Discover the Language of Trucking with Thinnes Transport!

The trucking industry is full of different terms, acronyms, and phrases that can be confusing if you’re not familiar with them. To make things easier, Thinnes Transport has compiled a list of the most commonly used terms in the industry along with definitions and explanations of each one. From basic terminology like “shipper” to more complicated terms like ” Fuel Surcharge,” our guide will help you understand the language of trucking. With our help, you’ll be able to navigate the industry confidently and with ease.

Accident: An event involving a vehicle collision or other type of incident that results in property damage, injury, or death.

Assembler: A company that contracts with carriers to transport parts or components to a manufacturing facility, where they are assembled into finished products.

Auto hauler: A truck or trailer used to transport vehicles, such as cars, trucks, or motorcycles.

Backhaul rate: The rate that a carrier charges for a return trip after delivering goods.

Backhaul: A return trip by a truck that has delivered goods and is returning to its point of origin.

Bill of lading (BOL): A document that serves as a contract between a shipper and a carrier for the transportation of goods. It includes details such as the type and quantity of goods being shipped, the origin and destination of the shipment, and the terms and conditions of the transport.

Boom: The mechanical arm used to pick up and move cargo.

Broker: A person or company that acts as an intermediary between shippers and carriers, arranging for the transport of goods.

Brokerage: The business of arranging the transport of goods on behalf of shippers.

Cab-over: A truck design where the cab sits over the front axle.

Capacity: The amount of goods that can be carried in a trailer or on a truck.

Cargo: The goods being transported by a truck or other means of transportation.

Carrier: A company that provides transportation services for goods.

CDL (commercial driver’s license): A special license required to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) such as a semi-truck or bus.

Consignee: The person or company to whom the goods are being shipped.

Consignor: The person or company who is sending the goods.

Consolidation: The process of combining small shipments from multiple shippers into a single load for transport.

Cross-docking: The practice of transferring goods from one trailer or container to another without unloading and storing them in a warehouse.

Custom house broker: A person or company assisting with importing or exporting goods, including preparing and filing necessary documents and paying customs duties.

Customs: Government agencies responsible for regulating the import and export of goods across national borders.

Deadhead: A truck that is traveling without cargo.

Dedicated fleet: A group of trucks that are assigned to transport goods for a specific shipper or customer.

Delivery receipt: A document signed by the recipient of a shipment to acknowledge receipt of the goods.

Demurrage: A fee that is charged for the use of equipment, such as a trailer or container, beyond the agreed-upon time.

Dispatch: The process of coordinating the movement of trucks and trailers to meet the needs of customers and carriers.

Drop-and-hook: A type of delivery system in which a driver drops off a trailer at a customer’s location and picks up another trailer to take back to the carrier’s terminal.

Dry van: A type of trailer used to transport non-perishable goods, typically with a fully enclosed cargo area.

Flatbed: A type of trailer with an open cargo area, typically used to transport large or awkward-shaped items such as construction equipment or steel beams.

Freight: The charge for the transportation of goods by truck or other means.

FTL (Full-truckload): Shipping of large cargo, usually more than 10,000 pounds, that requires the use of an entire truck for transportation.

Fuel Surcharge: An additional charge due to an increase in fuel prices.

GCW (Gross Combination Weight): The total weight of the truck and its trailer.

GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight): The total weight of the truck and its load, including the driver.

Hazmat: Short for “hazardous materials,” this term refers to goods that pose a risk to people or the environment during transport.

House bill of lading: A bill of lading issued by a freight forwarder or other intermediary rather than the carrier that will actually transport the goods.

Inbound: Refers to goods that are being shipped to a destination.

Intermodal: Refers to the use of multiple modes of transportation, such as truck, rail, and ocean shipping, to transport goods.

Just-in-time (JIT) delivery: A system in which goods are delivered to a customer as close as possible to the time when they are needed, in order to minimize inventory and storage costs.

Load board: A platform that connects carriers with shippers to facilitate the transport of goods.

Logbook: A record kept by a truck driver of their daily activities, including miles driven, hours worked, and rest periods.

Logistics: The planning, coordination, and management of the movement of goods and resources.

LTL (Less-than-truckload): Shipping of smaller cargo, usually less than 10,000 pounds, that does not require the use of an entire truck for transportation.

Outbound: Refers to goods that are being shipped from a location.

Over-the-road (OTR): Refers to long-haul trucking routes that typically involve driving across state lines.

P&D: Abbreviation for “pickup and delivery,” referring to the process of collecting and delivering goods.

POD: Abbreviation for “proof of delivery,” a document that provides evidence that a shipment has been delivered to the consignee.

Reefer: A trailer with refrigeration that is used to transport perishable goods.

Semi-truck: A large truck typically used to transport goods and materials over long distances.

Shipment: A group of goods that are being transported together.

Shipper: A person or company that contracts with a carrier to transport goods.

Tender: A request for a carrier to transport goods, typically submitted through a load board or other online platform.

Tractor-trailer: A combination of a tractor (the front part of the truck) and a trailer (the back part), used to transport goods.

Truckload (TL): A shipment that is large enough to fill an entire trailer.

Warehouse receipt: A document that serves as evidence of ownership for goods that are being stored in a warehouse.

These are just some of the terms used in the trucking industry. If you’re looking for more information or would like to learn more about the industry and its terminology, contact Thinnes Transport. We’re here to help with all your trucking needs.