Posted on 03/16/22

Freight Transporting Acronyms

Freight Transporting Acronyms

You're here if you are new to freight shipping and logistics, and want to learn about all the commonly-used freight shipping acronyms.

It can be confusing to work in logistics or shipping. It's not surprising that you may have struggled to understand the many abbreviations and terms used in shipping or logistics. This post was created to assist newcomers to understand the terminologies and acronyms used in freight shipping logistics.

Let's get into the details of all those confusing shipping terms and abbreviations.

The Freight Carrier Shipping Terms You Need to Know

Gathering quotes is the first step in any shipping process. These should be based on your shipping carrier mode. Here are some acronyms that you might encounter when deciding the best shipping carrier option for your freight.

FAK-Freight of All Kinds

FAK is a term that is used in freight and logistics. It means combining different goods into one load, simplifying pricing and rating. This acronym will be helpful to all small and medium-sized business owners, as it will allow them to deal in bulk.

LTL = Less Than Truckload/Less Than Load

LTL is the most popular shipping method in the logistics industry. LTL is when goods are shipped in pallets or skids. This category has a weight limit of fewer than 4,000 lbs.

LTL shipping is based on a hub and spoke system. To reach its final destination, your shipment must be transferred to the distributor at least once.

TL Full Truckload

Full Truckload shipments occupy the entire trailer and exceed its weight limit. Your freight will reach its destination quickly and without breaks, unlike the LTL. The shipment can weigh more than 15,000 pounds in TL and can be packed with boxes, skids, or tubs.

PTL-Partial Truckload

If your freight is too large to fit into an LTL or TTL shipping container, you should consider partial truck loading. Partial truckloads are for larger freight shipments and may not be required to use full truckload space. They typically involve shipments over 5,000 pounds and 6 or more pallets.

STL Shared Truckload

A shared truckload allows multiple shippers to transport their freight on the same truck. This type of shipping is ideal for loads less than 53 feet in length and 1-24 standard-sized boxes. This shipping method offers multiple benefits. It reduces shipping costs and eliminates the possibility of your goods being damaged.

A-List of Freight Acronyms Widely Used

Below is a list of common freight acronyms that you will see more often than the quote forms. You must therefore be able to grasp their meaning without worrying about your nerves.

NMFC National Motor Freight Classification

NMFC codes allow you to classify items that are being shipped interstate or internationally. After evaluating the commodities on the four transport characteristics of density, stability, and handling, we classify them as shippable commodities.

DV- Declared Value

Declared value refers to the amount per unit of shipment that the shipper declares upon delivery to a carrier. It's basically the value of the shipment for which the carrier is responsible to compensate the shipper in case it gets damaged.

FOB – Free on Board

FOB is the time at which liability and ownership are transferred from a seller onto a buyer.

The shipping procedure is also affected if the designation is associated with a physical address. Take, for example:

  • Who will pay freight shipping charges?
  • What happens when title to shipment passes from seller to buyer?

LG – Liftgate

Freight shippers offer a liftgate as an additional service when picking up and delivering freight. A tailgate, or liftgate, is a platform located at the rear of a truck that can be used to load or unload heavy freight. These are usually used in areas without docks or forklifts.

Freight terms are most commonly used in relation to paperwork and performance

Once you have received your shipping quotations, the next step is to complete the paperwork. You'll need to agree to some freight terms. Below are some examples:

CNOR/CNEE - Consigner/ Consignee:

CNOR, or Consignor, is the sender. CNEE, or Consignee, is the receiver.

SHPR - Shipper

Typically, a shipper is a company shipping the goods. A shipper can also be identified as an exporter, consignor, or receiver.


The recipient is either the consignee or a third party who receives the goods from the carrier at their destination port or terminal.

POD-Proof of Delivery

POD is proof that the shipment was delivered properly. The consignee may have signed a document confirming that everything was received properly. The recipient's address and the description of the package are important parts of proof of delivery.

OS&D report -Overage Report

This is a report for the consignee or receiver regarding any shipment issues that they have received.

  • Overage is when the recipient receives more items than ordered.
  • A shortage is when you receive less than what was ordered.
  • Damaged refers to receiving damaged goods in the shipment.

SLI- Shipper Letter of Instruction

The shipper must fill out the SLI document. This document contains all details regarding the shipment. This document includes information such as the shipper and consignee, dimensions, weight, descriptions of the items, and shipping terms.

BL/BOL Bill of Lading

A bill of lading is a contract that binds both the shipper as well as the carrier. Each bill of lading contains the names and addresses for both the carrier and the shipper, as well as the pickup date, shipping and packing details, class of freight, and hazardous material designation. To release the goods, you will need to present BOL at the destination.

TONU- Ordered but not used

TONU means that a truck arrives to pick up the shipment but the consignments have not yet been shipped.

You may be required to pay the carrier for any time or resources they used.

EDI – Electronic Data Interchange

Electronic data interchange (EDI), is the exchange of business documents between two computers.

EDI is used in the logistics and freight shipping industry to refer to bills of lading, tracking, invoices, etc.

International Freight and Shipping Abbreviations for a Clear Understanding

There are some common freight shipping terms you will encounter while handling domestic shipping. But there are some terms you need to be familiar with before you ship goods around the world.

International shippers must be familiar with certain international shipping and freight acronyms.

Incoterms International Commercial Terms

International Chamber of Commerce has established incoterms, which are commercial terms that have been pre-defined. They are now an integral part of commerce. These terms communicate the cost, risk, and task involved in transporting and delivering goods.

COD-Change of Destination

The COD refers to goods that have been loaded onto a container and are currently on their way. However, you may need to change the delivery destination.

DM – Demurrage

If you don't pick up your imports in time, demurrage will be charged.

After your container is discharged, you will be required to store them at the port for a certain period of time. You must also pick up your goods before the expiry of your free storage time. You will be charged demurrage for each day you delay in picking up the container.

DT - Detention

The detention fee is similar to a demurrage charge, but they are charges you pay if your container was not returned to the shipping company in the time allowed. Per container, per day, detention charges will be charged. The amount charged per container and day may vary depending on the location, container type, carrier, and carrier.

CYCY- Container Yard to Container Yard

Container yards are port facilities that store the shipment until it is loaded at the origin port and then discharged to the destination.

The CYCY acronym refers to the responsibility of the carrier, starting at the port loading and ending at the point of discharge at CY. These shipments, also known as FCL/FCL shipping, involve one shipper and one receiver.


It can be difficult to grasp freight shipping at first. Because there are so many acronyms and abbreviations used in the industry, it can be difficult to understand. We hope you find this simplified explanation of some of the most confusing terms in the shipping industry.

You are now familiar with the basics of logistic terms and abbreviations. Now you are ready to start your shipping endeavors and document.