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Glossary of transport and logistics edited by Fedele Iannone




ABC ANALYSIS Methodology used to classify the items purchased or sold by a company. The ABC analysis is an application of the Pareto Principle (or 20/80 rule) according to which 20% of the items account for 80% of the global value or turnover of an enterprise.

Whole of possibilities to access a transportation network.

ACCOMPANIED COMBINED TRANSPORT Transport of a complete road vehicle, accompanied by the driver, using another mode of transport (for example ferry or train).

ACTIVITY BASED COSTING (ABC) A method of measuring the cost and performance of activities and cost objects. Assigns cost to activities based on their use of resources and assigns cost to cost objects based on their use of activities. ABC recognizes the causal relationship of cost drivers to activities . ADVANCED PLANNING & SCHEDULING (APS). A subcomponent of supply chain planning, typically contextually describing manufacturing planning and scheduling.

AIR CARGO Total volume of freight, mail and express traffic transported by air. Includes the following: Freight and Express-commodities of all kinds, includes small package counter services, express services and priority reserved freight.

AIR CONTAINER Container conforming to standards laid down for air transportation.

1) An area of land or water that is used or intended to be used for the landing and takeoff of aircraft, and includes its buildings and facilities, if any; 2) Facility used primarily by conventional, fixed-wing aircraft; 3) A facility, either on land or water, where aircraft can take off and land. Usually consists of hard-surfaced landing strips, a control tower, hangars and accommodations for passengers and cargo; 4) A landing area regularly used by aircraft for receiving discharging passengers or cargo.

Road transport of air unitised cargoes from an airoport to another one.


Shipping document used by the airlines for air freight. It is a contract for carriage that includes carrier conditions of carriage including such items as limits of liability and claims procedures. The air waybill also contains shipping instructions to airline, a description of the commodity, and applicable transportation charges. Air waybills can be used by many truckers 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 air freight processing for both the carrier and the shipper.

ALGORITHM A procedure or formula for solving a problem. The word derives from the name of the mathematician, Mohammed ibn-Musa al-Khwarizmi, who was part of the royal court in Baghdad and who lived from about 780 to 850. Al-Khwarizmi's work is the likely source for the word algebra as well. ALLOCATING COSTS The process of assigning costs to individual products, processes and departments.

ALLOCATIVE EFFICIENCY The situation in which all the resources in an economy are fully and efficiently employed.

ANCHORAGE DUES Rights of anchorage.

An equal, or uniform, payment made over the useful life of a project, which has the same present value as the initial investment expenditure. The annual capital cost of an asset essentially reflects the opportunity cost to the investor of owning the asset.

APPLICATION SERVICE PROVIDER (ASP) An application service provider (ASP) is a company that offers individuals or enterprises access over the Internet to applications and related services that would otherwise have to be located in their own personal or enterprise computers.

The process of defining objectives, examining options and weighing up the costs and benefits and risks and uncertainties before a decision is made. APPROVAL The process through which a project is recommended for support.


A vehicle consisting of a prime mover having no significant load carrying area but with a turn-table device which can be linked to a trailer.

ASSEMBLE TO ORDER (ATO) A manufacturing environment where the final product is assembled based on the receipt of a customer order (instead of to stock). The assembly is normally performed using standard components, modules and subassemblies that are already stocked based on forecasts developed from past usage history. An ATO environment allows each customer order to specify a custom combination of previously-defined standard options.

Air Transport Association of America.
A method of selling real estate or personal property in a public forum through open and competitive bidding. Also referred to as: public auction, auction sale or sale.

Terminal infrastructure for road transport.
AVERAGE COST The total cost of supplying a given output, divided by the number of units of output delivered in a given period of time. Where there are multiple outputs, the issue of adding them up has to be addressed (see joint costs). AVOIDED COSTS The value of any savings in labour, energy or materials inputs, relative to the base case, resulting from operating the project. AVERAGE DISTANCE Average kilometric value turning out by the ratio of Passengers-km (or Tons-km) to number of passengers (or tons) transported.


B/N Maritime transport booking note.

BACK-END SYSTEMS Legacy enterprise systems that handle order processing, inventory, and receivables management for both buyers and suppliers. To deploy a digital trading platform, companies must often integrate new technologies with these older systems, which can include mainframe or ERP applications.

BACKHAUL Return transportation movement, usually at less revenue than the original move; to move a shipment back over part of a route already travelled.

BALANCE The amount of money (or the size of the deficit) in an account at a particular time; an amount of money remaining to be paid.

BALANCE OF TRADE The difference between a country's total imports and exports; if the exports exceed the imports, a "favorable" balance of trade exists.

BALANCED SCORECARD A Balanced Scorecard is a method of measuring and managing business performance giving a balanced view of financial and operational perspectives to accelerate the management process.

BALANCE OF PAYMENTS The difference between what a country pays for its imports and receives for its exports.

BALANCE OF TRADE The difference between the money values of a country's visible imports and exports.

BALANCE SHEET Financial statement which shows a company's financial condition (amount of debits and credits) on the last day of an accounting period.

BAR CODE A combination of parallel lines of bars and spaces that communicate data about the product or shipping container to which it is affixed. The data elements can be read by an electronic scanner.

BASE YEAR In the context of processing time-dependent data such as costs or emissions, the base year is the year selected for assembly of the raw input data. The base year may also serve as the year from which projections of the base case are made.

A rail wagon with a demountable sub-frame, fitted with devices for vertical handling, to allow the loading and unloading of semi-trailers or road vehicles.
The width of a ship.

BELT LINE A switching railroad operating within a port or other commercial area.

The benchmarking process measures a company's current operation profile against other companies with similar operations that are considered to be “best-in-class.”

A place in which a vessel is moored or secured; place alongside a quay where a ship loads or discharges cargo.

BERTHAGE Charges for the use of a berth.

BERTH TERM Shipped under a rate that does not include the cost of loading or unloading.

BILL OF EXCHANGE A written order instructing someone (usually an importer) to pay someone else (usually an exporter) a certain sum on a given date. BILL OF LADING A document by which the Master of a ship acknowledges having received in good order and condition (or the reverse) certain specified goods consigned to him by some particular shipper, and binds himself to deliver them in similar condition, unless the perils of the sea, fire or enemies prevent him, to the consignees of the shippers at the point of destination on their paying him the stipulated freight. A bill of lading specifies the name of the master, the port and destination of the ship, the goods, the consignee, and the rate of freight.

BILL OF MATERIAL A listing of all the subassemblies, parts and raw materials that go into the parent assembly. It shows the quantity of each raw material required to make the assembly. BIMODAL SEMI-TRAILER (RAIL-ROAD) A road semi-trailer that can be converted into a rail wagon by the addition of rail bogies.

Port of a vessel’s initial customs entry to any country; also known as first port of call.
Port of a vessel’s initial customs entry to any country; also known as first port of call.

BREAK BULK Loose, non-containerised cargo stowed directly into a ship’s hold; to unload and distribute a portion or all of the contents of a container.

Production or sales volume at which a company covers its costs.

BROKER A person who arranges for transportation of loads for a percentage of the revenue from the load.

A financial operating plan showing expected income and expenditure.

BUFFER STOCK A quantity of goods or articles kept in storage to safeguard against unforeseen shortages or demands.

BUILD-OPERATE-TRANSFERT (BOT) A form of concession wherein a private party or consortium agrees to finance, construct, operate, and maintain a facility for a specified period and then transfer the facility to a government or other public authority. The concessionaire bears the commercial risk of operating the facility.

BUILD-OWN-OPERATE (BOO) A form of project wherein a private party or consortium agrees to finance, construct, operate, and maintain a facility previously owned and/or operated by a public authority. The concessionaire retains ownership of the facility. The concessionaire bears the commercial risk of operating the facility.

Ship designed with a single deck and holds for the bulk carriage of loose dry cargo of a homogenous nature.
A purpose-designed berth or mooring for handling liquid or dry commodities, in unpackaged bulk form, such as oil, grain, ore, and coal. Bulk terminals typically are installed with specialized cargo handling equipment such as pipelines, conveyors, pneumatic evacuators, cranes with clamshell grabs, and rail lines to accommodate cargo handling operations with ships or barges. Commodity-specific storage facilities such as grain silos, petroleum storage tanks, and coal stock yards are also located at these terminals.
All vessels designed to carry bulk cargo such as grain, fertilizers, ore, and oil.

BUNKERS Fuel used aboard ships.

BUSINESS LOGISTICS Process of planning, implementing and controlling the efficient and cost-effective flow and storage of raw materials, in-process inventory, finished goods and related information from the point of origin to the point of consumption, for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements (Council of Logistics Management's definition). Therefore logistics includes the area both of material management and physical distribution.

 BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING (BPO) It is the procurement of particular services that involve ongoing outsourcing of specific business processes. In certain industries, design, manufacturing, inspection, and logistics may be outsourced.  More recently, BPO has come to include internal, “back-office” functions such as internal audit, finance, billing, accounting and other operations support.  BPO “front office” functions may include customer relationship management, with sales, call centres and fulfilment services.

BUSINESS PROCESS RE-ENGINEERING (BPR) A systematic, disciplined improvement approach that critically examines, rethinks, and redesigns, and implements the redesigned mission-delivery pro-cesses to achieve dramatic improvements in performance in areas important to customers and other stakeholders. BPR is also referred to by such terms as business process improvement (BPI) or business process development, and business process redesign.

BUSINESS TO BUSINESS (B2B) A business conducting e-commerce with another business or businesses.

BUSINESS TO CONSUMER (B2C) A business conducting e-commerce with a consumer or consumers.



Transport between two terminals (a terminal of loading/embarkment and a terminal of unloading/disembarkment) located in the same country irrespective of the country in which the mode providing the service is registered.



Capital costs comprise the consumption of fixed capital and interest payments, and usually represent a high proportion of infrastructure costs. They differ from annual capital expenditure that may or may not cover all the capital costs. If annual expenditure is less, then the quality of the transport assets will deteriorate.

CAPITALISM Economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange.

CAPITAL RECOVERY FACTOR A factor used to calculate the annual capital costs of an project. A capital recovery factor may equally be used to determine the equivalent annual cost of the stream of annual cash outflows (i.e. the initial investment expenditure and the series of “net” annual operating and maintenance costs) incurred over the useful life of an project.

A barge equipped with tracks on which railroad cars are moved by water.

CARGO INTERCHANGE MESSAGE PROCEDURES (IMP) ATA/IATA Cargo Interchange Message Procedures, developed by the Member Airlines of the Air Transport Association of America and the International Air Transport Association.

CARRIAGE COLLECT Freight and charges be paid by the consignee.


Incoterm meaning that the seller pays the freight for the carriage of the goods to the named destination. However, the risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as well as of any cost increases, is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods have been delivered into the custody of the first carrier and not at the ship's rail. The term can be used for all modes of transport including multi-modal operations and container or “roll on-roll off” traffic by trailer and ferries. When the seller has to furnish a bill of lading, waybill or carrier's receipt, he duly fulfils this obligation by presenting such a document issued by the person with whom he has contracted for carriage to the named destination.

CARRIER Any person  or entity who, through a contract of carriage, undertakes to perform or procure the performance of carriage by rail, road, sea, air, inland waterway, or by a combination of modes.


Intra-port or local hauling of cargo by drays or trucks; also referred to as drayage.

