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American Society for Testing and Materials


American Trucking Association.


See Accounts Payable


See Accounts Receivable


In transportation, a first-class vessel. The letter “A” specifies the class in the which the hull is scheduled, and the numeral “1” refers to the stores and equipment. In Lloyd’s Register, vessels are rated A1, A2, and so on down.


Always Afloat (In some ports the ship aground when approaching, or at berth.)


Automobile Association – motoring organization providing roadside breakdown and other support services.

AA Roadwatch

Service of AA providing road reports, information on traffic delays, etc.


Air Accidents Investigation Branch. Agency that investigates air accidents involving UK registered aircraft in the UK or abroad.


1)I) Insurance against all risks. 2) Industry Association. Association of American Railroad


A point beyond the midpoint of a ships length, towards the rear or stern.


A proceeding wherein a shipper/consignee seeks authority to abandon all or parts of their cargo.

Abandoned vehicle

A motor vehicle that appears to the authorities to have been abandoned and which may subsequently be removed and disposed of under the provisions of the Road Traffic Regulation Acts.


The decision of a carrier to give up or to discontinue service over a route. Railroads must seek ICC permission to abandon routes.


A discount allowed for damage or overcharge in the payment of a bill is termed abatement. The extent of the abatement is usually designated before the bill is due. The amount of the abatement is deducted from the bill. The term abatement also refers to a suspension of proceedings.


See Activity Based Budgeting


See Activity Based Costing

ABC analysis

A form of Pareto* analysis applied to a group of products for selective inventory management controls. The inventory value for each item is obtained by multiplying the annual demand by unit cost and the entire inventory is then ranked in descending order of cost. However, the classification parameter can be varied; for example, it is possible to use the velocity of turnover rather than annual demand value.

ABC curve

ABC analysis whereby, for example, products or product lines can be categorized into A, B and C groupings where A represents fast movers, B = medium movers and C = slow movers. D usually represents obsolete items. Frequently drawn as a graph (or curve). See also Pareto – a system of analysis taking account of the 80/20 rule whereby generally 80 per cent of sales are for only 20 per cent of products.

ABC Model

In cost management, a representation of resource costs during a time period that are consumed through activities and traced to products, services, and customers or to any other object that creates a demand for the activity to be performed.

ABC stratification

Method used to categorize inventory into groups based upon certain activity characteristics. Examples of ABC stratifications would include ABC by velocity (times sold), ABC by sales dollars, ABC by quantity sold / consumed, ABC by average inventory investment, ABC by margin. ABC stratifications are used to develop inventory planning policies, set count frequencies for cycle counting, slot inventory for optimized order picking, and other inventory management activities.


See Automated Broker Interface.


See Activity Based Management

Abnormal Demand

Demand in any period that is outside the limits established by management policy. This demand may come from a new customer or from existing customers whose own demand is increasing or decreasing. Care must be taken in evaluating the nature of the demand is it a volume change, is it a change in product mix, or is it related to the timing of the order? Also see Outlier

Abnormal load

A load which cannot, without undue expense or risk of damage, be divided in two or more loads for the purpose of carriage by road and which by virtue of its size and weight cannot be carried on a normal road vehicle under the provisions of the C&U regulations*. Such loads are normally carried on ‘Special Types’ vehicles under the provisions of the Special Types General Order*.


Referring to cargo being put, or laden, onto a means of conveyance.

Above the rail costs

Method of cost determination in the rail industry whereby only those costs of the train and train operations are included. Thus, anything related to the rail, rail bed, track maintenance, etc. are not included.


See Activity Based Planning


Associated British Ports. The UK’s leading port business providing port facilities and services to shippers and cargo owners. Owns and operates 22 ports around Great Britain including the major container port of Southampton handling a quarter of the country’s sea-borne trade. Owns other businesses as well including Slater’s Transport.


Anti-lock braking system. See also Anti-lock braking.

Absolute advantage

Economic term used when relating two countries, firms, or other entities, where one of the parties enjoys an advantage that the other does not. This might be from possessing a patent or resources that are found in one but not in the other. It poses a barrier to entry for the one not possessing the item.

Absolute liability

A condition in which the carrier is responsible for all liability and is not exempted from the normal exemptions found in a bill of lading of common law liability.


Acceptance by the carrier of a portion of a joint rate or charge which is less than the amount which it would receive for the service in the absence of such joint rate or charge.


1) C (1) Carrier Rates: Carrier absorbs the cost of special services or privileges and does not include the freight charge, it is called absorption. The special charges may be for switching, lighterage, or wharfage. 2) Purchasing: Practice of seller paying for some of the freight charges so as to equalise freight costs with that of a competitor firms for order entry and processing and possibly for transmitting directions for shipping, checking on inventories and lead times, and billing.

Absorption costing

System of attaching variable and some fixed costs to units of inventory as they travel through the company.


A stowage term used in designating cargo stowed athwart ship instead of fore and aft.


Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service. Statutory body in the UK providing conciliation in trade disputes, also advice to employers/ employees on industrial relations matters, etc.

Accelerated SAP (ASAP)

A set of tools designed to speed up the SAP implementation process.

Acceptable Quality Level (AQL)

In quality management, when a continuing series of lots is considered, AQL represents a quality level that, for the purposes of sampling inspection, is the limit of a satisfactory process average. Also see Acceptance Sampling

Acceptable Sampling Plan

In quality management, a specific plan that indicates the sampling sizes and the associated acceptance or non-acceptance criteria to be used. Also see Acceptance Sampling.


A time draft (or bill of exchange) that the drawee (payer) has accepted and is unconditionally obligated to pay at maturity. – Broadly speaking, any agreement to purchase goods under specified terms.

Acceptance charges

A charge generally made by a Foreign Bank for presenting drafts for acceptance if the drafts are not left with them for collection.

Acceptance Number

In quality management, 1) A number used in acceptance sampling as a cutoff at which the lot will be accepted or rejected. For example, if x or more units are bad within the sample, the lot will be rejected. 2) The value of the test statistic that divides all possible values into acceptance and rejection regions. Also see Acceptance Sampling

Acceptance of Goods

The process of receiving a consignment from a consignor, usually against the issue of a receipt. As from this moment and on this place the carrier’s responsibility for the consignment begins.

Acceptance of honors

A term expressing a third party’s acceptance of a bill of exchange to save the honor of the drawee when the dreawee fails to carry out his obligation to accept it.

Acceptance Sampling

1) The process of sampling a portion of goods for inspection rather than examining the entire lot. The entire lot may be accepted or rejected based on the sample even though the specific units in the lot are better or worse than the sample. There are two types attributes sampling and variables sampling. In attributes sampling, the presence or absence of a characteristic is noted in each of the units inspected. In variables sampling, the numerical magnitude of a characteristic is measured and recorded for each inspected unit; this type of sampling involves reference to a continuous scale of some kind. 2) A method of measuring random samples of lots or batches of products against predetermined standards.

Acceptance supra protest

An arrangement to pay a bill of exchange after it has been protested, to save the credit and honor of the drawer or endorser.

Acceptance, banker’s

A time or date draft drawn on and accepted by a banking institution. This signifies that bank’s commitment to pay the face amount at maturity to a bona-fide holder.

Acceptance, documents against(D/A)

An indication on a draft that the documents attached are to be released to the drawee only upon acceptance of the drawer.

Acceptance, trade

A time or a date draft which has been accepted by the buyer (the drawee) for payment at maturity. Trade acceptances, unlike banker’s acceptances, are drawn on the buyer, carry only the buyer’s obligation to pay, and cannot become banker’s acceptances or be guaranteed by a bank.


One who, by his signature, makes acceptance of an order draft or bill of exchange.


Modern purchasing and supply term for the act of linking with another firm to gain use of its technology or other beneficial resources. Thus, if the first firm can not develop the advantage itself, it will seek to access it from the other. It is the act of acquiring something that the firm can not develop on its own.


The ability of people (typically public transport users) to get to essential facilities (e.g. schools, hospitals, shopping and leisure/sport facilities, etc) when necessary by convenient and economical means.

Access aisle

Passageway which allows access to storage area.

Access door

An access door is available on a chute to allow access for cleaning the chute or cleaning a jam.

Access rights

Information about rights held in and over the resource. Typically, a Rights element will contain a rights management statement for the resource, or reference a service providing such information. Rights information often encompasses Intellectual Property Rights, Copyright, and various Property Rights.

Access time

This term is used in data processing. It is the time required to link up to and begin an information flow.


1) The ability of a carrier to provide service between an origin and a destination.


2) The measure of how easy it is to reach a destination, assessed across all modes, with particular emphasis on the use of sustainable transport.

Accessorial charges

A wide variety of services and privileges that are made available in connection with the transportation of goods are assessed accessorial charges. Example would be charges for switching, loading, unloading, weighing, pickup, delivery, transit stop-off, storage, inspection, grading, repackaging, billing and fabrication. A demurrage charge is likewise thought of as an accessorial charge.

Accessorial charges

A charge for services over and above transportation charges such as inside delivery, heading, sort and segregate, heating, storage, etc. See also Upcharges

Accessorial Charges

Charges that are applied to the base tariff rate or base contract rate, e.g., bunkers, container, currency, destination/delivery.

Accessorial service

A service rendered by a carrier in addition to a transportation service, such as assorting, packing, precooling, heating, storage, substitution of tonnage, etc.


A choice or feature added to the good or service offered to the customer for customizing the end product. An accessory enhances the capabilities of the product but is not necessary for the basic function of the product. In many companies, an accessory means that the choice does not have to be specified before shipment but can be added at a later date. In other companies, this choice must be made before shipment.


In transport a road traffic accident (RTA*) involving a motor vehicle when the driver must stop and fulfill legal obligations regarding the provision of certain information to other persons and reporting to the police.

Accident book

All firms must have one under RIDDOR* in which specified information must be recorded (e.g. accidents/people employed/ cleaning and painting records).

Accident evaluation

The progress of a goods vehicle in terms of speed of travel and distance covered prior to and at the moment of impact in an accident can be accurately determined from its tachograph chart by a scientific process known as accident evaluation – a service provided by specialist firms with the aid of an electronic binocular microscope.

accident prevention

avoidance of the occurrence of an accident. Reduction of its consequences if it does occur, such as control of personal or machine performance.

