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Actual Time of Arrival

The actual time when a shipment arrives at its destination.

Actual Time of Departure

The actual time when a shipment departs from its origin.

Air Freight Transportation

The method of transporting goods through an air carrier. It is most often the fastest means of transportation and ideal for time-sensitive cargo but produces the most carbon emissions of all modes of transport.

All Risk

Cargo insurance that covers all risks of physical loss or damage that the policy does not explicitly omit.


See Carbon Avoidance.



The transportation of goods under its own Master Air Waybill (MAWB). A back-to-back (B2B) / direct service is a faster option than consolidation because you do not have to wait for the consolidation/de-consolidation of multiple shipments.

Breakbulk cargo

Packaged cargo that is oversized or heavyweight and cannot be containerized.

British International Freight Association

The main UK trade association for companies involved in the movement of freight and/or customs brokerage.

Bulk cargo

Shipped loosely and unpackaged as opposed to being shipped in packages or containers. Bulk cargo is typically dropped or poured as a liquid or solid into a merchant ship.

Bunker Adjustment Factor

An ocean freight surcharge that reflects the cost of fuel.



Carbon dioxide (CO₂) is the most abundant and one of the longest-lasting of the greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, the leading cause of climate change.

Carbon Avoidance

The prevention of carbon emissions that would have been released into our atmosphere.

Carbon Neutral

The balancing of carbon released with carbon removed from the atmosphere.

Carbon Offset

A unit of reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that is “measurable, quantifiable and trackable.” A good carbon offset is also permanent and verifiable.

Carbon Positive

The removal of more carbon from the atmosphere than was released.

Carbon Removal

The removal (also known as reduction) of carbon emissions already released into our atmosphere.


Goods transported by aircraft, ship of other vehicle.

Cargo Freight Station

A facility that consolidates or deconsolidates cargo for export or import.

Carrier haulage

Haulage controlled and arranged by the shipping line, using their nominated contractors.

Chargeable Weight

What the carrier uses to determine the cost of your shipment. It may be either volumetric weight or gross weight, whichever is greater.


Services that are by far the most expensive and involve renting a vessel or aircraft in part or full.

Clean Bill of Lading

A Bill of Lading that evidences that the goods received in the vessel are in good condition and undamaged.


The party receiving the shipment and taking ownership of the goods.


Also referred to as Shipper, is the party that owns and/or arranges to send the goods. Often, the Consignor is the seller of the goods.


Services that involve consolidating many different shipments onto one flight and is the most cost-effective air freight. Consol services are not the quickest air freight service as they include additional waiting time for the collection, packing, loading, unloading, unpacking, and delivery of multiple shipments.

Container number

The unique alpha-numeric identification number of a container unit.

Container Yard

A facility that stores, receives, and releases containers.

Currency Adjustment Factor

An ocean freight surcharge that compensates for currency fluctuations.

Customs Broker

An agent that clears your goods through customs.

Customs clearance

The process of clearing goods through customs.

Customs Declaration Service

The system that replaces the Customs Handling of Import and Export (CHIEF) as the new electronic system for the handling of customs declarations.


When a vessel departs quickly and is unable to complete the loading of all containers planned for the vessel.


Dangerous Goods

Dangerous goods (also referred to as hazardous goods) are goods that are a risk to health, safety and property when transported.

Dangerous goods are grouped into classes depending on the main hazard. The UN classifies dangerous goods in the following classes and divisions.

UN Class Dangerous Goods Division(s) (if appl.) Classification
1 Explosives 1.1-1.6 Explosive
2 Gases 2.1
Flammable gas
Non-flammable, non toxic gas
3 Flammable liquids Flammable liquid
4 Flammable solids 4.1
Flammable solid
Spontaneously combustible substance
Substance which in contact with water emits flammable gas
5 Oxidising substances 5.1
Oxidising substance
Organic peroxide
6 Toxic substances 6.1
Toxic substance
Infectious substance
7 Radioactive material Radioactive material
8 Corrosive substances Corrosive substance
9 Miscellaneous Dangerous goods Miscellaneous dangerous goods

Deferment Account Number (DAN)

A HMRC deferment account allows you to defer payment of import duty and VAT and make one payment a month, instead of paying for individual consignments.


The period a container is at the port facility.


The period a container is outside the carrier’s possession.


The unloading of goods from a sealed container. It is also referred to as unstuffing or stripping.

Direct Representation

Direct Rep
Where the customs agent acts in the name of, and on behalf of, the principal (e.g. the exporter or importer).


The refund of paid duties on an import that is being re-exported.

DUCR (Declaration Unique Consignment Reference) number

A reference number assigned by the declarant that is allocated to a consignment of goods and recorded on the relevant customs declaration.


A tax levied on goods when transported across international borders.


Economic Operators Registration

A UK and EU identification number for businesses that trade internationally and require customs clearance.

Empty Release Depot

A container yard that stores empty containers for pick-up by hauliers.

Estimated time of arrival

The estimated time when a shipment will arrive at its destination.

Estimated time of departure

The estimated time when a shipment will depart from its origin.



The Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations, an international organization headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland that represents freight forwarders worldwide.

Final delivery point

The final destination to which a shipment is delivered.

