Logistics Terms and Definitions


Third-party-logistics companies provide outsourcing for logistics services including inventory storage and management, order fulfillment, and shipping and transportation.


A bill of lading is a detailed list of a shipment of goods in the form of a receipt given by the carrier to the person consigning the goods.


A company that transports goods by land, sea, and/or air.


In a contract of transportation, the consignee is the entity who is financially responsible for receiving the shipment, usually the buyer.


In a contract of transportation, the consignor is the person or entity sending a shipment to be delivered. Carriers often refer to this as the “sender” or “shipper”.


Abbreviation for dimensional weight. DIM weight is the weight of a package based on its size rather than its “actual weight”. Some carriers, such as UPS, FedEx, and USPS calculate a DIM weight for their services. They will then charge the greater of the actual scale weight or the DIM weight for shipping.


Electronic Data Interchange is the electronic exchange of business information using a standardized format, allowing one company to send information to another company electronically instead of by paper.

First Mile

The movement of products from a production facility to a courier or logistics company managing the delivery to the end user.


Also called TL, full truckload (FTL) shipments take up the space or weight limit of an entire trailer.

Gross Weight

The total weight of a load. In shipping, this includes the product being shipped as well as the packaging.


Refers to the transport of goods synchronized between two or more transportation carriers.


The use of two modes of freight, such as air and truck, to transport cargo.

Inventory Allocated

Inventory that has been designated to fulfill open orders.

Inventory Available

The total amount of an item available for use or sale. This does not include the amount of inventory that is already allocated for fulfillment for pending orders.

Inventory Management Software

A software tool that allows tracking of goods across your business’s supply chain. It optimizes the entire process from order placement with a vendor to order delivery to the customer, providing a map of the complete product journey.

Inventory On Hand

Also referred to as stock on hand. This is the usable stock in inventory at any particular point in time.

Kit / Kitting

Process where separate SKUs are combined in a package to create one new SKU that is shipped as a unit.

Last Mile

The movement of products from a transportation hub to the final delivery destination, typically a personal residence or place of business.


Linehaul refers to the movement of freight between distant destinations of any volume, from small documents to heavy pallets, with any mode of transport by land, air, or water.


Less-than-truckload is a shipping service for relatively small quantities of freight, typically offered by large parcel services as well as logistic providers.

Net Weight

The net weight is the weight of goods being shipped without any packaging, just the goods themselves.


Placing picked inventory into boxes or envelopes addressed to specific customers for shipment.


Collecting individual items in a specified quantity from master cartons on warehouse shelves before shipment to satisfy customers’ orders.


A proof of delivery is a document signed by the recipient of an order to confirm the delivery of goods.


The process a warehouse goes through when receiving an order to replenish stock involving checking the quantity and condition of incoming inventory followed by its proper storage.

Return Processing

Sometimes called reverse logistics. Return processing is the process of moving materials back from their consumer destination to their distributor or manufacturer in order to use them for redistribution or to dispose of them properly.


A stock-keeping-unit (SKU) is a unique identifier or code that refers to a distinct item for sale.


Also called FTL, full truckload (TL) shipments take up the space or weight limit of an entire trailer.


A transportation management system (TMS) is a platform that uses technology to help businesses plan and optimize the physical movement of goods, incoming and outgoing, and making sure shipments are compliant.


A warehouse management system. This is a software system designed to support and optimize warehouse functionality and distribution.

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