Accident report act (May 6,1910)

Amended on August 26, 1937, this act requires monthly reports of railways accidents. The Department of Transportation is authorised to conduct the investigation of the accidents.

Accommodation bill (or paper)

Sometimes known as a wind mill or kite, is a bill of exchange drawn, endorsed,or accepted without value being given for it, and for which no party is liable until value or consideration is given. The parties involved are known as accommodation parties.

Accompanied vehicle/trailer

Driver accompanied vehicle/trailer, usually on cross-Channel ferry service. See also Unaccompanied.


In accountancy, an account is a label for recording a quantity of almost anything. Most often it is a record of an amount of money owned or owed by or to a particular person or entity, or allocated to a particular purpose. It may represent amounts of money that have actually changed hands, or it may represent an estimate of the values of assets, or it may be a combination of these.

Account party

The purchasing party, the importer, the buyer in any transaction. Also “accountee”.

Account stated

An agreed balance of account.

account statement

A statement that includes all transactions, positions and open orders and indicates the status of a client’s account with a brokerage firm. Statements are required to be issued at least quarterly for all accounts. However, statements for active accounts are often provided on a monthly basis.


Being answerable for, but not necessarily personally charged with, doing specific work. Accountability cannot be delegated, but it can be shared. For example, managers and executives are accountable for business performance even though they may not actually perform the work.


the principle that individuals, organisations and the community are responsible for their actions and may be required to explain them to others.

Accountant General of the Supreme Court

With whom a deposit of securities must be lodged (value £500,000) where, subject to the authority of the Secretary of State for Transport, a firm/organization wishes to carry its own liabilities rather than take out motor insurance.


The act of collecting information on resource usage for the purpose of capacity and trend analysis, cost allocation, auditing and billing. Accounting management requires that resource consumption be measured, rated, assigned, and communicated between appropriate parties. Typical information that is gathered in accounting is the identity of the user, the nature of the service delivered, when the service began, and when it ended.

accounting code

DDS code associated with an agency. Should be formatted as 00-00-00 (Department-Division-Section).

Accounting cost

Any cost that is captured and reported in the accounting system. Typically based upon past transaction or accrual updates.

Accounting, connecting-line

Accounting for the movement of traffic on a through rate from point of origin to destination when two or more carriers participate in the haul. Each carrier receives a predetermined percentage of the revenue.

Accounts audited

To check the procedures and inventory of a customer account for accuracy.

Accounts Payable (A/P)

The value of goods and services acquired for which payment has not yet been made.

Accounts receivable (A/R)

The value of goods shipped or services rendered to a customer on whom payment has not yet been received. Usually includes an allowance for bad debts.


Certification by a recognized body of the facilities, capability, objectivity, competence, and integrity of an agency, service, operational group, or individual to provide the specific service or operation needed. For example, the Registrar Accreditation Board accredits those organizations that register companies to the ISO 9000 Series Standards.

Accredited customer list

A list of accounts authorised to draw directly upon the stock in the warehouse. Generally furnished by the owner of the goods or his designated agent.

Accredited Standards Committee (ASC)

A committee of the ANSI chartered in 1979 to develop uniform standards for the electronic interchange of business documents. The committee develops and maintains U.S. generic standards (X12) for Electronic Data Interchange.


The accounts maintained for services rendered. The sum of the amount due.

Accumulation bin

A place, usually a physical location, used to accumulate all components that go into an assembly before the assembly is sent out to the assembly floor. Syn assembly bin


See Automated Call Distribution


See Automated Commercial Environment


Associations des Constructeurs Européens de l’Automobile. Europe-wide organization concerned with performance testing of motor vehicles, components and lubricants, etc.

Acid tanker

This specially constructed tank is acid-resistant. When applied to motor transportation, it usually involves a considerably smaller trailer.

Acid test

One measure of financial strength of a firm. It is the ratio of liquid assets to current liabilities. The liquid assets include cash, securities, etc. The higher the resulting number the stronger the ability to cover current liabilities.

Acknowledgement of receipt

A notification relating to the receipt of e.g. goods, messages and documents.


A voluntary declaration of the execution of an instrument before a proper offer.


A communication by a supplier to advise a purchaser that a purchase order has been received. It usually implies acceptance of the order by the supplier.

ACL (1)

The HSE Approved Carriage List for dangerous goods carriage.

ACL (2)

Automatic chassis lubrication – a system whereby the moving parts of a goods vehicle suspension system, etc are automatically lubricated by oil pumped from a central reservoir.

Acoustic clouds

The levels of the atmosphere which impede sound. It is said that this is responsible for the erratic pattern of fog signals and other sounds.


Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Leading campaigners on traffic enforcement, speed limits, etc.


When a bill of lading is accepted or signed by a shipper or its agent without protests as to the conditions which appear thereon, he is said to acquiesce in the terms, giving a silent appearance of consent.


When a bill of lading is accepted or signed by a shipper or shipper’s agent without protest, the shipper is said to acquiesce to the terms, giving a silent form of consent.


The transfer of title of one company to another through a purchase.

Acquisition Cost

In cost accounting, the cost required to obtain one or more units of an item. It is order quantity times unit cost.


A written receipt in full, in discharge from all claims.


A written receipt in full, in discharge from all claims.


Term signifying that a name for something consists of the first letter or letters of a series of names applying to the item; example is COLA for cost of living adjustments.

Across the board increase

An upward adjustment of all rates charged by a carrier on all commodities handled by it, with the exception of some that are subject to “hold down”.


Australian Customs Service


Common abbreviation for an Act of Parliament*.

Act of God

An act beyond human control, such as lightning, flood or earthquake.

Act of God

Many policies do not pay out in such eventualities.

Act of honor

A term denoting the acceptance for honor of a bill of exchange.

Act of man

This term used in water transportation refers to the deliberate action of the master of the vessel in sacrificing cargo or otherwise for the purpose of making safe the vessel for the retaining cargo. Those sharing in the spared cargo proportionately cover the loss.

Act of Parliament

Document setting out Parliamentary law following debate and voting on a Bill by both Houses of Parliament (i.e. the Commons and the Lords) which then receives the Royal Assent. Acts are enabling legislation which detail new law or give relevant government Secretaries of State powers to create subordinate legislation in the form of regulations published in Statutory Instruments or Statutory Orders.

Act of public authority

One of the exemptions from carrier liability under bill of lading liability; covers delays from quarantines, court orders.

Act of shipper negligence

One of the exemptions from bill of lading liability; it includes improper packaging, loading and misdescription of the goods.


In law, a lawsuit.

Action Message

An output of a system that identifies the need for and the type of action to be taken to correct a current or potential problem.

Action Plan

A specific method or process to achieve the results called for by one or more objectives. An action plan may be a simpler version of a project plan.

Action Report

See Action Message


In constraint management, the use of non-constraint resources to make parts or products above the level needed to support the system constraint(s). The result is excessive work-in-process inventories or finished goods inventories, or both.

Active competition

Rivalry between two or more carriers, communities or commodities.

Active corporation

An actively operating business with the facilities and organisation required for administering and operating the business.

Active inventory

That lot of inventory that is available for picking and/or use. As opposed to RESERVE INVENTORY, which is often a larger lot used for safety and back up stock. Active inventory is kept near the use and shipping are in order to minimise travel in picking and assembling.

Active Inventory

Covers raw material, work in progress, finished products that will be used or sold within a given period without extra cost or loss. This term does not cover the so-called reserve inventory.

Active Stock

Goods in active pick locations and ready for order filling.

Active time

This term applies to water transportation and involves the time a vessel spends loading and unloading at the dock.

Activity Analysis

The process of identifying and cataloging activities for detailed understanding and documentation of their characteristics. An activity analysis is accomplished by means of interviews, group sessions, questionnaires, observations, and reviews of physical records of work.

Activity Based Budgeting (ABB)

An approach to budgeting where a company uses an understanding of its activities and driver relationships to quantitatively estimate workload and resource requirements as part of an ongoing business plan.

Activity based costing

An accounting tool used to determine the cost of process within an organisation that is largely made up of overhead and functional costs. It is different than traditional accounting that collects and reports functional costs. Activity based costing (ABC) attempts to view costs across a process with the intent if reducing unnecessary costs.

Activity Based Costing Model

In activity-based cost accounting, a model, by time period, of resource costs created because of activities related to products or services or other items causing the activity to be carried out.

Activity Based Costing System

A set of activity-based cost accounting models that collectively define data on an organization’s resources, activities, drivers, objects, and measurements.

Activity Based Planning (ABP)

Activity-based planning (ABP) is an ongoing process to determine activity and resource requirements (both financial and operational) based on the ongoing demand of products or services by specific customer needs. Resource requirements are compared to resources available and capacity issues are identified and managed. Activity-based budgeting (ABB) is based on the outputs of activity-based planning.

Activity Dictionary

A listing and description of activities that provides a common/standard definition of activities across the organization. An activity dictionary can include information about an activity and/or its relationships, such as activity description, business process, function source, whether value-added, inputs, outputs, supplier, customer, output measures, cost drivers, attributes, tasks, and other information as desired to describe the activity.

Activity Driver

The best single quantitative measure of the frequency and intensity of the demands placed on an activity by cost objects or other activities. It is used to assign activity costs to cost objects or to other activities.

Activity Level

A description of types of activities dependent on the functional area. Product-related activity levels may include unit, batch, and product levels. Customer-related activity levels may include customer, market, channel, and project levels.

Activity Network Diagram

An arrow diagram used in planning and managing processes and projects.

Activity Ratio

A financial ratio used to determine how an organization’s resources perform relative to the revenue the resources produce. Activity ratios include inventory turnover, receivables conversion period, fixed-asset turnover, and return on assets.

Activity-Based Management (ABM)

A discipline focusing on the management of activities within business processes as the route to continuously improve both the value received by customers and the profit earned in providing that value. ABM uses activity-based cost information and performance measurements to influence management action. See also Activity-Based Costing

Activity-based modeling

Concept used to ‘test’ a variety of alternative activity strategies using varying quantitative information.

Actual authority

Authority to purchase given to a buyer in the form of express permission. Involves buying authority dollar limits.

