Freight Shipping Terms You Should Know

In the business of freight shipping, the terms used are unique to the industry and are crucial to understanding the shipping process. Learn the basic terms you need to know when shipping freight with our post!

Bill of Lading (BOL)

The Bill of Lading (BOL) is essentially a contract between the shipper and the cargo owner. It is a required document providing the details of a shipment’s goods. Since this is a legally-binding document, it allows the driver and carrier to process and invoice the shipment accurately. The Bill of Lading document is essential at the time of delivery, as it must be present in order for cargo to be released at its destination.


FTL and LTL are both types of domestic shipping. FTL stands for full truckload and refers to a cargo shipment that requires a full truck for one transport, while LTL refers to less than truckload, which requires only part of a truckload to fill the shipment. It’s tough to know the difference between FTL and LTL and which kind of shipment you’ll need if you aren’t a logistics professional so your best option is to consult a trusted shipping expert and they’ll be able to tell you the best option for your needs.

Demurrage (DM)

In cargo shipping, there are many add on fees associated with services required outside the immediate scope of a standard shipment and demurrage is one of them. A demurrage is a fee that is charged when cargo is not picked up at the designated time. There is a grace period between the delivery time and when you must pick up your cargo but when you pass that time, you are charged a demurrage fee for the use of that space in the port after your set time.


Detention is similar to demurrage; it is the fee that you pay when you pick up your shipping containers but neglect to return them to the shipping line on time.

Freight Class

Freight class is one of the most important terms to know in the freight shipping industry. A freight class is assigned to the type of shipment you have based on the cargo’s density and is directly related to the total cost of your shipment. Typically, the greater the density, the more a shipment will cost but that is not always the case. Freight classes range from 50-500 and there are 18 total classes.

Proof of Delivery (POD)

Proof of Delivery or POD is a document used by both the shipper and the recipient to know that a shipment was successfully delivered to its proper destination. Typically, this document will have the time and date of delivery and will include a signature upon arrival to ensure the shipper and recipient are on the same page.


Rollover is a term referring to the situation when a container is left behind in a port, missing its transport. Usually, the carrier will get it on the next available shipment to try to get it on a delivery schedule close to its original plan.

Still Have Questions?

If you still have questions on some of the terminology used in shipping, contact us at LogiWorld and we’ll be happy to provide any answers we can! Check out our services pages for additional information on our work.

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