CATEGORY MANAGEMENT The management of product categories as strategic business units. The practice can empower a category manager with full responsibility for the assortment decisions, inventory levels, shelf-space allocation, promotions and buying. With this authority and responsibility, the category manager may be able to judge more accurately the consumer buying patterns, product sales and market trends of that category. By emphasizing profits and sales for entire product groups rather than individual items or brands category management can encourage a longer-term, joint retailer-supplier focus in marketing and merchandising.

FS-controlled company who manages the combined transports in Italy.


The term CFS/CFS refers to cargo delivered at origin in less-than-containerload quantities to a container freight station (CFS) to be loaded into containers and to be unloaded from the container at destination CFS.


The charge assessed for services performed at the origin or destination for loading or unloading of cargo into/from containers at a CFS.

CFS RECEIVING SERVICE The service performed at the loading port in receiving and packing cargo into containers from CFS to CY or shipside. CHARTER

Originally meant a flight where a shipper contracted hire of an aircraft from an air carrier, but has usually come to mean any non-scheduled commercial service.

CHASSIS A rectangular steel frame, supported by springs and wheeled axles constructed to accept mounting of containers for over-the-road transport. CITY LOGISTICS Urban Logistics.

CITY LOGISTICS CENTER Logistic infrastructure utilized for urban deliveries through light and low environmental impact vehicles.

CLASSIFICATION YARD A railroad yard with many tracks used for assembling freight trains.


A common form of distributed system in which software is split between server tasks and client tasks. A client sends requests to a server, according to some protocol, asking for information or action, and the server responds. This is analogous to a customer (client) who sends an order (request) on an order form to a supplier (server) who despatches the goods and an invoice (response). The order form and invoice are part of the protocol used to communicate in this case. There may be either one centralised server or several distributed ones. This model allows clients and servers to be placed independently on nodes in a network, possibly on different hardware and operating systems appropriate to their function, e.g. fast server/cheap client.

COLLECT FREIGHT Freight which is payable to the carrier when the merchandise arrives at the port of discharge named in the bill of lading. COLLECTIVISM Economic system in which the means of production are owned by the state, which plans the economy, sets prices and output levels, etc. COMBINATION VESSEL

A type of ship that accommodates both container and break-bulk cargo. It can be either self-sustaining or non-self sustaining. Also known as a Container/Break-bulk Vessel.

COMBINED TRANSPORT Intermodal transport where the major part of the European journey is by rail, inland waterways or sea and any initial and/or final legs carried out by road are as short as possible.

COMMON CARRIER A transportation company that provides service to the general public at published rates.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE The element that makes one company better than its competitors: a better product or service, lower prices (due to economies of scale), etc.


An arrangement whereby a private party (concessionaire) leases assets from a public authority for an extended period and has responsibility for financing specified new fixed investments during the period and for providing specified services associated with the assets; in return, the concessionaire receives specified revenues from the operation of the assets; the assets revert to the public sector at expiration of the contract.



An affiliation of shipowners operating over the same route(s) who agree to charge uniform rates and other terms of carriage. A conference is “closed” if one can enter only by the consent of existing members of the conference. It is “open” if anyone can enter by meeting certain technical and financial standards. Conference members are common carriers.
Congestion arises when traffic exceeds infrastructure capacity and the speed of traffic declines.

CONGESTION COSTS Congestion costs comprise direct costs, including opportunity costs of time lost to third parties due to delays, and social costs (e.g. environmental costs).

A broad term used to identify user fees that are charged to manage traffic and avoid congestion.

Physical possibilities to use a transportation network in order to optimise the realizable routes.

CONSIGNEE The individual or company to whom a seller or shipper sends merchandise and who, upon presentation of necessary documents, is recognized as the merchandise owner for the purpose of declaring and paying customs duties.


A term used to describe any person who consigns goods to himself or to another party in a bill of lading or equivalent document. A consignor might be the owner of the goods, or a freight forwarder who consigns goods on behalf of his principal.

CONSIGNMENT Freight sent under a single contract of carriage. In combined transport, this term may be used for statistical purposes, to measure loading units or road vehicles. The grouping together of several consignments into a full load is called consolidation or groupage.


Document prepared by the shipper and comprising a transport contract. It contains details of the consignment to be carried to the port of loading and it is signed by the inland carrier as proof of receipt.


Also called “groupage”, it is a method of shipping whereby an agent (freight forwarder or consolidator) combines individual consignments from various shippers into one shipment made to a destination agent, for the benefit of preferential rates. The consolidation is then de-consolidated by the destination agent into its original component consignments and made available to consignees. Consolidation provides shippers access to better rates than would be otherwise attainable.

The grouping together of smaller consignments of goods into a large consignment for carriage as a larger unit in order to obtain a reduced rate.
CONSOLIDATION POINT Location where consolidation of consignments takes place.

A firm or company which consolidates cargo.

CONSTANT PRICES See real prices.


Goods that are bought and used by the public, rather than being used for manufacturing further goods.



The individuals and households that buy products for their own personal consumption.



A large standard size stackable metal box into which cargo is packed for shipment aboard specially configured oceangoing containerships and designed to be moved with common handling equipment enabling high-speed intermodal transfers in economically large units between ships, railcars, truck chassis, and barges using a minimum of labor. The container, therefore, serves as the transfer unit rather than the cargo contained therein.


An arrangement whereby a private party (concessionaire) leases assets from a public authority for an extended period and has responsibility for financing specified new fixed investments during the period and for providing specified services associated with the assets; in return, the concessionaire receives specified revenues from the operation of the assets; the assets revert to the public sector at expiration of the contract.



An agreement between parties that allows the efficient use and supply of containers; a common supply of containers available to the shipper as required.
A cargo vessel designed and constructed to transport, within specifically designed cells, portable tanks and freight containers which are lifted on and off with their contents intact. There are two types of containerships full and partial. Full containerships are equipped with permanent container cells with little or no space for other types of cargo. Partial containerships are considered multi-purpose container vessels, where one or more but not all compartments are fitted with permanent container cells, and the remaining compartments are used for other types of cargo. This category also includes container/car carriers, container/rail car carriers, and container/roll-on/roll-off vessels.

CONTAINERISATION Refers to the increasing and generalized use of the container as a means of freight transport. As a standard and versatile means, the container has greatly contributed to intermodal transportation of merchandise and its widespread use, therefore, is responsible for profound mutations in the transport sector. Through reduction of handling time, labor costs, and packing costs, container transportation allows considerable increases in speed of rotation along a circuit and thus entails a better optimization of time and money.

CONTAINER ON RAILROAD FLATCAR (COFC) Container-based land and maritime coordination of freight handling.


An area designated for the stowage of cargo in containers, usually accessible by truck, railroad, and marine transportation, where containers are picked up, dropped off, maintained, and housed.



A materials handling/storage facility used for completely unitized loads in containers and/or empty containers.

CONTINUOUS REPLENISHMENT (CRP) The practice of partnering between distribution channel members that changes the traditional replenishment process from distributor-generated purchase orders, based on economic order quantities, to the replenishment of products based on actual and forecasted product demand.

CORNER FITTING Fixed points usually located at the top and bottom corners of a container into which twistlocks or other devices engage to enable the container to be lifted, stacked, secured.

CORRIDOR Broadly defined transport connections that carry people and goods between two locations. Within corridors there are specific transport links, for example road and rail links.

CO-SOURCING A strategic partnering strategy which provides an alternative to a pure “make” or  “buy” decision by establishing an agreement where both parties exchange traditional and “non-traditional” assets, both tangible and intangible, in fulfillment of the agreement.

COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS (CBA) An analysis of the benefits and costs to society of some action. It aims to value benefits and costs in monetary terms and provide a summary indication of the net benefit.

The cost curve is a graph of total costs of production as a function of total quantity produced.

COST DRIVER A characteristic of any activity or event which results in a incurrence of costs by that activity.

COST INSURANCE FREIGHT (CIF) Cost including Insurance and Freight is the value declared by the importer to Customs. It represents the Free on Board (FOB) cost ex foreign ports, plus shipping and insurance.

COST RECOVERY This is an approach to infrastructure charging whereby fixed and variable costs are recovered in full or in part.


A document that provides short-term evidence of insurance cover before the policy and certificate have been issued.

CRANE Conventional lifting crane where the load is suspended by cable via a jib. The handling of ITUs requires the cable to be connected to the ITUs’ corners.


A network analysis technique used to predict project duration by analyzing which sequence of tasks has the least amount of scheduling flexibility.


A distribution system in which merchandise received at the warehouse or distribution centre is not put away, but instead is readied for shipment to retail stores. Cross docking requires close synchronization of all inbound and outbound shipments. By eliminating the put-away, storage and selection operations, it can significantly reduce distribution costs. In pallet-level cross docking, entire pallets are received from the vendor and moved directly to the outbound trucks without further handling. In case level cross docking, cases are transferred into a conveyer system, if one is available, which routes them to the appropriate outbound staging area for delivery to the store.



Cross-subsidization involves supplying transport services to one group of consumers (users) at a loss, which is made up by profits on services provided to other consumers (users). It can be viewed as a particular way of allocating rents associated with the transport activity.

CROSS-TRADE SEA TRANSPORT International sea transport performed by a seagoing vessel registered in a third country.

CURRENT PRICES See nominal prices.


A marketing and fulfilment system that usually includes a call centre, data bases, software and marketing strategy.  Like ERP, CRM initiatives are complex, involve redesign of internal business process and retraining. Successful contracting for CRM outsourcing requires attention to business as well as technology and legal issues.


Tailoring a product or service to individual requirements.


A governmental body authorized to regulate the movement of goods into and out of a country and to collect import and export duties.


A person or firm, licensed by the customs authority of their country when required, engaged in entering and clearing goods through customs for a client (importer).



A required procedure in all countries that allows goods to enter the country.

CUSTOMS DUTIES Taxes charged on most imports (except in customs unions or free trade areas like the European Union and NAFTA).

CUSTOMS HOUSE The government office where duties and/or tolls are placed on imports or exports and are paid on vehicles or vessels entered or cleared.

CUT-OFF TIME (CLOSE TIME) The latest time a container may be delivered to a terminal for loading to a scheduled vessel, train, or truck.


DATABASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (DBMS) Software for data warehousing and management.
Place where loose or other non-containerised cargo is ungrouped for delivery.

DEEP SEA MARITIME TRANSPORT Intercontinental transport of cargo by sea.

DEFLATION A decrease in the general price level or an increase in the purchasing power of money.

DELIVERED AT FRONTIER (DAF) Incoterm meaning that the seller's obligations are fulfilled when the goods have arrived at the frontier but before “the customs border” of the country named in the sales contract. The term is primarily intended to apply to goods by rail or road but is also used irrespective of the mode of transport.

DELIVERY DUTY PAID (DDP) Title and risk pass to buyer when seller delivers goods to named destination point cleared for import. Used for any mode of transportation.

DEMURRAGE The delay of a vessel or detention of a shipment beyond the stipulated time allowed for loading or unloading; the resulting payment to the owner for such delay or detention.

DELOCALIZATION The splitting of production processes into separate parts that can be done in different locations, including in different countries. DEPRECIATION Depreciation is an accounting charge for the decline in value of an asset spread over its life.

