Glossary

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  • AAR (Association of American Railroads):
    The central coordinating and research agency of the American railway industry. This agency deals with matters of common concern in the whole field of railroading from operations to public relations.
  • Accessorial Charges:
    Charges for a wide variety of services and privileges that are made available in connection with the transportation of goods. Includes all charges other than freight charges. Extra charges applied for services performed above what is considered standard.
  • Accessorial Services:
    Service performed in addition to the normal transportation service (e.g., COD service, inside delivery).
  • Agent:
    When one party is authorized to transact certain business for the other
  • Air Brakes:
    Heavy trucks use air brakes exclusively to stop the rig. When the brakes are applied, air enters the brake chamber. The air forces a push rod out, turning a slack adjuster that rotates an
  • Air Problems:
    Any issues associated with the train line or air brake system, including leaking gasket, frozen or blocked train line, stuck triple valve.
  • Airbill:
    Shipping document used by carriers and indirect carriers for airfreight. This contains shipping instructions, a description of the commodity and applicable transportation charges. Airbills are not negotiable.
  • Airfreight Forwarding:
    All the activities required to organize the time-definite delivery of goods entrusted to an airfreight forwarder. The freight forwarder has the appropriate knowledge and contracts with all major airlines (commercial and cargo) and expedited ground providers. Representing the owner of the goods and protecting the owner
  • Astray Freight:
    When part or all of a shipment moves on a route different from the standard route shown in the computer.
  • Availability Time:
    The time equipment is grounded and available for pick-up by the customer.
  • Back Haul:
    Traffic for the return movement of a car or container towards the point where the initial load originated or to handle a shipment in the direction of the light flow of traffic.
  • Backhaul:
    The opposite of head haul. Traditionally referred to as the return trip of a transportation vehicle (usually a truck). Now, it generally refers to the least revenue-generating leg of a shipment haul. A backhaul can be with a full or partially loaded trailer.
  • Bad Order:
    A freight car loaded improperly, mechanically defective, or has safety violations.
  • Beneficial Owner:
    The actual owner of the lading that is being shipped. The IMC negotiates transportation services and rates on behalf of the beneficial owner.
  • Bill of Lading (B/L or BOL):
    A legal document signed by the shipper and carrier tendering the responsibility of the freight to the carrier. The BOL states pertinent information for the shipment such as the complete address of the shipper and consignee, number of pieces, description, weight and any hazardous material information.
  • Bill of Lading (BOL):
    A shipping form which is both a receipt for property and a contract for delivery of goods by a carrier.
  • Billing Carrier (Bill Road):
    The carrier performing the first line haul service of the movement. This carrier is responsible for preparing the waybill document and transmitting the information to any following carriers.
  • Block:
    A group of rail cars destined to the same location.
  • Blocking or Bracing:
    Wood or metal or other approved supports to keep shipments in place in or on rail cars, containers and trailers.
  • Bobtail:
    Motor Carrier slang indicating a non-revenue movement without a trailer or container attached.
  • Bobtailing:
    Driving a tractor without a trailer attached.
  • Bogie:
    A frame with wheels on which a container is mounted for street or highway transport. Commonly referred to as a chassis.
  • BOL:
    See Bill of Lading.
  • Bonded Warehouse:
    A warehouse owned by persons approved by the Treasury Department, an under bond or guarantee for the strict observance of the revenue laws; utilized for storing goods until duties are paid or goods are otherwise properly released.
  • Bridge Move:
    A railroad movement involving at least three roadhaul carriers at which the IP is neither the first or last carrier.
  • Broker:
    An individual who acts as an agent for a customer, who is attempting to route a car to a customer in Mexico or Canada. Equipment destined to a locale in Mexico is billed only to the border. At that time a broker, in cooperation with a broker in Mexico, prepares the proper paperwork which allows the car to cross the border and proceed to its destination.
  • Broncos:
    Motor vehicles, equipped with Hy-Rail attachments enabling them to ride on rails, operated by engineering employees patrolling track in the Feather River Canyon during rain or snow. They look for slides, washouts and any unsafe track condition. Broncos operate just one mile ahead of trains under special rules and do not use track and time.
  • Canada Customs Invoice:
    A commercial invoice for northbound shipments going into Canada that accompanies the shipment from point of pickup to customs clearance.
  • Canadian Customs Broker:
    A licensed person or firm engaged in entering and clearing goods through customs for a client (importer). All shipments to and from Canada require a broker. The Canadian consignee typically selects the broker
  • Car Location Message (CLM):
    That part of the fleet system which deals with providing the fleet operator with information on car movement data for all cars in the fleet (see fleet). This information comes in the form of a periodic (usually daily, sometimes hourly) message or report which contains the latest movement data on all cars from the fleets that are on our lines. This message follows an industrywide standard format that enables shippers who use railroads across the U.S. and Canada to use this information for updating their own computer systems.
  • Car Scheduling:
    A system of assigning a "trip plan" that is based primarily on waybill data. Cars are scheduled to the first available train that may carry the specific type of traffic into which they are categorized.
  • Carrier:
    An individual, partnership or corporation engaged in the business of transporting goods.
  • Cartage:
    Pick up or delivery of freight within commercial zone of a city by local carrier acting as agent for a shipper or over-the-rail carrier.
  • Cash on Delivery:
    See COD.
  • Chargeable Weight:
    The weight of the shipment used in determining airfreight charges. The chargeable weight may be the actual weight, dimensional weight or on container shipments, the gross weight of the shipment less the tare weight of the container
  • Chassis:
    A rubber-tired trailer under-frame on which a container is mounted for street or highway transport.
  • Circus Ramp:
    Stationary or portable end loading/unloading ramp which requires a truck tractor to drive a trailer onto or off of rail flatcars.
  • City Dispatch:
    The part of the terminal operations charged with coordinating the pickup and delivery of shipments.
  • City Driver (P&D Driver):
    A driver that is responsible for making pickups and deliveries from a specific terminal location. These drivers usually have a geographical area that they operate within. A city driver usually makes deliveries in the morning and picks up freight in the afternoon.
  • Claim:
    A written request to a carrier from a shipper to be compensated for loss, damage, delay or overcharge of a package transported by that carrier.
  • Claims:
    A demand, supported by evidence, to show that the claimant has sustained a loss through the negligence of a carrier. The principal kinds are:
  • Class:
    A rating assigned to products based on their value and shipping characteristics, e.g., density and how the freight is packaged. It is a system of seventeen classes, from class 50 to 500, which determines the rate
  • Clean BOL:
    Either a Straight or Order Bill of Lading in which the transportation company acknowledges receipt of the property without noting any exceptions as to shortage or damage to the property received.
  • Clearance:
    The limiting dimensions of a rail shipment that would allow/prevent its clearing of tunnels and bridges.
  • COD (Cash on Delivery):
    Refers to the payment for the goods being shipped. If this section of the Bill of Lading is filled in, the carrier cannot deliver the goods unless payment is collected at time of delivery for the goods. This money is collected on behalf of the shipper.
  • COFC (container on flatcar):
    The movement of a container on a railroad flatcar. This movement is made without the container being mounted on a chassis.
