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Take-off speed for an aircraft. Obviously varies with the size and type of aircraft.

Vacuum brakes

Brakes on (heavy) vehicles operated by vacuum system – as opposed to air. Not found on modern vehicles.

Validated export license

A required document issued by the U.S. government authorizing the export of specific commodities within a certain time period.


To check whether a document is the correct type for a particular EDI system, as agreed upon by the trading partners, in order to determine whether the document is going to or coming from an authorized EDI user.

Valuable Cargo

A consignment which contains one or more valuable articles (aircargo).


A clause in a marine policy that fixes the insured value.

Valuation Charges

Transportation charges to shippers who declare a value of goods higher than the value of the carriers’ limits of liability.

Valuation, actual

Actual value of goods shown on the Bill of Lading by a shipper, when rate to be applied is dependent on value.

Valuation, released

Value of goods set by shipper as the upper limit of carrier’s liability in consideration for a lower rate to be charged.

Value Added

Increased or improved value, worth, functionality or usefulness.

Value Added Tax

A form of indirect sales tax paid on products and services at each stage of production or distribution, based on the value added at that stage and included in the cost to the ultimate customer. Abbreviation: VAT

Value Analysis

A method to determine how features of a product or service relate to cost, functionality, appeal and utility to a customer (i.e., engineering value analysis). Also see: Target Costing

Value Based Return

A measure of the creation of value. It is the difference between economic profit and capital charge. Abbreviation: VBR

Value Chain

A series of activities, which combined, define a business process; the series of activities from manufacturers to the retail stores that define the industry supply chain.

Value Chain Analysis

A method to identify all the elements in the linkage of activities a firm relies on to secure the necessary materials and services, starting from their point of origin, to manufacture, and to distribute their products and services to an end user.

Value of Transfers

The total dollar value (for the calendar year) associated with movement of inventory from one “bucket” into another, such as raw material to work-in-process, work-in-process to finished goods, plant finished goods to field finished goods or customers, and field finished goods to customers. Value of Transfers is based on the value of inventory withdrawn from a certain category and is often approached from a costing perspective, using cost accounts. For example, Raw Materials Value of Transfers is the value of transfers out of the raw material cost accounts (you may have cost centers associated with inventory locations, but all “raw ingredients” usually share common cost accounts or can be rolled up into one financial view). The same goes for WIP. Take the manufacturing cost centers and look at the total value of withdrawals from those cost centers. While Average Gross Inventory represents the value of the inventory in the cost center at any given time, the Value of Transfers is the total value of inventory leaving the cost center during the year. The value of transfers for Finished Goods is, in theory, equivalent to COGS.

Value Proposition

What the supply chain member offers to other members. To be truly effective, the value proposition has to be two-sided; a benefit to both buyers and sellers.

Value stream

All activities, both value added and nonvalue added, required to bring a product from raw material state into the hands of the customer, bring a customer requirement from order to delivery and bring a design from concept to launch.

Value stream mapping

Value stream mapping is a lean manufacturing technique used to analyze the flow of materials and information currently required to bring a product or service to a consumer.

Value Surcharge

A surcharge for the carriage of cargo having a value in excess of a specified amount per kilogram (aircargo).

Value-Added Network

A company that acts as a clearing-house for electronic transactions between trading partners. A third-party supplier that receives EDI transmissions from sending trading partners and holds them in a “mailbox” until retrieved by the receiving partners. Abbreviation: VAN

Value-Added Productivity Per Employee

“Contribution made by employees to total product revenue minus the material purchases divided by total employment. Total employment is total employment for the entity being surveyed. This is the average full-time equivalent employee in all functions, including sales and marketing, distribution, manufacturing, engineering, customer service, finance, general and administrative, and other. Total employment should include contract and temporary employees on a full-time equivalent (FTE) basis.

Calculation: Total Product Revenue-External Direct Material / [FTE’s]”


Assessing the relative value of activities according to how they contribute to customer value or to meeting an organization’s needs. The degree of contribution reflects the influence of an activity’s cost driver(s).

Value-of-service pricing

Pricing according to the value of the product being transported; third-degree price discrimination; demand-oriented pricing; charging what the traffic will bear.


See Value-Added Network


A standard container used to transport general freight.


Loading of a container.

Variable Cost

A cost that fluctuates with the volume or activity level of business.

Variable Levy

Under the European Community’s Common Agricultural Policy, a duty that increases or decreases as domestic or world prices fluctuate to ensure that the price of the imported product after payment of duty will equal a predetermined “gate” price.

