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11 Common Freight Shipping Acronyms You Need to Know

Whether you’re new to the world of freight shipping and logistics or you’re just looking to brush up on your industry vocabulary, this article is for you. Keep reading to discover what eleven common freight shipping acronyms stand for and learn where you can expect to see them.

Shipping Option Acronyms

Before you start requesting quotes, you need to understand what type of carrier you need. Here are the most common freight carrier options:

  1. LTL - less than load (or less than truckload)
    To ship LTL, you must have a load consisting of 5 pallets or less - or a shipment that weighs under 5,000 pounds. When you ship LTL, your items are transported with goods from other shippers and may be transferred one or more times en-route to their final destination.

  2. FTL - full truck load
    If you have enough product to fill an entire truck, you can ship FTL, and your freight goes on a long haul trip straight to its destination. Unlike LTL shipments, FTL shipments do not transfer to other trucks or stop at any terminals mid-haul.

  3. PTL - partial truck load
    If you have too much product for an LTL shipment, but not enough product for FTL - PTL may be the right fit for you. This type of shipment typically stays on one truck from origin to destination and is not accessible during the trip.

Common Freight Acronyms

Freight quote forms are full of acronyms. Here are a few common ones you can expect to see:

  1. NMFC - National Motor Freight Classification
    The NMFC was created to standardize pricing for freight shipments. Every commodity shipped in the US belongs to one of eighteen freight classes, determined by four factors; shipment density, stow-ability, handling, and liability.

  2. LG - lift gate
    A lift gate is a power-operated tailgate capable of lifting pallets from street level to the floor of a trailer. Shipper locations with no loading docks often have lift gates, as do many LTL truck fleets.

  3. DV - declared value
    A shipment’s declared value is the monetary value of a shipment as reported by you, the shipper. It serves as a basis for determining shipping charges and can also act as a tool to limit carrier liability for damage and loss.

Lingo You’ll Hear Around the Office

The acronyms don’t stop with shipping quotes. There are also a few important terms related to paperwork and performance that are worth knowing.

  1. CNOR / CNEE - Consignor / Consignee
    This one is simple - a CNOR or consigner is the person sending a shipment, and a CNEE or consignee is the person receiving a shipment.

  2. BOL - bill of lading
    A bill of lading is a detailed, legally binding contract between a freight carrier and a shipper. Every BOL includes the names and addresses of the shipper and carrier, pickup date, shipment description, freight class, packaging details, and hazardous material designations.

  3. POD - proof of delivery
    Proof of Delivery is paperwork signed by the consignee indicating receipt of a load. A BOL often doubles as a POD upon delivery, and it must be signed for a carrier to get paid.

  4. OS&D Report - overage, shortage, and damage
    A CNEE can file this report if there are issues with a shipment they received. An overage occurs when the recipient gets more product than they ordered, while a shortage is the exact opposite. Shipment items that are unusable or unsellable are considered damaged.

  5. TONU - truck ordered but not used
    If a truck comes to pick up a shipment, and the load isn’t ready - that’s TONU. If it's your fault, you may have to pay a fine to compensate the carrier for their time and resources.

Now that you know common logistics lingo, you’re prepared to confidently tackle freight quotes and shipping contracts with ease.

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