An Auction and Marketplace for Shipping and Cargo Containers

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A-1: First Class Condition.
A.A.R.: Against all Risks.
A.E.V.: Articles of extraordinary value.
A.T.A.: American Trucking Association
A.T.A. Carnet: An international Customs document that is recognized as an internationally valid guarantee. It may be used in lieu of national Customs documents and as security for import duties and taxes to cover the temporary admission of goods.
A/S: After sight Term of Sale. Payment due upon arrival.
Abandoned Goods: Articles declared by an importer, consignee, or representative to be abandoned and therefore the property of the U.S. Government. Also applies to goods left too long in a bonded warehouse and therefore becomes the property of the U.S. Government. (19CFR127.11-127.13)
Accelerated Disposition: A formal supplication to the district director requesting that the review be hastened and a response received within the allotted time. (19CFR174.22)
Accept/Reject Advise: A standard notice sent to vendors advising that a shipment has been accepted or rejected.
Acceptance: An agreement to purchase goods at a stated price and under stated terms.
Account: An individual, institution, or organization that purchases a company's products, or the general category of customer service as listed on the company books.
Accrual: The accounts maintained for services rendered, or the sum of the amount due.
Acquiescence: When a bill of lading is accepted or signed by a shipper or his agent without protest as to the conditions which appear thereon, silent consent is assumed.
Actual Use: When the classification of an article is dependent upon its actual use after importation. (19CFR10.137)
Ad. Valorem: (According to value) A tariff calculated as a percentage of the value of goods cleared through Customs.
Added Value: A term implying that at each production and distribution function, a product's value is increased in terms of time, place, and form.
Adjuster: An individual charged with the responsibility of determining if a particular loss is covered by the insurance policy and, if so, the amount which should be paid to the claimant.
Advance: An agreed percentage applied against a total.
Advice Shipment: A form provided by the shipper to a freight forwarder that contains shipping instructions.
Affreightment, Contract Of: An agreement by the steamship line to provide cargo space on a vessel at a specified price to accommodate an exporter or importer, who then becomes liable for payment even though he is later unable to make the shipment.
Agent: One who negotiates contracts, or acts in the legal capacity of another party.
Aggravating Factors: Factors which when proven to exist, increase the severity of a penalty. (19CFR171)
Air Cargo, Inc.: A ground service corporation established and jointly owned by the United States scheduled airlines. In addition to its airline owners, ACI also serves over 30 air freight forwarders and international air carriers. Services include, but are not limited to
Air Cargo Guide: Basic reference publication for shipping freight by air. It contains current domestic and international cargo flight schedules, including pure cargo, wide body and combination passenger-air cargo flights. Each monthly issue contains information on air carriers' special services, labeling, airline and aircraft decodings, air carriers and freight forwarders directory, cargo charter information, US and Canadian city directory small package service, interline air freight agreements, aircraft loading charts and more.
Air Cargo, Inc.: A ground service corporation established and jointly owned by the United States scheduled airlines. In addition to its airline owners, ACI also serves over 30 air freight forwarders and international air carriers. Services include, but are not limited to
Air Transport Association: The trade and service organization of the U.S. scheduled airlines. ATA acts on behalf of the airlines to serve the Government and public in activities ranging from improvement in air safety to planning for the airlines' role in national defense.
Air Transport Committee: A Canadian government agency responsible for the economic and general welfare of air transport within Canada.
Air Waybill: A bill of lading issued by the airline acknowledging receipt of merchandise and indicating conditions of cartage.
Airworthiness Certification: Documentation to show that aircraft or components comply with all the airworthiness requirements related to its use as laid down by the regulatory authorities of the country in which the aircraft is registered.
All Risk Clause: An insurance provision that all loss or damage to goods is insured except those self caused.
Anti-Dumping Clause: A special tariff imposed to discourage the sale of foreign goods in the U.S. at prices below what they sell for in the home market.
Apparent Good Order: When freight or inventory appears to be free of damage and in proper condition as far as can be determined from a general survey.
Appraisement: The act of reaching a conclusion concerning the value for customs purposes of imported merchandise.
Arbitrage: The practice of exchanging the currency of one country for that of another or a series of countries to gain an advantage from the differences in exchange rates.
Arbitration Clause: A clause in a contract outlining the method under which disputes will be settled.
Arrival Notice: A document sent to a consignee or their agent by a carrier informing them that a shipment has arrived.
Asset: A property of tangible value.
Assist: Technical instructions for manufacture or materials, parts, tools, dies, molds, merchandise consumed in the production, etc., supplied directly or indirectly, and free of charge or at a reduced cost by the buyer for use in connection with the production or the sale for export to the U.S.
At Sight: A payment term meaning that a negotiable instrument is to be paid upon presentation or demand.
Audit: The routine of inspecting to ensure that all functions adhere to a stated standard.
Audit Trail: Various records and management controls that document the activity of a facility.
Authority To Pay: An advice from the buyer's bank to the seller's bank authorizing the seller's bank to pay the seller's draft up to a given amount. The seller has no protection against cancellation or modification of the instrument until the issuing bank makes the payment on the draft drawn on it.
Authority To Purchase: Similar to above except the seller's drafts are drawn directly on the buyer. The buyer's bank purchases them with or without recourse to the drawer.


B.B.L.: Barrel.
B.D.I.: Both dates inclusive.
B.O.: Buyer's option.
B/E: Bill of exchange.
B/L: Bill of lading.
Back Order: Items ordered that aren't shipped due to stockout. Scheduled for shipment as available.
Back To Back Letters Of Credit: Two letters of credit with identical documentary requirements, except for a difference in the price of the merchandise as shown by the invoice and draft.
Backhaul: Transport of materials from suppliers back to the operator's facility.
Bail: Metal handle.
Balance Of Payments: A statement which indicates a country's foreign economic transactions over a specified time.
Balance Of Trade: The difference between a country's total imports and exports over a given period. A favorable balance of trade results from exports exceeding imports.
Ballast: Material used to stabilize an empty or partially empty vessel.
Balloon Freight: Freight taking up considerable space in comparison to weight.
Banding: Material used to wrap around the shipment to hold it in place.
Banker's Acceptance: A time bill of exchange, or acceptance, which has been drawn on and accepted by a bank.
Bar Code: A symbol consisting of a series of printed bars representing values. A system of optical character reading, scanning, and tracking of units by reading a series of printed bars.
Barrier Materials: Materials that can withstand water, oil, vapor, and various gases.
Barter: The direct exchange of goods for other goods without the use of money and without third party involvement.
Baud Rate: The speed at which you can transmit and receive data from one computer to another.
Beneficiary Country: Any country, territory, or successor political entity to which there is, in effect, a proclamation by the President designating such as a beneficiary country entitled to special tariff treatment.
Bill Of Lading: A contract between a shipper and a carrier that provides proof that the merchandise was transferred from the shipper to the
Bill Of Lading Number: A unique number shown on a bill of lading at the time the merchandise is accepted for shipment.
Bill Of Materials: The list of materials and components necessary to support planned production runs.
Bill Of Sale: A written contract that transfers ownership from one party to another.
Bond: An acceptable, written financial guarantee required to be given to Customs to secure a transaction by specifically binding the obligatory to certain covenants for certain amounts. (19CFR113)
Bonded Goods: Goods in charge of Customs officers on which bonds instead of cash have been given. The goods in question have not 'cleared Customs'.
Bonded Warehouse: A warehouse approved by the U.S. Treasury department into which non-cleared goods may be placed.
Break Bulk: The splitting up of one consolidated shipment into smaller ones for ultimate delivery to various consignees.
Bulk Packing: Packing a number of small containers into a single larger container to facilitate movement.


