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Dictionary 0 – A

A logistics dictionary is a practical tool for people working in logistics, as well as for students of the relevant disciplines. To find terms that relate to the concept of logistics is not always easy. A resource that makes it easier to understand terminology related to the industry of transport and freight forwarders is essential.


2D bar codeTwo-dimensional bar code based on a flat set of rows of encrypted data in the form of bars and spaces, normally in a rectangular or square pattern.
2-way palletsPallets that allow entry by a forklift from the front or back of the pallet.
3D bar codeThree-dimensional bar code based on a physically embossed or stamped set of encrypted data interpreted by variations in height rather than contrast between spaces and bars (as used in 2D bar codes). Often used in environments where labels can not be easily attached to items.
3PLA ‘3PL’ or third-party logistics provider; a supplier of outsourced logistics services that primarily uses its own assets and resources.
4PLA ‘4PL’ or fourth-party logistics provider; a supplier of outsourced supply chain coordination and management services that generally does not own or operate the underlying logistical assets and resources.
4-way palletsPallets that have the stringers notched (or use a blocking system instead of stringers) so a forklift can also enter the pallet from either side.
5 S5S is a system for organizing spaces so work can be performed efficiently, effectively, and safely. This system focuses on putting everything where it belongs and keeping the workplace clean, which makes it easier for people to do their jobs without wasting time or risking injury.


AbatementA discount allowed for damage or overcharge in the payment of a bill is termed abatement. The extent of the abatement is usually designated before the bill is due. The amount of the abatement is deducted from the bill. The term abatement also refers to a suspension of proceedings.
ABBSee Activity Based Budgeting
ABCSee Activity Based Costing
ABC analysisABC analysis whereby, for example, products or product lines can be categorized into A, B and C groupings where A represents fast movers, B = medium movers and C = slow movers. D usually represents obsolete items. Frequently drawn as a graph (or curve). See also Pareto , a system of analysis taking account of the 80/20 rule whereby generally 80 per cent of sales are for only 20 per cent of products. Another xample of ABC stratifications would include ABC by velocity (times sold), ABC by sales dollars, ABC by quantity sold / consumed, ABC by average inventory investment, ABC by margin. ABC stratifications are used to develop inventory planning policies, set count frequencies for cycle counting, slot inventory for optimized order picking, and other inventory management activities.
ABMSee Activity Based Management
Abnormal DemandDemand in any period that is outside the limits established by management policy. This demand may come from a new customer or from existing customers whose own demand is increasing or decreasing. Care must be taken in evaluating the nature of the demand is it a volume change, is it a change in product mix, or is it related to the timing of the order? Also see Outlier
Abnormal loadA load which cannot, without undue expense or risk of damage, be divided in two or more loads for the purpose of carriage by road and which by virtue of its size and weight cannot be carried on a normal road vehicle under the provisions of the C&U regulations*. Such loads are normally carried on ‘Special Types’ vehicles under the provisions of the Special Types General Order*.
ABPSee Activity Based Planning
Absolute advantageEconomic term used when relating two countries, firms, or other entities, where one of the parties enjoys an advantage that the other does not. This might be from possessing a patent or resources that are found in one but not in the other. It poses a barrier to entry for the one not possessing the item.
Absolute liabilityA condition in which the carrier is responsible for all liability and is not exempted from the normal exemptions found in a bill of lading of common law liability.
Absorption costingSystem of attaching variable and some fixed costs to units of inventory as they travel through the company.
A-burtonA stowage term used in designating cargo stowed athwart ship instead of fore and aft.
Accelerated SAP (ASAP)A set of tools designed to speed up the SAP implementation process.
Acceptable Quality Level (AQL)In quality management, when a continuing series of lots is considered, AQL represents a quality level that, for the purposes of sampling inspection, is the limit of a satisfactory process average. Also see Acceptance Sampling
Acceptable Sampling PlanIn quality management, a specific plan that indicates the sampling sizes and the associated acceptance or non-acceptance criteria to be used. Also see Acceptance Sampling.
Acceptance chargesA charge generally made by a Foreign Bank for presenting drafts for acceptance if the drafts are not left with them for collection.
Acceptance NumberIn quality management, 1) A number used in acceptance sampling as a cutoff at which the lot will be accepted or rejected. For example, if x or more units are bad within the sample, the lot will be rejected. 2) The value of the test statistic that divides all possible values into acceptance and rejection regions. Also see Acceptance Sampling
Acceptance Sampling1) The process of sampling a portion of goods for inspection rather than examining the entire lot. The entire lot may be accepted or rejected based on the sample even though the specific units in the lot are better or worse than the sample. There are two types attributes sampling and variables sampling. In attributes sampling, the presence or absence of a characteristic is noted in each of the units inspected. In variables sampling, the numerical magnitude of a characteristic is measured and recorded for each inspected unit; this type of sampling involves reference to a continuous scale of some kind. 2) A method of measuring random samples of lots or batches of products against predetermined standards.
Acceptance supra protestAn arrangement to pay a bill of exchange after it has been protested, to save the credit and honor of the drawer or endorser.
Acceptance, documents against(D/A)An indication on a draft that the documents attached are to be released to the drawee only upon acceptance of the drawer.
Acceptance, tradeA time or a date draft which has been accepted by the buyer (the drawee) for payment at maturity. Trade acceptances, unlike banker’s acceptances, are drawn on the buyer, carry only the buyer’s obligation to pay, and cannot become banker’s acceptances or be guaranteed by a bank.
AccessModern purchasing and supply term for the act of linking with another firm to gain use of its technology or other beneficial resources. Thus, if the first firm can not develop the advantage itself, it will seek to access it from the other. It is the act of acquiring something that the firm can not develop on its own.
Access timeThis term is used in data processing. It is the time required to link up to and begin an information flow.
Accessorial chargesA charge for services over and above transportation charges such as inside delivery, heading, sort and segregate, heating, storage, etc. See also Upcharges
Accessorial serviceA service rendered by a carrier in addition to a transportation service, such as assorting, packing, precooling, heating, storage, substitution of tonnage, etc.
AccessoryA choice or feature added to the good or service offered to the customer for customizing the end product. An accessory enhances the capabilities of the product but is not necessary for the basic function of the product. In many companies, an accessory means that the choice does not have to be specified before shipment but can be added at a later date. In other companies, this choice must be made before shipment.
Accommodation bill (or paper)Sometimes known as a wind mill or kite, is a bill of exchange drawn, endorsed,or accepted without value being given for it, and for which no party is liable until value or consideration is given. The parties involved are known as accommodation parties.
Accompanied vehicle/trailerDriver accompanied vehicle/trailer, usually on cross-Channel ferry service. See also Unaccompanied.
AccountIn accountancy, an account is a label for recording a quantity of almost anything. Most often it is a record of an amount of money owned or owed by or to a particular person or entity, or allocated to a particular purpose. It may represent amounts of money that have actually changed hands, or it may represent an estimate of the values of assets, or it may be a combination of these.
Account partyThe purchasing party, the importer, the buyer in any transaction. Also “accountee”.
Accounting, connecting-lineAccounting for the movement of traffic on a through rate from point of origin to destination when two or more carriers participate in the haul. Each carrier receives a predetermined percentage of the revenue.
Accounts auditedTo check the procedures and inventory of a customer account for accuracy.
