Absorption  The assumption that the carrier will cover extraordinary or other special charges without increasing the price to the shipper.
Accessorial  (1) Accessorial Charges - Charges made for additional, special, or supplemental services, normally over and above the line-haul services.
(2) Accessorial Service - Service rendered by a carrier in addition to transportation services. (e.g. sorting, packing, precooling, heating, storage.)
Act of God  An extraordinary force of nature (as a severe flood or earthquake) that experience, prescience, or care cannot reasonably foresee or prevent.
Activity Based Costing (ABC)  An accounting system that measures the cost and performance of specific activities performed within an organization. For example, an ABC approach might measure the cost incurred by the accounts receivable department in handling calls for billing errors, whereas the traditional accounting approach ignores the activity and measures the cost of the accounts receivable department as a percentage of revenue.
Ad Valorem (latin)  According to Value (english);
For example, if a Bill of Lading shows a value for the cargo being carried an Ad Valorem charge will be levied. This charge is required because the insurance liability of the carrier increases. This charge may be a levied as a percentage of the value that has been shown.
Add-Ons  Additional charges above ocean freight
Advising bank  Bank where shipper negotiate documents or where documents are first presented, usually at country or origin. (Also often referred to as Negotiating bank)
Agent  (1) abbreviation for 'Freight Agent'.
(2) a person, association or corporation authorised to publish and file rates and provisions for a carrier's account in tariffs published in the agent's name.
(3) one that acts for, or in the place of, another by authority from him e.g. a (business) representative, emissary, or official of a government.
Aggregated Shipments  Numerous shipments from different shippers, delivered to one consignee, that are consolidated and treated as a single consignment.
Air Freight Forwarder  A non-asset based firm that negotiates low shipping rates with airlines, then takes orders at a higher rate in order to make a profit using the airline's assets to move the product.
AI  All Inclusive
All Water   When a shipment is transported from its origin to destination solely by water transportation.
Any Quantity [AQ]   A rating that applies to an article regardless of weight.
Arbitrary  (1) A fixed amount which a transportation line agrees to accept in a dividing joint rate;
(2) A fixed amount added to or deducted from one station to make a rate from another station;
(3) A fixed amount added to or deducted from a rate to one station to make a rate to another station;
(4) An allowance added to an employee's rate of pay in addition to regular wages, based on provisions included in the union contract.
Arrival Notice  Documentation that notifies the consignee of arrival information for the goods and the freight charges due to be paid in exchange for the goods.
Asset-Based, Third Party Provider  A third-party provider that owns transportation and/or warehouse assets.
Assignment  (1) The transfer to another of one's legal interest or right;
(2) especially the transfer of property to be held in trust or to be used for the benefit of creditors;
(3) the document by which such an interest or right is transferred.
ATD  Artificial Tween Decks Forty feet long, eight feet wide, one foot thick steel platform with hardwood flooring. Equipped with ten bullrings for securing oversized, heavy lift or wheeled cargo.
Average Inventory   The average inventory level over a period of time.