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A multi-tier storage system normally designed to handle pallets, cartons or other standard containers and designed for manual or automated pick/putaway access. 

Radio Frequency (RF)

A form of wireless communications that lets users relay information via electromagnetic energy waves from a terminal to a base station which is linked, in turn, to a host computer.  The terminal can be placed at a fixed station, mounted on a forklift truck, or carried in a worker’s hand.  The base station contains a transmitter and receiver for communication with the terminal.  RF systems use either narrow-band or spread-spectrum transmissions.  Narrow-band data transmissions move along a single limited radio frequency, while spread-spectrum transmissions move across several different frequencies.  When combines with a bar code system of identifying inventory items, a radio frequency system can relay data instantly, thus updating inventory records in so-called real time.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

The use of radio frequency technology such as RFID tags and tag readers to identify objects.  Objects may include virtually anything physical, such as equipment, pallets of stock, or even individual units of product.

Rail Car

A wheeled wagon used for the carriage of cargo by rail.

Rail Consignment Note

A document evidencing a contract for the transport of goods by rail.


An artificial inclined path, road or track along which wheeled vehicles, cargo and trailers may pass for the purpose of changing their elevation and facilitating the loading and unloading operation (e.g. an entrance way into a Roll-on Roll-off vessel). For aircargo see Platform.

Ramp Rate

A statement which quantifies how quickly you grow or expand an operation growth trajectory.  Can refer to sales, profits, or margins.

Random sample

The selection of items or data for verification or measurement that is not predetermined on a value, location or any other basis.  


The difference between the minimum value and the maximum value in a set of data. The range helps identify best and worst case and process variability. 


The price of a transport service. Quantity, amount or degree measured or applied.

Rate of Calculation

A factor for the calculation of an amount.

Rate of Turn

The figure indicating the speed of a change of course of a means of transport expressed in degrees per minute.

Rate variance

The difference between the planned and actual output or production rates for a given period. 


A class to which an article is assigned.


The allocation of product among customers, or components among manufactured goods during periods of short supply.  When price is used to allocate product, it’s allocated to those willing to pay the most.

Raw Materials (RM)

Crude or processed material that can be converted by manufacturing, processing, or a combination thereof into a new and useful product.


The description for an operating system that responds to an external event within a short and predictable time frame. Unlike a batch or time-sharing operating system, a real-time operating system provides services or control to independent ongoing physical processes


That part of a transport charge which the carrier agrees to return.


A written acknowledgement, that something has been received.


The function encompassing the physical receipt of material, the inspection of the shipment for conformance with the purchase order (quantity and damage), the identification and delivery to destination, and the preparation of receiving reports.

Receiving Carrier

The carrier receiving a consignment on behalf of a carrier, agent or shipper for onward transport (aircargo).

Receiving Dock

Distribution center location where the actual physical receipt of the purchased material from the carrier occurs.

Receiving Stock

The stock comprising all the goods that have arrived at the door of the receiving organization and which is not yet available in the stock of that organization.


The process of comparing two or more sets of data to resolve discrepancies and demonstrate proof of accuracy.  


All activities connected with restoring and or adjusting the packaging of a product. In such manner that it can be presented to the customer in the requested form.

Reconditioning of Garments

The act or process of bringing garments after transport in shop’s condition.

Recurring payables

Ongoing expenses that occur at regular intervals and normally have the same dollar amount, such as rent or insurance payments. Accounts payable systems may automatically generate invoices for recurring payments for a single or multiple periods to avoid manual entry. 


Return of a shipment to the party who originally delivered it to the carrier (aircargo). Return of a charter vessel to the owners.


The process of avoiding failure in a system or network by providing additional capacity or building in replacement material or facilities. 


Refrigerated trailer with insulated walls and a self-powered refrigeration unit. Most commonly used for transporting food.

Reefer Cargo

Cargo requiring temperature control.

Reefer Container

A thermal container with refrigerating appliances (mechanical compressor unit, absorption unit etc.) to control the temperature of cargo.


A fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in performance. A term used to describe the process of making (usually) significant and major revisions or modifications to business processes. Also called Business Process Reengineering.

Reforwarding Charge

Charges paid or to be paid for subsequent surface or air transport from the airport of destination by a forwarder, but not by a carrier under the Air Waybill (aircargo).

Refrigerated Carriers

Truckload carriers designed to keep perishables good refrigerated. The food industry typically uses this type of carrier.