C.A.D.: Cash against documents.
C.B.I.: Caribbean Basin Initiative.
C.C.: Current cost.
C.E.: Consumption entry.
Cf: Cubic foot.
C.I.: Cost and insurance.
C.I.A.: Cash in Advance.
C.L.: Car load, the minimum weight necessary to fully load a forty-foot rail car.
C.O.D.: Cash on delivery.
C.O.S.: Cash on shipment.
C.P.U.: That part of the computer that executes the instructions of a program.
C.R.: Carrier's risk.
C.W.O.: Cash with order.
C.W.T.: Hundredweight.
Cargo Agent: An agent appointed by an airline to solicit and process international air freight for shipments.
Carnet: A document with a dual purpose
Carrier: One who undertakes to transport goods, merchandise or people. (19CFR112.1)
Carrier Liability: The obligation to deliver merchandise to its proper destination with reasonable speed and in the same condition it was in when received from the shipper.
Cartage Agent: Ground service operator who provides pickup and delivery in areas not served directly by air carrier.
Case Lot Picking: Selection of full cases of a product when the order is less than a full pallet load.
Casual Labor: Temporary workers used to meet peak workloads.
Certificate Of Origin: A document certified as to the origin of goods.
Certificate Of Registration: A document used to authenticate the description of the contents, the means of conveyance, and the date of departure of merchandise exported from the U.S..
Cf: Cubic foot.
Cfr: Cost and freight. The seller must pay the cost and freight necessary to bring the goods to the port of destination, not including insurance. The goods must be cleared for export.
Chargeable Weight: The weight of the shipment used in determining air freight charges. The chargeable weight may be the dimensional
Charter: The renting of an entire vessel, or part of its space, for a particular trip or period of time.
Chocks: Triangular blocks of rubber, wood, or metal placed in front, between, or behind truck wheels to prevent accidental trailer movement.
Cif.: Cost, insurance and freight. CIP
City Terminal Service: A service provided by some airlines to accept shipments at the terminals of their cartage agents or other designated in-town terminals or to deliver shipments to these terminals at lower rates than those charged for door to door pickup and delivery service.
Class Rating: A single freight rate applicable to a group of commodities with similar attributes.
Clean Bill Of Lading: Document of receipt issued by the carrier when the goods are received in good order.
Clean Draft: A draft to which there are no attachments.
Clerical Error: An error made by a clerical level employee which does not involve knowledge of Customs matters. An error by a classifier would not fall into this area. An example would be number transposition, etc..
Collect Bill Of Lading: A bill of lading calling for charges to be paid by the consignee.
Collection: Item received by a bank subject to collection of proceeds before being credited to the depositors' account.
Collector Of Customs: The representative of the U.S. Treasury Department acting in connection with foreign traffic.
Commercial Invoice: An invoice required to be presented to Customs representing one shipment of merchandise by one consignor to one consignee by one vessel or conveyance which clearly identifies the product for classification and appraisement purposes.
Commingled Goods: The combining of merchandise in a shipment that makes the normal determination of duty impossible unless the importer segregates the merchandise or provides other proper evidence of the quantities of the various merchandise. (19CFR152.13)
Commission: An amount paid to the seller's agent or the buyer's agent. May be dutiable.
Commissioner: Commissioner of Customs. (19CFR114.1)
Commodity: A collection of materials or items with similar characteristics.
Commodity Rates: Fees applicable to a described commodity without regard to other freight classifications. Carriers typically charge commodity rates for a large movement made on a routine basis.
Common Carrier: A carrier that transports goods at any time to any location for any shipper on a non-discriminatory basis.
Computed Value: Approved additions of dutiable amounts accumulated to reach a value of merchandise for purposes of appraisement by Customs. (19CFR152.106)
Concealed Damage: Damage to merchandise that is not discovered until the shipment is unpacked.
Conditional Sales Contract: Merchandise that is sold under the condition that the title to the goods will not be transferred until full payment is received.
Conditions Of Contract: The terms and conditions established for a contract. These conditions are usually printed on the back of a waybill and include such items as limits of liability, claim limitation, indemnity, and dimensional weight rules.
Consigned Stock: Finished goods. Inventories in the hands of agents or dealers which are still the property of the supplier.
Consignee: A party to whom goods are delivered.
Consignee Marks: A symbol placed on packages for export for identification purposes.
Consignment: A movement in which the title to goods remains with the shipper until the buyer sells the goods.
Consignor: The party who originates a shipment of goods. (Shipper)
Consolidator: An entity that provides service also provided by a carrier, independent from that carrier, and derives income from package consolidation of others for tender to the carrier. A forwarder performs the functions of a consolidator.
Constructive Transfer: A legal function that permits acceptance of a Customs entry for merchandise in a zone before its physical transfer to the Customs territory. (19CFR146.1)
Consul: A government official residing in a foreign country who is charged with the representation of the interests of their country.
Consular Declaration: A formal statement describing goods to be shipped, made to the consul of the country of destination. Approval must be obtained prior to shipment.
Consular Invoice: An invoice for merchandise shipped from one country to another, prepared by the shipper and certified at the shipping point by a consul of the country of destination. The consul's certification applies to the value of the merchandise, the port of the shipment, the destination, and the place of actual origin of the merchandise.
Consulate: The jurisdiction, terms of office, or official premises of a consul.
Consumption Entry: An official form used for declaration of reported goods also showing the total duty due.
Container: An article of transport equipment, lift-van, movable tank or similar structure.
Container Station: A building, or part of a building, designated by the district director to serve as a receiving area for containerized cargo moved from the place of unlading for the purpose of breaking bulk and redelivering the cargo. (19CFR 19.40, 19.41)
Containerization: The practice or technique of using a boxlike device in which a number of packages are stored, protected, and handled as a single unit in transit.
Convertibility: The ability of a currency to be exchanged for another.
Co-Principal: When two people (eg
Countervailing Duty: The imposition of a special duty by the Customs service after the finding of foreign subsidies which influence the price paid or payable in the U.S. adversely affecting the domestic manufacturers.
Country Of Exportation: Usually but not necessarily the country in which merchandise was manufactured or produced and from which it was first exported.
Country Of Origin: The country where the goods are considered to have originated for customs purposes. The factors besides the cost of the materials involved are the cost of freight, insurance, packing, and all other costs of transferring the materials to the plant, waste, taxes and duty, etc..
Courier: Attendant who accompanies a shipment. Also, some courier companies provide a full transportation function, without accompanying attendants, offering door-to-door service for time sensitive documents or small packages on a same-day or next-day basis.
Cpt: Carriage paid to. The seller delivers the goods and pays the freight to the named destination.
Credit Risk Insurance: A form of insurance which protects the seller against loss due to default on the part of the buyer.
Cubic Capacity: The carrying capacity within a conveyance or container according to the measure in cubic feet.
Culpability: The degree to which an individual is responsible for a wrongdoing. The various degrees are Negligence, Gross negligence, and Fraud.
Custodial Bond: A basic covenant entered into by the obligators on a surety bond taken to secure the lawful activities of a custodian of any bonded articles, which describes the requirements of conveyance, protection, and general compliance in the handling of bonded merchandise. (19CFR113.63)
Customhouse: The government office where duties and/or taxes are placed on imports or exports and are paid.
Customhouse Broker: A person or firm, licensed by the Treasury department engaged in entering and clearing goods through Customs.
Customs: A Government authority designated to regulate the flow of goods to and from a country and to collect duties levied by a country on imports and or exports. The term also applies to the procedures involved in such collection.
Customs Court: A U.S. Customs Services court based in New York, N.Y., consisting of three 3-party divisions to which importers may appeal or 'protest' classification and value decisions and certain other actions taken by the U.S. Customs Service.
Customs Declaration: A statement, oral or written, attesting to the correctness of description, quantity, value, use, etc., of merchandise offered for importation into the United States.
Customs Invoice: A document that contains a declaration by the seller as to the value of the goods.
Customs Tariff: A schedule of charges assessed by the federal government on imported and/or exported goods.


