Understanding Less-than-Truckload common terminology is an important component to having a successful and efficient shipping experience. Have additional questions? Contact us — our Koho team is here to support you.
3PL, or third-party logistics, refers to outsourcing logistics solutions to a third party company with the capabilities and infrastructure to handle the fulfillment of processes such as inventory, warehousing, packaging, and shipping. 3PLs act as a liaison between shippers and carriers, often able to offer volume-discounted rates and help navigate complex logistics solutions in order to streamline commerce.
Accessorials are any additional services added to an LTL carrier’s invoice that are performed by the LTL carrier beyond the standard dock-to-dock pick-up and delivery. Accessorials are added when a shipment requires additional equipment or services to accommodate special circumstances, a shipment becomes delayed or the delivery window is missed, or a shipment invoice contains an administrative error that must be corrected before the shipment is completed.
Common LTL Accessorials
Liftgate – a liftgate is required when the destination for a shipment does not have a forklift or a raised dock onto which the truck can be unloaded. If the shipment must be lowered from the truck itself to the ground, a liftgate is necessary, and because not all trucks have liftgates, advanced notice is imperative to avoid delays.
Sort/Seg – a sort/seg accessorial fee occurs when a freight shipment that is already wrapped up on a pallet must be redistributed to other pallets. This fee most often occurs if a shipment must be reorganized at warehouse, storage, or distribution facilities.
Inside Pick-up/Delivery – if an LTL shipment’s pick-up or delivery must take place inside the origin or destination facility rather than on a loading dock, special equipment is necessary to accommodate this, and a fee will be charged.
Non-Commercial Destination – some residential or limited access locations will not allow for a truck to have direct access to the pick-up or drop-off area for a shipment, requiring additional time and equipment. If this is not specified up front, it can result in delays, and a fee will be charged.
Overlength Charge – if an LTL freight shipment is overly long or awkwardly shaped, an additional fee may be charged due to the additional space taken up by the shipment on the truck. Most carriers have a minimum charge for overlength freight that is added when cargo begins to exceed a certain designated set of dimensions.
The best way to avoid excessive and unnecessary accessorial charges added to your LTL freight shipment is to make sure you provide the carrier with all of the pertinent information accurately and up front. At Koho, our team of shipping experts can help you create a shipping strategy to minimize unforseen accessorial charges so that you know exactly what you are paying from the first quote.
Backhaul refers to the return trip of a commercial truck that is transporting freight while retracing its original route. When a truck completes its delivery route and must return to the carrier in order to pick up a new shipment, carriers will work with brokers to secure a new shipment that follows the return route on which they would already be traveling, often at a slightly reduced rate. Backhauls are mutually beneficial to the carrier, broker, and customer, as the carrier is able to avoid travel expenses such as fuel and insurance incurred while hauling an empty trailer back home, and the broker and customer are able to secure a discounted rate and faster delivery times on shipments that happen to fall along the return route of the truck.
Blanket pricing refers to the series of base rates that vary by cargo and region that carriers provide to 3PLs. These rates are often discounted by volume, allowing LTL freight brokers to offer better rates to shippers in exchange for providing volume shipping for the carrier.
A bill of lading, or BOL, 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 pick-up as well as attached to the shipment itself. To prepare you for carrier arrival and help you avoid future billing headaches, Koho gives you instant access to your bill of lading through our platform.
A bonded warehouse is a building or custom-controlled warehouse where goods are kept for processing before delivery. Whether government or privately owned, bonded warehouses differ from normal warehouses in that they specifically hold bonded goods until the customs duty is paid. Bonded goods are held for a defined period of time, during which all duties and taxes must be paid in full. The advantage of bonded warehouses is that no duty must be paid on an item until it is released for delivery, allowing to importer to retain full control over payment. If goods go unsold, they may be exported without paying the duty at all, as duty is only required for goods sold not goods that are re-exported from the bonded warehouse, which can save business money on unnecessary duty payments.
In addition, most bonded warehouses provide storage options for a variety of goods including restricted items, and are equipped with freezers, dry storage, and other temperature controlled facilities.
