Air Freight Forwarder -
Air freight forwarders are, to the shipper, an indirect carrier
because they receive freight from shippers under their own tariff,
usually consolidating it into larger units tendered to the airlines.
To the airlines, the airfreight forwarder is a shipper. An airfreight
forwarder is ordinarily classed as an indirect air carrier; however,
many air freight forwarders operate their own aircraft.
Airmail - The term
airmail, as a class of mail, is used only in international postal
service. Within the United States, the US Postal Service moves all
first class mail, priority mail, and express mail by air to expedite
Air Transport Association of
America (ATA) - The trade and service organization for the US
scheduled airlines. ATA acts on behalf of the airlines to serve the
government and the public in activities ranging from improvement in
air safety to planning for the airlines. role in national defense. ATA
plays a leading role in encouraging government to cut red tape that
hampers foreign trades. In the cargo field, ATA works with the
airlines, the government, and shippers in developing improved
standards and techniques in all phases of air cargo. ATA is an
authoritative source of information on cargo matters ranging from air
freight packaging practices, automation, freight lift capacity, data
on air freight growth, and statistical data on air cargo services. For
- Air Transport Association of America
- 1709 New York Avenue NW
- Washington DC 20006-5206
Air Transport Committee.
A Canadian government agency responsible for the economic and general
welfare of air transport within Canada. For information:
- Air Transport Committee
- 15 Eddy Street
- Ottawa, Ontario
- CANADA K1A 0N9
Air Waybill (Airbill) -
Shipping document used by the airlines for airfreight. It is a
contract for carriage that includes carrier conditions of carriage
including items such as limits of liability and claims procedures. The
air waybill also contains shipping instructions to airlines, a
description of the commodity, and applicable transportation charges.
Many truckers can use air waybills as through documents for
coordinated air/truck service. Air waybills are not negotiable. The
airline industry has adopted a standard formatted air waybill that
accommodates both domestic and international traffic. The standard
document was designed to enhance the application of modern
computerized systems to airfreight processing for both the carrier and
Airline Tariff Publishing
Company (ATPCO) - Publisher of airline industry tariffs setting
forth rates and rules applicable to airfreight as well as fares for
passengers. Tariffs are available on a subscription basis.
Subscriptions include an up-to-date copy of tariffs for new
subscribers. For information:
- Airline Tariff Publishing Company
- 400 West Service Road
- Chantilly VA 22021
Airport Mail Facility (AMF)
- A US Postal Service facility located on or adjacent to an
airport that is primarily engaged in the dispatch, receipt, and
transfer of mail directly with air carriers.
Aircraft - An aircraft for the carriage of cargo only, rather than
the combination of passengers and cargo. The all-cargo aircraft will
carry traffic in bulk or container in the main deck as well as in the
lower deck of the aircraft. It may include a scheduled and
Shipments - Sometimes attendants accompany cargo shipments as when
grooms or veterinarians accompany racehorses or other live animals.
This service requires advance arrangements with an airline.
Automatic P.O.D. -
Information automatically sent to payor containing name of person who
signed for the package with date and time of delivery.
Bill of Lading (BOL)
- A document by which a carrier receipts for goods and contracts
to move them. In airfreight, the air waybill is a form of bill of
lading and is the contract for carriage.
- "blank endorsed": A
negotiable bill of lading in which the title to the merchandise is
passed on to another party by means of an endorsement. The holder of
the "blank endorsed" bill of lading is entitled to take possession
of the merchandise.
- "clean bill of lading":
One in which the goods are described as having been received in
"apparent good order and condition" and without qualification.
- "late presentation"
(stale): A bill of lading which is presented to a bank for
payment or negotiation after the stipulated date in the letter of
credit, or later than 21 days after the date of its issuance.
- "negotiation" or "to
order": A bill of lading in which the merchandise is consigned
directly "to order" or "to the order of" a designated party, usually
the shipper or a bank. The phrase "to order" or to the order of (a
designated party)" signifies negotiability permitting the title of
the merchandise to be transferred many time by means of appropriate
- "notify": This phrase
in a bill of lading requires the carrier to notify a designated
party upon arrival of the merchandise, but does not transfer title
of the merchandise to that party.