D: A penny or pence.
D/A: Discharged afloat.
D.B. & B: Deals, battens and brands.
D.C.: Distribution center.
D/D: Date drafted.
D.L.O.: Dispatch loading only.
D.W.: Deadweight ton (2240 pounds).
D.W.C.: Deadweight for cargo. (bolded)
D/A: Discharged afloat.
D/A Sight Draft: Documents against acceptance.
D/D: Date drafted.
D/P: Direct port.
D/P: Direct port.
D/S: Days after sight.
Daf: Delivered At Frontier. The seller delivers the goods when they are placed at the disposal of the buyer, not unloaded, cleared for export, but not cleared for import at the named point before the customs border.
Dangerous Goods: Articles or substances that are capable of posing a significant risk to health, safety, or property when transported and which are classified according to the most current editions of the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods and the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.
Data Base: Data stored in a form that allows for flexible sortation and report generation.
Data Terminal: Point for the sending and receiving of information by computer.
Ddp: Delivered, duty paid. Seller delivers the goods cleared for import and duty paid, not unloaded.
Ddu: Delivered, duty unpaid. Duty is the responsibility of the buyer as well as clearing the goods for import.
Dead Storage: Product which does not move in or out of its storage location once it has been received.
Deck: The upper or lower surface of a pallet.
Deck Opening: The space between the deckboards of a pallet.
Deckboards: The planks of a pallet deck.
Declared Value (Cartage): The value of goods declared to the carrier by the shipper for the purposes of determining charges or of establishing the limit of carriers liability for loss, damage, or delay.
Declared Value (Customs): The selling price of the contents or the replacement cost if the contents are not for resale. The value must be equal to or greater than the declared value above.
Deductive Value: A method of determining value for appraisement purposes if transaction value doesn't apply. From the 'sale price' various things are deducted to arrive at the appraised value. (19CFR152.105)
Deferred Freight: Freight requiring dependable, reliable service, but at a less time sensitive nature, with delivery provided over a period of days.
Deferred Payment L.C.: A letter of credit under which payment is deferred to a determinable future date.
Delay: The amount of time in excess of the scheduled time for a movement.
Delivered Price: A price for the merchandise that includes transportation charges to a delivery point agreed upon by the seller and buyer.
Delivery Cycle: The time from receipt of an order to the time of customer receipt of the product.
Delivery Receipt: A carrier prepared form that is signed by the consignee at the time of delivery.
Demurrage: Excess time taken for loading or unloading of a vessel not caused by the vessel operator, but due to the charterer or shipper.
Depreciation: An accounting term that signifies the process of allocating the costs of plant and equipment to the accounting periods in which they are used .
Deq: Delivered ex quay-duty paid. Ownership changes on the wharf after entry has been made and duty paid. Buyer must clear the goods for import.
Des: Delivered ex ship. Buyer takes possession at the port of arrival, on the ship, uncleared.
Deterioration: Any reduction in the quality, value or usefulness of merchandise.
Detrimental Reliance: A reasonable reliance" upon either a ruling letter or "treatment previously accorded by Customs to substantially identical transactions" over a period of at least 2 years. As a direct consequence of that "reasonable reliance" the party must have suffered to their detriment.
"Devaluation: A government decision to lower the trade value of a nation's currency with respect to other currencies by reducing the gold content or by revising the ratio to a new standard.
Developed Countries: A term used to distinguish the more industrialized nations.
Developing Countries: A broad range of countries that lack a high degree of industrialization, infrastructure and other capital investment, sophisticated technology, widespread literacy, and advanced living standards.
Differentiation: The strategy of producing a unique product that is clearly distinct from, and superior in performance than competing products.
Diligence: A requirement of a broker to handle all financial settlements, correspondence, or the filing of documents relating to their brokerage business with due diligence. (19CFR111.29)
Dimension: A measured distance between two ends of a scrap or bulk piece of wood that is to be remanufactured into a piece of pallet.
Dimensional Weight: Refers to weight per cubic foot, etc.. The weight of a shipment per cubic foot is one of the most important transportation characteristics, directly involving such factors as the efficient loading and economy of freight traffic. Some commodities have a high density, such as machinery, while others have a low density, such as ladies hats. Hence, the dimensional weight rule was developed as a practice applicable to low density shipments under which the transportation charges are based on a cubic dimensional weight rather than upon the actual weight.
Distribution: The activities and planning required to move product from the end of a production line to the final user.
Distribution Center: A warehouse for finished goods.
Distribution System: The system and processes of transporting the goods within and between plants, warehouses, and other facilities.
Distributor: A foreign agent who sells directly for a manufacturer and maintains an inventory on hand.
Dm: Dekameter
Dm: Dekameter
Dock: The sorting or staging platform to where shipments are loaded or unloaded.
Dock Facing: The protective large timbers that are found immediately to the sides of a dock door at floor level.
Dock Leveler: A manually or hydraulically operated plate, located at the dock entrance, that can be raised or lowered approximately one foot to accommodate varying trailer floor heights.
Dock Plate: A movable metal ramp allowing access to a rail car or trailer.
Dock Receipt: A receipt given for a shipment received or delivered at a shipment pier. When delivery of a foreign shipment is completed, the dock receipt is surrendered to the vessel operator or his agent and serves as the basis for the preparation of the ocean bill of lading.
Documentary Draft: A draft to which documents are attached, which are to be delivered to the drawee when he accepts or pays the accompanying draft, and which ordinarily controls title to the merchandise indicated thereon.
Documentation And Transportation.:
Draft: A demand for payment. A signed order by one party, the drawer, addressed to another, the drawee, directing the drawee to pay a specified sum to the order of a third party, the payee, at a certain date.
Drawback: A refund or remission in whole or part of a Customs duty, revenue tax, or fee lawfully assessed or collected because of a particular use made of the merchandise on which the duty, tax or fee was assessed or collected. (19USE191.2)
Dumping: Under U.S. law, the sale of an imported commodity in the United States at 'less than fair market value' - usually considered to be a price lower than that at which it is sold within the exporting country or to third countries.
Dunnage: Packing materials used on board a vessel solely for the purpose of blocking, bracing or otherwise securing cargo while in transit and subject to shifting.
Duty: Customs duties and internal revenue taxes which attach upon importation.


E&O: Errors and omissions excepted.
E.A.O.N.: Except as otherwise noted.
E.B.: Eastbound
E.D.I.: Electronic data interchange.
E.E.: Errors accepted.
E.L.Q.: Economic logistics quantity. That order quantity which will minimize total logistics costs in the shipment. It must minimize any combination of purchasing costs, traffic costs, and storage costs in the shipment.
E.O.Q.: Electronic order quantity. A concept which determines the optimal order quantity on the basis of ordering and carrying costs.
E.T.A.: Estimated time of arrival.
Electronic Mail: Available on a computer network, either intercompany, or intracompany. It allows for the distribution of messages to one or several recipients.
Electronic Protection: A security system using electronic detection such as motion sensors, door and window contacts, and light beams to notify a monitoring station of unauthorized entry to a building or on the grounds.
Elkins Act: A law prohibiting the offering or receipt of any rebate, concession, or discrimination in the transportation fees charged to the shipper. It makes the carrier and the shipper equally responsible for violations to the Interstate Commerce Act.
Embargo: Temporary refusal by a government or governments to allow goods to or from a country or location. Also a temporary suspension of trade of a particular commodity.
Entry: The documentation to be filed with the appropriate Customs officer to secure the release of imported merchandise from Customs custody or the act of filing that documentation. (19CFR141.0)
Est: Estimated.
Est. Wt.: Estimated weight
Et.Al.: And other.
Eurodollar: A currency market in which U.S. dollar deposits are accepted by banks in other countries, generally in Western Europe and Japan, and made available for lending or investing.
Ex Dock: The seller is obligated to place the specified goods at the specified price on the import dock clear of all customs and duty requirements.
Ex Factory: The buyer is obligated to pick the goods up from the seller at his dock and move the goods as well as pay all charges from that point forward.
Ex Mill: The seller is obligated to place the specified quantity of goods at the specified price at his mill loaded on trucks, railroad cars, or any other specified means of transport.
Excelsior: A material made of shredded or curled pieces of wood used for cushioning a package.
Exception Rate: Rates set at a certain percentage above the general commodity rates because they apply to commodities that require special handling such as live animals, human remains, automotive vehicles, etc..
Excise Tax: A selective tax, sometimes called a consumption tax, on certain goods produced within or imported to a country.
Exempt Carrier: A carrier that is non-regulated and participates in interstate commerce of commodities that have been declared exempt of regulation.
Eximbank: Export-Import Bank of the United States in Washington, D.C. An independent corporate agency of the U.S. Government which assists the financing of U.S. export trade.
Expediting: The activity of tracing and reducing time for the transportation of merchandise.
Export: The sending of goods to a foreign country.
Export Broker: One who brings together the buyer and seller for a fee and then withdraws from the transaction.
Export Declaration: A formal statement made to the collector of customs at a port of exit declaring full particulars about goods being exported.
Export License: A permit required to engage in the export of certain commodities to certain destinations. Lists of such goods are found in the comprehensive Export Schedules issued by the Bureau of Foreign Commerce.
Export Merchant: A producer or merchant who sells directly to a foreign purchaser without going through an intermediary.
Export Rate: A freight rate specially established for application on export traffic and generally lower than the domestic rate.
Extension Forks: Attachments placed on the forks of a lift truck which lengthen the forks for moving longer items.


