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Intermodal Glossary

in•ter•mo•dal — adj.
The transfer of products involving multiple modes of transportation — truck, railroad or ocean carrier.

Accessorial Charge
A charge for a wide variety of services and privileges that are made in connection with the transportation of goods, such as loading, unloading, storage, pick-up and delivery.
ACS
See Automated Commercial System.
Agent
An individual who negotiates contracts, or acts in the legal capacity of another party.
AGS
Abbreviation for Automated Gate System, a high-tech kiosk that uses high resolution cameras and optical character recognition to improve driver processing time at intermodal terminals.
Alliance
A vessel sharing agreement, generally on a global scale, between groups of ocean carriers who coordinate and cross list schedules and sell capacity on each other’s voyages. Also see Vessel Sharing Agreement.
Automated Commercial System (ACS)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection systems which electronically support the facilitation of importing and exporting goods. Automation systems are used to process commercial cargo customs transactions including entry of merchandise, collection of duty and tax, control of merchandise, and selection of both import and export cargo for physical inspection.
Back Haul
The return movement of a car or container towards the point where the initial load originated or to handle a shipment in the direction of the light flow of traffic.
Bad Order Equipment Status Service (BOES)
IANA’s information service that provides a clearinghouse for equipment status information (bad order, gate hold, release) that allows for standardization of data communication formats, simplification of operating system interconnectivity and streamlining of trading partner information for all participants as it related to bad order equipment.
Bad Order
A freight car loaded improperly, mechanically defective or with a safety violation.
Bar Coding
A method of encoding data for fast and accurate readability by electronic readers.
Barge
A flat-bottomed vessel that is pushed or towed by a tugboat. When transporting stacked boxes on the inland or coastal waterways, it is referred to as Container on Barge (COB). A barge that can accommodate trailers and containers still mounted on chassis is a Roll-on/Roll-off (RO/RO).
BCO
See Beneficial Cargo Owner.
Beneficial Cargo Owner (BCO)
Person or legal entity that owns or has title to the freight being transported. Beneficial owners may use freight third parties such as IMCs to negotiate transportation services and rates on their behalf.
Berth
The wharf space at which a ship docks. A wharf may have multiple berths, depending on the length of incoming ships.
BIC
See Bureau International des Containers.
Bill of Lading
A shipping form which is both a receipt for freight and a contract for delivery of goods by a carrier. The principal bills of lading are:
Bill of Lading, Clean
Either a straight or order bill of lading issued by a carrier declaring that the freight has been received in an appropriate condition, without the presence of defects or shortage.
Bill of Lading, Exchange
A bill of lading issued by the carrier or agent that is substituted for the original bill of lading, where the middleman is shown as the shipper and protects the identity of the original freight supplier.
Bill of Lading, Export
A bill of lading that is issued to cover a shipment consigned to a foreign country.
Bill of Lading, Government
A special bill of lading which is used in making shipments for the account of the U.S. government.
Bill of Lading, Order
A negotiable document that is issued to the order of a shipper or consignee for the delivery of the freight and can be transferred by endorsement to third parties in accordance with its terms.
Bill of Lading, Straight
A non-negotiable document that is issued to a specified consignee for the delivery of the freight and that cannot be endorsed by another party. Surrender of the original bill is not required upon delivery of the freight unless necessary to identify consignee.
Billing Carrier (Bill Road)
The carrier, performing the first line haul service of the movement, that is responsible for preparing the waybill document and transmitting the information to any following carriers.
Blocking or Bracing
Wood, metal or other approved supports to keep freight in place in or on railcars, containers or trailers.
Board of Commissioners
The members of the governing board of a port authority are called commissioners. Members of a Board of Commissioners can be elected or appointed and usually serve for several years.
Bobtail
Motor Carrier slang indicating a non-revenue movement without a trailer or chassis and container attached. See Tractor.
BOES
See Bad Order Equipment Status Service.
Bogie
A frame with wheels on which a container is mounted for street or highway transport. Also known as a Chassis.
Bomb Cart
A heavy-duty trailer used for quick reposition of containers within some intermodal terminals and ports. Unlike a standard chassis, bomb carts do not have twist locks but have side guides to keep boxes on the unit. Bomb carts are often powered by a Hostler or Yard Truck.
Bonded Goods
Dutiable goods, upon which excise duty has not been paid, i.e., goods in transit or warehoused pending use. Bonded-goods are released for re-export, or to the importer upon assessment and payment of import duties, taxes, and other charges.
Bonded Warehouse
A secured facility supervised by customs authorities, where dutiable landed imports are stored pending their re-export, or release on assessment and payment of import duties, taxes, and other charges.
Booking
Arrangements made by a shipper or forwarder with the carrier to reserve space on a vessel for the carriage of cargo.
Boxcar
An agent who arranges interstate movements of goods by other carriers; arranger of exempt loads for owner-operators and/or carriers.
Break-Bulk Cargo
Non-containerized general cargo stored in boxes, bales, pallets or other units to be loaded onto or discharged from ships or other forms of transportation. Examples include iron, steel, machinery, linerboard and wood pulp.
Broker
An agent who arranges interstate movements of goods by other carriers; arranger of exempt loads for owner-operators and/or carriers.
Bulk Cargo
Loose cargo (dry or liquid) that is shoveled, scooped, forked, mechanically conveyed or pumped in volume directly into a ship’s hold, and specialty rail cars or truck trailers; e.g., grain, coal and oil.
Bulkhead
A structure used to protect against shifting cargo and/or to separate the load.
Bureau International des Containers (BIC)
An international association that overseas technical aspects of the ISO code as it relates to facilitating commercial exchanges and helping define and standardize areas such as technical control, strength, coding, identification and marking of containers.
Cargo
Freight that is loaded into a container or on a trailer.
Carload
Quantity of freight required to fill a railcar or specified quantity necessary to qualify a shipment for a carload rate.
Carrier
An individual or company engaged in the transportation of goods.
Cartage
Transportation of freight for short distances within commercial zone of a city. Also knows as Drayage or Haulage.
CBP
See Customs & Border Patrol.
CDL
See Commercial Driver’s License.
CFC
See Container on Flat Car.
CFC Clearance
The limiting dimensions of a rail shipment that would allow/prevent its clearing of tunnels and bridges.
CFS
See Container Freight Station
Chassis
A rectangular trailer with twist-locks that provides the framework on which a shipping container is attached for road transport. Chassis come in a variety of sizes and configurations depending on the weight and length of the container. They are owned by leasing companies, motor carriers (truckers), railroads, shippers, and some steamship lines.