- "straight or
non-negotiable": A bill of lading in which the merchandise is
consigned directly to a designated party, generally the buyer, but
not to his "order". Delivery of the merchandise is made only to the
designated party, usually without surrendering the bill of lading.
Bonded Warehouse - A
warehouse authorized by Customs authorities for storage of goods on
which payment of duties is deferred until the goods are removed.
Break Bulk -
Disassembling of consolidated shipments for delivery or reconsignment
of a shipment.
Broker (Customs) - A
person or firm licensed by the US Treasury Department to transact
business with Customs on behalf of importers.
- A customs document permitting the holder to carry
or send merchandise temporarily into certain foreign countries (for
display, demonstration, or similar purposes) without paying duties or
posting bonds. The Carnet serves both as the entry document and the
Cartage Agent - Ground
service operator who provides pickup and delivery in areas not served
directly by air carrier.
Certificate of Origin -
A document required by US Customs and certain other countries for
tariff purposes certifying the country of origin of specified goods.
Chargeable Weight - The
weight of the shipment used in determining airfreight charges. The
chargeable weight may be the dimensional weight, or on container
shipments, the gross weight of the shipment less the tare weight of
Collect - Transportation charges may include pickup and/or
delivery and are entered on the air waybill to be collected from the
consignee. Equivalent terms are “freight collect” or “charges
Charter Service - The
temporary hiring of an aircraft, usually on a trip basis, for the
movement of cargo or passengers.
Collect Charges - The
transportation practice under which the receiver of the goods pays the
Collect On Delivery (COD) -
A transportation service under which the carrier collects the purchase
price of the goods from the receiver. At the time of delivery the
carrier transmits payment to the shipper. Carriers charge a nominal
fee for this service. As the term COD implies, payment is due upon
delivery. There are no credit provisions in COD service.
Combination Aircraft -
An aircraft capable of transporting both passengers and cargo on the
same flight. Some cargo is carried on virtually all scheduled
passenger flights in the belly pits below the passenger cabin.
Commodity Code. A system
for identifying a given commodity by a number as a means of
facilitation, for example, the application of computerization to
freight transport. See Harmonized
Commodity Description and Coding System.
Conditions of Contract-
The terms and conditions established by the air carriers for the
carriage of goods. These conditions are printed on the air waybill and
include items such as limits of liability, claims limitations,
indemnity and dimensional weight rules.
Consignee- A person
named as the receiver of a shipment; one to whom a shipment is
Consignment- Shipment of
one or more pieces of property, accepted by the carrier from one
shipper at one time, receipted for in one lot, and moving on one air
Consignor- One who
designates the person to whom goods are to be sent. The consignor is
usually the shipper.
Consolidator- An entity
that provides service also provided by an air carrier, independent
from that carrier, and derives income from package consolidation of
others for tender to an air carrier. An Air Freight Forwarder performs
the functions of a consolidator.
Consular Declaration- A
formal statement made to the consul of a foreign country describing
goods to be shipped.
practice or technique of using a box-like device in which a number of
packages are stored, protected, and handled as a single unit in
transit. Container descriptions have been broadened to include a
unitized load on a carrier owned pallet, loaded by shippers, and
unloaded by receivers at places other than on airline premises. The
containers are restrained and contoured so as to permit proper
positioning and tie down aboard the aircraft.
Containerized airfreight reduces packaging costs
for the shipper because of the protection afforded by the container.
The buildup of container loads at the shipper’s plant bypasses the
terminals. Shippers who do not have appropriate facilities for loading
and unloading containers may contract through the airlines for this
service. Specially equipped trucks pick up containerized shipments at
the shipper’s plant for direct delivery to mechanical loading
equipment near planeside.