F.A.A.: Free of all averages.
F.A.K.: Freight of all kinds. The broadest of the generic class rates published by carriers. FAK rates allow shippers to mix loads that under other rate category agreements would have to be shipped under separate rates.
F.C.I.A.: Foreign Credit Insurance Association. An association of leading insurance companies operating in cooperation with, and as agent of, the Export-Import Bank of the United States. If offers insurance policies protecting U.S. exporters against the risk of nonpayment by foreign debtors.
F.C.S.: Free of capture and seizure.
F.D.: Free discharge.
F.F.A.: Free from average.
F.I.A.: Full interest admitted.
F.I.F.O.: First in, first out. A method of inventory rotation in which the oldest items are shipped out before the newer arrivals.
F.I.W.: Free in wagon.
F.M.: Fine measurement.
F.O.W.: First open water.
F.R.&C.C.: Free of riot and civil commotion.
F.T.Z.: Free trade zone.
F/A: Free astray.
F/B: Freight bill.
Fas.: Free Alongside Ship. The seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been placed alongside the vessel, on the quay, or in lighters at the named port of shipment.
Fca: Free Carrier. The seller delivers the goods, cleared for export, to the carrier chosen by the buyer at the named place.
Federal Aviation Admin.: The Federal Aviation Agency charged with the responsibility of promulgating operational standards and procedures for all classes of aviation in the United States.
Fill Rate: A measurement of how well a given inventory is meeting service objectives. It is calculated commonly by dividing the number of orders filled by the total orders within a given period.
Fire Curtain: Curtain made of fire-resistant material to prevent a fire from spreading from one side of the curtain to the other.
Fire Pallet: Portable platform designed to hold fire extinguishers and other fire-fighting equipment to be moved by lift truck to the scene of a fire.
Fire Wall: A wall made of fire-retardant material to prevent the spreading of a fire.
Firing Point: The temperature required for the vapor of a liquid to be in sufficient quantity to provide a continuous flame.
Fixed Beam Scanner: A bar code scanner that is stationary and which reads codes as items pass by it.
Fixed Inventory System: An inventory reordering system in which goods are supplied at fixed intervals. The size of the lot varies according to replenishment needs.
Fixed Location System: An inventory system in which the location of a product never varies.
Fixed Order Quantity: An inventory reordering system where the order size is constant, but the time interval between orders vary.
Flash Point: The minimum temperature at which the vapors of a volatile liquid or solid will ignite.
Floating Slot System: A merchandise locator and storage system in which stock locations are assigned on a random basis according to space availability.
Floor Load: Goods are stacked just one pallet or container high in a warehouse.
Floor Load Rating: The maximum weight that can safely be supported by a warehouse floor (pounds per square foot).
Fob.: Free On Board. The seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods pass the ship's rail at the named port of shipment.
Foreign Buying Office: A separate buying office reporting to the headquarters purchasing department. This department buys all foreign purchased items, for all the company's operations, direct from the foreign suppliers.
Foreign Sales Agent: An agent residing in a foreign country who acts as a salesman for a domestic manufacturer.
Foreign Trade Zones: An isolated, enclosed, and policed area, operated as a public utility in or adjacent to a port of entry. It is furnished with facilities for loading, unloading, handling, sorting, manipulating, manufacturing, and exhibiting goods and for reshipping them by land, sea, or air. Any foreign and domestic merchandise, except those prohibited by law, may be brought into a zone without being subject to U.S. custom law.
Fork Pockets: Space under containers to allow entry of the forks of a forklift truck.
Forklift Truck: A motorized load carrying device which can raise and lower freight for stacking and move freight to different locations.
Forks: The flat metal appendages mounted on lift trucks to facilitate the movement of merchandise on pallets.
Foul Bill Of Lading: A receipt for goods issued by a carrier bearing a notation that the outward containers or goods have been damaged.
Free Carrier: The seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when he has handed over the goods, cleared for export, into the charge of the carrier named by the buyer at the named place or point.
Free Domicile: A term used in international transportation where the shipper pays all transportation charges and any applicable duties and/or taxes.
Free In And Out: Cost of loading and unloading a vessel is borne by the shipper.
Free Of Capture And Seizure: An insurance clause providing that loss is not insured if due to capture, seizure, confiscation and like actions, whether legal or not, or from such acts as piracy, civil war, rebellion, and civil strife.
Free Of Particular Average: A marine insurance clause providing that partial loss or damage is not insured.
Free Out: The cost of unloading a vessel is borne by the shipper.
Free Trade Zone: A predetermined area or region declared and secured by or under governmental authority where certain operations may be performed with respect to articles without such articles having entered into the commerce of the country maintaining the free trade zone. (19CFR10.175)
Freight: Property, commodities of all kinds, including small package service tendered for transportation. Does not include mail, express, or passenger baggage.
Freight Broker: A person or company licensed by the ICC that arranges for the transportation of goods between points in interstate commerce by motor carrier.
Freight Forwarder: One who engages in the business of dispatching shipments on behalf of other persons, for consideration, in foreign or domestic commerce between the U.S., its territories or possessions, and foreign countries, and of handling the formalities incident to such shipments, and who is authorized to so operate by any agency of the U.S.. (19CFR112.1)
Ft.: Foot.
Fungible Merchandise: Merchandise which, for commercial purposes, is identical and interchangeable in all situations. (19CFR191.2)
Further Review: A request for review of the decision which is the subject of the protest by Customs officers on a higher level than the district, and in Region II by Customs officers who did not participate directly in the decision which is the subject of the protest. (19CFR174.1)


G.O.: General order. (19CFR127) Merchandise not entered within 5 working days after arrival of the carrier with intent to unload, and then stored at the risk and expense of the importer.
G.O.H.: Goods on hangers.
G.S.P.: General system of preferences. Provides for duty free treatment for eligible articles imported directly from designated beneficiary developing countries. These countries must be designated by the President, by executive order.
G.T.: Gross ton.
Gantry Crane: Used in the warehouse facilities where oversized or very heavy items such as pipe, steel, and heavy machinery must be loaded onto trucks or rail cars.
Gatt: General agreement on tariffs and trade. Also known as the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations comprising a comprehensive set of trade agreements between parties to this agreement. Parties include the U.S. and numerous Asian Pacific and European countries.
General Commodities: Any commodity that does not include the following
General Declaration: A CF 7505 certification which is required to be filed by the commander or authorized person of an aircraft arriving from outside the U.S..
General Merchandise Ware: The most common type of warehouse. These warehouses store almost every kind of merchandise and may be public or private.
General Order: Articles taken into Customs custody and placed in a public store or general order warehouse by the district director at the risk and expense of the consignee. (19CFR127.1)
Girth: The measurement around the sides of a container.
Glued Loading: A method of loading pallets that involves applying glue to the touching sides of containers on a pallet.
Gm: Gram.
Gravity Chute: A chute or trough used to load commodities by gravity.
Gross Weight: The weight of both the container and its contents.


H.T.S.: Harmonized Tariff Schedules. A multipurpose international goods classification system designed to be used by manufacturers, transporters, exporters, importers, Customs, statisticians, and others in classifying goods moving in international trade under a single commodity code.
Hand Truck: A device used to manually transport goods in which a metal plate is slid under the load, then truck and load are tilted and/or lifted toward the operator and moved.
Handling: The movement of materials or merchandise.
Hazardous Commodity: Material that may be dangerous to move or to store. It may be subject to explosion, burn, emit dangerous fumes, or be caustic in nature.
Hepburn Act: This act allowed the ICC to prescribe the maximum rates that carriers could charge.
Hhd: Hogshead.
Hold Order: A directive to interrupt or terminate certain operations, pending a change in process.
Hot Load: A rush shipment.
Ht: Height
Hundredweight Pricing: Special pricing for multiple-piece shipments traveling to one destination which are rated on the total weight of the shipment as opposed to rating on a per package basis.