A freight broker is a middleman between shippers and freight carriers. Brokers ensure that the transfer of freight between shipper and carriers goes smoothly, and that the shipment is delivered safely and on time. Brokers are beneficial to both shippers and carriers alike. For shippers, they provide a point of contact for any and all information regarding their shipment, from negotiating and planning to tracking, as well as providing improved delivery times, lower rates, and increased supply line efficiency. For carriers, brokers help optimize shipping routes and backhauls to increase efficiency, and allow carriers to maximize their time on the road and reduce delays. A good broker can connect shippers to the best carrier for their shipment to ensure safety, quality, speed, and competitive pricing.
Freight carriers provide the means of transportation for goods between the seller of those goods and their intended destination. There are a large variety of different types of freight carriers large and small, and selecting the right one for your shipping needs depends on factors such as distance, pricing, time, and volume of the shipment.
Carrier liability refers to the degree to which a carrier is responsible for lost damaged or delayed freight. For LTL shipments, carriers determine their liability on a dollars per pound basis depending on freight class, packaging, commodity type, and other factors. Freight class is the most common determining factor dictating carrier liability, and typically ranges from around $1-2 per pound for lower freight classes up to $25 per pound for the highest freight classes. There are five exceptions to carrier liability, outlined in The Carmack Amendment, a law passed in 1935 to clarify what constitutes a legal liability freight cargo and damage claim against a carrier:
Act of God – this protects the carrier from liability in the event of a natural disaster or physical anomaly. It does not apply to natural occurring events that can be predicted, such as severe weather.
Act of War – this protects the carrier from liability should damages be inflicted by a foreign enemy of the United States, whether it be an act of war or terrorism.
Act of Default of Shipper – this protects the carrier from liability in the event that damages are the fault of the shipper, including instances where the cargo has not been loaded or secured, there is insufficient packaging, or the contents of a shipment are mislabeled. Should there be any conflict regarding the details of these occurrences, the BOL is the overriding document.
Public Authority – this protects the carrier from liability in the event of government actions, such as road closures, trade embargos or product recalls that can cause cargo damages or delay/impact shipments.
The Inherent Vice or Nature of Goods Transported – this protects the carrier from liability in regards to temperature controlled shipping of perishable products. If the carrier takes the necessary action to prevent delays and the goods still become damaged, the carrier cannot be held liable.
For a carrier to be liable for damages that occur during shipping, the shipper must be able to prove that the goods in the shipment were undamaged when given to the carrier, and that the goods arrived damaged or not at all, and be able to provide the amount of the damage claimed.
By definition, cartage is the process of transporting goods by land (road or rail). In the context of LTL shipping, cartage refers to the transportation of goods within a very localized area or community. Often cartage services deal with light hauls and short distances too small to be traditionally covered by LTL carriers.
Cash on delivery, or COD, is a bill of lading instruction that indicates that the driver of the delivery is to collect payment for the goods being shipped that will, in turn, be sent back to the shipper. This form of payment is most commonly used when a buyer does not want to pay for the goods up front and the seller does not want to deliver the goods until they are paid for. The type of funds may also be specified, such as cash, certified funds only, or a company check, and the payment may or may not include the cost of shipping as well. This type of payment is not common amongst LTL carriers, but can be requested for a fee.
A freight claim refers to a claim filed by a shipper with a carrier seeking financial reimbursement for loss or damage that has occurred to goods while in transit (see Carrier Liability). LTL freight claims must be filed within 9 months of the delivery date, and carriers have 30 days to acknowledge the claim and 120 days to come to terms. There are four types of freight claims:
Damage – this is the most common type of freight claim and refers to goods that arrived at their destination damaged. Goods must be visibly damaged upon arrival and noted on the proof of delivery (POD) at that time.
Loss – this type of freight claim is made when a shipment is documented as having been picked up but never arrives at its destination. There must be a signed bill of lading to indicate the shipment was picked up and no signed proof of delivery.
Shortage – this type of freight claim occurs when only part of the expected freight shipment documented on the bill of lading arrives at its destination. It is important for both carriers and receivers make careful note that the shipment matches the bill of lading in case a shortage freight claim needs to be filed.
