Air Freight Glossary

A glossary of words and their definitions used in the air freight industry

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There are currently 205 names in this directory
Accord Dangereux Routier (ADR)
International and European contract for hazardous goods transports on the road

Active Temperature Controlled System (ACT)
Actively powered systems using electricity or other fuel source to maintain a temperature-controlled environment inside the aircarft

Actual Time of Arrival (ATA)
The time that an aircraft is determined to arrive at its destination, indicating the exact time.

Air Automated Manifest System (AAMS)
An electronic information transmission system launched by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It was launched to gain detailed information about cargo imported into the country

Air Traffic Control (ATC)
Service provided by ground-based air traffic controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and through controlled airspace

Air waybill (AWB)
Document that accompanies goods shipped by an international air courier to provide detailed information about the shipment and allow it to be tracked. (Aviation counterpart of the bill of lading)

Aircraft on ground (AOG)
Term in aviation maintenance indicating that a problem is serious enough to prevent an aircraft from flying until it is approved for flight again

Animal products for non-human consumption (PEB)
Defined as entire cadavers or parts of animals or products of animal origin not intended for human consumption, including egg-cells, embryos and semen, and excluding animal faeces, kitchen waste and leftover food

Biological Substance, Category B (UN 3373) (RDS)
Any materials that contain or are reasonably expected to contain a microorganism (such as bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae, parasites, or fungi) or other agents that can cause disease in humans or animals - Dangerous goods

Bulk Unitization Charges (BUC)
Special charges for shipments carried in unit load devices

Bulk Unitization Programme, Shipper/Consignee Handled Unit (BUP)
Load unit that is built up and handed over ready for carriage as complete units by the shipper/shipper's agent and delivered to consignee as complete unit intact

Carbon dioxide, solid (Dry ice) (ICE)
Dry ice - Dangerous goods

Cargo Accounts Settlement System (CASS)
System designed to simplify the billing and settling of accounts between airlines and freight forwarders

Cargo Aircraft Only (CAO)
Shipments containing dangerous goods that may only be shipped on a cargo aircraft

Cargo Attendant Accompanying Shipment (CAT)
Person accompanying high value cargo or AVI(H)

Cargo Charges Correction Advise (CCA)
Document used for the notification of changes to the transportation charges and/or the other charges and/or the method of payment

Cargo has not been secured yet for Passenger or All-Cargo Aircraft (NSC)
Shipment still needs to run through security, customs before the shipment can be declared "secured"

Cargo Secure for All-Cargo Aircraft only (SCO)
Cargo secured and only permitted on CAO

Cargo Secure for Passenger and All-Cargo Aircraft (SPX)
Cargo secured for transport

Carriage Paid To (CPT)
Risk transfers from the seller to the buyer as soon as the goods reach the nominated destination and the carrier takes charge of these

Carrier
An airline is a company that provides air transport services for traveling passengers and freight

Cash on Delivery (COD)
System of paying for goods when they are delivered, is also referred to as collect on delivery since delivery may allow for cash, check, or electronic payment

Centimetre(s) (cm)
A metric unit of length

Central part of a circular object, Hub and spoke (HUB)
A major airport used as a ‘base’ for an airline from where they fly to other destinations within their network. Also usually a base for flight crew, cabin crew and maintenance

Central Reservation Office (CRO)
Computerized systems used to store and retrieve information and conduct transactions related to air travel, hotels, car rental, or other activities

Charges Collect (CC)
The total transportation charges which may include pickup and/or delivery charges which are entered on the AWB to be collected from the consignee are paid upon collecting

Charges Prepaid (PP)
The total transportation charges which may include pickup and/or delivery charges which are entered on the AWB to be collected from the consignee are paid upon shipping in advance

Company Mail (COM)
System of transporting mail by aircraft

Completely Knocked Down (CKD)
Meaning that a product/shipment is delivered in parts and assembled at the destination

Control Room Temperature (CRT)
"room temperature" or normal storage conditions, which means storage in a dry, clean, well ventilated area at room temperatures between 15° to 25°C