I.A.T.A.: International Air Transport Association. The trade and service organization for airlines of more than 100 countries serving international routes.
I.C.C.: Interstate Commerce Commission. A federal agency formed to administer the Interstate Commerce Act to ensure fair competition.
I.R.R.: Internal rate of return.
Identical Merchandise: Merchandise identical in all aspects to, and produced in the same country and by the same person as the merchandise currently being appraised. (19ZCFR152.102)
Immediate Delivery: A procedure allowing more rapid release to importers of imports arriving into the United States each year. Under the immediate delivery program, an importer can take delivery almost immediately of virtually all of the incoming shipments.
Immediate Transport. Entry: A Customs form declaring goods for transportation by a bonded carrier from a port of entry to a bonded warehouse at an inland port.
Import Broker: For a fee, the broker" or "agent" will locate vendors and handle the required paperwork. Title passes directly to the buying organization.
"Import License: A document required and issued by some national governments authorizing the importation of goods into their individual countries.
Import Merchant: A merchant who buys overseas for his own account for the purpose of later resale, handling all details of import
Import Quota: A fixed amount of goods that a government will allow to be imported within a specified period of time. An amount that usually reflects balance of trade and other political and economic considerations.
Import Rate: A rate established specifically for application on import traffic and generally less, when published, than a domestic rate.
Imported Directly: The direct shipment of goods from a designated country to the U.S. without passing through the territory of any nonmember country.
Importer: The person primarily liable for the payment of duties on imported merchandise, or an authorized agent working on his behalf. (19CFR101.1)
Improved In Condition: Generally, a substantial transformation in a product other than a change incidental to an operation of assembly or other incidental action, including cleaning, lubricating, or painting, but does include any substantial advancement in the product.
In Apparent Good Order: A shipment not showing any visible loss or damage.
In-And-Out Costs: The total labor costs associated with receiving, moving to storage, retrieving, preparing for shipping, and loading merchandise.
In-Bond: The transfer of materials that are to be forwarded in-bond" from the importing carrier at the port of entry to the on-forwarding carrier. (19CFR18.2)
"Inbound Logistics: The portion of the logistics operations that involves the movement of materials and products into a company's production processes or storage facilities.
Incidental Damages: Damages other than the physical loss or damage to goods. These include overhead, lost cash opportunity, employee time, and filing costs that are generally not recouped in the claims process.
Indent: A requisition for goods enumerating conditions of the sale.
Independent Carrier: An individual who is the owner and operator of his own trucking equipment and provides transportation services to others.
Indirect Exporting: Sale by the exporter to the buyer through a domestically located intermediary.
Informal Entry: A simplified import entry procedure accepted at the option of Customs for any noncommercial shipment and any commercial shipment not over $1,250 in value.
Inherent Nature Of The Goods: A freight claim term indicating that the goods have a potential risk of deteriorating while en-route.
Inland Carrier: A transportation line which hauls export or import traffic between two ports and inland points.
Instruments Of Inter. Traffic: An article of transport equipment, such as lift-van, movable tank and normal accessories and equipment, or similar structures of a permanent character and accordingly strong enough to be suitable for repeated use.
Intercity Freight: Merchandise which is transported from one city to another.
Interline Freight: Merchandise which is transported by two or more carriers.
Intermodel Compatibility: The capability which enables a shipment to be transferred from one form of transport to another.
Interstate Commerce: The transportation of merchandise across state lines. Regulatory matters fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government through the Interstate Commerce Commission.
In-Transit Storage: A warehouse to store merchandise while in transit to the final destination.
Invoice: A commercial document in a form consistent with the trade identifying both buyer and seller, reflecting the price actually paid or payable, the terms of sale, the currency used for payment, the articles sold, and other specific information required to substantiate the statistical reporting requirements and to arrive at the transaction value of the product for duty assessment purposes. (19CFR141.83)


J.I.T.: Just in time. The principle of production and inventory control that prescribes precise controls for the movement of raw materials, component parts, and work in progress. Goods arrive when needed for production or use rather than becoming expensive inventory that occupies costly warehouse space.
J-List: A specific list of articles which are exempted from the requirements of country of origin marking requirements. (19CFR134.33)
Joint Rate: A single rate applied to transportation services when two or more carriers share responsibility for transporting a shipment.
Judicial Review: A civil action filed in the United States Court of International Trade by a protestant after a protest has been denied in whole or in part. (19CFR174.31)


K.D.F. Cartons: Knock down flat carton. Unassembled packages.
Keg: A small barrel.
Kg: Kilogram.
Kickback: A rebate, usually given by a transportation firm.
Kilogram: A metric measure of weight equal to 2.2046 pounds.
Kitting: Light assembly of component parts, often performed in a warehouse.
Knock-Down: When articles are taken apart for the purpose of reducing the cubic space of the shipment.


L&D: Loss and damage. This term usually applies to a loss or damage that is discovered at the time of delivery.
L&R: Lake and rail.
L.A.: Letter of authority.
L.C.L.: Less than carload. The term used for a railroad shipment that weighs less than the minimum necessary for the application of the carload rate.
L.T.L.: Less than truckload. The term is used for a shipment that weighs less than the minimum necessary for the application of the truckload rate.
Letter Of Credit (L.C.): A method of payment for goods in which the buyer establishes his credit with a local bank, clearly describing the goods to be purchased, the price, the documentation required, and the limit for completion of the transaction. Upon receipt of documentation, the bank is either paid by the buyer or takes title to the goods themselves and proceeds to transfer funds to the seller. The banks insist upon complete compliance with the terms of the sale, and will not pay if there are discrepancies. The L.C. is issued by the buyer's bank and accepted by the seller's bank.
Labor Costs: The hourly labor costs associated with the operation in question.
Landing Requirements: The stipulation that the first landing of an aircraft entering the U.S. must be at an international airport unless the aircraft is landing due to an emergency or is forced to land.
Laser Scanner: Bar-code reading devices that range in size from small hand-held units to larger, fixed beam scanners.
Lash Vessel: A lighter-abroad ship used to transport product from a mother ship to a nearby destination. (19CFR4.81)
Lat: Latitude.
Latent Defects: Faults which are not readily apparent through normal diligence.
Lateral Collapse: the failure of pallet joints due to extreme forces.
Lay Days: The dates between which a chartered vessel is to be available in a port of loading.
Lay Order: An order issued by the district director allowing cargo to remain on the wharf or pier where discharged beyond 5 P.M. on the 5th working day after the day the vessel was entered.
Layer: One complete row of boxes on a pallet or unitized stock.
Layout: The design and storage areas and aisles of a warehouse.
Lazaretto: A place set apart in quarantine for fumigating goods.
Ldg: Loading.
Lead Time: The period of time elapsing between when an order is placed and the order is received in storage.
Legal Weight: The weight of the goods and the interior packaging but not the container.
Length Block: A pallet pattern in which package lengths are loaded parallel to the pallet length.
Letter Of Credit (L.C.): A method of payment for goods in which the buyer establishes his credit with a local bank, clearly describing the goods to be purchased, the price, the documentation required, and the limit for completion of the transaction. Upon receipt of documentation, the bank is either paid by the buyer or takes title to the goods themselves and proceeds to transfer funds to the seller. The banks insist upon complete compliance with the terms of the sale, and will not pay if there are discrepancies. The L.C. is issued by the buyer's bank and accepted by the seller's bank.
Lien: A legal claim placed upon merchandise pending payment.
Lifo: Last in, first out. A method of inventory rotation where goods are cycled so that the newest items in inventory are shipped first.
Light Money: A duty of $.50 a ton collected on all non-U.S. vessels, except vessels owned by U.S. citizens, that arrive at a U.S. port and become a registered U.S. vessel before leaving. (19CFR4.20)
Lighterman: One who transports goods or merchandise on a barge, scow, or other small vessel within the port, or from a place within a port. (19CFR112.1)
Line-Haul Rate: The term refers to the three basic types of rates charged for transportation services by common carriers
Liquidated Damages: A demand for payment made against both the principal and surety of a bond taken to insure compliance with any Customs law or regulation when there is a breach of any of the bond conditions. (19CFR172.1)
Liquidation: The final computation of the duties or drawback accruing on an entry.
Load: Materials and merchandise being moved in small or large amounts such as on a pallet, or in a container, etc..
Load Design: The designation of a safe load limit based on a probability of failure of the load platform.
Load Platform: The surface of a shelf or pallet on which merchandise is placed.
Load-Carrying Capacity: The capability to support a given weight that is within design and performance criteria for the load platform or storage rack.
Loading System: A method of building unitized loads. Some of the most common systems are
Local Area Network: Workstations that link employees to allow date sharing, data assembly, and data manipulation. Information can be passed on with a minimum of effort and paper work associated with it can be minimized.
Logistics: The management of both inbound and outbound materials, parts, supplies and finished goods. Includes such activities as: production scheduling, forecasting, customer service, order entry, inventory control, and product allocation among customers.
Ltge: Lighterage.