Accounts Payable (A/P)The value of goods and services acquired for which payment has not yet been made.
Accounts receivable (A/R)The value of goods shipped or services rendered to a customer on whom payment has not yet been received. Usually includes an allowance for bad debts.
Accredited customer listA list of accounts authorised to draw directly upon the stock in the warehouse. Generally furnished by the owner of the goods or his designated agent.
AccrualsThe accounts maintained for services rendered. The sum of the amount due.
Accumulation binA place, usually a physical location, used to accumulate all components that go into an assembly before the assembly is sent out to the assembly floor. Syn assembly bin
Acid tankerThis specially constructed tank is acid-resistant. When applied to motor transportation, it usually involves a considerably smaller trailer.
Acid testOne measure of financial strength of a firm. It is the ratio of liquid assets to current liabilities. The liquid assets include cash, securities, etc. The higher the resulting number the stronger the ability to cover current liabilities.
Acknowledgement of receiptA notification relating to the receipt of e.g. goods, messages and documents.
AcknowledgmentA communication by a supplier to advise a purchaser that a purchase order has been received. It usually implies acceptance of the order by the supplier.
ACLAutomatic chassis lubrication , a system whereby the moving parts of a goods vehicle suspension system, etc are automatically lubricated by oil pumped from a central reservoir.
Acquisition CostIn cost accounting, the cost required to obtain one or more units of an item. It is order quantity times unit cost.
AcquittanceA written receipt in full, in discharge from all claims.
Across the board increaseAn upward adjustment of all rates charged by a carrier on all commodities handled by it, with the exception of some that are subject to “hold down”.
Act of manThis term used in water transportation refers to the deliberate action of the master of the vessel in sacrificing cargo or otherwise for the purpose of making safe the vessel for the retaining cargo. Those sharing in the spared cargo proportionately cover the loss.
Act of public authorityOne of the exemptions from carrier liability under bill of lading liability; covers delays from quarantines, court orders.
Act of shipper negligenceOne of the exemptions from bill of lading liability; it includes improper packaging, loading and misdescription of the goods.
Action MessageAn output of a system that identifies the need for and the type of action to be taken to correct a current or potential problem.
Action PlanA specific method or process to achieve the results called for by one or more objectives. An action plan may be a simpler version of a project plan.
ActivationIn constraint management, the use of non-constraint resources to make parts or products above the level needed to support the system constraint(s). The result is excessive work-in-process inventories or finished goods inventories, or both.
Active competitionRivalry between two or more carriers, communities or commodities.
Active corporationAn actively operating business with the facilities and organisation required for administering and operating the business.
Active inventoryThat lot of inventory that is available for picking and/or use. As opposed to RESERVE INVENTORY, which is often a larger lot used for safety and back up stock. Active inventory is kept near the use and shipping are in order to minimise travel in picking and assembling.
Active StockGoods in active pick locations and ready for order filling.
Active timeThis term applies to water transportation and involves the time a vessel spends loading and unloading at the dock.
Activity AnalysisThe process of identifying and cataloging activities for detailed understanding and documentation of their characteristics. An activity analysis is accomplished by means of interviews, group sessions, questionnaires, observations, and reviews of physical records of work.
Activity Based Budgeting (ABB)An approach to budgeting where a company uses an understanding of its activities and driver relationships to quantitatively estimate workload and resource requirements as part of an ongoing business plan.
Activity based costingAn accounting tool used to determine the cost of process within an organisation that is largely made up of overhead and functional costs. It is different than traditional accounting that collects and reports functional costs. Activity based costing (ABC) attempts to view costs across a process with the intent if reducing unnecessary costs.
Activity Based Costing ModelIn activity-based cost accounting, a model, by time period, of resource costs created because of activities related to products or services or other items causing the activity to be carried out.
Activity Based Costing SystemA set of activity-based cost accounting models that collectively define data on an organization’s resources, activities, drivers, objects, and measurements.
Activity Based Planning (ABP)Activity-based planning (ABP) is an ongoing process to determine activity and resource requirements (both financial and operational) based on the ongoing demand of products or services by specific customer needs. Resource requirements are compared to resources available and capacity issues are identified and managed. Activity-based budgeting (ABB) is based on the outputs of activity-based planning.
Activity DictionaryA listing and description of activities that provides a common/standard definition of activities across the organization. An activity dictionary can include information about an activity and/or its relationships, such as activity description, business process, function source, whether value-added, inputs, outputs, supplier, customer, output measures, cost drivers, attributes, tasks, and other information as desired to describe the activity.
Activity DriverThe best single quantitative measure of the frequency and intensity of the demands placed on an activity by cost objects or other activities. It is used to assign activity costs to cost objects or to other activities.
Activity LevelA description of types of activities dependent on the functional area. Product-related activity levels may include unit, batch, and product levels. Customer-related activity levels may include customer, market, channel, and project levels.
Activity Network DiagramAn arrow diagram used in planning and managing processes and projects.
Activity RatioA financial ratio used to determine how an organization’s resources perform relative to the revenue the resources produce. Activity ratios include inventory turnover, receivables conversion period, fixed-asset turnover, and return on assets.
Activity-Based Management (ABM)A discipline focusing on the management of activities within business processes as the route to continuously improve both the value received by customers and the profit earned in providing that value. ABM uses activity-based cost information and performance measurements to influence management action. See also Activity-Based Costing
Activity-based modelingConcept used to ‘test’ a variety of alternative activity strategies using varying quantitative information.
Actual Cost SystemA cost system that collects costs historically as they are applied to production and allocates indirect costs to products based on the specific costs and achieved volume of the products.
Actual CostsThe labor, material, and associated overhead costs that are charged against a job as it moves through the production process.
Actual displacementWhen a car is placed for loading or unloading at an available point other than on an industry track, due to inability of consignor or consignee to receive it, the carrier may, by leaving customary notice, consider it as being placed at the point usually employed or designated.
Actual gross weightThe full weight of a shipment, including goods and packaging.
Actual lossThe value of product loss and damage incurred by the shipper/consignee as distinct from the amount recovered or recoverable from the carrier.
Actual placementThe placing of a car on a designated site for loading or unloading.
Actual to Theoretical Cycle TimeThe ratio of the measured time required to produce a given output divided by the sum of the time required to produce a given output based on the rated efficiency of the machinery and labor operations.
Actual value rateA rate that carries with it the obligation for up to the full value of the goods in the event of loss and damage.
Actual Voyage NumberA code for identification purposes of the voyage and vessel which actually transports the container/cargo.
ACHSee Automated Clearinghouse
Ad referendumA form of contract in which some points are left open for settlement at a future time.
Ad valorem “according to value”Customs duty that is based exclusively on the value of the goods that are subject to duty, irrespective of the quality, weight, or other considerations. Commonly, ad valorem rates of duty are presented in percentages of the value of the goods. This is normally ascertained from the specified amount of the invoice.
Adaptive SmoothingIn forecasting, a form of exponential smoothing in which the smoothing constant is automatically adjusted as a function of one or many items, for example, forecast error measurement, calendar characteristics (launch, replenishment, end of life), or demand volume.
ADCAutomated data collection. See Automated Data Collection
Added valueA term implying that at each production and distribution function, products are having value added to them in the form of time place and form utilities from the various activities
Added valueProvision of service beyond the basic , what the customer is looking for; ie that something extra above the norm.
