Accessorials: Special services provided by the carrier that are available for an additional fee. These charges are not included in the line haul and fuel surcharge rate. Some examples are driver load/unload, detention, extra stop offs, notify prior to delivery, sort & segregate, lift gate required, and extreme length.

Blanket Wrapped: The process of wrapping blankets around goods to cover and cushion during transit. This special service helps protect goods from normal impacts which occur during loading, transit, or unloading.

Commercial Invoice: An official document, created by the seller, which is used to indicate, among other things, the name and address of the buyer and seller, the product(s) being shipped, and its value for customs, insurance, or other purposes.

Customs Broker: A firm that represents importers/exporters in dealings with customs. The broker is typically responsible for obtaining and submitting all documents for clearing merchandise through customs, arranging inland transport, and paying all charges related to these functions.

Dedicated Truckload Detention: Vehicles stopped for loading or unloading after the designated free time. Generally, two hours is allowed for loading and two hours for unloading. An extra charge will be incurred based on the additional time the truck is stopped past the free time.

Drayage & Sea Shipping Containers: Short haul transporting of sea containers from a port to a nearby rail facility.

Drayage & Trade Shows: The name of the service that moves exhibitor shipping between the exhibitor’s truck at the loading dock and their booth on the trade show floor.

Extreme Length: A single pallet that is greater than 8 linear feet of space.

Final Mile: The movement of goods from a transportation hub to the final delivery destination.

HazMat: Explosive, poisonous, or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Hazardous materials must be transported by specially certified carriers.


Interline: The initial carrier transfers the freight to another carrier to get the freight to its final destination.

Intermodal: When freight is shipped using two or more modes of transportation. Intermodal transportation typically refers to truck-rail-truck shipments but may also include truck-to-air shipping or truck-to-ship for international shipments.

Liftgate: A lift on the back of trucks that assists in getting freight on and off the truck. Liftgates are used in place of a loading dock.

Limited access pick-up/deliveries: An area where pickup or delivery is restricted or limited. This includes if a driver is required to go out of their normal route area and/or cannot pull up to a loading dock. Examples include: hospitals, schools, churches, construction sites, storage units, military bases, mine sites, prisons, etc.

Load Bar: Metal bars that are used to secure freight to prevent shifting in transit.

Load Lifecycle: The process of transporting a load from start to finish. Includes quoting, booking, dispatching, loading, tracking/tracing, unloading/delivering, and billing.

Loaded Miles: Distance traveled with freight in the trailer. This does not include deadhead miles (the distance traveled to the pick-up location or between loads when trailer is empty).

LTL Detention: Vehicles stopped for loading or unloading after the designated free time. Generally, 15 minutes is allowed for loading and unloading. An extra charge will be incurred based on the additional time the truck is stopped past the free time.

Lumper: Person hired to help load or unload goods at consignee. Carriers will request a loading or unloading accessorial to be paid back for the fees paid out.

Minimum Density: A rule applied to a shipment with the following characteristics: freight that occupies 12 linear feet or more of truck space (6-10 pallets); less than or equal to 6 pounds per cubic foot.

Minimum Density/Cubic Capacity: Any shipment which is 750 cubic feet or greater and has a density of less than 6 pounds per cubic foot is eligible for a minimum density charge.

  • Carrier will charge for the wasted space on the side of your freight and/or on top of your freight.
  • Just because you have an NMFC number that states your freight is a certain class based on the item itself, it is considered best practice to calculate and quote a shipment based on its actual density in order to prevent possible reclassification by the carrier.

Notify prior to delivery & appointment fees: Notify prior to delivery and appointment fees are required for residential deliveries, big box retailers, grocery warehouses, construction sites, and other limited access locations.

Over Dimensional (OD): Any freight that exceeds one or more of the standard legal size criteria for each state and province. The limits vary depending on the jurisdiction. A general guideline is 53’ l x 8’6” w x 13’6” h.

Pallets vs. Skids: Pallets have top and bottom decks that provide more stability than skids. A forklift can lift pallets on all four sides. A skid lacks a bottom deck and is only accessible on two sides. Skids have a lower profile and are not as stable as pallets.

Partial Truckload: Using a dedicated carrier for a shipment slightly larger than LTL; niche market where load is too large/high class for LTL carriers.

Proof of Delivery (POD): Also known as a Delivery Receipt. This document is signed at the time of delivery notating that the freight is accepted in good condition.

Reclass: Invoice discrepancy when the carrier inspects the shipment and finds it to be a higher or lower class than notated on the BOL (bill of lading).

Reconsignment: Change the delivery address after the shipment has been picked up.

Redelivery: A driver takes the shipment to the delivery location, and the recipient does not accept the freight or is closed. An additional fee is required to deliver the shipment to the same location.

Reefer: A term used for refrigerated trailers.

Reweigh: Invoice discrepancy when the carrier weighs the shipment and finds it to be higher or lower than notated on the BOL (bill of lading).

Sort & Segregate: When a shipper wants verification that all goods reached the destination, driver, lumpers or dock workers count every case on the pallet when it is received to ensure the shipment is correct and complete. This is common for big box retailers and grocery warehouses.

Sprinter Van: Typically can carry one to four standard pallets up to 3,500 pounds. Sprinter vans are loaded/unloaded by hand or forklift because their beds are not the same height as a dock.

Team Driver Services: A team of two or more drivers who ride together and drive the same truck in shifts, essentially allowing the truck to remain in motion almost constantly. Primarily used for time-sensitive freight.

Temperature Control: The transport of goods that are sensitive to temperature changes. This type of freight requires special handling and storage during transport to maintain stable temperatures from dock to dock.

TONU (Truck ordered not used): Charged when a shipment is canceled after a driver arrives at the shipper or is dispatched to the shipper.

Track & Trace: The act of tracking a shipment from pick-up to delivery.

Transit Time: Total time that elapses from pickup to delivery of a shipment. Transit days do not include the day of pickup, weekends, or holidays.

Volume Shipments: LTL shipping term for shipments that weigh 7,000 pounds or more and/or exceed 750 cubic feet in size.

Weigh and Inspection Certificate (W&I): A document created by the carrier when a shipment is reweighed or reclassed. A W&I includes the date, location, and agent responsible for the discrepancy.

White Glove: Includes services like inside delivery, room of choice, and dunnage removal. Carriers will deliver an item into a home or business, place it in the desired location, and remove any packaging materials.

Get the backstory on more common logistics terms in our blog.