M.F.N.: Most favored nation. Preferential duty treatment granted to countries with M.F.N. status.
M.P.F.: Merchandise Processing Fee. A fee collected by the U.S. Customs Service representing a service charge for clearing U.S. Customs.
M.R.O.: Maintenance, repair, and operating items and supplies. Includes all items used in maintaining, repairing and operating a facility.
M.R.P.: Material requirement planning.
Manifest: A detailed summary of the total cargo of a vessel which is used principally for Customs purposes.
Manipulation: (bolded) An application to manipulate on Customs Form CF3499 to clean, sort, repack, or otherwise change in condition (not manufacture) articles that have been entered into a bonded warehouse. (19CFR19.11)
Manufacturer'S Export Agent: A firm that acts as an export sales agent for several non-competing manufacturers. Business is transacted under the name of the agent firm.
Manufacturing Warehouse: A building or part of a building that is designated by the district director to produce articles in whole or in part of imported materials, while under bond, or of materials subject to internal revenue tax, and intended for exportation without being charged with duty, and without having an internal revenue stamp affixed thereto. (19CFR19.13)
Maquiladora: The Maquiladora (or in-bond" industry) program allows foreign manufacturers to ship components into Mexico duty free for assembly and subsequent re-export.
"Marine Insurance: An insurance which will compensate the owner of goods transported overseas in the event of loss which cannot be legally recovered from the carrier.
Marking (Country Of Origin): The requirement for every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. to be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article will permit, in such manner as to indicate to an ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article. (19CFR134.11)
Marking (Marks): Letters, numbers and other symbols placed on cargo packages to facilitate identification.
Master Air Waybill: An air waybill issued by the originating airline when more than one airline is involved with a shipment, or when a freight forwarder issues a house air waybill.
Materials Warehouse: A warehouse used exclusively for the storage of raw materials.
Mdse: Merchandise.
Merchandise Warehouse: A public warehouse for the storage and distribution of products that do not require refrigeration for their preservation.
Mitigating Factors: Factors which, when proven to exist, lessen the severity of a penalty. Such factors include
Modem: A computer attachment that allows the transmission of information over normal telephone lines between computers.
Motor Carrier Act Of 1980: Legislation deregulating the motor carrier industry. Major provisions include giving carriers the freedom to adjust rates with a 'zone of reasonableness' without ICC approval greatly reducing authority of rate bureaus, reducing entry restrictions and barriers allowing for greater competition, and allowing inter-corporate hauling by private carriers. It also allows carriers to have both common and contract authority.
Multiple Regression Analysis: A mathematical technique for identifying variables, defining work content, and explaining how they affect the time to perform a task.


N.A.F.T.A.: North America Free Trade Agreement.
N.E.S.: Not elsewhere specified.
N.I.S.: Not in stock.
N.O.E.: Not elsewhere enumerated.
N.O.H.P.: Not otherwise herein provided.
N.O.I.B.N.: Not otherwise indexed by name. A rate classification that is similar to F.A.K. but not as broad. It covers all commodities which are not specifically covered by the tariff.
N.O.S.: Not otherwise specified.
N.S.P.F.: Not specifically provided for.
Negotiable Warehouse Receipt: A legal certification that listed goods are held in a public warehouse. The certificate can be purchased or sold, thus transferring title to the goods.
Nested: The process of packing articles so that they rest partially or entirely within one another, thereby reducing the total cubic foot displacement.
Net Weight: Weight of the goods alone without any immediate wrappings
Neutralized or neutralization:The process of removing all identifiable marking from a container in order to prevent confusion as to ownership.
Noncontiguous Territory: All the island territories and possessions of the U.S., but does not include the canal zone. (19CFR4.0)
Non-Perishable: (bolded) Items that do not spoil or deteriorate rapidly.
Nonresident: An individual who does not reside within, or a partnership without any partners residing within, the Customs territory of the U.S., or the U.S. Virgin Islands, or a corporation not incorporated in and not maintaining jurisdiction within the Customs territory of the U.S., or in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (19CFR141.31)
Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (Nvocc): A cargo consolidator of small shipments in ocean trade, generally soliciting business and arranging for or performing containerization functions at the port.
Nstd: Nested.


O&R: Ocean and rail.
O.E.M.: Original equipment manufacturer.
O.R.M.: Other regulated material.
O.S.: Out of Stock.
O.S.&D. Report: Over, short, and damage report prepared by the warehouse receiver. It provides the raw material for settlement of a potential claim against the shipper and/or the common carrier.
O.S.H.A.: Occupational Safety and Health Act. A federal law to regulate and inspect safety practices in the workplace. Also Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
O.T.: On truck or railway.
O/A: Open Account.
O/N: Order notify.
Obligors: All principals and sureties so shown on a Customs Bond or other financial guarantees required to be given under the Customs laws to secure a transaction by specifically binding such parties to certain described covenants.
Ocean Bill Of Lading: A receipt for cargo and a contract for transportation between a shipper and the ocean carrier.
Offset: A government imposed restriction on the amount of certain goods that can be imported and that must be balanced by an equal amount of goods exported.
On Board Bill Of Lading: A bill of lading issued by the steamship company confirming the receipt of merchandise and the fact that it was loaded on board the ocean vessel.
On-Hand Notice: A carrier-prepared document used to notify the consignor and the consignee that a delivery cannot be completed, usually for reasons beyond the carrier's control.
One trip condition: One trip containers are manufactured overseas; mainly in Asia and are shipped with a single container cargo load.  Once the container reaches its destination they are often available for sale.  These containers are an excellent choice because they have not spent time deteriorating on the ocean or in a container depot/terminals. One trip containers have not been handled as many time so they do not have dents, dings and surface rust like used "AS IS" containers. Most consider these containers and often refer to them as “new” or in “like new” condition. Keep in mind that these containers have made one trip across the ocean and have been handled by container lifts and trucks so they often have a few scratches and a possible dent or two.  One trip containers are available worldwide in most port locations.
Open Insurance Policy: A marine insurance policy that applies to all shipments made by an exporter over a period of time rather than to a single shipment.
Opportunity Costs: The expected returns of one activity which are foregone in order to pursue other activities or projects. This term is often used in financial evaluation of project feasibility, and refers to the foregone investment in comparable securities.
Optical Scanners: Reading devices used in material handling to automatically record and count to complete sortation, stocking and picking.
Order Bill Of Lading: A form used by the shipper when payment is desired before goods are delivered to the consignee. This bill allows the shipment to be turned over only to the person named specifically thereon.
Order Clerk: The person responsible for reading and ensuring the accuracy of orders.
Order Notify: A document used for goods consigned or destined to the order of a person or company named on the bill of lading.
Original Equipment Manufacturer: A manufacturer of products which become components or parts of the product of a second manufacturer.
Originating Carrier: The first carrier to receive a shipment of merchandise from the shipper.
Outage: A quantity of some item lost in transportation or storage.
Outside Dimension (O.D.): The exterior dimension of a container or package. In drums it is the diameter measured over the rolling hoops.
Outward Foreign Voyage: A vessel's route of progress commencing at the port where cargo or passengers are first laden for carriage to a foreign destination and terminating at the port of final discharge of outbound passengers or cargo. (19CFR4.90)
Overhead Cost: The costs which are not directly attributable to a specific item, but are still part of the total cost. They include janitorial costs, heat, power, light, maintenance, depreciation, taxes and insurance.
Overshipment: A shipment containing more than originally ordered.


P.A.: Particular average.
P.D.: Per diem.
P.O.A.: Power of attorney.
P.O.D.: Proof of delivery.
P.O.E.: Point of embarkation.
P.P.: Purchased price.
P.W.: Packed weight.
Packaging System: Designed to provide protection, containment, information, and utility for the goods.
Packing: The cost of all containers, coverings of whatever nature, and packing, whether for labor or materials, used in placing merchandise in condition, packed ready for shipment to the U.S.
Packing List: Usually issued in conjunction with a supplier's invoice detailing the types of merchandise, size and quantity per shipping unit.
Pallet: A device used for moving and storing freight. It is used as a base for assembling, storing, stacking, handling, and transporting goods as a unit load.
Pallet Jack: A walk behind fork lift that raises pallet loads 4-6 inches above the floor for movement within a warehouse.
Par Value: The official fixed exchange rate between two currencies.
Parcel Inventory: A count performed on a specific number of items in stock at regular intervals.
Parcel Receipt: Receipt given by a steamship company for a parcel shipment.
Particular Average: Partial loss or damage to goods.
Patent: A government grant of certain rights given to an inventor for a limited time. The most important of these rights is the one under which the patented invention can be made, used or sold only with the authorization of the patent owner.
Penalty (Notice Of): A Notice of Penalty on Customs Form CF5955 is a formal notice that an act or omission has occurred that is in violation of a law or regulation administered by Customs, and that retribution has been demanded therefore, in the form of a fine or forfeiture.
Perils Of The Sea: Those causes of loss of goods for which the carrier is not legally liable. The elemental risk of ocean transport.
Perishable: Merchandise which spoils or decays rapidly and usually requires specialized containers or temperature control.
Permit File Folder: The up-to-date record of all goods held in a bonded warehouse by entry. (19CFR19.12)
Permit To Proceed: A CF 1301, permit to travel between domestic ports with cargo or passengers on board. (19CFR4.85)
Permitted Merchandise: Merchandise is permitted when Customs authorizes the carrier bringing the shipment to the port to make delivery to the consignee or the next carrier. (19CFR158.1)
Petition: A formal, written supplication addressed to the Commissioner of Customs, seeking mitigation or discharge of a fine, penalty, or forfeiture incurred under any law administered by Customs (19CFR171). Also, a request for the district director to correct a clerical error, mistake of fact, or inadvertence in an entry within the legal time frames (19CFR173.4).
Phytosanitary Inspection Certificate: A certificate issued by the US Department of Agriculture to satisfy import regulations of foreign countries indicating that a US shipment has been inspected and is free from harmful pests and plant diseases.
Pickup Order: The cargo control form specially demanded by the district director and accompanying a release by U.S. Customs of imported cargo due to the volume of cargo handled at a particular port
Piggy Back (Pig): To transport trailers via railway flat cars.
Port Marks: An identifying set of letters, numbers and/or geometric symbols followed by the name of the port of destination which are placed on export shipments. Foreign government requirements may be exceedingly strict in the manner of port marks.
Port Of Entry: A port at which foreign goods are admitted into the receiving country.
Power Of Attorney: A Customs Form (CF5291) document which empowers one individual or entity to act on behalf of the issuer or principal, without limiting such actions to specifically designated Customs business, as opposed to a limited power of attorney granting restricted authority. (19CFR, Sec. 141.31-46).
Ppd: Prepaid.
Prepaid Freight: Freight paid by the shipper to the carrier when merchandise is tendered for shipment.
Price Paid Or Payable: Most common method of appraisement of imported merchandise in the currency of the purchase. The actual price paid, or agreed to be paid, for the goods.
Principal: An obligatory, generally the importer of record. The person(s) or entity accepting primary responsibility for all government debts secured by a bond as evidenced by the principal's name and authorized signature on a bond. (19CFR113)
Private Carrier: A company that provides its own transportation, either through leased or owned equipment.
Pro Formal Invoice: An invoice provided by a supplier prior to the shipment of merchandise, informing the buyer of the kinds and quantities of goods to be sent, their value, and important specifications (weight, size, etc.).
Proof Of Delivery: Information supplied to payer containing the name of the person who signed for the package with the time and date of delivery.
Protest: A protest is the legal means by which an importer, consignee or other designated party may challenge decisions made by a district director of Customs.
Purchase Order: A form sent to a supplier that contains all information relevant to the purchase transaction. It describes the products including prices, shipping terms, and delivery expectations.
Purchase Price: A statutory term used to refer to the United States sales price of merchandise which is sold or likely to be sold prior to the date of importation by the producer or reseller of the merchandise for exportation to the United States.
Purchasing Agent: An agent who purchases goods in his/her own country on behalf of large foreign buyers such as government agencies and private corporations.


