MAWB – Master Airway Bill of Lading – International AWBs that contain consolidated cargo are called master air waybills (MAWB). MAWBs have additional papers called house air waybills (HAWB). Each HAWB contains information of each individual shipment (consignee, contents, etc.) within the consolidation. International AWBs that are not consolidated (only one shipment in one bill) are called simple AWBs. A house air waybill can also be created by a freight forwarder. When the shipment is booked, the airline issues a MAWB to the forwarder, who in turn issues their own house air waybill to the customer.

Mini Land Bridge – An intermodal movement in which the shipment is moved from a foreign country to the U.S. by water and then moved across the U.S. by railroad to a destination that is a port city, or vice versa for exports from a U.S. port city.

Multi-Modal (synonym: Intermodal) – The transportation of goods under a single contract, but performed with at least two different means of transport (i.e. rail, ship, truck, etc.).

NAFTA – North American Free Trade Agreement – The treaty between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico that removes most of the barriers to cross-border trading and has created a much greater demand for cross-border shipping as a result.

NMFC – The National Motor Freight Classification is a standard that provides a comparison of commodities moving in interstate, intrastate and foreign commerce.

NMFC# – All items that are shipped have an NMFC number, which then also identifies the applicable NMFC Class (from 50 to 500).  The NMFC Code or Number is very specific – identifying exactly what type of item is being shipped.  NMFC Class is more generic – based on categories of weight, size and density.

Notify Party – Party to be notified at shipment arrival

NVOCC – Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier – similar to a freight forwarder except that 1) an NVOCC will often own or lease its own containers; and 2) an NVOCC in the U.S.A. must file common tariff schedules with government regulators in order to be true “common carriers”.

OBL – Original Bill of Lading – A document which requires proper signatures for consummating carriage of contract.  Must be marked as “original” by the issuing carrier.

Ocean B/L – Ocean Bill of Lading – A non-negotiable ocean bill of lading allows the buyer to receive the goods upon showing identification. If the bill is deemed negotiable, then the buyer will be required to pay the shipper for the products and meet any of the seller’s other conditions.

OS&D – Over, Short, & Damaged – Report lodged by a recipient of a shipment, together with a claim, to the carrier of the shipment. It details what items listed in the shipping documents have been received over-shipped, short-shipped, or in an unsatisfactory or damaged condition.

OTR – Over The Road – A motor carrier operation that reflects long-distance, intercity moves; as opposed to local operations (i.e. drayage) or rail transport (i.e. intermodal).

Owner Operator (OO) – A trucking operation in which the truck’s owner is also the driver.

Packing List – A shipping document that accompanies delivery packages, usually inside an attached shipping pouch or inside the package itself. It commonly includes an itemized detail of the package contents and does not include customer pricing. It serves to inform all parties, including transport agencies, government authorities, and customers, about the contents of the package. Unlike a Bill Of lading, it is NOT a legal contract.

Pallet – (sometimes called a skid) is a flat transport structure that supports goods in a stable fashion while being lifted by a forklift or other jacking device. A pallet is the structural foundation of a unit load which allows handling and storage efficiencies. Goods or shipping containers are often placed on a pallet secured with strapping, stretch wrap or shrink wrap and shipped.

Parcel – a package, sent through the mail or via parcel-package delivery (i.e. UPS).  This is in contrast to a palletized load.

POA – Power of Attorney – A U.S. Power of Attorney enables a Freight Forwarder to act on behalf of the principle (Importer of Record) to perform any act or condition, which may be required by law or regulation, in connection with the transportation of merchandise for importation or exportation.

POD – Proof of Delivery – A document, usually a Bill of Lading, that includes a signature from the consignee to show that the goods were delivered as contracted.

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