{{ 'Sea Freight' | trans }}

{{ 'Air Freight' | trans }}

{{ 'Sea Freight' | trans }}
{{ 'Air Freight' | trans }}


Below you will find common terms with the explanation of what these mean. If you still have questions after all, you can contact us directly via The Freight Hero Help Chat or the telephone helpdesk by calling +31 (0)20 - 214 93 58 or +49 +49 (0)221 370 500 25 (English, German and Dutch).

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FCL – Full Container Load

FCL is the name for the goods if there is sufficient volume to fill a container. The most common sizes for containers in sea transport are 20ft, 40 ft and 40ft HC (High Cube).

LCL – Less (than) Container Load

LCL is the name for the goods if there is insufficient volume to completely fill a container. The cargo is then collected in a container freight station (CFS) and loaded into collection containers. The container is then brought to the terminal in anticipation of sea transport.


Logistics is more than just transport from one place to another. It is a collective term for everything that comes with organizing, planning, managing and executing a flow of goods from the first to the last phase.

Supply chain

In order to steer logistics processes in the right direction, we look at the moment at which the raw materials are purchased until the moment at which the end product goes to the end customer. This whole process is also referred to as the 'logistics chain'.


Distribution is the last step in the logistics chain. It covers the path that the end product travels from a warehouse to end customer. This includes the collection of orders and the preparation of the shipment for a particular customer. This often goes via distribution centers (DCs) and stores. Webshops usually deliver directly from a distribution center.


A freight forwarder is something different than a transporter. The latter is solely responsible for the transport of the goods. Freight forwarders are brokers who ensure that the goods are transported in the fastest and most efficient way.


TEU is the indication for the dimensions of containers. The abbreviation stands for Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit. 1 TEU is a container of 20 feet long, 8 feet wide and usually 8.5 feet high. In the uniform standard unit system, a TEU is 6.10 meters long, 2.44 meters wide and 2.59 meters high. A 40-foot long container counts as 2 TEU. The external volume of 1 TEU is 1360 cubic feet, which is 38.51 cubic meters.


Grouping smaller shipments from multiple operators to a larger load.

BAF – Bunker Adjustment Factor

Fuel prices are subject to (large) price fluctuations, which is why the shipping company sometimes charges a bunker surcharge to compensate for the risks of price fluctuations.

CAF – Currency Adjustment Factor

This is a surcharge on ocean freight that shipping companies apply as a correction key against US Dollar and other currencies. The surcharge is usually taxed on the basic ocean freight rate in order to offset the exchange rate risks.

PRS ‐ Piracy Risk Surcharge

The abbreviation PRS stands for Piracy Risk Surcharge. This surcharge on sea freight was created by shipping companies with sailing routes from Asia to Europe and vice versa. Pirates have been active in the Gulf of Aden since 2009, making the waters near Somalia particularly unsafe. Marine ships of the army have been made available from various European countries to combat piracy. In addition, shipping companies are taking extra security measures to ensure the safety of the crew and to protect cargo. These costs are partly recovered from the customers, the so-called Piracy Risk Surcharge. The PRS is also called "ERS - Emergency Risk Surcharge" or "APS - Anti Piracy Surcharge". Some companies also use the term 'GAS - Gulf of Aden Surcharge'.

PSS ‐ Peak Season Surcharge

Shipping companies often suffer from a shortage of capacity during busy periods. That is why most shipping companies use a so-called Peak Season Surcharge (PSS). This peak season surcharge comes on top of the transport costs. In general, it is wise to consider this busy period as an importer. Book your cargoes as early as possible and when possible try to start the transport a bit earlier so that there is no problem immediately when delays occur.

B/L – Bill of Lading

Sea transport is based on a bill of lading (B/L). This document shows that the carrier (shipping company) has taken delivery of the goods for transport to a designated port of destination in order to deliver them there to the designated consignee. It is the written rebuttal of the contract of carriage. Furthermore, the bill of lading represents the goods and the piece has the meaning of a security. It can be negotiable. The bill of lading therefore states that certain goods have been received for transport.

Express-Release B/L

This means that no original B/L's set has been made and the recipient can dispose of the goods directly.


This term contains the release of the goods that are on the B/L by the supplier or factory to The Freight Hero-agent in the loading port. You will then receive this Telex-Release from The Freight Hero and after that you can dispose of the goods without original Bill of Lading.

Shifting VAT

If you import goods from a non-EU country, you must pay VAT. You normally do this at Customs directly when you declare the import. You deduct this VAT as input tax in your VAT return if you are entitled to deduct VAT. You can also can use article 23. If your company is located in the Netherlands, you can immediately make use of Article 23. Otherwise you can use article 23 via The Freight Hero. With article 23 you do not have to pay VAT at Customs. Instead, you state the VAT in your VAT return. Are you entitled to deduct VAT? Then you can also deduct this as input tax in your return. You will then pay nothing on balance.