DEPRECIATION CHARGE Capital goods (e.g. installed pollution abatement equipment) are typically used up over a period of time. Each year, a portion of the usefulness of these assets expires, therefore a portion of the original investment expenditure should be recognised as an annual (capital) cost. The term depreciation refers to the systematic allocation of the cost of an asset to expense over the accounting periods making up its useful life.

DEREGULATION The ending or relaxing of legal regulations or restrictions in a particular industry


Provides the average variable cost for a product, service or process (which often depends on the volume manufactured or provided).

DISCOUNTED (CASH FLOW) NET BENEFIT The present value of expected future net benefits.

DISCOUNT FACTOR The present value of a single unit of currency received in the future (normally one year from now). If the discount rate is r, then the discount factor is 1/(1+r).

DISCOUNT RATE The rate used to discount future net benefits to their present value.

DISCOUNTING The process of determining the present value of future net benefits.

DISECONOMIES OF SCALE Diseconomies of scale are like economies of scale but with the implication that they are negative, so larger scale would increase cost per unit.

DISINTERMEDIATION It refers to cutting out the middlemen in transactions.

DISPATCHING The carrier activities involved with controlling equipment; involves arranging for fuel, drivers, crews, equipment, and terminal space. DISPOSAL OF GOODS The act of getting rid of goods.

DISPOSITIONING All activities relating to the inland movement of empty and or full containers.

The set of activities which ensure the availability of goods in the desired quality, quantity, place and time for the customer.

DISTRIBUTION CENTRE A warehouse for the receipt, the storage and the dispersal of goods among customers. Synonym: Branch Warehouse. DISTRIBUTION MANAGEMENT Outbound logistics, from the end of the production line to the end user.

DISTRIBUTION REQUIREMENT PLANNING (DRP-I) The function of determining the need to replenish stock at branch warehouses.

DISTRIBUTION RESOURCE PLANNING (DRP-II) The set of concepts, procedures and techniques, being an extension of DRP-I, for the effective planning and control of the physical distribution.

Ultra-modern cargo distribution complex that provides comprehensive warehousing facilities within a Free Trade Zone.
DOCK For ships, a cargo handling area parallel to the shoreline.

DOOR-TO-DOOR Transportation of a container and its contents from consignor to consignee.

DOUBLE-DECK PALLET Flat pallet with a top deck and a bottom deck.

DOUBLE STACK TRAIN Rail or train capable of carrying two containers, one on top of the other.

DOUBLE STACK WAGON A rail wagon designed for the transport of containers stacked on top of each other.

DRAFT The depth of a loaded vessel in the water, taken from the level of the waterline, to the lowest point of the hull of the vessel; depth of water, or distance between the bottom of the ship and the water line. Also referred to as draught.

DRAYAGE Transporting freight by truck, typically within short distances.

DRY-BULK CONTAINER A container constructed to carry grain, powder and other free flowing solids in bulk.

DRY DOCK An enclosed basin into which a ship is taken for underwater cleaning and repairing. It is fitted with watertight entrance gates which when closed permit the dock to be pumped dry.

DUMPING Selling goods in foreign markets at a lower price than in the home market, or even selling at cost price or at a loss in order to obtain foreign exchange.

DUNNAGE Material used in stowing cargo either for separation or the prevention of damage.

DUTY FREE Describes goods that can be imported without customs taxes.


It is expressed in term of no. of day that a container changed from one status to another e.g. from under inbound load (UIL) to empty available (MTA) to under outbound load (UOL). The shorter the dwell time, the more efficient the container utilization will be.    


E.T.A. Expected time arrival.

E.T.D. Expected time departure.

E-BUSINESS Electronic business, that is conducting business electronically .

E-COMMERCE Electronic commerce, that is conducting commerce electronically.

ECONOMIC COST The cost associated with the supply of any good or service, measured in terms of opportunity costs of the inputs used.

ECONOMIC GOODS Goods that are useful, scarce, and rationed by price.


Increase in per capita income, resulting from the increased production of goods and services.

ECONOMIC LIFE The time at which the marginal costs of operating and maintaining an project exceed the marginal benefits provided by the asset - because other factors, such as technological change or changes in economic circumstances, may render the asset obsolete or inadequate. The economic life of an project may differ from its technical life; the economic life is typically shorter than the technical life.

ECONOMIC LOGISTICS The term refers to the study, through the economic analysis tools, of topics concerning specialised infrastructures, territorial planning, markets’ regulation and external economies/diseconomies of transport and logistic outsourcing. Economic Logistics can be understood as “3Ts’ fusion”, that is to say Transports, Tertiarisation and Territory.

ECONOMIC ORDER QUANTITY (EOQ) The quantity per order (in units) that minimizes the total costs of processing orders and holding inventory. ECONOMIC RENT  Money paid to someone over and above the amount he or she needs to remain in that particular line of work.

ECONOMIC VALUE ADDEDTM(EVA) A financial management system developed and trademarked by Stern Stewart & Co. EVA is calculated as net operating profit after taxes (NOPAT) less the cost of capital, plus capital budgeting adjustments.

ECONOMIES OF SCALE Reductions in unit costs arising from large-scale production.

Cost savings resulting from increasing the number of different goods or services produced.


An organized system for the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.

EDI Electronic Data Interchange. The electronic interchange of business transactions between organizations according to a specific pre-defined standard. EDIFACT Electronic Data Interchange For Administration Commerce and Transportation EDIFACT stands for “Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport”. This involves an international hardware- and software neutral industry-wide system for electronic data exchange. EDIFACT, defined and serviced by bodies of the United Nations (UN) serves for standardization in electronic exchange of commercial documents and business messages. Under the umbrella of the UN, EDIFACT is often also called UN/EDIFACT. All EDIFACT messages are based on ISO9735, in which the individual syntax units are described in detail. The structure of the control segments (e.g. UNH, UNT, etc.) is also described there, since they apply to all messages as an overall standard.

EFFECTIVENESS A measure of the quality of attainment in meeting objectives; to be distinguished from efficiency, which is measured by the volume of output achieved for the input used.

EFFICIENCY The ability to produce good results without wasting time or resources; in financial theory, the fact that all new information is rapidly communicated, understood by market participants, and incorporated into prices.

EFFICIENT CONSUMER RESPONSE (ECR) A strategy in which the grocery retailer, distributor and supplier trading partners study methods to work closely together to eliminate excess costs from the grocery supply chain and better serve the consumer.

E-FULLFILMENT Comprehensive order processing system (operated, for instance, by a logistics service provider) covering the receipt of orders via the Internet, payment, storage, transportation and delivery as well as after-sales service and disposal.

ELASTICITY OF DEMAND The responsiveness of the quantity of a good or service demanded to changes in market price or in consumers’ income.


Changes in the supply of a good or service in response to changes in price.


Track provided with an overhead trolley wire or with conductor rail to permit electric traction.



The application of Internet-based technologies to traditional logistics.


Business communities are beginning to form e-marketplaces, enabling them to automate and leverage transactions with one another as a community. By bringing together large numbers of buyers and sellers, e-marketplaces give sellers access to new customers, expand the choices available to buyers and reduce transaction costs.

ENGINEER TO ORDER (ETO) A manufacturing response to demand in which engineering analysis and design occurs for all materials and production activities designated for a specific customer order. ETO may involve the use of a few common raw materials, but requires constructing new bills of materials and routings to complete intermediate items and the end time required.

ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING (ERP) It is a software which integrates the various functions of an enterprise based on sharing of data in common database that, when processed, generates relevant management information for purchasing departments, manufacturing, sales, delivery and related internal processes (such as human resources and accounting).  In principle, ERP software is capable of running the enterprise (and multiple enterprises) as an integrated operation.



Purchasing which takes place between companies using services such as the Internet, Electronic Data Interchange or Electronic File Transfer. Two companies, one the supplier and the other the purchaser, transmit inquiries, orders, invoices, payments etc. directly through their computer systems.

EUROPEAN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND (ERDF) The ERDF is aimed at reducing regional imbalances and assisting disadvantaged regions, particularly, run-down areas facing restructuring problems and industrial decline and rural areas.

EUROPEAN SOCIAL FUND (ESF) The ESF aims to improve employment opportunities in the European Union by providing financial support towards the running costs for vocational training schemes, guidance and counselling projects, job creation measures and other steps to improve the employability and skills of both employed and unemployed people. It also provides support for research and improving the capacity of organisations to better help their target communities.

EQUIVALENT ANNUAL COST An equal, or uniform, payment made over the useful life of an project, which has the same present value as the stream of annual cash outflows (i.e. the initial investment expenditure plus the series of net annual operating and maintenance costs) associated with the measure. EXCHANGE RATE The exchange rate for foreign currency is the price of a unit of the foreign currency in terms of the domestic currency.


A tax on the sale or use of specific products or transactions.

EXTERNAL COST (NEGATIVE EXTERNALITY) The costs arising from the provision of any good or service that are not taken into account by the provider of that good or service when making decisions about methods of production and level of production; for that concerns the transport sector they include pollution, noise, health, accidents costs. Failure to acknowledge such costs may result in excessive use of a transport service.


An “external economy,” “external benefit,” or “positive externality” results when part of the benefit of producing or consuming a good or service accrues to a firm or household other than that which produces or purchases it.

EXTRANET It extends the Intranet to information users from outside the enterprise. Extranets are used to provide access to information that can be used by suppliers, customers, banks and other financial institutions and others needing access to an enterprise's data.


FEASIBILITY STUDY The final determination of the viability of a proposed investment project. Only the best alternative identified in a pre-feasibility study is developed in a feasibility study, which covers all economic, institutional, social, and engineering aspects of the project. The need for the project is analysed along with resource availability, and refined estimates are made of (1) project benefits, (2) capital costs of construction, (3) annual costs of operation and maintenance, (4) economic parameters for evaluation, i.e. Net Present Value, Internal Rate of Return or other, and (5) repayment probabilities. FEEDER VESSEL Vessel employed in normally short sea routes to fetch or carry goods and containers to and from ocean going vessels.


FERROUTAGE Combined transport by rail and road. FEU
Forty equivalent unit. Commonly describes a 40-foot container (12.20 m.).
Those money payments associated with any given set of economic costs.

FIRST-IN FIRST-OUT (FIFO) Method of inventory valuation that assumes that the less recently purchased or produced goods are sold first.


Fixed costs are those which are independent of traffic flow or usage.


A charge, normally applied to transport infrastructure, which does not vary with usage.

FLAG STATE Country of registry of a sea going vessel. A sea going vessel is subject to the maritime regulations in respect of manning scales, safety standards and consular representation abroad of its country of registration.

FOREIGN TRADE ZONE An area within a country where imported goods, except contraband, may be stored or processed without being subject to import duty. Also called a “free trade zone” or “free port”.

FORK LIFT TRUCK Vehicle equipped with power-driven horizontal forks, which allow it to lift, move or stack pallets, containers or swap bodies. The latter two are usually empty. These operations can only be performed on the front row of stack.


A logistics provider that manages a number of other logistics providers, hence acts as a shipper or a logistics provider in different circumstances.

FOUR-WAY PALLET Pallet permitting the entry of the fork arms of fork-lift trucks or pallet trucks from all directions.

FREE ENTERPRISE Economic system in which anyone can attempt to raise capital, form a business, and offer goods or services.

FREE MARKET One in which prices rise and fall according to supply and demand, with no governmental intervention.

