Exporters Guide to World of Exports


Air Waybill

Accessorial Services / Fees:

Services provided by an airline in addition to the normal transportation service. These charges are not included in the basic weight rate charge.

Common accessorial services include:

improvement of charges, pick-up, delivery, COD service, signature service, storage, demurrage, and loading / unloading.

Account Number:

A specific number assigned by any airline, to an approved customer, used for billing and other computerized functions.

Actual Weight:

What the shipment actually weighs on a scale.

Advance Arrangements:

The shipper must make arrangements with the carrier prior to the intended date of shipping. See Booking.

Advance of Charges:

A service under which airlines, in some instances, pay incidental charges before or after airhaul. Examples would include cartage and warehousing costs. These charges can be paid in advance for the convenience of either the Shipper or Consignee.

Agent (IATA):

A forwarder, agent or broker who is recognized and approved by IATA, appointed by a carrier and authorized by the relevant carrier to receive and prepare shipments and to collect charges. See Cargo Sales Agent.

Air Freight:

The goods for transport in any volume, and the type of service airlines provide to transport the goods. The term most commonly used cargo is.

Air Freight Forwarder:

See Freight Forwarder

Air Waybill:

Shipping document used by the airlines for air freight. It is a contract for carriage between shipper and carrier covering Intra-US and international transportation of cargo to a specified destination. It includes carrier conditions of carriage highlighting such items as limits of liability and claims procedures. The Air Waybill also contains specific shipping instructions to airlines, a description of the commodity, and applicable transportation charges. Air Waybills are not negotiable.


See Air Waybill


Most commonly used term for airplane. See Equipment.


From one airport facility to another airport facility. (No pick-up / delivery service applications.)


A blocked space by airlines, on behalf of forwarders / shippers.

Articles of Extraordinary Value – (AEV):

Commodities identified as high-value items that require advance arrangements and special handling.

Assembly Service:

A service by which an airline assemblies shipments from one or many shippers and transports them as one shipment (not necessarily at one time or flight) to one Consignee.


Cargo that is traveling without paperwork or on paperwork in place of the original


Actual Time of Arrival, or Airport-To-Airport
Attractive Merchandise:

Commodities such as cameras, radios, electronic equipment, etc., that are handled as high-value shipments but not rated the same.


To move a shipment back over part of a route already traveled.

Banded / Banding:

Cargo wrapped and / or secured with metal or plastic strips

Bank Release:

An import shipment requiring notification and release from a bank or in care of a bank. The release must be on the bank's stationary and must be an original copy. Photocopies, fax, and phone calls are not acceptable. Also see Letter Of Credit

Belly or Belly Pits:

Compartments located benefit the passenger deck used for cargo, baggage storage and mail.

Bill of Lading:

A document by which a carrier acknowledges receipts of goods and contracts to move them. The Air Waybill is a form of bill of lading. See Air Waybill.

Bonded Carrier / Trucker:

A firm that has posted a bond with the government and is licensed to carry and hold in their facilities 'goods that have not been granted a clearance by countries' Customs Authorities.


A shipper has prearranged cargo space on a specific flight (s) creating a booking, or reservation. See Advanced Arrangements.

Broker (Customs):

A person or firm licensed by the Customs Authorities to transact business with customs on behalf of importers for a fee. See Customshouse Brokers


Collect on Delivery

COD Fee:

The fee charged for collecting the COD amount for the shipper.


Hundred weight


The goods for transport in any volume, and the type of service airlines provide to transport the goods. Exceptions:

(a) Mail or other property under the terms of an international postal convention. (b) Baggage transported under a passenger ticket and baggage check. Unaccompanied baggage moving under an Air Waybill is cargo. See Air Freight.

Cargo Sales Agent:

An agent appointed by IATA to solicit and process international cargo for shippers. IATA Cargo Sales Agents are paid awards by the airlines without added cost to the shipper or consignee. See Agent IATA

Cargo Transfer:

Cargo arriving at a point by one carrier and continuing its journey through another carrier. See Interline.

Carnet (ATA Carnet):

A document issued by Chambers of Commerce, permitting the holder to carry or send merchandise temporarily into certain foreign countries (for display, demonstration, or similar purposes) without paying duties or posting bonds.