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
International agreement aiming to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species

Cool Goods (COL)
Goods depending on certain temperatures during storage and transport due to their sensitivity

Corrosive (RCM)
Shipment contains corrosive substances - Dangerous goods

Cross country (XC)
A flight between a point of departure and a point of arrival following a pre-planned route, using standard navigation procedures

Cryogenic liquids (Packing Instruction 202) (RCL)
Shipment contains liquefied gases at low temperaturs - Dangerous goods

Cubic centimetre(s) (cm³)
A metric unit corresponding to the volume

Cubic decimetre(s) (dm³)
Unit of volume

Cubic foot (feet) (cu. ft. Or cft)
Unit of volume, used in the United States and the United Kingdom

Cubic inch(es) (cu. In.)
Unit of volume, used in the United States

Cubic meter(s) (m³)
A metric unit corresponding to the volume

Currency (Cy.)
A medium of exchange for goods and services. In short, it's money, in the form of paper or coins, usually issued by a government and generally accepted at its face value as a method of payment

Currency Adjustment Factor (compensation factor for the various currencies) (C.A.F.)
Percentage that is applied to fees, in addition to the base exchange rate. It is calculated based on the average of the exchange rate over the prior three months

Customs value per gross kilogram (kg) (CVGK)
Total value of all items in the shipment determines how much import duty per kg must be paid

Customs value per gross pound (lb) (CVGP)
Total value of all items in the shipment determines how much import duty per lb must be paid

Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR)
Articles or substances which are capable of posing a risk to health, safety, property or the environment and which are shown in the list of dangerous goods in these Regulations or which are classified according to these Regulations

Dangerous when wet (RFW)
Material that, by contact with water, is liable to become spontaneously flammable or to give off flammable or toxic gas - Dangerous goods

Delivered At Place (DAP)
The seller delivers the goods at a named destination, specified by the buyer, although under the ICC rules, the unloading of the goods are the responsibility of the buyer. The buyer is also required to sort out duties and taxes, as well as clearing the goods through customs

Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU)
Requires the seller to deliver the goods at the disposal of the buyer after they've been unloaded from the arriving means of transport

Delivered Duty Paid (DDP)
Describes the delivery of goods where the seller takes most responsibility. Under DDP, the supplier is responsible for paying for all of the costs associated with the delivery of goods right up until they get to the named place of destination

Delivery Order (D.O. or D/O)
A delivery order is a document from a consignee, or an owner or his agent of freight carrier which orders the release of the transportation of cargo to another party

Diplomatic mail (DIP)
Packages, suitcases, documents, and bags that are transported by diplomatic couriers, sealed with the wax stamps of the particular agencies of the country

Direct (Dir. Or DCT)
Any flight between two points by an airline with no change in flight numbers, or any stops to get new passengers, technical stop (i.e., for refuelling)

Document against acceptance (D/A)
Collection terms of payment that require the drawee to accept a draft or drafts drawn for future maturity at the presenting bank prior to receiving the accompanying documents

Electronic AWB (E-AWB)
Electronic version of the AWB, via electronic data (EDI) messages

Electronic Monitoring Devices on/in Cargo/Container (EMD)
Device monitoring the location, movement, behaviour, and temperature controller

Estimated Time en Route (ETE)
Amount of time you will spend traveling to a destination

Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA)
Scheduled arrival time of aircraft

Estimated Time of Departure (ETD)
Scheduled departure time of aircraft

European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
Regional trade organization and free trade area consisting of four European states: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland

European Union (EU)
Economic and political union between 27 European countries

EX Works (EXW)
Describe the delivery of goods to an available designation at their place of business, normally in their factory, offices or warehouse

Excepted Quantities of Dangerous Goods (REQ)
Shipment containing enough substances to be handled as dangerous goods

Excepted Quantities of Radioactive Material (RRE)
Shipment contains enough radioactive materials to be labeld as is - Dangerours goods