FREE ON BOARD (FOB) Common price term used in international trade meaning seller's responsible for the cost of goods is to the point of loading it to the vessel deck or aircraft loading deck. The risk of loss of or damage to the goods is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods have been so delivered. FOB normally comes with port of loading either airport or sea port.

FREE RIDER Someone who enjoys the benefits of a (public) good without paying for it. Because it is difficult to preclude anyone from using a pure public good, those who benefit from the good have an incentive to avoid paying for it—that is, to be free riders.

FREE TRADE Situation where there are no restrictions (tariffs, quotas, etc.) on imports and exports of goods.

FREIGHT DISTRIBUTION CENTRE Storage and interchange facility for loading/unloading rail freight and transferring to road transportation.

FREIGHT FORWARDER Individual/company that accepts shipments and consolidates them into truckloads. An agent who helps expedite shipments by preparing necessary documents and making other arrangements for moving freight.


A front-end system is one that users interact with directly, such as buying a product or searching a catalogue.

FULL CONTAINER LOAD (FCL) In contrast to the LCL (= Less than Container Load) the carrier/ship owner takes an already fully loaded container for carriage from the shipper (exporter).

FULL COSTING A product costing method where the value of each manufactured item includes all necessary direct and indirect manufacturing costs. FULL EMPLOYMENT Situation in which everyone looking for work is able to find it.


GABARIT Encumbrance limit of a container wagon with reference to both bridges and galleries of a railway line.


GAMES THEORY Mathematic theory of rational behavior for interactive decision problems.


GANTRY CRANE An overhead crane comprising a horizontal gantry mounted on legs which are either fixed, run in fixed tracks or on rubber tyres with relatively limited manoeuvre. The load can be moved horizontally, vertically and sideways. Such cranes normally straddle a road/rail and/or ship/shore interchange. GANTT (BAR) CHART A Gantt chart is a graphic display of activity durations. It is also referred to as a bar chart. Activities are listed with other tabular information on the left side with time intervals over the bars. Activity durations are shown in the form of horizontal bars.

A point at which cargo is interchanged between carriers or modes of transport. A means of access, an entry, in other words a pivotal point for the entrance and the exit of merchandise in a region, a country, a continent.

GENERAL CARGO Cargo, consisting of goods, unpacked or packed, for example in cartons, crates, bags or bales, often palletised. General cargo can be shipped either in break-bulk or containerised. Any consignment other than a consignment containing valuable cargo and charged for transport at general cargo rates (air-cargo).

GENERAL CARGO RATES The rate for the carriage of cargo other than a class rate or specific commodity rate.

GENERAL CARGO SHIP Ship designed with holds for the carriage of diverse types and forms of goods. This category includes reefer ships, Ro-Ro passenger ships, Ro-Ro container ships, other Ro-Ro cargo ships, general cargo/passenger ships and other multi-purpose ships.

GENERAL EQUILIBRIUM Hypothetical state of balance in all the markets which make up an economy (supply and demand of goods, labour, capital, etc.). GENERALIZED COST The total cost an individual pays to make use of a mode of transport, including the “out-of-pocket” cost - i.e. the market price of making the trip - the value of time taken and any other non-monetary factors incurred in making the trip.

GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM (GIS) An organized collection of computer hardware, software, geographic data, and personnel designed to efficiently capture, store, update, manipulate, analyze, and display all forms of geographically referenced information.

Good with benefits that are strongly universal in terms of countries (covering more than one group of countries), people (accruing to several, preferably all, population groups) and generations (extending to both current and future generations, or at least meeting the needs of current generations without foreclosing development options for future generations).

The growing interdependence and interconnectedness of the modern world through increased flows of goods, services, capital, people and information. The phenomenon is driven by processes of economic liberalisation, technological advances and reductions in the costs of international transactions and transports.

GLOCAL Word composed by global and local. The term “glocal economy” refers to an internationalisation and regionalisation of the economy, and to an increasing tertiarisation, decentralization, interrelation and privatisation of the economic activities.

Global Positioning System. Satellite navigation system used to determine terrestrial position, velocity, and time. Once exclusively used by the U.S. military, the GPS is now available to the worldwide general public. The GPS system relays satellite signals that can be processed by a GPS receiver.

GRAPH Graphical representation of a transportation network composed by a set of dots called vertices (or nodes) connected by links called edges (or arcs).

GREENHOUSE EFFECT The absorption of outgoing infra-red radiation by greenhouse gases and water vapor, which thereby raises the Earth’s temperature.

GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT (GNP) The money value of all the final goods and services produced in a country in a year, plus income from foreign investments (which is excluded in GDP or gross domestic product).

GROSS TONNAGE Applies to vessels, not to cargo. Determined by dividing by 100 the contents, in cubic feet, of the vessel's closed-in spaces. A vessel ton is 100 cubic feet.

GROSS WEIGHT Entire weight of goods, packaging and container, ready for shipment.

GROUPAGE Consolidation of several small consignments and the formation of one large shipment thereof.



Port charges to a vessel for each harbour entry, usually on a per gross registered ton basis for commercial vessels.

HARBOUR MASTER An officer who attends to berthing ships in a harbour.

HAULAGE The inland carriage of cargo or containers between named locations/points. Synonym: Cartage.

Road carrier.

HIGH CUBE CONTAINER Container of standard ISO length and width but with a height of 9’6” (2.9 m).


See motorway.

HINTERLAND Land space over which a transport terminal, such as a port, sells its services and interacts with its clients. It accounts for the regional market share that a terminal has relative to a set of other terminals servicing this region. It regroups all the customers directly bounded to the terminal. The terminal, depending on its nature, serves as a place of convergence for the traffic coming by roads, railways or by sea/fluvial feeders.

HOLD A ship’s interior storage compartment.

Hyper Text Mark-up Language. Language in which web pages are written.

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. Conventions used by web browsers and servers to transfer web pages.

HUB Central point for the collection, sorting, transhipment and distribution of goods for a particular area. This concept comes from a term used in air transport for passengers as well as freight. It describes collection and distribution through a single point (“Hub and Spoke” concept).

HUB & SPOKE H&S distribution systems are based on the concentration of the traffics over few points (hubs) that sort the goods towards peripheral structures from which the final deliveries then have origin over reduced routes (spokes).

The carriage of road vehicles and trailers on railway wagons. Synonym: Piggyback.


International Air Transport Association.

ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization.

IMO International Maritime Organization. IN BOND Cargo moving under customs control where duty has not yet been paid.


The set of international standards for the uniform interpretation of common contract clauses in international trade. INCOTERMS 2000, formulated in concert with many international entities, comprises the latest revisions and should now be used exclusively.


Indirect costs refer to those costs associated with changes in demand in related (markets) sectors of the economy through backward and forward production linkages with the project. For example, the (direct) expenditures on an project may induce changes in demand for certain resources and related services throughout the economy. The net value of these induced changes is an indirect cost of investing in the project.

INDUCEMENT Placing a port on a vessel’s itinerary because the volume of cargo offered by that port justifies the cost of routing the vessel. INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT A highly geographically concentrated group of companies that either work directly or indirectly for the same end market, share values and knowledge so important that they define a cultural environment, and are specifically linked to one another in a complex mix of competition and cooperation. Key source of competitiveness are elements of trust, solidarity, and cooperation between firms, a result of a close intertwining of economic, social, and community relations.

INFLATION An increase in the general price level or a decrease in the purchasing power of money.

INFOMEDIARY An intermediary business that captures, segments and analyses consumer data for use by third party organisations.

INFRASTRUCTURE Fixed equipment (such as roads, railways and traffic lights) needed for transport services.

A transportation company that hauls export or import traffic between ports and inland points.

INTEGRATED Combined into a unified system taking into consideration all relationships. In terms of transport this means considering all modes, land use patterns and social, environmental and economic impacts.


Integrated logistics means taking a global approach to activities such as demand management, asset management, purchasing, factory logistics and distribution, including warehousing and transport. The activities are viewed as a system, rather than many disparate activities. The aim is then to simplify, synchronise and integrate the inbound and outbound flows to form a competitive differentiator for the business.


Railway undertaking also being an Infrastructure manager.

INTEGRATED TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SYSTEM The development and application of network-wide data collection and sharing of traffic information system. The system can integrate data and control systems from freeways, arterials and city streets to provide real-time proactive traffic information and control. Implementation of the system would facilitate congestion management over the entire network across multijurisdictional boundaries. The system could provide incident detection, transit and emergency vehicle priority, and advance traveler information.

INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT SYSTEMS (ITS) The integrated application of modern computer and communications technologies to transport systems to improve transport safety, use of infrastructure, transport operations and the environment.

INTEREST COST (CHARGE) A charge made for the use of money and reflecting the opportunity cost of capital. The yearly interest charge on the unpaid capital balance is one part of the annual capital cost (see also interest rate).

INTEREST RATE The ratio of the interest charged in any one time period to the original investment expenditure (see also interest rate).

A railroad facility designed for the loading and unloading of containers, swap bodies and trailers to and from flat cars for movement on the railroad and subsequent movement on the street or highway.

INTERMODAL TRANSPORT The movement of goods in one and the same loading unit or road vehicle, which uses successively two or more modes of transport without handling the goods themselves in changing modes.

INTERMODAL TRANSPORT UNIT (ITU) Containers, swap bodies and semi-trailers suitable for intermodal transport.


Internal costs are those which the user pays for.

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF STANDARDIZATION (ISO) ISO is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from some 130 countries, one from each country. It is a non-governmental organization established in 1947 to promote the development of standardization facilitating international trade. ISO's work results in international agreements which are published as International Standards.


The vast collection of inter-connected networks that are connected using the TCP/IP protocols and that evolved from the ARPANET of the late 60's and early 70's. Any time you connect 2 or more networks together, you have an internet - as in inter-national or inter-state. The Internet connects tens of thousands of independent networks into a vast global internet and is probably the largest Wide Area Network in the world.


Internet2 is a consortium being led by 202 universities working in partnership with industry and government to develop and deploy advanced network applications and technologies, accelerating the creation of tomorrow's Internet. Internet2 is recreating the partnership among academia, industry and government that fostered today´s Internet in its infancy. The primary goals of Internet2 are to: - create a leading edge network capability for the national research community; - enable revolutionary Internet applications; - ensure the rapid transfer of new network services and applications to the broader Internet community.


Term which means that the operating equipment (trucks, trains, ships, etc.) can operate on either side of the border equally efficiently. This means common technical specifications, or at least sufficient flexibility in specifications to remove access to all components of the integrated network. It also means common institutions such as licenses, insurance, way-bills, computer and information systems, safety standards, and labor laws and practices. Without these features there is the needed for consignments or passengers to change carrier at the border even if the same mode is used on either side. In other words, it means equity of access, on comparable terms, to the entire integrated transportation infrastructure network.

It is a network of computers and related digital files available to all members of the intranet's owner.  Users access the files using an Internet Protocol rather than simple hard wiring.  When added to a VPN, an Intranet can become an Extranet.


It represents a fundamental of Economic Logistics. In particular, by borrowing from the financial mathematics the law of the capitals equality over time according to the conditions of the rates of interest or discount, Economic Logistics reaches to a sort of equality or invariance of the capitals over space in comparison to both a rate of transport-distance cost and a rate of incidence of the logistic service cost. The consequence is an higher competitiveness of the productions owed to smaller costs of the inputs in comparison to invariant values over space.

