Freight Terms That Supply Chain Management Leaders Should Know!

Every industry has it’s own lingo, and here are some supply chain management terms that you should know about!

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It’s true that most industries will have their own language, including specialized terms and acronyms; and the supply chain industry is no different!

The pallet industry really is just a small sector within the all-encompassing supply chain sector, so it goes to show that there really are many different niches in which industry-related terms can originate from.

The good news is that we’re only going over a handful of industry terms that business leaders should know about, and these are terms that you’re likely to come across while developing your pallet orders and preparing your products for shipment:

FTL or TL = Full Truckload or Truckload

These industry terms refer to the overall freight quantity of a shipment, or a trailer’s maximum capacity. This can specifically refer to factors like weight capacity limitation within a specific trailer, or the overall amount of cargo that can physically fit within a trailer.

The latter specification is particularly important when it comes to how your new, used or custom sized pallets fit within your company’s transportation methods.

LTL = Less Than Truckload

This term specifically refers to a shipment that doesn’t necessarily require a full truckload that’s at capacity in terms of weight/space.

There are many instances in which an LTL shipment will require a business to only pay for the portion of the trailer that they’re utilizing, and other businesses may fill in any unoccupied space with their own shipments.

OTR = Over The Road

OTR, or over the road, refers to any transportation methods that entail long distance shipping. So when a shipment is OTR, this means that the truckers will need to use interstates and other parts of the highway system, as opposed to only local routes.

INT = Intermodal

When a product shipment is intermodal it means that more than one mode of transportation will be necessary to successfully transport the goods to the receiver. A common example of an intermodal shipment would be a shipment that will require both truck and rail.

ETA = Estimated Time Of Arrival

ETA is something that we all understand by simply using the GPS systems within our cell phones, but it’s also an important measurement for all supply chain management leaders to keep track of.

Although ETA is rather straightforward, it’s also important for business leaders to understand how ETA can quickly shift due to all sorts of extenuating circumstances like traffic and weather conditions.

BOL = Bill Of Lading

A bill of lading is an official legal document that carriers will issue to business shippers, and this document is very similar to an industry invoice. This document will detail the quantity and type of goods that are being shipped, as well as detailed information about the final destination.

So the BOL of your company’s shipments will act as a receipt between you and your transportation/carrier provider, and it’s commonplace for a BOL copy to be shipped with the goods no matter what type of transportation is being utilized. This document will also need to be signed by authorized personnel from all parties, including the shipper, carrier and receiver.

POD = Proof Of Delivery

This industry term is exactly how it sounds. It’s an official document that establishes that the full and comprehensive shipment as detailed in the BOL has been successfully shipped and received at its final destination.

FOB = Free On Board OR Freight On Board

Within the vast majority of instances in which the acronym FOB is utilized, it will refer to free on board. However, it’s likely that you may hear of FOB referring to freight on board as well.

FOB is an important industry term because it will help distinguish who is paying for loading/transportation costs within a unique shipment, and this terms also helps indicate the transfer of responsibility from a shipper to a buyer.

FOB Origin is a term that indicates that a buyer will pay for shipping costs, and will also take full responsibility for the shipped products once they leave a seller’s premises.

FOB Destination is a term that indicates that a seller will pay for shipping costs and will take full responsibility for the shipped products until the buyer has the shipment in their possession.


This refers to the individual or business that ends up receiving a shipment of products/goods.

Freight Collect

This is an industry terms that refers to a receiver paying for transportation/freight costs when they receive their shipment.

3PL = Third Party Logistics

3PL is a general term that refers to many different types of outsourced logistics services. Some of these services can include things like transportation, procurement, assembly, warehousing, repackaging, kitting and much more.

Reach Out To The Pallet Guys To Learn More About How We Support Businesses With Their Supply Chain Management

The Pallet Guys play a major role in the overall supply chain management of countless businesses, and we know very well just how important pallet quality and reliability is throughout every step of the shipping process.

Reach out to us online or call us at 832-895-7555 to get in touch with our industry specialists who can help you better understand what role we’ll play in ensuring the overall functionality of your company’s supply chain management!  

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