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Food and Drug Administration.


Free All Average, Federal Aviation Administration.


An organisation that outsources 100% of its manufacturing to a third party. A term often used in the semiconductor industry.


A term used to distinguish manufacturing operations for components as opposed to assembly operations.

Fabrication-in-transit rate

A through rate plus an additional charge applied to a shipment stopped at some point between origin and destination for the purpose of fabrication.


An intermediate product producer that purchases materials and processes them specifically for a particular project


Any real property entity consisting of a structure, building, utility system, or pavement and underlying ground, necessary to support a system.

Facilities Desk

A computer aided facilities management system. It facilitates you as facility managers in maintenance management, property management, space management, people and asset management of your organisation effectively. This facilities management application provides all that you need to have for integrated workplace management and general service administration. This CMMS tool offers seamless maintenance and work order management, real-time data sharing of all the maintenance & facilities’ activities and reduction in facilities cost run.


Land, buildings, or an industrial complex designed and equipped to perform a specific function.

Facility management

Those activities and systems involved in the care and maintenance of office buildings, factories, and other operating structures.


An agent appointed to sell goods on commission.

Factor of production

Land, labour or capital required for production.


Factoring is a financial transaction whereby a business sells its accounts receivable (i.e., invoices) to a third party (called a factor) at a discount in exchange for immediate money with which to finance continued business.

Factory Acceptance Test

In software engineering, an acceptance test is the process of the user testing the system and, based on the results, either granting or refusing acceptance of the software/system being tested. It is often referred to as functional testing, beta testing, QA Testing, application testing, or end user testing. It is also sometimes split into factory acceptance testing and site acceptance testing, the first being run in-house, the second at the customer’s site

Factory Cost

The cost of producing the product in the production location including materials, labour and overheads.

Factory package

The package that contains the actual product. Distinction from secondary and tertiary packaging.

Factory Price

Price charged for goods picked up at the factory

Factory Sharing

Denotes the possibility of several companies sharing one set of production facilities.


A process that uses controls and logic to stop an improper operation or transaction before it occurs and creates an error condition or defect.


An operating state or condition that is outside of stated or desired results; or a state of inoperability.

Failure costs

Those costs incurred whenever a failure in product/service quality or processes occurs. This might be repair of breakage, safety incurred costs, downtime, or in customer service it might include premium transportation to replenish goods or lost goodwill with the customer.

Failure Modes And Effects Analysis (Fmea)

A bottom up process or function analysis that examines the effects and interaction of failures at the micro level that may combine to create failure in an end item. 

Fair offer

A general term for an offer to buy at a price that is deemed reasonable.

Fair Share Allocation

An allocation of available inventory to customer and interplant orders, when the availability is less than the total required. If the total  available quantity is 80% of the total required, it may allocate 80% of the amount requested on each individual order, instead of a scheme that prioritises the availability based on the order date, most important customer, etc. 

Fair Value

Fair value is the amount of consideration agreed upon in an arm’s length transaction between knowledgeable, willing parties who are under no compulsion to act. Fair value is similar to market value.


Freight All Kinds. Usually refers to consolidated cargo.

False billing

When the shipping papers contain descriptions of commodities which fail to reflect the true contents of a shipment. It is referred to as a false billing.

Family grouping

A term used in materials handling and stock layout indicating that different products of the same manufacturer or product lines are stored together.

Far East

Vast region of Asia lying east of the Indian subcontinent and south of China. It includes a mainland area (also called Indochina) and a string of archipelagos to the south and east and is generally taken to include Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines. It may also include China, Hong Kong, Macao and Japan.


Free Along Side. Seller quotes a price including delivery of the goods alongside the vessel.

Fast Charging

Method for quickly recharging lift truck batteries on the vehicle during short periods where the vehicle is not being used (lunches, breaks, shift changes, etc). This process for “opportunity charging” eliminates the need to change batteries in multi-shift operations

Fast Freight Line

An organisation of the carriers to promote dispatch of freight between certain points for specified traffic.

Fast Freight Train

A freight train which does not stop at all of the stations on its route.

Fast Moving Consumer Goods

FMCG – description of common high volume products such as food, hygiene products, or cleaning supplies. These would be products that the average consumer would frequently purchase such as tinned/canned goods, toothpaste, or dish soap.

Fault Tolerance

Characteristics of a process that allow it to continue operation or produce acceptable output when faced with a condition outside its normal design parameters. 

Faulty Goods

If a product is faulty or damaged (in transit), the seller must replace the item without question.


Short term for facsimile transmission of an image, letter, or other document from one place to another.


Full Container Load.


Food and Drug Administration of the USA

Features and Options

In assemble to order (ATO) environments, the available standard set of product attributes that will be combined to create the finished product. For example, in configuring a desktop computer, available features might include monitor size, hard drive size, CPU speed, and bundled software, among others. The options are the individual choices within the feature categories, such as a  5, 10 or 20 GB hard drive. The options usually can only be selected from a predefined menu, and when combined create the final customer selling price and cost to the manufacturer. 

Federal Acquisition Regulations

The body of regulations that govern the process of US government agency purchasing.

Federal Aviation Act

The federal legislation by the United States congress which superseded the civil aeronautics act of 1938 regulating air transportation, it was termed the federal aviation act of 1958.

Federal Aviation Administration

The successor to the old civil aeronautics administration. The federal agency which initiates and executes policy relative to the promotion of safety and efficiency in flight operations. It is now in the department of transportation under 1967 order.

Federal Information Processing Standard

Standards published by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, after approval by the Dept. of Commerce; used as a guideline for federal procurements.

Federal Maritime Commission

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is an independent regulatory agency responsible for the regulation of ocean-borne transportation in the foreign commerce of the U.S. 

Federal Register

A publication produced by the U.S government that provides information concerning notices and rules of the federal regulatory agencies. This was provided for under the federal register Act.