Concealed Damage or Shortage – this type of freight claim that is made when the damage or shortage in a shipment is not readily discernable at the time of delivery and was not indicated on the proof of delivery. For these instances, NMFTA rules state that the receiver must notify the carrier within 5 days of the delivery in order to file a freight claim.
Created and maintained by the nonprofit membership organization known as the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC®) 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 and ensure productive and efficient LTL shipping.
Freight class is determined based on an item’s transportability due to factors such as weight, dimension, density, storage capability, ease of handling, value, and liability from instances like theft, damage, and spoilage. The four main metrics that determine freight class are:
Density – Density, or pounds per cubic foot, is the measurable amount of space needed for an item within a freight shipment in relation to its weight. Higher density items usually fall in a lower class, while less dense items tend to fall on the higher end of the spectrum.
Handling – Freight that requires special instructions when loaded or unloaded as a result of weight, shape, or other unique restrictions such as fragility, special attention, or hazardous properties that involve a higher level of care beyond the standard machines commonly used to load or unload items will result in a higher freight classification.
Stowability – Stowability refers to how your items can be transported with other commodities. Some types of freight are subject to government regulation or specific carrier policies, limiting what other types of freight with which they can be transported. Items that are hazardous, flammable, or perishable, as well as those that are particularly heavy or that protrude in an inconvenient way cannot be shipped with certain types of materials, resulting in a higher freight classification. When it comes to stowability, it is important to think about packaging. Freight that is crated or boxed to become stackable and uniform is easier and more efficient to stow in a shipment.
Liability – Liability refers to the value of a commodity and its potential to be damaged or lost in transit. Items that have a higher risk of theft, accidental damage, or may cause damage to other items during shipping will result in a higher freight class. Perishable or hazardous freight will also carry potential liability costs and concerns.
There are 18 possible NMFC® classifications for LTL freight, the lowest being 50, and the highest being 500. Freight that is dense, easy to handle and store and with minimal liability will be classified lower, while freight that is fragile, uniquely shaped, or susceptible to damage or theft will be classified higher. Usually, the more dense the item, the lower the freight classification.
The National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC®) is the industry standard many carriers subscribe to and use for pricing and planning LTL shipments. The NMFC® reference guide created by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) provides the freight class and item number for many commodities but not all.
If the commodity in your LTL freight shipment is not listed within the NMFC® standards, the density of the item will determine the freight class. The density of a shipment is simply its volume in cubic feet divided by its gross weight in pounds.
Collect freight refers to a freight shipment where all of the LTL charges and additional fees are paid for by the consignee, which can be either the shipper or receiver. This type of freight is also known as “Collect Upon Arrival” because the payment must be completed at the time the shipment arrives.
A commodity is any good used in commerce that is interchangeable with goods of the same type and is usually used as the basics for producing other goods. Because commodities are essentially the same across producers, they must meet certain minimum standards known as basic grades. Some examples of commodities would be barrels of oil, bushels of wheat, or megawatts of electricity.
A freight claim is a claim filed by a shipper with a carrier seeking financial reimbursement for loss or damage that has occurred to goods while in transit. One type of freight claim is a concealed loss, which refers to a claim made because of damage or shortage in a shipment that is not readily discernable at the time of delivery and was not indicated on the proof of delivery. For these instances, NMFTA rules state that the receiver must notify the carrier within five days of the delivery in order to file a freight claim.
The consignee is the receiver of the goods being shipped, the importer of record in the context of an international shipment, the ultimate owner of the cargo being shipped, and the cargo’s final destination.
The consignor is the entity that is shipping the goods and the exporter of record in the context of an international shipment, whether it is a factory, distribution center, or other origin location.
In LTL shipping, a container most often refers to an intermodal freight container, which is a reusable storage and transport unit for moving raw materials and products between locations. Containers come in a variety of dimensions and styles, depending on what is being shipped, but 90% of them are known as “dry freight” or “general purpose” containers and are enclosed steel boxes, commonly 8 feet wide, 8 ½ feet tall, and either 20 or 40 feet long. Containers with an additional foot in height are known as Hi-Cubes.