Explosives 1.3C (RCX)
Shipment contains explosive materials - Dangerous goods

Explosives 1.3G (RGX)
Shipment contains explosive materials - Dangerous goods

Explosives 1.4B (RXB)
Shipment contains explosive materials - Dangerous goods

Explosives 1.4C (RXC)
Shipment contains explosive materials - Dangerous goods

Explosives 1.4D (RXD)
Shipment contains explosive materials - Dangerous goods

Explosives 1.4E (RXE)
Shipment contains explosive materials - Dangerous goods

Explosives 1.4G (RXG)
Shipment contains explosive materials - Dangerous goods

Explosives 1.4S (RXS)
Shipment contains explosive materials - Dangerous goods

Express Waybill (EWB)
Type of bill of lading (B/L) in which the carrier is obligated to deliver the goods to the named consignee and no original bills of lading (OBL) are issued at all

Fédération Internationale des Associations de Transitaires et Assimilés (FIATA)
International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association representing freight forwarding and logistics companies globally

Flammable gas (RFG)
Shipment contains flammable gasses - Dangerous goods

Flammable liquid (RFL)
Shipment contains flammable liquids - Dangerous goods

Flammable solid (RFS)
Shipment contains flammable solids - Dangerous goods

Foodstuffs (EAT)
Substance suitable for consumption as food

Foot (feet) (ft.)
A metric unit of length (0.3048 m)

For example (e.g.)
Phrase to use an example

Forwarders Certificate of Receipt (FCR)
Document certifying the receipt of a specific consignment that is issued by the freight forwarder, acting as an agent of consignor or consignee and acknowledges that the forwarder is in possession of the consignment and assumed responsibility

Free Carrier (FCA)
Pushes the responsibility of delivering the goods to the buyers nominated premises onto the seller, so they have to organise shipping and various export documents

Freight All Kind (F.A.K. (FAK))
A pricing system that combines different classes of shipments into a given classification to be transported as a single shipment at a fixed rate

Freight Forward International (FFI)
A freight forwarder, forwarder, or forwarding agent, is a person or company that organizes shipments for individuals or corporations to get goods from the manufacturer or producer to a market, customer or final point of distribution

Frozen goods (FRO)
Food that has been subjected to rapid freezing and is kept frozen until used

Frozen goods subject to veterinary/phytosanitary inspections (FRI)
Frozen goods still subjected to inspection

Fully regulated lithium ion batteries (Class 9, UN 3480) as per Section IA and IB of PI 965 (RBI)
Type of rechargeable battery, based on lithium ions - Dangerous goods

Fully regulated lithium ion batteries (Class 9, UN 3481) as per Section I of PI 966 and 967 (RLI)
Type of rechargeable battery, based on lithium ions - Dangerous goods

Fully regulated lithium metal batteries (Class 9, UN 3090) as per Section IA and IB of PI 968 (RBM)
Type of rechargeable battery, based on lithium ions - Dangerous goods

Fully regulated lithium metal batteries (Class 9, UN 3091) as per Section I of PI 969 and 970 (RLM)
Type of rechargeable battery, based on lithium metals - Dangerous goods

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
A legal agreement between many countries, whose overall purpose was to promote international trade by reducing or eliminating trade barriers such as tariffs or quotas

General Cargo Rate (GCR)
The rate a carrier charges for the shipment of cargo that does not have a special class rate or commodity rate.

Goods subject to phytosanitary inspections (PHY)
Inspection certificate issued by a competent governmental authority to show that a particular shipment has been treated to be free from harmful pests and plant diseases

Hanging Garments (GOH)
Transport of textiles

Hatching eggs (HEG)
Temperature controlled transportation of hatching eggs and day-old-chicks

Heavy cargo (HEA)
Cargo witch a weight of 150kg and over per piece

House Air Waybill (HAWB)
Document issued by a freight forwarder to a shipper after the receipt of a shipment. HAWB signifies a confirmation that the forwarder is to deliver the shipper's goods to an agreed named place

Human remains in coffins (HUM)
Transport of human remains

Hunting trophies, skin, hide, and all articles made from or containing parts of species listed in the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) appendices. (PEA)
Shipment containing animal products of species listed in the CITES