INVENTORY TURNOVER The number of times the average inventory has been sold during a period.

INVESTMENT EXPENDITURE The total expenditure made in a given year to purchase plant/equipment or other infrastructure items from a supplier, and all expenditures associated with installing these items and making it operational. This includes the purchase of land, general site preparation etc., if required. Investment expenditure is distinct from the capital cost of an project. Capital goods provide services over a number of years and therefore only a portion of the original investment expenditure is recognised as an annual (capital) cost. In contrast, investment expenditure indicates the total value of the capital good in the year of acquisition and thus does not reflect the use of the asset over time.



Structure projecting out to sea, designed to protect a port from the force of the waves but also used to berth ships.


The costs associated with the provision of more than one type of output. Frequently a project delivers more than one final product. Some of the costs can be clearly attributed to each separate product, but some costs are shared. These shared costs are joint costs. Rules of attributing them exist (e.g. on the basis of the relative value of final output, or on the basis of the value of relative value of some variable input), but these are essentially arbitrary. 

JUST IN TIME (JIT) A manufacturing/distribution process that produces/delivers products just in time to meet orders, not for stock.


KAIZEN Japanese philosophy of continual improvement, that every process can and should be continually evaluated and improved in terms of time required, resources used, resultant quality, and other aspects relevant to the process. When applied to the workplace, Kaizen means continuing improvement involving everyone - managers and workers alike. Kaizen is not limited to manufacturing systems only. It also means continuing improvement in personal life, home life, social life, and working life.

KANBAN A method which during storage uses standard units or lot sizes with a single card attached to each. A pull system used at a stock point in which a supply batch is ordered only when a previous batch is withdrawn. Note: Kanban in Japanese means loosely translated “card” or “sign”.


Ratio of vehicles-kilometres and number of vehicles.

KNOT Intersection between two or more communication lines. However the term also refers to the measure of speed of a ship, equal to one nautical mile (1.852 meters) per hour.


LANDBRIDGE An intermodal connection between two ocean carriers separated by a land mass, linked together in a seamless transaction by a land carrier. LAND CONTAINER Container complying with International Railway Union (UIC) specifications, for use in rail-road combined transport.

LANDLORD PORT An institutional structure whereby the port authority or other relevant public agency retains ownership of the land, as well as responsibility for maintaining approach channels and navigation aids; under this model, the port does not engage in any operational activities.

LAST-IN FIRST-OUT (LIFO) Method of inventory valuation that assumes that the most recently purchased or produced goods are sold first.


Length of time required to replenish the inventory for a material from the time that a need for additional material is felt until the new order for material is received in the inventory and is ready to use.


Assembly-line manufacturing methodology developed originally for Toyota and the manufacture of automobiles. It is also known as the Toyota Production System. The goal of lean production is described as “to get the right things to the right place at the right time, the first time, while minimizing waste and being open to change.

LESS THAN CONTAINERLOAD (LCL) In contrast to the «Full Container Load» goods too small to fill a container are loaded by the carrier at a container freight station with other compatible goods received from various exporters for delivery to the same destination.


Most road freight shipments transported by common carriers are LTL. The term LCL similarly  applies to ocean freight shipments that are “Less than Container Load”.



The costs of any project comprise capital costs and variable costs. The capital costs are shared by the production that takes place over a number of years. The levelised costs is a constant annual cost that is equivalent in present value terms to the actual capital and variable costs of the project.


LIFE CYCLE COST ANALYSIS (LCCA) Method which allows to evaluate the total economic worth of a usable project segment by analysing initial costs and discounted future costs, such as maintenance, user costs, reconstruction, rehabilitation, restoring, and resurfacing costs, over the life of the project segment.


LIFT-ON-LIFT-OFF (LO-LO) Loading and unloading of intermodal transport units (ITU) using lifting equipment.


LIMIT OF LIABILITY The maximum sum of money payable by a carrier to a shipper for any damage or loss to the cargo for which the carrier is liable under the contract of carriage. The amount of the limitation is determined by agreement or by law.

LIMITED RECOURSE FINANCING Project financing in which sponsors or governments agree to provide contingent financial support to give lenders extra comfort; typically provided during the construction and start-up period of a project, which is generally the riskiest time in the life of an infrastructure project. LINE HAUL The movement of freight over the tracks of a transportation line from one city to another.


A reference to a theoretical, linear mathematical function usually involving the variables (1) (total) transport costs and (2) distance. The function would be linear if it is suggested that the increase in transport cost is proportional to the increase in distance. Linearity may exist with or without terminal (or distance-fixed) cost. The latter would result in a curvi-linear, downward sloping average transport-cost function. In general, non-linear total transport costs with declining marginal distance costs would tend to make long-haul transportation relatively inexpensive and might create the incentive to select locations which reduce the number of short-haul links and take advantage of the “distance-economies” of (fewer but) long hauls.

LINER A vessel sailing between specified ports on a regular basis.

LINER TERMS Condition of carriage denoting that costs for loading and unloading are borne by the carrier subject the custom of the port concerned. LLOYD’S REGISTRY An organization maintained for the surveying and classing of ships so that insurance underwriters and others may know the quality and condition of the vessels involved.

LOAD FACTOR The ratio of passengers or freight actually carried versus the total passenger or freight capacity of a vehicle or a route.

Track on which ITUs are transhipped.

LOADING UNIT Container or swap body.


Group of computers and associated devices that share a common communications line and typically share the resources of a single processor or server within a small geographic area (for example, within an office building). Usually, the server has applications and data storage that are shared in common by multiple computer users.



The term means also “external economies of localization” and refers to the agglomeration economies (benefits, cost reductions) resulting from the concentration of the same or similar activities: eg. benefits resulting from the local access to a specialized work force or the specialized reputation of a locality (to which some but maybe not all of these specialized activities contribute).


LOGISTIC CENTRE Geographical grouping of independent companies and bodies which are dealing with freight transport (for example, freight forwarders, shippers, transport operators, customs) and with accompanying services (for example, storage, maintenance and repair), including at least a terminal. In English, also called “Freight village”. In Italian, also called “Interporto”.

LOGISTIC COSTS Six groups of costs relative to logistic activities exist: orders processing and information systems costs; labour costs; warehousing costs; inventories costs; lots costs; transportation and distribution costs.



Concentration of firms and infrastructures for the supply of both multimodal and integrated logistics services oriented to various sectors.


LOGISTICS OPERATOR (LO) Company that plans, controls, implements and monitors information and material flows as a service provided to other companies and customers.


LOGISTIC OUTSOURCING Purchasing logistic services from an outside firm, as opposed to performing it in-house.



A rail wagon with a low loading platform built to carry, inter alia, ITUs.



A production philosophy that advocates producing products only after orders are in hand.


A production philosophy that advocates producing products ahead of time and stocking them in inventory until a demand is generated.


Maximum size ships (containerships and bulkers) which can cross the Malacca Straits. The Malacca-max reference is believed to be today the absolute maximum possible size for container vessels.

MANUFACTURING COSTS Costs associated directly with the manufacturing process including cash operating expenses, but excluding depreciation and amortization


Method for the effective planning of a manufacturing company, being a direct out-growth and extension of MRP-I.

MATERIAL REQUIREMENT PLANNING (MRP) The computer process of matching supply with demand. It forecasts all inventory movements and makes recommendations for material re-supply and production.
Mathematical Programming, one of a number of Operations Research techniques, is the use of mathematical models, particularly optimizing models, to assist in taking decisions.



Marginal costs are specific variable costs related to the provision of a service or the use of infrastructure. Short-run marginal costs are the additional operating and maintenance costs associated with a marginal increase in output without any increase in physical capacity. If external costs are also included, this is referred to as marginal social cost. Long-run marginal costs include also the capital costs of increasing capacity to accommodate an increase in output; they are difficult to measure. Linking charges to long-run marginal costs would lead to significant inefficiencies where excess transport capacity exists.

MARGINAL PRODUCT The increase in output resulting from the use of an additional unit of an input or factor of production.

MARGINAL PROPENSITY TO CONSUME Proportion of additional disposable income that is spent on additional consumption.

MARGINAL PROPENSITY TO SAVE Proportion of additional disposable income that people choose to save.


The change in total revenue resulting from increasing sales by one unit.


The additional satisfaction derived from consuming a further unit of a commodity.

MARINE TERMINAL A designated area of a port, which includes but not limited to wharves, warehouses, covered and/or open storage spaces, cold storage plants, grain elevators and/or bulk cargo loading and/or unloading structures, landings, and receiving stations, used for the transmission, care, and convenience of cargo and/or passengers in the interchange of same between land and water carriers or between two water carriers.



Sea transport between two ports (a port of loading/embarkment and a port of unloading/disembarkment) located in the same country irrespective of the country in which the seagoing vessel is registered.

MARITIME CONTAINER A container strong enough to be stacked in a cellular ship and to be top lifted. Most maritime containers are ISO containers, i.e. they confirm to all relevant International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards.


MARITIME FEEDER SERVICE Short sea shipping service which connects at least two ports in order for the freight (generally containers) to be consolidated or redistributed to or from a deep-sea service in one of these ports.

MARKET ECONOMY One in which prices and quantifies are determined by supply and demand.


Situations in which free competition and the effects of supply and demand do not operate (e.g. monopolies and oligopolies, and externalities). So the market fails to attain economic efficiency.

MARKET PRICE EQUILIBRIUM the price at which the amount that buyers wish to buy equals the amount that sellers wish to sell.

MASTER PRODUCTION SCHEDULE (MPS) Plan that a company develops for production, inventory, staffing, etc.  It sets the quantity of each end item to be completed in each week of a short-range planning horizon. A Master Production Schedule is the master of all schedules.  It is a plan for future production of end items.

MATERIALS MANAGEMENT Inbound logistics from suppliers through the production process. The movement and management of materials and products from procurement through production.

MEDIUM TONNE DISTANCE Ratio of tonnes-kilometres to transported freight tonnes.

MILITARY LOGISTICS Whole of operations dealing with the procurement, distribution, maintenance, and replacement of materiel and personnel of an army in an enemy territory.

MIXED COSTS Costs comprising both fixed and variables components of cost.


A mixed good lies between the polar extremes of a private good and a public good, containing elements of both. For example, inoculation against disease is a mixed good since it benefits the community at large (by reducing risks of illness) as well as the individual. In such a case, private consumption confers a beneficial externality on the rest of the community.

MOBILE CRANE General purpose crane capable of being moved from one part of a port to another.

MODAL SPLIT The relative use of the modes of transportation; the statistics used include ton-miles, passenger-miles and revenue.

MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION A market structure where a large number of small firms produce a non-homogeneous product and there are no relevant barriers to entry or exit

MONOPOLY Situation in which there is only one seller of a product or service. M

ONOPSONY A buyers' monopoly, a situation in which there is only one buyer.

MOOR To attach a ship to the shore by ropes.


Road, specially designed and built for motor traffic, which does not serve properties bordering on it, and which: (a) is provided, except at special points or temporarily, with separate carriageways for the two directions of traffic, separated from each other, either by a dividing strip not intended for traffic, or exceptionally by other means; (b) does not cross at level with any road, railway or tramway track, or footpath; (c) is specially sign-posted as a motorway and is reserved for specific categories of road motor vehicles. Entry and exit lanes of motorways are included irrespectively of the location of the sign-posts.

