Shipping school for newbies

To get an accurate freight quote, the shipper must have the following information:

Spot Market Quotes

1. Origin City

2. Destination City

3. Number of pallets or Linear feet of trailer required.

4. Total Weight.


Small LTL Service Quotes (under 6 skids & under 2000 lbs.

1. Origin City Zip/Postal

2. Destination City Zip/Postal

3. Pallet dimensions & sizes

4. Freight class (if shipping to/from/within the USA)


Note: It is important to indicate as to whether the freight is hazardous.


Some basic terminology.

Accessorial Charges - Charges usually billable to the party whom is responsible for the freight charges. These are additional charges not usually foreseeable at the time of executing the shipment. e.g. waiting time, hand bombing & tailgate usage.Bill of Lading - BOL or B/L - Legal document that describes point of origin, destination, description of goods etc. and travels with the shipment. Each shipment must have a Bill of Lading.

Bill of Lading - BOL or B/L - Legal document that describes point of origin, destination, description of goods etc. and travels with the shipment. Each shipment must have a Bill of Lading.Bill of Lading - BOL or B/L - Legal document that describes point of origin, destination, description of goods etc. and travels with the shipment. Each shipment must have a Bill of Lading.

Commercial Invoice - Document required by U.S. / Canada Customs that describes product and associated value for reporting purpose. Container - Usually 20' or 40' in length - these are used to house freight that is traveling by ocean. Varieties are also available for refrigerated or frozen requirements.

Conditions of Carriage - Terms & Conditions by which Equitrans Express International Inc. will undertake to arrange transportation services for a client.These conditions can be found here.

Declared Value / Insurance - Unless otherwise agreed to shipments are usually covered for $2.00 per pound at no additional cost. If a value is declared on the bill of lading which exceeds $2.00 per lb., a surcharge is usually levied to cover the additional costs.

Waiting Time - Trailer loads, in particular, where the cab and trailer are tied up for more than the normal one or two hour grace period, hence "waiting time" is chargeable until the unit is loaded

Domestic Freight - Point of origin and destination are within the same country. Door to Door (Dock to Dock) - A service requiring that the freight be picked up at the shippers facility and delivered right to their customers facility.

Flatbed Trailer - Used to haul freight that is too high for vans or for freight that must be off-loaded by crane. There is no top to these trailers, however, tarping is often used to cover the freight to protect it from the elements.

Floor Loaded/Loose Loaded - Product which is loaded directly onto the floor of the trailer. This can be time consuming and may increase the cost of the shipment. Fork Lift Truck - Forked machinery used for loading / unloading and stacking of skids. FTL (Full Truckload) - Usually 24-26 pallets. Shippers may request an FTL shipment even if they are shipping less than a full load. This is done to significantly increase the probability of time-definite delivery.

LTL (Less than Truckload) - A shipment that occupies only part of a trailer e.g. 1 or 2 Pallets. LTL shipments from several shippers will be used to build a full truckload. MSDS - Material Safety Data Sheets - Data sheets that describe chemical products, the degree of medical hazard, how to treat n case of emergency etc. Also see HAZ-MAT

Head Haul / Back Haul - Trucks derive revenue based on round trips. Seldom are the cost equal for outbound and inbound legs. Each market area or lane is rated differently. The head haul is considered the to be the leg of a round trip producing the most revenue.

High Cube Van - Refers to a 110" inside on a regular trailer. Line Haul - The portion of a journey between two cities of the origin and destination. In the simplest of models, there is the local pickup, the line-haul and the local delivery at the destination.

Live Load vs. Trailer Drop - Live load/unload refers to product being directly loaded/unloaded upon arrival of the trailer and the pickup/drop-off location. At times, the shipper will request that a trailer be left in his dock and the dock hands will load/unload at their convenience. This is referred to as a "drop Trailer" and usually involves added cost.

Load Bars - Bars used in inside vans to prevent product from shifting. Provided upon request at additional charge.

Proof of Delivery or POD - This usually takes the form of a signed bill of lading indicating that the receiver / Consignee has received the goods. Date and time of delivery is usually indicated.

Reefer Van - Temperature controlled vans used for freight that either must be kept cool, frozen or heated. Reefer trailers have slightly less internal space available for loading than closed Dry Vans.

Sufferance Warehouse (Bonded Facility) - If a shipment does not get customs cleared at the border, either at the request of the shipper or because the paperwork is not in order, a shipment may still enter the country, however, it must travel in bond and temporarily deliver to a bonded facility (sufferance warehouse) where remote customs clearance can take place.

Tail-Gate - A hydraulic lift plate attached to the back of a truck which is used for shipments that are picked up or delivered to facilities without a dock.

Tandem vs. Tri-axle - refers to the number of axles along the underside of a trailer. Most freight is handled on tandem (2 axle) trailers (up to 44,000 lbs). Heavier weighted shipments must use 3 or more axles to comply with apllicable laws.

Temporary Import Bond - Document allowing the temporary import of goods, not subject to duty and taxes, because the product is not being sold and likely being used for a trade show etc. The bond is cancelled once the product has been returned to it's country or origin.

Third Party Billing - Transportation cost is billed to neither the shipper or the consignee, rather it is billed to a 3rd party.

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