Inch(es) (in.)
A metric unit of length

Infectious substances, affecting humans (UN 2814) or animals (UN 2900) (RIS)
Infectious substances are substances which. or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals - Dangerous goods

Interline Message Procedure (IMP)
Reference source of universally agreed upon communications standards for the handling of Passenger Reservations Interline Messages

Intermediate point (INTRM)
Occurring or situated between two points, extremes, places, etc.; in between

International Air Transport Association (IATA)
Trade association of the world's international airline industry

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
ICC aims to foster international trade and commerce to promote and protect open markets for goods and services and the free flow of capital

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
ICAO is a specialized and funding agency of the United Nations, tasked with the planning and development of safe international air transport

International Commercial Terms (INCOTERMS)
Industry-standard rules which define responsibilities of sellers and buyers for the delivery of goods under sales contracts

International maritime dangerous goods code (IMDG - code)
International guideline to the safe transportation or shipment of dangerous goods or hazardous materials by water on vessel

International Monetary Fund (IMF/IWF)
An organization of 190 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world

Joint Services Agreement (JSA)
The co-ordination of products and services between two airlines in a particular market

Just in Time (JIT)
Manufacturing system in which materials or components are delivered immediately before they are required in order to minimize storage costs

Just on Time (JOT)
Refers to an occurrence exactly on schedule, but not earlier or later. See also ATA, ATD

Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
A measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.

Kilogram(s) (kg.)
Basic unit of mass to measure the weight

Laboratory animals (SPF)
Any vertebrate animal (i.e., traditional laboratory animals, agricultural animals, wildlife, and aquatic species) produced for or used in research, testing, or teaching

Letter of Credit (L/C)
Payment term generally used for international sales transactions

License required (LIC)
Required License means all franchises, permits, licenses, approvals, authorizations and any similar document issued or granted by any Government Authority that are required for the transport

Lithium ion batteries excepted as per Section II of PI 965 (EBI)
Type of rechargeable battery, based on lithium ions - Dangerous goods

Lithium ion batteries excepted as per Section II of PI 966 - 967 (ELI)
Type of rechargeable battery, based on lithium ions - Dangerous goods

Lithium metal batteries excepted as per Section II of PI 968 (EBM)
Type of rechargeable battery, based on lithium metals - Dangerous goods

Lithium metal batteries excepted as per Section II of PI 969 - 970 (ELM)
Type of rechargeable battery, based on lithium metals - Dangerous goods

Live animal (AVI(H))
Special type of "goods". The term covers all living animals including hatching eggs. Live animals are classified into subcategories according to their nature

Live Animals Regulation (LAR)
Worldwide standard for transporting live animals by commercial airlines

Living human organs/blood (LHO)
Transport of living human organs/blood

Magnetized material (MAG)
Material with magnetic force that can attract or repel other materials, particularly metals

Malfunction (MAL)
Piece of equipment or machinery fail to function normally

Master Air Waybill (MAWB)
Document is issued by a carrier to a freight forwarder upon receiving a shipment to be delivered to a named location as agreed in the shipping terms

Mayday
Distress call that is used to signal a life-threatening emergency

Meter(s) (m)
A metric unit of length

Miscellaneous Charges Order (MCO)
Also known as miscellaneous purpose document, is an accountable IATA document, similar to an old-style airline ticket, used to process the payment of travel arrangements. They are issued by airlines, but normally pay for services other than airfares

Miscellaneous dangerous goods (RMD)
Substances and articles which during transport present a danger or hazard not covered by other classes - Dangerous goods

Munitions of war (MUW)
Weapons and ammunition designed for use in warfare or against any person, including any part designed for such weapons and ammunition

Narrow body aircraft
A smaller type of aircraft that has a single-aisle inside. It can carry 4 to 300 passengers (Narrow-Body Aircraft)

Newspapers, magazines (NWP)
Shipment of print publications issued at regular intervals over time

