Shipping is a critical component of the buying process. And if the land of liquidation isn’t new enough for you, enter the world of freight. You will soon discover there are words and terms you may have never heard before! To help you with your business-buying journey, let’s highlight some frequently used freight terms you’re likely to come across.  

  • ACCESSORIAL: Services performed above what is considered standard. Examples of accessorials include liftgates, inside delivery or COD service.
  • BILL OF LANDING (BOL): Document used to show all relevant details for a freight shipment. BOLs include pickup and delivery information, weight, class, contacts, billing, and carrier information. The BOL is given to the carrier at the time of pickup and accompanies freight through transit.
  • CARRIER: A company that owns its own equipment and transports freight across the country using drivers, dispatchers, and terminals.
  • CONSIGNEE: The receiver of a freight shipment. The opposite of a shipper.
  • DENSITY: A number signifying an item’s pounds per cubic foot. Density is determined using the length, width, height, and weight of an item. Density is used to determine freight classing and pricing and is one of the most important aspects of LTL shipping.
  • FLOOR LOAD: Freight that is loaded from the floor up, rather than on pallets. A full floor-loaded container can hold more freight than a palletized load, but the containers take longer to load and unload.
  • FREIGHT BROKER: A third-party company that supplies shipping rates and service to customers and acts a bridge between carrier and customer. A full-service broker provides complete shipping service (often using TMS) to their customers on top of lower shipping rates.
  • FREIGHT CLASS: A number assigned to freight shipments to identify that item’s transportability. Freight class is used to determine shipping cost and pricing and is notated on the BOL by the NMFC number.
  • HANDLING: A factor in determining an item’s freight class. Items that are fragile or oversized are often harder to handle, resulting in a higher freight class.
  • LESS THAN TRUCKLOAD (LTL): A type of freight shipping focused on moving shipments that take up less than a full truckload. LTL has its own structure for pricing and quoting (including volume quotes). In addition, LTL has its own carrier and broker structure, separate from Truckload shipping.
  • LIFTGATE: A lift attached to the back of some carrier trucks that assist with loading and unloading freight when a dock or forklift is not available. Often used for residential deliveries and pickups.
  • NMFC NUMBER: National Motor Freight Classification System number that notates an item’s class on the BOL.
  • PRO NUMBER: Identification number assigned to freight after it has been picked up by carrier that allows for tracking/ tracing.
  • RECLASS: Invoice discrepancy when a carrier invoices a shipment at a higher or lower class than noted on the BOL.
  • REWEIGH: Invoice discrepancy when a carrier invoices a shipment at a higher or lower weight than noted on the BOL.
  • TERMINAL: Carrier hub where LTL shipments are moved during transit. Carrier terminals are situated across the country and come in varying sizes.
  • TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (TMS): Online freight system used by carriers and freight brokers to coordinate and organize customer shipping needs, including but not limited to: building BOLs, creating shipments, tracking shipments, and invoicing customers.
  • TRUCKLOAD (TL): A type of freight shipping specializing in moving freight that requires a full truckload of space. This aspect of freight is wholly different from LTL and has its own carrier and broker structure.
  • W&I CERTIFICATE: The Weight and Inspection certificate created by the carrier when a shipment is reweighed or reclassified.

To learn more or for a simple refresher on the different shipping procedures you’ll find on B-Stock marketplaces, be sure to read our post Buying Basics: Auction Lot Shipping Methods.