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35 Freight Broker Terminology Lingo You Need To Know

There are many important terms that freight brokers, and those who work with freight brokers, need to understand. In this guide, we highlight key freight broker terminology. 

1. Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)

ACE is a commercial trade processing system developed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection department. The system requires every carrier entering the U.S. to submit an electronic manifest to facilitate legitimate trade and strengthen border security. 

2. Assessorial Charges

Assessorial charges are expenses that cover additional activities beyond standard pickup and delivery services. The other costs can include services like storage and inside delivery. 

3. Air Waybill

An air waybill is a contract between the shipper and airline that defines the terms and conditions, shipping instructions, and transportation charges for a shipment. 

4. Backhaul

Backhaul loads are shipments that carriers deliver on return trips home from another destination to avoid wasting time driving home an empty trailer. 

5. Bill of Lading (B/L)

A B/L is a contract that defines and describes the goods, provides the ownership information, and serves as a receipt for the goods delivered to the carrier for shipment. 

6. Bogie

Like a dolly, a bogie is an auxiliary axle or assembly that converts a semitrailer into a full trailer or connects multiple trailers behind a single power unit. 

7. Bonded Carrier

U.S. customers license a bonded carrier to carry goods across borders. 

8. Break-Bulk

The term break-bulk refers to loads that are separated and routed to different destinations. 

9. Break-Bulk Terminal

A break-bulk terminal is a facility where shipments are unloaded, re-consolidated, and distributed to different destinations. 

10. Carmack Agreement

The Carmack Agreement was enacted in 1906 and established the liability terms in case of loss or damage to cargo. 

11. Cargo Claim

A cargo claim is a demand for payment due to loss or damage during shipment. 

12. Combination Vehicle

A combination vehicle includes a tractor and one or more trailers. 

13. Concealed Loss

A concealed loss is a shortage or damage to goods that were not apparent during delivery. 

14. Deck Trailers

Deck trailers have rows of tracking along the sidewalls and deck load bars that allow more freight on the trailer, reduce the risk of damage and expedite loading and unloading. 

15. Doubles

Doubles are two or more trailers connected by a dolly or jifflox and pulled by a tracker. 

16. Drayage

Drayage is the short-distance transportation of freight via truck from an ocean port or rail terminal to its destination. To learn more about drayage, read our blog Drayage Trucking: Definition and Benefits.

17. Exceptions

An exception is a delivery in which the carrier or receiver notes an issue on the receipt before signing it. 

18. Exempt Commodity

An exempt commodity is unregulated by federal motor carrier regulations

19. Fifth Wheel

A fifth wheel is a device used to connect a semitrailer and a tractor. 

20. Freight Bill

A freight bill is a shipping document describing the payment terms, the status of the payment, and the cargo. 

21. Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)

GVW is the total weight of the tractor, trailer, and cargo. 

22. Hazardous Material

A hazardous material is defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation in the Federal Hazardous Material Law.. 

23. Intermodal Transportation

Intermodal freight transportation is the movement of freight using one or more transportation methods. To learn more about intermodal transportation, read our blogs Advantages of Intermodal Transportation and Environmental Impact of Intermodal Transport: Is it Green Enough?

24. Intermodal Trucking

Intermodal trucking is a specific type of international intermodal freight transport where the first and last segment is executed by a truck. To learn more about intermodal trucking, read our blog Intermodal Trucking: A Simplified Guide.    

25. Jifflox

A jifflox, or dolly, is a truck converter with a fifth wheel connecting multiple trailers. 

26. Linehaul

Linehaul is the movement of freight between break-bulk terminals or cities. 

27. Minimum Charge

The minimum charge is the lowest possible charge for a shipment after discounts and adjustments. 

28. Modal Share

Modal share is the percentage of freight moved by a specific method of transportation. 

29. Multimodal Transportation

Multimodal transportation is the movement of freight using more than one method of transportation. To learn more about multimodal transportation, read our blog Intermodal vs. Multimodal: What are the differences? 

30. Overcharge Claim

An overcharge claim is a document filed with a payor who disputes a charge discrepancy. 

31. Progressive Rotating Order (PRO)

A PRO is an invoice or tracking number used by carriers and brokers to identify loads. 

32. Rocky Mountain Double

A Rocky Mountain Double is a vehicle that has a tractor, a 28-foot-long semitrailer, and a 45 to 48-foot-long semitrailer. 

33. Semitrailer

A semitrailer is a vehicle with one or more axles and a front end that rests on the tractor. 

34. State of Domicile

A state of domicile is where the carrier is headquartered or the state where the driver resides. 

35. Tracer 

A tracer is a request for a carrier to show proof of delivery, locate a shipment, or respond to a claim. 

First Star Logistics is a unique asset-based global logistics provider. To learn more about freight brokerage, read our blogs. To apply to be a freight broker, submit an application today.