Freight acronyms: everything you need to know

We understand that the freight lingo and jargon is complicated – read our glossary to understand the freight acronyms that you hear a lot.

  • An internationally recognised status awarded by Customs.
  • We were awarded this status in 2019, which recognises our internal processes as reliable, meaning we are a ‘trusted trader’.
  • AEO status is desirable as the Customs guarantee ensures our trusted trader status will require fewer checks – meaning less delays for your goods.
  • Shipment details sent electronically to US Customs prior to vessel loading.
  • Urgent aircraft spares needed to repair an aircraft which is stuck on the ground – usually time critical and needed within 24 hours.
  • Applies to all animals travelling by air.
  • A transport document which creates the terms of contract between a shipper and a carrier where freight is moved between specified points for a specified charge. It acts as a contract of carriage, a document of title and receipt of goods.
  • An additional surcharge levied on ship operators o compensate for fluctutations in fuel prices.
  • Hazardous cargo which can’t go on passenger aircraft.
  • A surcharge set in place by carriers to offset the fluctuations of foreign currency.
  • Information that is provided by the exporter/importer, which provides clearance information to us.
  • A facility for carriers which receive LCL cargo to be loaded into containers, along with the unloading of LCL containers by the carrier.
  • Temperature sensitive products, vaccines, medicines, lab samples, foodstuffs requiring chilled carriage.
  • A certificate highlighting the exact origin of goods – where it was made.
  • Affects duty rate, quotas, tariffs and more.
  • A customs system that allows faster release of goods at the customs clearance destination.
  • In order to use this system, you must have a deferment account and an EORI number.
  • A UK import entry (customs declaration).
  • A plain paper document normally submitted electronically with a number of electronic responses following its transmission.
  • Also referred to as a SAD (Single Administrative Document).
  • May also be referred to as a DGD, DG Cert or Shippers’ declaration.
  • Government Mail, exempt from airline screening, should be accompanied by official certificate.
  • The destination counterpart to Terminal Handling Charge.
  • This charge covers costs for unloading containers, moving and storage and any additional handling requirements.
  • Also referred to as an EX or EX1 in mainland Europe (not to be confused with EUR-1 or T-1).
  • In order to export goods from the Customs territory, an EAD export declaration must be created – this must be created by the exporter.
  • All traders must have an EORI number beginning with GB in order to trade between the UK and the EU.
  • Your customer (in the EU) must also have an EORI number based in their country e.g. beginning DE for Germany.
  • If you don’t have an EORI number, you can apply on here.
  • This alerts the import border of the imminent arrival of the shipment.
  • ENS must be lodged at least 2 hours before arrival at the border (1hr for Eurotunnel).
  • A way of delaying the payment of taxes. Goods can be placed in a facilitation before the customer is ready to use them. They are placed here before being customs cleared, meaning taxes are not paid until the moment the goods are needed.
  • This is created by the EAD and alerts the export border that the shipment is on its way.
  • It allows HMRC (and Border Force) to decide if they want to stop the vehicle for additional checks.


  • Many carriers accept these, but some do not and need a hard copy.
  • Many carriers accept these, but some do not and need a hard copy.
  • A warehouse which can accept uncleared goods.
  • A shipment which takes up an entire container.
  • An agent who is appointed to pay for VAT and possible duty in a shipment’s destination country. Read more in our blog post here.
  • These taxes must be paid in the relevant customs territory – so if you’re based in the UK, and you’re paying taxes in the EU, they’ll act on your behalf.
  • Carries larger cargo, more expensive as all revenue is from cargo
  • A fee assessed by a carrier to compensate for regional differences due to seasons in fuel costs.
  • Every airline appoints a GHA to accept and store their cargo before/after flight
  • The final number which is asked for by the clearance agent in order for the trucks to get onto the ferry.
  • This is generated by a combination of documents uploaded to the GVMS.
  • A general rate increase which carriers apply to sea freight rates.
  • This is not yet confirmed.
  • A software that amalgamates all the numbers and information together in order for drivers to move between countries – it combines everything electronically – this allows it to create the GMR number.
  • Document which accompanies a shipment, shows the actual shipper and consignee.
  • Needs special handling and is more expensive as it’s highly regulated.
  • Airlines set their own limits, but usually any single piece over around 200kg is classed as HEA.
  • Covers both coffins and cremated remains in urns. They need special handling and expensive to move.
  • Pallet sized plastic drums, filled with liquid or bulk powders – hard to screen and require attention.
  • Classed as hazardous, needs special handling. Has limited shelf life of around 72 hours.
  • The shipping terms which establish who pays for duty, VAT, freight and clearance.
  • There are many but the ones we recommend are:
    • Export: DAP – delivery at place.
    • Export: DDP – delivery duty paid.
    • Import: FCA – free carrier.
  • This is required by the US Customs and Border Patrol when importing goods into the US.
  • It requires cargo information to be sent to the agency at least 24 hours before goods are loaded onto a vessel.
  • Some shippers classed as KC, do not need their goods screened. Usually larger companies. A certificate is needed for each shipment.
  • A shipment under LC is controlled by the bank, and the letter will advise specific instructions which must be followed.
  • A shipment which isn’t large enough to fill an entire cargo container. As LCL shipments don’t fill an entire container, these are grouped with other cargo.
  • Known in EU as Direct/Indirect Representative)
  • An agent (Baxter Freight) is appointed to act on behalf of a customer – in order to ‘officially’ be represented, customers must sign a Customs Agent letter.

