Skip to main content

by Haley Crummett

The logistics and supply chain industry lingo can sound like a foreign language to people who aren’t in the industry. That is why we put together the ABC’s of logistics. In this blog post we are giving a crash course into what basic terminology is in the industry. Whether you are a newly hired supply chain recruiter or a seasoned logistics professional who needs a handy guide to terminology, we’ve got you covered!

Air Freight: Transportation of goods by air, typically using airlines or air cargo carriers

Break Bulk: The process of unloading cargo from a large container and separating it into smaller units for transportation or distribution.

Carrier: A company or individual responsible for transporting goods or passengers from one place to another. Carriers can include trucking companies, airlines, shipping lines, etc.

Drayage: The short-distance transportation of goods, often by truck, between a port, warehouse, or rail terminal.

E-commerce Logistics: The processes and activities involved in managing the flow of goods for online retail operations, including order fulfillment, warehousing, and last-mile delivery.

Freight Forwarder: A company or agent that organizes and facilitates the shipment of goods on behalf of shippers, often arranging transportation and handling documentation.

Group Picking: A warehouse picking method where multiple orders or items are picked simultaneously or grouped together to increase efficiency.

Hazardous Materials (Hazmat): Substances or goods that pose potential risks to health, safety, property, or the environment during transportation.

Intermodal Transportation: Using multiple modes of transportation (e.g., rail, truck, ship) for a single shipment.

Jockey Truck: A specialized vehicle used to move and position trailers or containers within a transportation yard or terminal.

Kitting: Combining separate items into a single kit to fulfill specific orders or assembly requirements.

LTL (Less Than Truckload): Shipping method used for relatively small freight that does not require the use of an entire trailer.

Milk Run: A logistics practice involving a single vehicle making multiple stops to pick up or deliver goods in a single trip, optimizing routes and reducing costs.

Non-asset-based Logistics Provider: A logistics company that arranges transportation, warehousing, or other services without owning physical assets like trucks or warehouses.

Omni-Channel Logistics: Managing and integrating multiple sales channels (such as online, offline, and mobile) into a unified logistics strategy to meet customer demands.

Pick-and-Pack: The process of retrieving items from inventory (picking) and packing them into shipping containers or parcels for order fulfillment.

Quality Control (QC): The process of ensuring that goods or products meet specified quality standards within a warehouse setting, involving inspections and assessments to maintain quality.

Reefer Truck: A refrigerated truck used for transporting perishable goods that require temperature-controlled conditions.

Supply Chain: The interconnected network of activities, organizations, people, resources, and processes involved in the production and distribution of goods.

Transportation Management System (TMS): Software for managing transportation operations and logistics.

Ullage: The space left in a transportation container (like a tank or vessel) to prevent overflow or accommodate expansion due to temperature changes.

Vendor Compliance: Adherence to specific requirements or standards set by a vendor or supplier for receiving, storing, or handling goods within the warehouse.

Warehouse Management System (WMS): Software for managing and optimizing warehouse operations.

X-Dock: A designated area within a warehouse or distribution center where goods are transferred between different vehicles or modes of transportation. It’s often used for cross-docking operations or transferring goods from one transport mode to another without storage in between.

Yard Management: Organizing and managing activities in the yard or loading area of a warehouse.

Zone Skipping: shipping strategy where parcels skip one or more distribution points in the supply chain, directly moving from the shipping origin to a destination zone to reduce transit time and shipping costs.


Now that you know all the terms, check out our services page of our website. Whether you are looking to partner with a logistics recruiter or looking for your next supply chain career we are here to help! 

Leave a Reply