A term synonymous with airline. Each airline is a carrier of passengers and cargo.

Carrier Certificate:

A document prepared by the Carrier containing the master Air Waybill number, house Air Waybill number, flight number and date the shipment arrived and the storage date. The consignee / broker needs this information in order to clear customs.

Certificate of Origin:

A document to prove the place of origin for specified goods, required by certain foreign countries for tariff purposes.




The participants in a consolidation other than the master loader. Each provides all the documentation required for their shipment to the master loader. See Consolidation, MAWB, HAWB, Master Loader.

Collect Charges:

Charges entered on the Air Waybill for collection from the consignee. Freight collect, charges forward or charges collect also have the same meaning.

Collect on Delivery – (COD):

A transportation service under which the purchase price of the goods is collected by the carrier from the receiver at the time of delivery, and subsequently, payment is transmitted by the carrier to the shipper. Carriers charge a nominal fee for this service. As the term COD charges, payment is due upon delivery. There are no credit provisions in COD service.

Commercial Invoice:

Shipper's documentation describing the goods and their value which must accompany all international and transborder shipments

Commodity Code:

A system for identifying a given commodity by a number as a means of facilitating, for example, the application of computerization to freight transport.

Conditions of Contract:

The terms and conditions established by the air carriers for the carriage of goods. These conditions are printed on the Air Waybill and include such items as limits of liability, claims limits, indemnity and demographic weight rules.

Connection Time:

Allowable published time to connect cargo from one flight to another


The receiver of a shipment, or to what the shipment is consigned


Shipment of one or more pieces of property, accepted by the carrier from one shipper, received for one lot, and transported on one Air Waybill, to one consignee at one destination.

Consular Invoice:

A document required by some foreign countries, describing a shipment of goods and showing information of the shipment. It is certified by a formal official of the foreign country. It is used by the country's customs officials to verify the value, quantity and nature of the shipment.


A shipping device, airline provided or shipper provided, allowing a convenient and lower cost method of shipping. See ULD – Unit Load Device.


The use of box-like or other unit load devices (ULD) in which a number of packages are stored, protected, and handled as a unit in transit. See Container and ULD.

Conversion Rate:

The rate used to convert one currency to another. See Exchange Rate and Rate of Exchange.

A government authority designed to regulate flow of goods to and from a country and to collect duties levied by a country on imports and exports. The term also applies to the procedures involved in such collections.

Customs Airport:

Designated airports in each country which have customs facilities.

Customs Clearance:

A shipment must clear customs when it enters any country from another.

Customs Declaration:

A statement, oral or written, attesting to the correctness of description, quantity, value, etc., of merchandise offered for importation into the US

Customhouse Broker:

A broker who is licensed by the Customs Authorities to act for importers and other businessmen in handling the sequence of customs formalities and other details attendant to the legal and expeditious importing of goods.

Dangerous Goods:

Articles or substances which are capable of posting a significant risk to health, safety, or property when transported by air if not packaged according to federal regulations.

Declared Value for Carriage:

The value of goods declared to the carrier by the shipper for the purposes of determining charges or establishing the limit of the carrier's liability for loss, damage, or delay.

Declared Value for Customs:

The selling price of the contents or the replacement cost if the contents are not for resale. The amount must be equal to or greater than the declared value.

Delivery Authorization Document – (DAD):

A customs term for a 7512 (IT) or a 3461 (Clearance) or a straight Air Waybill stamped by customs.

Department of Transportation – (DOT):

An executive department of the US Government established by the Department of Transportation Act of 1966 for the purpose of developing national transportation policies.


The final stop of cargo that is being transported. Sometimes referred to as the final destination. exists.


Landing at a location other than the planned destination


The required paperwork accompaniment a shipment such as an Air Waybill, a health certificate, invoices, shipper's export declaration, etc.

A piece of equipment with wheels, used to move containers and pallets to / from the aircraft


Used when pick-up and delivery service applications.


Shipper deliveries shipment (s) to the Air carrier for transportation. See Tender

Drop Time:

A published time frame at each airport city when the shipper must drop off cargo prior to flight departure


A tax imposed on imports by the customs authority of a country. Duties are generally based on the value of goods, other factors such as weight or quantity limits, or a combination of value and other factors


Estimated Time of Arrival


Estimated Time of Departure


Temporary refusal to accept cargo for transportation at certain points or in certain routes due to the type or class of cargo, limitations of facilities, emergencies, or other abnormal circumstances.


