Acronyms, abbreviations, shorthand and jargon make up the shipping freight lexicon. Many terms commonly used in the freight world can often leave people in a state of confusion.
Common Freight Terms
Below are some of the terms everyone working in (or with) the freight industry should know.
- LTL and TL
LTL is an acronym for Less Than Truckload. This means the shipment does not require a full 48 or 53 foot trailer. There are many carriers that specialize in or offer this service.
Like full truckload carriers, LTL carriers specialize in a variety of services such as lift gate and residential pick-ups; deliveries; guaranteed services; protect-from-freeze; transit and bottom-line-cost to name a few. Rates for LTL freight are determined by class, weight, pick up and destination zip code.
TL is an acronym for Truckload. The quantity of freight required to fill a trailer; usually more than 10,000 pounds.
- PRO Number
A pro number is a sequential numbering system that is used to identify freight bills. A Pro number is like a social security number for your shipment because it is unique to every individual shipment.
This acronym officially stands for Free on Board as defined by the Uniform Commercial Code but informally you may also hear Freight On Board. The term FOB is commonly used to indicate who pays loading and transportation costs, and/or the point at which the responsibility of the goods transfers from shipper to buyer.
FOB Shipping Point or FOB Origin indicates the buyer pays shipping cost and takes responsibility for the goods as soon as the goods leave the seller's premises.
FOB Destination designates the seller will pay shipping costs and remain responsible for the goods until the buyer takes possession.
The Bill of Lading is a legal document between the shipper of a particular good and the carrier. A BOL details the type, quantity and destination of the good being carried.
The bill of lading also serves as a receipt of shipment when the good is delivered to its predetermined destination. This document must accompany the shipped goods (no matter the form of transportation) and must be signed by an authorized representative from the carrier, shipper and receiver.
The consignee is the individual or business that receives the freight being shipped.
- Billing Terms
Billing terms are an important part of the freight lexicon. TPB stands for third party billing. This is a scenario where neither the shipper nor the consignee is responsible for paying the freight charges. Instead there is a third party who is responsible for the charges.
Freight Collect is a term that means the freight will be paid by the person receiving the shipment.
PPD & Add stands for prepaid and add. This means that the shipper pays the freight company then bills the customer the actual freight charge.
Is there a freight term that you don't understand? Let us know by commenting below and we will explain it for you or check my follow-up post, 5 More Freight Terms Everyone Should Know.
Post by: Amber Potts, Customer Service Representative