  • COFC:
    See TOFC.
  • Collect (COL):
    Freight charges to be paid by the consignee upon delivery or charged to their established account.
  • Commercial Invoice/Pro Forma:
    The bill of sale that contains all relevant shipping information such as payment terms, quantities, prices, discounts and a complete description of the shipment.
  • Commodity:
    Goods shipped.
  • Common Carrier:
    A transportation line engaged in the business of handling persons or goods for compensation and for all persons impartially.
  • Concealed Damage/Shortage:
    Customer calls the carrier to declare an exception to their shipment after delivery has occurred and after the carrier has received a clear delivery receipt. Industry standard for reporting concealed damage is 15 days after delivery.
  • Connecting Carrier:
    A carrier that has a direct physical connection with another or forming a connecting link between two or more carriers.
  • Consignee:
    The individual or organization to which freight is shipped. Freight is shipped by the consignor to the consignee.
  • Consignor:
    The individual or organization shipping freight to a consignee.
  • Consolidation:
    The act of combining multiple shipments into one larger shipment going to a specific destination.
  • Container on Flatcar (COFC):
    See TOFC.
  • Container Yard:
    A yard used for storage of containers when not in use. Container yards can be railroad or privately owned.
  • Container:
    A receptacle that resembles a truck trailer without wheel (chassis) that is lifted onto flatcars. Containers are designed for all modes of intermodal transport. Most containers are 20-, 45-, 48- or 53-feet in length.
  • Containerization:
    The practice or technique of using a box-like or other device in which a number of packages are stored, protected and handled as a unit in transit.
  • Contract:
    Pricing program for a customer that must be approved and signed by an authorized representative of Ally Logistics and signed by the customer. This pricing contract takes precedence over tariff rates.
  • Conventional Car:
    A single platform flat car designed to carry a trailer or container. Containers can only be single stacked on a conventional car. Conventional cars are equipped with one or two stanctions, depending on length, for shipment of one or two trailers.
  • Crane:
    A large machine that straddles the railroad track for the purpose of loading and loading containers and trailers to and from rail cars.
  • Crews Are Short:
    Not enough crews are available to protect scheduled outbounds and any deadheads/dogcatch events.
  • Crews Are Tight:
    Sufficient crews are available, but rest issues may cause delays to calls.
  • Cross-Dock:
    Typically, the action of unloading materials from an inbound trailer or rail car and immediately loading these materials in outbound trailers or rail cars, thus eliminating the need for warehousing/storage.
  • Cross-Town:
    When a drayman or railroad delivers a container or trailer from one railroad to another for continuance of the move.
  • Cube:
    A term used to describe the space used in a trailer based on floor space and height.
  • Customer Order Number:
    The number used by the customer to identify the purchase of the goods.
  • Customs Broker:
    A company or individual licensed by the Treasury Department to act on behalf of importers/exporters in handling U.S. customs transactions.
  • Customs Clearance:
    The act of obtaining permission to import merchandise from another country into the importing nation.
  • Customs:
    The agency or procedure for collecting duties imposed by a country on imports or exports
  • Cut-Off Time:
    The time a container or trailer must be ingated at the terminal to meet a scheduled train loading for departure.
  • CWT:
    Per hundred weight. Hundred weight is equal to exactly 100 pounds.
  • Damage:
    Goods that sustain injury before, during or after transit, which can result in the shipper
  • Dead Head (Dead-Heading):
    A shipment from one terminal to another with no applicable freight charges. Also used to describe the return of an empty transportation container/trailer back to a terminal or facility (empty backhaul).
  • Dead Head:
    When a drayage firm is required to move empty equipment a long distance to pick up a load. Movement of a crew from one point to another or to a train by vehicle transportation or by train.
  • Declared Value (Code:
    Documents the total dollar value of the goods being shipped by the shipper. This is necessary when the rates applied to a shipment are based on the value of the goods.
  • Declared Value (Code:
    Documents the total dollar value of the goods being shipped by the shipper. This is necessary when the rates applied to a shipment are based on the value of the goods.
  • Declared Value (Code:
    Documents the total dollar value of the goods being shipped by the shipper. This is necessary when the rates applied to a shipment are based on the value of the goods.
  • Declared Value (Code: “DEC”):
    Documents the total dollar value of the goods being shipped by the shipper. This is necessary when the rates applied to a shipment are based on the value of the goods.
  • Dedicated Delivery:
    See Milk Run.
  • Dedicated Train:
    A train that by design transports a dedicated commodity or type of cars. In the case of intermodal, intermodal trains only carry trailers and/or containers.
  • Delivery Manifest:
    A listing of shipments loaded on a P&D unit for delivery
  • Delivery Receipt (DR):
    A legal document signed by the consignee and Carrier that completes the contract of carriage when the freight is received.
  • Delivery:
    The act of transferring freight from the carrier to the consignee.
  • Demurrage:
    The detention of containers by the shippers or receivers of freight beyond the specified free time. See also Waiting Time.
  • Density Calculation:
    Density of a shipment is equal to the length of the freight, times the height of the freight, times the width of the freight in inches. The product is then divided by 1,728 to convert the units to cubic feet. (12"
  • Department of Transportation (DOT):
    The governing body concerned about any commerce that crosses state lines. Principally, this segment of the government regulates the interstate truck operations.
  • Destination Terminal (DT):
    The terminal that will deliver the shipment within the geographical area that the terminal serves.
  • Detention:
    A charge made on trailers/containers held by or for a consignor/consignee for loading or unloading, forwarding directions or any other purpose.
  • Direct Shipment:
    The territory serviced directly by the assets of a particular carrier; most typically referring to the service network of a Less-Than-Truckload carrier.
  • Dispatch/Dispatcher:
    The scheduling and control of intercity traffic and intracity pickup and delivery; an individual tasked to assign available transportation loads to available drivers.
  • Displacement Light:
    The weight of a vessel without cargo, fuel or stores.
  • Disposition:
    Authorized instructions given to a common carrier regarding the movement of a shipment.
  • Distressed Freight:
    Any shipment that has a problem causing either a delay in delivery service or non-delivery.
  • Distribution Service:
    A service in which the carrier accepts one shipment from one shipper and, after transporting it as a single shipment, separates it into a number of parts at the destination and distributes them to many receivers.
  • Distribution:
    The activities associated with the movement of material
  • Diversion:
    A change made in the route of a shipment in transit.
  • Division:
    The amount of revenue apportioned to each rail carrier participating in a given route, where the customer is invoiced on a through-rate basis.
  • Dock Worker:
    Persons hired to load and unload freight from the trailers.
  • Dock:
    A space used for receiving merchandise at a freight terminal.
  • Dolly:
    An auxiliary axle assembly equipped with a fifth wheel (coupling device), for the purpose of converting a semi-trailer into a full-trailer (or for hauling multiple trailers behind a single power unit). The dolly, or converter dolly, is towed by a semi-trailer and supports the front of, and tows, another semitrailer. Also referred to as
  • Door-to-Door:
    A movement of lading from the customers front door (dock) to the receivers front door (dock).
  • Door-to-Ramp:
    A movement of lading from the customers front door (dock) to the destination intermodal ramp closest to the receiver.
