Terms to Know

It has been found that many errors in the industry occur due to lack of terminology consistency among individuals. For example, someone in Europe may say “football”, while someone in America would say “soccer” and this would cause confusion. Same goes for trucking.

Below is a guide of commonly used terms to know and their definition aiding in the deciphering of articles, bills and communication.

LTL (less than truckload): This is when you don’t have enough product to fill a truck and the transportation company combines shipments from multiple customers. This option will be cheaper than FTL shipping.

Bill of Lading (BOL, BL, B/L): An important shipping document between the transportation company and the shipper. It outlines information regarding product description, size, weight, origin and destination—among other things.

Consignee: The person or company that will receive the shipment.

Consignment: The product or the goods being transported.

Consignor: The shipper, the person giving the products to the transportation company.

Customs Document: A document required for crossing borders between the US and Canada, detailing the contents of the shipment for legal purposes.

Deadheading: When a truck is running empty and not carrying any products.

Hazardous Materials: Anything explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous. Anything regulated by the US or Canada will require additional information to be added on the trailer.

Log Book: A document that describes the working duties of a truck driver, while they are transporting a shipment.

Manifest: A document commonly used during loading and unloading, which describes the contents of a truckload in more detail than the Bill of Lading.

Oversize Load: Any product that exceeds the legally-defined limits for width, length, height or weight, which is impossible to split into smaller units.

Pallet: A wooden or plastic platform used to stack boxes or other containers of product for loading and unloading. The term also refers to a pallet that is fully-loaded with goods.

Terminal: Any dock or hub where the products will be loaded, unloaded or otherwise handled in the transportation process.