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Global Logistics Terms to Know



The world of global logistics is complex and ever-changing. While there are lots of blogs, videos, and other resources to help you learn about the industry, these resources often overlook the fact that some global logistics terminology isn't common knowledge. So here are 10 important global logistics terms to know.

  • Landed Cost - This is the total cost of a product at the point where it could be delivered to a customer. Generally, this includes the hard costs, plus things like duties, taxes, transportation and importation costs, and handling fees, among others.
  • Marine Insurance - The insurance for ocean freight that covers damage or loss to cargo while in transit.
  • Bill of Landing - There are two types of Bill of Landings. The first is the House Bill of Landing (HBL) which is the receipt between you and your freight forwarder. The Master Bill of Landing (MBL) is a contract between your freight forwarder and the actual carrier.
  • Drayage - This is a type of truck service which specializes in moving containers to and from a port.
  • Incoterms - Stands for International Commercial Terms. These are internationally recognized trade terms used by you and your supplier to define responsibilities and risks in a transaction.
  • Consignee - This is the entity (generally a company, but could be a person) that is receiving the product from a shipper. Usually, the consignee is the importer, but not always.
  • Steamship Line/Carrier - This is the operator of the vessel itself, the actual company that owns and operates the ship.
  • NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier) - This is a type of ocean transportation intermediary. This term is often used interchangeably with a freight forwarder, but they are technically different in that NVOCCs act as virtual carriers.
  • LCL (Less than Container Load) - This is a type of shipping where your shipment shares a container with cargo from other shippers. Your shipment is not large enough to take up a container on its own.
  • FCL (Full Container Load) - This is a type of shipping where your shipment is large enough to take up a full container and the container is not shared with other cargo.
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