  • DOT:
    See Department of Transportation.
  • Double-Stack:
    The movement of containers on articulated rail cars which enable the one container to be stacked on another container for better ride quality and car utilization.
  • DR:
    See Delivery Receipt.
  • Drayage:
    The movement of a container or trailer to or from the railroad intermodal terminal to or from the customer's facility for loading or unloading.
  • Drayman:
    A person employed to pick up or drop off a container or trailer at an intermodal terminal.
  • Driver Assist:
    When a drayman is required to assist in the loading/unloading of a container or trailer.
  • Drop & Pull:
    Drayman drops loaded or unloaded unit at shipper or receiver and hooks up to unit which was previously dropped and returns it to the ramp.
  • Drop Trailer:
    A situation where the carrier spots, or drops off a trailer at the customer
  • Dry Run:
    When a drayman goes to a ramp to pick up a container and for some reason leaves without one.
  • Dunnage:
    The material used to protect or support freight in containers or trailers.
  • Duty:
    The tax imposed by a government on merchandise imported from another country.
  • EDI (Electronic Data Interchange):
    The process of sending and retrieving information electronically, i.e. bills of lading, freight bills, etc.
  • EDI:
    See Electronic Data Interchange.
  • Eighteen Wheeler:
    Generally, a rig with 18 wheels. Some rigs can now have 26 or 34 wheels.
  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI):
    The process by which information in the form of data is exchanged between carriers and customers. Different data
  • Embargo:
    To resist or prohibit the acceptance and handling of freight. An embargo may be caused by acts of God such as tornadoes, floods, inclement weather, congestion, etc.
  • EMP:
    A domestic interline container service offered by Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern. Also included in the program are agent railroads such as I&M Rail Link, Iowa Interstate, Wisconsin Central and Kansas City Southern. EMP provides a fleet of nearly 25,000 48' and 53' domestic containers and chassis that may move throughout a large network.
  • Empties:
    Trailers without freight.
  • En Route:
    In transit to destination.
  • Exchange BOL:
    A bill of lading which is given in exchange for another.
  • Exclusive Use Vehicle (EUV):
    Full use of a carrier
  • Expedite:
    Rush handling of a shipment.
  • Export BOL:
    One given to cover a shipment consigned to some foreign country.
  • Export Broker:
    One who brings together the exporter and importer for a fee and then withdraws from the transaction.
  • Export License:
    A governmental permit required to export certain products to certain destinations.
  • Export:
    To send goods to a foreign country or overseas territory.
  • Extra Board:
    Unassigned engineers or trainmen used to protect vacancies or make up extra crews as needed to protect higher traffic levels.
  • FAK:
    Freight of All Kinds
  • FCL (Full Container Load):
    The most common types of containers are 20?, 40? and 40?
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):
    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established as a separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation. Its primary mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.
  • FIFO:
    First-in-first-out. In warehousing, it describes the method of rotating inventory to use oldest product first.
  • Flat Car:
    A rail freight car with no supporting structure above the load deck except for bulkheads at the ends of the car on some types. See TOFC.
  • Flatcar:
    A freight car having a floor without any housing or body above. Frequently used to carry containers and/or trailers or oversized/odd-shaped commodities. The three types of flatcars used in intermodal are conventional, spine and stack cars.
  • Flip Charges:
    Charges assessed to a shipper when the railroad is required to provide an unnecessary or extra flip. An example of this is when a private container is grounded off of a train and no chassis is available at that time. A flip charge is assessed because a flip is required at a time after the train is unloaded.
  • Flip:
    When a container is picked up off of the ground and mounted on a chassis for street or highway transport.
  • FOB:
    See Free on Board.
  • Force Majeure:
    The title of a standard clause on Bills of Lading or airway bills exempting the parties for nonfulfillment of their obligations as a result of conditions beyond their control, such as earthquakes, floods, strikes or wars.
  • Foreign Carrier:
    A term used by a carrier in making references to all other carriers collectively.
  • Foreign Equipment:
    Any car not belonging to the particular railway on which it is running.
  • Forklift (Tow Motor):
    A motorized vehicle used to move freight that cannot be handled with a dock cart.
  • Forklift Extensions:
    Longer blades that are attached to the regular blades of the forklift to enable it to move odd-shaped freight and long pallets.
  • Forklift Rug Pole:
    A specially designed forklift extension used to move rugs and large rolls of fabric.
  • FRA:
    Federal Railroad Administration - The FRA deals specifically with transportation policy as it affects the nation's railroads and is responsible for enforcement of rail safety laws.
  • Free Astray:
    A bill moving through a carriers system with no freight charges attached. This can be either a DPO (direct to consignee or designated salvage) or NOC (intra-company business only) depending on the circumstances.
  • Free on Board (FOB):
    The point at which the title of the goods passes from the shipper to the consignee.
  • Free Time:
    The period allowed the owner to accept delivery before storage or detention charges begin to accrue.
  • Freight All Kinds (FAK):
    A tariff classification for various kinds of goods that are pooled and shipped together at one freight rate. Consolidated shipments are generally classified as FAK.
  • Freight Bill:
    Statements containing commodity and payment information.
  • Freight charge:
    Payment due for freight transportation.
  • Freight Forwarder:
    One who assembles small shipments into one large shipment which then is tendered to a regulated over the road carrier. Upon reaching destination, the shipment is separated into small shipments and delivered.
  • FSC:
    See Fuel Surcharge.
  • Fuel Surcharge (FSC):
    An additional charge added to the freight bill for the price of fuel according to the National Fuel Index to offset the high cost of fuel.
  • Fulfillment:
    A process that supplies a finished manufactured product directly from a manufacturing facility to a distributor or end user. The fulfillment cycle may include receiving customer orders, configuring the products to order, shipping and invoicing products to distribution outlets or end users.
  • Full Container Load:
    See FCL.
  • Full Trailer:
    A truck trailer with wheels on both ends (as compared to a semitrailer in which the front rests on the rear of the power unit).
  • Gate:
    A point at an intermodal terminal where a clerk checks in and out all containers and trailer. All reservations and paperwork are checked at the gatehouse.
  • Gatehouse:
    A structure at the gate where a clerk inspects and clears the entrance and exit of all containers and trailers.
  • Gateway:
    A point through which freight commonly moves from one territory or carrier to another.
  • Gaylord:
    The trade name for a large, reusable, standard-sized corrugated container used for shipping materials.
  • Government BOL:
    A special form of bill of lading which is used in making shipments for the account of the United States Government.
  • Gross Weight:
    The entire weight of a shipment including containers and packaging materials.
  • Hand Truck:
    A manual device used to move piece goods, cartons and appliances. It usually has two wheels.
  • Haulage:
    A legal agreement between two rail partners. The owner of the agreement is referred to as the 'Haulage Rights Carrier.' The other partner is referred to as the 'Haulage Movement Carrier.' With this agreement, the 'rights carrier' requests the 'movement carrier' to move equipment over an agreed segment of track, but to outside parties it appears as if the 'rights carrier' is doing the work.
  • HAWB:
    See House Air Waybill.
