements for moving of freight.

Hazardous Materials: Substance/material determined and designated by Sec. of Transportation to be capable of posing unreasonable risk to health, safety and property when transported in commerce.

In Bond: Storage of goods in custody of government/bonded warehouse or carrier from whom goods can be taken only upon payment of taxes/duties to appropriate government agency.

Intermodal Transportation: Using more than one mode to deliver shipment, e.g., trailer on flatcar (TOFC) or container on flatcar (COFC).

Packing List: List showing merchandise packed and all particulars normally prepared by shipper but not necessarily required by carriers; copy is usually sent to consignee to assist in verifying shipment received.

Palletization: System for shipping goods on comparatively lightweight, double-decked wooden platforms called pallets; permits shipment of multiple units as one unit.

Pier-to-House: A shipment loaded into a container at the pier or terminal then exported directly to the consignee's designated area for unloading.

Pier-to-Pier: Containers loaded at port-of-loading and discharged at port-of-destination.

Point of Origin: Station at which shipment is received from shipper by transportation line.

Port Charges: Charges assessed for services performed at ports, including lighterage, pilotage, towage, harbor, dockage and wharfage.

Pro Forma Invoice: Document used largely for banking purposes, abbreviated invoice sent in advance of shipment, usually to enable buyer to obtain import permit, exchange permit or both.

Proof of Delivery: Copy of waybill signed by consignee at time of delivery as receipt.

Purchase Order: Form used by purchaser when placing order for merchandise or supplies.

Shipper's Export Declaration (SED): Form required by Treasury Department and completed by shipper showing value, weight, consignee, destination, etc., export of shipments as well as Schedule B identification.

Short Shipment: Piece of freight missing from shipment. Cargo received is less than what is stipulated by documents on hand.

Bank Draft: Bill of exchange drawn by one bank to another.

Draft (Bill of Exchange): Terms used interchangeably, bill of exchange is instrument drawn by one person ordering second person to pay definite sum of money to third person on sight (sight draft) or at definite future time (time draft).

Export Letter-of-Credit: When importer has arranged with bank for letter-of-credit financing of purchases, he applies for issuance of individual letters of credit to cover purchase contracts as made.

Letter of Credit (L/C): Method of payment for goods in which buyer establishes credit with local bank, clearly describing goods to be purchased, price, documentation required and time limit for completion of transaction; upon receipt o documentation, bank is either paid by buyer or takes title to goods and transfers funds to seller; may be revocable or irrevocable.

Sight Draft: Sight draft, COD international trade, usually calls for release of bills of lading and all other documents making up commercial to set buyer against cash payments to collecting bank.

Time Draft: Draft maturing at certain fixed time after presentation/acceptance.

C & F (Cost and Freight): Term used in ocean transportation meaning the price states includes cost of goods and transportation charges to point of destination; insurance is normally in included.

CBD (Terms of Sale): Cash before delivery; seller assumes no risk and extends no credit because he is paid before shipment.

CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight): Basis for quotation by seller that indicates seller will pay insurance and freight charges to destination only.

Cash In Advance (CIA): Method of paying for goods where buyer pays seller before shipment of goods, employed when goods are built-to-order.

FOB: Free on board.

FOB Destination: Freight cost paid to pint of destination, title transform at destination.

FOB Factory: Title to goods and transportation responsibility transfers from seller to factory.

FOB Vessel: Title/transportation costs transfer after goods are delivered on vessel, all export taxes/costs involved in overseas shipments are assessed to buyer.

Free Along Side (FAS): Selling term in international trade when selling party quotes price including delivery of good along side overseas vessel at exporting port.

Free on Board (FOB): Loaded aboard carrier's vehicle at point where responsibility for risk/expense passes from seller to buyer, e.g., FOB Detroit.

Open Account (O/A): Manner of supplying credit by charging goods/services to purchaser's account, payment from which is made at future date.


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