Containerization saves the airlines time and
labor in ground handling. It also enables the carriers to achieve a
more efficient utilization of the cubic capacity of modern freighter
aircraft and wide body jets. Consequently, the airlines pass along
part of these savings to shippers.
Country of Exportation
(C/E)- Usually, but not necessarily, the country in which
merchandise was manufactured or produced and from which it was first
exported. For example, merchandise made in Switzerland and shipped to
the United States through Frankfurt, Germany has Switzerland as the
country of exportation.
Courier- Attendant who
accompanies shipment(s). Some courier companies provide a full
transportation function, without accompanying attendants, offering
door-to-door air service for time-sensitive documents or small
packages on a same-day or next-day basis.
Credit Arrangements- A
series of programs under which airlines extend credit to shippers and
consignees for the payment of charges.
Cubic Capacity- The
carrying capacity within an aircraft or container according to
measurement in cubic feet.
Customer Automation- The
use of air carrier automation equipment on the customer’s premises
that aids in the processing of shipments, i.e., airbill preparations,
invoicing, weighing, and tracing.
Customs- A government
authority designated to regulate flow of goods to/from a country and
to collect duties levied by a country on imports and exports. The term
also applies to the procedures involved in such collection.
Customs Court- A US
Customs Services court based in New York City consisting of three
3-party divisions to which importers may appeal or protest
classification, value decisions and other actions taken by US Customs
Customs Information Exchange
(CIE)- A clearinghouse of information for US Customs Service
Customs Declaration- An
oral or written statement attesting to the correctness of description,
quantity, value, etc., of merchandise offered for importation into the
Customhouse Broker- A
broker who is certified by the US Bureau of Customs to act for
importers and other businesses in handling for them the sequence of
Customs formalities and other details attendant to the legal and
expeditious importing of goods. Such brokers are among the specialists
who have made it easier for more businesses to participate
successfully in international air commerce.
Articles or substances capable of posing a significant risk to health,
safety, or property when transported by air. These goods are
classified according to the most current editions of the ICAO
Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by
Air and the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. Dangerous goods may be
transported domestically and internationally by air. Also see
for Carriage- The value of goods declared to the carrier by
the shipper for the purposes of determining charges or of establishing
the limit of the carrier’s liability for loss, damage, or delay. See
Declared Value for Customs-
The selling price of the contents of a shipment or the replacement
cost if the contents are not for resale. The amount must be equal to
or greater than the declared value.
Demurrage- The detention
of containers by shippers or receivers of freight beyond a specified
grace period. The airlines tender carrier owned containers to the
customer for loading and unloading the unit. In the event the
container is not returned to the carrier within a specified time
(usually 36-48 hours), the carrier assesses a charge for each 24-hour
period or fraction thereof beyond the allowed time.
Department of Transportation (DOT)-
An executive department of the US Government established by the
Department of Transportation Act of 1966 (80 Stat 931) for the purpose
of developing national transportation policies. As a result of the
Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, the DOT acquired many of the
functions of the CAB. For information:
- Department of
- 400 7th Street SW
- Washington DC 20590
Dimensional weight refers to density, i.e., weight per cubic foot. The
weight of a shipment per cubic foot is one of its most important
transportation characteristics, directly involving factors such as the
efficient loading of an aircraft and the economy of freight traffic
movement. Some commodities, such as machinery, have a relatively high
density. Others, like hats, have a relatively low density. Hence, the
Dimensional Weight Rule was developed as a practice applicable to low
density shipments under which the transportation charges are based on
a cubic dimensional weight rather than upon actual weight. Examples:
One pound for each 194 cubic inches of the shipment in the case of
most domestic air freight; one pound for each 266 cubic inches of cut
flowers or nursery stock shipments; and one pound for each 166 cubic
inches of most international shipments. Some carriers give discounts
for shipments of high-density goods.
Distribution Service- A
service under which an airline accepts one shipment from one shipper
and, after transporting it as a single shipment, separates it into a
number of parts at destination and distributes them to many receivers.