Variable-Measure Trade Item

An item always produced in the same predefined version (e.g., type, design and packaging) that may be sold at any point in the supply chain. However, it may vary in weight and size by its nature, or it may be traded without a predefined weight/size/length.


Visual Average Speed Computer and Recorder. Machine fitted to police vehicles and used to trap speeding drivers (ie by recording the average speed over a measured distance).


Swedish manufacturer of vehicle towing equipment (drawbars, etc).


See Value Based Return


Vehicle Builders and Repairers Association. Trade association for the vehicle body repair and commercial vehicle body building industry.

VCA (1)

Value chain analysis. Yet more distribution industry jargon.

VCA (2)

Vehicle Certification Agency. Vehicle and Component Approvals Division department within Vehicle Inspectorate which deals with Type Approval


Vehicle Crime Reduction Action Team. A Home Office initiative (started in August 1998) to ensure the Government’s target of reducing all vehicle crime by 30 per cent by 2003.


Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme. Operated by police when vehicle (car/light van only) found on road with defects that it is in the owner’s best interest to have repaired. Defects form is issued and repairs must be carried out and certified on back of form by MOT test garage. Form then returned to police within 14 days. It is an offence to fail to do this.


Visual Display Unit. Computer screen on which the operator sees the data/work displayed.


Vehicle excise duty. Payable for all motor vehicles kept on roads (unless exemption certificate applied for) in accordance with duty rates based on vehicle type/number of axles, etc. Disc is issued to confirm payment, which must be displayed in windscreen. Failure to pay duty (or at wrong rate) can result in fines and need to pay back duty.

Vee (v) engine configuration

Vehicle engine where cylinders are formed in two banks at (usually) 60 degrees to each other (ie as in V6 and V8).


Scottish-based manufacturer of tachograph instruments (among other things). Now taken over by management and operating as TVI Europe Ltd.


A means of transporting goods or passengers, including lorries, buses and coaches, railway rolling stock, ships and inland waterway craft and aircraft.

Vehicle acquisition

Term to describe the process of determining the best (eg most economical) method of obtaining the use of vehicles (outright purchase/hire purchase/lease/contract hire/rental, etc). This procedure takes into account availability of capital, relevant tax positions and operational considerations.

Vehicle bans

Periods of time (usually at weekends) when goods vehicles (over specified weights) are banned from using roads (ie passing through).

Vehicle Certification Agency

Executive agency of the DTLR responsible for carrying out tests on new vehicles, vehicle systems and components to ensure they meet international safety and environmental protection standards and for certification of vehicles under the type approval scheme

Vehicle Enquiry Unit

A section within the DVLA at Swansea which deals with enquiries about vehicle registration numbers, etc.

Vehicle Inspectorate

Executive agency of DTLR which deals with vehicle testing and both roadside and on-premises inspection of goods and passenger vehicles.

Vehicle restraint systems

Devices that prevent trailers from moving away from the loading dock.  One of the most popular is the ICC bar type restraint system.  These systems incorporated a device that engages the ICC bar (rear impact guard) on the rear of the trailer preventing it from moving away from the dock.  These devices may be mechanically or hydraulically operated and may vary in design and functionality from one manufacturer to another.  There are also other types of restraints such as those that automatically engage the rear wheels of the trailer.  As with the ICC bar restraints, the wheel engagement restraints also vary significantly from one manufacturer to another.  There is not a one-system-fits-all solution for vehicle restraints, ICC bar systems may not work with damaged ICC bars, lift gates, and low-boy trailers.  Wheel engagement systems are more expensive and may have problems in northern climates due to snow or ice.


Rate of product movement through a warehouse


On-board vehicle management data recording equipment. Product of Leafield AVM.






The manufacturer or distributor of an item or product line. Also see: Supplier

Vendor Code

A unique identifier, usually a number and sometimes the company’s DUNS number, assigned by a Customer for the Vendor it buys from. Example; a Grocery Store Chain buys Oreo’s from Nabisco. The Grocery Store Chain, for accounting purposes, identifies Nabisco as Vendor #76091. One company can have multiple vendor codes. Example; Welch’s Foods sells many different products. Frozen grape juice concentrate, chilled grape juice, bottled grape juice, and grape jelly. Because each of these items is a different type of product, frozen food, chilled food, beverages, dry food, they may have a different buyer at the Grocery Store Chain, requiring a different vendor code for each product line.

Vendor Code 

A unique identifier, usually a number and sometimes the company’s DUNS number, assigned by a customer for the vendor it buys from.  Example:  a grocery store chain buys Oreo cookies from Nabisco.  For accounting purposes, the grocery store chain identifies Nabisco as Vendor #76091.  One company can have multiple vendor codes.  Example:  Welch’s Foods sells many different products – frozen grape juice concentrate, chilled grape juice, bottled grape juice, and grape jelly.  Because each of these items is a different type of product (frozen food, chilled food, beverages, dry food), they may also have a different buyer at the grocery store chain, requiring a different vendor code for each product line.