Additional costsThe Buyer agrees to pay for any loss or extra cost incurred by the Company through the Buyers instructions or lack of instructions or through failure or delay in taking delivery or through any act or default on the part of the Buyer, its servants or employees.
Additional insuranceInsurance that supplements an existing policy. It is uncommon for insurers to allow additional insurance.
Additions and bettermentsRailroad term for investments in improvements. Addition include all raw equipment, tracks, etc. Betterments refer to improvements in such assets.
Adhesive factorAlso termed adhesion of drivers. A measurement of the extent force may be applied to rail wheels without slippage on the tracks. It is usually expressed as a percent of force to the weight on the drivers. This term was most commonly used for steam locomotives.
AdjustableThe interest rate changes during the term of the loan in response to changes in the prime lending rate. The rate is equal to the prime lending rate at any point in time minus a constant spread. Borrowers are usually charged a slightly lower interest rate as an incentive during the initial period of the term. In most cases, the borrowers are allowed to convert to a fixed term of 3 years or longer.
AdjusterIndividual employed by a properly and casualty insurance company or an individual to settle on its behalf claims brought by insureds. The adjuster evaluates the merits of each claim and makes recommendations to the insurance company.
AdjustmentDetermining the amount of loss and liability; the settlement of claims.
Administered priceSituation in which the price is not determined by market forces nor are they negotiable. Typically whenever price is set by a regulatory agency or a cartel.
Admission to the occupationAbbreviation for EC Directive ‘On admission to the occupation of road haulage operator in national and international transport operations’, legal requirement for standard operators’ licence applicants in the UK to be ‘professionally competent’.
ADRDerived from French title of the ‘European Agreement on the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road’ which ensures that dangerous goods carried in a road vehicle on an international journey have been suitably packed, are being carried safely and in all other respects conform to the agreement.
ADSLAsymmetric digital subscriber line. Telephone line that enables subscribers to download data at up to 20 times normal speed, uses frequencies 300 times greater than those used to transmit voice and faxes.
AdvanceWhen a partial payment is made by merchant, broker, agent, etc. at the time of receiving the invoice and bill of lading it represents an advance. It is a process of paying part of the amount due on the goods send for.
Advance ArrangementAn agreement between the shipper and the carrier, concerning contacts between those parties prior to tendering the consignment
Advance Material RequestOrdering materials before the release of the formal product design. This early release is required because of long lead times.
Advanced arrangementThe mandatory advanced arrangement for the movement of some commodities by air carriers. Gold and other precious metals live animals, and any other classes of shipment require such.
Advanced chargeThe amount of freight or other charge on a shipment advanced by one transportation line to another, or to the shipper, to be collected from the consignee.
Advanced InterlineAn interline carrier that picks up cargo from the shipper and delivers it to another carrier for shipment to the consignee.
Advanced planning and schedulingSoftware system designed to integrate with ERP and MRP systems to enhance the short term production planning and scheduling systems that are notoriously inadequate in MRP systems. APS systems have extensive programming logic that allows them to be more effective in dealing with rapidly changing customer demands.
Advanced shipment notificationAdvanced shipment notifications (ASNs) are used to notify a customer of a shipment. ASNs will often include PO numbers, SKU numbers, lot numbers, quantity, pallet or container number, carton number. ASNs may be paper-based, however, electronic notification is preferred. Advanced shipment notification systems are usually combined with bar-coded compliance labeling which allows the customer to receive the shipment into inventory through the use of bar-code scanners and automated data collection systems.
Advanced shipping noticeTypically, a fixed, emailed, or courier delivered packing list of the details of what is included in a shipment made by a seller or shipper. The buyer or consignee receives it in advance of shipment delivery and thereby can plan the use or further disposition of the shipment. This avoids having to unload the goods for the initial purpose of counting, and verifying shipment contents. Also called ASN, it can greatly aid in the reduction of total inventory in a supply chain.
AdventureShipment of goods, on shipper’s own account. It is customary for exporters and merchants to keep a debit and credit account with each enterprise as Adventure to Buenos Aires. A Bill of Adventure is a document signed by the master of the ship which carries goods at the owner’s risk.
Advice NoteA written piece of information e.g. about the status of the goods.
Advice of ShipmentA notice sent to a local or foreign buyer advising that shipment has gone forward and containing details of packing, routing, etc. A copy of the invoice is often enclosed and, if desired, a copy of the bill of lading.
Advising BankA bank operating in the seller’s country, that handles letters of credit in behalf of a foreign bank.
Advisory Committee for Innovation and Technology TransferSee Strategic Programme for Innovation and Technology Transfer
AETRThe ‘European Agreement Concerning the Work of Crews of Vehicles Engaged in International Road Transport’ under which a set of hours rules are applied when drivers travel to or through states which are party to the agreement (other than EU states where the EU rules apply).
AEVRApproved requirements for the construction of vehicles intended for the carriage of explosives by road. HSE publication.
AffreightTo hire, as a ship, for the purpose of transporting freight.
affreightmentAn agreement between a steamship line (or similar carrier) and an importer or exporter in which cargo space is reserved on a vessel for a specified time and at a specified price. The importer/exporter is obligated to make payment whether or not the shipment is made.
A-frameA metal hoist or support which is used to handle heavy objects from a rail car.
AftAt, near or towards the stern or rear of a vessel or an aircraft.
After-sales serviceAll additional services which a company offers as a result of the sale of goods, eg customer service, updated versions of technical products.
AFVAlternative fuel vehicle, also known as bi-fuel vehicles*. Vehicles (mainly cars and light vans, currently) designed to run on both conventional unleaded petrol and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG*).
AgencyThe term agency signifies relations existing between two parties by which one is authorised to perform or transact certain business for the other; also applies to the office of the agent.
Agency FeeFee payable by a shipowner or ship operator to a port agent.
Agency stationA railroad depot or station having a railroad agent would be termed an agency station. The term also applies to a motor truck point where carrier share a dock or warehouse facility.
Agency TariffA tariff published by an agent on behalf of several carriers.
Agent (Agt.)A person authorized to transact business for and in the name of another person or company. Types of agent are: (1) brokers, (2) commission merchants, (3) resident buyers, (4) sales agents, 5) manufacturer’s representatives.
Agent buyingA person hired for the purpose of haggling prices with selling agents for the purchasing goods or services.
Agent middlemanThe agent middleman negotiates purchases and/or sales but does not take title. They receive revenue from commission or fees which are paid by the buyer, or seller of the merchandise, but seldom both. The agent does not represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. He may represent the seller and buyer in different transactions however. The classes of agent middlemen are: (1)broker; (2)commission merchant; (3)resident buyers; (4)manufacturer’s agents; and (5)sales agents.
AgglomerationA term in location theory indicating that an area or locale contains certain economies of labor, skill or other cost factors because of the existence of a large firm or function there, this phenomenon serves to attract industries requiring the same inputs having the economies.
Aggregate ForecastAn estimate of sales, often time phased, for a grouping of products or product families produced by a facility or firm. Stated in terms of units, dollars, or both, the aggregate forecast is used for sales and production planning (or for sales and operations planning) purposes.
Aggregate InventoryThe inventory for any group of items or products, involving multiple stock-keeping units. Synonym: Aggregate Stock.