Drawback- A refund of
duties paid on imported goods that is provided at the time of their
Duty- A tax imposed on
imports by the Customs authority of a country. Duties are generally
based on the value of the goods (ad valorem duties) or a combination
of value and other factors (compound duties).
Temporary refusal to accept traffic for transportation at certain
points or in certain routes due to emergencies, limitations of
facilities, or other abnormal circumstances.
Export License- A
government document that permits the licensee to engage in the export
of designated goods to certain destinations.
Export Management Company-
A private firm that serves as the export department for several
manufacturers soliciting and transacting export business on behalf of
its clients in return for a commission, salary, or retainer plus
Export Service- Airlines
and airfreight forwarders perform many services
at the request of shippers relating to the transfer, storage, and
documentation of airfreight destined for export. The same is true of
imports moving via air. A narrower application of the term “Export
Service” refers to the air movement of goods having a subsequent
movement by ocean vessel. Some airlines have a tariff on such traffic
that sets forth a rate covering the air transportation, from airport
or origin to seaport and all relevant transfer and documentation
procedures. On freight arriving in the United States, via an ocean
vessel and having a subsequent movement by air, some airlines have a
similar tariff program known as “Import Service.”
Programs to expedite the flow of international commerce through
modernizing and simplifying Customs procedures, duty collection, and
other procedures to which international cargo and passengers are
subject. ATA Facilitation Committee pursues this work with Government
agencies in the United States and other countries. Examples of
progress in facilitation include the elimination of certain export
declaration requirements, more expeditious release of cargo from
Customs, and clearance of cargo at point of origin.
Administration (FAA)- Created under the Federal Aviation Act of
1958 as the Federal Aviation Agency and charged with the
responsibility of enforcing operational standards and procedures for
all classes of aviation in the United States. With the creation of the
cabinet level Department of Transportation in 1966, FAA became a unit
within the department and received the new designation Federal
Aviation Administration. The FAA Administrator is a presidential
appointee and the FAA remains a separate entity with most of its
former functions. In the field of air cargo, FAA enforces certain
stress standards that must be met in the tiedown of cargo in flight.
- Federal Aviation
- 800 Independence Avenue SW
- Washington DC 20591
FOB (Free on Board)- A
pricing term indicating that the quoted price includes the cost of
loading the goods into transport vessels at the specified place.
Formal Entry- Formal
entry is usually an entry required for merchandise over $1250 except
for most textiles which required formal entry over $250.00.
Trade Zone- A port designated by the government of a country for
duty-free entry of any non-prohibited goods. Merchandise may be
stored, displayed, used for manufacturing, etc., within the zone and
re-exported without duties being paid. Duties are imposed on the
merchandise (or items manufactured from the merchandise) only when the
goods pass from the zone into an area of the country subject to
Free Trade Zone- See
Foreign Trade Zone.
Free Domicile- A term
used in international transportation where the shipper pays all
transportation charges and any applicable duties and/or taxes.
commodities of all kinds, including small package service tendered to
an airline for transportation. Does not include mail, express, or
Commodity Rate- An airfreight rate based on weight and
distance applicable on all commodities except those for which specific
rates have been filed. The rates are published for each pair of cities
an airline serves.
General Order (GO)-
Merchandise not entered within 5 working days after arrival of the
carrier and then stored at the risk and expense of the importer.
Gross Weight- Entire
weight of a shipment including containers and packaging material.
Commodity Description and Coding System- A
multipurpose international goods classification system designed to be
used by manufacturers, transporters, exporters, importers, Customs,
statisticians, and others in classifying goods moving in international
trade under a single commodity code. The Harmonized Commodity coding
system was developed under the auspices of the Customs Cooperation
Council (CC), an international Customs organization in Brussels. The
code is a hierarchically structured product nomenclature containing
approximately 5,000 headings and subheadings describing the articles
moving in international trade. It is organized into 99 chapters
arranged in 22 sections with the sections generally covering an
industry (e.g., Section XI, Textiles and Textile Articles) and the
chapters covering the various materials and products of the industry
(e.g., Chapter 50: Silk; Chapter 55: Manmade Staple Fibers; Chapter
57: Carpets). The basic code contains 4-digit headings and 6-digit
subheadings. In the United States, duty rates are 8 digits;
statistical suffixes are 10 digits.
