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8 Essential Logistics Terms You Should Know

The logistics industry may sound like a jumble of abbreviations. Logistics terminology is highly technical and can be a little difficult to keep track of, particularly when moving between various specialties, such as trucking and importing.

Any logistics professional who understands these main concepts will be better prepared to make decisions that benefit both your customers and your company.

It is recommended that you study any of these terms to make your life easier in the supply chain, transportation, or logistics fields. If you’ve ever wanted to brush up on your logistics vocabulary knowledge, here are 8 key terms you’ll need to know!

3PL: A “third-party logistics company” is a type of company that provides logistics-related services. As a third party, a 3PL service provider may help disperse and obtain products, as well as arrange shipping, transportation, and storage. Depending on the scenario, these activities may be performed at the 3PL facility or at the customer’s warehouse.


Carrier: It could apply to a company’s own transportation services, a trucking company, or even a railroad. The carrier can transport goods from the client to the buyer, as well as the buyer to the end consumer or consignee. The carrier’s responsibility is to deliver goods safely, keep them in good condition, and move them safely and securely without any damage.

Bar Code: (found inside black lines on the box, carton, or pallet) that designates precisely which unit is to be transported and where may very well be the most important component of transmitting packages along with information. It can be difficult to coordinate the handling and shipping process if there is no bar code.

Pallet: Pallets are the plastic or wooden bases on which levels of products can be stacked and transported using a forklift (Hi-Lo) or possibly a pallet jack in warehousing.

SKU: Stock Keeping Units are just one part of the storage facility’s lingo, but they’re extremely important. An SKU is a unique identifier for a store or product. It’s a machine-readable bar code that allows you to keep track of your purchases.

Bill of Lading: It’s a legal document that serves as a contract between the owner of the cargo being transported and the service provider. The driver signs the BOL, and then assumes responsibility for the shipment. After a satisfactory delivery, the client signs the BOL, indicating that the cargo was delivered on time and that each piece was received whole and undamaged.

Cross-dock: Rather than acquiring inventory and storing it, goods are temporarily stored on the dock or placed in order for a fast turnaround to ship out and deliver. The objects will not be sent out right away, but they will be temporarily located before being sent out again.

Warehouse Management System (WMS): A warehouse management system is a piece of software that directs the storing, replenishing, and pulling of items inside a storage facility. These three elements are commonly used to characterize the operation as well as the handling of products inside the facility.

These eight words or phrases explained above will undoubtedly make your daily life in logistics operations a little easier. If you would like to know more about logistics and how to automate your logistics processes, feel free to contact us.

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