Aggregate inventory managementThe size of many inventories requires that they be broken down into groupings for the purpose of control. Aggregated inventory is the further collection of these groupings into a single entity to enable the establishment of operating policies, key performance indicators, targets and reports. Aggregate Inventory Management enables such things as the overall level of inventory desired to be established and then appropriate controls implemented to ensure that individual operating decisions achieve that goal, at optimum cost. (Source: ILT Supply-Chain Inventory Management SIG)
Aggregate PlanningA charter party clause providing for the discharge of a vessel’s cargo with the utmost practical dispatchport customs, facilities for delivery and other existing circumstances considered.
Aggregate ShipmentNumerous shipments from different shippers to one consignee that are consolidated and treated as a single consignment.
Aggregate shipmentsThose under which aggregate tender rates apply, included within a single motor carrier pick up move, the economies of the single consolidated pick up, and often part of the line haul, are passed on to the shipper in this lower rate.
Aggregate Tender RateA reduced rate offered to a shipper who tenders two or more class-rated shipments at one time and one place.
Aggregate volumeThe total amount of goods or services to be purchased or shipped over a specified period of time. An aggregate volume contract is typically for a discount price or rate that is based upon a large quantity of purchased or shipped goods that will be transacted over a long time period. Distinct from an individual purchase lot price or shipped quantity rate.
AggregationA term used to mean combining of goods (or consignments) perhaps into a container or trailer load.
AggregatorFirms that aggregate individual load demands and ‘buy’ freight train services to carry them as whole trainloads.
Agreed chargesA form of rail contract rate in which a reduced rate is applied in exchange for the shipper routing a certain percent of total movements over a certain carrier.
Agreed valuationThe value of a shipment agreed upon in order to secure a specific rating and/or liability.
AGVAutomated guided vehicle. A load/personnel carrying computer controlled vehicle that follows an automatic guidance system (invariably laid in the floor) without manual steering or control , usually found in warehouses and large stores.
AGVSSee Automated Guided Vehicle System
Agile ManufacturingTools, techniques, and initiatives that enable a plant or company to thrive under conditions of unpredictable change. Agile manufacturing not only enables a plant to achieve rapid response to customer needs, but also includes the ability to quickly reconfigure operations”and strategic alliances”to respond rapidly to unforeseen shifts in the marketplace. In some instances, it also incorporates “mass customization” concepts to satisfy unique customer requirements. In broad terms, it includes the ability to react quickly to technical or environmental surprises.
AgilityThe ability to successfully manufacture and market a broad range of low-cost, high-quality products and services with short lead times and varying volumes that provides enhanced value to customers through customization. Agility merges the four distinctive competencies of cost, quality, dependability, and flexibility.
Air bill of ladingDomestic and international shipments by air move under a standardised air waybill. It is the basic airline document covering the movements of shipments on international and domestic air freight. The contents of the document provide information needed for dispatch and the proper handling at points of origin, en route and destinations. It accompanies every shipment. Usually the air bill is prepared in sets of seven. They are respectively as follows: carrier’s accounting .copy, invoice, consignee memo, delivery receipt, original station copy, and destination station copy.
Air Cargo ContainersContainers designed to conform to the inside of an aircraft. There are many shapes and sizes of containers. Air cargo containers fall into three categories 1) air cargo pallets 2) lower deck containers 3) box type containers.
Air cargo guideThe official listing of all carriers serving cities in the United States and Canada. Provides information relative to schedule, equipment, customs, maximum acceptable weight, etc.
Air carrierA transportation carrier of cargo or passengers by air. The term means airline.
air consignment noteA document provided by the carrier(s) or on their behalf, confirming receipt of the consignment by the carrier and proving the contract between the effected shipper and the carrier(s) made out for the carriage of the described goods by aircraft.
Air containerThe container used to facilitate air transportation of cargo.
Air freight forwarderClassified as a transportation carrier, the freight forwarder assembles and consolidates small shipments into larger shipments. Its rates approximate those of the small shipment, but it receives service from the carrier on the basis of the consolidated larger shipment. It operates pickup and delivery services, as well as line haul operations.
Air freight ratesThe rates are simpler than those for other forms of transportation. The tariffs are put out by the Airline Tariff Publishers, Inc. as agents for the carriers. About six different tariffs are published. For example, SC 3 is a commodity rate tariff in charges per hundred pounds for minimum weights 100, 1000, 2000, 3000, 5000 and 10,000 pounds. Another example is CT 4 which is a container tariff. It applies on general and specific commodities, and presents rates about one-third off of existing rates for all weights in a container that exceed a specified amount. Other tariffs cover service transportation to the airport, local and joint airport to airport movements, and a rules tariff.
Air sideAirline industry term for that space in the terminal that is inside the security zone. Includes gates, hallways, lounges, and concession that are within the “sterile” passenger screening area. Distinct from LAND SIDE.
Air suspensionHeavy vehicle suspension system that relies on compressed air stored in air bags to provide smooth suspension , mainly used on vehicles carrying goods susceptible to damage or on tanker vehicles where vibration may cause damage to tanks/tank mountings (also on luxury coaches to provide greater passenger comfort).
Air tank/reservoirStorage tank for compressed air used in heavy vehicle air braking systems.
Air WayBillAn AWB is a bill of lading which covers both domestic and international flights transporting goods to a specified destination. Technically, it is a non-negotiable instrument of air transport which serves as a receipt for the shipper, indicating that the carrier has accepted the goods listed therein and obligates itself to carry the consignment to the airport of destination according to specified conditions. Normally AWB refers to the Air Waybill issued by carrying airlines and also called Master Air Waybill (MAWB) which comes with three digits of numeric airline identification codes issued by IATA to non-U.S. based airlines and Air Transport Association of America to U.S. based airlines. However, air freight forwarders also issue HAWB (House Air Waybill) to their customers for each of the shipments.
Airborne speedThe method employed to measure the speed of aircraft. Computed by dividing the sum of the airport-to-airport distances by the flight hours. It is expressed in terms of great circle airport-to-airport distance.
Aircraft ContainerA unit load device (ULD) which links directly with the airplane cargo handling and restraint system.
AlgorithmA clearly specified mathematical process for computation; a set of rules, which, if followed, give a prescribed result.
Aligned documentsDocuments used in international trade which are standardized as to size and layout and capable of being produced in a onerun unified set from a single master document for ease of understanding and speed and efficiency of completion.
AlignmentGeneral term indicating that the function and processes of a firm are linked together and congruent with its overall strategic directions and thrusts of action.
All InThe total price to move cargo from origin to destination, inclusive of all charges.
All-cargo CarrierAn air carrier that transports cargo only.
All-commodity ratesA freight rate usually based on a carload quantity, applying to a shipment which may include any combination of commodities, but subject to stated exceptions and conditions, is called an all commodity rate. It may also be called an all-freight rate.
All-container shipA ship fitted for container carriage in all available space. In van-container stowage, the ship is fitted with vertical cells for container placement. Some vans are carried additionally on deck. Longer containers are deck stowed. No provisions are available for cargo other than in container form.
AllengeAttachment to bill of exchange for additional endorsements.
AllianceTerm to indicate that two or more firms have developed a relationship to be linked for the purpose of competing against another set of firms. The relationships can be focused upon presenting a common marketing face. Others are created for the purpose of developing and exploiting a technology. Airlines have created global alliance through scheduling and frequent flier programs in order for each of them in the alliance to extend their marketing and route influence without having to merge with the partner airlines.