MULTICRITERIA ANALYSIS (MCA) An extension to traditional cost-benefit analysis that endeavours to take account of all relevant impacts, including non-monetary impacts (for example, social equity and environmental impacts).


MULTIMODAL TRANSPORT Carriage of goods by two or more modes of transport. MULTIMODAL TRANSPORT OPERATOR (MTO) Any person or entity who concludes a multimodal transport contract and assumes the whole responsibility for the performance thereof as a carrier or a transport operator.


NATURAL MONOPOLY A situation where one firm can produce a given level of output at a lower total cost than can any combination of multiple firms. Natural monopolies occur in industries which exhibit decreasing average long-run costs due to size (economies of scale). According to economic theory, a public monopoly governed by regulation is justified when an industry exhibits natural monopoly characteristics. Modern view of natural monopoly rests on the concept of subadditivity of costs. Cost function is subadditive if any division of output between N firms results at greater industry costs when if one firm produces that quantity of output. In the single product case economies of scale imply subadditivity Natural monopoly exists where one firm is able to produce the relevant range of outputs at a lower cost than two or more firms.

NETWORK ECONOMIES The whole of both economies of scale and scope.

NEW ECONOMY Internet-based public and private economy.



Nominal or current price variables refer to values at the prices ruling when the variable was measured. Such prices have not been adjusted for the effects of inflation.

NOMINAL DISCOUNT/INTERST RATE Nominal or current price variables refer to values at the prices ruling when the variable was measured. Such prices have not been adjusted for the effects of inflation.


Benefits that are available to all once a good is provided are termed non-excludable. Goods whose benefits can be withheld costlessly by the owner or provider generate excludable benefits. Firework displays, pollution control devices and street lighting yield non-excludable benefits because once they are provided, it is difficult if not impossible to exclude individuals from their benefits.

NON-RECOURSE FINANCING Project financing for which no loan guarantees or financial support is provided by the sponsors or governments to lenders for the project.

NON-RIVALRY A good is non-rival or indivisible when a unit of the good can be consumed by one individual without detracting, in the slightest, from the consumption opportunities still available to others from that same unit. Sunsets are non-rival or indivisible when views are unobstructed.


A cargo consolidator in ocean trades who buys space from a carrier and re-sells it to smaller shippers. The NVOCC issues bills of lading, publishes tariffs, and otherwise conducts itself as an ocean common carrier, except that it does not provide the actual ocean or intermodal service.

NON-RECURRING COSTS See investment expenditure.

NO-REGRETS MEASURES A project or policy intervention which achieves its stated objective at no incremental cost.

Normative economics is the study of "what should be" in economic matters. Normative economics is subject to, and relies on, personal biases, opinions, and moral beliefs which may cloud the question at hand. The study of normative issues is more than likely to exist in the realm of political science and philosophy than in the strict study of economics, although economists occasionally study normative topics.

Standard Goods Nomenclature for Transport Statistics.


OLIGOPOLY The situation in a market where there are only a small number of large suppliers. OLIGOPSONY The situation in a market where there are only a limited number of buyers.


Person or company who contracts to transport cargo from the port or place of discharge of a sea-going or ocean-going ship to another destination by a different means of transport, such as truck, train or barge. ONE-TO-ONE (121) See Customization. OPERATING AND MANTEINANCE COSTS The costs of the energy, labour, materials and environmental services required to operate and maintain the project during a single year. Operating and maintenance costs may include fixed annual costs associated with administration, insurance premiums and other general overheads. However, they exclude any costs associated with the financing and depreciation of plant or equipment. These are covered through the use of a capital recovery factor when determining total annual costs or annual capital costs. As operating and maintenance costs are incurred annually throughout the useful life of the project, they are also known as recurring costs.


These are running costs associated with operation of transport services.

OPERATIONS RESEARCH The study of statistical and mathematical methods, such as linear programming and simulation, in order to analyze and solve organizational problems.

OPPORTUNITY COST The value of a scarce resource in its next best alternative use. The economic, or “true” private, cost of a resource is given by its opportunity cost.

OPPORTUNITY COST OF CAPITAL The expected rate of return that is foregone by investing in the project rather than in the best alternative investment.

OPTIMIZATION It is a technique to achieve the best possible solution to a problem in terms of a specified objective function.

ORDER CYCLE The time and process involved from the placement of an order to the receipt of the shipment.

ORDER PICKING Putting together various products for a given order.


Means of replenishing stock. A new replenishment of stock is requested from the supplier (or other replenishment source) when the company's current stock level falls to its calculated order point. The order point is calculated from three factors: (1) the forecast   off-take of stock, expressed in units per time period; (2) the replenishment lead-time of a new delivery; and (3) the safety stock provided to cover forecast error.

OUTPUT The total value of the goods produced or services performed (by a person, a company, an industry, or a whole country).


A carrier, which operates on a route served by a liner conference but which is not a member of that conference.


It is the transfer (or delegation) to an external service provider the operation and day-to-day management of a business process. The customer receives a service that performs a distinct business function that fits into the customer's overall business operations. Sometimes the process is one that historically has been performed by a vertically integrated enterprise. More recently, outsourcing defines the services sector for those services that were not part of the vertically integrated enterprise, such as telecommunications, website hosting, transportation services, logistics, etc.



Any physical piece of cargo in relation to transport consisting of the contents and its packing for the purpose of ease of handling by manual or mechanical means. The final product of the packing operation consisting of the packing and its contents to facilitate manual or mechanical handling. PACKAGING Materials used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery and presentation of goods and the activities of placing and securing goods in those materials. PACKING LIST Document specifying the contents of each individual package. PALLET A device used for moving and storing freight. It is used as a base for assembling, sorting, stacking, handling and transporting goods as a unit load. It is constructed to facilitate the placement of a lift truck's forks between the levels of a platform so it may be moved onto a freight car or into a warehouse. Pallets are of standard dimensions. The most used in Europe are 1000 mm x 1200 mm (ISO) and 800 mm x 1200 mm (CEN).


Ship with dimensions that allow it to pass through the Panama canal: maximum length 295 m, maximum beam overall 32.25 m, maximum draught 13.50 m. PARCEL See Package. PARETO EFFICIENT A resource allocation is said to be Pareto efficient if there is no rearrangement that can make anyone better off without making someone else worse off. PARK ’N’RIDE An arrangement whereby people can drive an automobile to a transit hub, transfer station or terminal, park in the designated lot, and use a transit vehicle for their ultimate destinations. PARTNERSHIP A business run collectively by two or more individuals, who share risks and profits. PASSENGER-KILOMETRE Unit of measure representing the transport of one passenger over one kilometre. PERFECT COMPETITION Exists when there are a large number of sellers and buyers, freedom to enter and leave markets, a complete flow of information, etc.

PIER The structure perpendicular to the shoreline to which a vessel is secured for the purpose of loading and unloading cargo.

PIGGYBACK The hauling of road vehicles and containers on wheels or railroad flatcars.

PIGGY PACKER A mobile container-handling crane used to load/unload containers to/from railcars.

PICKING Taking products or components out of a stock.

PICKING LIST A list used to collect items from stores needed to fulfil an order. Synonym: Material issue list, Kitting list.


The act of assisting the master of a ship in navigation when entering or leaving a port or in confined water.

PILOTAGE DUES Fee payable by the owner or operator of a ship for the services of a pilot; the fee is normally based on the ship’s registered tonnage. PLAN A unified group of decisions that expresses a country or region's economic and social development options, including the specific measures required to achieve selected objectives. The plan is composed of (1) a definition of objectives; (2) an ordering of human and material resources; (3) an explicit determination of the methods and forms of organization, and a timeframe; (4) the sectoral and spatial location of activities; and (5) other specifications necessary to orient the execution and control of the development process.

PLATFORM FLAT A shipping container without sides, ends or a roof. Normally 20 x 40 feet long, it is used for awkwardly shaped cargo that cannot fit on or in any other type of container.

POCKET WAGON A rail wagon with a recessed pocket to accept the axle/wheel assembly of a semitrailer.

PORT Significant trading infrastructure. Maritime facility generally made up of wharfs and loading/unloading infrastructure for large vessels. Can include small craft facilities under an adjoining harbour.

PORTAL A web site that is or is intended to be the first place people see when using the web. Typically a “portal site” has a catalogue of web sites, a search engine, or both. A portal site may also offer e-mail and other service to entice people to use that site as their main point of entry to the web.

PORT AUTHORITY An entity of state or local government that owns, operates, or otherwise provides wharf, dock and other marine terminal investments at ports.

PORT DUES Charges levied against a ship owner or ship operator by a port authority for the use of a port.


The port at which a consignment of goods was loaded onto the ship from which it is unloaded at the reporting port.

PORT OF UNLOADING The port at which a consignment of goods, loaded onto a ship at the reporting port, is to be unloaded from the same ship. POSITIVE ECONOMICS It is concerned with the description and analysis of economic facts.


Ship with at least one dimension greater than Panamax. POSTPONEMENT The delay of final activities (i.e., assembly, production, packaging, etc.) until the latest possible time. PREPAID A freight term which indicates that charges are to be paid by the shipper. PRESENT VALUE The amount of money today considered equivalent to a cash inflow or outflow expected to take place in the future. That is, the discounted value of future cash flows.

PRICE DEFLATOR A price indicator used to convert (to deflate) between nominal and real prices. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) deflator at market prices is an example of such a price indicator. The GDP market prices deflator provides an index of inflation in the economy as a whole, and therefore is equally applicable in removing the effects of inflation from industrial and domestic prices.

PRICE DISCRIMINATION This is where users are charged according to their willingness or ability to pay. Users valuing a service highly will make a greater contribution to fixed costs than those who can afford to pay less.

PRISONER’S DILEMMA A situation in which the independent pursuit of self-interest by two parties makes them both worse off.

PRIVATE COST The costs taken into account by identifiable parties in making production and supply decisions.

PRIVATE SIDING Direct rail connection to a company.

PRODUCTION FUNCTION The mathematical relation between the maximum output of a good and the amount of inputs needed to produce it. PRODUCTIVITY The amount of output produced in a certain period, using a certain amount of inputs.

PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE Refers to the time from a product's first launch on the market until it is finally withdrawn.

PROGRAM EVALUATION AND REVIEW TECHNIQUE (PERT) An aid to efficient project management. It is a tool to plan, schedule, and control a large number of activities in a project within the specified technological sequence.


A planned and goal-oriented socio-economic development activity requiring financial investment or human participation over a given time. Examples include construction of physical infrastructure, the extension of credit or financing, the diffusion of new technology, the conservation or management of natural resources, and human resource development. As used by DRD, this term does not cover most research and planning activities.


Financing wherein the lender looks to a project’s cash flows to repay the principal and interest on debt, and to a project’s assets for security; also known as “structured financing” because it requires structuring the debt and equity such that a project’s cash flows are adequate to service the debt.

PROJECT LIFE-CYCLE All phases or stages between a project's conception and its termination. Note: The project life cycle may include the operation and disposal of project deliverables. This is usually known as an “extended life-cycle”.



Application of modern management techniques and systems to the execution of a project from start to finish, to achieve predetermined objectives of scope, quality, time and cost, to the equal satisfaction of those involved.

PROTECTIONISM The practice of restricting imports in order to increase the sales of domestic products.