Quality Control: The evaluating of an item or process to determine if it meets predetermined guidelines and specifications.
Quantitative Restrictions: Explicit limits or quotas on physical amounts of particular commodities that can be imported or exported during a specified time period by volume or value.
Quota (Absolute): Quota which permits a limited number of units of specified merchandise to be entered for consumption during specific periods. (19CFR, Sec. 132.1)
Quota (Tariff Rate): Quota which permits a specified quantity of merchandise to be entered for consumption at a reduced duty rate during a specific period.
Quotation: An offer to sell goods at a stated price and under stated terms.


R & L: Rail and lake.
R & O: Rail and ocean.
R.C. & L.: Rail, canal, and lake.
R.I.T.: Refining in transit.
Rate Files: The collection of transportation rates and arrangements of various classes and commodities.
Rate Of Exchange: The rate of currency exchange established daily as the buying rate of foreign currency by the Federal Reserve Bank. The daily rate is used only when it varies by more than 5 percent from the quarterly rate. When applicable, the daily rate is the rate certified on the day of exportation. (19CFR159.35)
Reactivation: A resumption of the activated status of an entire area that was previously deactivated without any change in the operator or the area boundaries. (19CFR146.1)
Reasonable Care: A legal doctrine applied in many cases that states that an individual or company is liable if reasonable care was not used. Defined as the exercise of care that a reasonably careful person would exercise under like circumstances.
Rebate: A refund of, or other decrease in, the price actually paid or payable made or otherwise effected between the buyer and seller after the date of importation of the merchandise. (19CFR152.103)
Receiving Record: A complete listing of all incoming shipments during a specific period.
Records: The current, correct, orderly, and itemized records of the brokerage-related financial accounts of a broker as described in the regulations. (19CFR111.22)
Recovery: The actual act of pursuing damages from responsible parties.
Redelivery: A demand by U.S. Customs via a CF 4647, after release, for the return of merchandise to Customs custody.
Reefer: A container with temperature controls.
Refg: Refrigerating, or refrigeration.
Related Buyer And Seller: Buyers and sellers with sufficient inter-relationship to have influenced the value of the imported articles, the price paid or payable, or other matters of the transaction, or to specifically cause such issues to be raised because of their relationship. (19CFR152.102)
Repair Declaration: A CF 226 declaration describing all foreign equipment purchases by, or repairs to, American vessels.
Restricted Articles: Goods that are admissible only under certain conditions.
Return Receipt: A form sent to the shipper, after a consignee has received a shipment that indicates delivery has been made.
Revocable Letter Of Credit: A letter of credit which can be cancelled or altered by the drawee (buyer) after it has been issued by the drawee's bank.
Rider: An attachment to a surety bond, in a specific format, used to change information regarding a principal on a CF 301 bond. (19CFR113.23)
Right To Make Entry: The authorization to make entry granted to any person possessing the articles at the time of entry, or a CF 7529 or other proof required to be presented to U.S. Customs along with entry documentation which identifies the person or entity that files for entry as having sufficient interest in the cargo to qualify as an importer when the merchandise is not released directly to a carrier. (19CFR141.11-12)
Routing: The process of designating a route to be followed by a driver for pick-ups and deliveries.


S.C. & S.: Strapped, corded, and sealed.
S.L. & C.: Shipper's load and count.
S.L. & T.: Shipper's load and tally.
S.O.: Ship's option. Shipping order. Seller's option.
S.R. & C.C.: Strikes, riots and civil commotion. A term referring to an insurance clause excluding insurance loss due to these acts.
S/S: Steamship
S.T.: Short ton (2,000lbs).
S/D: Sight draft.
S/S: Steamship
Salvage: Usually the amount of money realized from the sale of damaged merchandise.
Same Class And Kind: Merchandise within a group or range of merchandise produced by a particular industry or industry sector. (19CFR152.102)
Schedule B: Refers to schedule B statistical classification of domestic and foreign commodities exported from the United States.
Seal: A metal, steel, aluminum, or plastic device affixed to the locking mechanism of the door to a truck, rail car, airline igloo, or container.
Shipper: The party who tenders goods for transportation. The term can refer to a seller, consignee who arranges for transportation services, or a third party that arranges for the transportation.
Shipper'S Export Declaration: A form required by the Treasury Department and completed by the shipper showing the value, weight, consignee, destination, etc. of export shipments as well as the Schedule B identification number.
Shipper'S Load And Count: Freight term indicating that the carrier has no control of the contents of a shipment because the shipper loaded the merchandise. May release carrier from liability in the event improper loading is responsible for cargo damage.
Shipping Weight: Shipping weight represents the gross weight in kilograms of shipment, including the weight of moisture content, wrapping, crates, boxes and containers.
Short Form Bill Of Lading: A summary-type Bill of Lading which does not incorporate all obligations and responsibilities of both parties. Unless a shipper is familiar with the carrier's tariff, he should request a full Bill of Lading.
Shortage: A term used to indicate non-receipt of a part of the total quantity shipped. Also known as short shipment.
Sic Code: See 'Standard industrial classification.'
Sight Draft: A draft which is payable upon presentation to the drawee.
Single Entry Bond: An application to the District Director requesting that a bond of a certain form and amount, that identifies the value and nature of the articles, be accepted as adequate surety for a single transaction.
Sld: Sailed.
Special Cargo Policy: Similar to a certificate of insurance, except it is an insurance in and of itself and not subject to the underlying terms of an open policy when title has been transferred to a third party.
Specific Duty: Tax imposed on imported merchandise without regard to value. Usually based on net weight or number of pieces, etc.
Standard Industrial Classification: The classification system developed by the United States Department of Commerce for business activities. There are eleven primary divisions classified by two digit codes. Further divisions occur within the primary categories and can reach up to seven digits for the most specialized categories of business activity. Also referred to as the SIC code.
Steamship Conference: A group of vessel operators joined together for the purpose of establishing freight rates. A shipper may receive reduced rates if the shipper enters into contract to ship on vessels of conference members only.
Storage Rate: The price charged for storage of merchandise, expressed as a cost per unit per month, or as a cost per square foot (or meter) per month.
Straight Bill Of Lading: A non-negotiable transportation receipt that directs the carrier to deliver the shipment to any authorized person at the destination point.
Stuffing: Loading a shipping container.
Subagent: The regulatory authorization for a holder of a power of attorney for a nonresident principal to delegate a subagent to act on behalf of the principal only if the original power of attorney expressly authorizes the agent to so delegate. (19CFR141.43)
Submission: The voluntary delivery to the appropriate Customs officer of the entry summary documentation for preliminary review or of entry documentation for other purposes. (19CFR141.0)
Surety: An obligator on a surety bond. Specifically, an individual(s) or entity providing a guarantee for the payment of all government debts secured by a bond as evidenced by the surety's name and the authorized signature on the bond.
Suspension Of Liquidation: The delay in liquidation of entries affected by U.S. Customs, usually the result of an anti-dumping investigation, etc.
Switch Transactions: The practice of exporting (or importing) goods through an intermediary country to final destination. This is done when the destination country is short of U.S. dollars and when the intermediary country has available U.S. dollars and is willing to exchange for the destination country's currency or goods. Such transactions must be performed within the various laws concerning export licenses.