Circus Ramp
A ramp at the end of a rail track that allows a truck to back a trailer onto the flatcar. This was common in the early days of intermodal and is no longer a common practice as modern lift equipment is a more efficient way to load trailers and containers on railcars.
Claims
A demand, supported by evidence, to show that the claimant has sustained a loss through the negligence of a carrier acting as agent. The principal kinds are:
Claim, Damage
A claim due to physical injury to shipment or because shipment was not delivered within a reasonable time.
Claim, Loss
A claim due to failure to deliver goods.
Claim, Overcharge
A claim when more than the legally published charges were collected.
Claim, Reparation
A claim for a shipper refund of charges which, while in accordance with legally published tariffs, are unreasonable or over-unjust and the-rail carrier has since published the lower reasonable rate.
Class I Railroad
Railroad with operating revenues of more than $259.4 million annually.
COB
See Container-on-Barge.
COFC
See Container-on-Flat-Car.
Co-Load
Two shipments from different terminals combined to ship as one load.
Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
Driver’s license required in the United States to operate a heavy-duty commercial vehicle including tractor trailers.
Commercial Invoice
Itemized list issued by seller/exporter showing quantity, quality, description of goods, price, terms of sale, marks/numbers, weight, date and full name/address of purchaser/importer.
Commodity
Any article of commerce that is shipped.
Common Carrier
A transportation line engaged in the business of handling freight for compensation and for all persons impartially.
Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA):
A major safety measurement and reporting initiative of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
Conference
An affiliation of ship-owners operating over the same route(s) who agree to charge uniform rates, to standardize shipping practices, eliminate freight rate competition, and provide regularly scheduled service between specific ports. A conference is “closed” if one can enter only by consent of existing members of the conference. It is “open” if anyone can enter by meeting certain technical and financial standards. Conference members are common carriers.
Conference Agreement
The agreement between/among ocean carriers through which a Shipping Conference is created and operated.
Conference Carrier
An ocean carrier who is a member of an association known as a Conference.
Connecting Carrier
A carrier that has a direct physical connection with another or a connecting link between two or more carriers.
ConRO
See Roll-On-Roll-Off.
Consignee
The individual or organization to which freight is shipped.
Consignor
The individual shipping the goods. More commonly known as The Shipper.
Consolidation
Combining multiple shipments under one master bill of lading. See Freight Consolidation.
Container
See Intermodal Shipping Container.
Container Handler
This truck loads/unloads trucks and rail cars and stacks loaded containers by attaching its spreader to the four top corner castings or the underside of a trailer. An empty container handler stacks boxes by only attaching its spreader to two of the top corner castings. Also known as a Top-Pick or Top-Lift.
Container-on-Barge (COB)
When containers are stacked on a barge and towed to destinations, generally on the Inland waterways. See Barge.
Container-on-Flat-Car (COFC)
The movement of a container on a railroad flat car without the container being mounted on a chassis.
Container Freight Station (CFS)
The location designated by carriers for the receiving of cargo to be loaded into containers by the carrier or the bonded location designated by carriers for devanning of containerized cargo.
Container Yard
A yard used for storage of containers when not in use.
Contraband
Cargo which is prohibited by law.
Contract Carriers
Motor carriers of logistics companies that serve specific shippers with whom the carriers have a contract and are therefore not available for carrying freight for the general public.
Conventional Car
A single platform flat car designed to carry a trailer or container where containers can only be single stacked. Conventional cars are equipped with one or two stanchions, for shipment of one or two trailers.
Conventional Car
A single platform flat car designed to carry a trailer or container where containers can only be single stacked. Conventional cars are equipped with one or two stanchions, for shipment of one or two trailers.
Converter Dolly
A device which allows a truck tractor to pull two pup trailers.
Corner Casting
The reinforced standardized corners used to lift and secure the box to vehicles and other containers. Most containers have 8 corner castings, with larger boxes having up to 16 to accommodate a variety of transport configurations.
Corps of Engineers
This department of the U. S. Army is vital to keeping navigation channels open by dredging sand, silt and gravel that accumulate on river and harbor bottoms.
Crane
A large machine that straddles the railroad track or vessel for the purpose of loading and unloading containers and trailers to and from railcars or vessels.
CSA
See Compliance, Safety, Accountability.
C-TPAT
See Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.
Cube Out
To reach the volume limit of a container.
Customs & Border Patrol (CBP)
US federal law enforcement agency charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations, including trade, customs and immigration.
Customs Broker
An individual who clears goods through customs barriers for importers and exporters. This involves the preparation of documents and/or electronic submissions, the calculation and payment of taxes, duties and excises, and facilitating communication between government authorities and importers and exporters.
Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)
Supply chain security program led by US Customs and Border Protection to document and determine cargo risk.
DC
See Distribution Center.
Dead Head
A long distance drayage movement of empty equipment required to pick up a load.
Deck Barge
A flat-bottomed vessel that is pushed or towed by a tugboat. When transporting stacked boxes on the inland or coastal waterways, it is referred to as Container on Barge (COB). A barge that can accommodate trailers and containers still mounted on chassis is a Roll-on/Roll-off Barge (RORO).
Dedicated Train
A train that, by design, transports a specific commodity or type of cars. In the case of intermodal, intermodal trains only carry trailers and/or containers.
Delivery Receipt
A document dated and signed at delivery, stating the condition of the freight at delivery.
Demurrage
A penalty for exceeding free time allowed for loading or unloading at a pier or freight terminal. Also a charge for undue detention of transportation equipment or carriers in port while loading or unloading.
Department of Transportation (DOT)
Branch of the U.S. federal government responsible for regulating all manner of transportation.
Detention
A charge made on trailers/containers held by or for a consignor/consignee or its agent for loading or unloading, forwarding directions or any other purpose.
Detention Charges
Penalties assessed against a shipper for the delayed return of carrier's equipment beyond allowable free time. This is usually equipment picked up by the shipper at the load port for the purpose of filling the container for shipment and held at the shipper's plant or warehouse for an excessive period of time. Detention charges may also be assessed against the consignee who fails to return stripped containers to the carriers within allowable timeframe.
Distribution Center (DC)
A specialized facility where goods are loaded, unloaded, processed, and redistributed to retailers, wholesalers, or consumers.
Diversion
A change made in the route of a shipment in transit.
Division of Revenue
The amount of revenue apportioned to each carrier participating in a given route, where the customer is invoiced on a through-rate basis.
Dock Receipt
A receipt given for a shipment received or delivered at a pier or dock. When delivery of a foreign shipment is completed, the dock receipt is surrendered to the transportation line and a bill of lading is issued.
Domestic Container
Containers 53-foot or 48-foot in length that travel by rail or truck in North America.
DOT
See Department of Transportation.
Double-Stack
The movement of containers on rail cars that enable the one container to be stacked on another container for better ride quality and car utilization; special rail well cars enabling containers to be stacked one atop another. Also knows as a Stacktrain.
Draft
The depth of a loaded vessel in the water taken from the waterline to the keel — the lowest point of the hull.
Drayage
Transportation of freight between a cargo facility terminal and a customer's facility. Also known as Cartage or Haulage. There are 6 types of drayage:
Drayage, Cross-Town or Inter-Carrier
A movement of an intermodal unit “across town” from one railroad to another for continuance of the move.
Drayage, Door-to-door
Retail drayage involving over-the-road movement of a unit to a customer location.
Drayage, Expedited
A movement of an intermodal unit over-the-road to get it there on time. This exceptional drayage usually involves time-sensitive freight.
Drayage, IMX or Intra-Carrier
A movement of an intermodal unit from a carrier's rail hub to the same carrier's intermodal hub. IMX drayage extends the reach of an intermodal hub.
Drayage, Pier
An over-the-road movement of an intermodal unit from a carrier's rail hub to a port's dock or pier.
Drayage, Shuttle
A movement of an intermodal unit either loaded or empty from a hub to another parking lot because the railroad has run out of room at the hub.
Drayman
A person employed to pick up or drop off a container or trailer at an intermodal terminal.
Driver Assist
The loading/unloading of a container or trailer when a drayman is required to assist.
Driver Vehicle Examination Report Web Portal & Distribution System (DVER)
An IANA/UIIA information service that provides an efficient method for Intermodal Equipment Providers and Motor Carriers to be notified and receive a copy of the Intermodal Equipment Provider Report and page 2 of the Driver Vehicle Examination Report resulting from roadside inspections.
Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting (DVIR)
An IANA/UIIA information service linking the Global Intermodal Equipment Registry, Intermodal Driver Database and Uniform Intermodal Interchange and Facilities Access Agreement database to provide efficient access to data needed for DVIR reporting required under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Drop & Pull
The dropping of a loaded or empty intermodal unit, by a drayman, at a shipper or receiver and hooking up to another unit which was previously dropped and returning it to the ramp.
Dry Run
When a drayman goes to a ramp to pick up a container and for some reason leaves without one.
Dry Van
An enclosed non-climate controlled rectangular trailer designed to carry general cargo. Also known as a Trailer.
Dunnage
The material used to protect or support freight in containers or trailers.
DVER
See Driver Vehicle Examination Report Web Portal & Distribution System.
DVIR
See Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting.
EDI
See Electronic Data Interchange.
EIR
See Equipment Interchange Report.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
The process of sending and retrieving information electronically, i.e., bills of lading, freight bills, etc.
Embargo
An order issued by a carrier or regulatory body to restrict the handling of freight.
Equipment Interchange Report (EIR)
A document executed by a motor carrier and a terminal transferring possession of a container or chassis from one to the other, and showing equipment condition at time of transfer.
Equipment Provider
The holder of actual of the beneficial title to the equipment, whether it be a container, chassis or trailer. They can be ocean carries, rail carriers and/or leasing companies. Some shippers and motor carries also own their own containers and/or chassis, and would be considered equipment providers.
Equipment Status Clearinghouse (ESCS)
IANA’s Equipment Status Clearinghouse encompasses three applications developed to provide information related to the condition of intermodal equipment at specific points in the logistics cycle. The three applications are: Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting (DVIR), Driver Vehicle Examination Report (DVER) Notification Service and Bad Order Equipment Status (BOES).
ESCR
See Equipment Status Clearinghouse.
Export
To send goods and services to another country.
FAK
See Freight of All Kinds.
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
The division of the US Department of Transportation dedicated to the construction, maintenance and preservation of U.S. highways, bridges and tunnels.
Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)
The independent federal agency responsible for regulating the U.S. international ocean transportation system for the benefit of U.S. exporters, importers and the U.S. consumer.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
The division in the U.S. Department of Transportation that regulates the trucking industry in the U.S.
Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
A division of the U.S. Department of Transportation that regulates rail transportation.
FEU
See Forty-Foot Equivalent Unit.
FHWA
See Federal Highway Administration.
Fifth Wheel
The coupling that provides the connection between a semi-trailer and semi-truck.
Flat Rack
A piece of intermodal equipment used to transport items too large to fit inside a box.
Flatbeds
A trailer with a main deck that is free of walls or ceiling constraints accommodating a wide variety of unusually sized freight.
Flatcar
A standard piece of rail equipment that can transport a variety of freight configurations including heavy containers, trailers, or a combination of both. However, a flatcar is capable of only carrying one row of containers at a time. In order to carry a trailer, the railcar must have a fifth wheel to secure the vehicle. Modern light weight flatcars designed to transport both containers or trailers are known as spine cars. The terms Container on Flatcar (COFC) and Trailer on Flatcar (TOFC) are commonly used to describe the type of intermodal train.
Flip
When a container is picked up off of the ground and mounted on a chassis for street or highway transport.
Flip Charges
Charges assessed to a shipper when the railroad is required to provide an unnecessary or extra flip. An example of this is when a private container is grounded off of a train and no chassis is available at that time. A flip charge is assessed because a flip is required at a time after the train is unloaded.
FMC
See Federal Maritime Commission.
FMCSA
See Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
For-Hire Carrier
A company that provides truck transportation of freight belonging to others and is paid for doing so. There are two types of for-hire carriers, Truckload (TL) and Less Than Truckload (LTL).
Forklift
This basic piece of equipment is limited to handling only loaded 20-foot containers or empty containers of other dimensions. Forklifts with special attachments may be used to stack chassis in the yard or hook up gensets.
Forwarder
An agent who organizes the transport of freight from origin to destination on behalf of the shipper.
Forty-Foot Equivalent Unit (FEU)
A term used in indicating container vessel or terminal capacity. Two twenty-foot containers equal one FEU.
FRA
See Federal Railroad Administration.
Free Time
The period allowed the owner to accept delivery of freight before storage or detention charges begin to accrue.
Free Trade Zone
A term that has two general meanings. First, the term broadly refers to the reduction or elimination of customs duties on goods produced within and shipped between the participating countries in a reciprocal trade agreement. NAFTA is an example of such an agreement, creating a North American “free trade zone”; as is the European Union. More specifically, a defined geographic area—typically a city or port area, similar to a free port — which has “extra-territorial” status with respect to the collection of customs duty, import and export taxes and other cargo admissibility restrictions. Free trade zones are created to improve the export competitiveness of manufacturing, warehousing and processing and assembly businesses. By eliminating duty on imported raw materials components and scrap which are used or consumed in the trade zone, costs of the finished products are reduced.
Freight
Cargo that is being transported.
Freight Bill
A shipping document that gives a description of the freight, its weight, amount of charges, taxes and whether the bill is collect or prepaid. If bill is prepaid, freight charges are paid by shipper. If bill is collect, freight charges are paid by the receiver of the goods or a third party.
Freight Consolidation
The process of combined multiple separate consignments into a single lot or container load constituting a more economical shipping unit for shipment over all or some of the transportation segments. Upon completion of the “consolidated” shipment segment, the process must be reversed- the individual consignments must be separated out for delivery or on-shipment to the respective individual consignees.
Freight Consolidator
A party serving as an indirect carrier, though the term may also refer to a party other than a carrier who is physically contracted to perform freight consolidation services, for example a container freight station.
Freight Forwarder
An individual or company who assembles small shipments into one large shipment which is then tendered to a regulated for-hire carrier. Upon reaching destination, the shipment is separated into small shipments and delivered.
Freight of All Kinds (FAK):
A shipping classification usually referring to three or more different commodities shipped as a single freight class.
Fully Cellular Container Vessel
A ship specifically designed to efficiently store freight containers throughout the entire structure. The vessel’s design includes cellular guides within its cargo holds to line up the four corners of containers on top of each other.
Gate
A point at an intermodal terminal where a clerk checks in and out all containers and trailer. All reservations and paperwork are checked at the gatehouse.
Geared Container Vessel
A ship equipped with its own cranes for handling containers. These vessels are generally smaller than gearless or fully cellular container vessels. They are more flexible in the ports they visit as they do not require pier-side cranes to load and discharge containers.
General Freight Carrier
A carrier which handles a wide variety of commodities in standard trailers. Such carriers can provide less-than-truckload service.
Genset
The portable diesel generator used to power a reefer when the container is traveling by road, rail, or at a terminal without an electric reefer hook-up. Some designs mount to the front of the container while other attach below the chassis. They are not required on a vessel as the box will be plugged into the ship’s electrical system.
GIER
See Global Intermodal Equipment Registry.
Global Intermodal Equipment Registry (GIER)
IANA’s Global Intermodal Equipment Registry is a virtual technology solution to meet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations requiring the identification of intermodal equipment and the intermodal equipment provider responsible for maintenance and repair of that equipment. There are approximately 642,000 chassis registered in the GIER database, representing 76 intermodal equipment providers.
Gross Weight
The entire weight of shipment, including packaging and any additional materials associated with the shipment.
Grounded
An intermodal facility where containers are stored by stacking them on one another.
Haulage
Transportation of freight between a cargo facility or terminal and a customer's facility. Also knows as Drayage or Cartage.
Hazardous Material
Commonly referred to as HazMat, it is any item or chemical which when being transported or moved, is a risk to public safety or an environmental hazard. The U.S. Department of Transportation Hazardous material includes: explosives, radioactive materials, etiologic agents, flammable or combustible liquids or solids, poisons, oxidizing or corrosive materials and compressed gases.
Headhaul
The highest revenue generating shipping lane from shipper to receiver.
Heavy Haul
The transport of over-dimensional, often heavy material. Generally, heavy haul freight will require a state permit and specialized trailer in order to meet DOT regulations. These shipments may also require special routings because only certain highways allow extremely heavy vehicle weights.
Heavy Lift Charge
A charge assessed in addition to ocean freight charges when cargo is too heavy to be handled by normal means, necessitating the use of special cranes.
High Cube Container
Container of standard ISO length and width but with extra height — 9”6” (2.9 cm) instead of 8” (244 cm).
Hostler
A smaller truck tractor used to reposition containers, semi-trailers, and chassis within an intermodal terminal, cargo yard, port, or warehouse facility. Also known as a Yard Truck, terminal tractor, utility tractor rig or shunt truck.
Hours-of-Service
Regulations issued by the FMCSA governing the working hours of truck drivers in the U.S.
IANA
See Intermodal Association of North America.
ICTF
See Intermodal Container Transfer Facility.
IDD
See Intermodal Drivers Database.
IEP
See Intermodal Equipment Provider.
IICL
See Institute of International Container Lessors.
IIEC
See Intermodal Interchange Executive Committee.
ILA
See International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO.
ILWU
See International Longshore & Warehouse Union.
IMC
See Intermodal Market Company.
IME
See Intermodal Equipment.
IMTS
See Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics.
Importer
The party who purchases goods for importation into a country and/or who stands responsible for the processing and correctness of the Customs entry, and payment of Customs duty, if any. An importer is typically, though not always the consignee and/or party with beneficial interest in the cargo.
Inbond
The status of merchandise admitted provisionally to a country without payment of duties either for storage in a bonded warehouse or for transshipment to another point where duties will eventually be imposed and paid.
Incoterms
A list of standard terms for foreign trade contracts. The terms are created by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Also known as International Commerce Terms.
Ingate
Location within an intermodal ramp where entering trucks are inspected or the process of checking a container or trailer into the intermodal facility. The ingate process includes inspection of the unit, reservation confirmation, the input of data into computer system. When delivering the vehicle to the facility, the drayman must state the applicable shipper and destination.
Inland Carrier
A transportation company which hauls export or import freight between ports and inland points.
Inland Port
An inland intermodal container transfer facility with rail, barge, or truck services to a larger coastal port.
Institute of International Container Lessors (IICL)
A trade association whose member companies are engaged in leasing marine cargo containers and chassis to ship operators and others.
Interchange
The transfer of physical possession of intermodal equipment from one segment of the logistics supply chain to another.
Interchange Agreement
An agreement between an equipment provider and a drayage company that outlines the responsibilities of the parties involved in the equipment interchange.
Interior Point Intermodal (IPI)
The imported traffic movement from an origin port to an inland point on an ocean bill of lading.
lnterline Freight
Freight moving from point of origin to destination over two or more transportation lines.
Intermodal
The movement of freight, in a container or on a trailer, by more than one mode of transportation. The movement can be made from rail to truck to ship in any order.
Intermodal Association of North America (IANA)
AThe industry trade association representing the combined interests of the intermodal freight industry. IANA promotes the growth of efficient intermodal freight transportation through innovation, education and dialogue. IANA’s membership roster of over 1,000 corporate members includes railroads — Class I, short-line and regional; water carriers and stacktrain operators; port authorities; intermodal truckers and over-the-road highway carriers; intermodal marketing and logistics companies; and suppliers to the industry such as equipment manufacturers, intermodal leasing companies and consulting firms. IANA’s associate (non-voting) members include shippers (defined as the beneficial owners of the freight to be shipped), academic institutions, government entities and non-profit associations.
Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF)
A near-dock rail container terminal serving a marine terminal.
Intermodal Drivers Database (IDD)
In conjunction with the UIIA and in response to the call for increased security at intermodal facilities, IANA developed a secured web-based system for Motor Carriers to provide and maintain driver identification information that is required to access specific intermodal facilities. The database currently houses information on over 425,000 active drivers, representing over 7,500 motor carriers.
Intermodal Equipment (IME)
The trailing equipment used in the intermodal transportation of containers over public highways in interstate commerce. While primarily container chassis, IME can also include trailers for piggyback transit.
Intermodal Equipment Provider (IEP)
Any individual or company that interchanges intermodal equipment (IME) with a motor carrier pursuant to a written interchange agreement or has a contractual responsibility for the maintenance of the IME.
Intermodal EXPO
IANA’s annual Intermodal EXPO is where the industry’s products and services are showcased and the industry’s issues and challenges are examined. Each fall, Intermodal EXPO’s networking, dialogue and education make it the essential event for the intermodal supply chain.
Intermodal Interchange Executive Committee (IIEC)
Intermodal Interchange Executive Committee (IIEC), a Standing Committee of the Intermodal Association of North America, is responsible for the administration of the Agreement, and for the processing of changes and/or modifications to the Agreement. The Committee consists of a minimum of two representatives from each mode representing Motor, Ocean and Rail Carriers participating in the Agreement, with an equal representation of each mode. Each representative also names an alternate from their respective mode who participates in Committee meetings and serves as the voting member in the absence of the principle representative.
Intermodal Market Company (IMC)
IMCs purchase rail and truck transportation services, utilize equipment from multiple sources, and provide other value-added services under a single freight bill to the ultimate shipper.
Intermodal EXPO
IANA’s annual Intermodal EXPO is where the industry’s products and services are showcased and the industry’s issues and challenges are examined. Each fall, Intermodal EXPO’s networking, dialogue and education make it the essential event for the intermodal supply chain.
Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics (IMTS)
he IANA published quarterly analysis of industry activities that provides a comprehensive look at intermodal business volumes. The report includes an in depth look at movements by equipment and key traffic corridors in the USA and Canada.
Intermodal Shipping Container
A large reusable rectangular box, generally constructed of steel or aluminum, designed to withstand the rigors of repeated travel from ship to truck to rail and back. Containers are designed to be interoperable with all modes of intermodal transport. Most standard dry containers are 20, 45, 48 or 53 feet in length.
Intermodal Terminal
A facility designed for the loading and unloading of containers and trailers to and from flatcars for movement on the railroad and subsequent movement on the street, sea, or highway.
Intermodal Tractor Registry (ITR)
IANA’s Intermodal Tractor Registry provides a registration point for UIIA Licensed Motor Carriers (LMC) to provide tractor/truck information on behalf of their company drivers or owner operators. The ITR currently houses over 350,000 drayage tractors, representing over 3,800 motor carriers.
International Commerce Terms
See Incoterms.
International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO (ILA)
The largest union of maritime workers in North America, representing upwards of 65,000 longshoremen on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, Great Lakes, major U.S. rivers, Puerto Rico and Eastern Canada.
International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU)
The North American labor union representing approximately 42,000 members in over 60 local unions in the states of California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii. An additional 3,500 members belong to the Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific, which constitutes the Union’s Marine Division. Another 14,000 members belong to the autonomous ILWU Canadian Area.
International Standard Organization (ISO)
The international standards body that unified container dimensions, carrying capacity, and securement point design into a globally accepted standard. ISO boxes, often refer to marine containers, come in 20, 40, or 45 foot lengths.
IPI
See Interior Point Intermodal.
ISO
See International Standard Organization.
ITR
See Intermodal Tractor Registry.
J-1
A report filled out during the ingate and outgate process. The J-1 details damage to the unit, container information, shipping information, drayman involved and time of ingate/outgate.
JIT
See Just-In-time.
Just-In-time
A type of cargo transport and/or delivery method in which the good arrive as close to the time they are needed as possible.
Kingpin
The large pin that connects a chassis or trailer to a fifth wheel, locking the two units together and allowing for side-to-side pivoting.
Lading
The freight in the container or trailer.
Land Bridge
Intermodal system of getting international cargo across intervening continent or large landmass from one coast to another via rail in lieu of all water routes.
Landing Gear
The legs of a chassis that support the vehicle when not attached to a semi-truck.
Landlord Port
At a landlord port, the port authority builds the wharves, which it then rents or leases to a terminal operator (usually a stevedoring company). The operator invests in cargo-handling equipment (forklifts, cranes, etc.), hires longshore laborers to operate such lift machinery and negotiates contracts with ocean carriers (steamship services) to handle the unloading and loading of ship cargoes.
Lane
The transportation mode, distance, duration and cost of a given supply chain option.
Lashing Rod/Turnbuckle
A piece of equipment used to provide additional stability when securing containers onboard a ship.
LCL
See Less-than Container Load.
Less-Than Container Load (LCL)
At a landlord port, the port authority builds the wharves, which it then rents or leases to a terminal operator (usually a stevedoring company). The operator invests in cargo-handling equipment (forklifts, cranes, etc.), hires longshore laborers to operate such lift machinery and negotiates contracts with ocean carriers (steamship services) to handle the unloading and loading of ship cargoes.
Less-Than-Truckload (LTL)
A shipment that does not fill an entire truckload. Specialized carriers provide service exclusively for this type of shipment. These services are priced by weight, density, value and ease of handling in combination with distance. The National Motor Freight Classification standards are commonly used in order to identify the best pricing for a particular commodity on a particular shipping lane.
Lift
The process of moving a container or trailer to/from a railcar, vessel or chassis.
Line Haul
Movement of freight from a station of origin to a destination station.
Load Shift
When the contents of a container or trailer are shifted inside the unit sometime after it leaves the actual origin and before it arrives at the final destination.
Local Move
A railroad movement originating and terminating on a single railroad’s line without any interchange.
Locomotive
The transport vehicle that provides power to a freight train. It is common for several locomotives to be attached to a very long intermodal train. Also known as an engine.
Logistics
The management of the flow of resources, not only goods, between the point of origin and the point of destination in order to meet the requirements on a bill of lading. Logistics involves the integration of information, lading via land transportation, inventory, warehousing, material handling, and packaging and often security.
Longshoremen
A person employed in a port to load and unload ships.
LTL
See Less-Than-Truckload.
Maintenance of Way
The process of maintaining the railroad roadbed (rail, ties, ballast, bridges etc.).
Manifest
List of goods on a vessel.
MARAD
See Maritime Administration.
Marine Terminal
A facility within a port or port area which loads and unload ships and/or other vessels or intermodal container, and accomplishes all the physical and clerical work needed to receive, deliver, stage, store, control and account for the freight in its custody.
Maritime
Business pertaining to commerce or navigation transacted upon the sea or in seaports.
Maritime Administration (MARAD)
The agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation responsible for commercial maritime matters, the U.S. maritime industry, and strategic sea-lift.
Marine Terminal Operator (MTO)
Provide wharfage, dock, warehouse, or other marine terminal facilities to ocean common carriers moving cargo in the ocean-borne, foreign commerce of the United States.
MCD
See Motor Carrier Database.
Mode of Transport
The different ways of moving freight: road, rail, maritime and inland waterway.
Motor Carrier
A freight carrier using a motorized highway/road conveyance, commonly referred to as truckers.
Motor Carrier Database (MCD)
IANA’s Motor Carrier Database comprises over 7,000 motor carriers participating in the Uniform Intermodal Interchange and Facilities Access Agreement (UIIA) a program of the Intermodal Association of North America. The database is updated on a daily basis and is the most comprehensive and accurate database of North American intermodal motor carriers available.
MTO
See Marine Terminal Operator.
Multimodal Transport
The transportation of freight under a single contract but performed by more than one mode of transport. Intermodal transport is a particular type of multimodal transport.
Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC)
A carrier defined by maritime law, offering an international cargo transport service through the use of underlying carriers and under one's own rate structure in accordance with tariffs.
Notify Party
The party that is notified at the time a container or trailer is grounded from a train or a ship. Most notified parties are draymen.
NVOCC
See Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier.
Ocean Bill of Lading
Receipt and contract of carriage with a steamship company for movement of freight across international waters between ports.
Ocean Carrier
A shipping company that operates container cargo ships. Many steamship lines are international corporations that facilitate intermodal transportation around the world. These companies own, operate, and lease equipment as well as operate marine terminals through subsidiary entities. Steamship lines partner with shore-side providers to ensure seamless intermodal service to inland destinations. Also known as a Steamship Line.
Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association (OCEMA)
The U.S.-based group of major ocean common carriers that focuses on operational and safety matters pertaining to the intermodal transportation of ocean freight within the U.S.
Ocean Freight Forwarder (OFF)
A freight forwarder that; dispatches shipments from the United States by common carriers and books or otherwise arranges space for those shipments on behalf of shippers; and processes the documentation or performs related activities related to those shipments.
Ocean Transportation Intermediary (OTI)
Is licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to be an ocean freight forwarder, a non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC), or an ocean freight forwarder and NVOCC.
OCEMA
See Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association.
OFF
See Ocean Freight Forwarder.
On-Dock Rail
A marine terminal that offers direct rail access for transferring containers between vessels and rail cars without requiring boxes to leave the facility.
Open Top Container
An intermodal container without a steel roof to facilitate the loading of heavy or oversize cargo. Many open tops feature a tarp to protect the freight from the elements.
Operating Port
A port model whereby the port authority builds the wharves, owns the cranes and cargo-handling equipment and hires the labor to move cargo in the sheds and yards. A stevedore hires longshore labor to lift cargo between the ship and the dock, where the port’s laborers pick it up and bring it to the storage site.
OTI
See Ocean Transportation Intermediary.
OTR
See Over the Road.
Out-Of-Service
Commercial driver or equipment condition(s) that reflect a violation(s) of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) that pose an imminent hazard to public safety.
Outgate
The process of checking a container or trailer out of an intermodal facility.
Over the Road (OTR)
The movement of freight by truck.
Owner-Operator
A professional truck driver who owns and operates his/her own trucking business. They may lease on to a carrier or they may operate under their own authority. If they operate under their own authority, they will have a Department of Transportation (DOT) and Motor Carrier (MC) number identifying them as a registered carrier. There are approximately 350,000 owner-operators registered in the United States, most lease on to larger carriers and operate under that carriers DOT number.
Packing List
A detailed specification as to goods packed into a container or trailer.
Pad
An area within a parking lot or intermodal terminal designated for a particular type of container or trailer, such as loaded outbound.
Pallet
A wooden, paper or plastic platform usually with a top and bottom, on which packaged goods are placed to facilitate movement by some type of freight handling equipment.
PED
See Professional Employee Driver.
Per Diem
A charge based on a fixed rate per day, which a carrier makes against another carrier or customer for use of its containers or trailers.
Pier
The location in a seaport at which cargo arrives or departs. A dock for loading or unloading ships or vessels.
Piggyback
Transportation of a trailer on a railroad flatcar.
Pigs
A railroad term for trailers loaded on flatcars.
Placard
A sign affixed to a rail car or truck, which identifies the product being transported in that vehicle, i.e. Hazardous Material; Flammable Liquid, etc.
Pool
An assigned group of containers, trailers or cars used to satisfy the transportation requirements of a customer.
Port Authority
A state or local government that owns, operates or otherwise provides wharf, dock and other terminal investments at ports.
Port of Call
A port where a ship discharges or receives cargo.
Port of Entry
A port at which foreign goods are admitted into the receiving country. Ports of entry are officially designated by the government.
Portainer Crane
The large cranes used to lift containers from truck chassis (or rail flatcar, or from the dock) and load onto a vessel. Also known as Ship-To-Shore Crane (STS).
Private Carrier
A company which maintains its own trucks or equipment to transport its own freight.
Private Equipment
Equipment owned by a person or company that is not engaged in common carriage service.
Professional Employee Driver (PED)
Truck driver who does not own or operate their own truck and trailer, nor do they have a DOT or MC number. Instead, PEDs work directly for a carrier as an employee.
Proportional Price
The price from or to an intermediate point. Rate is to be used in combination with another carrier's proportional rate to make an interline rate.
Pup
A 28' or 28.5’ trailer used mostly for less-than-truckload shipments. Two pup units may be joined and towed by a single truck.
Rail Carrier
Is a provider that operates rail service. The larger national and regional railroads own and operate intermodal terminals where partner providers transfer cargo between modes. The rails are present at port facilities through on-dock and near-dock service providing shippers with more efficient routes for imports and exports. In addition to transporting the intermodal equipment and boxes of other providers, some rail carriers own and lease their own equipment in order to provide customers with door-to-door intermodal services.
Rail-Mounted Gantry Crane (RMG)
Similar to a Rubber-Tired Gantry Crane except fixed to rails rather than rubber tires. RMG’s may be found at large modern automated marine and inland rail terminals. A Wide-Span RMG is capable of serving multiple rail tracks, truck lanes, and container stacking rows at the same time.
Rail Ramp
The intermodal rail terminal where trailers and/or containers are loaded/unloaded on railcars.
Railyard
A complex with a series of railroad tracks for storing, sorting, or loading/unloading railroad cars and/or locomotives. Railroad yards have many tracks in parallel for keeping rolling stock stored off the mainline, so that they do not obstruct the flow of traffic. Railroad cars are moved around by specially designed yard locomotives. Intermodal terminals may have a railyard for lining up cars that is a separate operation from the loading/unloading of containers and trailers.
Ramp
An intermodal terminal.
Ramp-to-Door
A movement of lading from the intermodal ramp closest to the customer to the receiver’s dock.
Ramp-to-Ramp
A movement of lading from the intermodal ramp closest to the customer to the closest intermodal ramp to the receiver.
Reach Stacker
This truck’s long boom allows it to load/unload trucks and rail cars as well as access stacked containers in an adjacent row. Also known as a Side-Loader.
Reconsignment
Any change, other than a change in route, made in a consignment before the arrival of goods at their billed destination. Or. Any change made in a consignment after the arrival of goods at their billed destination.
Reefer
Slang term for a refrigerated container used for the transport of temperature or climate sensitive cargo like meat, fruit, vegetables, dairy products, chemicals, or pharmaceuticals. Reefer can also refer to a refrigerated trailer.
Refrigerated Carrier
A trucking company that specializes in moving temperature sensitive freight. Refrigerated carriers utilize trailers with controlled temperature reefer units to keep specialized products at a constant temperature.
Revenue Empty
Movement of an empty container or trailer, done for repositioning purposes, that generates revenue for the railroad.
Roadability
When Intermodal equipment is in a good state of repair and ready-for-service. Generally referring to chassis, it can also refer to the safety check conducted on equipment prior to leaving an intermodal facility.
RoadRailer
A special highway semi-trailer that can be pulled by a locomotive on the rails without the need for a railcar when attached to railroad wheelsets.
Roll-On-Roll-Off (RORO)
A type of vessel designed to permit cargo to be driven on at origin and off at destination; used extensively for the movement of automobiles. Some vessels are hybrids between RORO and a container ship with below-deck vehicle storage and containerized freight above deck. This type of vessel configuration is called ConRO.
RORO
See Roll-On-Roll-Off.
RTG
See Rubber-Tired Gantry.
Rubber Wheel Interchange
Containers or trailers that are interchanged between two railroads by means of drayage.
Rubber-Tired Gantry Crane (RTG)
A crane truck wide enough to straddle multiple rows of containers, trailers, truck lanes, or rail tracks.
SCAC
See Standard Carrier Alpha Code.
Security Seal
A mechanism used to seal intermodal containers and truck trailers to provide security and tamper evidence. Security seals come in a variety of designs; however, all have a uniquely generated number which is checked for signs of tampering during each step in the supply chain.
Semi-trailer
The 48 foot or 53-foot unit towed behind a truck tractor that carries freight. A pup is a smaller 28 or 28.5-foot trailer that two units may be joined and towed by a single truck. See Pup.
Shipper
The person or company who is usually the supplier or owner of commodities shipped.
Shippers Agent
A person or firm acting on behalf of multiple shippers for the purpose of contracting and arranging transportation on a lower cost and/or otherwise more advantageous basis by combining their available cargo volume.
Shippers’ Associations
Entities that represent groups of shippers to negotiate and manage transportation services to pool the cargo volumes of members to leverage the most favorable service contract rate levels.
Shipping Channel
The section of a waterway that is maintained to a proper depth for the passage of commercial marine vessels.
Shipping Documents
Papers accompanying a shipment as it moves from its origin to its destination.
Ship-To-Shore Gantry Crane (STS)
The large cranes found at marine terminals used to load/unload ships by transferring containers between the dock and the vessel. Also known as a Portainer Crane.
Short Line
A small regional or local railroad that operates line-haul, switching, or terminal services. For the purposes of intermodal rail freight, some short lines transfer cars between larger railroads and provide access to some terminals.
Short Sea Shipping
The transport of goods by coastal or inland waterways. In some parts of the U.S., containers are unloaded at a major port and then transferred by tugboat and barge to other ocean or river ports as a way to bypass highway congestion.
Short shipped
A container which was originally scheduled for a particular vessel/voyage but is left behind by the operator of the vessel.
SIC
See Standard Industrial Code.
Side-Loader
See Reach Stacker.
Sleeper
The cabin of a larger semi-truck equipped with living quarters so a driver may sleep in the vehicle during long-haul trips or when mandated by Hours of Service regulations.
Slot Utilization
The method of utilizing every space available on a double stack car. A slot includes the space above a container when another container can be double-stacked.
Split Shipment
Multiple container load shipment booked for one vessel but split and moved on multiple vessels.
Spreader
The device used by a variety of container handling equipment to lift boxes by locking to the casting corners. Spreaders used to move semi-trailers have arms that grip to reinforced lifting points on the underside of the trailer.
Stack Car
An intermodal flat car designed to place one container on top of another. Cars have a depressed well in the center to provide improved clearance for the double stacked containers and stabilize the cargo being transported. Also known as a Well Car.
Stack Train
A train with double stacked containers in well cars.
Stanchion
The hitches used to support the nose end of trailers when they are mounted on a flatcar. There are two types of stanchions: collapsible and fixed.
Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC)
A unique code issued by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association used to identify transportation companies and their associated shipping documents. Participants in the Uniform Intermodal Interchange Agreement are required to maintain a SCAC code as it is used to identify freight containers, trailers, and chassis.
Standard Industrial Code (SIC)
A standard commodity/product classification system used in the United States.
Standard Transportation Commodity Codes (STCC)
A 7-digit coding structure designed to classify all commodities or articles which move or may move in freight transportation.
STB
See Surface Transportation Board.
STCC
See Standard Transportation Commodity Codes.
Steamship Agent
The local representative who acts as a liaison among ship owners, local port authorities, terminals and supply/service companies. An agent handles all details for getting the ship into port; having it unloaded and loaded; inspected and out to sea quickly. An agent arranges for pilots; tug services; stevedores; inspections, etc., as well as, seeing that a ship is supplied with food, water, mail, medical services, etc. A steamship agency does not own the ship.
Steamship Line
See Ocean Carrier.
Steel Wheel Interchange
Containers or trailers that are interchanged between two railroads while on the railroad flatcar.
Stevedore
An Individual or firm employing longshoremen for the purpose of loading and unloading a vessel.
Storage Charge
A charge assigned to the shipper or consignee for holding containers or trailers at an intermodal terminal beyond the free time allotted to them.
Straddle Carrier
A motorized crane that runs on rubber tires designed to load and unload railcars and chassis or stack boxes within the terminal by straddling the container.
Straight Truck
Vehicle which carries cargo in a body mounted to its chassis, rather than on a trailer towed by a vehicle.
Street Interchange
A street interchange transfers financial responsibility of a container from one IMC to another on a date and time that is specified by the drayage firm in control of that container or by an IMC that has financial responsibility for that particular container. Generally, these transactions take place outside an intermodal facility. Also known as Street Turn.
Street Time
The time a container or trailer is away from the possession of the equipment owner.
Street Turn
See Street Interchange.
Stripping
The process of removing cargo from a container.
STS
See Ship-To-Shore Crane.
Stuffing
The process of loading cargo into a container.
Supply Chain
A system of organizations, people, technology, activities, information and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer. Supply chain activities transform natural resources, raw materials and components into a finished product that is delivered to the end customer.
Surface Transportation Board (STB)
A bipartisan adjudicatory and regulatory body that the U.S. Congress charged with resolving railroad rate and service disputes and reviewing proposed railroad mergers.
Tank Container
An intermodal container specifically designed to transport liquids, gases, or powders.
Tare Weight
The weight of a container and the material used for packing as applied to a car/trailer, the weight of the car/trailer exclusive of its contents.
Tariff
A legal list of rates, additional charges, regulations and requirements of a carrier, port, or conference. Ocean tariffs are regulated by the Federal Maritime Commission. Inland tariffs, as well as ocean tariffs to/from Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands are regulated by the Surface Transportation Board.
Terminal Railroad
A short line railroad whose primary function is to perform switching services to a terminal facility. Terminal railroads may be jointly owned by several major carriers.
Terminal Feed Service (TFS)
IANA’s Terminal Feed Service enables motor carrier interchange status information to be disseminated electronically on behalf of participating UIIA equipment provider subscribers to over 90 terminals, container yards and depots across the U.S. and Canada. This service assists in expediting the interchange process by ensuring that intermodal facilities receive motor carrier interchange status data in a timely and efficient manner. The Insurance Agent Directory is an online tool that allows insurance agents the ability to promote their services to Motor Carriers in the UIIA program as well as other companies that visit the UIIA website.
TEU
See Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit.
TFS
See Terminal Feed Service.
Third-Party Logistics Provider (3PL)
Is a firm that provides to its customers outsourced logistics services for part, or all of their supply chain management functions. Third-party logistics providers typically specialize in integrated operations, warehousing and transportation services that can be scaled and customized to customer’s needs based on market conditions and the demands and delivery service requirements for their products and materials.
Through Rate
A rate applicable from origin to destination over two or more rail carriers.
TOFC
See Trailer-on-Flatcar.
Top-Lift
See Container Handler.
Top-Pick
See Container Handler.
Tractor
A heavy-duty motor vehicle with a powerful engine and a driver's cab, designed for hauling a trailer. The trailer is attached to a fifth wheel coupling. A smaller tractor used to reposition equipment within a terminal is a Hostler or Yard Truck.
Tractor-Trailer
Tractor and semi-trailer combination.
Trailer
A rectangular shaped box with permanent wheels attached for the transport of goods on rail, highway or a combination of both. Also known as a Dry Van or Semi-Trailer.
Trailer-on-Flatcar (TOFC)
A rail trailer, or container mounted on a chassis, that is transported on a railcar. Also known as Piggyback.
Transit Time
A time period for freight to move between two points (i.e., from shipper to consignee).
Transloading
The process of transferring goods from one transport mode to another. In particular, it refers to the consolidation of multiple ocean containers into larger domestic containers.
Transportation Broker
A non-asset based company which sells and manages freight transportation services on behalf of their clients. Transportation brokers typically arrange and manage the entire transportation process of a freight shipment. Their service includes finding a qualified carrier (with the proper insurance and operating authorities) who can move the freight in a timely manner, negotiating a good rate and then managing the entire process from pickup through to delivery.
Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)
A Transpiration Security Administration and U.S. Coast Guard program that uses a biometric card to control access to marine terminals and improve security.
Transshipment
The unloading of cargo at a port or point where it is then reloaded, sometimes into another mode of transportation, for transfer to a final destination.
Truckload
FFull truckloads (FTL or sometimes TL) generally utilizing van trailers.
Truckload Carrier
Trucking company which dedicates trailers to a single shipper's cargo.
Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU)
The common unit used in indicating the capacity of a container vessel or terminal. A 40-foot container is equal to two TEU's.
TWIC
See Transportation Worker Identification Credential.
Twins/Twin Trailers
Combination of a tractor and two semi-trailers connected in tandem.
Twist-Lock
The device inserted into a container’s standardized corner casting that locks the box to chassis (trailers), ships, rail cars, handling equipment and other boxes.
UIIA
See Uniform Intermodal Interchange and Facilities Access Agreement.
Uniform Intermodal Interchange and Facilities Access Agreement (UIIA)
A standard equipment interchange contract used in the intermodal industry that has been developed by water, rail and motor carriers administered by the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA).
United States Coast Guard (USCG)
The uniformed service responsible for maritime law enforcement, safety, and security.
USCG
See United States Coast Guard.
Vessel
Term for a ship.
Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA)
An agreement between steamship lines to operate shared services along specified routes using a specific number of vessels. Partners cooperate by sharing space and container slots on the vessels. VSA’s help steamship lines save on operating costs by reducing the number of vessels an individual carrier ordinarily would need to deploy in order to offer the same frequency and competitive cost of services. Also see Alliance.
VSA
See Vessel Sharing Agreement.
Waiting Time
A charge that is assessed by a trucker or other modal carrier when their equipment and/or driver/operator(s) are required by a shipper, consignee, or circumstances beyond their reasonable control, to wait at a pick up or delivery. Also known as Dwell Time.
Warehousing
The storing of freight.
Waybill
A document covering a shipment and showing the forwarding and receiving station, the names of consignor and consignee, the car initials and number, the routing, the description and weight of the commodity, instructions for special services, the rate, total charges, advances and waybill reference for previous services and the amount prepaid.
Well Car
A piece of railroad equipment with a lower deck used for double-stack container shipments. Cars have a depressed well in the center to provide improved clearance for the double stacked containers and stabilize the cargo being transported. In double stack configuration, the A Stack Train is extremely efficient as it is able to carry twice as much freight as a COFC train of the same length. Also known as a Stack Car.
Wharfage
A charge assessed by a pier or dock owner for handling incoming or outgoing cargo.
Wheeled
An intermodal facility where containers are stored on chassis.
Yard Truck
See Hostler.

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