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The Japanese term for improvement; continuing improvement involving everyone—managers and workers. In manufacturing, kaizen relates to finding and eliminating waste in machinery, labor, or production methods.

Kaizen Blitz

A rapid improvement of a limited process area, for example, a production cell. Part of the improvement team consists of workers in that area. The objectives are to use innovative thinking to eliminate non-value-added work and to immediately implement the changes within a week or less. Ownership of the improvement by the area work team and the development of the team’s problem-solving skills are additional benefits.


A method which during storage uses standard units or lot sizes with a single card attached to each. A pull system used at a stock point in which a supply batch is ordered only when a previous batch is withdrawn. Note: Kanban in Japanese means loosely train


French system of rail transport whereby goods carrying trailers are carried by rail on specially built wagons.


The chief and lowest support of the whole frame of vessel. Extending from stem to stem. Often seen as the “backbone” of the ship.


The toll or charge that is placed on a vessel entering a port.

Keeper of vehicle

Person/firm named on vehicle registration document as being the ‘keeper’ (i.e. the operator, not necessarily the owner – who may be a lessor/finance house, etc) and to whom owner liability aspects of law apply (e.g. for failure by driver to respond to fixed penalty notices).


A form of cooperative relationship among companies in Japan where the companies largely remain legally and economically independent, even though they work closely in various ways such as sole sourcing and financial banking. A member of a keiretsu generally owns a limited amount of stock in other member companies. A keiretsu generally forms around a bank and a trading company but “distribution” (supply chain) keiretsus exist linking companies from raw material suppliers to retailers.

Kerb weight

The weight of a vehicle in road-going condition, inclusive of oil, water and fuel but without a load of the driver or any passenger on board – not to be confused with unladen/tare/gvw.

Key Custodians

The persons, assigned by the security administrators of trading partners, that send or receive a component of either the master key or exchange key used to encrypt data encryption keys. This control technique involves dual control, with split knowledge that requires two key custodians.


Rebate usually given to person who is in position to purchase or order transportation service for his/her firm. Usually, this is an illegal parctice

Kind of Packing

Description of the packaging material used for goods to be transported.

Kinematic envelope

Additional clearance around static gauge of rail wagon to allow for lateral and vertical movement when traveling at speed.

King pin

The coupling pin, welded or bolted in the centre of the front underside of a semi-trailer chassis, which couples to the fifth wheel of the towing tractor or dolly converter.


An expression used to describe the situation when the inner walls of a pair of tyres fitted to heavy vehicle twin wheel sets are seen to be touching (i.e. kissing). This is caused by reduced pressure in one or both of the tyres or excessive overloading. The result is increased fuel consumption, reduced tyre life and, potentially, an on-road blow-out (invariably at considerable cost for recovery and repair).


A number of separate stock-keeping units that are supplied or used as one item under its own part number.


Light assembly of components or parts into defined units. Kitting reduces the need to maintain an inventory of pre-built completed products, but increases the time and labor consumed at shipment.

Kneeler/Kneeling buses

Buses capable (by means of compressed air system) of reducing the height of the floor at the front to allow low entry for ease of boarding by elderly/infirm passengers, etc.

Knock down

When articles are taken apart for the purpose of reducing the cubic space of the shipment, it is referred to as a knock down shipment. This is simply a process of disassembling


Unit of measurement for the speed (of a vessel) equal to a nautical mile (= 1852 metres) per hour.

Known damage

Damage discovered at the time of delivery, or known before delivery.

Known loss

Loss or absence of part of the shipment, discovered on delivery, or known before delivery.


German rail system (Kombiverkehr) for carrying goods vehicle/trailers.


Key performance indicator. Benchmark in a particular field/operation against which performance is measured (vehicle utilization, empty running, fuel economy, etc).

Kyoto Convention

The convention for the International Customs Cooperation Council held in Kyoto in 1973 for the simplification and harmonization of national customs procedures.

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