Federal Reserve System

The central banking system of the US comprising 12 Federal Reserve Banks controlling 12 districts under the Federal Reserve Board. Membership of the Fed is compulsory for banks chartered by the Comptroller of Currency and optional for state chartered banks

Federal trade commission

Government body created for the purpose of overseeing business practices.


The flow of information back into the control system so that actual performance can be compared with planned performance.


1) Air: another term for air commuter company. 2) Ocean: Term for small ship that picks up at smaller ports for consolidated transfer to a larger ship at a central port, and vice versa. 3) Trucking. Term used in some companies for pick up and delivery operations, particularly those contracted or provided by another firm.

Feeder lines

Branches or short-line railroads traversing territory untouched by the trunk lines and interchanging traffic at connecting points.

Feeder Service

Cargo to/from regional ports are transferred to/from a central hub port for a long-haul ocean voyage.

Feeder Ship

Ships that ply smaller ports in pick up and delivery like mode as a feed to larger trans-ocean ships.

Feeder Vessel

A short-sea vessel which transfers cargo between a central “hub” port and smaller “spoke” ports.

Feeding in transit

The stopping of shipments of livestock, at a point located between the point of origin and destination to be fed and watered.

Ferry car

When a freight car is loaded with several L.C.L shipments by a shipper to a railroad to a receiver, it is termed a ferry car. It may also be called a trap car.

Ferry charter rate

The portion of the charter charged by the carrier to over the necessary miles or hours of the aircraft to the point of origin of the charter, and the return of the charter aircraft to the destination of the carrier.

Ferry operation

Operation of equipment from one point to another in non-revenue service for the purpose of positioning it for another revenue.


A ship specially designed for mass movement of passengers, automobiles, truck and sometimes rail cars for short and medium length water movements.


Forty-foot Equivalent Unit. Ocean-freight term meaning containerised cargo equal to one forty-foot (40 x 8 x 8 feet) or two twenty-foot (20 x 8 x 8 feet) containers. One FEU equals about 25 metric tons or 72 cubic meters.


Freight forwarder


Fibreboard is a type of engineered wood product that is made out of wood fibres Types of fibreboard (in order of increasing density) include particle board, medium-density fibreboard, and hardboard

Fibreboard Pallet

A pallet that is constructed from fibreboard material


Computer term for an electronic space allowed by a program for the entry of variables or constants. Example are location to enter a person’s name, address, etc.

Field entry

A keyboarded entry of data into the field of a computer system.

Field Service Parts

Parts inventory kept at locations outside of the manufacturing plant (i.e., distribution centre (DC) or warehouse.)

Field Services

Repair and test activities typically performed for a customer at their site based on warranty or other contractual agreements.

Field Size

The length of a data record field for item number, on-hand quantity, order quantities, customer number, etc. that specifies the maximum allowable number of characters. Typically reviewed when selecting software to verify compatibility and conversion requirements. 

Field Warehouse

Warehouse that stores goods on the goods’ owner’s property while the goods are under a bona fide warehouse manager’s custody.


First in First out

Fifth Wheel

Coupling device attached to a tractor or dolly which supports the front of a semi trailer and locks it to the tractor or dolly. The fifth wheel’s centre is designed to accept a trailer’s kingpin, around which the trailer and tractor or dolly pivot in turns.


A digital repository of organised information consisting of records, items or arrays, and data elements.

File Transfer, Access and Management

The Open Systems Interconnection standard for file transfer, file access and management

Fill Rate

The percentage of order items that the picking operation actually fills within a given period of time

Final Assembly

The highest level assembled product, as it is ready to shipped to customers. The products consist of many possible features and options that may only be combined when an actual order is received.

Final Assembly Schedule (Fas)

A schedule for the completion of a final assembly from previously-stocked sub-assemblies based on the receipt of a customer order.

Final Destination

The last stopping point for a shipment

Financial health

The nature of a firm’s financial strength which regard to cash liquidity, leverage, overall capitalisation ,ability to meet future debt payments and the capability to invest in future resources and opportunities.

Financial Instrument

A document, real or virtual, having legal force and embodying or conveying monetary value

Financial lease

A lease in which the lessee makes payments and is responsible for the asset over its life. A lease that meets the requirements of a capital lease.

Financial Market

A market for a financial instrument, in which buyers and sellers find each other and create or exchange financial assets. Sometimes these are organised in a particular place and/or institution, but often they exist more broadly through communication among dispersed buyers and sellers, including banks, over long distances

Financial Report

An accounting statement detailing financial data, including income from all sources, expenses, assets and liabilities.

Financial stability

The avoidance of financial crisis.

Financial statement

A report of the liquidity, profitability, and solvency of a firm.


A software tool used to determine whether another user is logged on to the Internet. It can also be used to find out a user’s address.

Finger pier

A long, enclosed walkway extending from airport terminal to the loading gate.

Finger terminal

The standard air terminal which has a central ticketing and general operations section, with projecting corridors for passenger facilitation.

Finished Goods

Goods or products that result from a final production process.

Finished Goods Inventory (FGI)

A listing of products completely manufactured, packaged, stored, and ready for distribution.

Finite Scheduling

Creating production schedules that automatically take resource availability into account. Schedule dates are moved forward or backward in time as far as necessary to stay within prescribed capacity, and some systems also contain rules to move orders for certain products to approved alternate facilities when the initial resource is full. Finite scheduling systems normally do not ensure that material plans are automatically revised in conjunction with production rescheduling. 


Free In and Out is a pricing term that indicates that the charterer of the vessel is responsible for the cost of loading and unloading goods from the vessel.

Fire curtain

Large curtain made of a fire resistant material to prevent a fire from one side of the curtain to the other.

Fire Insurance

Insurance against loss or damage by fire to specific property

Fire pallet

Portable platform on which sits fire extinguishers and fire fighting equipment, to be moved to the scene of a fire.