  • Hazardous Material (Haz Mat):
    Substance or combination their of which, because of its quantity, concentration, physical or chemical characteristics, may cause or significantly pose a substantial hazard to human health or the environment when improperly packaged, stored, transported or otherwise managed.
  • Hazardous Materials (Hazmat):
    The Transportation Safety Act of 1974 defines hazardous material as:
  • Hazmat Regulations:
    Standards set by the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) Office of Hazardous Materials Transportation (OHMT) that regulates how hazardous materials are shipped.
  • Head Haul:
    The term used to define the highest revenue-generating shipping lane from shipper to consignee. Opposite of backhaul.
  • Head Load:
    First load used to start a trailer.
  • Headhaul:
    Rail or truck term used to define the highest revenue generating shipping lane from shipper to receiver.
  • High Value Freight:
    Freight that has a value exceeding the common cargo coverage of typical Less-Than-Truckload or Full Truckload providers. Coverage varies significantly with Less-Than-Truckload carriers. Truckload carriers most commonly carry cargo insurance coverage up to $100,000 per occurrence.
  • HOS:
    See Hours of Service.
  • Hours of Service (HOS):
    A ruling that stipulates the amount of time a driver is allowed to work enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. On January 4, 2004, the HOS rule was changed from a driver being allowed to drive for 10 hours and break for 8 consecutive hours with 15 hours on duty in a day to the current rule of driving for 11 hours and breaking for 10 consecutive hours with 14 hours on duty.
  • House Air Waybill (HAWB):
    A shipper-to-consignee air waybill. The forwarding agent
  • Hub Terminal:
    Terminals that offer next-day service to specific geographical regions.
  • Hub:
    The consolidation of freight at several terminals to build full loads that focus mainly on shorter haul (next-day) lanes.
  • Hundred Weight:
    See CWT.
  • ICC:
    Interstate Commerce Commission, a federal regulatory agency that governed over the rules and regulations of the railroading industry. The ICC Termination Act of 1995 ended this regulatory agency. Most responsibilities were transferred to the Surface Transportation Board.
  • Image:
    A visual impression of a document such as a Bill of Lading and/or a delivery receipt.
  • Import License:
    A governmental document that permits the importation of a product or material into a country where such licenses are necessary.
  • Import:
    To bring merchandise into a country from another country or overseas territory.
  • In Bond:
    A.) Freight that will not be released by Customs until duty or taxes are paid by the customer.B.) The movement of freight within the U.S. without formal entry into that country
  • Inbond:
    When lading clears customs at the ultimate destination instead of at the border.
  • Inbound:
    Freight moving toward a terminal.
  • Ingate:
    The process of checking a container or trailer into the intermodal facility. The ingate process includes inspection of the unit, reservation confirmation, the input of data into Union Pacific's computer system and the filling out of the J-1.
  • Inland Carrier:
    A transportation company which hauls export or import traffic between ports and inland points.
  • Inside Pickup and Delivery Service:
    Pickup or delivery service to locations other than the shipping dock.
  • Inspection:
    An examination, viewing or checking over for the purpose of ascertaining the quality, authenticity or conditions of an item or product.
  • Interchange Agreement:
    Agreement between a railroad and a drayage company that allows a specific drayage company to drop off or pick up railroad or private intermodal equipment at the said railroad's facilities. Also known as an Equipment Interchange Agreement.
  • Interchange:
    The exchange of rail cars between connecting railroads.
  • Interline Agreement:
    An arrangement between two or more road transport companies joining operations to bring cargo to a certain destination.
  • Interline Carrier:
    A carrier with whom another carrier has an interline agreement.
  • Intermodal Association of North America (IANA):
    An industry trade association representing the combined interests of intermodal freight transportation companies.
  • Intermodal Marketing Company (IMC):
    IMCs purchase rail and truck transportation services, utilize equipment from multiple sources, and provide other value-added services under a single freight bill to the ultimate shipper.
  • Intermodal Terminal:
    A railroad facility designed for the loading and unloading of containers and trailers to and from flat cars for movement on the railroad and subsequent movement on the street or highway.
  • Intermodal:
    Relating to transportation by more than one means of conveyance. For instance, transportation by both truck and rail is referred to as intermodal transportation.
  • Interstate:
    Freight moving between states.
  • Intraregional:
    A haul moving within a region.
  • Intrastate:
    Freight moving within a state.
  • Inventory Management:
    The direction and control of activities: making sure the requirements for place, time, quantity, form and cost are all met.
  • Inventory Turn:
    Number of items inventory turns during a one-year period. Generally calculated by dividing the average inventory level (or current inventory level) into the annual inventory usage (annual Cost of Goods sold).
  • IPI (Interior Point Intermodal):
    Imported traffic movement from an origin port to an inland point on an ocean bill of lading.
  • J-1:
    A report filled out during the ingate and outgate process. The J-1 details damage to the unit, container information, shipping information, drayman involved and time of ingate/outgate.
  • JIT (Just-in-Time):
    An inventory control system that manages material flow into assembly and manufacturing plants by coordinating demand and supply to the point where desired materials arrive just in time for use. An inventory reduction strategy that feeds production lines with products delivered
  • King Pin:
    A large steel pin located beneath the front of a trailer. The king pin fits down into the jaws on the fifth wheel of a tractor or a dolly, thereby hooking the tractor up to the trailer, or the pup up to the first trailer.
  • Known Shipper:
    A shipping security status that allows a shipper to move freight on any commercial airline. A known shipper has a valid account number with an IAC (Indirect Air Carrier) and has executed the proper documents required by the TSA to become a known shipper to the IAC. Unknown shippers are not permitted to ship anything via passenger airplane.
  • Lading:
    That which constitutes a load. The freight in or on a rail car, container or trailer.
  • Landbridge:
    Containerized marine traffic that is routed via rail across the United States on traffic between the Far East and Europe/Canada in lieu of all water routes.
  • Landing Gear:
    Moveable metal legs on the front of a semi-trailer which support the trailer when not connected to a tractor.
  • LCL:
    Less-than-Container-Load.
  • Left on Board (LOB):
    Freight that has not been worked or taken off a trailer.
  • Less-than-Container-Load:
    See LCL.
  • Less-Than-Truckload (LTL):
    Less than a truckload.
  • LGATE:
    See Lift Gate.
  • Lift Gate (Code:
    A power-operated tailgate capable of lifting a load from street level to the level of a truck or trailer floor or vice versa.
  • Lift Gate (Code:
    A power-operated tailgate capable of lifting a load from street level to the level of a truck or trailer floor or vice versa.
  • Lift Gate (Code:
    A power-operated tailgate capable of lifting a load from street level to the level of a truck or trailer floor or vice versa.
  • Lift Gate (Code: “LGATE”):
    A power-operated tailgate capable of lifting a load from street level to the level of a truck or trailer floor or vice versa.
  • Lift:
    The process of moving a container or trailer to and or from a rail car.
  • Line-haul:
    The movement of freight over the road/rail from origin terminal to destination terminal, usually over long distances.
  • Live Load:
    When a drayman stays with a container or trailer while being loaded or unloaded.
  • lnterline Freight:
    Freight moving from point of origin to destination over two or more transportation lines.