Actual cost

inventory costing method used in manufacturing environments that uses the actual materials costs, machine costs, and labor costs reported against a specific work order to calculate the cost of the finished item.

Actual Cost System

A cost system that collects costs historically as they are applied to production and allocates indirect costs to products based on the specific costs and achieved volume of the products.

Actual Costs

The labor, material, and associated overhead costs that are charged against a job as it moves through the production process.

Actual displacement

When a car is placed for loading or unloading at an available point other than on an industry track, due to inability of consignor or consignee to receive it, the carrier may, by leaving customary notice, consider it as being placed at the point usually employed or designated.


The full weight of a shipment, including goods and packaging.

Actual loss

The value of product loss and damage incurred by the shipper/consignee as distinct from the amount recovered or recoverable from the carrier.

Actual placement

The placing of a car on a designated site for loading or unloading.

Actual to Theoretical Cycle Time

The ratio of the measured time required to produce a given output divided by the sum of the time required to produce a given output based on the rated efficiency of the machinery and labor operations.

Actual value rate

A rate that carries with it the obligation for up to the full value of the goods in the event of loss and damage.

Actual Voyage Number

A code for identification purposes of the voyage and vessel which actually transports the container/cargo.


See Automated Clearinghouse

Ad referendum

A form of contract in which some points are left open for settlement at a future time.

Ad valorem

A term meaning ‘in proportion to the value’ and used in customs circles where tax or duties are levied on goods as a percentage of the declared value.

Ad valorem “according to value”

Customs duty that is based exclusively on the value of the goods that are subject to duty, irrespective of the quality, weight, or other considerations. Commonly, ad valorem rates of duty are presented in percentages of the value of the goods. This is normally ascertained from the specified amount of the invoice.

Adaptive Smoothing

In forecasting, a form of exponential smoothing in which the smoothing constant is automatically adjusted as a function of one or many items, for example, forecast error measurement, calendar characteristics (launch, replenishment, end of life), or demand volume.


Automated data collection. See Automated Data Collection

Added value

A term implying that at each production and distribution function, products are having value added to them in the form of time place and form utilities from the various activities

Added value

Provision of service beyond the basic – what the customer is looking for; ie that something extra above the norm.

additional costs

The Buyer agrees to pay for any loss or extra cost incurred by the Company through the Buyers instructions or lack of instructions or through failure or delay in taking delivery or through any act or default on the part of the Buyer, its servants or employees.

additional expenses

Reasonable travel and/or accommodation costs of the next of kin or a close relative visiting an injured insured person and/or repatriation of the Insured person to his/her country of temporary residence.

additional insurance

Insurance that supplements an existing policy. It is uncommon for insurers to allow additional insurance.

Additions and betterments

Railroad term for investments in improvements. Addition include all raw equipment, tracks, etc. Betterments refer to improvements in such assets.

Adhesive factor

Also termed adhesion of drivers. A measurement of the extent force may be applied to rail wheels without slippage on the tracks. It is usually expressed as a percent of force to the weight on the drivers. This term was most commonly used for steam locomotives.


The interest rate changes during the term of the loan in response to changes in the prime lending rate. The rate is equal to the prime lending rate at any point in time minus a constant spread. Borrowers are usually charged a slightly lower interest rate as an incentive during the initial period of the term. In most cases, the borrowers are allowed to convert to a fixed term of 3 years or longer.


Individual employed by a properly and casualty insurance company or an individual to settle on its behalf claims brought by insureds. The adjuster evaluates the merits of each claim and makes recommendations to the insurance company.


Determining the amount of loss and liability; the settlement of claims.

Administered price

Situation in which the price is not determined by market forces nor are they negotiable. Typically whenever price is set by a regulatory agency or a cartel.

Admiralty court

A court that has jurisdiction over legal disputes arising out of navigation on public waters, is called an admiralty court. The United States District Court is referred to as the court of original admiralty.

Admission to the occupation

Abbreviation for EC Directive ‘On admission to the occupation of road haulage operator in national and international transport operations’ – legal requirement for standard operators’ licence applicants in the UK to be ‘professionally competent’.

ADR (1)

Derived from French title of the ‘European Agreement on the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road’ which ensures that dangerous goods carried in a road vehicle on an international journey have been suitably packed, are being carried safely and in all other respects conform to the agreement.


Asymmetric digital subscriber line. Telephone line that enables subscribers to download data at up to 20 times normal speed – uses frequencies 300 times greater than those used to transmit voice and faxes.


When a partial payment is made by merchant, broker, agent, etc. at the time of receiving the invoice and bill of lading it represents an advance. It is a process of paying part of the amount due on the goods send for.

Advance Arrangement

An agreement between the shipper and the carrier, concerning contacts between those parties prior to tendering the consignment

Advance Material Request

Ordering materials before the release of the formal product design. This early release is required because of long lead times.

Advance notice

Notifies warehouse of rail car or truck en route, and the merchandise on the vehicles.

advance payment

Any payment made to a contractor before work has been performed or goods have been delivered.

Advanced arrangement

The mandatory advanced arrangement for the movement of some commodities by air carriers. Gold and other precious metals live animals, and any other classes of shipment require such.

Advanced charge

The amount of freight or other charge on a shipment advanced by one transportation line to another, or to the shipper, to be collected from the consignee.

Advanced Interline

An interline carrier that picks up cargo from the shipper and delivers it to another carrier for shipment to the consignee.

Advanced planning and scheduling

Software system designed to integrate with ERP and MRP systems to enhance the short term production planning and scheduling systems that are notoriously inadequate in MRP systems.  APS  systems have extensive programming logic that allows them to be more effective in dealing with rapidly changing customer demands.

Advanced rate

A rate that has been increased since a specified time.

Advanced shipment notification

Advanced shipment notifications (ASNs) are used to notify a customer of a shipment. ASNs will often include PO numbers, SKU numbers, lot numbers, quantity, pallet or container number, carton number. ASNs may be paper-based, however, electronic notification is preferred. Advanced shipment notification systems are usually combined with bar-coded compliance labeling which allows the customer to receive the shipment into inventory through the use of bar-code scanners and automated data collection systems.

Advanced shipping notice

Typically, a fixed, emailed, or courier delivered packing list of the details of what is included in a shipment made by a seller or shipper. The buyer or consignee receives it in advance of shipment delivery and thereby can plan the use or further disposition of the shipment. This avoids having to unload the goods for the initial purpose of counting, and verifying shipment contents. Also called ASN, it can greatly aid in the reduction of total inventory in a supply chain.

Advantage of location

An advantage which one city or shipper has over another because of situation with respect to nearness to markets of consumption, sources of supply, or agencies of transportation.


Shipment of goods, on shipper’s own account. It is customary for exporters and merchants to keep a debit and credit account with each enterprise as Adventure to Buenos Aires. A Bill of Adventure is a document signed by the master of the ship which carries goods at the owner’s risk.

Adventure in Co.

It is a shipment of goods at the joint risk of consignor and consignee, to be sold on their joint account

Advice Note

A written piece of information e.g. about the status of the goods.

Advice of Shipment

A notice sent to a local or foreign buyer advising that shipment has gone forward and containing details of packing, routing, etc. A copy of the invoice is often enclosed and, if desired, a copy of the bill of lading.

Advise note

A letter telling the recipient that a particular business transaction has been completed, or is being undertaken on his behalf.

Advise on shipment

A notice sent to a local or foreign buyer advising that shipment has been forwarded and contains details or packaging, routing, etc. A copy of the invoice is usually enclosed and sometimes, if desired, a copy of the bill of lading.

Advising bank

The bank which advises the beneficiary that another bank has opened a letter of credit in his favor.

Advising Bank

A bank operating in the seller’s country, that handles letters of credit in behalf of a foreign bank.

Advisory Committee for Innovation and Technology Transfer

See Strategic Programme for Innovation and Technology Transfer

Aerial tramway

Urban transportation system, typically light rail, that is elevated in order to separate its movement from street traffic.


The ‘European Agreement Concerning the Work of Crews of Vehicles Engaged in International Road Transport’ under which a set of hours rules are applied when drivers travel to or through states which are party to the agreement (other than EU states where the EU rules apply).


Approved requirements for the construction of vehicles intended for the carriage of explosives by road. HSE publication.


One who makes the affidavit.


A written statement sworn before a Notary Public.


To hire, as a ship, for the purpose of transporting freight.


An agreement between a steamship line (or similar carrier) and an importer or exporter in which cargo space is reserved on a vessel for a specified time and at a specified price. The importer/exporter is obligated to make payment whether or not the shipment is made.

Affreightment, Contract of

An agreement by an ocean carrier to provide cargo space on a vessel at a specified time and for a specified price to accommodate an exporter or importer.


A metal hoist or support which is used to handle heavy objects from a rail car.


At, near or towards the stern or rear of a vessel or an aircraft.

after-sales service

All additional services which a company offers as a result of the sale of goods, eg customer service, updated versions of technical products.


Alternative fuel vehicle, also known as bi-fuel vehicles*. Vehicles (mainly cars and light vans, currently) designed to run on both conventional unleaded petrol and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG*).


The term agency signifies relations existing between two parties by which one is authorised to perform or transact certain business for the other; also applies to the office of the agent.

Agency card

A form of credit card (usually supplied by fuel companies) issued to drivers to enable them to draw fuel from retail outlets (ie filling stations) away from base.

Agency driver

A temporary driver hired from staff/employment agency firm (eg Manpower organization) to cover for staff shortages/holidays/ illness, etc.

Agency Fee

Fee payable by a shipowner or ship operator to a port agent.

Agency station

A railroad depot or station having a railroad agent would be termed an agency station. The term also applies to a motor truck point where carrier share a dock or warehouse facility.

Agency Tariff

A tariff published by an agent on behalf of several carriers.


An enterprise authorized to transact business for, or in the name of, another enterprise.

Agent (Agt.)

A person authorized to transact business for and in the name of another person or company. Types of agent are: (1) brokers, (2) commission merchants, (3) resident buyers, (4) sales agents, 5) manufacturer’s representatives.

Agent (element of legal)

A person who acts on behalf of another, called the principle. It is the basis of the relationship of a buyer or purchasing person for their employing company.