Fire Prevention

Precautions designed to avoid an outbreak of fire, reduce the potential for fire to spread and safeguard persons and property in the event of fire


An unlicensed member of the engine room staff whose duties consist of standing watch in the boiler room and insuring the oil burning equipment is working properly.


A computer system that sits between the Internet and a company’s LAN. It is a means of automatically limiting what a company’s computer system will pass along to outside computer systems. It acts as an active gateway to keep non-company entities from accessing company confidential data.

Firing point

The temperature required for the vapour from a liquid to be in sufficient quantity to provide a continuous flame. it is higher than the flash point.


A capacity measurement equal to one-fourth of a barrel.


A commercial establishment that provides goods or service.

Firm Order

These orders are for separate items that will not be updated

Firm Planned Order

In a DRP or MRP system, a planned order whose status has been updated to a fixed order.

Firm Zone

The period of time in an existing production schedule, normally the MPS, when changes are not allowed due to the impact on lower level items already in process and on vendors. It usually starts with the current date and extends into the future as far as required based on lead time. The same logic is also sometimes used in vendor scheduling

First Article Inspection

The analysis of the first item manufactured in a production run to verify correct setup and process alignment

First class service

Transport service for passengers where premium quality services are provided.

First In First Out (FIFO)

The method whereby the goods which have been longest in stock (first in) are used, delivered (sold) and/or consumed first (first out).

First main track

As applied to line-haul roads, a single track extending the entire distance between terminals

First Mover Advantage

First-mover advantage or FMA is the advantage gained by the initial occupant of a market segment. This advantage may stem from the fact that the first entrant can gain control of resources that followers may not be able to match

First Order Smoothing

Forecasting exponential smoothing systems that do not contain parameters or adjustments for the effects of trends and seasonality

First Pick Ratio

The percentage of time items are successfully picked to satisfy order requirements based on the initial location and quantity recommended by the system; an inventory accuracy and efficiency measurement.

First price sealed bid

A purchasing method used in bidding whereby the buyers will only consider the best price of any of the bids without allowing further discussion by any of the bidders for submitting subsequent bids.

First Read Rate

The ratio of the number of successful reads on the first scanning attempt to the number of attempts. Commonly expressed as a percentage.

First world

A loose term for the major industrial nations of the world. Second world countries were those in the former communist bloc. Increasingly, today, the term second world countries apply to those nations that are newly industrialising Third word nations are typically those without highly developed economies.

Fish bone analysis

A method used to analyse complex processes in terms of the sequence of components, activities and steps required to complete an overall task. Each sub component activity is drawn on a diagonal line that feeds the prime centre line in what become to look like a fish bone.

Fish bone chart

A graphic representation of a production process, wherein the backbone represents the production line flow and the rib bones are used to represent the critical factors feeding into the flow.

Fishbone Diagram

A graphic technique for identifying cause-and-effect relationships among factors in a given situation or problem.

Fishy Back

When highway trailers are transported aboard ships though a process of demounting the trailers, the shipment is referred to as fishy back.


A transportation regulation term pertaining to a transportation company’s financial stature and responsibility.

Fixed Asset

Property, plant, and equipment

Fixed Budget

A budget tied to a specific volume or level of production, distribution or other activity. 

Fixed Charges

Those transportation costs which do not vary with the quantity shipped.

Fixed Costs

Costs that do not vary with the level of activity. Some fixed costs continue even if no cargo is carried. Terminal leases, rent and property taxes are fixed costs.

Fixed improvement

Structures of permanent character.

Fixed Interval Order

A purchase or production order that occurs at a regular time interval and covers the variable demand during that period. 

Fixed interval system

An inventory reordering rule in which goods are reordered at specified fixed time intervals, the size of the lot varies.

Fixed Lead Time

A lead time that does not vary because of quantity changes. A manufacturing process such as curing, drying or baking may require a set amount of time regardless of the volume being processed. 

Fixed Location

A storage system that assigns a permanent inventory location for a given item, usually based on its physical size and usage volume. Seasonal stock level variations may mean the dedicated location sometimes takes up more space than needed, or that temporary random locations will also be required. 

Fixed location system

Location of a product in the warehouse-is in a specific place as indicated by a floor marking.

Fixed Lot Size

A lot size that always uses the same quantity (or a multiple) for a reorder; the timing of the order varies while the size of the order is constant. Fixed lots are sometimes used when a process may require stamping out 100 pieces at a time, or when a vendor will only ship a carton of 500 items. Using fixed lots may mean placing fewer orders, at the trade-off of carrying more inventory for a period of time than may be required. 

Fixed Order Interval 

An inventory control system for which a maximum stock level has been calculated based on usage during the lead-time and order interval. Stock is reviewed at specified time periods and subsequent order size equates to the difference between the maximum stock level and the current inventory position. Thus, the order size will vary according to usage between reviews.

Fixed Order Quantity

An inventory reordering rule in which the lot size ordered each time remains the same, the length of time between orders varies.

Fixed Overhead

Overhead costs incurred in support of the manufacturing process that can not be directly allocated to specific items, and do not vary with production changes as do direct material and labour costs. 

Fixed Platform Truck

Truck equipped with a load platform which is non-elevating

Fixed price

When price is not affected by demand. Contract term indicating that the price is a certain amount and not subject to change.

Fixed Quantity Inventory Model

A setup wherein a company orders the same (fixed) quantity each time it places an order for an item.

Fixed Rate

A traditional approach to determining the finance charge payable on an extension of credit. A predetermined and certain rate of interest is applied to the principal

Fixed route transit

Any transit system of moving people that plies rigid routes without deviation. They are typically scheduled.

Fixed Tandem

Assembly of two axles and suspension that is attached to the chassis in one place

Fixed wing air

Aircraft having wings that are fixed to the aeroplane body.