  • lntermodal:
    Transport of freight by two or modes of transportation. Examples are:
  • Load Bars:
    Removable metal bars used to brace freight inside the trailer.
  • Load Lock:
    A device used to secure and brace freight in a trailer. Similar to Load Bars, often used as synonyms.
  • Load Manifest:
    See Manifest.
  • Load Racks:
    Racks used like shelves in a trailer to add an additional layer of loading space. Most frequently used by Less-than-Truckload providers to maximize trailer capacity.
  • Load Shift:
    The term when the contents of a container or trailer are shifted inside the unit sometime after it leaves the actual origin and before it arrives at the final destination.
  • Loading Diagram:
    A form used by origin dock personnel to record each shipment on a trailer as it is loaded for other destination terminals. It must include the initials of each person loading the freight on the trailer. This form includes such information as the date, outbound trailer number, tractor number, destination terminal, destination relay and a place for the weight of each shipment signed on the trailer.
  • LOB:
    See Left on Board.
  • Local Move:
    A railroad movement in which only one road haul carrier participates. The one carrier serves both the origin and destination station.
  • Log:
    A driver
  • Logistics Post Trailers:
    Trailers that have slotted posts to attach load beams for the purpose of stacking and bracing to provide optimal protection for freight.
  • Logistics:
    All activities involved in the management of product movement, including delivering the right product from the right origin to the right destination, with the right quality and quantity, at the optimal schedule and price.
  • Low-Bed Trailer:
    See Lowboy.
  • Lowboy (Low-Bed Trailer):
    An open truck trailer constructed to provide a low platform height. It is designed for the transportation of hauling heavy equipment.
  • LTL (Less Than Truckload):
    A shipment that would not by itself fill the truck to capacity by weight or volume.
  • LTL:
    See Less-Than-Truckload.
  • Lumper:
    A person hired to help unload a container or trailer instead of using the driver.
  • Maintenance of Way:
    The process of maintaining roadbed (rail, ties, ballast, bridges etc.) These materials are hauled in special maintenance of way cars, which also include cars that are equipped with heavy equipment, such as cranes and tie replacing machines.
  • Manifest:
    Document that lists and describes in detail the goods in a load on a vehicle. As a rule, agents at the place of loading draw up the manifest. Also referred to as the shipping document.
  • Master Air Waybill (MAWB):
    A shipper-to-carrier air waybill. It outlines the conditions between the forwarding agent and the transportation carrier. See also House Air Waybill and Airbill.
  • MAWB:
    See Master Air Waybill.
  • Mexico Crossings:
    Number of cars delivered/received on a daily basis between Union Pacific and Mexican railways at border points, such as Laredo, Texas.
  • Milk Run:
    A pickup and/or delivery route where several sequential stops are made. It usually refers to a regularly run route, but it may also refer to a one-time run where several stops are made. Some consider a milk run to mean a route where shipments are delivered and inbound materials are picked up in the same run. Also known as dedicated delivery.
  • Mini-Landbridge:
    Imported traffic movement from an origin port to a destination port on an ocean bill of lading via land transportation.
  • NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement):
    An agreement for free trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico that became effective in 1994.
  • National Fuel Index:
    Fuel surcharges are generally based on the National Fuel Index published by the U.S. Department of Energy every Monday. The index is based on several factors, including the average fuel costs by region. Whenever the cost of fuel exceeds a base range established by a carrier, a fuel surcharge may be added to base freight charges (before any accessorial charges).
  • National Motor Freight Classification:
    See NMFC.
  • NMFC (National Motor Freight Classification):
    The NMFC item number is assigned according to commodity type and is used by LTL carriers to determine the level of rates for a shipment.
  • NOI (Not Otherwise Indicated):
    The abbreviation used for chemicals that are either mixtures of hazardous materials or possibly new hazardous materials that have not been given their own proper shipping name. Also referred to as NOS (Not Otherwise Specified).
  • Non-Asset-Based Provider:
    Does not have the assets (e.g., trucks, terminals, planes or warehouses) of a carrier. The non-asset provider supplies the Bill of Lading and assumes responsibility for a shipment, but uses the resources of asset-based carriers to provide physical pickup, line-haul and delivery service.
  • Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier:
    See NVOCC.
  • Nose:
    The front of the trailer closest to the tractor.
  • Notify Party:
    The party that is notified at the time a container or trailer is grounded from a train. Most notify parties are draymen.
  • NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier):
    A firm that offers the same services as an ocean carrier, but which does not own or operate a vessel. NVOCCs usually act as consolidators, accepting small shipments (LCL) and consolidating them into full container loads. They then act as shippers, tendering the containers to ocean common carriers. They are required to file tariffs with the Federal Maritime Commission and are subject to the same laws and statutes that apply to primary common carriers.
  • Ocean Bill of Lading:
    Receipt and contract of carriage with a steamship company movement of goods between ports.
  • Ocean Charges:
    Covers transport from the mainland terminal to the destination terminal after the water portion of the journey. These charges include accessorial fees such as drayage, wharfage and terminal handling charges. Ocean charges are generally based on cubic feet or hundred weight (CWT) pricing.
  • Ocean Container:
    A single, rigid, sealed, reusable metal box in which merchandise is shipped by a vessel, truck or rail.
  • Off Junction:
    Location where interchange to another carrier takes place.
  • Order BOL:
    A negotiable document. Surrender of the original property endorsed is required by transportation lines upon delivery of the freight, in accordance with its terms.
  • OS&D (Overages, Shortages and Damages):
    Freight that is either in excess of or less than that identified on the freight bill, or goods that have sustained injury before, during or after transit.
  • OTR (Over the Road):
    Refers to movement of a truck over the road instead of an intermodal movement.
  • Outbound:
    Freight on a trailer that is moving out from a terminal.
  • Outgate:
    The process of checking a container or trailer out of an intermodal facility. The outgate process includes inspection of the unit, input of data into Union Pacific's computer system and the filling out of the J-1.
  • OutReach Program:
    A rail-truck or truck-rail movement in which Union Pacific has combined the rail and drayage into a single transportation package for EMP and SPDU containers. Containers are shipped via rail from one terminal to another. After that, a contracted drayage firm drays the container to the paper ramp operators lot for customer pickup. The process also works reverse as well, shipment can originate with the truck movement and then move to the rail portion of the movement. Also referred to as the OutReach Program.
  • Overage:
    A situation where there is more freight than is specified on the freight bill.
  • Overflow:
    Added freight that, due to capacity, could not be loaded with the rest of the shipment in the original load.
  • Overhead Shipment:
    A railroad movement involving at least three railroad carriers at which UP is neither the first nor the last carrier.
  • Owner Code:
    The Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) is a unique two-to-four-letter code used to identify transportation companies. The National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc., (NMFTA) developed these identification codes in the late 1960s to facilitate computerization in the transportation industry. The NMFTA assigns the codes, which are the recognized transportation company identification codes used in all motor, rail and water carrier transactions where carrier identification is required. Certain groups of SCACs are reserved for specific purposes. Codes ending in the letter
  • P&D:
    Pickup and delivery. Local movement of freight between the shipper (or pickup point) and the origin terminal or between the destination terminal and the consignee (or delivery point).