Agent buying

A person hired for the purpose of haggling prices with selling agents for the purchasing goods or services.

Agent middleman

The agent middleman negotiates purchases and/or sales but does not take title. They receive revenue from commission or fees which are paid by the buyer, or seller of the merchandise, but seldom both. The agent does not represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. He may represent the seller and buyer in different transactions however. The classes of agent middlemen are: (1)broker; (2)commission merchant; (3)resident buyers; (4)manufacturer’s agents; and (5)sales agents.


A term in location theory indicating that an area or locale contains certain economies of labor, skill or other cost factors because of the existence of a large firm or function there, this phenomenon serves to attract industries requiring the same inputs having the economies.

Aggregate Forecast

An estimate of sales, often time phased, for a grouping of products or product families produced by a facility or firm. Stated in terms of units, dollars, or both, the aggregate forecast is used for sales and production planning (or for sales and operations planning) purposes.

Aggregate Inventory

The inventory for any group of items or products, involving multiple stock-keeping units. Synonym: Aggregate Stock.

Aggregate Inventory

The inventory for any grouping of items or products involving multiple stock keeping units. Also see Base Inventory Level

Aggregate Inventory Management

Establishing the overall level (dollar value) of inventory desired and implementing controls to achieve this goal.

Aggregate inventory management

The size of many inventories requires that they be broken down into groupings for the purpose of control. Aggregated inventory is the further collection of these groupings into a single entity to enable the establishment of operating policies, key performance indicators, targets and reports. Aggregate Inventory Management enables such things as the overall level of inventory desired to be established and then appropriate controls implemented to ensure that individual operating decisions achieve that goal, at optimum cost. (Source: ILT Supply-Chain Inventory Management SIG)

Aggregate Plan

A plan that includes budgeted levels of finished goods, inventory, production backlogs, and changes in the workforce to support the production strategy. Aggregated information (e.g., product line, family) rather than product information is used, hence the name aggregate plan.

Aggregate Planning

A process to develop tactical plans to support the organization’s business plan. Aggregate planning usually includes the development, analysis, and maintenance of plans for total sales, total production, targeted inventory, and targeted customer backlog for families of products. The production plan is the result of the aggregate planning process. Two approaches to aggregate planning exist—production planning and sales and operations planning.

Aggregate Shipment

Numerous shipments from different shippers to one consignee that are consolidated and treated as a single consignment.

Aggregate shipments

Those under which aggregate tender rates apply, included within a single motor carrier pick up move, the economies of the single consolidated pick up, and often part of the line haul, are passed on to the shipper in this lower rate.

Aggregate Tender Rate

A reduced rate offered to a shipper who tenders two or more class-rated shipments at one time and one place.

Aggregate volume

The total amount of goods or services to be purchased or shipped over a specified period of time. An aggregate volume contract is typically for a discount price or rate that is based upon a large quantity of purchased or shipped goods that will be transacted over a long time period. Distinct from an individual purchase lot price or shipped quantity rate.


A term used to mean combining of goods (or consignments) perhaps into a container or trailer load.


Firms that aggregate individual load demands and ‘buy’ freight train services to carry them as whole trainloads.

Agreed charges

A form of rail contract rate in which a reduced rate is applied in exchange for the shipper routing a certain percent of total movements over a certain carrier.

Agreed valuation

The value of a shipment agreed upon in order to secure a specific rating and/or liability.

Agreed valuation

The value of a shipment agreed upon in order to secure a specific freight rate.

Agreed weight

The weight which is prescribed for acceptance of a commodity shipped in specific containers or in a specific manner is the agreed weight. The agreement is between the shipper and the carrier.

Agricultural exemption

An exemption from route and rate regulation in motor carriage (and with some products on railroads) when the carrier is hauling such goods.

Agricultural machine

Defined in the Vehicles Excise Act. Includes tractors (see also land tractor), ploughing engines and such like used in agriculture for haulage-type work between farms and other agricultural land. Reduced rates of VED apply. Also defined in C&U regulations* as an agricultural trailed appliance which is a trailer used off roads for the purposes of agriculture, horticulture or forestry.


Automated guided vehicle. A load/personnel carrying computer controlled vehicle that follows an automatic guidance system (invariably laid in the floor) without manual steering or control – usually found in warehouses and large stores.


See Automated Guided Vehicle System

Agile Manufacturing

Tools, techniques, and initiatives that enable a plant or company to thrive under conditions of unpredictable change. Agile manufacturing not only enables a plant to achieve rapid response to customer needs, but also includes the ability to quickly reconfigure operations—and strategic alliances—to respond rapidly to unforeseen shifts in the marketplace. In some instances, it also incorporates “mass customization” concepts to satisfy unique customer requirements. In broad terms, it includes the ability to react quickly to technical or environmental surprises.


The ability to successfully manufacture and market a broad range of low-cost, high-quality products and services with short lead times and varying volumes that provides enhanced value to customers through customization. Agility merges the four distinctive competencies of cost, quality, dependability, and flexibility.

Air bill of lading

Domestic and international shipments by air move under a standardised air waybill. It is the basic airline document covering the movements of shipments on international and domestic air freight. The contents of the document provide information needed for dispatch and the proper handling at points of origin, en route and destinations. It accompanies every shipment. Usually the air bill is prepared in sets of seven. They are respectively as follows: carrier’s accounting .copy, invoice, consignee memo, delivery receipt, original station copy, and destination station copy.

Air cargo

An all-inclusive term used referring to mail and property carried in air service. Air cargo includes: Airmail, International Airmail and First Class Mail, Air Parcel Post and International Air Parcel Post; Air Express; Airfreight and International Air Cargo; and Company Material

Air Cargo

Freight that is moved by air transportation.

Air Cargo Containers

Containers designed to conform to the inside of an aircraft. There are many shapes and sizes of containers. Air cargo containers fall into three categories 1) air cargo pallets 2) lower deck containers 3) box type containers.

Air cargo guide

The official listing of all carriers serving cities in the United States and Canada. Provides information relative to schedule, equipment, customs, maximum acceptable weight, etc.

Air carrier

A transportation carrier of cargo or passengers by air. The term means airline.

Air commuter

A class of airline that generally serves small market cities with airplanes ranging from four to about 30 seats, often same as air taxi.

air consignment note

A document provided by the carrier(s) or on their behalf, confirming receipt of the consignment by the carrier and proving the contract between the effected shipper and the carrier(s) made out for the carriage of the described goods by aircraft.

Air container

The container used to facilitate air transportation of cargo.

air cooled

A transformer which uses air as the cooling medium. This may be natural draft cooling by convection or forced air with the use of fans.

air cooling

Cooling of the heated metal, intermediate in rapidity between slow furnace cooling and quenching, in which the metal is permitted to stand in the open air.

Air craft miles

The airport-to-airport distance for a flight.

Air freight forwarder

Classified as a transportation carrier, the freight forwarder assembles and consolidates small shipments into larger shipments. Its rates approximate those of the small shipment, but it receives service from the carrier on the basis of the consolidated larger shipment. It operates pickup and delivery services, as well as line haul operations.

Air freight rates

The rates are simpler than those for other forms of transportation. The tariffs are put out by the Airline Tariff Publishers, Inc. as agents for the carriers. About six different tariffs are published. For example, SC 3 is a commodity rate tariff in charges per hundred pounds for minimum weights 100, 1000, 2000, 3000, 5000 and 10,000 pounds. Another example is CT 4 which is a container tariff. It applies on general and specific commodities, and presents rates about one-third off of existing rates for all weights in a container that exceed a specified amount. Other tariffs cover service transportation to the airport, local and joint airport to airport movements, and a rules tariff.

Air mail

mail that is sent by air transport

Air pollution

Pollution of the atmosphere (ie the air we breathe) by vehicle exhausts. A comparison of the emission factors between road and rail shows the following general relativity of emissions in grammes per tonne kilometre: Road (g/tkm) Rail (g/tkm) Carbon dioxide 183.00 30.00 Carbon monoxide 2.08 0.05 Nitrogen oxides 3.86 0.55 Hydrocarbons 3.60 0.07 Sulphur oxides 0.26 0.23 Respirable particles 0.67 0.11 (Source: Railtrack plc, ‘A Guide to Railfreight’ April 1999)

Air side

Airline industry term for that space in the terminal that is inside the security zone. Includes gates, hallways, lounges, and concession that are within the “sterile” passenger screening area. Distinct from LAND SIDE.

Air suspension

Heavy vehicle suspension system that relies on compressed air stored in air bags to provide smooth suspension – mainly used on vehicles carrying goods susceptible to damage or on tanker vehicles where vibration may cause damage to tanks/tank mountings (also on luxury coaches to provide greater passenger comfort).

Air tank/reservoir

Storage tank for compressed air used in heavy vehicle air braking systems.

Air Taxi

An exempt for-hire air carrier that will fly anywhere on demand air taxis are restricted to a maximum payload and passenger capacity per plane.

Air taxi operator

An air carrier usually operating by charter only. Under former regulation the term meant a carrier limited to aircraft under a certain maximum takeoff weight. The distinction has passed in the United States with the elimination of the Civil Aeronautics Board.

air terminal

a terminal that serves air travelers or air freight

Air Transport Board

The regulatory authority for Canadian air transportation carriers. The counterpart of the United States Civil Aeronautics Board.

Air Transportation Association of America

The AATA is the principle trade association for the certified, common air transportation carriers of the United States. It assembles statistics, serves as the spokesman, provide research, and performs numerous other functions for member carriers.

Air WayBill

An AWB is a bill of lading which covers both domestic and international flights transporting goods to a specified destination. Technically, it is a non-negotiable instrument of air transport which serves as a receipt for the shipper, indicating that the carrier has accepted the goods listed therein and obligates itself to carry the consignment to the airport of destination according to specified conditions. Normally AWB refers to the Air Waybill issued by carrying airlines and also called Master Air Waybill (MAWB) which comes with three digits of numeric airline identification codes issued by IATA to non-U.S. based airlines and Air Transport Association of America to U.S. based airlines. However, air freight forwarders also issue HAWB (House Air Waybill) to their customers for each of the shipments.

Airborne speed

The method employed to measure the speed of aircraft. Computed by dividing the sum of the airport-to-airport distances by the flight hours. It is expressed in terms of great circle airport-to-airport distance.

Aircraft Container

A unit load device (ULD) which links directly with the airplane cargo handling and restraint system. 

Air-lift axle

Retractable (ie lift-up) axle on vehicle/trailer lifted from road surface by means of compressed air to reduce rolling resistance (for fuel economy reasons) and tire wear.


A commercial air transportation carrier, involving its equipment, personnel, and array of facilities.

Airline Tariff Publishers Inc

This organisation publishes airline tariffs, which present the station to station rates charged for the movement of cargo pr personnel. Likewise published are the rules to air movement.

Airline terminal

The airport building, runways, aprons, and all facilities, including parking, for passenger services.


The complete land facilities required to service the landing and take-off of aircraft. Includes runways, aprons, hangars, terminal buildings, and all accommodations for passengers —– including parking.

Airport notice

The statement of intent to serve a named point or points, authorised in the certificate. Filed with the Civil Aeronautics Board by the air carrier.

Airsprung axle/bogie

Axle or set of axles with suspension provided by air bags (see Air suspension).


Term for small airport runway.


Any passengerway within a storage area.

Alaskan carrier

A for-hire air carrier that operates within the state of Alaska.


A clearly specified mathematical process for computation; a set of rules, which, if followed, give a prescribed result.

Aligned documents

Documents used in international trade which are standardized as to size and layout and capable of being produced in a onerun unified set from a single master document for ease of understanding and speed and efficiency of completion.


General term indicating that the function and processes of a firm are linked together and congruent with its overall strategic directions and thrusts of action.

All In

The total price to move cargo from origin to destination, inclusive of all charges.

All purpose air carrier

A carrier of passengers and cargo by air carrier.

All Risk

All Risks Coverage, a type of marine insurance, is the broadest kind of standard coverage, but excludes damage caused by war, strikes, and riots.

All risks cover

A form of insurance cover providing protection against ‘all risks’ as opposed to specified individual risks.

All-cargo Carrier

An air carrier that transports cargo only.

All-commodity rates

A freight rate usually based on a carload quantity, applying to a shipment which may include any combination of commodities, but subject to stated exceptions and conditions, is called an all commodity rate. It may also be called an all-freight rate.

All-container ship

A ship fitted for container carriage in all available space. In van-container stowage, the ship is fitted with vertical cells for container placement. Some vans are carried additionally on deck. Longer containers are deck stowed. No provisions are available for cargo other than in container form.


Attachment to bill of exchange for additional endorsements.


Term to indicate that two or more firms have developed a relationship to be linked for the purpose of competing against another set of firms. The relationships can be focused upon presenting a common marketing face. Others are created for the purpose of developing and exploiting a technology. Airlines have created global alliance through scheduling and frequent flier programs in order for each of them in the alliance to extend their marketing and route influence without having to merge with the partner airlines.

Allocated Item

In an MRP system, an item for which a picking order has been released to the stockroom but not yet sent from the stockroom.

Allocated stock

A part that has been reserved, but not yet withdrawn or issued from stock, and is thus not available for other purposes. (Source: ILT Supply-Chain Inventory Management SIG)


1) In cost accounting, a distribution of costs using calculations that may be unrelated to physical observations or direct or repeatable cause-and-effect relationships. Because of the arbitrary nature of allocations, costs based on cost causal assignment are viewed as more relevant for management decision-making. 2) In order management, allocation of available inventory to customer and production orders.

Allocation of expense

In transportation accounting, the apportionment of the expenditures and revenues to the respective divisions of the organisation, such as maintenance of way and structure costs being divided between freight and passenger service since they are used by both.

Allocation of purchase

Situation when suppliers do not have sufficient capacity to satisfy all demand. Customers are limited in the amount they may purchase in any given time period.

Allocation of resource

The use of the resources for different activities.

Allocation overhead

The act of financially dividing up overhead and spreading it across various products, lines of business, or other accounting units.

Allocation sales

In times of short supply or capacity, sellers will assign specific quantities of product sales to specific customers. The actual quantities or percent of total production allocation schemes are usually based upon past loyalty and volumes that each customer has purchased from the firm over several years.


An attachment to a Bill of Exchange containing endorsements, which is used when the back of the bill has been filled


A share of the capacity of a means of transport assigned to a certain party, e.g. a carrier or an agent, for the purpose of the booking of cargo for a specific voyage.

Allotment ticket

An order for payment of wages to seaman’s family at set intervals during his absence on a voyage.


A deduction made from the gross weight or value of goods or services. The Revised Interstate Commerce Act requires the carriers to furnish the service of carriage (haul) and also such facilities as are necessary to make the service of transporting a shipment as safe and complete as possible under conditions existing at time of movement. If the necessary equipment, such as dunnage, elevation, or private cars, furnished by the shipper and not by the carrier the carrier could under proper tariff authority allow such costs. Mileage allowance, based on distance, made by the railroads to private owners of freight cars. Lateral allowances are allowances for services performed granted by large rail lines to smaller connecting lines.


An act of carriage exclusively by railroad transportation. The term includes those lines or that service using car ferries or lighters.

All-risk clause

An insurance coverage in which all loss and damage to goods are insured unless caused by inherent deficiencies.

All-time order

The last order for a particular product in the last phase of its life cycle. This order is of such a size that the stock provided will satisfy all expected future demand (see all-time requirement below) for the product concerned. Sometimes known as a life of type order. (Source: ILT Supply-Chain Inventory Management SIG)

All-time requirement

The total requirement for a particular product to be expected in the future. Normally used for products in the last phase of their life cycles, when production is (nearly) stopped. (Source: ILT Supply- Chain Inventory Management SIG)

All-time stock

The stock resulting from the assessment of an all-time requirement and delivery of an all time order. If necessary, controls can be set for such stock to avoid consumption of items for reasons over and above those for which usage was predicted. (Source: ILT Supply-Chain Inventory Management SIG)


An act of carriage exclusively by water transportation.


Locations above the deck, such as an observer aloft, or cargo aloft on a derrick head.


A phrase referring to the side of a ship. Goods to be delivered “alongside” are to be placed on the dock or lighter within reach of the transport ship’s tackle so that they can be loaded aboard the ship. Goods are delivered to the port of embarkation, but without loading fees.


By the side of.

Alpha Release

A very early release of a product to get preliminary feedback about the feature set and usability.

Alternate Routing

A routing, usually less preferred than the primary routing, but resulting in an identical item. Alternate routings may be maintained in the computer or off-line via manual methods, but the computer software must be able to accept alternate routings for specific jobs.

Alternative channels

Paths of product distribution that are in addition to the ones traditionally used by a firm to get its products of market. Today, many brand manufacturers are exploring use of the Internet as an alternative channel to the traditional wholesaler and retailer network to reach ultimate consumers.

Alternative Modes

Non-road modes of transport (air, rail, sea, waterway, pipeline)

Alternative or opportunity costs

The cost of an option or commodity in terms of its alternative use. The value measured in terms of its foregone worth in an alternate usage.

Alternative rates

Two or more rates, of which the lowest charge is applicable.

Alternative route

A motor carrier is authorised to perform regular service over a specified route under a permit or certificate. However, sometimes it is permitted to substitute an optional motor-carrier route instead of the specified route.

Alternative tariff

A tariff containing two or more rates, from and to the same points, on the same goods, with the authority to use the one which provides the lowest charge.


Term pertaining to the temperature of goods in a shipment. As contrasted with frozen, or chilled, ambient means room temperature or not having to protect against or provide for a specific temperature in transit and storage.

Ambient barrier

Term used in temperature controlled transport operations to refer to the temperature below that of normal air at which point mechanical (or other) means of cooling/chilling is necessary for satisfactory carriage of food, etc.

Ambient Temperature

The temperature of a surrounding body. The ambient temperature of a container is the atmospheric temperature to which it is exposed.


Susceptible of several interpretations.

Amended item

An item that has been changed or modified by a succeeding publication, made necessary because of error or changed conditions, and showing item in its revised form.


A written notice of change in the terms of a letter of credit, which becomes an integral part of the original letter of credit.

American Bureau of Shipping

U.S. classification society which certifies seagoing vessels for compliance to standardized rules regarding construction and maintenance.

American flag carrier

An air or water carrier operating in international transportation movements that is based in the United States. Such air carriers are approved for service by the President of the United States. Some carriers also perform domestic service.

American National Standards Institute

Organisation in the United States that served to develop standards for electronic data interchange protocols.

American Society for Quality (ASQ)

Founded in 1946, a not-for-profit educational organization consisting of 144,000 members who are interested in quality improvement.

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)

Not-for-profit organization that provides a forum for the development and publication of voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems and services.

American Society for Training and Development (ASTD)

A membership organization providing materials, education and support related to workplace learning and performance.

American Society of Transportation & Logistics

A professional society in the field of transportation and logistics; has as its main form of membership that of Certified Member. For Certified Members it requires passing or waiving exams in the field and submitting a professional contribution in the form of a paper, program, tape, or other form of quality communication. The AST&L is based in Atlanta, Georgia; it has chapters throughout the United States, and it publishes a journal called the TRANSPORTATION JOURNAL.

American Society of Transportation & Logistics

A professional organization in the field of logistics.

American Standard Association MH-T Committee

A committee dedicated to the standardisation of containers, container procedures and handling systems. It represents all segments of transportation carrier and shipper groups.

American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII)

ASCII format – simple text based data with no formatting. The standard code for information exchange among data processing systems. Uses a coded character set consisting of 7-bit coded characters (8 bits including parity check).

American Trucking Associations

The trade association serving the trucking industry. A composite of the state organisations of truckers operating in the United States. Headquarters in Alexandria, VA.

American Warehousemen’s Association

Voluntary organisation of warehousemen established to assure high standards in the warehouse.


At or in the middle of a vessel.

Amortization cost

The annual payment for expiring a debt according to a contract or other agreement on a continuous basis 15 called the amortization cost. Therefore, amortization cost is established when something is purchased from borrowed funds, and the annual payment represents the gradual repayment of borrowed funds. In addition to the amortization cost, an interest on the unamortized investment is likewise involved in the payment.

Amortization lease

A form of financial lease where the full cost of the asset and interest is covered (ie amortized) in the lease payments leaving no residual value to be recovered.


Air mail transfer. A term used in international trade when a remittance is purchased by a debtor from a banker.


The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, a federally created corporation that operates most of the United States’ intercity passenger rail service.

Analogous article

Articles having similar characteristics. A term used in determining the applicable rate among several commodity groupings in a tariff.

Analogy classification by

A term indicating that a product not specifically named in a tariff will be classified for rate billing purposes according to its similarity in transportation characteristics and inherent nature with another product that is specifically named in the tariff.


A spot near shore where ships may be positioned for safety.


Arrival notification form – advice to consignee of goods coming forward.


An international liquid measure, varying from nine to ten gallons.

annual financial statements

A written record of the financial status of a business, association or individual. The financial statements includes a balance sheet, an income statement, a retained earnings statement (net worth statement), and a cash flow statement.

annual rate of interest

A percent of the principal figured on a yearly basis.

annual report

The formal financial statement of a corporation for one year. The annual report shows assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses and earnings how the company stood at the close of the business year, how it fared profit-wise during the year, as well as other information of interest to shareowners.

annual return

The amount of money that is invested in one year by the company.

Annual volume rate

A rate that is tied to a minimum annual tonnage volume by a shipper, a form of contract rate.


See American National Standards Institute


American National Standards Institute Accredited Standards Committee X12. The committee of ANSI that is charged with setting EDI standards.

ANSI Standard

A published transaction set approved by ANSI. The standards are reviewed every six months.





Anti dumping duty

A tariff imposed for the purpose of preventing the sale of foreign goods in the country as levels below their standard price in the country of origin.

Anticipated Delay Report

A report, normally issued by both manufacturing and purchasing to the material planning function, regarding jobs or purchase orders that will not be completed on time and explaining why the jobs or purchases are delayed and when they will be completed. This report is an essential ingredient of the closed-loop MRP system. It is normally a handwritten report. Synonym delay report

Anticipation Inventories

Additional inventory above basic pipeline stock to cover projected trends of increasing sales, planned sales promotion programs, seasonal fluctuations, plant shutdowns, and vacations.

Anticipation stock

Inventory held in order to be able to satisfy a demand with seasonal fluctuations with a production level that does not fluctuate at all or that varies to a lesser extent than the demand; or to cope with erratic production or deficiencies in production capacity. (Source: ILT Supply-Chain Inventory Management SIG)

Anticipatory breach

Situation whereby a buyer fears that a supplier will not act upon an agreed to future date. Buyer can take some action to determine if supplier will or will not perform. These actions or non-action may result in buyer safety assuming that seller will not perform in the future. This gives rise to an anticipatory breach.

Anticipatory buying

Buying in advance of actual need or demand for the purpose of avoiding a shortage, stock-out, or price increase. A form of forward buying.

Anti-lock braking (ABS)

Anti-lock braking system. A safety system by which vehicle brakes are prevented from locking the road wheels thereby preventing skidding. Works by rapidly applying and releasing brakes so as to prevent wheel lock-up, which would induce a skid.

Antitrust laws

The legislation prohibiting acts that will cause or tend to cause monopolistic practices, includes the Sherman Antitrust Act in the U.S.

Any-quantity rate

A per pound or per unit rate which is not determined by any weight minimum, and therefore is applicable to any quantity of freight tendered. This is a single rate which is applied regardless of the quantity shipped. There is no minimum weight on these rates. AQ rates are commonly used in cotton goods.

Any-Quantity Rate (AQ)

The same rate applies to any size shipment tendered to a carrier; no discount rate is available for large shipments.

Angle stacking

Placing stock in a storage area at a 45 degree angle to the aisle.


A vessel’s outfit, such as rigging, anchor and life boats. The term used in distribution/transport of clothing for a single piece of clothing, a garment.

Apparent authority

The perceived ability of an agent to bind an insurance contract to an insurance company. If an agent or agency holds themselves out as representing a particular company it is reasonable for the public to assume that such authority is established contractually, even if it is not. Apportionment – The method of dividing a loss between multiple insurers that cover the same loss.

Apparent good order

When freight appears to be free of damage and proper condition so far as can be determined from a general survey, it is designated as apparent good order.

Apparent Good Order

When freight appears to be free of damage so far as a general survey can determine.


The transfer of a case from an inferior(lower) to a superior(higher) court.

Appellate jurisdiction

Courts having power to review decisions of lower courts.


A small Internet related program application that enhances a web page-calculator, etc.

Applicability Statement 2 (AS2)

A specification for Electronic Data Interchange between businesses using the Internet’s Web page protocol, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The specification is an extension of the earlier version, Applicability Statement 1 (AS1). Both specifications were created by EDI over the Internet (EDIINT), a working group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) that develops secure and reliable business communications standards.


With rates, the points to, from, or between which the rates and routes named in a tariff apply; of tariffs, the points to, from, or between the provisions of a tariff apply.

Application for change in classification

A form used in filling with a classification committee a request for change in the classification of a commodity.

Application Service Provider (ASP)

A company that offers access over the Internet to application (examples of applications include word processors, database programs, Web browsers, development tools, communication programs) and related services that would otherwise have to be located in their own computers. Sometimes referred to as “apps-on-tap”, ASP services are expected to become an important alternative, especially for smaller companies with low budgets for information technology. The purpose is to try to reduce a company’s burden by installing, managing, and maintaining software.


The direct interchange of data between computers, without re-keying.

Apportionment distribution

When rolling stock is distributed on a predetermined basis, or when the tonnage of several carriers is distributed without preference on a predetermined basis, it is usually referred to as apportionment distribution. The term is also applicable to passenger service. When the fares of an interline operation are distributed between carriers on a predetermined basis this term is also applied.

Appraisal Costs

Those costs associated with the formal evaluation and audit of quality in the firm. Typical costs include inspection, quality audits, testing, calibration, and checking time.


To get a value on goods or property.


Ascertaining the value of goods or property.


Determination of the dutiable value of imported merchandise by a Customs official who follows procedures outlined in their country’s tariff, such as the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930.


One who determines the value of goods.

appraiser’s stores

The warehouse or public store which at least ten percent of imported goods are taken to be inspected, analyzed, weighed, etc. by examiners or appraisers.

Appraiser’s Stores

The warehouse or public stores to which samples of imported goods are taken to be inspected, analyzed, weighed, etc. by examiners or appraisers.


The allocation of funds for a specific purpose.

Approved list

Under legislation controlling the carriage of dangerous goods* by road, the relevant ‘dangerous goods’ are identified in Approved Lists published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE*).

Approved parts list

Purchasing, materials management, and production term for those goods which were analyzed and are allowed for use in the system.

Approved supplier list

A listing of suppliers, vendors, which have been deemed to provide goods/services and deliveries in a satisfactory manner for the buying organisation.

Approved Vendor List (AVL)

List of the suppliers approved for doing business. The AVL is usually created by procurement or sourcing and engineering personnel using a variety of criteria such as technology, functional fit of the product, financial stability, and past performance of the supplier.


As used in shipping, the term embraces whatever belongs to the owner on board a vessel or ship used for the object of a voyage.


Adjustable pallet racking. Pallet rack with beams adjustable for height on side frames usually in increments of 75 mm.

Apron track

Railroad track along the apron of the pier designed for the direct transfer of cargo between the rail car and ship.


A network of national information centres of information technologies.


Advanced Planning System. Computer software package that views the whole supply chain and allows decisions to be made on a chain-wide basis rather than on a restricted, local basis.


Australian Port Service Charges


After peak tank. Tank on ship for carrying fuel, water, etc located in stern of vessel. Usually forms aft-most watertight bulkhead.


See Any quantity rate


Australian Quarantine Inspection Service


See Acceptable Quality Level


The profiteering from the exchange of one country’s currency for that of another to acquire the advantages in the exchange rate.


An added charge over a fixed rate to account for an added leg of a shipment. It amounts to the combination of a fixed rate with an added rate.


A less formal method of resolving disputes than would be necessary in a court of law. Both parties agree to the use of an arbitrator who will listen to the issues and make a statement toward a resolution.


A means of settling disputes (labor and loss and damage) with an objective outside party acting as a primary decision body.

Arbitration clause

An arrangement for settling disputes which is inserted in the sales contract.

Arbitration of exchange

It is customary to calculate rates of exchange between two countries by a comparison of the currency of intermediate places to discover whether it is more profitable to forward money directly or indirectly. Simple arbitration involves the use of but one intermediate place and compound arbiration includes two or more intermediate places.


As used in supply chains today, this pertains to the designs of flow patterns, information systems, and financial settlements among a string of firms.

Archiving service

New concept whereby logistics operators provide customers with secure storage and recovery services for archived documentation.

Area Code

A code for the area where a container is situated.

Area of Repair

Geographical area where a container is under repair.

Area Off Hire Lease

Geographical area where a leased container becomes off hire.

Area Off Hire Sublease

Geographical area where a subleased container becomes off hire.

Area On Hire Lease

Geographical area where a leased container becomes on hire.

Area On Hire Sublease

Geographical area where a subleased container becomes on hire.

Arm’s length

Purchasing field term indicating that the extent of the buyer and seller’s relationship is based upon price and delivery only.

Armed guard service

A service provided for in the tariffs which involves the surveillance of the shipment by armed guard. Extra charges are assessed for such service.

Arrival notice

A notice, furnished to consignee, of the arrival of freight.

Arrival Notice

A notice sent by a carrier to a nominated notify party advising of the arrival of a certain shipment.

Arrival Notice

A notice from the delivering carrier to the Notify Party indicating the shipment’s arrival date at a specific location (normally the destination).

Arrived ship

When the following conditions prevail, the vessel is considered to be an arrived ship: (1) the vessel is ready to load or discharge cargo; (2) the vessel has arrived at the unloading berth according to the charger; (3) the shippers or consignees have been notified in writing.

Arrow diagram

A planning tool to diagram a sequence of events or activities (nodes) and the interconnectivity of such nodes. It is used for scheduling and especially for determining the critical path through nodes.

Articles Dangereux de Route

Abbreviation: ADR An European agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road.