Fixed-wall Pallet Container

Container that features an integrated pallet and has fixed sidewalls.


Repair: the act of putting something in working order again

Fixing letter

A document drawn to establish the conditions for a charter.


A report of vessel charters that explains the basic elements of the charter.


An indication of the country in which a means of transport is registered through a reference to the ensign of this country.

Flag station

A station at which trains stop only when signalled

Flag Vessel

Every vessel has a flag distinguishing nationality.

Flag Waiver

Permission from government to carry cargo otherwise labelled for flag recipient.

Flags Of Convenience

A ship registered under the flag of a nation which offers conveniences in the areas of taxes, crew, and safety requirements.

Flammable gas

Any compressed gas meeting the requirements for lower flammability limit, flammability limited range, flame projection, or flame propagation criteria as specified in DOT regulations.

Flammable goods

Goods that give off vapours which become combustible at a certain temperature.

Flammable liquid

Any liquid having a flash point below 100°F as determined in DOT tests.

Flammable solid

Any solid material, other than an explosive, which is liable to cause fires through friction, retained heat from manufacturing or processing ,or which can be ignited readily and when ignited burns so vigorously and persistently as to create a serious transportation hazard.


In rail transportation, the steel edge inside the rim of the wheels to provide guidance on the track.

Flash point

A hazardous material transportation term that refers to the temperature at which a substance gives off a vapour or gas that can become ignited by a source of some form, such as a spark.

Flat Bed Car

An open railroad car without sides or top designed to haul heavy or oversized non-containerisable cargo.

Flat Bill Of Material

A production chart and situation whereby a firm assembles sub items into a finished good in one step without having to perform subassembly steps prior to the final assembly.

Flat bottom

A flatbed truck or trailer without sides.

Flat Car

A freight car without ends, sides, or top, used principally for the transportation of lumber, machinery, and unusually bulky articles, often called a Platform car.

Flat charge

A single fee regardless of the freight on board.

Flat face

A cab over engine type of vehicle.

Flat File

A text file that structures the information in a simple format using tags. Typically consists of a header, features, and a sequence

Flat Rack

20′ & 40′ metal platform with open sides, with bulk heads (i.e., no roof or side walls).

Flat Rack Container

A flat bed with fixed ends suitable for the carriage of cargo of excessive width and plated for carriage of heavy loads. 20′ and 40′

Flat rate

A local or joint rate applicable to all aspects of a shipment.

Flat steel products

Are of a roughly rectangular cross-section that is wider than it is deep. Their finish is smooth but may (as in the case of bulb plates) contain recessed or raised elements at regular intervals. Examples of hot-rolled products are mill bars, steel plate and steel strip. Examples of cold-rolled products are cold broad strip, cold strip and steel plate.

Flex conveyor

Portable conveyor that can be expanded, contracted, and flexed around curves


The extent to which and the rate at which adjustments to changed circumstances are possible.

Flexible Budget

A budget that presents projected costs and revenues over a range of production, sales or distribution volumes. 

Flexible Computer Integrated Manufacturing

FCIM is the integration of equipment, software, communication, human resources, and business practices within an enterprise to rapidly manufacture, repair, and deliver items on demand with continuous improvements in the processes. The FCIM initiative is a Joint Service and Agency effort to establish and implement the procedures and processes needed Acronym: FCIM

Flexible manufacturing

A production system that is capable of producing either in a number of ways or various products with a minimum of switch over effect from one to another.

Flexible Specialisation

The term coined by Sabel to indicate idealised models of high-skill innovative production.

Flexible-Path Equipment

Materials handling devices that include hand trucks and forklifts.


Truck trailers or containers that are loaded on specially constructed flat cars equipped with two turntables.


A worker scheduling system whereby they may set their own daily work times – usually around a specified core time.

Flight corridor

Air routes allowed by a country for aircraft from other countries. Noteworthy ones were the three that operated from west Germany into Berlin over east Germany from 1945 until 1991. Also the corridors allowing American flag air carriers to fly across Cuba to reach southern destinations.

Flight equipment

The equipment facilities required for flight.

Flight equipment interchange

Circumstances in which a single plane is used by more than one carrier on a route, and where the crew is changed to fly the routes of the carrier.

Flight Number

A combination of two characters, indicating the airline, and three or four digits indicating the number of the voyage.

Flight stage

The time from take-off to landing.


A train order to the crew indicating that certain action will be required by them or will otherwise affect their train.


1) Trucking : A flatbed semi-trailer.2) Finance: The time in which a cheque is in transit and has not yet been deducted from the issuer’s account.


Freely suspending in water of an object.

Floating Cranes

Heavy duty cranes brought in to handle cargo when unable to use gantry crane.

Floating currency

Any currency in which the value freely moves upward and downward based upon the supply and demand for it.

Floating Policy:

A policy insuring property which may be situated at various locations

Floating rate

Means that the exchange rate of a currency against others shifts upward and downward freely in response to market and economic conditions.

Floating the gears

Changing gears without using the clutch.


Large single tires that are used instead of duals.

Floor load

The range or maximum capacity of a car, in pounds per square foot.

Floor Stock 

Material and components stored on the production floor used as needed for multiple production orders, and not pegged or issued to individual orders. Normally lower-dollar value, back flushed items. 

Floor-Ready Merchandise (FRM)

Items that are received at the store in condition to be put directly on display without any preparation by retail workers.


Floating items of a ship or its cargo at sea, floating debris.

Flow Order

Used in a repetitive manufacturing environment as a cumulative schedule for a production line that is consumed by reported production over a period of time until the order quantity is complete.  

Flow Process

A process manufacturing environment where material moves in a continuous stream instead of a discrete batch.