The repayment to the purchaser of the total charge or a portion of that charge for unused carriage.


Specified geographical area for operational purposes.

Register Ton

The unit of measurement for the internal capacity of a vessel whereby one register ton equals 100 cubic feet (2.83 cubic meter). The gross (bruto) tonnage comprises all spaces below the main (tonnage) deck and the enclosed spaces above the main (tonnage) deck less exempted spaces. The net tonnage consists of the gross tonnage less exemptions like ballast tanks, engine room, living quarters etc. The register tonnages are mentioned on the tonnage certificate.


The process of splitting up shipments into various consignments (degroupage) and combining these small consignments into other shipments (groupage).


The procedure whereby goods shipped directly from a supplier to the customer are invoiced in two stages: at first by the supplier to an intermediary and subsequently by the intermediary to the customer.


Non-acceptance of e.g. cargo.


The link between two entities in a system or network, such as the relationship between a vendor and a customer or two activities in a project. 


Common practice in the less-than-truckload industry, in which one driver takes a truck for 8 to 10 hours, then turns the truck over to another driver, pony express style.


The authorization to pick, ship or produce against a previously-created order. 

Release-to-Start Manufacturing

Average time from order release to manufacturing to the start of the production process.  This cycle time may typically be required to support activities like material movement and line changeovers.

Reliability of Delivery

The reliability of a supplier concerning the agreed terms of delivery with regard to the quality, quantity, delivery time, conditions and price.


The extensive remake of an existing product into one with like functionality that can be resold. It often involves breaking down a product into main, or core, subsystems and modules and adding extensive parts and labor. 


Indicating that a subject is interchangeable with another subject, but which differs physically from the original subject in that the installation of the replacement subject requires extra machining or provisions in addition to the normal application and methods of attachment.

Replacement cost

A valuation method based on the current market price to replace a given item, rather than its initial or previous cost. 


Completion of stock.


The process of moving or resupplying inventory from a reserve (or upstream) storage location or facility to a primary (or downstream) storage or picking location, or to another mode of storage in which picking is performed.

Request for Information (RFI)

A document used to solicit information about vendors, products, and services prior to a formal RFQ/RFP process.

Request for Proposals (RFP)

Invitation to suppliers to bid on supplying products or services that are difficult to describe for a company or public agency.

Request for Quotation (RFQ)

Invitation to suppliers to bid on supplying easily described products or services needed by a company or public agency.


Organizations intermediate in manufacturing and distribution process such as wholesalers and retailers.


Allotment in advance of space or weight capacity. Also referred to as ‘booking’.

Reserve Inventory

See Safety Stock.


Capacity or inventory allocated to a requirement but not yet used. 

Resource Driver

In cost accounting, the best single quantitative measure of the frequency and intensity of demands placed on a resource by other resources, activities, or cost objects.  It’s used to assign resource costs to activities and cost objects, or to other resources.


Economic elements applied or used in the performance of activities or to directly support cost objects.  They include people, materials, supplies, equipment, technologies, and facilities. 

Responsible Carrier

The carrier liable under the terms of a consortium Bill of Lading. Carrier responsible for the transport of goods as indicated in the transport document (aircargo).


The return of goods previously moved or shipped to a stock location without their modification or usage.  

Restocking charge

A penalty charged to a customer returning goods for credit that covers the labor charges incurred in processing the receipt.  


A business that takes title to products and resells them to final consumers.  Examples include Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Safeway, but also include the many smaller independent stores.

Return Disposal Costs

The costs associated with disposing or recycling products that have been returned due to customer rejects, end of life, or obsolescence.

Return Goods Handling

Processes involved with returning goods from the customer to the manufacturer.  Products may be returned because of performance problems or simply because the customer doesn’t like the product.

Return Material Authorization or Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA)

A number usually produced to recognize and give authority for a faulty (perhaps) good to be returned to a distribution center or manufacturer.  A form generally required with a warranty/return which helps the company identify the original product and the reason for the return.  The RMA number often acts as an order form for the work required in repair situations, or as a reference for credit approval.

Return on Assets (ROA)

Financial measure calculated by dividing profit by assets.

Return on Sales

Financial measure calculated by dividing profit by sales.

Return Order Management Costs

The costs associated with managing Return Material Authorization (RMA).  Includes all applicable elements of the Level 2 component order management cost of total supply chain management cost.

