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Accessorial Charges – Charges made for performing services beyond normal pickup and delivery such as inside delivery or storage charges.

Air Freight Forwarder – An air freight forwarder provides pickup and delivery service under its own tariff, consolidates shipments into larger units, prepares shipping documentation, and tenders shipments to the airlines. Air freight forwarders do not generally operate their own aircraft and may therefore be called “indirect air carriers.” Because the air freight forwarder tenders the shipment, the airlines consider the forwarder to be the shipper.

Bill of Lading (B/L) – A bill of lading is a binding contract that serves three main purposes: (1) a receipt for the goods delivered to the carrier for shipment; (2) a definition or description of the goods; and (3) evidence of title to the relative goods, if “negotiable.”

Breakbulk Terminal – Consolidation and distribution center. A facility in a trucking company’s system that unloads and consolidates shipments received from both its smaller terminals and from other breakbulks. This facility may have its own city operation. Example: Freight destined for Texas from several New England states will be consolidated at our Stroudsurgh, PA, breakbulk for forwarding to Texas.

Broker – An independent contractor paid to arrange transportation of goods between a shipper and carrier.

Cartage Agent – A carrier that performs pickup or delivery in areas that the trucking company does not service themselves.

  • Freight is in the possession of Cartage Agent, not the trucking company.
  • Cartage agents use their own paperwork while transporting the shipment.
  • Diversified Transportation Services does not track the shipment while it is in the cartage agent’s possession.
  • When a trucking company gives a shipment to a cartage agent for delivery, the shipment is considered to be “delivered” by the online tracking tool.


Cargo Claim —A “Cargo Claim” is a demand made upon a transportation company for payment due to freight loss or damage alleged to have occurred while shipment was in the possession of carrier. Under the terms and conditions the Uniform Bill of Lading, all cargo claims must be filed within 9 months.

Overcharge Claim—“Overcharge Claims” are demands upon a transportation company for the refund of an overcharge from the erroneous application of rates, weights, and assessment of freight charges.

Commodity – Any article of commerce. Goods shipped.

Consignee – The person or place where a shipment will be transferred for the last time (destination); the individual or organization to whom the freight is addressed.

Delivery Receipt – Document dated and signed by consignee or its agent at the time of delivery stating the condition of the goods at delivery. The signed delivery receipt is returned to the driver for retention at the terminal as proof of delivery. The customer retains the remaining copy.

Dispatch – The act of sending a driver on his/her assigned route with specific instructions and required shipping papers.

Dock – A platform, generally the same height as the trailer floor, where trucks are loaded and unloaded.

Doubles – Vehicle configuration in which a tractor pulls two trailers connected by a dolly (converter that provides an extra axle and fifth wheel to the vehicle).

Freight – Any commodity being transported.

Freight Bill – Shipping document that gives a description of the freight, its weight, amount of charges, taxes, and whether the bill is collect or prepaid. If bill is prepaid, freight charges are paid by shipper. If bill is collect, freight charges are paid by the receiver of the goods or a third party.

Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) – The combined weight of the vehicle (tractor and trailers) and its goods.

Hazardous Material – Hazardous materials are defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation in accordance with the Federal Hazardous Material Law. A substance or material may be designated as hazardous if the transportation of the material in a particular amount and form poses an unreasonable risk to health and safety or property.

Hazardous material includes: explosives, radioactive materials, etiologic agents, flammable or combustible liquids or solids, poisons, oxidizing or corrosive materials, and compressed gases. For more information, go to the U.S. DOT website.

Intermodal – Shipment moved by more than one mode of transportation (ground, air, rail or ocean).

Less-Than-Truckload (LTL)- Freight from several shippers loaded onto one trailer. Each shipment usually weighs less than 10,000 pounds.

LTL is in contrast to truckload in which only one shipment from one shipper is loaded in a trailer.

Minimum Charge – The lowest charge for which a shipment will be handled after discount and/or adjustment.

National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) – Industry standard tariff published by motor carriers, which contains rules, descriptions, and rating for all commodities. Used to classify freight for the purpose of rating the freight bill. More information about freight classes and the NMFC can be found at

Order Notify – Also known as a negotiable bill of lading, this is a shipment requiring the consignee to surrender the original endorsed bill of lading upon delivery. Most commonly used with truckload shipments.

Overage – When the number of units received is more than the quantity shown on the shipping documents. Overages should not be delivered to a customer. They’re returned to the terminal unless the terminal receives more information while the driver is making pickups and deliveries.

Overcharge Claims – The payor of the shipping charges files an overcharge claim to dispute a discrepancy in charges that can stem from over payment, weight, etc.

Payment Terms – Generally, the shipper is responsible for payment of prepaid shipments and the consignee is responsible on collect shipment. Payments may also be handled by a third party indicated as payer on the shipping papers.

PRO – An acronym for “progressive rotating order.” A PRO number is assigned to each shipment and serves as a tracking number and a Diversified Transportation Services invoice number.

Shipping Documents – Papers accompanying a shipment as it moves through the trucking company’s system.

Third Party – A party other than the shipper or consignee that is ultimately responsible for paying the shipping charges.

Truckload (TL) – Shipment from a customer that weighs excess of 10,000 pounds or fills the entire trailer space so that no other shipments can be loaded.

Truck Tonnage – Weight (tons) of a shipment transported by a truck.