EORI number - General

European legislation stipulates that all Economic Operators (market participants) established and active in Europe must have an EORI number. (EORI number = Economic Operators Registration and Identification number). This number allows economic operators to be identified in the same way in all Member States. This brings efficiency benefits both for those economic operators and for Customs. An economic operator is 'any legal or natural person who, in the course of his business, carries out activities which give him a relationship with Customs'. The EORI number has also already been introduced in all other member states of the European Union. This means that you are now obliged to use this EORI number (or have it used) as an identification number in the data exchange with Customs throughout the European Union for all customs operations.

Statistical numbers / Commodity code / HS code

Each product is given a statistical number according to a harmonised system. On the basis of this eight or ten digit number, the customs authorities determine how much import duties, excise duties and taxes have to be paid on the import of the goods. On request, the customs authorities determine the commodity codes or statistical numbers in writing by means of a BTI (Binding Tariff Information). This way the importer is assured that the goods are correctly classified in the tariff nomenclature of import duties and that the correct customs duties are always paid. Always ask the supplier or manufacturer abroad for a HS code. The 6-digit HS code is usually used abroad. In the importing country the statistical number may be extended by 2 or 4 characters.

Import duties

When goods are imported from outside the EU, so-called customs duties are levied. These customs duties are also called import duties. The amount of these duties depends on the type and origin of the goods. In some cases, a claim can be made for reduced import duties or exemption on the basis of preferential origin documents or within the framework of tariff quotas and suspensions. Besides import duties, you may also have to deal with other levies such as excise duties, consumption taxes, anti-dumping duties, agricultural levies, product board levies and VAT.

Physical control

Also called code red at Customs. Performing a physical control is a customs task. The purpose of a physical check is to check the container contents for deviations from customs documents and compliance with import rules that apply to the transport. Failure to comply with import regulations entail sanctions that have been determined by local authorities. The regulations for import depend on a number of factors such as origin, type of good, country of destination, use of the good, but also local economy. Such a physical check often involves delays on the transport route and extra costs. The costs for a physical inspection pays the buyer or the importer of the goods.

LTL ‐ Less Truck Load

LTL is a term used mainly for land transport or road transport. The abbreviation stands for Less Truck Load, which means the truck is only partially loaded.

FTL ‐ Full Truck Load

When the volume of a transport shipment is large enough to fill a truck completely, we call it FTL - Full Truck Load.

Diesel surcharge

The diesel price is based on the price of a barrel of crude oil and is therefore subject to price fluctuations. Road hauliers therefore levy diesel surcharges to compensate for severe fluctuations in the price of diesel and to cover the other financial risks associated with this.


A stevedore has the task of loading and unloading ships or aircrafts and is usually under the supervision of the shipbroker. A stevedore is often employed by a shipping company or airline. The stevedore is responsible, among other things, for the distribution of the ballast in the relevant means of transport in close collaboration with the shipbroker. All this in order to prevent accidents such as capsizing or breaking the vehicle. Depending on the modality, there are several types of stevedoring services such as general cargo stevedore, bulk cargo stevedore, container stevedore and multipurpose stevedore.


Een cargadoor fungeert als tussenpersoon voor de rederij en verscheper met als primaire taak lading te zoeken voor schepen of vliegtuigen. Doorgaans zijn cargadoors in dienst van rederijen of luchtvaartmaatschappijen teneinde lading te vinden voor het desbetreffende transportmiddel. Een cargadoor wordt ook wel scheepsagent of scheepsmakelaar genoemd en controleert de stuwadoor op het laden en lossen van het schip of vliegtuig.

Roll-on-roll-off-ship (Roro-ship)

A type of ship with one or more open decks (or horizontal decks to be closed with a lid). This allows rolling cargo such as cars, vans and trucks to be driven on and off board and parked. There is no need to lift with a crane. This is faster and cheaper. Shipping via Roll on-Roll off is for large vehicles that do not fit in a container. Roll on-Roll off is not possible from and to all ports.


A feeder is a small vessel where the goods are transhipped from or into a large vessel into or out of. The large ship usually does not have the possibility to reach a river or canal.


Automated Manifest System, or abbreviated AMS is an integral security system of American customs. The system relates to goods transport with the final destinations America and Mexico and is also applicable for goods that are transhipped in these countries for goods transport. The American Customs must know what is loaded on board 24 hours before departure of the ship from the port of loading. The system was established in 2004 and, in addition to sea freight, the system also applies to air freight, rail and road transport.

Gross weight

The total weight of a packed object/item. The weight of the item (net weight) plus the weight of the packaging material (pallets, containers).

Chargeable weight

In the airfreight, the total weight to be loaded is determined by calculating every cubic meter (cbm, cubic meter) with 166.67 kilograms. If a shipment of two cubic meters weighs 100 kilograms, the calculated weight is 333.5 kilograms (2 cubic meters x 166.67 kilograms). However, if the actual weight of the same shipment is 500 kilograms - so higher - then that is the actual number of kilos that will be calculated. Therefore, in order to know the chargeable (loadable) weight, the actual weight must be compared with the loaded volume weight. The chargeable weight is the highest weight from this equation.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

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