Direct: When the agent (Baxter Freight) acts in the customer’s name. If there’s an error, the customer is liable (unless it’s a deliberate error by the agent, in which case there’s joint liability).

Indirect: When the agent (Baxter Freight) acts in their own name, but on behalf of the customer. If there is an error, the customer and agent are jointly liable. Only used for DDP exports (alongside fiscal representative).

  • Cargo ships which transport containers with on-board cranes.
  • This type of loading is mostly used in transcontinental and cabotage transport.
  • Will accompany a HAWB as the “visible” paperwork, it shows the agents as the shipper and consignee – not required by our customers.
  • Technical data sheet which lists all the specific properties of a product. It will show transport information which determines if it is hazardous.
  • This is a barcode reference allowing movement containing elements such as transit document number.
  • An electric-based system which allows exporters to lodge an export entry with Customs before goods leave the UK.
  • Oversized cargo, anything over 3 metres long, or 160cm high would be OOG.
  • All imports and exports between the UK and EU are now subject to VAT in the destination country.
  • VAT can be paid upfront OR paid later. If you wish to postpone the payment of VAT, you need to tell us in advance.
  • A multi piece shipment which has flown in parts. This is a planned split by the airline, and normal. Goods are not checked in until the final piece arrives.
  • Can refer to a human passenger, or a passenger aircraft.
  • A regular booking of space with an airline, usually weekly and allocated for months in advance to secure the space.
  • Foodstuffs with limited life – fruit / vegetables, fish, dairy.
  • Airline code used on bookings, must be shown on the MAWB when requested.
  • Airline code used on bookings, must be shown on the MAWB when requested.
  • Allowed for carriage as non-hazardous, but needs a label, and information on the AWB.
  • Specialist movement needing full ops input.
  • Before shipping goods to the EU, you’ll need to know the origin of the goods because this determines:
    • what type of certificate of origin is needed
    • if any duty is payable
    • whether any preferences or quotas apply
  • The origin does not mean where the goods are shipped from – it’s where the goods (including any component parts) were made.
  • It’s the exporter’s responsibility.
  • A document that accompanies goods that have not cleared into free circulation, which includes a barcode scanned at each border crossing and is the basis of the track and trace functionality.
  • T-1: the most common transit document. A form that allows the shipment to travel between locations before being customs cleared, like a baton being passed until the final point (this is when the duty is paid and the T-1 is no longer needed).
  • T-2: a form that a shipment may travel with after the goods have been customs cleared in the EU. The shipment will now travel outside of the EU, and this document allows them to be customs cleared in their destination country e.g. UK to Switzerland, clearing in France or Belgium.
  • A shipment volume based on the volume of a 20-foot-long intermodal container, which can be transferred between trains, trucks and ships.
  • An aggregation of costs, associated with the terminal provider’s property. This charge is legally non-negotiable, but varies per terminal.
  • A certificate of origin provided when there is a free trade agreement between the origin country and the destination country which provides preferential treatments for goods.
  • Replaced the EUR1 with effect from 1 January.
  • Metal containers or sheets, which cargo is built into for loading onto aircraft.
  • Jewellery, precious metals, collectable. Expensive due to security escorting and special handling.
  • The combined weight of sea freight cargo, dunnage, bracing and the tare weight of the container.
  • The method of quoting freight rates.
  • A group consisting of 168 trading territories worldwide
  • ‘WTO terms’ does not mean anything, as the WTO do not set terms for trade. They set rules against which trade should be managed.

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