Materials- A substance or material capable
of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when
transported in commerce. Title 49, Code of Federal Regulation (US)
Transportation—Parts 100-199, govern the transportation of hazardous
materials. Hazardous materials may be transported domestically, but
they must be classified as Dangerous Goods when transported
internationally by air. Also see Restricted Articles and Dangerous
A document required and issued by some national governments
authorizing the importation of goods into their individual countries.
Import Service- See
In Bond- Applied to
airfreight coming into the United States, In Bond designates a
procedure under US Customs. Clearance of cargo is postponed until the
cargo reaches an inland Customs point rather than subjecting the cargo
to clearance procedures at the first arriving United States gateway
airport where the process might be more time consuming. The procedure
is so named because the cargo moves under the carrier’s bond
(financial liability assured by the carrier) from the gateway airport
and remains “In Bond” until Customs releases the cargo at the inland
Customs point (airport).
Informal Entry- A
simplified import entry procedure accepted at the option of Customs
for any non-commercial shipment, baggage, and any commercial shipment
not over $1250 ($250 for most Textiles) in value. No bond is required
for informal entry.
Interline- The movement
of a shipment via two or more carriers. See
Integrated Cargo Service-
A blend of all segments of the cargo system providing the combined
services of air carrier, forwarder, ground handling, and agents.
I.T. In Transit manifest-
The document (CF7512) which moves merchandise under bond from one
point (port or airport) to another.
Compatibility- The capability that enables a shipment to be
transferred from one form of transport to another, as from airplane to
highway truck, to railway freight car, to ocean vessel. Some aircraft
in service today have the capability for intermodal exchange of the
large types of standard containers currently used in surface
International Air Transport
Association (IATA)- The trade and service organization for
airlines of more than 100 countries serving international routes. IATA
activities on behalf of shippers in international airfreight include
development of containerization programs, freight handling techniques
and for some airlines, uniform rates and rules. For information:
- International Air Transport Association
- 2000 Peel Street
- Montreal, Quebec
- CANADA H3A 2R4
International Civil Aviation
Organization (ICAO)- The International Aviation Organization of
Governments is an agency of the United Nations organized to insure
orderly worldwide technical development of civil aviation. For
- International Civil
- International Aviation Square
- 1000 Sherbrooke Street West
- PO Box 400
- Montreal, Quebec
- CANADA H3A 2R4
JIT (Just In
Time)- The principle of production and inventory control that
prescribes precise controls for the movement of raw materials,
component parts, and work-in-progress. Goods arrive when needed – just
in time – for production or use rather than becoming expensive
inventory that occupies costly warehouse space.
Letter of Credit
(L/C)- A document issued by a bank per instructions by a buyer
of goods authorizing the seller to draw a specified sum of money under
specified terms, usually the receipt by the bank of certain shipping
documents, within a given time.
Lot Labels- Labels
attached to each piece of multiple lot shipment for identification
Lower Deck Containers-
Carrier owned containers specially designed as an integral part of the
aircraft to fit in the cargo compartments (lower deck) of a wide body
Information placed on the outer surface of shipping containers or
packages such as address labels, box specifications, caution, or
Minimum Charge- The
lowest rate applicable on each type of air cargo service no matter how
small the shipment.
Abbreviation for Not Elsewhere Specified. Often appears in airfreight
tariffs. For example: “advertising matter, N.E.S.,” “printed matter,
N.E.S.,” indicating that the rate stated in the tariff applies to all
commodities within the commodity group except those appearing under
their own rate. The abbreviation N.E.S., as used in airfreight
tariffs, is comparable to the abbreviations N.O.I.B.N. (not otherwise
indexed by numbers) and N.O.S. (not otherwise specified).
