Trucking Services



3PL refers to the transportation, warehousing and other logistics related services provided by companies employed to assume tasks that were previously performed in-house by the client. Also referred to as Third Party Logistics.

3PL Provider

See Third Party Logistics Provider.

Break Bulk

To break bulk is to separate a composite load into individual shipments and route to different destinations.

Break Bulk Terminal

A terminal, used by large common carriers, designed to act as an intermediate sorting point for interregional freight. Freight from various end-of-line terminals is sent to a regional break bulk terminal to be combined into full trailers that the carrier then routes to a subsequent end-of-line terminals. Example: freight destined for Texas from a Binghamton, NY terminal might go to Pittsburgh, PA to be combined with other freight destined for Texas from other Eastern cities.

Cartage Company

A trucking company that provides local (within a town, city or municipality) pick-up and delivery.

Common Carrier

A common carrier is a freight transportation company which serves the general public. May be regular route service (over designated highways on a regular basis) or irregular route (between various points on an unscheduled basis).

Connecting Carrier

A carrier which interchanges trailers with another for completion of shipments.

Contract Carrier

Company that transports freight under contract with one or a limited number of shippers.


The scheduling and control of truck pickup and delivery. Critical link in dispatching process is communication with driver which may be accomplished by phone, pager, radio, satellite communication, and cellular phone.

Domestic Intercity Trucking

Trucking operations which carry freight in their local areas and commercial zones.

Drayage Firms

Motor carriers that provide local pickup and delivery of trailers and containers (on chassis).

End-of-Line Terminal

A terminal used for pick-up and delivery of freight. Freight collected is sorted and routed to other end-of-line terminals or break bulk terminals for eventual delivery. Freight received from other terminals is sorted and allocated to drivers for delivery.

Flow-Through Distribution

A process where goods from multiple locations are brought into a central point, re-sorted by delivery destination and shipped in the same day. Typically involving a combination of TL and LTL carrier resources, this practice eliminates warehousing, reduces inventory levels and speeds order turnaround time.

For-Hire Carrier

A transportation company that provides shipping of cargo belonging to others and is paid for doing so. There are two types of for-hire carriers: common carriers and contract carriers. A for-hire carrier may be both a common and a contract carrier, but must file separate registrations to obtain both licenses.

Freight Agent

A freight agent is a company or an employee of a freight carrier who directs the receipt and delivery of goods.

Freight Broker

Freight brokers help shippers source out reliable carriers to move their freight. In doing so, freight brokers also help trucking companies fill their trucks. A freight broker uses their expertise to negotiate cost effective rates, for shippers and then manages their shipments from pickup through to delivery. Most companies find the services provided by a freight broker to be an integral part of their transportation programs.

Freight Carrier

A freight carrier refers to a trucking company that hauls freight, also called “for-hire” carriers. Methods of transportation that freight carriers use include trucking, railroads, airlines, and sea borne shipping.

Freight Forwarder

An independent business which handles export shipments for compensation. At the request of the shipper, the freight forwarder makes the actual arrangements and provides the necessary services for expediting the shipment to its overseas destination. The freight forwarder takes care of all documentation needed to move the shipment from origin to destination, making up and assembling the necessary documentation for submission to the bank in the exporter’s name. Freight forwarders arrange for cargo insurance, make the necessary overseas communications, and advise the shipper on overseas requirements of marking and labeling. The freight forwarder operates on a fee basis paid by the exporter.

Freight Management

See freight broker.

General Freight Carrier

A general freight carrier is a trucking company which handles a wide variety of commodities in standard trailers. These companies can be LTL carriers or they can provide truckload services.

Interline Freight

Freight which moves from point of origin to destination over the lines of two or more trucking companies.

Intermodal Transportation

Transportation movement involving more than one mode, e.g. rail-motor, motor-air, or rail-water.

Load Broker

A load broker is also referred to as a freight broker.

LTL Carrier

LTL carriers are trucking companies that consolidate LTL cargo for multiple destinations on one vehicle. LTL carriers are carriers which specialize in shipments under 10,000 pounds.

Motor Carrier

A motor carrier refers to an individual, partnership, or a corporation that is engaged in the transportation of goods. A motor carrier is a trucking company that offers service via motor carriage (truck).


Pickup and Delivery.


The transportation of highway trailers or removable trailer bodies on rail cars specifically equipped for the service. It is essentially a joint carrier movement in which the motor carrier forms a pickup and delivery operations to a rail terminal, as well as a delivery operation at the terminating rail head.

Private Carrier

A private carrier is a trucking company which maintains its own trucks to transport its own freight.

Refrigerated Carrier

A refrigerated carrier refers to a trucking company that specializes in moving temperature sensitive freight. Refrigerated carriers utilize vans that have controlled temperature reefer units on their trailers to keep specialized products at a constant temperature. Food items and pharmaceuticals are common products that require refrigerated trucking.

Shippers Agent

Company which coordinates all aspects of an intermodal move, hiring drayage at both ends, and providing shippers with a single invoice.


A charge above the usual or customary charge.


Team of two drivers who alternate driving and resting.


A building for the handling and temporary storage of freight pending transfer between locations.

Third Party Logistics Provider

Company which coordinates all aspects of an intermodal move, hiring drayage at both ends, and providing shippers with a single invoice.

Time-Definite Services

Delivery is guaranteed on a specific day or at a certain time of the day.

Tracking and Tracing

Monitoring and recording shipment movements from origin to destination.

Transit Time

The total time that elapses between a shipment’s pickup and delivery.

Transportation Broker

A transportation broker refers to a non-asset based company which sells & manages freight services on behalf of their clients. Transportation brokers play an important role in the trucking industry managing very large volumes of truckload & LTL shipments. Transportation brokers typically arrange and manage, on behalf of their clients, the entire transportation process of a freight shipment. Their service includes finding a qualified carrier (with the proper insurance and operating authorities) who can move the freight in a timely manner, negotiating a good rate and then managing the entire process from pickup through to delivery. Also referred to as freight agent, freight broker, trucking broker and load broker.

Trucking Broker

See transportation broker.

Truckload Broker

See transportation broker.

Truckload Carrier

Trucking company which dedicates trailers to a single shipper’s cargo, as opposed to an LTL (Less Than Truckload) carrier which transports the consolidated cargo of several shippers and makes multiple deliveries.
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