Flow process chart

A graphical representation of the sequence of all operations, transportation, inspections, delays, and storage occurring during a process or procedure

Flow rack

Racking system that incorporates sections of conveyor to allow the cartons or pallets to flow to the face of the rack. Stocking is performed from the rear of the rack

Flow Rate

Used in repetitive manufacturing environments to represent the amount of production per shift or hour. 


A diagram depicting the sequence of event that should take place in a complex set of tasks.

Flow-Through Distribution

A process in a distribution centre in which products from multiple locations are brought in to the D.C. and are re-sorted by delivery destination and shipped in the same day. Also known as a “cross-dock” process in the transportation business

Flush Pallet

A pallet constructed in such a manner that there are no overhangs and the decks, both top and bottom, fit “flush” with the stringers on all sides.


Usually on the inside portion of corrugated fibreboard


A round trip run involving a trip to a distant terminal and return trip without stop.

Flying orders

The instruction given to the driver on the trip.


Federal Maritime Commission. U.S. regulatory body affecting ocean-going carriers. A U.S. government body that overseas all maritime rules and regulations.


Free On Board. A pricing term under which the seller must deliver the goods on board the ship at the point named at his own expense.

FOB Airport

The seller’s obligation to deliver the goods to the air carrier at the airport of departure. The risk of loss of or damage to the goods is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods have been so delivered.

FOB Destination

Title of the goods passes at destination, and seller has total responsibility until shipment is delivered. Ownership (title and control) remains with seller until goods are delivered. It is expected that the supplier will make all of the transportation arrangements.

FOB Freight Prepaid

The same as FOB named inland carrier, except the seller pays the Freight charges of the inland carrier.

FOB named point of Exportation

Seller is responsible for the cost of placing the goods at a named point of exportation. Some European buyers use this form when they actually mean FOB vessel.

FOB vessel

Seller is responsible for goods and preparation of export documentation until actually placed aboard the vessel.

Focus Forecasting 

A forecast technique that tests the performance of a variety of forecast models and suggests the best fit for a given set of products and demand parameters. 

Focused Factory 

A production facility dedicated to the manufacture of a single product line or family, and whose process and support systems have been optimised strictly for that group. 

Folding Container

A container, either metal or plastic, with sides, ends, and a base so constructed that it can be folded to a flat configuration

Food and drug administration

Agency of the U.S. federal government regulating activity concerning food and drugs. Inspects warehouses and factories.

Food-Linked Agricultural Industrial Research

A 1989 programme to improve the competitiveness of the European food industry, raise levels of food safety and hygiene, and strengthen the scientific and technical basis of the food industry.

Force Field Analysis

A problem-solving technique that identifies the forces for and against a specific problem and assigns weights to each individual force to determine a total score on each side.

Force Majeure

A term or condition typically found in purchasing, rail, motor, and water contracts that relieves either party from contract obligation if major unforeseen events beyond their control, such as earthquakes, floods or war, prevent compliance, typically the obligation is suspended for resumption at a later time.

Forced billing

When no bill can be located, the forced billing provides a means for delivery of freight. This is most common when the traffic is moving party in the U.S and partly in a foreign country, or involves an international movement.

Fore And Aft

The direction on a vessel parallel to the centre line


A Forecast is an estimation of future demand. Most forecasts use historical demand to calculate future demand. Adjustments for seasonality and trend are often necessary.

Forecast accuracy

The degree to which a forecast and actual sales or other physical activity correspond to each other. A highly accurate forecasting system can lead to a minimum of investment in unneeded safety stock.

Forecast Consumption

The netting of actual demand from customer or interplant orders against the forecast for a given time period. Systems for producing items to stock often use the higher of the forecast quantity or actual demand quantity when creating suggested schedules. 

Forecast Error

The difference between actual demand and the forecast for a given time period. Past observations of forecast error are used in modifying new projected forecasts, and sometimes in calculating desired safety stock levels.  

Forecast Horizon

The future period of time for which a demand forecast is generated, typically as long as the longest single-item cumulative lead time (on a monthly planning basis) or for 2-5 year periods for strategic planning.

Forecast Period

he time interval for which a forecast is developed. While often months are used, the forecast period is also the period for forecast consumption in most systems and may be changed to weeks or quarters to account for the extent to which demand patterns are even or lumpy.


An estimation or calculation in advance; a prediction. For example: the amount of cargo expected to be booked for a certain sailing of a vessel. The number of containers expected to be used in a certain area, for steering purposes.

Forecastle head

The foremost part of the spar deck. It is the raised deck of most merchant ships, in the front of the vessel.


Forward part of a vessel where stores, ropes and anchor chains are located.

Foreign air carrier permit

A right to operate, issued by a government to a foreign carrier, authorising it to operate between a foreign country and the home country that issued the permit.

Foreign Branch Office

A sales (or other) office maintained in a foreign country and staffed by direct employees of the exporter.

Foreign car

In the railroad transportation business, rail car move between lines and between nations. The car of one railroad used by another railroad line is termed a foreign car. It usually does not involve a foreign national car but it can.

Foreign corrupt practices act

An American law that prohibits the use of graft and other inducements when dealing with business and political persons in other countries.

Foreign Credit Insurance Association (Fcia

An association of fifty insurance companies which operate in conjunction with the EXIMBANK to provide comprehensive insurance for exporters against non-payment  FCIA underwrites the commercial credit risks.  EXIMBANK covers the political risk and any excessive commercial risks.

Foreign Exchange

The currency or credit instruments of a foreign country.  Also, transactions involving purchase or sale of currencies

Foreign Exports

Exports of foreign merchandise (re-exports), consist of commodities of foreign origin which have entered the United States for consumption or into Customs bonded warehouses or U.S. Foreign Trade Zones, and which, at the time of exportation, are in substantially the same condition as when imported.

Foreign Freight Forwarder

A party that acts to arrange for foreign movement for shippers and consignees, distinct from domestic forwarders, foreign forwards do not take on the same obligations.

