Most Used Shipping Glossary

You might be an individual shipper or an ecommerce seller, knowing the definitions of the shipping terminologies is very essential in order to ship your goods without any obstacles. These terminologies will be of great use especially when you are new to shipping or when your shipment is stuck in transit. Below are few of the important shipping glossary which is commonly used while shipping.

AWB: Airway bill
It is a document used to identify the goods or parcel which is exported or transported through airway mode. It is used to easily track out and check the status of the goods shipped.

AD CODE: Authorized Dealer Code
It is 14 digit code given by the bank where the company possess the current account in order to act as their official banker for the payment purpose. Learn More.

Actual Weight & Dimensional Weight:
It is a pricing technique for commercial freight transport agency with regards to determine the freight charges of the parcel.
Actual Weight - It is the gross or computed weight of the parcel which is usually expressed in Grams or Kilograms.
Dimensional Weight - It represents the volumetric weight of the parcel which is calculated from the Length, Breadth and Height of the parcel. It’s calculated by the following equation:
In Airway Mode= L*B*H(in Cm's)
In Surface Mode = L*B*H(in Cm's)
2700 to 4000
(*The freight charge is calculated by considering the Actual Weight or Dimensional Weight whichever is higher)

The party to whom the parcel will be delivered at the destination.

Consignor/ Shipper:
The party who is the owner of the goods/parcels that is shipped.

Government agencies that inspect the goods or parcels and levy the applicable taxes and tariffs in an international scale of operations.

Customs duty:
It is tax levied on the goods which are being exported / imported.

COD: Cash on Delivery
It is a payment method in which the consignee makes the payment for the goods only at the time of delivery. Learn More.

Commercial Invoice:
It is a legal document which has the complete details of the sold goods along with the shipper address and consignee address.

Delivery Exceptions:
A delivery exception occurs when there is a package that is temporarily delayed in transit with various reasons such as Bad climatic condition, Strike, Holiday.

Domestic Shipments:
Shipment of goods or items happening with in a country.

Incoterms: International Commercial Term
Trade Terms used in foreign trade, which clearly depicts the transactions, obligations and responsibility between the shipper and the consignee from the exit of the goods until the delivery of the goods to the consignee. Learn More

It is an Identification Code provided by DGFT for carrying out their business in India.

A document given by the seller to buyer regarding the type of products, date of shipment, mode of transport, prices and discounts etc.

International Shipments:
Shipment of goods or items happening between two countries.

KYC: Know Your Customer
It is used to identify the parties with regard to a shipment with certain documents such as DL, Aadhar card, Passport etc.,

MSDS: Material Safety Data Sheet
This document consists of details on the potential health effects of exposure to chemicals, or other potentially dangerous substances, and on safe working procedures when handling chemical products.

NON DG Certificate: Non Dangerous Goods Certificate
It is a declaration from the shipper that the concerned package does not consist of any potentially hazardous or dangerous in nature.

ODA/ OPA: Out of Delivery Area/ Out of Pickup Area

Out of Delivery Area(ODA): It is the situation in which the package is unable to deliver in the prescribed address of destination.
Out of Pickup Area(OPA): It’s the location which the courier service is unable to pick up the package on a particular location.

Proforma Invoice:
It is again the Invoice with complete details of the goods shipped from shipper to the consignee. However this invoice is only for personal goods and not used for sold goods and does not act as a legal document.

Packing List:
It is a document that includes information about the contents of a package.

Prohibited List of Items:
Few of the goods or items are prohibited or restricted for import or export as per the relevant rules and regulations of the nation. It includes narcotics drugs, hazardous chemicals, fire arms etc

Payment Gateway:
It is a payment service provider which helps the eCommerce industry with regard to the payment in safe and secured manner by means of online payment.

POD: Proof of Delivery
A document which confirms the receival of the goods by the consignee which is sent by the shipper. It consists of delivery time, address and signature of the consignee. Learn More

Reverse Pickup:
It is a regular pickup but from the consignee’s side.

RTO: Return to Origin
It is also called Reverse Logistics. It is the situation where in the package is undelivered to the consignee due to various technical reasons like non availability of receiver, rejection of package, default in payment etc. and returned to the origin or shipper.

Self Declaration:
It is a declaration statement which is duty signed by the shipper declaring the goods contained in the package during the pickup of consignment.

Serviceable Pincodes:
Pincodes in a particular country which are available for providing the shipment service which could be either Pickup or Delivery of package.

These are just a few of the shipping glossary, there are many more glossaries used in shipping. Try to understand the basic terminologies to make your shipping seamless.


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