What are the most common freight shipping terms?
What are the most common freight shipping terms?
there is a number of additional terms involved in the freight shipping industry, knowing these most important terms will help you decide upon which method of shipment to use

The terms of freight shipping companies, especially sea or ocean freighting, has a list of industry terms. While the list is long, many freight shipping terms seem to be asked again and again.

What is LTL freight?

The full form of LTL is less than truckload is a freight shipping mode for cargo larger than parcel or small box but short of the space needed of a full truckload shipment. A common carrier moves the freight. If a shipper has an LTL, then the cargo will take a much longer time to reach the destination because the container's space will get filled by the other shipper, meaning that it will have more than one stop, unloading and loading while heading to its destination. 

What is flatbed hauling?

Flatbed hauling is commonly linked with shipping heavy or unique-shaped cargo that is too large for conventional trucks. It also applies to freight that needs open sides for accessibility when loading and unloading the freight.

What is bulk freight?

Freight is generally contained within packages or containers during the shipping process. Many freight forwarding services, particularly certain raw materials, commodities, or goods that are not packaged, are referred to as bulk freight.

What is intermodal shipping?

When a shipment is shipped through two or more modes of transportation, it is known as intermodal shipping. If freight cannot be shipped from one point to its final destination with a single mode, then it is time to include another mode of transport to get across the shipment to its location. For instance, ocean or sea shipping, air shipping, and rail shipping certainly need an intermodal shipping model. A truck is used via road to reach the port from the pickup point to load the shipment onto the carrier; similarly, when it reaches its location, a rail and a truck may be required for the cargo to reach its final destination. 


What does BOL mean?

BOL is the Bill of Lading; it is an important freight shipping document that describes the contract between the carrier and the shipper. The BOL will contain all details about the shipper, the receiver, and the items being shipped.

What is a blind load?

Blind load refers to those cargo wherein the shipper and receiver do not know each other; that is, the receiver does not know who the shipper is, and the shipper does not know the receiver. In such cases, the origin of the shipment or the destination point of the shipment is concealed. 

What is a backhaul?

A backhaul is when a shipment is returning. In other words, it means a return trip of any truck that has been transporting freight, and now it's on its way back to the origin point; this is known as a backhaul. Sometimes, a carrier might offer a discount during the backhaul if they have freight during the return trip. 

What is a PRO number?

Your PRO number is a number that the shipper assigns as soon as the carrier picks up the shipment. These numbers help the freight forwarding services to track where the shipment is at any given time. It is effectively and efficiently the same as a tracking number you would get with any item you order online or any item you send to a friend. Still, it applies in this instance specifically to the freight shipping industry.


While there is a number of additional terms involved in the freight shipping industry, knowing these most important terms will help you decide upon which method of shipment to use. Knowing when and which term to use will help you will help your company to look more professional.