In railroad, bus, or ship transportation this is a vehicle consisting of two or more, full-sized attached units which can swivel or hinge.

Articulated car

In railroad transportation, this is a rail car consisting of two or more attached units which can swivel.

Articulated vehicle

A goods vehicle comprising a powered tractive unit (ie the drawing vehicle) and a semi-trailer superimposed upon it in such a way that when the trailer is uniformly loaded, not less than 20 per cent of the weight of the load is borne by the tractive unit. Certain buses and coaches are also articulated where they are in two parts (ie hinged) and where the passenger can pass from one part to the other.

Artificial advantage

An advantage which a locality of shipper has over another because of an action on the part of some transportation company or other agency. This differs from economic advantage which can arise due to an abundance of resources, capacity, or other benefit in an area.

Artificial Intelligence

Understanding and computerizing the human thought process.

Artificial person

A company, corporation, or other legal entity, considered in law or in commercial transactions. Distinct from a natural person.

As customary

A shortened form of “with all dispatch as customary.” In a contract of affreightment, this refers to the usual manner of performing service, without specifically stipulating the period of time in which the work is to be performed.

As fast as a steamer can deliver

A charter party clause providing for the discharge of a vessel’s cargo with the utmost practical dispatch—–port customs, facilities for delivery and other existing circumstances considered.

As is

Purchasing term for a price for something without any guarantees or warranties. Purchaser has no recourse to seller for quality or condition. Typical term in the sale of previously owned/used goods, machinery, equipment, or facilities.

As per advice

A term used on a bill of exchange to indicate that notice of the drawing of the bill has already sent to the drawee.


Automated storage and retrieval system. System used in automated warehouses, usually computer controlled handling systems – may be carousels, cranes or AGVs*.


See Applicability Statement 2


Air service agreement. A reciprocal (bilateral) agreement between two countries governing air traffic rights (eg the frequency and capacity of services, fare and tariff agreements, etc).


Term placed on financial documents to indicate that the information contained therein was noted at a particular date. Example, balance sheet as-at December 31.


See Accredited Standards Committee of ANSI


Accredited Standards Committee X12. A committee of ANSI chartered in 1979 to develop uniform standards for the electronic interchange of business documents.


American Standards Committee X12 responsible for developing EDI standards for the United States.


American standard code for information interchange (ie via computer).

ASP,  Application service provider

A recent twist in software marketing in which the software licenses are owned by the ASP and reside on their system while the client rents the rights to use the software.  The ASP may be the software manufacturer or a third party business.  The benefits to an using an ASP are lower upfront costs, quicker implementations, and the reduction of the need for internal IS personnel and mainframe/server hardware.  It is hoped that ASPs will allow small to midsize businesses greater access to technology than was previously available.

Aspirational goals

Strategic term indicating certain accomplishments or capabilities that have been identified to be attained by a certain time. In supply chains, this might mean that a specific competitive advantage will result from implementing a certain information system.


Acronym for automated stacker-retriever system system; am automated form of materials handling that can perform put-away and picking with no or a minimum of human handling.


Manufactured products that are produced using a combination of make-to-stock and make-to-order processes. This method employs assembling. Synonym Finish to Order. Also see Make to Order, Make to Stock


The act of collecting many shipments at a certain point for consolidation in the line haul movement. This is a common foreign trade zone activity in East Asian countries for goods destined to European and North American retail store chains.


The stage of production in which components are put together into an end product appropriate to the process concerned.

Assembly and distribution rates

When multiple shipments are assembled for shipment, or are terminated at a single point, they are less costly to handle than individual shipments originating from the business. Rates are lower due to the consolidated form of pickup or delivery at one end. In some cases a single document covers the “bulk” portion of the move. These rates service the industrial shipper who maintains a regular consolidation operation.

assembly area

A site where a command is assembled preparatory to further action.

Assembly drawing

An exploded drawing containing a set of number parts combined to make a completed product.

Assembly Line

An assembly process in which equipment and work centers are laid out to follow the sequence in which raw materials and parts are assembled.

Assembly service

The process of a single carrier assembling many shipments en rout to the same consignee.


An agreement between carriers for a publication by another carrier or agent relative to rate, etc.


A property of tangible or intangible value owned by the business or individual.

Asset Management

Approach that helps a company to manage fixed asset purchases (Plant and machinery) and related depreciation.

Asset recovery

The act of refurbishment, repair, redisposition, or sale of existing assets for the purpose of capturing some value from them. This is typically a term used disposing of surplus inventories or old fixed assets.


Term often used in logistics where a firm is expanding its operations by buying other established businesses (ie buying the assets) as opposed to forming strategic alliances*.


To transfer or make over to another party.

Assigned rail car

A rail car that is only used by one shipper for a specific period of time. No other person may use this car without permission.

Assigned service

Equipment or vehicle that are served for the service of a certain shipper or consignee, specially equipped rail cars and contract carriage trucks are often assigned for loading only by the specific shipper.

Assigned siding

A sidetrack owmed by a transportation line, and assigned for the use of one or more firms, or individuals, in loading or unloading cars.


One to whom a right or property is transferred


1) Traffic: A term commonly used in connection with bills of lading, involves transfer of rights, title, and interest for the purpose of assigning goods. It authorizes a bank to pay the third party from the proceeds of the draft presented by the beneficially. 2) Purchasing: A practice of taking an order from a customer and passing it along to another firm to produce or service the goods for delivery to the customer.


One by whom a right or property is transferred.


In foreign trade, this is the act of the buying company in providing the selling firm with technologies, engineering help, or other tangible and intangible capabilities in order for them to manufacture the goods that are to be imported from them.

associated company

A company owned jointly by two or more other companies.


The union of a number of individuals or companies for a common purpose.


A collection of different SKU’s.

Assortment pack

A retail store term for units of inventory (packages) that contain two or more SKU items.

Assumed Receipt

The principle of assuming that the contents of a shipment are the same as those presented on a shipping or delivery note. Shipping and receiving personnel do not check the delivery quantity. This practice is used in conjunction with bar codes and an EDI-delivered ASN to eliminate invoices and facilitate rapid receiving.

Assumption of risk

An expression of the assuming of all or part of the liability for loss and damage to a shipment.


Behind a vessel. Move in a reverse direction.


See American Society for Testing and Materials

Astray freight

When less-than-truckload freight has been separated from the regular revenue manifest or waybill after it has been marked for destination, it is usually referred to as astray freight.

At sight

A term used on a bill of exchange to indicate that the bill is payable on demand without any days grace.


Actual Time of Arrival, or Airport-To-Airport, or Air Transport Association of America.

ATA carnet

A Customs carnet (ie clearance document) used in international transport operations for the purposes of allowing goods to be temporarily imported into a country (eg for exhibition purposes) without payment of, or deposits against, import duties. Obtainable from Chambers of Commerce.

ATA-American Trucking Associations

The nationwide association of trucking companies in the United States is called the American Trucking Associations. It has headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia (U.S.).

ATC (1)

Air Traffic Control.


Air Traffic Control Centre.


Actual Time of Departure.


Any time Day or Night Sundays & Holidays Included.


An accessory that has to be physically attached to the product.

Attendance at work

Term used to describe the activity of goods vehicle driver (and shown on his tachograph chart*) as being work for his employer other than driving.


Extra person required to be carried when vehicles/loads exceed certain dimensions. When three or more such vehicle/loads travel in convoy, attendants are required on the first and last vehicles only. See also Statutory attendant – RV (C&U) 1986.


A label used to provide additional classification or information about a resource, activity, or cost object. Used for focusing attention and may be subjective. Examples are a characteristic, a score or grade of product or activity, or groupings of these items, and performance measures.

Athens Convention

An international convention governing carrier’s liability for passengers and their baggage when carried by air.

Athwart or athwart ship

At right angles to the keel of the vessel.


A direction across the width of a vessel.


Approved tank requirements – ie for dangerous goods carriage. HSE publication.


Let multiple buyers bid competitively for products from individual suppliers. Suitable for hard-to-move goods such as used capital equipment (forklifts) and surplus or excess inventory. Prices only move up, but buyers can buy below list prices while sellers sell for more than a liquidator pays. Auctions are becoming a feature of many Net markets, but some use auctions as their primary market mechanism. Examples: AdAuction, TradeOut.com (used equipment).


The inspection and examination of a process or quality system to ensure compliance to requirements. An audit can apply to an entire organization or may be specific to a function, process or production step.

Audit Trail

Manual or computerized tracing of the transactions affecting the contents or origin of a record.


A characteristic of modern information systems, gauged by the ease with which data can be substantiated by trading it to source documents and the extent to which auditors can rely on pre-verified and monitored control processes.

Audited accounts

The (annual) accounts of a business which have been examined and approved by an ‘auditor’. In the case of limited liability companies such accounts are required by law (see Registrar of Companies) and must have been prepared by an independent ‘chartered’ (ie professional) accountant.


Determining the correct transportation charges due the carrier auditing involves checking the accuracy of the freight bill for errors, correct rate, and weight.


An accountant who analyses and passes upon the accuracy of accounts and procedures.

Auto carrier

In motor transportation, this is a low slung trainer with ramp for the carrying of automobiles. This single axle, tandem wheeled trailer can some times be converted to a light capacity flatbed trailer.

Auto Container

Container equipped for the transportation of vehicles.

Auto rack container

A container designed to store automobiles for shipment. It may be open or closed sided.

Auto ship

An ocean vessel specifically designed for the movement of automobiles. It typically has low ceilings and uses a maximum of the physical enclosed capacity of the ship.


European Commission programme aiming to reduce the five most harmful emissions from vehicle exhausts, ie particulate matter – volatile organic compounds (VOCs*), black smoke, carbon monoxide (CO)*, nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide (NOx)*.


The functionality of a bar-code reader to recognize the bar-code symbology being scanned, thus allowing a reader to read several different symbologies consecutively.


The functionality of a bar code reader to recognize the bar code symbology being scanned thus allowing a reader to read several different symbologies consecutively.


New technology which provides drivers with recommended routes to their destination via vehicle-mounted display prompted by roadside beacons which transmit advice data from a central computer – pilot scheme introduced in London in 1990.