PUBLIC GOODS AND SERVICES Those which are for the benefit of all citizens. Public goods and services have the properties of non-rivalry in consumption and non-excludability. For example, peace costs little or nothing for an extra individual to enjoy. In addition, the costs of preventing any individual from the enjoyment of this good are high.


The term has a twofold meaning: 1) logistics for the public sector and for all the public agencies which have flows management problems; 2) logistics as resource of a country, where logistics enters in the sphere of interest and competence of a State.

PUBLIC SECTOR Local government and nationalized industries or services.

PUBLIC SPENDING Government expenditure (on health, education, social security, defense, etc.).

PUBLIC UTILITIES Services such as the provision of water, electricity, gas, etc


The ability of money to buy goods and services. As the general price level rises, the purchasing power of money declines. Thus, in periods of inflation, an ever increasing amount of money is required to represent a given amount of purchasing power.


The theoretical study of waiting lines, expressed in mathematical terms including components such as number of waiting lines, number of servers, average wait time, number of queues or lines, and probabilities of queue times' either increasing or decreasing.

QUICK RESPONSE (QR) A management system that makes manufacturing and supplying of products more efficient.



RFID is a technology that uses radio-frequency waves to transfer data between a reader and a tagged movable item to identify, track or locate that item. RFID does not require physical sight or contact between the reader (scanner) and the tagged item. Broadly speaking all RFID tags (also called intelligent tags or smart labels) comprise a semi-conductor chip with memory processing capability and a transmitter connected to an antenna. The advantage of RFID over traditional barcode-based technologies is that it does not require line of sight and can read in bulk. RAILCAR Tractive railway vehicle constructed for the conveyance of passengers or goods by rail. The definition of the various categories of locomotives (electric, diesel) apply, mutatis mutandis, to railcars. Block composed of railcars and railcar trailers can be referred to as: - “multiple units” if it is modular; - “ trainset” if it is fixed. In motor vehicle statistics, each railcar in an indivisible set is counted separately; in statistics of passenger vehicles and goods vehicles, each body fitted to carry passengers or goods is counted as a unit.


RAILCAR TRAILER Non-tractive passenger railway vehicle coupled to one or more railcars. Vehicles for the transport of goods, even when pulled by a railcar, are referred to as wagons.

RAILHEAD End of the railway line or point in the area of operations at which cargo is loaded and unloaded.


The profile through which a rail vehicle and its loads (wagons - ITUs) must pass, taking into account tunnels and track-side obstacles. There are 4 basic gauges recognised by UIC: international gauge, A, B and C gauge. These gauges are indicated for individual lines. In principle, the smallest loading gauge may not be exceeded throughout the transport journey. Restrictions regarding the width and height of the load in curves have to be taken into account. Combined transport consignments often exceed loading gauges A and B. Another gauge of particular significance for combined transport is the B+ Gauge. There are also many other gauge codes (P/C/S/…) recognised.


Railway transport in the same railway vehicle through the reporting country between two places (a place of loading/embarkation and a place of unloading/disembarkation) both located outside the reporting country. Wagons loaded/unloaded at the frontier of that country onto/from another mode of transport are included.

RAILWAY COMPANY Any company acting mainly as a railway undertaking which provides services for the transport of goods and/or passenger by rail. RAILWAY INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGER

Any public body or undertaking responsible in particular for establishing and maintaining railway infrastructure, as well as for operating the control and safety systems. An infrastructure manager can delegate to another railway company the following tasks: maintaining railway infrastructure, as well as for operating the control and safety systems.

RAILWAY UNDERTAKING Any public or private undertaking which provides services for the transport of goods and/or passengers by rail. Included are all undertakings that dispose of/provide traction. Excluded are railway undertakings which operate entirely or mainly within industrial and similar installations, including harbours, and railways undertakings which mainly provide local tourist services, such as preserved historical steam railways. Sometimes the term railway operator is used.


This involves setting charges according to the elasticity of demand of each user or group of users.

REACH STACKER Tractor vehicle with front equipment for lifting, stacking or moving ITUs.


A nominal discount/interest rate adjusted for inflation so that it represents an increase in purchasing power. The real discount/interest rate measures how much extra consumption you can have in period 2 if you give up some consumption in period 1. REAL (CONSTANT) PRICES Real or constant price variables adjust nominal variables for changes in the general level of prices. They are inflation-adjusted prices. RECURRING COSTS See operating and maintenance costs.

REENGINEERING The process of redesigning a product, system or process to be more effective or efficient.

REFEER (REFRIGERATED CONTAINER) A specialized container which holds perishable goods at controlled temperatures.

REGIONALIZATION Denotes the (empirical) process that leads to patterns of co-operation, integration, complementarity and convergence within a particular cross-national geographical space.

REINTERMEDIATION Reintermediation refers to using the Internet to reassemble buyers, sellers and other partners in a traditional supply chain in new ways.

RELATIVE PRICES The price of a particular good or service relative to other goods and services in general. If any good or service is expected to change relative to the general price level, then it is said to have changed in real terms.

RETAIL DISTRIBUTION CENTRE (RDC) A distribution point operated by or on behalf of a retailer that serves a number of stores in an area with a range of products.

RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI) Return on Investment is the ratio of the net gain from a proposed project, divided by its total costs. ROI is a great measure for illustrating how much each dollar of expense will yield in returns. An accurate ROI analysis measures both the tangible and intangible paybacks.


The process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, cost-effective flow of raw materials, in-process inventory, finished goods, and related information from the point of consumption to the point of origin for the purpose of recapturing value or proper disposal.

ROAD RAILER A specialized truck chassis that either has retractable rail wheels or is lifted onto bogies that allow it to operate directly on rail.

ROAD TRAIN A truck cab hauling two or more trailers.

ROLLING-ROAD Transport of complete road vehicles, using roll-on roll-off techniques, on trains comprising low-floor wagons throughout.

ROLLING-ROAD WAGON A rail wagon with low floor throughout which, when coupled together, form a rolling-road.

ROLLING STOCK The vehicles used in a transit system, including buses and rail cars.

ROLL-ON/ROLL-OFF A specially constructed ship that allows cargo to be rolled in and out doors on wheeled loading devices or under the cargo’s own propulsion, such as motor vehicles.

RO-RO RAMP A flat or inclined ramp, usually adjustable, which enables road vehicles to be driven onto or off a ship or a rail wagon.


RUNNING COSTS The costs necessary to keep a particular asset or service in operation. They do not enhance the value of the asset.



A track providing end-to-end line continuity designed for trains between stations or places indicated in tariffs as independent points of departure or arrival for the conveyance of passengers or goods.



 SEAMLESS TRANSPORT SERVICES Transport services provided by different services operators and different modes appear to the user as if they were a part of a single system of integrated services, fares and tickets.

SECONDARY COSTS/BENEFITS Costs or benefits arising from a productive activity that are not the main focus of that activity. Given this definition, there is clearly an element of arbitrariness in the definition of what is secondary. Where such costs/benefits exist, they give rise to the allocation of joint costs - those production costs that have to be shared between the main output and the secondary output.

SEMI-TRAILER A non-powered vehicle for the carriage of goods, intended to be coupled to a motor vehicle in such a way that a substantial part of its weight and of its load is borne by the motor vehicle. Semi-trailers may have to be specially adapted for use in combined transport. SERVER Computer that handles requests for data, e-mail, file transfers, and other network services from other computers (i.e. clients). Computers connected to the Internet which store web pages are referred to as Hosts, or Host Servers. SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENTS (SLAs) They are specifications for services to be delivered. SLAs define the type, value and conditions of the outsourcing services to be provided. SLAs define the overall relationship by establishing parameters for quality of service. SHIP’S TACKLE All rigging, etc., used on a ship to load or unload cargo. SHORT SEA SHIPPING (SSS) Movement of cargo by sea between ports situated in Europe as well as between ports in Europe and ports situated in non-European countries having a coastline on the enclosed seas bordering Europe.


Operation of moving a rail vehicle or set of rail vehicles inside a railway station or other railway installations (depot, workshop, marshalling yard, etc.).


The carriage back and forth over an often short route between two points.


A lift truck fitted with lifting attachments operating to one side for handling containers.


Tracks branching off running tracks.


The space on board a vessel, required by one TEU, mainly used for administrative purposes.


The sum between private (internal) and external benefits of any given activity are defined as the social benefits.



The sum of the private (internal/financial) and the external costs of any given activity are defined as the social costs.

SOCIALISM Economic theory or system in which production should be for the public good rather than private profit.

SPINE WAGON A rail wagon with a central chassis designed to carry a semi-trailer.

SPOTTING Placing a container where required to be loaded or unloaded.

SPREADER Adjustable fitting on lifting equipment designed to connect with the upper corner fittings of an ITU. Many spreaders have in addition grappler arms that engage the bottom side rails of an ITU.

STACK CAR An articulated multiple platform rail car that allows containers to be double stacked.

STACKING Storage or carriage of ITUs on top of each other.

STACKTRAIN A rail service whereby rail cars carry containers stacked two high on specially operated unit trains.

STEVEDORE A rail service whereby rail cars carry containers stacked two high on specially operated unit trains.

STEVEDORING CHARGES Fees for loading and stowing or unloading a ship.

STOCK KEEPING UNIT (S.K.U.) A part, material type, or a product for which stock (inventory) is planned.

STOCK OUT Reduction of a material’s usable inventory level to zero.

STOWAGE FACTOR The average cubic space occupied by one tonne weight of cargo as stowed aboard a ship.

STRADDLE CARRIER A rubber-tyred overhead lifting vehicle for moving or stacking containers on a level reinforced surface.

STRUCTURAL MANTEINANCE Maintenance of a capital nature such as road resurfacing. The benefits of this type of maintenance are reaped over a number of years.

STUFFING/STRIPPING Loading and unloading of cargo into or from an ITU.

STURDONS Port workers engaged in the stowage of cargo in the holds of a ship.

SUNK COSTS The cost of assets with zero resale value or which have exceeded their economic life.

SUPER HIGH CUBE CONTAINER: Container exceeding ISO dimensions. These dimensions vary and may include, for example, lengths of 45’ (13.72 m), 48’ (14.64 m), or 53’ (16.10 m).


The total sequence of business processes, within a multiple enterprise environment, that enables customer demand for a product or service to be satisfied.



Situation in which retailers and suppliers share forecasts, promotion plans and other data to determine the final forecast. So they work on collaborative bases and share risks and profits.



Organisation of the overall business processes to enable the profitable transformation of raw materials or products into finished goods and their timely distribution to meet customer demand. All functions that make up the supply chain are managed as a single entity, rather than managing individual functions separately.



A reference process model that was developed by the Supply-Chain Council (SCC) and has become the cross-industry standard for supply chain management. SCOR describes the supply chain from the supplier's supplier through to the customer's customer as a series of interlinked source, make, and deliver processes managed by a series of planning processes.



A concept that has emerged in recent years, based on the premise that development must meet the need of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

SWAP BODY A freight carrying unit optimised to road vehicle dimensions and fitted with handling devices for transfer between modes, usually road/rail. SYSTEM INTEGRATORS

Logistics service providers that manage multiple components of the supply chain.


TANKER Ship designed with a single deck and an arrangement of integral or independent tanks specifically for the bulk carriage of liquid cargo.

