Freight terminology can be frightening, daunting, and exhausting—especially for many newcomers who are unfamiliar with all the ins and outs of third-party logistics. To make matters worse, the industry is littered with acronyms that muddle the user experience. As we’re sure you’re well aware of by now, talking about freight (or even thinking about it) in a meaningful way is quite difficult because there are so many different terms to keep track of. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of seven common shipping acronyms, and we even go into a little bit of detail on what each means.
1. TMS (Transportation Management System)
In short, this is how you’ll manage your freight and interact with carriers. There are different types of TMS out there, and many companies do things a bit differently. At DTS, for example, we have a state-of-the-art TMS that keeps track of everything in an easy-to-read interface—all in one place. We make booking, scheduling, and tracking nice and simple. You’ll even have immediate access to important shipping documents—all right at your fingertips.
2. FSC (Fuel Surcharge)
For better or worse, the price of fuel fluctuates, and there are a lot of factors that influence its price. As such, your carrier will determine a fee that accounts for such variables as the region and the distance traveled. This fee is your FSC, or fuel surcharge. Pretty simple, right? Although the guiding principle is more or less the same, many companies calculate FSC a bit differently, so it’s important to understand the calculations your provider makes and why they make those calculations. Doing a bit of research on your own can help you negotiate, and it will also help you understand how your money is spent. Understanding FSC (and how you’re charged) will help you make financially responsible decisions when it comes to shipping your freight.
3. DAP (Delivered At Place)
DAP, or Delivered At Place, is a term that comes into play during international shipping. It means that the seller is expected to pay any costs and fees (including those incurred from loss and theft)—but only to a certain point or destination. Any additional expenses, such as import taxes and additional transportation costs, are the buyer’s responsibility. If you plan to ship freight internationally, ask your 3PL provider about their DAP fees and processes.
4. NMFC (National Motor Freight Classification)
To make everyone’s lives just a little bit easier, the NMFC standardizes pricing within different freight classes. The classes themselves range from 50 to 500. As described by NMFTA, “Commodities are grouped into one of 18 classes
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