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Freight Shipping Terms & Definitions

Search our Shipping Dictionary below for definitions to the most commonly used terms in the freight industry.


Any additional services required outside of the standard shipping procedure require additional fees from the carrier called accessorials. These include extra services such as:
  Lift Gate service Fuel Surcharge
  Inside Pick up   Inside Delivery
Residential service Arrival Notification
COD Insurance

Arrival Notification
When the carrier notifies the consignee (receiver) of a scheduled delivery date and time. Arrival notification is an accessorial service provided for an additional fee.

BOL (Bill of Lading)
document that establishes the terms and conditions of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company. It serves as a contract of carriage and a receipt for goods. The Bol is provided by the shipping company to the shipper and should be given to the driver upon freight pick up.

Another name for the trucking company who transports freight.

The person or company receiving the shipment.

The person or company shipping the shipment.

Blind Shipment
When the customer has contracted with the carrier so that the shipper or consignee information is not given. This keeps the origin location and receiving destination unaware of each other and provides two separate Bills of Lading in which both show the carrier's terminal  as the shipper and the receiver.
A semi trailer with no sides and with the floor of the unit a standard height from the ground.

Freight Class
Refers to the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) and it is the category of your freight as defined by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA). Your shipment's freight class determines the carrier's shipping charges. It identifies the size, value and difficulty of transporting your freight.

FTL stands for Full Truck Load and refers to any shipment that takes up all or almost all of the truck's space. A FTL shipment can range from 5000 lbs and up, although some FTL carriers have a minimum weight requirement of 10,000 lbs or more. There are 2 types of FTL shipments: Full Loads, which completely fill the entire truck and Partial Loads, which almost fill the entire truck.

Fuel Surcharge
An extra charge imposed by the carriers due to the excessive costs for diesel gas. The charge is a % based upon the U.S. National Average Diesel Fuel Index. The fuel surcharge will remain in effect as long as the U.S.National Average Diesel Fuel index remains at or above $1.10 per gallon

Inside Pickup and Inside Delivery
If the driver is required to go inside (beyond the front door or loading dock), to pick up or deliver your shipment, instead of remaining at the dock or truck, additional fees will be charged. When obtaining quotes through our system, check off inside pick up and or inside delivery and the carrier's fee will be included in your quotes.

Liftgate service
When the shipping or receiving address does not have a loading dock, manual loading or unloading is necessary. A liftgate is a platform at the back of certain trucks that can raise and lower a shipment from the ground to the truck. Additional fees apply for this service.

LTL stands for Less Than Truckload,
which means the shipment does not completely fill an entire truck. A LTL shipment typically ranges anywhere from 150 lbs to10,000 lbs. Large Shipments over 10,000 lbs are usually moved by Full truckload (FTL).

NMFC Number
This is the item number that specifically identifies each type of product that can be shipped by a LTL carrier. The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) assigns NMFC item #'s to all products along with a freight class. The NMFC # identifies what you are shipping and it's freight class.

PRO Number
A number assigned by the carrier to reference your shipment. It is also used for tracking your shipment.

Redelivery or Reconsignment Fee
After a failed delivery attempt, the carrier will assess a fee for having to deliver the freight again. This fee is usually based on weight with a minimum charge.

A reefer is a refrigerated trailer with insulated walls and a self powered refrigeration unit, most commonly used for transporting food.

Residential Delivery
arriers defines a business zone as a location that opens and closes to the public at set times every day.  If you are a business located in a residential zone, (among personal homes or dwellings) or are shipping to or from a residence, the carrier may charge an additional residential fee.  When obtaining quotes through our system, select "residence" for location type and the carrier's residential fee will be included in your quotes.

Reweigh and Inspection Fee
If the carrier suspects that the weight or class of your shipment is inaccurate, they will charge a fee to reweigh and re-class your shipment.

Third Party Shipments

A shipment in which the person who arranges the shipment is neither the originating nor the receiving destination. The third party makes the arrangements for the shipper and receiver.


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