The shipping world has a language of its own, and it includes more than a few acronyms. While it’s second nature for professionals in the industry to use these acronyms, their meaning may not be obvious to those who aren’t familiar with them. Today, we’ll be sharing some of the more commonly used shipping acronyms used in the courier world. There’s a good chance you’ll recognize some of them, and you’ll probably see some new ones too!  

BOL: Bill of Lading

A BOL or B/L is a required document to move a shipment that serves as a binding contract between the shipper and receiver. It lists every product and corresponding quantities that the shipping party is sending. 

CP: Consumer Packaging (or Product)

CP, or sometimes CPG (consumer packaged goods), refers to items like food, makeup, and beverages that individuals consume regularly. 

D2D: Door to Door

D2D refers to the process of shipping cargo from a pickup location to the dropoff location.

DV: Declared Value

DV refers to the monetary value that the shipper assigns to a package.

EDI: Electronic Data Interchange

EDI refers to the communication and the exchange of documents between businesses through technology. This can apply to things like BOL, invoices, tracking information, etc.

ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival

ETA is the date and time that a shipment can be expected to arrive at its destination.

ETD: Estimated Time of Departure

ETD refers to the date and time a shipment is estimated to depart from its origin.

FAK: Freight of All Kinds

FAK refers to a load that contains mixed goods and products from various sources. 

FCL: Full Container Load

An FCL is a load that takes up 100% of the space within a shipping container. 

FOB: Free on Board

FOB is a term used to indicate when ownership and liability of goods is transferred from seller to buyer. It specifies which party assumes responsibility for the payment of freight charges, as well as at what point the title for the shipment passes from seller to the buyer.

FTL: Full Truckload

Also abbreviated as TL (truckload), a FTL is a freight shipment that fills an entire truck by volume or weight.

FPD: Freight Payable at Destination

FPD is used when payment isn’t required until a package has reached its final destination.

GVW: Gross Vehicle Weight

GVW is the total weight of the transport vehicle, including its cargo load.

JIT: Just-in-Time

JIT is a supply chain strategy where inventory arrives just in time for shipment. This strategy can optimize manufacturing processes by eliminating wasted steps, wasted material, and excess inventory.

LG: Lift Gate

A life gate is a device on the back of a delivery truck that can lift freight several feet, which is useful in the loading or unloading process. 

LTL: Less Than a Truckload

LTL is a freight shipment that fills less than an entire truck by volume or weight.

O/H: Over Height

O/H describes a container or package that is taller than standard height.

O/W: Over Width

O/W describes a container or package that is wider than standard width.

P2P: Port to Port

P2P refers to the process of shipping cargo from one port to another, not including any previous transportation services.

POD: Proof of Delivery

POD is a standard procedure to prove that a package has been delivered. It may be proven by a signature or photo, or something else.

PTL: Partial Truckload

PTL is a freight mode for large shipments that may not require the use of a full truckload trailer but is larger than LTL. 

RF: Reefer Container

RF refers to a refrigerated container.

SKU: Stock Keeping Unit

SKU is a unique number that refers to a specific stock item in a retailer’s inventory or product catalog. SKUs help identify the product, product size or type, and the manufacturer.

STL: Shared Truckload

STL is a method of shipping where multiple shipments from different companies can be combined into one truck moving in the same direction.

VOW: Vehicle on Wheel

VOW refers to a shipping container transported on wheels.

3PL: Third-Party Logistics Partner

A 3PL is a full-service logistics outsourcing firm that can handle a variety of logistics-related requirements, including inventory management, storage and warehousing, pick/packing, and shipping.

Does your head hurt yet? This list just scratched the surface of courier acronyms. There may be a lot of acronyms for courier and shipping professionals to know, but the good news is that you don’t have to memorize them! Knowing and using these acronyms streamlines processes in the shipping industry and saves individuals time when it comes to writing or typing shipping notes.

If you’re looking for a courier partner in Northern California, contact the Modern Express team today. With comprehensive courier services and convenient shipping options, we’re proud to be a team you can depend on.