Foreign Sales Corporation

The Reagan Administration initiated the proposal for Foreign Sales Corporations (FSCs) which replaces DISCs.  Under the proposal, to qualify for special tax treatment, a FSC must be a foreign corporation, maintain an office outside the U.S. territory, maintain a summary of its permanent books of account at the foreign office, and have at least one director resident outside of the U.S.  A portion of the foreign sales corporation? income (generally corresponding to the tax deferred income of a DISC) is exempt from U.S. tax at both the FSC and the U.S. Corporate parent levels.  This exemption is achieved by allowing a domestic corporation that is a FSC shareholder a 100 percent deduction for a portion of dividends received from a FSC attributable to economic activity actually conducted outside the U.S. customs territory.  Interest, dividends, royalties, or other investment income of a FSC are subject to U.S. tax.

Foreign Sales Corporation

Under U.S. tax law, a corporation created to obtain tax exemption on part of the earnings of U.S. products in foreign markets. Must be set-up as a foreign corporation with an office outside the USA.

Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)

A site sanctioned by the customs service in which imported goods are exempted from customs duties until withdrawn for domestic sale or use, such zones are used for commercial warehouse or production plants. Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs) were created in the United States to provide special customs procedures to U.S. plants engaged in international trade-related activities. Duty-free treatment is accorded items that are processed in FTZs and then re-exported, and duty payment is deferred on items until they are brought out of the FTZ for sale in the U.S. market. This helps to offset customs advantages available to overseas producers who compete with domestic industry.

Foreign-flag air carrier

Foreign registered air carriers.


Shortened term for foreign exchange of currency


Generally describes an unfinished item made of metal that is produced through a process that heats the metal (not to melting point) then uses pressure or hammering to change the shape of the metal into a shape that closely resembles the finished item that will ultimately be made (through machining processes) from the forging.

For-Hire Carrier

A transportation company that provides shipping of cargo belonging to others and is paid for doing so. There are two types of for-hire carriers: common carriers and contract carriers. A for-hire carrier may be both a common and a contract carrier, but must file separate registrations to obtain both licenses

Fork Entry

The opening between decks beneath the top deck or beneath the stringer notch to admit forks.

Fork Lift

A machine used to pick up and move goods loaded on pallets or skids.

Fork Lift Pocket

Openings or recesses in a side of a container for the entry of the forks of a fork lift truck.

Fork Lift Truck

Synonym: Fork Lift Pockets. A forklift (also called a lift truck, a high/low, a stacker-truck, trailer loader, sideloader, fork truck, tow-motor or a fork hoist) is a powered industrial truck used to lift and transport materials.

Fork pockets

Space under containers to facilitate the forks of a forklift truck.

Fork positioner

Lift truck attachments that allow the operator to adjust the distance between the forks without getting off of the truck. Used primarily in high volume operations where there is a great variety of pallet and crate sizes handled.

Fork Strap

Strap that links the fork openings on the base of a pallet container. Fork straps can allow the use of a container on conveyors.

Form Utility

The value the production process creates in a good by changing the item’s form

Formal complaint

A complaint filed with the a regulatory commission alleging violation of the statute and to be investigated and adjudicated under formal procedure provided by the rules of that commission.


A general European term for the processes that are necessary for immigration and customs clearances when entering a country.

Forward Exchange Contract:

An agreement to exchange different currencies at a specified future date and to a specified rate. The difference between the specified rate and the spot rate ruling on the date the contract was entered into is the discount or premium on the contract.

Forward Scheduling

A scheduling method that begins with a specified start date and moves forward into time to calculate a due or completion date based on the lead time required. It assumes flexibility in the due date, but not the start date.


The party arranging the carriage of goods including connected services and/or associated formalities on behalf of a shipper or consignee

Forwarder integration

The acquisition or development of firms downstream between the company and the final customers and consumers.

Forwarder’s Cargo Receipt

A negotiable document issued by a forwarder which will satisfy legal requirements for a letter-of-credit. Since a forwarder is not an NVOCC it cannot issue actual Bills of Lading. The FCR is a legally binding substitute for the B/L which was pioneered by Sea-Land and is now an industry standard. FCR functions as a receipt for the cargo. It does not functions as evidence of contract of carriage, document of title, and receipt of cargo.

Forwarding assistance points

Spatially separate facilities at a freight yard at which forwarding can be performed. Each forwarding assistance point is assigned to a freight yard.

Forwarding Instructions

Document issued to a freight forwarder, giving instructions to the forwarder for the forwarding of goods described therein.

Foul Bill of Lading

A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were damaged when received. Compare Clean Bill of Lading.


Equipped, provided, or supplied ,as a ship was well found.


To fill with water and sink, to cause to founder.


A contract manufacturing facility that provides production services to customers in the semiconductor and other industries.  A foundry is a factory that produces metal castings.

Four banger

Four cycle engines.

Four by four

A vehicle with four speed transmission and four speed auxiliary transmission.

Fourier Series

A method that defines a periodic or discontinuous function as a series of sine and cosine waves, and can be used to predict a value or the level of system response. 

Fourth section application

When a rail carrier wished to publish rates which were in violation of the long and short haul principle. This stated that no rate may be higher to an intermediate point than to a farther point when the intermediate point was within the route between the origin and farther point.

Four-way Block Pallet

A pallet which, by its design and construction, is accessible to a pallet jack from all four sides; a full four-way) entry pallet.

Four-way Container

A container that is accessible from all four sides for storage and retrieval purposes.

Four-Way Entry Pallet

A pallet of which the frame permits the entry of forks of e.g. a fork lift truck at all four sides.

Four-way Fork Entry

Openings on all four sides of a pallet or the base of a pallet container which allow fork truck handling.

Four-Way Pallet

A pallet designed so that the forks of a fork lift truck can be inserted from all four sides. See Fork lift.

