Freight acronyms and abbreviated terminology

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Freight Acronyms and Abbreviated Terminology

The world of LTL shipping can be complicated to understand. Shipping acronyms and shorthand can cause confusion for the layperson that is unfamiliar with transportation industry terms. Many acronyms are used so frequently that often their true meanings can get lost in the shuffle. For those who need a refresher course on shipping shorthand and for those just learning the ins and outs of the transportation industry, we have created a helpful guide of common acronyms and their definitions that you should know.



FAK, or freight all kinds, is a designation created by the NMFTA to group multiple freight classes into a single class for clarity and simplification. When a shipper is moving goods from different classes on the same pallet or within the same shipment, an FAK can be determined that averages all of the various classes of freight contained therein, streamlining the classification process and reaching a price point that is fair to both the shipper and the carrier. Negotiating a FAK rate with a carrier can be beneficial when shipping a variety of freight classes within a single pallet, particularly when some of the commodities in the shipment are lower class freight, as well as when shipping density-based commodities that fall into a narrow group of freight classes.



NMFC, or National Motor Freight Classification, is a classification system used for interstate, intrastate, and foreign commerce movement of LTL (less than truckload) shipments. The purpose of NMFC numbers is to provide standardized comparative evaluations of the billions of different commodities being shipped together in LTL shipments every year. Because LTL shipping involves a variety of different products with different densities, liabilities, and handling considerations together in a single shipment, NMFC numbers are necessary to provide common ground for shippers and carriers to negotiate freight rates and logistics to ensure productive and efficient LTL shipping.



A BOL, or bill of lading, is a document that serves as a contract between shippers and carriers, a receipt for services, and a document of title. The bill of lading contains all the information necessary for the carrier and driver to execute the freight shipment and invoice it correctly and should be provided to the carrier upon pickup, as well as a copy attached to the shipment itself. To prepare you for a carrier pickup and help you avoid future billing discrepancies, Koho can provide you with instant access to your bill of lading through our platform.



EDI, or electronic data interchange, is a protocol that allows two systems to connect with each other in order to exchange data electronically. In the transportation and shipping industry, EDI is used as a digital shipping logistics model that can streamline shipping, warehousing, financials, and distribution. An electronic data interface can automatically generate and send invoices, bills of lading, payment documents, shipping statuses, and other shipping information without the need to manually input each piece of data. Utilizing preset parameters, specifications, and information stored in the system, EDI can automatically generate and exchange all of the necessary shipping information between parties, making transactions more efficient, reducing manual tasks, decreasing costs, and eliminating human error.



POD, or proof of delivery, is a receipt presented by the carrier to the consignee at the time of delivery of a shipment and includes information such as time of delivery, delivery address, the name of the consignee, and the signature of the person receiving the shipment. The consignee must ensure that all goods in the shipment are accounted for and have arrived without visible damage and signs the POD to confirm this. If damage or loss is present, the consignee should make a note of it on the POD for use in future carrier or freight insurance claims. Once the POD has been signed, ownership and any subsequent damage to the goods become the responsibility of the consignee. 



A PRO, or progressive rotating order, is a multi-digit tracking number attached to a shipment in the form of a scannable barcode that is also found on the bill of lading and in the software system of the carrier. Shippers and carriers use PRO numbers to organize and track shipments electronically as the shipments move through freight transfer hubs.  



GVW, or gross vehicle weight, refers to the weight of the truck, trailer, packaging, and all the goods in a shipment combined. The GVW is used to calculate the gross weight (GW) of a shipment by subtracting the weight of the truck and trailer from the total gross vehicle weight. 

These are just a few of a vast list of common shipping terms to know if you are shipping LTL. To learn more, visit Koho’s Shipping Glossary and Terms page for a complete list of standard transportation industry terms and their definitions.

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