Allocated ItemIn an MRP system, an item for which a picking order has been released to the stockroom but not yet sent from the stockroom.
Allocated stockA part that has been reserved, but not yet withdrawn or issued from stock, and is thus not available for other purposes. (Source: ILT Supply-Chain Inventory Management SIG)
Allocation1) In cost accounting, a distribution of costs using calculations that may be unrelated to physical observations or direct or repeatable cause-and-effect relationships. Because of the arbitrary nature of allocations, costs based on cost causal assignment are viewed as more relevant for management decision-making. 2) In order management, allocation of available inventory to customer and production orders.
Allocation of expenseIn transportation accounting, the apportionment of the expenditures and revenues to the respective divisions of the organisation, such as maintenance of way and structure costs being divided between freight and passenger service since they are used by both.
Allocation of purchaseSituation when suppliers do not have sufficient capacity to satisfy all demand. Customers are limited in the amount they may purchase in any given time period.
Allocation overheadThe act of financially dividing up overhead and spreading it across various products, lines of business, or other accounting units.
Allocation salesIn times of short supply or capacity, sellers will assign specific quantities of product sales to specific customers. The actual quantities or percent of total production allocation schemes are usually based upon past loyalty and volumes that each customer has purchased from the firm over several years.
AllongeAn attachment to a Bill of Exchange containing endorsements, which is used when the back of the bill has been filled
AllotmentA share of the capacity of a means of transport assigned to a certain party, e.g. a carrier or an agent, for the purpose of the booking of cargo for a specific voyage.
AllowanceA deduction made from the gross weight or value of goods or services. The Revised Interstate Commerce Act requires the carriers to furnish the service of carriage (haul) and also such facilities as are necessary to make the service of transporting a shipment as safe and complete as possible under conditions existing at time of movement. If the necessary equipment, such as dunnage, elevation, or private cars, furnished by the shipper and not by the carrier the carrier could under proper tariff authority allow such costs. Mileage allowance, based on distance, made by the railroads to private owners of freight cars. Lateral allowances are allowances for services performed granted by large rail lines to smaller connecting lines.
All-railAn act of carriage exclusively by railroad transportation. The term includes those lines or that service using car ferries or lighters.
All-risk clauseAn insurance coverage in which all loss and damage to goods are insured unless caused by inherent deficiencies.
All-time orderThe last order for a particular product in the last phase of its life cycle. This order is of such a size that the stock provided will satisfy all expected future demand (see all-time requirement below) for the product concerned. Sometimes known as a life of type order. (Source: ILT Supply-Chain Inventory Management SIG)
All-time requirementThe total requirement for a particular product to be expected in the future. Normally used for products in the last phase of their life cycles, when production is (nearly) stopped. (Source: ILT Supply- Chain Inventory Management SIG)
All-time stockThe stock resulting from the assessment of an all-time requirement and delivery of an all time order. If necessary, controls can be set for such stock to avoid consumption of items for reasons over and above those for which usage was predicted. (Source: ILT Supply-Chain Inventory Management SIG)
All-waterAn act of carriage exclusively by water transportation.
Alpha ReleaseA very early release of a product to get preliminary feedback about the feature set and usability.
Alternate RoutingA routing, usually less preferred than the primary routing, but resulting in an identical item. Alternate routings may be maintained in the computer or off-line via manual methods, but the computer software must be able to accept alternate routings for specific jobs.
Alternative channelsPaths of product distribution that are in addition to the ones traditionally used by a firm to get its products of market. Today, many brand manufacturers are exploring use of the Internet as an alternative channel to the traditional wholesaler and retailer network to reach ultimate consumers.
Alternative ModesNon-road modes of transport (air, rail, sea, waterway, pipeline)
Alternative or opportunity costsThe cost of an option or commodity in terms of its alternative use. The value measured in terms of its foregone worth in an alternate usage.
Alternative ratesTwo or more rates, of which the lowest charge is applicable.
Alternative routeA motor carrier is authorised to perform regular service over a specified route under a permit or certificate. However, sometimes it is permitted to substitute an optional motor-carrier route instead of the specified route.
Alternative tariffA tariff containing two or more rates, from and to the same points, on the same goods, with the authority to use the one which provides the lowest charge.
AmbientTerm pertaining to the temperature of goods in a shipment. As contrasted with frozen, or chilled, ambient means room temperature or not having to protect against or provide for a specific temperature in transit and storage.
Ambient barrierTerm used in temperature controlled transport operations to refer to the temperature below that of normal air at which point mechanical (or other) means of cooling/chilling is necessary for satisfactory carriage of food, etc.
Amended itemAn item that has been changed or modified by a succeeding publication, made necessary because of error or changed conditions, and showing item in its revised form.
AmendmentA written notice of change in the terms of a letter of credit, which becomes an integral part of the original letter of credit.
American National Standards InstituteOrganisation in the United States that served to develop standards for electronic data interchange protocols.
American Society of Transportation & LogisticsA professional society in the field of transportation and logistics; has as its main form of membership that of Certified Member. For Certified Members it requires passing or waiving exams in the field and submitting a professional contribution in the form of a paper, program, tape, or other form of quality communication. The AST&L is based in Atlanta, Georgia; it has chapters throughout the United States, and it publishes a journal called the TRANSPORTATION JOURNAL.
American Standard Association MH-T CommitteeA committee dedicated to the standardisation of containers, container procedures and handling systems. It represents all segments of transportation carrier and shipper groups.
American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII)ASCII format , simple text based data with no formatting. The standard code for information exchange among data processing systems. Uses a coded character set consisting of 7-bit coded characters (8 bits including parity check).
AMTAir mail transfer. A term used in international trade when a remittance is purchased by a debtor from a banker.
Analogy classification byA term indicating that a product not specifically named in a tariff will be classified for rate billing purposes according to its similarity in transportation characteristics and inherent nature with another product that is specifically named in the tariff.
ANFArrival notification form , advice to consignee of goods coming forward.
Annual reportThe formal financial statement of a corporation for one year. The annual report shows assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses and earnings how the company stood at the close of the business year, how it fared profit-wise during the year, as well as other information of interest to shareowners.
Annual volume rateA rate that is tied to a minimum annual tonnage volume by a shipper, a form of contract rate.
ANSISee American National Standards Institute
ANSI ASC X12American National Standards Institute Accredited Standards Committee X12. The committee of ANSI that is charged with setting EDI standards.
ANSI StandardA published transaction set approved by ANSI. The standards are reviewed every six months.
Anticipated Delay ReportA report, normally issued by both manufacturing and purchasing to the material planning function, regarding jobs or purchase orders that will not be completed on time and explaining why the jobs or purchases are delayed and when they will be completed. This report is an essential ingredient of the closed-loop MRP system. It is normally a handwritten report. Synonym delay report
Anticipation InventoriesAdditional inventory above basic pipeline stock to cover projected trends of increasing sales, planned sales promotion programs, seasonal fluctuations, plant shutdowns, and vacations.