No Commercial Value or No Customs Value (NCV)
Used in proforma invoices and commercial invoices to express that the merchandise shipped, usually samples. do not have commercial value and therefore do not pay tariffs in customs clearance

No value Declared (NVD)
Goods with no value declared on the Air Waybill for the purpose of determining charges or of establishing the limit of the carrier’s liability for loss, damage or delay

Non-flammable non-toxic gas (RNG)
Shipment containing gases that are neither flammable or toxic - Dangerous goods

Not Elsewhere Specified (N.E.S.)
Indicates that certain types of that commodity have been specified under another item number (see Commodity Description List)

Obnoxious cargo (OBX)
Goods such as furniture, automotive replacement parts, and outdoor toys that do not palletize efficiently or adhere to standard storage layouts. Easily damaged items such as glass. High-value goods, including jewelry and routers, that require security

Organic peroxide (ROP)
Shipment contains a organic compound - Dangerous goods

Outsized (oversized) (BIG)
Cargo which exceeds the dimensions of oversized cargo (when its dimensions exceed a cargo aircraft main deck position - 244cm x 318cm)

Overhang item (OHG)
Cargo which exceeds the dimensions of an ULD

Oxidizer (ROX)
Shipment contains a substance that has the ability to oxidize other substances - Dangerous goods

Paid by Agent (PBA)
One who accepts payments from the issuer of a security and then distributes the funds to holders of the security

Passenger and cargo (PAX)
Transporting freight and passengers n the belly of a passenger aircraft

Passive Insulated Packaging (PIP)
Cool box ensuring that the goods remain at the right temperature for a certain period of time

Perishable cargo (PER)
Goods that can deteriorate if not stored or transported under ideal circumstances or if exposed to adverse temperature, humidity and other environmental conditions.

Perishable Fish/Seafood (PES)
Fish - any form of sea life regarded as food for human consumption

Perishable flowers (PEF)
Flowers

Perishable fruits and vegetables (PEP)
Fruits and vegetables - seeds, roots and other parts of the plant categorized for human consumption

Perishable Meat (PEM)
Meat - the flesh of an animal, mammal or bird categorized for human consumption

Pharmaceuticals (PIL)
Transport of substances relating to medicinal drugs, or preparation of

Polymeric Beads/Plastics Moulding Compound (Packing Instruction 957) (RSB)
Shipment contains moulding material in the form of granules or beads

Port of Discharge (POD)
Location, airport, port where the aircraft discharges part of all of its cargo

Port of Loading (POL)
Location, airport, port where the aircraft is loaded for transport

Post Office (Box) (P.O.(B).)
A written order for the payment of a sum of money, to a named payee, obtainable and payable at a post office

Pound(s) (Ib.)
Basic unit of mass to measure the weight

Priority small package (XPS)
Services providing a priority mail flat rate for small packages with deliveries arrive in 1-3 business days

Quality, Safety, Health, Environment including Security (QSHE)
Term guaranteeing the Quality, Safety, Health, Security of a shipment

Quick Ramp Transfer (QRT)
Transportation between ramp and warehouse with temperature-controlled vehicles to provide protection from extreme ambient conditions during

Radioactive material, Categories II and III-Yellow (RRY)
Shipment contains radioactive materials - Dangerous goods

Radioactive material, Category I-white (RRW)
Shipment contains radioactive materials - Dangerous goods

Rate class code indicating an additional weight charge as used in the rate class box of the AWB (W)
Indicating rate class used

Rate class code indicating Basic charge as used in the rate class box of the AWB (B)
Indicating rate class used

Rate class code indicating minimum charges as used in the rate class box of the AWB (M)
Indicating rate class used

Rate class code indicating over pivot rates as used in the rate class box of the AWB (E)
Indicating rate class used

Rate class code indicating rate per kilogramme as used in the rate class box of the AWB (K)
Indicating rate class used

Rate class code indicating Specifi Commodity Rate as used in the rate class box of the AWB. (C)
Indicating rate class used

Rate class code indicating that a reduced class rate has been applied as used in the rate class box of the AWB (R)
Indicating rate class used

Rate class code indicating that a surcharged class rate has been applied as used in the rate class box of the AWB (S)
Indicating rate class used

Rate class code indicating the 1kg general cargo rate, as used in the rate class box of the AWB (N)
Indicating rate class used

Rate class code indicating the Quantity 45kg. (100lb) and over rate as used in the rate class box of the AWB (Q)
Indicating rate class used

Rate class code indicating ULD additional information as used in the rate class box of the AWB (X)
Indicating rate class used

Rate class code indicating ULD Basic rate or charge as used in the rate class box in the AWB (U)
Indicating rate class used

Rate class code indicating ULD discount as used in the rate class box of the AWB (Y)
Indicating rate class used

Secure for Passenger, All-Cargo and All-Mail Aircraft in Accordance with High Risk Requirements (SHR)
Cargo secured for transport with high risk requirements, such as dangerous goods

Shipper's Letter of Instruction (SLI)
letter' from the exporter instructing the freight forwarder on how and where to handle the export shipment

Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods (DGD)
Document certifies that the shipment has been labeled, packed and declared according to IATA's Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR)

Special Drawing Rights (SDR)
Supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets defined and maintained by the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Specific Commodity Rate (SCR)
A favorable freight rate usually applicable to certain classes of commodities which move in large volume shipments

Spontaneously combustible (RSC)
Shipment contains high sensitive materials - Dangerous goods

Sporting Weapons (SWP)
Weapons intended for hunting and sport

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
Set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help workers carry out routine operations

Surface Air Lifted (mail) (SAL)
Postal service used to send international mail items

Surface Transportation (SUR)
Movement of people or goods by road, train, or ship, rather than by plane

Technology Asset Protection Association (TAPA)
Forum in which global manufacturers, logistics providers, freight carriers, law enforcement agencies, and other stakeholders together establish leading security standards for the supply chain

Terminal Handling Charges (THC)
Charge levied by a port terminal for the handling of cargo at a specific terminal within a specific port in a specific country

The Air Cargo Tariff an Rules (TACT)
Provides air cargo professionals with the comprehensive information they require to efficiently transport air cargo worldwide

Toxic gas (RPG)
Shipment contains toxic gasses - Dangerous goods

Toxic substance (RPB)
Shipment contains toxic substances - Dangerous goods

U.S. Government Bill of Lading (GBL)
Controlled document that conveys specific terms and conditions to protect the Government interest and serves as the contract of carriag

UN number (UN)
An internationally recognized four-digit code used to identify dangerous goods.

Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credit (UCP)
Set of rules on the issuance and use of letters of credit

Unit Load Device (ULD)
Container used to load luggage, freight, and mail on wide-body aircraft and specific narrow-body aircraft.

United Nations Conference of Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
UN body responsible for dealing with development issues, particularly international trade

Valuable cargo (VAL)
Defined by IATA as goods valued at over $1,000USD per kilo. This commonly includes jewels, cash, medical equipment, bank documentation, high couture fashion, but mostly precious artwork

Very Important Cargo (VIC)
Shipment containing important cargo, high value, or sensitive goods

Volume (VOL)
The amount of space that a substance or object occupies, or that is enclosed within a container/ULD

Vulnerable cargo (VUN)
Various equipment or sensitive goods that need special attention and protection

Weight (wgt or wt)
Basic unit of mass to measure the weight

Weight tons (w/t or WT)
Basic unit of mass to measure the weight

Weight/volume (w/v)
Basic unit of mass to measure the weight/volume

Wet materials (WET)
Shipments of wet material not packed in watertight containers

Wide-Body Aircraft
Aircraft type - An aircraft with two aisles inside. The typical fuselage diameter is 16 to 20 feet.

World Trade Organization (WTO)
International organisation that deals with the rules of trade between countries

Zulu Time
"GMT" (Greenwich Mean Time) time at the zero meridian. A term synonymous with UTC (Universal Coordinated Time), which is the same as Greenwich Mean Time.