Common Terms Used in Logistics

It is not uncommon for people who work in a specific industry every day to speak their own language, which consists of terms and phrases that most others who do not specialize in that field probably do not understand. It is no different for those who manage logistics and supply chain. It is important, however, for everyone involved in a business to have at least a basic understanding of some of these terms since logistics is such a large part of a company’s success. Here is a list of some commonly used terms in logistics.

Carrier
The carrier is the person or company who handles the transportation of products and materials from one point to another. There are various types of carriers depending on the mode of transport used, including air, road, rail, and sea. It is not unusual for a combination of these methods to be used in a single shipment.

Bill of Lading (BOL)
A bill of lading is issued by the carrier. Many people have seen bills of lading before since they are given a copy of it whenever they send something via one of the popular logistics companies commonly used by consumers. The bill of lading not only acts as the receipt for the logistics services being provided but it also outlines the basic terms of the contract between the carrier and the sender. It can also be used as proof of ownership of products in some situations. The BOL will always include a Bill of Lading Number. This vital piece of information is essentially the tracking number for the shipment.

Cargo
Cargo is a broad term used for any products or merchandise transported by a carrier from a point of origin to a specific destination.

Freight Forwarder
A freight forwarder is an agent who acts on behalf of the shipper, particularly in the shipment of goods from foreign countries. It is usually the responsibility of the freight forwarder to collect, organize, and arrange the shipment of the cargo. This person must also prepare all of the necessary documentation and work to clear the shipment through customs in both the country of origin and the destination country.

Pick Module
The pick module is the designated area within a warehouse in which orders are gathered and prepared for shipment. This can be one large area or a specific space within each rack or section of the warehouse.

Logistics is a vitally important process in any business, which is why it’s a good idea for everyone to understand the basics involved in managing the daily responsibilities. Through a better understanding of some of the most commonly used logistics terms, business owners and employees can successfully manage their own expectations and those of their customers.