A Guide to Global Logistics Terminology


A Guide to Global Logistics Terminology

Technological advancements, new market entrants, changing customer expectations, and changing business models have brought a major transformation in the logistics and supply chain industry. Logistics has always been an integral part of a business, but these changes have made it necessary to pay an undivided attention to every process of the logistics management. And to do so, it is imperative (especially if you are not using 3PL services) that you should know about every term associated with the logistics and transportation management. To know the same, you don’t have to search for every term on the world wide web as we have mentioned them all here in this article.

General Logistics Terms

BOL- Bill of lading

Bill of lading or BOL is a document, given by the carrier, which includes basic info about the shipment.

POD- Proof of delivery

POD, a receipt with the signature of the recipient, is collected when a rider hands over the order to the customer. 

AWB- Air waybill

It is a transport document issued by a carrier or freight forwarder. AWB includes details about the goods that are being shipped. 

ETA- Estimated time of arrival

It is the estimated time of arrival for an order to a particular location.

SKU- Stock Keeping Unit

SKU is a product identification code that is most commonly displayed as a barcode.

TL (Truckload) or FTL (Full truckload)

Truckload or full truckload is when a trailer is loaded, with shipments, to its complete capacity or weight.

LTL (Less than truckload)

A shipment of small weights that can be placed in a small space of the trailer. Rest of the space in the trailer can be used for other shipments. 

INT- Intermodal

INT is including more than two different mediums of transportation.

3PL- Third-party logistics

3PL means outsourcing logistics services to perform procurement, transportation, order fulfillment, and other operations, to a third-party provider. 

TMS- Transportation management system

It is a system that looks after inventories, order fulfillment, and transportation.


Carrier is a commercial company that transports different types of shipments to and from customers, manufacturers, and suppliers. It can be transported via rail, road, sea, air, inland waterway, or by a combination of modes.

Shipping containers

A container designed for the transportation of intermodal freight.


The one who ships the shipment; it doesn’t necessarily have to be the freight owner. It can also be named as consignor. 


The one who receives the shipment, i.e. for whom the shipment is meant for. 

Consignment or shipment

The products or goods that are sent from one place to another.


A place used to store the inventories. Riders pick up orders from the warehouse and then move it to the next hub or customers’ place.

Logistics industry is laden with innumerable terms and the aforementioned are the most common ones. We will keep updating this article from time to time to make you updated with these terms. Hope the information was useful!


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