Freight forwarding is the coordination of a shipment of goods from one destination to another using a range of carriers.


A freight forwarder organizes the  most efficient and cost-effective strategies for the transportation of goods. 


Freight forwarders can negotiate lower terms and provide solutions for unforeseen circumstances; this frees the customer of tedious research and time-consuming tasks.


Advanced Freight Express understands that each industry has a unique set of terms and definitions that may be new to potential or even current clients.  Our team came together to create a guide to freight shipping and logistics terminology. This brief freight term dictionary will help you understand the industry a bit more, and may even become your go-to resource when you want something to quickly refer to!

Accessorial Charges: Charges made for performing services beyond normal pickup and delivery, such as inside delivery or storage charges.

Air Waybill (AWB): An air waybill is a non-negotiable document issued by a carrier when goods are transported by air.  An air waybill acts as delivery instructions, a contract of carriage, and a cargo receipt for air freight; it is not a document of title to the goods.

BOL (Bill of Lading) – A document issued by a carrier which details a shipment of merchandise and gives title of that shipment to a specified party.

FCL (Full Container Load): Commonly used in international shipping, this term describes an ocean freight service, which is designed for international ocean freight shipments of cargo where international shipper has exclusive use of entire ocean freight multimodal container(s): 20', 40', 40HC etc.

FTL (Full Truckload): Full truckload shipping is the movement of at least the amount of freight necessary to fill an entire semi-trailer or intermodal container.

HAWB (House Air Waybill): A house air waybill indicates to the customer that his/her goods have been received by the company and have been passed on for freight by air. They often include tracking numbers so that the customer can check the status of the shipment.

Hazardous Material: Hazardous materials are defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation in accordance with the Federal Hazardous Material Law. Hazardous material may include: an explosive, radioactive material; etiologic agent; flammable or combustible liquid or solid; poison; oxidizing or corrosive material; and compressed gas.


Line Haul: Movement of cargo between two major cities or ports.

LCL (Less than Container Load): A term used to describe the transportation of small ocean freight shipments not requiring the full capacity of an ocean container.

LTL (Less Than Truckload): LTL is the transportation of relatively small freight, they typically weigh between 151 and 20,000 lb (68 and 9,072 kg).

POA (Power of Attorney): A written authorization to represent or act on another's behalf in private affairs, business, or some other legal matter. This is needed for International shipping to give another person authority to clear customs on your company’s behalf.


POD (Proof of Delivery): A method to establish the fact that the recipient received the contents sent by the sender.