Return Product Authorization (RPA)

Also called Return Material or Goods Authorization (RMA or RGA).  A form generally required with a warranty/return which helps the company identify the original product and the reason for the return.  The RPA number often acts as an order form for the work required in repair situations or as a reference for credit approval.

Return to Vendor (RTV)

Material that has been rejected by the customer or the buyer’s inspection department and is awaiting shipment back to the supplier for repair or replacement.


Goods returned to their place of acceptance.

Returns Inventory Costs

The costs associated with managing inventory returned for any of the following reasons:  repair, refurbish, excess, obsolescence, end of life, ecological conformance, and demonstration.  Includes all applicable elements of the Level 2 component Inventory Carrying Cost of Total Supply Chain Management Cost.

Returns Processing Cost

The total cost to process repairs, refurbished, excess, obsolete, and end-of-life products, including diagnosing problems and replacing products.  Includes the costs of logistics support, materials, centralized functions, troubleshooting service requests, on-site diagnosis and repair, external repair, and miscellaneous.  These costs are broken into Returns Order Management, Returns Inventory Carrying, Returns Material Acquisition, Finance, Planning, IT, Disposal, and Warranty Costs.


Amounts of income stemming from the provision of transport services.

Reverse auctions

Buyers post their need for a product or service, then suppliers bid to fulfill that need. Unlike an auction, prices only move down. Free Markets (industrial parts, raw materials) uses reverse auctions as its primary market mechanism, serving large buyers. Since buyer power is key to reverse auctions, they work either for large enterprises or when practiced by intermediaries like KillerBiz andBizBuyer, which aggregate demand of many small buyers. Reverse auctions also are becoming common features of many Net markets.

Reverse Distribution

The collection of used, damaged, or outdated products and/or packaging from end-users.

Reverse Engineering

A process whereby competitors’ products are disassembled and analyzed for evidence of the use of better processes, components, and techniques.

Reverse Logistics

A specialized segment of logistics focusing on the movement and management of products and resources after the sale and after delivery to the customer.  Includes product returns for repair and/or credit.


Purchased or manufactured items that have failed a usability test and require the addition of labor or materials to avoid being scrapped. 


Certificate issued by the Italian Government for carrying dangerous goods in Italian Waters.

Road Carrier

Party undertaking transport by road of goods from one point to another such as indicated in the contract.

Road Vehicle

A means of transport capable and allowed to move over public roads and other laneways.


Semi trailer specially designed to travel both on highway and on rails. Manufactured by Wabash Corp.


The categorization of a system that has high functionality, reliability and consistency when operating in a normal capacity and can endure periodic stress conditions.

Roll Trailer

Special trailer for terminal haulage and stowage on board of Roll-on Roll-off vessels. Also referred to as Mafi Trailer.

Rolling Resistance

The total frictional force that a tyre, a set of tyres or all the tyres on a vehicle is developing with the road.

Roll-on Roll-off

System of loading and discharging a vessel whereby the cargo is driven on and off by means of a ramp.

Roof Fairings

An integrated air deflector mounted on the top of the cab.

Root Cause Analysis

Analytical methods to determine the core problem(s) of an organization, process, products, market, etc.


Sequence in which a vessel calls at the ports on her itinerary.

Round Trip

A voyage, a journey etc. to a certain place, port or country and back again.


The track along which goods are (to be) transported.

Route Trucks Delivery

Trucks that travel fixed routes.


The determination of the most efficient route(s) that people, goods, materials and or means of transport have to follow.The process of determining how a shipment will be moved between consignor and consignee or between place of acceptance by the carrier and place of delivery to the consignee. The process of aiding a vessel’s navigation by supplying long range weather forecasts and indicating the most economic and save sailing route.

Routing Accuracy

When specified activities conform to administrative specifications, and specified resource consumptions (both man and machine) are detailed according to administrative specifications and are within 10% of actual requirements.


A vertical division of a vessel from starboard to portside, used as a part of the indication of a stowage place for containers. The numbers run from midships to both sides.


Documented definitions of how work is to be performed.

Run chart

The graphical display of a system’s output for a given period of time that indicates trends, individual or summarized data points, ranges and other variables used to evaluate acceptable performance. syn: run diagram. 

Run time

Time spent processing or transforming material against an order or schedule, and does not include setup, queue or move time. 

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