T & E Entry: Transportation and Exportation Entry. A Customs Form (CF7512) declaring goods which are entering the United States (e.g. from Canada) for the purpose of exportation through a U.S. port. Carriers and warehouses involved must be bonded.
T.A.C.M.: Transit air cargo manifest.
T.D.C.C.: Transportation Date Coordinating Committee
Temporary Import Bond (Tib): Articles not imported for sale, admitted into the U.S. on a temporary basis without the payment of duty, under bond for their exportation. (19CFR, Sec. 10.31)
T.L.: Truck load. The term used for a shipment which weighs at least the minimum necessary for the application of the truckload rate. Truckload (T.L.) versus less than truckload (L.T.L.).
T.S.U.S.: Tariff schedules of the United States. The U.S. schedule of duty rates to be paid, based upon classification of goods, being imported into the United States.
Tally: A notation made by an importing carrier of the quantity of articles delivered to a cartman.
Tare Weight: The weight of a container and/or packing materials without the weight of the goods it contains.
Tariff: A tax assessed by a government on goods as they enter (or leave) a country. May be imposed to protect domestic industry and/or to generate revenue. Types include ad valorem, specific, variable, or some combination.
Tariff Schedule: A comprehensive list of the goods which a country may import and the import duties applicable to each product.
Temporary Import Bond (Tib): Articles not imported for sale, admitted into the U.S. on a temporary basis without the payment of duty, under bond for their exportation. (19CFR, Sec. 10.31)
Terms Of Sale: Usually refers to an internationally accepted set of definitions which outlines the responsibilities of a buyer and seller for loss or damage to merchandise during transit.
Territory Of The U.S.: Includes the 50 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. (19CFR101.1)
Third Party Warehouse: Public Warehouse. A warehouse facility that is offered for use to other firms as a storage facility.
Through Bill Of Lading: A single bill of lading covering both the domestic and international carriage of the export shipment.
Through Rate: A total rate from the point of origin to final destination.
Time Draft: A draft which matures in either a certain number of days after acceptance or a certain number of days after the date of the draft.
Tine: The horizontal load lifting portion of a fork on a fork truck that contacts the load.
Title: A written record that evidences ownership.
Tolerance: The permitted amount of deviation from the mean or average of a measure.
Ton Mile: One of the most commonly used measures of transportation service. One ton of cargo moved one mile.
Tonnage Tax: A tax based upon the net tonnage of a vessel imposed at each entry of the vessel. (19CFR4.20)
Tonne (Metric Ton): 1,000 kilograms (2,204 lbs.).
Touch And Trade: A CF 1379 permit issued by the district director of Customs allowing a fishing vessel to touch and trade at a foreign port or place. (19CFR4.14)
Tracer: A form used to implement tracing and information gathering about a lost shipment.
Tracking And Tracing: A carrier's system of recording movement intervals of shipments from origin to destination.
Trademark: Relates to any work name or symbol which is used in trade to distinguish a product from other similar goods.
Trading Company: A large firm which normally handles a wide spectrum of products from one or a limited number of countries. It is used extensively by Japanese firms to move products to North America.
Traffic Costs: The costs associated with the transportation of goods.
Transformation-Substantial: A manufacturing process which results in a new and different article having a distinctive name, character, or use which is different from that originally possessed by the article or material before its subjection to the manufacturing process. (19CFR10.15)
Transportation In Bond: An entry of articles under the rules and regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury for transporting those articles in bond without appraisement to any other port of entry designated. (19CFR18.11)
Transshipment: The transfer of bonded merchandise from one conveyance to another single conveyance while en-route to the port of destination or exportation. (19CFR18.3)
Turnover Rate: The frequency with which total inventory or a specific class of inventory is completely replaced.


U.C.C.: Uniform Commercial Code. The law used to govern all business transactions.
U.L.D.: Unit load device. Term commonly used when referring to containers and pallets.
U.S.D.A.: United States Department of Agriculture.
Ultimate Consignee: The ultimate consignee is the person who is the true party in interest, receiving the product for the designated end use.
Unclaimed Goods: Generally all entered or unentered merchandise, including merchandise entered for transportation, which remains in
Unconcealed Damage: Damage to merchandise that is clearly evident when received.
Uniform Freight Classification: A system of classifying similar products into specific rate categories. The rate categories are based on handling attributes of the products such as bulk, special handling needs, value, etc.
Unit Load: The process of combining a number of packages by binding, so the unit package can be moved as a single item.
Unitization: The consolidation of a number of individual items into one shipping unit for easier handling.


Val: Value.
Validated Export License: A document issued by the U.S. government authorizing the export of commodities for which written export authorization is required by law.
Valuation: The appraisal of the worth of imported goods by Customs officials to determine the amount of duty due in the importing country.
Valuation Charges: Transportation charges assessed to shippers who declare a value of goods higher than the value of the carrier's limits of liability.
Value Added Tax: An indirect tax on consumption that is levied at each discrete point in the production chain and distribution from raw materials to final consumption.
Ves: Vessel.
Voluntary Tender: The unsolicited notice of and deposit of the probable amount of unpaid duties, which will be found due on the entry. It is initiated by the importer record or the actual owner. (19CFR, Sec. 141.104)


W.E.R.C.: Warehousing Education and Research Council, a professional organization that promotes and emphasizes education and idea exchange solely in the field of warehousing.
W.I.N.S.: Warehouse Information Network Standards committee, formed to develop standards for six types of warehousing messages: shipping order, inventory status report, activity report, stock transfer receipt advice, shipping advice, and accept/reject advice.
W.P.A.: With particular average. An insurance term meaning that partial loss or damage to goods is insured.
Wall Bumpers: 12 to 18 inch concrete filled pipes located to the side of the dock opening for the purpose of protecting the building walls adjacent to the dock opening from the impact of a misaligned truck trailer.
Wand Reader: A hand held bar code scanner which resembles a wand.
War Risk Insurance: Separate insurance covering for losses which result from any acts of war. This insurance is necessary during peacetime due to objects, such as floating mines, left over from previous wars.
Warehouse (Bonded): A place used for the storage and custody of imported merchandise that is subject to duty until duties are paid or the
Warehouse Activity Report: A report that details all activities occurring with the warehouse facility. Items include merchandise arrivals, loading, unloading movements within the facility, etc.
Warehouse Entry: A form declaring goods imported and placed in a bonded warehouse. Duty payments may not be required until goods are withdrawn for consumption.
Warehouse Receipt: A form that contains information describing the merchandise received into the warehouse. It is a legal acknowledgement of responsibility for care of the goods.
Warehouse Shipping Advice: A document that provides information concerning the status of shipments departing the warehouse.
Warehouseman: A person who receives and ships goods and merchandise to be stored for hire.
Warrant: A receipt issued by a public or bonded warehouse.
Warsaw Convention: An international multilateral treaty which regulates, in a uniform manner, the conditions of international transportation by air. It establishes the international liability of air carriers and establishes the monetary limits for loss, damage, and delay.
Waybill (W/B): A document accompanying merchandise while it is in transit.
Weather Seal: A rubber or canvas covering extending from the dock face and surrounding a trailer's entrance on the sides and top. They are designed to protect loaders from weather.
Weight Break: Levels at which the freight rate per 100 pounds decreases because of substantial increases in the weight of a shipment.
Wharfage: A charge assessed by a pier or dock owner for handling incoming or outgoing cargo.



Yield: Transport revenue derived per unit of traffic carried in transportation.


Zip Code: A numerical code, established by the U.S. Postal Service, used for the purpose of routing and to identify delivery zones.
Zone Lot: A collection of merchandise maintained under an inventory control method based upon specific identification by lot of merchandise admitted to a zone. (19CFR146.1)
Zone Site: The physical location of a zone or sub-zone. (19CFR146.1)
Zone Status: The status of merchandise admitted into a zone, i.e., non-privileged foreign, privileged foreign, zone restricted, or domestic. (19CFR146.4)

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