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OpenBorder Glossary

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  • a
  • Accessorials
    Accessorials are added freight charges to a shipper's freight invoice for ay additional services the carriers performs. These services are categorized by pickup, delivery, and others.

  • Adjustments
    Adjustments occur when the actual shipment yields different results than the Bill of Lading (BOL), resulting  in the shipper incurring additional carrier charges.

  • b
  • Backhaul
    When a carrier truck is returning from a delivery, a backhaul rate offers shippers the chance to fill the empty vehicle at a reduced price. To get a quote for this, contact one of our experts for assistance.

  • Bill of Lading
    Your Bill of Lading (BOL) is the contractual agreement between the shipper and carrier that contains all the shipping details for your order. Once you hit the "Finish Booking," button to complete the order, your BOL is emailed to you. Ensuring that all the information on the BOL is very(...)

  • Bulk Freight
    Rather than being shipped in packages or containers, Bulk Freight is not containerized and is shipped unpackaged. Typically this includes items that are easily secured and are shipping in large quantities such as oil or grain.

  • c
  • Cargo Insurance
    To compensate for freight is lost or damaged during the shipping process, cargo insurance provides shippers with full or partial coverage.

  • Carrier
    A person/company that will transport your goods using various possible vessels (trucks, trains, ships, etc.).

  • Consignee
    The establishment that buys and/or receives a shipment.

  • Container
    The metal box that transports freight—typically 20ft (6.06m) and 40ft (12.2m) in length.

  • Courier
    A courier service facilitates the delivery of orders that are lesser in volume—such as parcels and documents that fall under 150 lbs.

  • Customs Broker
    A customs broker is a licensed representative for importers and exporters at the customs border. The customs broker is in charge of properly filing any and all related paperwork and ensuring that the freight complies with all relevant rules and regulations.

  • d
  • Density
    Density is calculated using weight an dimensions of an item. A higher density lowers the freight class, resulting in a lower overall cost. This is because a higher density means the item does not take up as much space in a truck, since it is small and heavy.

  • Dimensional Weight
    Dimensional weight (or volumetric weight) uses an estimated weight determined from the length, width and height of an item. This is the typical calculation used in domestic shipments.

  • f
  • Freight Class
    The freight class number is assigned to an LTL shipment based on physical attributes of the freight (weight, size, etc.), value, and liability.

  • Freight Class
    According to the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), freight class establishes a commodity's transportability. Freight Class is enforced by the NMFC (The National Motor Freight Classification) and ranges from 50-500. Class is determined using 4 factors: Density,(...)

  • Fuel Efficiency
    Fuel Efficiency or consumption is determined by distance traveled per unit of fuel consumed. It is a reflection of the energy efficiency of the vehicle.

  • h
  • Handling
    Handling refers to the  dimensions, fragility and overall difficulty in handling an item.

  • Handling Unit
    A physical unit that includes both packaging material and the actual goods. This is used to define the packing structure of the goods.

  • l
  • Less than Truckload (LTL)
    A Less than Truckload Shipment (LTL) means than one shipper's freight does not fill the entire truck. This allows for multiple orders from different customers to be combined on the same vessel. LTL shipments are typically less expensive due to the extended delivery time.

  • Liability
    Liability is the probability of the shipment getting lost or damaged, as well as the possibility of damaging other freight next to it in transit.

  • n
  • Nested Goods
    To take up less space, nested good are stacked within each other.

  • NMFC Code
    NMFC codes are a classification system for all freight types.  Every item that is shipped is assigned an NMFC code (EX: NMFC #37890). The codes can be accessed on the NMFC database. The NMFC code determines how an item is classed, which could be a permanent or density based class.

  • NMFC Sub-code
    Sub-NMFC codes are noted with a dash after the NMFC code (i.e. 116030-5). It's important to ensure that the sub code matches the freight class!

  • p
  • Pallet
    A wooden or plastic platform on which freight is stacked.

  • Parcel
    Small package or box.

  • Partner Government Agency (PGA) Fees
    A Partnered Government Agency (PGA) regulates specific imports on behalf of the United States federal government. Different items fall under different PGAs. Examples include: Federal Drug Administration (FDA) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Consumer Product Safety Commission(...)

  • s
  • Shipper
    A person/company that uses trucking carriers to ship freight from one location to another.

  • Stowability
    Stowability determines the shipment's arrangement relative to others items in the vessel.  This is important to consider with freight that could be hazardous, or has irregular dimensions.

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