Common glossary of terms in the trucking and freight industry


A term used to describe those services not directly related to transportation. Typical accessorial services provided are packing, unpacking, SIT, appliance servicing, etc. Most accessorial income is paid directly to the party who performed the services. 

Actual cash value 

Considering the replacement cost less an appropriate rate of depreciation for each year of use. 

Additional Transportation 

Also called 170, which refers to the tariff item, this transportation charge covers the loading and unloading of HHG shipments in high labor cost areas of the country 

Advance charges

Payments to third parties for accessorial services; i.e appliance servicing, etc.  

Auxiliary service 

The use of smaller van to shuttle goods between a building and the over the road hauler, when loading or unloading access by the over the road hauler is impossible because of roads, weather, or local laws. Also called "shuttle service."

Billing weight

The weight on which transportation charges are based. This may be equal to or greater than the actual net weight of the shipment. 

Bill of lading 

The document issued at the time the shipper relinquishes the commodity for shipment. The terms and conditions of the move are detailed on the document, as well as as the essential information about the shipping and the charges. 

Blanket wrap 

See pad wrapping of uncrated materials requiring protection form damage during transit. 


The company who has the contract to move the designated cargo from origin point to destination. 

Carrier Legal Liability 

A fixed amount which the carrier must pay the shipper in the event goods are lost or damaged while in care and possession of the carrier.

Certified weight tickets 

A document from a certified scale that shows the gross, tare and net weights of shipment. Drayage requires all shipments into shows to be weighed. The weight of the shipment determines the amount drayage charges the exhibitor, usually based on a per hundred weight. 

Check-in time

The time a drayage company requires a driver to arrive, either at move-in or at move-out. 

Clearing the floor

This refers to the point at which the drayage company has to clear the floor of all freight. If a carrier has not checked in to load, or if an exhibitor has not turned in a bill of lading, the drayage company will give that freight away to a carrier of their choice. 

Climate control equipment 

A van that's inside temperature and humidity can be controlled by special equipment, for the transportation of certain kinds of delicate equipment or value art. 

Common carrier 

A trucking line. 


A wooden vault used to store goods in a warehouse.

Crated shipment 

A shipment that is designated to move in its own crate. Pad protection is not required. 

Cubic feet 

The basic unit of measurement in describing the size of a shipment, the capacity of a trailer, etc. The average trailer has 3,600 cubic feet. In estimating the weight of a shipment, use a minimum of 7 pounds per cubic foot. 

Cube sheet 

An estimate sheet designed to determine the amount of cubic feet of van space necessary to load a shipment. 


Traveling with an empty van. 

Display house

A company that designs and builds exhibits, and sometimes stores and arranges transportation for the exhibitor. 

Distribution services

A service provided by Donovan Logistics where we pick up and or deliver goods from or to our storage warehouse. 


The act of changing the destination of a shipment after the shipment has been loaded. 

Dock Sweep 

When a local truck is sent in to an account to pick up multiple shipments, sometimes without the destinations being known in advance. Also a report completed twice a week, which lists all all active orders still being held in the warehouse. 

Double or Dual Operation aka. "Team Drivers"

Two drivers in one tractor. 


The movement of exhibit material within a show hall, including the storage of crates during the show. 

Drayage company 

A company such as GES, Freeman, or Sullivan that is responsible for all movement of freight on the show floor. They also accept shipments in advance of a show for the storage and redelivery to the show site. They are also responsible for setting move-in and move-out procedures. 

Exhibit house

same as display house. 


The person, group, or company that will be displaying their product or service at a trade show. 

Expedited service 

On shipments of less than 5,000 pounds, the shipper may request delivery on or before a certain date. If the date is met, all transportation charges are based on minimum of 5,000 pounds. 

Extended carrier liability 

When a shipment is placed in storage-in-transit, and valuation has been specified at other than $.60. 

Flat-Floor van

A van which has no deck. These vans are normally associated with the truckload fleet. 


A type of trailer, it is flat; no top nor sides. Used to haul bulky items, large pallets or HHG containers. 


Entire roster of tractors and trailers available to dispatch. 

Forced freight 

Freight that is still on the show floor at the time the hall or expo center is cleared. Generally this freight is given to the house carrier, also referred to as the official carrier. 

Forcing the floor 

"clearing the show floor" 

Freight bill 

An invoice itemizing all services provided and their cost. 

Freight desk 

The area drayage sets aside to house the people who control the activity at the show. Often this is where the drivers need to check in when loading. 

General liability 

Physical damage to the residence or property done by the driver or helpers in the process of picking up or delivering shipment. 

Gross weight 

The weight of the van after a shipment has been loaded on board. The van should be weighed at qualified scales with full fuel tanks, driver, and equipment on board. The gross weight less the tare weight would equal the net weight of the shipment. 

Hi-cube van 

A van having an inside height of 114" to 122". 


A requirement of the DOT states that all vehicles, tractors, trailers, etc., must be systematically inspected and maintained to insure that such vehicles and their accessories are in safe and proper operating condition. The carrier is responsible for maintaining inspection records on each vehicle, and insuring that unqualified vehicles are not in operation. 