Neutral Air Waybill- A
standard air waybill without identification of issuing carrier.
Port of Entry-
Any place designated by act of US Congress, executive order of the
President of the United States, or order of the US Secretary of the
Treasury. A US Customs officer is assigned at the Port of Entry with
authority to accept entries of merchandise, to collect duties, and to
enforce the various provisions of the US Customs laws.
Prepaid Charges- The
transportation trade practice under which the shipper pays
Airfreight- Reserved airfreight or air express service wherein
shipments have a priority after mail and the small package services.
Any size or weight allowed within airfreight service limits is
acceptable. Advanced reservations are permitted for movement on a
given flight and in some cases a partial refund is paid the shipper if
the shipment is not moved on the flight specified.
Proforma- When coupled
with the title of another document (proforma invoice, proforma
manifest), it means an informal document presented in advance of the
arrival for preparation of the required documentation in order to
satisfy a Customs requirement.
Proof of Delivery (POD)-
Information provided to payor containing name of person who signed for
the package with the date and time of delivery.
Articles- An airline term meaning a hazardous material as
defined by Title 49, US Code of Federal Regulations and Air Transport
Restricted Articles Circular 6-D. Restricted articles may be
transported domestically and be classified dangerous goods when
transported internationally by air. Also see Dangerous
Goods and Hazardous Material.
EXPRESS LOGISTICS, LCC - Your #1 choice for all your
Exportation Declaration- Form required for all US exports with
declared value for US Customs greater than $2,500. Also required for
shipments requiring a US Department of Commerce validated export
license or US Department of State license regardless of value of
goods. Prepared by a shipper indicating the value, weight,
destination, and other basic information about the shipment.
Shipper’s Letter of
Instruction- A form used by a shipper to authorize an airline to
issue an air waybill on the shipper’s behalf. The form contains all
details of the shipment and authorizes the airline to sign the air
waybill in the name of the shipper.
Signature Service- A
service designed to provide continuous responsibility for the custody
of shipments in transit, so named because a signature is required from
each person handling the shipment at each stage of its transmit from
origin to destination.
Small Package Service- A
specialized service to guarantee the delivery of small parcels within
specified express time limits, e.g., same day or next day. This
traffic is subject to size and weight limitations. Air carriers that
also transport passengers will accept these packages at the airport
ticket counters with delivery at destination baggage claim area. Many
carriers provide door-to-door service on a 24-hour basis.
Specific Commodity Rate-
Rate applicable to certain classes of commodities, usually commodities
moving in volume shipments. Hence, specific commodity rates are
usually lower than the general commodity rate between the same pair of
A document setting for the applicable rules, rates and charges for the
movement of goods. A tariff sets forth a contract of carriage for the
shipper, the consignee, and the carrier. In addition to the domestic
tariffs published by Airline Tariff Publishing Company, some airlines
also publish their own tariffs covering special services.
International tariffs containing freight rates of the US international
carriers are published by the US flag carriers.
T&E: Transportation and
Exportation (on CF7512)- Transportation of goods in bond from one
port to another for export.
Temporary Importation Under
Bond (TIB)- Temporary admission into the United
States under a conditional bond for article not imported for sale or
for sale on approval.
Through Bill of Lading-
A single bill of lading covering both the domestic and international
carriage of an export shipment. For example, an air waybill is
essentially a through bill of lading used for air shipments. Many
ocean shipments require two separate documents: an inland bill of
lading for domestic carriage and an ocean bill of lading for
international carriage. Through bill of lading, therefore, cannot be
Temporary Importation Under Bond.
Time Definite Delivery-
The range of service performance standards offered by airfreight
carriers that permit the customer to select a specific time frame for
delivery based on requirement for service and economy. These service
standards provide door-to-door (pickup and delivery) schedule patterns
based on same day, next day, second or third day delivery needs.
Total Cost of Distribution-
The sum total of all the costs incurred in the distribution of goods.
The total cost of distribution includes: