LTL Freight Shipping Term Glossary

A Partial Glossary of Shipping Terms to Help You Get Started…

LTL Shipping

LTL freight shipping is used when transporting freight in a less-than-truckload (LTL) capacity. Large shipments such as furniture or appliances can be shipped in multiple pieces on one truck and assembled at the destination. This keeps costs low for the shipper because they only pay for what they need and not the whole truckload.


BOL stands for Bill of Lading. There are two things you should know about BOL:

  • Bill of Lading (BOL): A document that describes the goods shipped and is issued by the carrier. It describes the details of the shipment and is used for payment of freight charges, tracking, and more.
  • Bill of Lading Number: A number assigned to a BOL by the carrier so that it can be identified properly in case of disputes or claims regarding lost items.


The term Cash on Delivery (COD) is a shipping method in which the customer pays money to the carrier at the time of delivery. COD may be used when goods are expensive or fragile and must be carefully handled. Since no payment is made before delivery, it also serves as an alternative to payment by check.

The customer assumes all risks associated with loss or damage to goods during transit; if there are any problems with your shipment after receipt, you should contact the shipping company immediately, so they can help you resolve them before it’s too late.


COFC, or container on a flat car, is a railcar with one or more containers stacked on top of the railcar. This is a cost-effective way to transport containers in the United States and Canada, especially when compared with ocean freight shipping.

CWT or Hundredweight

CWT or hundredweight (cwt) is a measurement of weight. It is the same as 100 pounds, equal to 45 kg.

CWT is short for hundredweight, originally a unit of measure used in the imperial system before metrication in Canada and the United States.

DIM Weight

DIM weight is the total weight of the cargo and pallets. It differs from gross weight, which includes the weight of the trailer. DIM weight is also known as shipping weight or shipping weight.

Delivery Receipt

A delivery receipt is a document issued by the carrier to the consignee when the shipment is delivered. This document states that the delivery has been made, and any damage or shortages have been noted.

DIW or Dock-to-Dock

Dock-to-dock shipping is when a shipper is responsible for loading and unloading the freight. This typically occurs when the freight does not travel in a container but moves on its pallet or platform.

The term “dock” refers to the final destination of your shipment, while “dock” refers to a location where freight can be loaded onto or off a ship or truck. In some cases, this may also be referred to as “door-to-door” (D2D) shipping because your goods will be delivered directly to your door once they arrive at their destination.

Dry Van Trailer

Dry van trailers are standard trailers that use a folding metal or plastic tarp to cover the load and create a secure enclosure. These trailers are used for general freight transportation, so they can be equipped with tie-down straps and other features to secure the load.

Refrigerated Truck/Trailer

A refrigerated truck or trailer transport perishable goods such as food, medications, and medical supplies. These vehicles have insulated walls, doors, and floors designed to keep their contents at low temperatures for long periods; some models even include air conditioning units for further cooling.

There are two types of refrigeration units available. Mechanical units use a compressor.  Natural gas-powered engines driven systems use an absorption chiller that produces cold water vapors from liquid ammonia gases inside an evaporator chamber within its walls. These vapors cool by the heat exchange between outside ambient temperatures through passive ventilation holes in its ceiling panels – allowing them to maintain temperature levels up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit below zero!

This means less stress on your produce during transport, reducing chances of spoilage due to fluctuation in outside temperatures over long distances, which could lead to damage caused by cold shock syndrome if high enough levels were reached before the arrival destination.

DWT or Deadweight Tonnage

DWT, or deadweight tonnage, is a measure of the total weight of a ship, including its cargo and passengers. DWT is usually expressed in long tons.

FLT or Forecasted Loaded Trailer

Forecasted loaded trailer (FLT) (also called trailer forecast) is a term used in the freight shipping industry to describe a trailer loaded with freight, and the weight of the freight is known. The weight of the freight is calculated by multiplying the number of units by their respective weights. For example, if you are shipping ten boxes containing widgets, and each box weighs 1 pound, your total FLT weight will be 10 pounds (10 boxes x 1 lb/box = 10 lbs).

FOB (Freight on Board)

FOB is a freight shipping term that means the seller has transferred the risk of loss or damage to the buyer. This usually means that the seller is responsible for loading goods onto the carrier and preparing them for shipment.

Intermodal Freight Transportation

Intermodal freight transportation (also known as container freight) is a shipping mode involving two or more modes (rail, air, and truck) to transport goods from origin to destination. Intermodal freight transportation allows companies to reduce costs while increasing efficiency and improving delivery times.

Benefits include:

  • Reduced carbon emissions
  • Increased flexibility in shipping options

Inbound Freight Handling Costs

Inbound freight handling costs are associated with receiving and storing cargo in your warehouse before it’s shipped to its final destination.

These expenses can include the following:

  • Container freight (cargo handling): The cost of moving cargo from a dock to a storage facility or other designated location.
  • Customs clearance: The processing necessary for imported goods to enter the United States without incurring tariffs, taxes, and duties on those goods. The process can include inspection by customs agents and payment of any applicable fees or duties (such as excise tax).
  • Dock work: Any labor or equipment involved in loading or unloading cargo onto trucks at the dockside, including forklifts, pallet jacks, dollies, and cranes. This may also include any overtime pay necessary for completing these tasks within set time limits, such as late-night shifts during holidays when staffing levels are low.

Inbound Freight Management (IFM)

Inbound freight management is a form of supply chain management that utilizes best practices to optimize the inbound freight process and improve efficiency. By combining data from multiple parties, inbound freight managers can ensure that shipments are efficiently routed to their final destination without any delays or extra costs. In addition, they can provide valuable insights into what customers want, which helps them optimize inventory levels and plan future shipping routes accordingly. Inbound freight management is also known as inbound freight optimization (IFO).

LTL Shipping Carrier Manifests

An LTL shipment carrier manifest is a document that lists the contents of a shipment and the freight charges. The shipping company uses it to charge for freight, and the receiving company verifies that a shipment is complete and undamaged.


In conclusion, LTL freight shipping is a complex process requiring much planning and preparation. It can be difficult for even experienced companies to handle, so it’s important to know the ins and outs of each step, so your company can stay on top of things.

This partial glossary should help you with terms related specifically to LTL operations in your business. Contact us if you need more information about this topic related to your shipping needs. We’d be glad to help you.

Sutton Transport offers LTL shipping at an affordable cost.

Call 800-472-6886 or request a quote today.