The concept of one carrier contracting with another carrier to transport goods into an area in which the first carrier has no authority or truck availability. 


A shipment crossing over one or more state boundaries during transportation. 


A bill requesting payment for services rendered. 


When a driver is kept overnight waiting to load or unload. 


The portion of the shipment left behind because an entire shipment will not fit in the originally dispatch van. A second van will have to be dispatched to handle the leeaveover. 

Less-than-truckload (LTL)

Shipments that are not large enough to fill a truck. A driver can usually load a number of LTL orders before his/her van is full.


The cost of transportation on a shipment. Linehaul is a function of the weight and miles of the shipment, and the rate is usually stated in per hundred pounds unit. 

Load spread 

the day or series of days agreed upon between the shipper and the carrier as the date or dates for loading the shipment. The load spread is stated on the order of service and must be met by the carrier. 


The DOT requires that every driver prepare a daily log of his activities. The log must be current to the time of the last change of duty status and should contain such information as mileage driven, the number of hours on duty, hours off-duty, hours driving, origin and destination of each day's trip, and the driver's identification. 

Marshalling yard

The area at a show in which trucks congregate waiting to load or unload.


The movement of shipments into a show site. 


The movement of shipments out of a show. 

Net weight 

The difference between the gross weight and the tare weight of a van. The is the actual weight of a shipment. 

Normal transit time

A published schedule, identifying the "normal" number of days required to load and deliver a shipment. Transit times may vary, based on the weight and miles of a given shipment. 

O & I move

Abbreviation for office and industrial move. The shipment of office equipment from one institution to a new location. Also called second proviso moves or "commercial moves." 

Operating authority 

The license granted by the D.O.T or local commissions to transport commodities in intra or interstate commerce. 


The accidental delivery of an item to a shipper who does not own the item. The driver accidently delivered a piece of property to the wrong shipper. 

Over-the-road van 

The hauler who is to carry the goods long distance, to their ultimate destination. 

Pad wrap 

The pad wrapping of uncrated material requiring protection from damage during transit. also see blanket wrap


Wooden skids upon which goods are placed for easier handling. 

Permanent storage 

The holding of goods in a warehouse facility for a period of 3 months or more. The shipment in permanent storage is subject to the rules, regulations, and charges of the warehouseman. 

Piece count 

The number of pieces included in a particular order. Piece count is broken down into different categories; crates, skids, cartons, cases, loose pieces, etc. 

Power unit

See tractor 


Description of goods being moved. 
Generally: 1st Proviso - used household goods 
2nd Proviso- Office furniture and equipment 
3rd Proviso- high-value products and trade shows. 

Required delivery date

The date on which a military transportation officer requests that delivery be made. (only on government orders). 


The concept of securing items for which the carrier has paid full value during the claim settlement. An attempt to secure whatever salvage value the article may have at it's damaged state. 

Shipment on tour 

A service whereby the shipper may request that a specific van be used for transporting an exhibit or display which is "on tour" in several cities. 


The party who released the goods for the purpose of transportation by carrier. 

Show break 

The point where the exhibit is over and move-out begins. 

Show code 

An alphabetic and numberiical code assigned by UniGroup to a specific show. This code is used by the agents and headquarters to help track and monitor volume levels. 

Show management 

The organization responsible for organizing, promoting, and running a trade show. They also contract the drayage company. 

Shuttle service 

See auxiliary service 

Special commodity

A broad term used to describe any commodity shipped which does not consist of personal effects of a household. 

Storage-in-transit (S.I.T) 

The temporary holding of a shipment in warehouse facilities for shipper's convenience, until the final delivery point is known. 

Straight truck 

A truck in which the cab (tractor) and trailer are a single unit. Also referred to as a "bobtail." 

Tare weight 

The weight of a van before shipment is loaded on board. The van should be weighed at qualified scales with full fuel tanks, driver and equipment on board. The tare weight is subtracted from the gross weight and used to determine the net weight and actual transportation costs. 


A publication of rates, rules, and regulations compiled by the groups of carriers and submitted to the DOT for approval. The tariff describes the services to be provided and the cost for those services. Tariffs may be limited by the type of commodity, geographical area, or date of the shipment. 


The portion of the truck which is motorized and hauls the trailer behind it. Also called the power unit. 

Trade show 

A show put on an association or industry for companies in that particular industry to display their products and services. 

Transit time 

The number of days required to load and delivery a shipment. 

Travel Time

The amount of time it takes a driver to travel between specified points. On an interstate basis, a driver can be expected to travel a distance of 550 miles in a 24 hour period. 


A shipment where an empty van is ordered as the shipper expects to fill the whole van with their goods. 


The value placed by a shipper on the goods being shipped. 

Weight tickets

see certified weight tickets 

Windshield time 

Refers to the time the driver and his crew spend traveling to and from the job site. 


The portion of the truck which is motorized and hauls the trailer behind it. Also called the power unit. 

Hoisting and rigging 

The method by which extremely bulky or heavy items are handled. 
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