Transportation Terminology Can Be Tricky

Tricky termsFAK, NMFC, BOL, EDI, FOB, huh? If you find yourself frequently lost in Acronym Land, you must work in the transportation industry. And while we all throw around these letters freely, their actual meaning may get lost in the juggling. Here’s a quick overview of some of the more common acronyms, what they stand for and what the definition is.

FAK stands for Freight of All Kinds. It simply means a pooling of different products into one load for simplification of rating and pricing.

NMFC stands for National Motor Freight Classification and it’s the category of your freight as defined by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA). A shipment’s freight class determines the shipping charges. There are 18 freight classes ranging from class 50 (the least expensive) to class 500 (the most expensive.) This number gives can be complicated to determine for many shippers, but it’s best to get it right the first time to avoid an adjustment.

BOL stands for Bill of Lading. It’s the mandatory and legally binding paperwork providing the driver and the trucking company with all the details they need to process the shipment.

EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange. This is the business-to-business interconnection of computers for the rapid exchange of documents such as bills of lading, invoices and tracking information. This is one way Freightquote notifies carriers of pickup requests, as well as receives invoice and tracking information.

FOB stands for Free on Board. It’s a designation used to indicate when liability and ownership of goods is transferred from a seller to a buyer. When used with an identified physical location, the designation determines which party has responsibility for the payment of the freight charges and at what point title for the shipment passes from the seller to the buyer.

That’s just a sampling of the hundreds of commonly used acronyms in the transportation industry. Check in with us frequently for more informational blog articles such as this. And if you ever find yourself wondering just what exactly some freight terminology means, give us a call at 800.323.5441. We’d be happy to clarify.

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Freight Capacity: Don’t let capacity issues get you down

One of the greatest challenges shippers in America face is staying on top of the ever-changing truckload shipping market. Whether it’s Christmas tree season in the Northwest or produce season in the Southeast, changes in the market can directly affect shippers across the country.
Last year’s produce boom in Southern Georgia left shippers in a scramble to find trucks. For each refrigerated trailer in the Valdosta area last June, there were more than 20 shippers in need of their service. Many of those shippers had to wait days to find a carrier for their load, some even longer.
When carrier capacity gets tough in your area and your consignees are in desperate need of freight, what can you do to get wheels under your shipment?

Ditch the equipment-type status quo

Southern Georgia’s produce boom left shippers in need of refrigerated trailers in a bind, but flatbed shippers didn’t face the same capacity battle.  If your freight can go on multiple trailer types, test the waters on any and all trailers that will work for you. Although flatbed rates are usually higher than van rates, capacity issues can minimize, and even flip, that price difference in a hurry.

Channel your inner gymnast

Flexibility is key. If possible, broaden your dock hours. When it comes to finding a truck to haul your freight, a narrow pickup window can be a deal breaker. Accommodating carrier needs just might be the difference between locking a carrier down for pickup or spending extra time looking for another.

Let someone else do the work for you

Exhausted all your carrier resources? Don’t have the time to stay up on the shipping market? The best third party logistics providers stay on top of the market and work with large networks of carriers so you don’t have to. Finding the right provider can help you find a truck in a hurry at the rate you’re looking for and keep those low-capacity blues away.

Struggling to find a truck for your shipment? Go to Freightquote.com to get a free quote for your shipment today. Sit back, relax and let us do the work.

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