Common Shipping Terms
Common Carrier - Public for-hire trucking companies (Ex: Fedex Freight, R&L Carriers, YRC Freight)
DC - Distribution Center
Deadhead - Refers to hauling an empty trailer. AKA "running empty".
Freight - Goods to be transported by truck, train, ship or air carrier.
Freight Broker - (Aka "3PL" or "third party logistics company") value-added service team that negotiates better rates on your behalf and takes care of all the repetitive work involved in daily shipping.
IML - Inter-Modal (uses a rail system as well as a regular trucking system).
Linehaul - Regularly scheduled long distance haul with fully loaded trailers. Generally over 500 miles between two "DC's".
LTL - Less than TruckLoad (100 - 20,000 lbs). Contains multiple shipments per trailer from point A to B, C, D, E, etc.
NMFC - National Motor Freight Classification System.
OTR - Over the Road.
Pallet - Portable wooden platform on interlocking 2x4's that can moved safely by forklift.
Pup - 28' trailer widely used in LTL operations. 2-3 can be linked together for long distance hauling.
Rail - Refers to transporting goods on a freight train.
Skid - Same as a pallet only without interlocking 2x4's (Less sturdy).
Terminal - Refers to the local warehouse that serves as operations base for LTL Companies.
TL - Truck Load shipment, full trailer (48'-53') containing one shipment and going from A to B.
Volume Shipment - LTL shipment that weighs over 20,000 lbs or occupies more than 20 feet.