  • Packer:
    A moveable piece of heavy machinery used to lift rail containers or trailers on/off railroad flatcars at an intermodal facility. Also known as a piggybacker.
  • Packing List or Packing Slip (Code:
    A document provided by the shipper that travels with the freight and usually lists the contents of the shipment. It may be attached to the freight and/or the Bill of Lading or sent with the shipment as an additional piece of freight.
  • Packing List or Packing Slip (Code:
    A document provided by the shipper that travels with the freight and usually lists the contents of the shipment. It may be attached to the freight and/or the Bill of Lading or sent with the shipment as an additional piece of freight.
  • Packing List or Packing Slip (Code:
    A document provided by the shipper that travels with the freight and usually lists the contents of the shipment. It may be attached to the freight and/or the Bill of Lading or sent with the shipment as an additional piece of freight.
  • Packing List or Packing Slip (Code: “PSA”):
    A document provided by the shipper that travels with the freight and usually lists the contents of the shipment. It may be attached to the freight and/or the Bill of Lading or sent with the shipment as an additional piece of freight.
  • Packing List:
    A detailed specification as to goods packed into a container or trailer.
  • Pad:
    An area within a parking lot or intermodal terminal designated for a particular type of container or trailer, such as loaded outbound.
  • Pallet (Code
    A wooden frame, typically 48"
  • Pallet (Code
    A wooden frame, typically 48"
  • Pallet (Code
    A wooden frame, typically 48"
  • Pallet (Code “PLT”):
    A wooden frame, typically 48" × 48" used for unitizing freight.
  • Pallet Deck:
    See Load Racks.
  • Pallet Jack:
    A manual device with fork extensions that can be positioned under a pallet to move it from one location to another.
  • Pallet:
    A wooden, paper or plastic platform usually with a top and bottom, on which packaged goods are placed to facilitate movement by some type of freight handling equipment.
  • Palletized Freight:
    Freight that is being shipped on a pallet.
  • Paper Ramp:
    A rail-truck or truck-rail movement in which Union Pacific has combined the rail and drayage into a single transportation package for EMP and SPDU containers. Containers are shipped via rail from one terminal to another. After that, a contracted drayage firm drays the container to the paper ramp operators lot for customer pickup. The process also works reverse as well, shipment can originate with the truck movement and then move to the rail portion of the movement. Also referred to as the OutReach Program.
  • PAPS:
    See Pre-Arrival Processing System.
  • PARS:
    See Pre-Arrival Review System.
  • Payload:
    Total weight of the commodity being carried on a truck at a given time, including packaging, banding, etc.
  • Per Diem:
    Charge based on a fixed rate per day which a carrier makes against another carrier or customer for use of its containers or trailers.
  • Per Hundred Weight:
    See CWT.
  • Perishables:
    Any goods transported that are subject to deterioration or spoiling if not used for their intended purpose within time restraints. (Examples: foodstuffs, drugs, flowers, flower bulbs, etc.)
  • Pick and Pack:
    A process, usually done in a warehouse facility, wherein a company or third party organization (usually from a warehouse facility) accepts retail orders, picks products from inventory, packs them, and then ships them to an end user.
  • Pick and Pass:
    See Zone Picking.
  • Pick Up:
    The act of transferring freight from the shipper to the carrier, ultimately delivering the freight to the consignee.
  • Pickup Number:
    A secure number provided to parties listed on the waybill. It allows only those parties to receive a container in order to outgate from our ramp facilties.
  • Piggyback:
    Transportation of a highway trailer on a railroad flatcar.
  • Pigs:
    A railroad term for trailers loaded on flatcars.
  • Pigtail:
    Cable used to transmit electrical power from the tractor to the trailer. It is so named because it is coiled like a pig
  • Pintle Hook:
    Coupling device used in double-trailer, triple-trailer and truck-trailer combinations. It has a curved, fixed towing horn and an upper latch that opens to accept the drawbar eye of a trailer or dolly.
  • Placard:
    A sign affixed to a rail car or truck, which indicates the hazardous designation of the product being transported in that vehicle.
  • Placards:
    The square-on-point symbol on each side of the trailer signifying the hazardous materials loaded on the trailer.
  • POD:
    See Proof of Delivery.
  • Point of Origin:
    The terminal at which freight is received from the shipper.
  • Pool Distribution:
    To help avoid excessive offloads, multiple LTL shipments headed for a common marketplace are combined onto one trailer. The freight is then delivered to a central distribution facility for local or short-route delivery. This generally reduces handling, lowers costs and shortens transit times.
  • Pool:
    An assigned group of containers, trailers or cars used to satisfy the transportation requirements of a customer.
  • Port Charge:
    A charge for services rendered at ports.
  • Port Mark:
    A term used in foreign shipping which denotes final destination ? not the port of entry unless such port is the final destination.
  • Port of Entry:
    A port at which foreign goods are admitted into the receiving country. Ports of entry are officially designated by the government.
  • Power Short:
    Means there is not enough power coming into the terminal to protect the scheduled outbound departures.
  • PPD:
    See Prepaid.
  • Pre-Arrival Processing System (PAPS):
    The system used to process customs paperwork before southbound freight originating in Canada reaches the U.S. border. As a result, the freight crosses into the U.S. from Canada much more quickly.
  • Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS):
    The Pre-Arrival Review System is used to process customs paperwork before northbound freight reaches the Canada border. As a result, the freight crosses from the U.S. into Canada much more quickly.
  • Premium Service:
    Highest level of service available on the railroad.
  • Prepaid (PPD):
    Freight charges that have been or will be paid by the shipper and/or a third party.
  • Private Equipment:
    Equipment whose ownership is vested in a person or company that is not engaged in the service of common carriage.
  • PRO Labels:
    Self-adhesive stickers used to identify shipments. They are placed on the customer
  • PRO Number:
    Pre-assigned, ten-digit freight bill number given to each shipment to serve as a tracking number. PRO is an acronym for
  • Proof of Delivery (POD):
    Information supplied by the carrier containing the name of the person who signed for the shipment, the time and date of delivery, and other shipment delivery-related information.
  • Proportional Price:
    Price from or to an intermediate point. Rate is to be used in combination with another carrier's proportional rate to make an interline rate.
  • Pup Trailer:
    A 28-foot trailer most commonly used by Less-Than-Truckload carriers.
  • Pup:
    A 28' trailer, used mostly in less-than-truckload business.
  • Purchased Transportation:
    Any transportation service that a carrier needs for its operations that it does not perform itself, or that another carrier can perform in a less costly manner. Also, a term used to describe service offered by third-party logistics providers. It generally involves the program of buying freight capacity at volume levels for many shippers at substantial discounts, and it can include the administration and coordination of all activities associated with a freight management system.
  • Ramp-to-Door:
    A movement of lading from the intermodal ramp closest to the customer to the receivers from door (dock).
  • Ramp-to-Ramp:
    A movement of lading from the intermodal ramp closest to the customer to the closest intermodal ramp to the receiver.