Forty-foot Equipment Unit

A measure of volume in the units of a 40-foot long container. 1 FEU = One 40-foot container.

Freight Forwarder

A business that acts on behalf of an exporter or importer to arrange the movement of goods through the supply chain.

Full Container Load

When an exporter or importer uses a container exclusively for their goods, this is called an FCL shipment. FCL is cost-effective when the goods to be shipped nearly or fully fill a container.

Full Trailer Load

When an exporter or importer uses a full trailer exclusively for their goods, this is called an FTL shipment. FTL is cost-effective when the goods to be shipped nearly or fully fill a trailer.



When a container enters the terminal.


When a container leaves the terminal.

General Average

An act, that when declared by the vessel owner due to a serious accident, requires all parties with an interest in the vessel (e.g. with cargo onboard), to share a proportion of the additional costs to salvage the vessel and its cargo.

GHG protocol

The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol is a comprehensive and standardized framework for the measuring and managing of greenhouse gas emissions globally.

Goods and Services Tax

A tax levied on most goods and services sold for domestic consumption.

Green Logistics

Practices that minimize the negative impact of transportation and logistics on the environment.

Gross weight

The total weight of goods including packaging.


The grouping together of smaller shipments from several shippers into one shipment for maximum optimization.


Harmonised System

The Harmonised System (HS) is a standardized and global system for classifying traded products.


Local road transportation.


Local road transport provider.

HIAB Truck

A truck with a crane attached.

HM Revenue & Customs

The tax authority of the United Kingdom.


Import License

A document or administrative procedure issued by a national government allowing the import of specific goods or from specific countries.

Intermediate Consignee

The party receiving the shipment and taking ownership of the goods for delivery to the ultimate consignee.

Intermediate Consignor / Shipper

The party arranging the export of the goods.


The coordinated movement of freight by different carriers using a combination of transport modes.

International Air Transport Association

International Air Transport Association, representing airlines worldwide.


Known cargo

The status for goods approved by the CAA to be transported by air without the need for further security measures.


LCL (Less than container load)

An ocean freight service that allows sharing space inside a container with others and splitting the cost.



LTL (Less than trailer load)

A road freight service that allows sharing space inside a trailer with others and splitting the cost.


Merchant Haulage

Haulage controlled and arranged by the merchant using their nominated contractors.

Moffett truck

A truck with a forklift attached.

Mother vessel

The main vessel in a liner service that only serves major ports.


The coordinated movement of freight by one provider and under one contract, that uses a combination of two different transport modes.



The New Computerised Transit System, a system used to make Common Transit declarations.


The National Export Service, a system used to make export customs declarations to HMRC.

Net weight

The total weight of goods excluding packaging.

NOA (Notice of Arrival)

A document provided by carriers reminding the receiver of the expected or actual arrival date of a shipment.

Notify Party

The designated party to be notified when a shipment arrives at its destination.


No Value Declared.

NVOCC (Non- Vessel Operating Common Carrier)

A freight forwarder or agent that performs all the services of a carrier but does not own their own vessels.


Ocean Freight

The method of transporting goods by sea using vessels.


The inland movement of a container after it has been picked up from the port of discharge.

Open Top

A type of shipping container.


Place of receipt

The location where cargo is received by the carrier.

POD (Port of Discharge)

The port where cargo is discharged from a vessel.

POL (Port of Loading)

The port where cargo is loaded onto a vessel.

Primary Screening

The primary method of security screening for air cargo.

Project Cargo

A type of cargo that requires special handling due to size or weight.



The platform a vessel lays alongside while moored for loading or unloading.

Quay rent

The period a container is sat on quay.




Renewable energy

Energy from natural sources, such as wind or solar power.



A tamper evident security bolt attached to the container doors after loading/stuffing.

Secondary screening

A security measure applied to screen goods that cannot be screened by X-ray (primary screening method).

Shipped on Board

The status given a shipment onboard a vessel that has departed.


Also referred to as Consignor, is the party that owns and/or arranges to send the goods. Often, the Shipper is the seller of the goods.


When all or part of a shipment is not loaded as intended.


Shipped On Board


Safety of Life at Sea convention


An acronym for Said to Contain


Stuffing is the loading of goods to a container.


The suspension of import duties on certain goods.


Tare weight

The weight of an empty container or vehicle.

Tariff number

Tariff numbers (also referred to as commodity code) are internationally recognised reference numbers that identify specific products when importing or exporting.

Telex Release

An electronic B/L release message.


Twenty-foot equivalent unit.


Transport Management System


A shipment or service that involves unloading from one vessel and loading onto another. For example, a shipment from Felixstowe UK Port (origin) via Port Kelang Malaysia Port (transhipment point) to Sydney Australia Port (destination).

Transit Time

LCL is cost effective when the goods to be shipped do not nearly or fully fill a container.



Unique Consignment Number

UN number

A four digit code that identifies dangerous goods and substances.

Unknown cargo

The status for goods for an exporter that is NOT approved by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) to be transported without the need for further security measures and where further screening will be required e.g. primary (x-ray).


Verified Gross Mass

The gross weight of the cargo including dunnage/bracing and the tare weight of the container.

Volumetric Weight

Volumetric weight refers to the overall size of an item and is measured in volumetric kilograms.