TARE Weight of ITU or vehicle without cargo. TECHNICAL LIFE The estimated “physical” life of an projects, i.e. the time at which the asset literally wears out due to “physical” deterioration. The estimated technical life of an project depends on the ordinary and extraordinary maintenance regime; a good repair policy may lengthen the life of the asset.


TERMINAL A place equipped for the transhipment and storage of ITUs.

TERMINAL COSTS Transhipment and loading costs which must be paid regardless of the distance involved.



Public or private structure equipped with network informatic and telematic tools and technologies in order to fulfil  both the logistic-informatic and training needs of a community, business, district, geographic area.


TEU Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit. A standard unit based on an ISO container of 20 feet length (6.10 m), used as a statistical measure of traffic flows or capacities.


TEU-KILOMETRE OFFERED Unit of measure representing the movement of one TEU of capacity in a container ship over one kilometre.

THIRD PARTY LOGISTICS PROVIDER (3PL) An outsourced provider that manages all or a significant part of an organization's logistics requirements and performs transportation, locating and sometimes product consolidation activities. See also Logistics Operator.

THROUGH FLOWS Trips that have neither an origin or destination within the region but are simply passing through the region.


The charge for moving a container through a container yard off or onto a ship.


Refers to the preference of an individual or society for current consumption versus future consumption. For example, if an additional unit of consumption in any one year has the same social value as 1.10 additional units of consumption in the following year, then the marginal time preference rate (or implied social discount rate) is 10 per cent.

TIME TO MARKET Time from the point the product is first conceived to when it is launched on the market.

TIR Transport Internationaux Routiers.

T.O.F.C. (TRAILER-ON-FLATCAR) A transportation arrangement in which a truck trailer is moved by train to a destination. Also called “Piggybacking.” TOLL Pre-established price for the use of an infrastructure.

TONNE KILOMETRES The number of tonnes moved multiplied by the distance travelled in kilometres (e.g. 25 tonnes of freight moved a distance of 100 kilometres is 2,500 tonne kilometres).

TOP OFF To fill a ship that is already partly loaded with cargo. Typically occurs where there is a draught restriction at the first load port - the ship loads a quantity of cargo corresponding to the permissive draught, then fills up at the second port where there is no restriction.

TOP STOW CARGO Goods that are stowed on top of all others in a ship’s hold because of their relatively low density and the probability that they would be damaged if over-stowed.

TOP LIFT Attachment to a fork-lift truck that is designed to lift a shipping container.

TOTAL ANNUAL COSTS See levelised costs.

TOTAL COST This is an imprecise term, which is used to refer to the sum of the capital (fixed) and variable costs (with or without discounting), the sum of the external and private costs etc. Without further qualification it has little meaning.


A market value measure of shareholders’ equity calculated by multiplying the number of common shares outstanding by the closing stock price.


TOTAL QUALITY Holistic sufficiency, efficiency, efficacy and effectiveness in all organization functions to accomplish continuous excellence in business outcomes.


TOTAL QUALITY CONTROL (TQC) The application of precepts and procedures intended to promote continuous improvement within the company and the production of goods and services conforming to customer requirements. Total quality control applies not merely to activities relating to physical manufacture (important though conforming product units may be). As well, it applies to such non-technical activities as (say) the issuance of printed instructions to enable the customer to use the units easily and the conduct of consumer surveys to ensure that the requirements of the customer are anticipated in design and product development in the first place.


TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT (TQM) The smooth operation of the activities connected with total quality control will inevitably from time to time meet problems or will be seen to be deficient in some way. TQM is the guidance, control, review and adjustment of the operation of the procedures included in TQC.


TOWAGE Charges for the services of tugs assisting a ship or other vessels in ports.


TRAILER The non-powered truck unit that carries freight in a tractor-trailer combination. Trailers are commonly seen as the cargo unit of an “18-wheeler” or five-axle “truck.”


TRACK A pair of rails over which railway vehicles can run.


TRACK GAUGE The distance between the internal sides of rails on a railway line. It is generally 1.435 m. Other gauges are generally used in some European countries: for instance, 1.676 m in Spain and Portugal, 1.524 m in the Russian Federation.


TRAIN-KILOMETRE Unit of measure representing the movement of a train over one kilometre. The distance to be covered is the distance actually run.


TRANS EUROPEAN NETWORK (TEN) Generic term for interconnected networks and services available on a pan-European basis.


TRANSFER CONTROL PROTOCOL/INTERNET PROTOCOL (TCP/IP) These two protocols were developed by the U.S. military to allow computers to talk to each other over long distance networks. IP is responsible for moving packets of data between nodes. TCP is responsible for verifying delivery from client to server. TCP/IP forms the basis of the Internet, and is built into every common modern operating system (including all flavors of Unix, the Mac OS, and the latest versions of Windows).

TRANSHIPMENT Moving ITUs from one means of transport to another. The term also means a distribution method whereby containers are moved between large mother ships and small feeder vessels, or between equally large ships plying north-south (Europe-Africa) and eastwest (Asia-Europe) routes.

TRANSIT TIME The elapsed time between the collection of goods at the origin and their delivery at the destination.



The practice of breaking (transferring) bulk shipments from the vehicle/container of one mode to that of another at one or a series of terminal interchange points.



The convenience at which passengers, freight or information can be moved. It refers to transport costs, but also to the attributes of the what is being transported (fragility, perishable, price). Some institutional factors can also influence transportability such as laws, borders and tariffs. If transportability was optimal, the spatial division of labor and production would be absolute at the global scale. Some goods, such as semiconductors, are almost reaching this condition since they have a high value to weight ratio.


TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (TMS) Category of operations software that may include products for shipment manifesting, rate shopping, routing, fleet management, yard management, carrier management, freight cost management.



Inquired quantity of transport.

TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE Fixed linear or punctual framework able to concur the realization of transportation activities.


Effect of the economies’ globalisation and exchanges’ liberalisation, which determines a growth both of the volume of the commodities in movement and distances to manage. Consequently, in the majority of the advanced countries the rate of growth of the transport demand overcomes the rate of growth of the GNP.



It can be defined as the framework in which transportation activities are executed. It is composed both by terminal or punctual infrastructures (ports, airports, etc.) and linear infrastructures (road, rails, maritime and aerial routes).


TRANSPORT MODE A transport mode is a method of moving passengers or freight. The main transport modes are road, rail, sea, air and pipelines.


TRANSPORT SUPPLY Realizable quantity of transport.


TRANSPORT WHITE PAPER Document through which European Commission analyzes the transports' problems and exposes future possible lines of realization. Such document doesn't have binding character, but it is entirely a document of reflection, while acting as a reference for future community realizations.

TRANSROULAGE (RO-RO) Loading and unloading of a road vehicle, a wagon or an ITU on or off a ship on its own wheels or wheels attached to it for that purpose. In the case of rolling road, only road vehicles are driven on and off a train.


TURNAROUND The time it takes between the arrival of a vessel and its departure from port; frequently used as a measure of port efficiency.


TWISTLOCK Standard mechanism on handling equipment which engages and locks into the corner fittings of ITU; also used on ships and vehicles to fix ITUs.

TWO BIN SYSTEM A system of reordering goods based on using two storage bins to regulate reordering times. A order is placed for re-supply when the larger bin is emptied.

TWO-PART TARIFFS Two-part tariffs comprise a fixed charge plus a variable charge. In principle, the latter would be related to marginal costs and the former would be set to contribute to fixed costs.

TWO-WAY PALLET Pallet permitting the entry of the fork arms of fork-lift trucks or pallet trucks from two opposite directions only.


UNACCOMPANIED COMBINED TRANSPORT Transport of a road vehicle or an intermodal transport unit (ITU, see 4.1), not accompanied by the driver, using another mode of transport (for example a ferry or a train).

UNIT LOAD Palletised load or prepacked unit with a footprint conforming to pallet dimensions and suitable for loading into an ITU.

UNITIZATION The consolidation of a quantity of individual items into one large shipping unit for easier handling.

UNMOOR To remove the ropes that attach a ship to the shore.

UNSTUFF To unload a shipping container.


VALUE ADDED NETWORK A clearing house for electronic transfers between partners.
It refers to a business as a “collection of interdependent activities, which in turn, form part of a continuous system that stretches back to suppliers and forward to channels and customers. Using the value chain framework, Michael Porter suggests advantage can be captured through improvement or reorganization of these value activities.

VARIABLE COSTS Costs that vary directly with the level of activity within a short time. Examples include costs of moving cargo inland on trains or trucks, stevedoring in some ports, and short-term equipment leases.


Unit of measurement representing the movement of a vehicle over one kilometre. The distance to be considered is the distance actually run. It includes movements of empty vehicles. Units made up of a tractor and a semi-trailer or a lorry and a trailer are counted as one vehicle.


In VMI the Vendor (supplier) manages the stock levels and availability in his customer’s warehouse, based on forecast demand.


It means a company merges or takes over other companies in the same supply chain.



Declarations made by international ocean carriers relating to the ship’s crew and contents at both the port of departure and arrival. All Bills of Lading are registered on the manifest.


WAGON Railway vehicle normally intended for the transport of goods. Railcars and railcar trailers fitted only for the conveyance of goods are included. WAREHOUSE A place for the reception, delivery, consolidation, distribution, and storage of goods and cargo. WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (WMS) Computer software designed specifically for managing the movement and storage of materials throughout the warehouse. WMS functionality is generally broken down into the following three operations: Putaway, Replenishment, and Picking. The key to these systems is the logic to direct these operations to specific locations base on user defined criteria. WMSs are often set up to integrate with data-collection systems. WAREHOUSING Storing goods in warehouses; in finance, using other people to buy shares prior to a takeover bid. WAYBILL Document, issued by a shipping line to a shipper, which serves as a receipt for the goods and evidence of the contract of carriage.

WEB CONTENT MANAGER Professional figure specialized in development, organization and supply of publishing contents for a web-site. He is often responsible also for both the graphic-functional architecture and updatings of the site.

WEB MASTER Professional figure responsible for both the computer programming and maintenance of a web-site.

WEB MARKETING Technique that promotes your brand, image or web site on the Internet using Search Engines, Directories, Online Advertising banners, email advertising, web site sponsorship etc.

WELFARE ECONOMICS Branch of economics that is concerned with improving the quality of life by a fairer distribution of wealth and an adequate provision of social welfare.

WHARF Structure built alongside the water or perpendicular to the shore where ships berth for loading or discharging goods.

WHARFAGE Charge assessed by a pier or dock owner against freight handled over the pier or dock or against a steamship company using the pier or dock.  

An affordability analysis that is based on a what-if scenario. A what-if analysis is useful if you do not have complete data or if you want to explore the effect of various changes to your income, liabilities, or available funds or to the qualifying ratios or down payment expenses that are used in the analysis.
WIDE AREA NETWORK (WAN) Any internet or network that covers an area larger than a single building or campus. WIN-WIN MEASURES See no-regrets measures.

WORK IN PROGRESS/PROCESS Partially manufactured goods.

WORLD WIDE WEB (WWW) An Internet client-server system to distribute information, based upon the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP). Also known as W3 or the Web, it was created at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland in 1991 by Dr. Tim Berners-Lee.  



Also known as “Extensible Markup Language”, is a meta-language that tags, or classifies, each data “object” within a data base or a message. The software programmers defines the attributes of the data object.


 There are no currently terms in the glossary under this letter.


 There are no currently terms in the glossary under this letter.


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