  • Ramp:
    Slang word for an intermodal terminal. Ramps were originally structures, permanent or temporary, from which trailers or machinery are driven onto or off of a railroad flatcar.
  • Rates:
    Basic cost of a shipment, excluding accessorial charges.
  • RCAF (Rail Cost Adjustment Factor):
    An index published quarterly by the AAR showing the average change in railroad costs.
  • Reconsignment:
    Any change, other than a change in route, made in a consignment before the arrival of goods at their billed destination. Any change made in a consignment after the arrival of goods at their billed destination. When the change is accomplished under conditions which make it subject to the reconsignment rules and charges of the carrier.
  • Recrew:
    Crew used to bring a train into a terminal when the original crew has insufficient time to complete the trip and a second crew is necessary.
  • Redelivery:
    An attempt to deliver the freight back to the consignee after the freight was originally refused.
  • Refusal:
    Freight for which delivery was attempted; however, the consignee was not willing to accept the goods for a number of potential reasons.
  • Regional:
    A haul of up to 500 miles that begins and ends in a single regional territory (e.g. Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest).
  • Relay Power:
    Changing out a train's locomotives to correct a situation, such as bad order engines or wrong type/class of units for service.
  • Restricted Articles:
    Articles that in certain forms are either excluded from air cargo entirely, or that are subject to stringent requirements on volume or packaging.
  • Return to Shipper:
    A shipment being sent back to the shipper with or without freight/ accessorial charges.
  • Returns:
    See Reverse Logistics.
  • Revenue Empty:
    Movement of an empty container or trailer that generates revenue for the railroad. Done for repositioning purposes.
  • Reverse Logistics:
    Service that enables end users to reposition used, damaged or outdated products or reusable packaging sometimes called returns. These items are retrieved from end users, consolidated and delivered back to the requestor
  • Reverse Route:
    The exact reverse of the route a loaded car traveled from its destination, including all carriers and junctions involved.
  • REZ-1:
    An independent agent that handles all reservations and billing functions for EMP customers with a centralized system to manage assets through the internet. REZ-1 also handles UP trailer reservations for selected points.
  • Road Driver:
    A driver that does not usually perform the final delivery of the freight; rather, the road driver hauls the freight from terminal to terminal, generally during the night.
  • Rubber Wheel Interchange:
    Containers or trailers that are interchanged between two railroads by means of drayage.
  • Rule 11:
    A railroad accounting term which refers to a customer shipping their freight "pre-paid" to an intermediate point and "collect" beyond that intermediate point to the final destination.
  • Run-Through:
    A train which originates on a different railroad that it terminates and does not get reclassified at interchange but rather "runs-through" to a point on the second railroad before the train is broken up.
  • Said to Contain:
    See STC.
  • Salvage:
    The portion of damaged goods or property that has been saved or recovered.
  • SCAC:
    Standard Carrier Alpha Code. See Owner Code.
  • Schedule B:
  • SCQ (Specific Commodity Quote):
    A private contract issued to Union Pacific Intermodal customers that lists rates for specific origin and destination pairs. Also includes restrictions and provisions for the application of those rates.
  • Seal Intact:
    The seal placed on a trailer door that has not been broken.
  • Seal:
    A device for fastening or locking the doors of a rail car, container or trailer. This is done for security and integrity of the shipment.
  • Seals and Locks:
    Devices designed to ensure the security and contents of a trailer. Seals are metal, self-locking strips with numbers that match the numbers on the manifest. They have to actually be broken in order to access the contents of the trailer.
  • Section 7 (SEC 7):
    This relieves the shipper of the responsibility of the freight charges if the carrier is unable to collect said charges from the consignee.
  • Semi:
    A truck trailer with no front-end axle. A king pin underneath the front end of the trailer attaches to a fifth wheel allowing that end of the trailer to rest on a tractor or a dolly. It is supported at the rear by its own wheels.
  • Shipment:
    A single consignment of one or more pieces from one shipper, at one address; signed for in one lot; and moving on one waybill or airbill to one receiver at one destination.
  • Shipper
    Standard Bill of Lading and manifest clause used by mutual agreement of both shipper and carrier for containerized cargo that is loaded and sealed by the shipper. As a result, the piece count in the container is not checked or otherwise verified by the carrier.
  • Shipper
    Standard Bill of Lading and manifest clause used by mutual agreement of both shipper and carrier for containerized cargo that is loaded and sealed by the shipper. As a result, the piece count in the container is not checked or otherwise verified by the carrier.
  • Shipper
    Standard Bill of Lading and manifest clause used by mutual agreement of both shipper and carrier for containerized cargo that is loaded and sealed by the shipper. As a result, the piece count in the container is not checked or otherwise verified by the carrier.
  • Shipper:
    The person/company that gives the shipment to the carrier for delivery to the consignee; the person/company shipping the freight.
  • Shipper’s Load and Count (SLC):
    Standard Bill of Lading and manifest clause used by mutual agreement of both shipper and carrier for containerized cargo that is loaded and sealed by the shipper. As a result, the piece count in the container is not checked or otherwise verified by the carrier.
  • Shipping Document:
    See Manifest.
  • Shipping Manifest System:
    Software used to associate shipments with carrier, service, rate, etc. Shipping manifest systems will produce a report (physical or electronic) that is sent to the carrier to be used for billing purposes.
  • Shortage:
    A situation that occurs when a shipment has fewer pieces than are called for on the freight bill.
  • Shrink-Wrap:
    See Stretch-Wrap.
  • Sidings Blocked:
    Auxiliary tracks normally used to meet/pass trains now used to hold trains/cuts of cars spacing/staging for terminals.
  • Skid (SK):
    See Pallet.
  • Slack:
    The elongation which occurs between railcar couplers because of their spring-loaded design.
  • SLC:
  • Sleeper Teams:
    Two drivers who operate a truck equipped with a sleeper berth. While one driver sleeps in the berth to accumulate mandatory off-duty time, the other driver operates the vehicle.
  • Sleeper:
    A truck tractor that has a sleeping compartment in the cab.
  • Sliding Tandem (Slider):
    Mechanism that allows a tandem axle suspension to be moved back and forth at the rear of a semi-trailer for the purpose of adjusting the distribution of weight between the axles and fifth wheel.
  • Slot Utilization:
    The method of utilizing every space available on a double-stack car. A slot includes the space above a container when another container can be double-stacked. A five platform double-stack car has 10 slots available for loading. If all 10 slots are loaded, you have 100% slot utilization.
  • Spine Car:
    A light weight articulated car that is a assembled in permanent consists of three or five platforms. Spine cars carry containers or trailers in single stack configuration.
  • Spotting:
    Placing a container in a required place for loading or unloading.
  • Spread Axle (Spread Tandem):
    Tandem axle assembly spaced further apart than the standard spacing of 54 inches. The U.S. federal bridge formula favors trailer axles with an 8-or-9 foot spread by allowing higher weight than on tandems with standard spacing.
  • Stack Car:
    An intermodal flatcar that was specifically designed to place one container on top of another better utilization and economics. Also referred to as a well car because the cars are depressed in the center to allow clearance of the double stacked containers when moving under low-lying structures.