Vendor hub

Third party operation of a warehouse, funded by suppliers, containing vendor-owned stock for delivery to a customer (see lineside warehouse). (Source: ILT Supply-Chain Inventory Management SIG)

Vendor-Managed Inventory (VMI)

The practice of retailers making suppliers responsible for determining order size and timing, usually based on receipt of retail POS and inventory data. Its goal is to increase retail inventory turns and reduce stock outs. Its goal is to increase retail inventory turns and reduce stock outs. It may or may not involve consignment of inventory (supplier ownership of the inventory located at the customer). Abbreviation: VMI

Ventilated Container.

A container designed with openings in the side and/or end walls to permit the ingress of outside air when the doors are closed.


Identical to the GP, except for the inclusion of full length ventilation galleries sited along the top and bottom side rails, and thus ideal for the carriage of coffee, as condensation is prevented from accumulating. 20′ only

Venture capital

Capital risked on new projects, setting up new businesses, or MBOs, etc. Specialized firms (finance houses/bank off-shoots, etc) are set up to provide such.


An ETC that sells a diverse range of products overseas.  The mix can range from agricultural commodities to high technology products.  It is not organized around product line or specific industry.

Vertical Hub/Vertical Portal

Serving one specific industry. Vertical portal websites that cater to consumers within a particular industry. Similar to the term “vertical industry”, these websites are industry specific, and like a portal, they make use of Internet technology by using the same kind of personalization technology. In addition to industry specific vertical portals that cater to consumers, another definition of a vertical portal is one that caters solely to other businesses.

Vertical Integration

The degree to which a firm has decided to directly produce multiple value-adding stages from raw material to the sale of the product to the ultimate consumer. The more steps in the sequence, the greater the vertical integration. A manufacturer that decides to begin producing parts, components, and materials that it normally purchases is said to be backward integrated. Likewise, a manufacturer that decides to take over distribution and perhaps sale to the ultimate consumer is said to be forward integrated.

Very Easy Rodent-Oriented Netwide Index to Computerized Archives

A search tool (like archie) that searches text that appears in Gopher menus. Acronym: VERONICA

Very Large Crude Carrier

A vessel designed for the carriage of liquid cargo in bulk with a loading capacity from 50.000 till 250.000 DWT. Abbreviation: VLCC

Very narrow aisle

Lift trucks that operate in aisles less than six feet and often use guidance systems (wire, rail, or optical) to travel within the aisles.  Types of VNA trucks include order selectors, swing mast, pivot, mast, and turret trucks


A floating structure designed for the transport of cargo and/or passengers. Synonym: Ship. Boiler, drum.

Vessel closeout

See Vessel Reconciliation.

Vessel manifest

The international carrier is obligated to make declarations of the ship’s crew and contents at both the port of departure and arrival. The vessel manifest lists various details about each shipment by B/L number. Obviously, the B/L serves as the core source from which the manifest is created.

Vessel reconciliation

The process whereby outbound documentation ensures that every shipment loaded aboard a vessel is manifested.

Vessel ton

100 cubic feet.


Visiting friends and relatives. Term used in passenger transport analyses of the purposes for which journeys are made.


Vortex generator. A device used to change the airflow characteristics of various surfaces (eg the frontal appearance of large vehicles to improve fuel consumption).


Variable-geometry turbocharger. In layman’s terms, a system to make smaller turbocharged diesel engines perform like huge naturally aspirated diesels (ie to give them more ‘grunt’ at low engine revolutions).


Vehicle Inspectorate. Agency of the DTLR dealing with vehicle standards and enforcement.

Vicarious liability

Legal term meaning that one person is held responsible for the (illegal/tortuous) actions of another person. For example, an employer can be held liable for the actions of his employees.


In the context of ‘O’ licensing, environmental representations may be made by those who own or occupy land in the vicinity of a vehicle operating centre. Vicinity is not defined as such but may be taken to mean ‘near’ or where affected by noise, etc from such a place.


Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standards. The retail industry standards body responsible for the CPFR standard, among other things.

Vienna Convention

United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, which came into force on 1 January 1988.


In road transport context, a ticket or voucher confirming that charges for road use have been paid – currently Eurovignettes are in use in Germany, Denmark and the Benelux countries of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.