Anticipation stockInventory held in order to be able to satisfy a demand with seasonal fluctuations with a production level that does not fluctuate at all or that varies to a lesser extent than the demand; or to cope with erratic production or deficiencies in production capacity. (Source: ILT Supply-Chain Inventory Management SIG)
Anticipatory breachSituation whereby a buyer fears that a supplier will not act upon an agreed to future date. Buyer can take some action to determine if supplier will or will not perform. These actions or non-action may result in buyer safety assuming that seller will not perform in the future. This gives rise to an anticipatory breach.
Anticipatory buyingBuying in advance of actual need or demand for the purpose of avoiding a shortage, stock-out, or price increase. A form of forward buying.
Any-Quantity Rate (AQ)The same rate applies to any size shipment tendered to a carrier; no discount rate is available for large shipments.
Angle stackingPlacing stock in a storage area at a 45 degree angle to the aisle.
Apparent authorityThe perceived ability of an agent to bind an insurance contract to an insurance company. If an agent or agency holds themselves out as representing a particular company it is reasonable for the public to assume that such authority is established contractually, even if it is not. Apportionment , The method of dividing a loss between multiple insurers that cover the same loss.
AppletA small Internet related program application that enhances a web page-calculator, etc.
Applicability Statement 2 (AS2)A specification for Electronic Data Interchange between businesses using the Internet’s Web page protocol, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The specification is an extension of the earlier version, Applicability Statement 1 (AS1). Both specifications were created by EDI over the Internet (EDIINT), a working group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) that develops secure and reliable business communications standards.
ApplicationWith rates, the points to, from, or between which the rates and routes named in a tariff apply; of tariffs, the points to, from, or between the provisions of a tariff apply.
Application Service Provider (ASP)A company that offers access over the Internet to application (examples of applications include word processors, database programs, Web browsers, development tools, communication programs) and related services that would otherwise have to be located in their own computers. Sometimes referred to as “apps-on-tap”, ASP services are expected to become an important alternative, especially for smaller companies with low budgets for information technology. The purpose is to try to reduce a company’s burden by installing, managing, and maintaining software.
Application-to-ApplicationThe direct interchange of data between computers, without re-keying.
Apportionment distributionWhen rolling stock is distributed on a predetermined basis, or when the tonnage of several carriers is distributed without preference on a predetermined basis, it is usually referred to as apportionment distribution. The term is also applicable to passenger service. When the fares of an interline operation are distributed between carriers on a predetermined basis this term is also applied.
Appraisal CostsThose costs associated with the formal evaluation and audit of quality in the firm. Typical costs include inspection, quality audits, testing, calibration, and checking time.
AppraisementDetermination of the dutiable value of imported merchandise by a Customs official who follows procedures outlined in their country’s tariff, such as the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930.
Appraiser’s StoresThe warehouse or public stores to which samples of imported goods are taken to be inspected, analyzed, weighed, etc. by examiners or appraisers.
AppropriationThe allocation of funds for a specific purpose.
Approved parts listPurchasing, materials management, and production term for those goods which were analyzed and are allowed for use in the system.
Approved supplier listA listing of suppliers, vendors, which have been deemed to provide goods/services and deliveries in a satisfactory manner for the buying organisation.
APRAdjustable pallet racking. Pallet rack with beams adjustable for height on side frames usually in increments of 75 mm.
Apron trackRailroad track along the apron of the pier designed for the direct transfer of cargo between the rail car and ship.
APRYCLEEA network of national information centres of information technologies.
APSAdvanced Planning System. Computer software package that views the whole supply chain and allows decisions to be made on a chain-wide basis rather than on a restricted, local basis.
AQSee Any quantity rate
AQLSee Acceptable Quality Level
ArbitrationA means of settling disputes (labor and loss and damage) with an objective outside party acting as a primary decision body.
ArchitectureAs used in supply chains today, this pertains to the designs of flow patterns, information systems, and financial settlements among a string of firms.
Archiving serviceNew concept whereby logistics operators provide customers with secure storage and recovery services for archived documentation.
Arm’s lengthPurchasing field term indicating that the extent of the buyer and seller’s relationship is based upon price and delivery only.
Arrived shipWhen the following conditions prevail, the vessel is considered to be an arrived ship: (1) the vessel is ready to load or discharge cargo; (2) the vessel has arrived at the unloading berth according to the charger; (3) the shippers or consignees have been notified in writing.
Arrow diagramA planning tool to diagram a sequence of events or activities (nodes) and the interconnectivity of such nodes. It is used for scheduling and especially for determining the critical path through nodes.
Articles Dangereux de RouteAbbreviation: ADR An European agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road.
ArticulatedIn railroad, bus, or ship transportation this is a vehicle consisting of two or more, full-sized attached units which can swivel or hinge.
Articulated carIn railroad transportation, this is a rail car consisting of two or more attached units which can swivel.
Articulated vehicleA goods vehicle comprising a powered tractive unit (ie the drawing vehicle) and a semi-trailer superimposed upon it in such a way that when the trailer is uniformly loaded, not less than 20 per cent of the weight of the load is borne by the tractive unit. Certain buses and coaches are also articulated where they are in two parts (ie hinged) and where the passenger can pass from one part to the other.
Artificial advantageAn advantage which a locality of shipper has over another because of an action on the part of some transportation company or other agency. This differs from economic advantage which can arise due to an abundance of resources, capacity, or other benefit in an area.
Artificial IntelligenceUnderstanding and computerizing the human thought process.
Artificial personA company, corporation, or other legal entity, considered in law or in commercial transactions. Distinct from a natural person.
As customaryA shortened form of “with all dispatch as customary.” In a contract of affreightment, this refers to the usual manner of performing service, without specifically stipulating the period of time in which the work is to be performed.
As fast as a steamer can deliverA charter party clause providing for the discharge of a vessel’s cargo with the utmost practical dispatch,,port customs, facilities for delivery and other existing circumstances considered.
As isPurchasing term for a price for something without any guarantees or warranties. Purchaser has no recourse to seller for quality or condition. Typical term in the sale of previously owned/used goods, machinery, equipment, or facilities.
As per adviceA term used on a bill of exchange to indicate that notice of the drawing of the bill has already sent to the drawee.
AS/RSAutomated storage and retrieval system. System used in automated warehouses, usually computer controlled handling systems , may be carousels, cranes or AGVs*.
AS2See Applicability Statement 2
ASAAir service agreement. A reciprocal (bilateral) agreement between two countries governing air traffic rights (eg the frequency and capacity of services, fare and tariff agreements, etc).
As-atTerm placed on financial documents to indicate that the information contained therein was noted at a particular date. Example, balance sheet as-at December 31.
ASCSee Accredited Standards Committee of ANSI
ASC X12Accredited Standards Committee X12. A committee of ANSI chartered in 1979 to develop uniform standards for the electronic interchange of business documents.
ASCIIAmerican standard code for information interchange (ie via computer).
ASP, Application service providerAcronym for automated stacker-retriever system; an automated form of materials handling that can perform put-away and picking with no or a minimum of human handling.
Aspirational goalsStrategic term indicating certain accomplishments or capabilities that have been identified to be attained by a certain time. In supply chains, this might mean that a specific competitive advantage will result from implementing a certain information system.
ASRSAcronym for automated stacker-retriever system system; am automated form of materials handling that can perform put-away and picking with no or a minimum of human handling.