Four-way Pallet

A pallet which, by its construction, allows forks of a lift to enter the pallet from both sides and ends.

Four-way Stringer Pallet

A pallet that utilises stringers in its construction with these stringers being notched to allow four-way insertion of forks.


 Free of Particular Average. Marine insurance provision which limits the liability of an insurance company to only those losses that exceed a specified percentage of the value of the goods.


On web pages, it is the placement of two or more pages that load on the same screen at the same time. Often, this one frame is useful as an index or table of contents that is always visible to guide the reader to all the sections of the web site.


A unit of currency, mainly those of Switzerland and France.


Amount which in case of damage will have to be borne by the assured.


When a delivery is made to the consignee’s door, all charges have been paid, and all circumstances completed, it is called a Franco delivery.

Free Alongside Ship

Under this F.A.S term, the seller agrees to deliver the goods in proper condition along side the vessel. It may be delivered on a lighter or on a receiving pier. The buyer assumes all subsequent risk and expenses after delivery.

Free Astray

An astray shipment (a lost shipment that is found) sent to its proper destination without additional charge.

Free baggage allowance

The amount of baggage allowed to the passengers before an additional charge is made.

Free Border

Vertical distance from the main deck to the surface of the water measured at the middle of the vessel’s length.

Free Carrier

Free Carrier” means that the seller fulfils his obligation to deliver when he has handed over the goods, cleared for export, into the charge of the carrier named by the buyer at the named place or point. If no precise point is indicated by the buyer, the seller may choose within the place or range stipulated where the carrier shall take the goods into his charge. When, according to commercial practice, the seller’s assistance is required in making the contract with the carrier (such as in rail or air transport) the seller may act at the buyer’s risk and expense.

Free Delivery

No delivery cost

Free Discharge

The shipper do not have the duty to discharge

Free enterprise

The freedom of private businesses to operate competitively, for profit, and without government controls

Free Entry

Free entry is a term used by economists to describe a condition in which firms can freely enter the market for an economic good by establishing production and beginning to sell the product.

Free Goods

The free good is a term used in economics to describe a good that is not scarce. A free good is available in as great a quantity as desired with zero opportunity cost to society.

Free In

it is a pricing term that indicates that the charterer of a vessel is responsible for the cost of loading goods onto the vessel

Free In And Out:

Transport condition denoting that the freight rate excludes the costs of loading and discharging and, if appropriate, stowage and lashing.

Free List

A list of goods that a country has designated as able to be imported without being subject to tariff or import licensing

Free Market

A market in which supply and demand are unregulated except by the country’s competition policy, and rights in physical and intellectual property are upheld.

Free Of Capture And Seizure

An insurance clause providing that loss is not insured if due to capture, seizure, confiscation and like actions, whether legal or not, or from such acts as piracy, civil war, rebellion and civil strife.

Free on Board (FOB – U.S. Domestic Use)

Shipped under a rate that includes costs of delivery to and the loading onto a carrier at a specified point.

Free On Board (FOB)

“Free on Board” means that the seller fulfils his obligation to deliver when the goods have passed over the ship’s rail at the named port of shipment. This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks of loss of or damage to the goods from that point. The FOB term requires the seller to clear the goods for export. This term can only be used for sea or inland waterway transport. When the ship’s rail serves no practical purpose, such as in the case of roll-on/roll-off transport, the FCA term is more appropriate to use

Free Port

An international port or an area within an international port at which, crew, passengers, baggage, cargo, mail and stores may be disembarked or unloaded, may remain and may be transshipped, without being subjected to any customs charges or duties.

Free Span

The distance between supports in a storage rack.

Free Stock

Stock on hand not allocated to a future Shop or Customer Order

Free Time

The period of time allowed for the removal or accumulation of cargo before charges become applicable.

Free Trade

Trade between nations without customs duties or tariffs.

Free trade zone (FTZ)

A commercial or industrial area usually near a port of entry where merchandise and raw material imports are not subject to customs charges or duties.

Free Zone

An area designated by the government of a country for free trade; a port, city, or region designated for free trade.


The distance between the water line and the deck.

Freeing Port

An opening in the rail (bulwarks) along the deck to allow water to drain.


Charges paid for carriage or transportation of goods (cargo) by air, land, or sea. Goods may be transported (shipped) on freight-prepaid or freight-collect basis:

Freight Bill

A document issued by the carrier based on the bill of lading and other information; used to account for a shipment operationally, statistically, and financially. Carrier’s invoice for freight charges applicable to a shipment. Also called freight invoice.

Freight Broker

it is any person who sells transportation without actually providing it. The term usually refers to an agent for TL shipments, matching small shippers with carriers. Freight brokers often do not accept any responsibility for their shipments

Freight Charge

Amount due for freight transportation usually excluding assessorial charges.

Freight Claim

Formal letter with supporting documents, i.e., B/L, D/R, temperature chart, etc., making claim against carrier for lost or damaged cargo.

Freight Collect

Freight and charges be paid by the consignee.

Freight Container

A reusable container designed and constructed to permit being lifted with its contents intact and intended primarily for containment of packages (in unit form) during transportation.

Freight Cost

Costs incurred by the merchant in moving goods, by whatever means, from one place to another under the terms of the contract of carriage. In addition to transport costs this may include such elements as packing, documentation, loading, unloading and transport insurance.

Freight equalisation

A common industry practice when a mill sells steel outside its geographic area; it will assume any extra shipping costs (relative to the competition) to quote the customer an equivalent price to get the business.

Freight forwarder

A person or company involved in the collection, consolidation, shipping and distribution of goods from overseas territories. Typically, freight forwarders clear freight through customs, prepare documents and arrange shipping, warehousing and delivery.

Freight Forwarders Institute

The freight forwarder industry association.