Customer specific pricing, or CSP, refers to rates negotiated with LTL carriers for a specific LTL shipper. CSP rates are generally negotiated for shippers moving a higher volume of LTL freight that require more competitive pricing to secure their business. Customer specific rates are often negotiated surrounding the specific shipping needs of the shipper including usual classifications and common accessorials required. CSP can benefit both shippers and carriers, as shippers are able to negotiate a better rate for their shipments, and carriers are able to tailor their pricing around the specific needs of the shipper and become familiar with their freight profile, minimizing unforeseen service adjustments or failures.
Declared value represents the maximum liability offered by a carrier in regards to a shipment, including any loss, damage, delay, or misdelivery relating to a shipment. Declared value coverage can be purchased through a carrier and allows the shipper to declare the value of the shipment in order to raise the financial liability of the carrier above their limitations. This does not increase a carrier’s scope of liability but rather allows the shipper to seek a higher recovery in the event of a lost, damaged, delayed, or misdelivered shipment.
However, declared value is NOT shipping insurance. Shipping insurance is recommended for full coverage of incidentals that occur outside of the purview of declared value coverage.
Density, or pounds per cubic foot, is the measurable amount of space needed for an item within a freight shipment in relation to its weight. Higher density items usually fall in a lower freight class, while less dense items tend to fall on the higher end of the spectrum.If the commodity in your LTL freight shipment is not listed within the NMFC© standard classifications, the density of the item will determine the freight class. The density of a shipment is simply its volume in cubic feet divided by its gross weight in pounds.
Example: The volume of a pallet with dimensions 48 inches long x 48 inches wide x 48 inches high = 48" x 48" x 48" / 1,728 = 64 cubic feet. (note that 1,728 is the number of cubic inches in a cubic foot) If the actual gross weight of the pallet is 400 pounds, the density of the pallet is 400 pounds / 64 cubic feet = 6.25 pounds per cubic foot.
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, streamlining transactions, reducing manual tasks, decreasing costs, and eliminating human error.
ETA, or estimated time of arrival, is a common term used in shipping and transportation to predict the date and time when a transport or freight shipment will arrive at a particular destination. However, it is not necessarily the final address to which the shipment will be delivered, but rather a port of destination from which the last leg of transport will occur. ETAs are crucial to logistics and supply chain management, from helping shippers to manage their expectations and adjust to real-time delays, to allowing carriers to adapt their operations to optimize resource allocation. ETA predictions, particularly for road-based transportation, are based on a number of real-world factors such as the type of vehicle transporting the shipment, the size and weight of the load, route, traffic, and roadwork and traffic delays. And because an infinite number of uncertainties exist that can change an ETA, carriers rely primarily on real-time GPS data to determine a shipment's position and provide updates to shippers and receivers.
Exempt products are products that are exempt from federal regulation. This includes commodities that are perishable or that can expire, as well as products that have not been processed. Some examples of exempt products include dairy products such as buttermilk, agriculture products such as hay bales or fresh produce, and various unprocessed food products. Timely, dated products such as newspapers are also exempt.For a complete list of the types of freight that are exempt, consult the FMCSA’s Composite Commodities List.
FAK, or freight all kinds, is a designation created by the NMFTA in order to group multiple classes of freight into a single class for the purpose of clarity and simplification. When a shipper is moving differently classed goods within the same shipment or even on the same pallet, an FAK can be determined that averages all of the different classes of freight contained therein, streamlining the 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.
A flatbed is a type of large truck with a flat body and no roof or sides around the bed. The simple design of the flatbed can accommodate loads that are too wide or abnormally sized for an enclosed truck, such as construction equipment and machinery. Flatbeds can also be loaded and unloaded from any angle due to their open sides, making them extremely versatile and some of the most commonly used trucks in the shipping industry.
A freight forwarder specializes in arranging the storage and shipping of goods on behalf of a shipper. A freight forwarder provides a number of services within this realm, including tracking of a shipment, preparation of shipping documents and bills of lading, handling, warehousing, negotiating freight charges, packaging, freight consolidation, and cargo insurance.
The freight forwarder, like a freight broker, acts as an intermediary between shipper and carrier, but freight forwarders take a more active role in the preparation and shipment of a shipper’s goods. Many freight forwarders also operate internationally.
Gross weight refers to the total weight of a shipment, including the actual goods and any packaging or pallet used to secure them.