Assemble-to-orderManufactured products that are produced using a combination of make-to-stock and make-to-order processes. This method employs assembling. Synonym Finish to Order. Also see Make to Order, Make to Stock
Assembly and distribution ratesWhen multiple shipments are assembled for shipment, or are terminated at a single point, they are less costly to handle than individual shipments originating from the business. Rates are lower due to the consolidated form of pickup or delivery at one end. In some cases a single document covers the “bulk” portion of the move. These rates service the industrial shipper who maintains a regular consolidation operation.
Assembly areaA site where a command is assembled preparatory to further action.
Assembly drawingAn exploded drawing containing a set of number parts combined to make a completed product.
Assembly LineAn assembly process in which equipment and work centers are laid out to follow the sequence in which raw materials and parts are assembled.
Assembly serviceThe process of a single carrier assembling many shipments en rout to the same consignee.
AssentAn act of agreeing to something. Agreement between carriers for a publication by another carrier or agent relative to rate, etc.
AssetA property of tangible or intangible value owned by the business or individual.
Asset ManagementApproach that helps a company to manage fixed asset purchases (Plant and machinery) and related depreciation.
Asset recoveryThe act of refurbishment, repair, redisposition, or sale of existing assets for the purpose of capturing some value from them. This is typically a term used disposing of surplus inventories or old fixed assets.
Asset-basedTerm often used in logistics where a firm is expanding its operations by buying other established businesses (ie buying the assets) as opposed to forming strategic alliances*.
Assigned serviceEquipment or vehicle that are served for the service of a certain shipper or consignee, specially equipped rail cars and contract carriage trucks are often assigned for loading only by the specific shipper.
Assigned sidingA sidetrack owmed by a transportation line, and assigned for the use of one or more firms, or individuals, in loading or unloading cars.
AssigneeOne to whom a right or property is transferred
Assignment1) Traffic: A term commonly used in connection with bills of lading, involves transfer of rights, title, and interest for the purpose of assigning goods. It authorizes a bank to pay the third party from the proceeds of the draft presented by the beneficially. 2) Purchasing: A practice of taking an order from a customer and passing it along to another firm to produce or service the goods for delivery to the customer.
AssignorOne by whom a right or property is transferred.
AssistThe union of a number of individuals or companies for a common purpose.
AssortmentA collection of different SKU’s.
Assortment packA retail store term for units of inventory (packages) that contain two or more SKU items.
Assumed ReceiptThe principle of assuming that the contents of a shipment are the same as those presented on a shipping or delivery note. Shipping and receiving personnel do not check the delivery quantity. This practice is used in conjunction with bar codes and an EDI-delivered ASN to eliminate invoices and facilitate rapid receiving.
Assumption of riskAn expression of the assuming of all or part of the liability for loss and damage to a shipment.
ASTMSee American Society for Testing and Materials
Astray freightWhen less-than-truckload freight has been separated from the regular revenue manifest or waybill after it has been marked for destination, it is usually referred to as astray freight.
At sightA term used on a bill of exchange to indicate that the bill is payable on demand without any days grace.
ATAActual Time of Arrival, or Airport-To-Airport, or Air Transport Association of America.
ATA carnetA Customs carnet (ie clearance document) used in international transport operations for the purposes of allowing goods to be temporarily imported into a country (eg for exhibition purposes) without payment of, or deposits against, import duties. Obtainable from Chambers of Commerce.
ATCAir Traffic Control.
ATDActual Time of Departure. The exact time a vessel or any other form of transportation is dispatched from the point of origin.

The reverse of ATD is Actual Time of Arrival (ATA). ATA means the exact time a vessel arrives at its destination
ATDNSHINCAny time Day or Night Sundays & Holidays Included.
AttachmentAn accessory that has to be physically attached to the product.
Attendance at workTerm used to describe the activity of goods vehicle driver (and shown on his tachograph chart*) as being work for his employer other than driving.
AttendantExtra person required to be carried when vehicles/loads exceed certain dimensions. When three or more such vehicle/loads travel in convoy, attendants are required on the first and last vehicles only. See also Statutory attendant , RV (C&U) 1986.
AttributesA label used to provide additional classification or information about a resource, activity, or cost object. Used for focusing attention and may be subjective. Examples are a characteristic, a score or grade of product or activity, or groupings of these items, and performance measures.
ATRApproved tank requirements , ie for dangerous goods carriage. HSE publication.
AuditThe inspection and examination of a process or quality system to ensure compliance to requirements. An audit can apply to an entire organization or may be specific to a function, process or production step.
Audit TrailManual or computerized tracing of the transactions affecting the contents or origin of a record.
AuditabilityA characteristic of modern information systems, gauged by the ease with which data can be substantiated by trading it to source documents and the extent to which auditors can rely on pre-verified and monitored control processes.
Audited accountsThe (annual) accounts of a business which have been examined and approved by an ‘auditor’. In the case of limited liability companies such accounts are required by law (see Registrar of Companies) and must have been prepared by an independent ‘chartered’ (ie professional) accountant.
AuditingDetermining the correct transportation charges due the carrier auditing involves checking the accuracy of the freight bill for errors, correct rate, and weight.
AuditorAn accountant who analyses and passes upon the accuracy of accounts and procedures.
Auto carrierIn motor transportation, this is a low slung trainer with ramp for the carrying of automobiles. This single axle, tandem wheeled trailer can some times be converted to a light capacity flatbed trailer.
Auto rack containerA container designed to store automobiles for shipment. It may be open or closed sided.
Auto shipAn ocean vessel specifically designed for the movement of automobiles. It typically has low ceilings and uses a maximum of the physical enclosed capacity of the ship.
Auto/OilEuropean Commission programme aiming to reduce the five most harmful emissions from vehicle exhausts, ie particulate matter , volatile organic compounds (VOCs*), black smoke, carbon monoxide (CO)*, nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide (NOx)*.
AutodiscriminationThe functionality of a bar-code reader to recognize the bar-code symbology being scanned, thus allowing a reader to read several different symbologies consecutively.
AutoIDReferring to an automated identification system. This includes technology such as bar coding and radio frequency tagging (RFID).
Automated Broker Interface (ABI)The U.S. Customs program to automate the flow of customs related information among customs brokers, importers, and carriers.
Automated ClearinghouseThe Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) is a feature of the Automated Broker Interface which is a part of Customs’ Automated Commercial System. The ACH combines elements of bank lock box arrangements with electronic funds transfer services to replace cash or check for payment of estimated duties, taxes, and fees on imported merchandise.
Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)Update of outmoded Automated Commercial System (ACS). It is intended to provide automated information system to enable the collection, processing and analysis of commercial import and export data, allowing for moving goods through the ports faster and at lower cost, as well as detection of terrorist threats.
Automated data collectionSystems of hardware and software used to process transactions in warehouses and manufacturing operations. Data collection systems may consist of fixed terminals, portable terminals and computers, Radio frequency (RF) terminals, and various types of bar code scanners. a.k.a.
Automated Export Reporting ProgramThe AERP provides for electronic submission of most information required on the Shipper’s Export Declaration. The program was initiated in 1969 with the intent of enabling large volume exporters to submit electronically and facilitate Census Bureau data entry and analysis. AERP was expanded in 1982 to allow freight forwarders, and again in 1985 to allow ocean carriers, to file electronically. At the beginning of fiscal year 1994, about 220 firms , accounting for 350,000 to 400,000 records a month , were participating in AERP. The program is administered by the Automated Data Reporting Branch, Foreign Trade Division, Bureau of the Census.