Freight Liner

a long-distance express freight train between industrial centres and seaports with facilities for rapid loading and unloading of goods

Freight management

The management of third-party carriers to ensure the swift, safe and cost-efficient delivery of shipments – often involving the integration of a range of services.

Freight Manifest

A (cargo) manifest including all freight particulars.

Freight Of All Kinds (FAK)

Single freight which is charged irrespective of the commodity.

Freight Policy

Shipments sent FOB University Park, IL (Chicago area). Automatic insurance for value of shipment is charged at lowest USPS rate if shipment is not made by UPS, RPS, or freight. Minimum shipping charge is $6.00 per parcel.

Freight Prepaid

Freight and charges to be paid by the consignor.

Freight Quotation

A quotation from a carrier or forwarder covering the cost of transport between two specified locations.

Freight Rate

The charge made for the transportation of freight.

Freight Release

Evidence that the freight charges for the cargo have been paid. If in writing, it may be presented at the pier to obtain release of the cargo. Normally, once the freight is paid freight releases are arranged without additional documentation. aka Freight Bill Receipt.

Freight Traffic Establishment

Freight traffic establishments may be freight yards, frontier crossing points or forwarding assistance points. They serve as a means of calculating chargeable mileage for invoicing purposes.

Freight train

A freight train is a train which is used to carry cargo, in contrast to passengers. Freight trains consist of at least one engine and a chain of train cars which are coupled together.

Freight Wagon

Vehicles for the conveyance of goods (from all-round to special-purpose types). Examples are open containers, containers with closed sides and open top, sliding-side wagons. Containers with sliding sides (ideal for high-value goods), tank containers: containers for the carriage of liquid goods.

Freight yard or depot

Cargo traffic location from and to which goods are accepted for conveyance. Entities organisationally assigned to a freight yard are the actual premises of the yard plus the open line immediately thereafter as far as the next yard or depot.

Freighted B/L

A bill of lading that lists all charges relevant to cargo movement from origin to destination.


A vessel or an aircraft used for the carriage of cargo.


European cross-border train paths for freight traffic that may be used by all train operators domiciled in the EU.

Frequently Asked Questions

A FAQ is a list of frequently asked questions. On the Internet a FAQ may exist as a feature of an interest groups or be a mailing list.


Framework for Integrated Dynamic Analysis of Travel and Tariffs, a DRIVE project.


The first leg of the truck trip that involves hauling a load or several loads to targeted destinations

Frontier Crossing Points

Act as re-invoicing points in cross-border freight traffic.

Front-to-back Dimension

As applied to welded wire decking, the horizontal direction of a decking section perpendicular to the beams of the storage rack.

Frozen Standard

An item cost standard created at the beginning of a fiscal period that is retained for budget and comparison purposes even if material or production changes occur. 


Full Truck Load, an indication for a truck transporting cargo directly from supplier to receiver.

Fuel surcharge

A fee added to a ticket by an airline to cover the increased cost of fuel. Usually lumped onto the cost of a ticket as if it were a tax.

Fulfilment House

A company that handles the entire ordering process for books, such as storing, packing, mailing, maintaining records, and other business related operations for the author or publisher.

Full Carload

A shipment in which the freight completely fills a container or railcar.

Full Cellular Vessel

Fully containerised vessel.

Full Containerload (FCL)

A shipment in which the freight completely fills a container.

Full Container-ships

Ships equipped with permanent container cells, with little or no space for other types of cargo.

Full employment

Refers to when an economy operates at an unemployment rate equal to the sum of frictional and structural unemployment rates

Full Pegging 

A method that traces the source of requirements upwards through all levels of the bill of material until the end item demand source is reached. 

Full Service Lease

An equipment-leasing arrangement that includes a variety of services to support the leased equipment; a common method for leasing motor carrier tractors.

Full trailer

A truck trailer constructed in such way that its own weight and that of the cargo rest upon its own wheels, instead of being supported by e.g. a tractor.

Full Truckload Shipment (FTL)

A shipment in which the freight completely fills the trailer or container.

Full-perimeter Pallet

A pallet that utilises a block design and incorporates the use of deck boards and stringer configured in the same plane. Such a configuration results in the formation of a complete framework on both ends and both sides. GMA Pallet (Grocery Manufacturers of America) A pallet whose dimensions are 48″x40″, is made of hardwood, and is forklift able from all four sides. Manufactured to GMA requirements.

Full-Service Leasing

An equipment-leasing arrangement that includes a variety of services to support leased equipment (i.e., motor carrier tractors).

Full-time Connection:

A communication link between two (or more) entities which is normally maintained continuously.

Full-truck-load (FTL)

Where goods being shipped occupy a complete truck

Fully Allocated Cost

An accounting method to distribute all costs among a firm’s various products and services; hence, the FAC may include costs not directly associated with a particular product or service.

Fully Mission Capable

A system in which all supporting subsystems are fully functional.


The specific purpose, activity, or role of something; or the act or state of performing a specific role or activity.

Functional Design

A formal documentation of a proposed system’s capabilities, processing methods, and points of integration that serves as the basis for approval and work initiation. 

Functional Group

A group of like EDI message sets being sent from one party to another.

Functional Silo

A functional group or department within an organisation that acts as a silo or island in its lack of interaction with other groups and in not sharing its internal data or processes. 


Goods which are comprised of many identical parts. For example, a bushel of grain, a barrel of apples or oil, which can be easily replaced by other identical goods. One of the tests of whether items are fungible or not is whether they can be sold by weight or number.

Furniture car

A car equipped with facilities for safe and proper handle furniture.

Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment (FF&E)

Types of items that can be arranged for installation or de-installation through a Logistics company.

Future State 

The desired future condition to be created from a planned, organised change in the current condition.

Futures market

A sales opportunity for future delivery of common which may be bought and sold . This is an insurance against price fluctuation avoids risks.

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