Vehicle identification number: 17-digit international number given to vehicles and recorded on computerized DVLA owner file. Duplicated on the PNC to give the police 24-hour access to relevant details of all vehicles registered on the DVLA computer.

Virage project

Experimental vehicle of manufacturer Renault Trucks.


A self-propagating practice or pattern of Internet use that moves from person to person. Works best in consumer e-commerce because of easy adoption. Longer sales cycle for b2b e-commerce makes viral practices less important. Example: HotMail’s explosive growth

Viral Marketing

The concept of embedding advertising into web portals, pop-ups and as e-mail attachments to spread the word about products or services that the target audience may not otherwise have been interested in.

Virgin product

A product that is made with 100 percent new raw materials and contains no recycled materials.

Virtual Corporation

The logical extension of outpartnering. With the virtual corporation, the capabilities and systems of the firm are merged with those of the suppliers, resulting in a new type of corporation where the boundaries between the suppliers’ systems and those of the firm seem to disappear. The virtual corporation is dynamic in that the relationships and structures formed change according to the changing needs of the customer.

Virtual Factory

A changed transformation process most frequently found under the virtual corporation. It is a transformation process that involves merging the capabilities and capacities of the firm with those of its suppliers. Typically, the components provided by the suppliers are those that are not related to a core competency of the firm, while the components managed by the firm are related to core competencies. One advantage found in the virtual factory is that it can be restructured quickly in response to changing customer demands and needs.

Virtual private marketplace

A private market to enable approved suppliers to bid on a large buyer’s business or to enable more cost-effective transactions under negotiated terms. Can be a hosted extranet or a feature a larger Net market. For example, National Transportation Exchange sets VPMs for large shippers to schedule and obtain bids from approved carriers, in addition to NTE’s main spot market. FreeMarkets sets up VPMs for large buyers to interact with their suppliers through reverse auctions.


Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement.


A measure of the internal friction of a fluid (eg engine oil). A typical diesel engine oil would rate 5W/40, but the latest Euro III diesel engines use synthetic oils rated at 0W/40 – very thin in the cold and very thick in hot temperatures (and usually only changed at 100,000 km intervals)


The ability to access or view pertinent data or information as it relates to logistics and the supply chain, regardless of the point in the chain where the data exists.


The shared perception of the organization’s future–what the organization will achieve and a supporting philosophy. This shared vision must be supported by strategic objectives, strategies, and action plans to move it in the desired direction. Synonym: vision statement.

Vision requirement

Medical requirements for drivers: they must be able to read a number plate in good daylight at distance of 75 yards (with glasses or contact lenses if worn). More stringent standards are applied to LGV/PCV drivers.


Very large bulk carrier. Tanker ship built purposely to carry bulk oil


See Very Large Crude Carrier.


See Vendor Managed Inventory


See Vendor Owned Inventory

Voice Activated or Voice Directed

Systems which guide users such as warehouse personnel via voice commands

Voice Activated 

Systems which guide users such as warehouse personnel via voice commands.

Voice of the customer

The expressed requirements and expectations of customers relative to products or services, as documented and disseminated to the members of the providing organization.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Compounds that evaporate easily at room temperature and often have a sharp smell. They can come from many products, such as office equipment, adhesives, carpeting, upholstery, paints, solvents, and cleaning products. Some VOCs can cause cancer in certain situations, especially when they are concentrated indoors. VOCs also create ozone, a harmful outdoor air pollutant.

Volatility Allowance

The largest difference in container availability taking into account past peaks in net demand after having removed the trend in container demand during the repositioning trade-off period.


The rate of movement or flow of goods, services, money, or people.

Volume Charge

A charge for carriage of goods based on their volume (aircargo).

Voluntary restraint agreement (VRA)

An arrangement whereby an exporting country agrees to reduce or restrict export without the importing country having to enact import controls.  These agreements are generally under taken to avoid action by the importing country against imports that might injure or in some way threaten the positions of domestic firms in the exporting industry in question.  Also referred to as a “voluntary export restraint” or an “orderly marketing agreement.”

Von Thunen’s Belts

A series of concentric rings around a city to identify where agricultural products would be produced according to von Thunen’s theory.


A receipt, entry or other document which establish the accounts.


A journey by sea from one port or country to another one or, in case of a round trip, to the same port. Synonym: Trip.

Voyage Charter

A contract under which the ship-owner agrees to carry an agreed quantity of cargo from a specified port or ports to another port or ports for a remuneration called freight, which is calculated according to the quantity of cargo loaded, or sometimes at a lump sum freight.

Voyage Number

Reference number assigned by the carrier or his agent to the voyage of the vessel.


Vessel Sharing Agreement.

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