Gross Vehicle Weight refers to the weight of the tractor, trailer, and its goods combined.
Hazardous materials, or HAZMAT, are defined as any solids, liquids, or gases that can cause harm to people, other living organisms, property, or the environment if mishandled. Because of this, hazardous materials are among the most heavily regulated items to ship and require specific shipping and handling instructions, including correct packaging and labeling. Hazardous materials are divided into nine classes by the FMCSA, from most dangerous to mildly harmful, with each class further divided into subclasses based on their physical or chemical properties. The nine classes of HAZMAT are as follows:
Class 1: Explosives
Division 1.1: Explosives with a mass explosion hazard
Division 1.2: Explosives with a projection hazard
Division 1.3: Explosives with predominantly a fire hazard
Division 1.4: Explosives with no significant blast hazard
Division 1.5: Very insensitive explosives
Division 1.6: Extremely insensitive explosive articles
Examples of class 1 HAZMAT include ammunition, gunpowder, fireworks, and airbag inflators.
Class 2: Gases
Division 2.1: Flammable gases
Division 2.2: Non-flammable gases
Division 2.3: Poison gases
Division 2.4: Corrosive gases
Examples of class 2 HAZMAT include aerosols, propane tanks, lighters, pepper spray, scuba tanks, and fire extinguishers.
Class 3: Flammable Liquids
Division 3.1: Flashpoint below -18°C (0°F)
Division 3.2: Flashpoint below -18°C and above, but less than 23°C (73°F)
Division 3.3: Flashpoint 23°C and up to 61°C (141°F)
Examples of class 3 HAZMAT include gasoline, nail polish, lighter refills, oil-based paints, paint thinner, and varnish.
Class 4: Flammable Solids
Division 4.1: Flammable solids
Division 4.2: Spontaneously combustible materials
Division 4.3: Materials that are dangerous when wet
Examples of Class 4 HAZMAT include matches, sulfur, coal, fish oil, potassium, sodium, and sodium batteries.
Class 5: Oxidizing substances; organic peroxides
Division 5.1: OxidizersDivision
5.2: Organic peroxides
Examples of Class 5 HAZMAT include ammonium nitrate fertilizers, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, chlorine, and sodium nitrate.
Class 6: Poisonous (toxic) and infectious substances
Division 6.1: Poisonous materials
Division 6.2: Infectious materials
Examples of Class 6 HAZMAT include biomedical waste, arsenic, pesticides, and nicotine.
Class 7: Radioactive materialAny radioactive materials.
Examples of Class 7 HAZMAT include medical isotopes, radioactive medicines, isotopes, X-ray machines, and depleted uranium.
Class 8: Corrosives
Any material, liquid, or solid that causes visible destruction or irreversible alteration to human skin, or a liquid that has a severe corrosion rate on steel or aluminum.
Examples of Class 8 HAZMAT include sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, drain cleaner, paint and paint stripper, and mercury thermometers.
Class 9: Miscellaneous hazardous materials
Products in this class include materials that present a hazard during transport but are not included in another hazardous freight classification.
Examples of Class 9 HAZMAT include environmentally hazardous substances, elevated temperature material, hazardous wastes, and marine pollutants.
For a full list of FMCSA hazardous materials and how to package and label them, visit the FMCSA website.
Shipping insurance provides additional coverage beyond the carrier’s standard policy and can be set according to the value of your shipment. Securing an independent freight insurance policy can ensure that your shipment is covered door-to-door for any and all losses and damages, regardless if the losses or damages occur due to carrier negligence, an “act of God,” or any other incidents outside the control of the carrier. In addition, freight insurance can provide protection for the full invoice value of the shipment, as well as freight costs and other costs associated with the shipment.
Intermodal transportation, also known as multimodal transportation, refers to a shipment that moves via more than one mode of transportation, including ground, air, sea, or rail.
Most large and small shipping markets can be connected in different ways, depending on the infrastructure and capacity of their respective regions. The lanes between these markets can include air, sea, rail, road, or some combination of each. Often the shipping lanes between regions follow traditional shipping routes that are commonly used by carriers to achieve the most efficiency and cost-effectiveness. For intermodal shipments, major shipping lanes can provide thoroughfares through which to ship LTL cargo that will eventually transfer shipping modes and be delivered to smaller markets beyond the larger hubs. Because some carriers serve national and international markets, while others focus on more regional sectors, it is important to distinguish which carriers can most effectively move your cargo through the necessary shipping modes and routes.