Automated fare payment systemA rapid transit system whereby passengers can purchase and pay for their fares without the need for ticket sellers an fare collectors.
Automated guided vehicleA form of materials handling that travel without human guidance or steering. It usually is controlled by electronic pathway and control systems.
Automated guided vehicle system (AGVS)Describes systems of vehicles that can be programmed to automatically drive to designated points and perform preprogrammed functions. Guidance system may consist of a wire embedded in the floor, optical system or other types of guidance. Automated guided vehicle (AGV)
Automated guideway transitA rapid transit system that operate without the need for an operator.
Automated Manifest System (AMS)A multi-modular cargo inventory control and release notification system through which carriers submit their electronic cargo declaration 24 hours before loading. See 24-hour Rule
Automated storage and retrieval systemsA system of rows of rack, each row having a dedicated retrieval unit that moves vertically and horizontally along the rack picking and putting away loads. a.k.a. ASRS, AS/RS, Unit-load ASRS and Mini-load ASRS.
Automated Storage/Retrieval System (AS/RS)A high-density rack inventory storage system with un-manned vehicles automatically loading and unloading products to/from the racks.
Automated warehouse/order pickingType of warehousing whereby stocking and order picking is carried out by remote (ie computer) controlled handling equipment , often operated totally without human intervention and without lighting.
Automatic IdentificationA means of identifying an item e.g. a product, parcel or transport unit by a machine (device) entering the data automatically into a computer. The most widely used technology at present is bar code; others include radio frequency, magnetic stripes and optical character recognition.
Automatic Identification ManufacturersAbbreviation: AIM International organization of companies and/or associations involved or interested in automatic identification.
Automatic orderingA process of call-off or ordering by a buying company against a selling firm that is based upon a linkage that minimizes human intervention and avoids use of traditional requisition, purchase order, and other documentation. In some countries, beverage vending machines are equipped with sensing and transmitting devices that serve to automatically order replenishment quantities.
Automatic ReliefA set of inventory bookkeeping methods that automatically adjusts computerized inventory records based on a production transaction. Examples of automatic relief methods are backflushing, direct-deduct, pre-deduct, and post-deduct processing.
Automatic ReschedulingRescheduling done by the computer to automatically change due dates on scheduled receipts when it detects that due dates and need dates are out of phase. Ant manual rescheduling
Autonomous dial-a-ride transitA full order entry and dispatching system on vehicles that is designed to minimize empty travel and maximize service to passengers seeking movement.
Authority limitPurchasing field term for the maximum financial commitment that a particular buyer may sign for in the purchase of goods and services.
Authority to payThis document is not a letter of credit, but merely an advice of the place of payment which also specifies documents needed to obtain payment. It does not oblige any bank to pay. It is much less expensive than a letter of credit and has largely superseded by “documents against payment” (D/P)
AvailableRefers to the status of inventory as it relates to its ability to be sold or consumed. Availability calculations are used to determine this status. Availability calculations vary from system to system but basically subtract any current allocations of holds on inventory from the current on-hand balance. An example of an availability calculation would be: [Quantity Available] = [Quantity On Hand] -[ Quantity On Hold] , [Quantity Allocated To Sales Orders] , [Quantity Allocated to Production Orders].
Available InventoryThe on-hand inventory balance minus allocations, reservations, backorders, and (usually) quantities held for quality problems. Often called “beginning available balance”. Synonyms Beginning Available Balance, Net Inventory
Available stockThe amount of inventory on hand that can be sold or used.
Available to promise (ATP)The uncommitted portion of a company’s inventory and planned production, maintained in the master schedule to support customer order promising. The ATP quantity is the uncommitted inventory balance in the first period and is normally calculated for each period in which an MPS receipt is scheduled. In the first period, ATP includes on-hand inventory less customer orders that are due and overdue. (Source: ILT Supply-Chain Inventory Management SIG)
Available to Sell (ATS)Total quantity of goods committed to the pipeline for a ship to or selling location. This includes the current inventory at a location and any open purchase orders.
AverageTerm used in shipping and insurance in connection with the apportionment of loss or damage to goods or vehicles/vessels (eg apportionment of loss between joint owners or insurers).
Average AdjustersIn general average affairs average adjusters are entrusted with the task of apportioning the loss and expenditure over the parties interested in the maritime venture and to determine which expenses are to be regarded as average or general average.
Average Annual Production Materials Related A/P (Accounts Payable)The value of direct materials acquired in that year for which payment has not yet been made. Production-related materials are those items classified as material purchases and included in the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) as raw material purchases. Calculate using the 5-Point Annual Average.
Average bondA bond in which cargo owners agree to pay their share in the general average losses, each individual contribution being determined by the average/loss adjuster.
Average clauseA clause inserted in marine insurance policies which specifies certain goods as free from average unless general average applies, or unless the loss is above a certain percentage.
Average costinventory costing method that recalculates an item’s cost at each receipt by averaging the actual cost of the receipt with the cost of the current inventory.
Average Cost per UnitThe estimated total cost, including allocated overhead, to produce a batch of goods divided by the total number of units produced.
Average demurrage agreementAn agreement made between a shipper and a railroad line whereby the shipper is debited for the time cars are held for loading and unloading beyond s certain period and credited charges are assessed by the transportation line at the end of the month, for any outstanding debits front cars held less than the free time allowed.
Average depositShipping term where a cash security is deposited by the consignee pending an assessment of the general average contribution.
Average inventoryThe average distance inventory level over a period of time. It is the average of the peak and base stock weighted for the amounts held at intermediate point in time.
Average Payment Period (for materials)The average time from receipt of production-related materials and payment for those materials. Production-related materials are those items classified as material purchases and included in the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) as raw material purchases.
Average warehouse costIt is the cost of housing. When the industrial firm owns its own warehouse it computes the average warehouse cost by summing the cost of operation of the warehouse. This requires adding depreciation cost, warehouse utility cost, warehouse taxes, interest on investment in warehouse, and all other costs except for labor costs, obsolescence cost, stock out cost, and comparable thereto. Since labor cost is charged separately. A distinction must be made between the warehouse rate, or storage rate, and the average warehouse cost. The average warehouse cost is comparable to the warehouse rate.
Aviation insuranceAircraft insurance including coverage of aircraft or their contents. The owner’s liability, and accident insurance on the passengers can be covered
Avoidable CostA cost associated with an activity that would not be incurred if the activity was not performed (e.g., telephone cost associated with vendor support).
Avoirdupois PoundSame as 0.4535924277 kilograms.
Axle loadThis may refer either to an allowance or an existing weight carried on the axle of a motor vehicle. An axle limitation placed on a highway requires that the axle load weight cannot be exceeded by the heaviest axle. This is a crucial measure with regard to pavement and bridge weight limits.
Axle spreadDistance between the centre lines of the outermost axles (ie the foremost and rearmost axles) on a goods vehicle (see also relevant axle spacing).
Axle weightSum of the weights transmitted to the road surface by all the wheels of a vehicle axle.
Axle weight calculationTheoretical exercise (used mainly in CPC* examinations) to determine the weight on an axle when other given weights are known. Formula (P x D)/W applies when P = vehicle payload, D = the distance from the load centreline to the axle and W = the vehicle wheelbase.

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