  • Stanchion:
    The hitches used to support the nose end of trailers when they are mounted on a flatcar. There are two types of stanchions:
  • Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC):
    See Owner Code.
  • STC (Said To Contain):
    Usually used in conjunction with shrink-wrapped skids. A term in a Bill of Lading signifying that the carrier is unaware of the nature or quantity of the contents of a carton, crate, container or bundle and is relying on the description furnished by the shipper.
  • STCC (Standard Transportation Commodity Codes):
    The STCC system is a 7-digit coding structure designed to classify all commodities or articles which move or may move in freight transportation.
  • Steel Wheel Interchange:
    Containers or trailers that are interchanged between two railroads while on the railroad flatcar.
  • Stop-Offs:
    Truckload shipments with multiple stops delivered in sequence.
  • Storage Charge:
    A charge assigned to the shipper or consignee for holding containers or trailers at an intermodal terminal beyond the free time allotted to them.
  • Storage Charges:
    Costs that begin to accrue after the shipper has been notified of nondelivery and has not provided disposition.
  • Straight BOL:
    A non-negotiable document. Surrender of the original is not required upon delivery of the freight unless necessary to identify consignee.
  • Straight Truck:
    A vehicle wherein the cargo body and cab are mounted on the same chassis.
  • Street Time:
    The time a container or trailer is away from the possession of the railroad.
  • Stretch-Wrap:
    A protective layer of stretchy plastic wrapping, usually clear, used to hold cartons and products together in transit. It shrinks slightly after it is applied, and is commonly used to secure product to skids. Also known as shrink-wrap.
  • Stripping:
    The act of unloading a trailer.
  • Sufferance Warehouse:
    Licensed terminals that act as official sufferance warehouses for northbound freight that fails PARS at the U.S./Canada border. They are used to provide temporary storage in Canada where the imported goods can be examined and either released or exported back to the point of origin.
  • Supply Chain:
    The organization of processes used to move goods from the customer order through the raw materials stage, assembly, supply, production and distribution of products to the customer.
  • SWS:
    Stretch or shrink-wrapped skids
  • System Equipment:
    Equipment owned or leased by a railroad. Each railroad considers their own equipment as system equipment.
  • Tare Weight:
    The weight of a container and the material used for packing. As applied to a car/trailer, the weight of the car/trailer exclusive of its contents.
  • Tariff:
    A legal listing of rates used when moving regulated traffic by rail.
  • Terminal Is Current:
    No trains holding, switching is current, no delays expected to traffic, resources are adequate to protect operations.
  • Terminal:
    A building for the handling and temporary storage of freight pending transfer between locations. Also, the area where containers are prepared for loading into a vessel, train, truck or airplane or are stacked immediately after unloading from the vessel, train, truck or airplane.
  • Third Party:
    Paying party other than the shipper or consignee. Terms can be prepaid or collect.
  • Through Rate:
    A rate applicable from origin to destination over two or more rail carriers.
  • Tight on Power:
    Power is adequate to protect departures, but some delays may occur due to late arrival and servicing of locomotives.
  • To Go "In the Hole":
    When at the meeting point of opposing trains, one train "holds the main," the other "takes the hole" in a siding.
  • TOFC (trailer on flatcar):
    A rail trailer or container mounted on a chassis that is transported on a rail car. Also known as piggyback.
  • Tractor Trailer:
    Tractor and semitrailer combination; a complete rig.
  • Tractor:
    The cab, or the engine-powered vehicle, used to pull a trailer.
  • Trailer on Flatcar:
    See TOFC.
  • Trailer:
    A rectangular shaped box with permanent wheels attached for the transport of goods on rail, highway or a combination of both.
  • Transload:
    To physically transfer product from one transportation vehicle to another.
  • Transportation Broker:
    A person whose business it is to prepare shipping and customs documents for international shipments. Brokers often have offices at major freight gateways, including border crossings, seaports, and airports. See also Customs Broker.
  • Transportation Security Administration:
    See TSA.
  • Truck Tractor:
    See Tractor.
  • Truckload:
    A shipment taking up all the cubic footage in the trailer. In the context of Less-than-Truckload freight the minimum weight or volume required to qualify for either volume or truckload rates are typically similar to the following: the shipment must be greater than 4,999 lbs, or it must take up at least 10 liner feet of the trailer. Shipments weighing less or taking up fewer linear feet are considered LTL shipments and are typically not eligible for volume pricing.
  • TSA (Transportation Security Administration):
    A division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • Twins/Doubles:
    Short semi-trailers (under 28?) designed to operate as part of a combination vehicle with a trailer of similar length. Or, the combination of a tractor and two semi-trailers connected in tandem by a converter dolly. Also referred to as B-train equipment.
  • UDE:
    Undesired emergency, when air pressure contained within the air brake system is released, resulting in the application of train brakes.
  • UMLER (Universal Machine Language Equipment Register):
    A computer readable file of vital statistics for each railroad car in service. It applies to all railroads, types of cars and data processing machines.
  • UN/NA Number:
    Hazardous materials classification numbers specific to types of hazardous commodities.
  • Unknown Shipper:
    A shipper that can only move on the ground or on all-cargo airlines because it has not been approved as a known shipper.
  • Van Grounding:
    The event when a container or trailer is taken off of the train and placed on the ground for customer pickup. At this time, the container is mounted on a chassis and the notify party is notified.
  • Van Notify:
    The event when the notify party is notified by the railroad that the container or trailer is available for pickup.
  • Van:
    A trailer with an enclosed cargo space.
  • Vessel's Manifest:
    Statement of vessel's cargo, revenue, consignee, etc.
  • Waiting Time:
    When a vehicle is held at a pickup or delivery site beyond the specified free time.
  • Warehouse:
    Storage place for products. Principal warehouse activities include receipt of product, storage, order picking and shipment.
  • Waybill:
    A document covering a shipment and showing the forwarding and receiving station, the names of consignor and consignee, the car initials and number, the routing, the description and weight of the commodity, instructions for special services, the rate, total charges, advances and waybill reference for previous services and the amount prepaid.
  • Weight and Inspection:
    A carrier
  • Weight Break:
    Levels at which the airfreight rate per 100 pounds (CWT) decreases because of substantial increases in the weight of the shipment.
  • Well Car:
    An intermodal flatcar that was specifically designed to place one container on top of another better utilization and economics. Referred to as a well car because the cars are depressed in the center to allow clearance of the double-stacked containers when moving under low-lying structures.
  • Wharfage:
    A charge assessed by a pier or dock owner for handling incoming or outgoing cargo.
  • WMS (Warehouse Management System):
    Computer software designed specifically for managing the movement and storage of materials throughout the warehouse.
  • Yard Jockey:
    Person who operates a yard tractor.
  • Yard Tractor (Yard Mule):
    Special tractor used to move trailers around a terminal, warehouse, distribution center, etc.
  • Zone Picking:
    Order picking method where a warehouse is divided into several pick zones. Order pickers are assigned to a specific zone and only pick the items in that zone. Orders are moved from one zone to the next (usually on conveyor systems) as they are picked (also known as
  • Zone:
    An area or route for pickup and/or delivery operations. Also applies to specific areas of the dock for loading and unloading.