Liftgates are hydraulic lifts attached to the back of trucks used to unload and load cargo from the truck trailer to ground level. Liftgates are required when the destination for a shipment does not have a raised dock onto which the truck can be unloaded. If the shipment must be lowered from the truck to the ground, a liftgate is necessary, and because not all trucks have liftgates, advanced notice is imperative to avoid delays.
Linehaul refers to the movement of goods between cities or origin terminals and destination terminals where shipments are collected and organized for delivery to a final destination. Linehaul is usually the main route of transport, excluding initial pick-up and final delivery.
LTL shipping, or less than a load shipping, refers to the transportation of goods that do not require a full truckload. These smaller shipments, ranging anywhere from 150 lbs to 10,000 lbs, are instead grouped together (usually on pallets) and transported on one truck to their final destinations. While often logistically complex and requiring attention to detail regarding freight classes, weights, deadlines, and destinations for a variety of different shipments, LTL shipping can provide shippers with a flexible, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly way to move goods.
An MC #, or motor carrier number, is an interstate operating authority and unique identifier assigned by the FMCSA to all interstate carriers contracted to haul federally regulated commodities across state lines.
Minimum charge, or absolute minimum charge (AMC), refers to the lowest price for which a carrier will handle or ship goods, regardless of the size of the shipment or the distance it will be shipped.
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 and ensure productive and efficient LTL shipping.
A pallet is a raised platform made of wood, plastic, or other material on which a freight shipment is stacked and secured. The raised design of pallets allows for the forks of a forklift or pallet jack to slide under, pick up and move the platform. Many freight carriers require shipments to be palletized for safety and liability reasons, as well as ease of movement. Shipments that are not stacked and shrink-wrapped on pallets are known as “floor-loaded” shipments.
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, 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. 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 and is also found on the bill of lading and in the software system of the carrier. PRO numbers are used by shippers and carriers to organize and track shipments electronically as the shipments move through transfer hubs operated by the carrier.
Reweigh or reclassification occurs if accurate dimensions and freight class for an LTL shipment are not provided, and reweighing or reclassification by the carrier is necessary, resulting in fees added to the final invoice. To avoid this accessorial charge, make sure you provide the shipping carrier with the correct freight class and dimensions of your cargo.
SCAC, or standard carrier alpha codes, are unique 2-4 digit codes used to identify transportation companies in the NMFTA (National Motor Freight Traffic Association) computer system, as well as on bills of lading, packing lists, and purchase orders.
A tariff, also known as a duty, is a tax imposed by a country on goods imported by another country, including the freight and insurance of the goods, and is collected at the time of customs clearance upon entry into the country. Tariffs vary from country to country and depend on the type of product.
A freight terminal or carrier terminal is a designated center where carriers organize their freight shipments and route them to the next terminal or final destination. Major carriers have terminals across the country, and often they can be used as pick-up or drop-off points for freight shipments.
A volume quote refers to a special category of pricing for shipments that exceed the weight, dimensions, and capacity limitations of standard LTL shipping, but does not take up enough space to necessitate full truckload (FTL) shipping. A volume LTL quote can benefit shippers and carriers alike, with shippers benefitting from the streamlined simplicity of a full or partial truck load while still enjoying the cost-effectiveness of the LTL model, while carriers benefit by reducing terminal off-loads and maximizing space in existing LTL shipments. Volume quote requirements vary from carrier to carrier, but for most volume quotes, a shipment must take up 20% or more of the truckload to qualify and are subject to the availability of existing carrier routes.
A waybill, often referred to as a sea waybill or air waybill depending on the shipping mode, is a document used at times in place of a bill of lading. Though similar to a bill of lading, waybills have certain key differences. A waybill is used when a shipper wants to release ownership of the cargo immediately upon pick-up, allowing for the cargo to be released to the consignee identified on the document as soon as it arrives in the port, rather than requiring documentation with which to claim the shipment.