Referring to an automated identification system. This includes technology such as bar coding and radio frequency tagging (RFID).

Automated Broker Interface (ABI)

The U.S. Customs program to automate the flow of customs related information among customs brokers, importers, and carriers.

Automated Clearinghouse

The Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) is a feature of the Automated Broker Interface which is a part of Customs’ Automated Commercial System. The ACH combines elements of bank lock box arrangements with electronic funds transfer services to replace cash or check for payment of estimated duties, taxes, and fees on imported merchandise.

Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)

Update of outmoded Automated Commercial System (ACS). It is intended to provide automated information system to enable the collection, processing and analysis of commercial import and export data, allowing for moving goods through the ports faster and at lower cost, as well as detection of terrorist threats.

Automated data collection

Systems of hardware and software used to process transactions in warehouses and manufacturing operations.  Data collection systems may consist of fixed terminals, portable terminals and computers, Radio frequency (RF) terminals, and various types of bar code scanners. a.k.a.

Automated Export Reporting Program

The AERP provides for electronic submission of most information required on the Shipper’s Export Declaration. The program was initiated in 1969 with the intent of enabling large volume exporters to submit electronically and facilitate Census Bureau data entry and analysis. AERP was expanded in 1982 to allow freight forwarders, and again in 1985 to allow ocean carriers, to file electronically. At the beginning of fiscal year 1994, about 220 firms — accounting for 350,000 to 400,000 records a month — were participating in AERP. The program is administered by the Automated Data Reporting Branch, Foreign Trade Division, Bureau of the Census.

Automated fare payment system

A rapid transit system whereby passengers can purchase and pay for their fares without the need for ticket sellers an fare collectors.

Automated guided vehicle

A form of materials handling that travel without human guidance or steering. It usually is controlled by electronic pathway and control systems.

Automated guided vehicle system (AGVS)

Describes systems of vehicles that can be programmed to automatically drive to designated points and perform preprogrammed functions.  Guidance system may consist of a wire embedded in the floor, optical system or other types of guidance. Automated guided vehicle (AGV)

Automated guideway transit

A rapid transit system that operate without the need for an operator.

Automated Manifest System (AMS)

A multi-modular cargo inventory control and release notification system through which carriers submit their electronic cargo declaration 24 hours before loading. See 24-hour Rule

Automated storage and retrieval systems

A system of rows of rack, each row having a dedicated retrieval unit that moves vertically and horizontally along the rack picking and putting away loads.  a.k.a. ASRS, AS/RS, Unit-load ASRS and Mini-load ASRS.

Automated Storage/Retrieval System (AS/RS)

A high-density rack inventory storage system with un-manned vehicles automatically loading and unloading products to/from the racks.

Automated store ordering

Process where store replenishment orders are generated automatically, based on data capture of sales, stocks and deliveries due.

Automated warehouse/order picking

Type of warehousing whereby stocking and order picking is carried out by remote (ie computer) controlled handling equipment – often operated totally without human intervention and without lighting.

Automatic Identification

A means of identifying an item e.g. a product, parcel or transport unit by a machine (device) entering the data automatically into a computer. The most widely used technology at present is bar code; others include radio frequency, magnetic stripes and optical character recognition.

Automatic Identification Manufacturers

Abbreviation: AIM International organization of companies and/or associations involved or interested in automatic identification.

Automatic ordering

A process of call-off or ordering by a buying company against a selling firm that is based upon a linkage that minimizes human intervention and avoids use of traditional requisition, purchase order, and other documentation. In some countries, beverage vending machines are equipped with sensing and transmitting devices that serve to automatically order replenishment quantities.

Automatic passenger counter

A device that captures the numbers of passengers boarding a transport vehicle or passing a certain point.

Automatic Relief

A set of inventory bookkeeping methods that automatically adjusts computerized inventory records based on a production transaction. Examples of automatic relief methods are backflushing, direct-deduct, pre-deduct, and post-deduct processing.

Automatic Rescheduling

Rescheduling done by the computer to automatically change due dates on scheduled receipts when it detects that due dates and need dates are out of phase. Ant manual rescheduling

Automatic vehicle locator system (AVL)

A system that capture the location and disposition of buses

Automobile car

A rail car equipped with the facilities for the safe and proper handling of automobiles. These can be single, double, or triple tiered.

Autonomous dial-a-ride transit

A full order entry and dispatching system on vehicles that is designed to minimize empty travel and maximize service to passengers seeking movement.


Proof by means of a signature or otherwise that a certain document or certain data is of undisputed origin and genuine.

Authentication Key

A short string of characters used to authenticate transactions between trading partners.

Authority limit

Purchasing field term for the maximum financial commitment that a particular buyer may sign for in the purchase of goods and services.

Authority to negotiate

The advise of a bank to a local exporter, based on instructions from its foreign correspondent, to negotiate the exporter’s drafts on a foreign buyer if the drafts are accompanied by certain specific documents.

Authority to pay

This document is not a letter of credit, but merely an advice of the place of payment which also specifies documents needed to obtain payment. It does not oblige any bank to pay. It is much less expensive than a letter of credit and has largely superseded by “documents against payment” (D/P)


The commission to a certain person or body to act on behalf of another person or body. The person or body can be authorized e.g. to issue Bills of Lading or to collect freight.


Refers to the status of inventory as it relates to its ability to be sold or consumed. Availability calculations are used to determine this status. Availability calculations vary from system to system but basically subtract any current allocations of holds on inventory from the current on-hand balance. An example of an availability calculation would be: [Quantity Available] = [Quantity On Hand] -[ Quantity On Hold] – [Quantity Allocated To Sales Orders] – [Quantity Allocated to Production Orders].

Available Inventory

The on-hand inventory balance minus allocations, reservations, backorders, and (usually) quantities held for quality problems. Often called “beginning available balance”. Synonyms Beginning Available Balance, Net Inventory

Available stock

The amount of inventory on hand that can be sold or used.

Available stock

The stock available to service immediate demand. (Source: ILT Supply-Chain Inventory Management SIG)

Available to promise (ATP)

The uncommitted portion of a company’s inventory and planned production, maintained in the master schedule to support customer order promising. The ATP quantity is the uncommitted inventory balance in the first period and is normally calculated for each period in which an MPS receipt is scheduled. In the first period, ATP includes on-hand inventory less customer orders that are due and overdue. (Source: ILT Supply-Chain Inventory Management SIG)

Available to Sell (ATS)

Total quantity of goods committed to the pipeline for a ship to or selling location. This includes the current inventory at a location and any open purchase orders.

Available ton mile

The product of the tonnage capacity carried and miles flown or traveled.


Term used in shipping and insurance in connection with the apportionment of loss or damage to goods or vehicles/vessels (eg apportionment of loss between joint owners or insurers).

Average Adjusters

In general average affairs average adjusters are entrusted with the task of apportioning the loss and expenditure over the parties interested in the maritime venture and to determine which expenses are to be regarded as average or general average.

Average Annual Daily Truck Traffic (AADTT)

The total volume of truck traffic on a highway segment for one year, divided by the number of days in the year.

Average Annual Production Materials Related A/P (Accounts Payable)

The value of direct materials acquired in that year for which payment has not yet been made. Production-related materials are those items classified as material purchases and included in the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) as raw material purchases. Calculate using the 5-Point Annual Average.

Average bond

A bond in which cargo owners agree to pay their share in the general average losses, each individual contribution being determined by the average/loss adjuster.

Average clause

A clause inserted in marine insurance policies which specifies certain goods as free from average unless general average applies, or unless the loss is above a certain percentage.

Average cost

inventory costing method that recalculates an item’s cost at each receipt by averaging the actual cost of the receipt with the cost of the current inventory.

Average Cost per Unit

The estimated total cost, including allocated overhead, to produce a batch of goods divided by the total number of units produced.

Average demurrage agreement

An agreement made between a shipper and a railroad line whereby the shipper is debited for the time cars are held for loading and unloading beyond s certain period and credited charges are assessed by the transportation line at the end of the month, for any outstanding debits front cars held less than the free time allowed.

Average deposit

Shipping term where a cash security is deposited by the consignee pending an assessment of the general average contribution.

Average haul

The average distance in miles traversed by each ton of an aggregate number of tons, determined by dividing the number of ton-miles by the total number of tons.

Average inventory

The average distance inventory level over a period of time. It is the average of the peak and base stock weighted for the amounts held at intermediate point in time.

Average Payment Period (for materials)

The average time from receipt of production-related materials and payment for those materials. Production-related materials are those items classified as material purchases and included in the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) as raw material purchases.

Average warehouse cost

It is the cost of housing. When the industrial firm owns its own warehouse it computes the average warehouse cost by summing the cost of operation of the warehouse. This requires adding depreciation cost, warehouse utility cost, warehouse taxes, interest on investment in warehouse, and all other costs except for labor costs, obsolescence cost, stock out cost, and comparable thereto. Since labor cost is charged separately. A distinction must be made between the warehouse rate, or storage rate, and the average warehouse cost. The average warehouse cost is comparable to the warehouse rate.

aviation insurance

Aircraft insurance including coverage of aircraft or their contents. The owner’s liability, and accident insurance on the passengers can be covered

Avoidable Cost

A cost associated with an activity that would not be incurred if the activity was not performed (e.g., telephone cost associated with vendor support).

Avoirdupois Pound

Same as 0.4535924277 kilograms.

Axle load

This may refer either to an allowance or an existing weight carried on the axle of a motor vehicle. An axle limitation placed on a highway requires that the axle load weight cannot be exceeded by the heaviest axle. This is a crucial measure with regard to pavement and bridge weight limits.

Axle load indicator

A built-in device for indicating the weight of the load borne by a goods vehicle axle – intended to help prevent axle overloading.

Axle spread

Distance between the centre lines of the outermost axles (ie the foremost and rearmost axles) on a goods vehicle (see also relevant axle spacing).

Axle weight

Sum of the weights transmitted to the road surface by all the wheels of a vehicle axle.

Axle weight calculation

Theoretical exercise (used mainly in CPC* examinations) to determine the weight on an axle when other given weights are known. Formula (P x D)/W applies when P = vehicle payload, D = the distance from the load centreline to the axle and W = the vehicle wheelbase.

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