Used in the airline industry referring to aircraft or aircraft type, ie, DC-10, B-727, etc.


People accompanying shipments on the same aircraft

Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA):

The time at which a flight is expected to arrive as determined by operating conditions. It can differ from the scheduled time of arrival.

Estimate Time of Departure – (ETD):

The time at which a flight is expected to depart as determined by operating conditions. It can differ from the scheduled time of departure.

Exception Ratings:

Rates set at a certain percentage above the general commodity rates because they apply to commodities that require special handling, such as live animals and human remains. See Class Rate and Premium Rate

Excess Value:

The amount of declared value on a shipment that is over the carrier's liability

Exchange Rate:

The price of one currency in terms of another

Exclusive Truck:

A shuttle truck that operates exclusively for an airline


To send or transport shipments out of a country for sale or use in another country or for personal purposes.

Export Broker:

An individual or firm that brings together buyers and sellers for a fee, but does not take part in actual sales transactions.

Export License:

A government document that permits the licensee (holder of license) to engage in the export of designated goods to specific destinations.

Firms Code:

A customs location code issued for each bonded warehouse or facility.

Flatbed Truck:

A shuttle truck that does not have an enclosed trailer


See Freight Forwarder.
Free domicile:

A term used in international transportation where the shipper pays all transportation charges and any applicable duties and / or taxes.

Freight Forwarder:

Serves a dual role. To the airlines, the freight forwarder is a shipper. To their customers, the freight forwarder is an indirect carrier or agent. The freight forwarder receives freight from customers under his own tariff, usually consolidating it into larger shipments, prepares necessary documents and makes arrangements for moving freight.


An aircraft that carries cargo only, rather than the combination of passengers and cargo


Government Bill of Lading


General Commodity Rate

Gateway City:

The first port of entry into a country, or the last port before exiting a country.

General Commodity:

Any cargo commodity that does not warrant a special or specified rate.

General Commodity Rate:

An air freight rate applicable on all commodities, except those for which specific rates have been filed. Rates are based on weight and distance and are published for each pair of cities an airline serves.

Government Bill of Lading – (GBL):

A document issued by a government agency used to request transportation of goods and support the billing of same in conjunction with carrier's Air Waybill.

Gross Weight:

The weight of the shipment including all packing, blocking, platforms, special bracing, etc., if required. (including weight of unit load device, when applicable.)

HAWB (House Air Waybill):

The individual breakdown for each part of a consolidation

Hold for Pick-Up – (HFPU) (At Destination):

Freight to be held at the carrier's destination location for pick-up by the recipient. See also Notify on Arrival.
Harmonized System – HS:

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System is a system for classifying goods in international trade, identifying a given commodity by a single number.

Hazardous Material – (HAZ MAT):

A term referring to dangerous goods

Health Certificate:

A document obtained from a licensed veterinarian that is required to ship ALL live warm-blooded animals.

High Value:

A term used to identify both articles of extraordinary value and attractive merchandise.

Human Remains / Embalmed Human Remains:

Intra-US and international term for Deceased human bodies. Sometimes referred to as HR


Indirect Air Carrier


International Air Transportation Association

IATA Agent:

A forwarder / broker that has been approved and is recognized by IATA to receive cargo, cut Air Waybills and other documents for carriers, and collect charges for air shipments.

IATA Carrier:

An airline which is a member of IATA and may accept, carry, and bill for air shipments. Intra-US counterpart is ATA.


Immediate Exportation


Immediate Transport

Immediate Exportation:

Document prepared at port of departure for a shipment traveling through the US, which will clear customs in a different country.

Immediate Transport:

A document prepared at the first US port of entry or used to amend the initial documents indicating the shipment is ready to be transported onto the final US customs airport. On the occasion where routing is altered, an immediate transport document must be reissued to ensure that customs can identify exact location of goods at all times until clearance is granted.


To bring foreign goods into a country

Import License:

A document required and issued by some national governments authorizing importation of goods into their individual countries. See The Air Cargo Tariff – (TACT).


A term applied to air cargo coming into the USA. This designates a procedure under which US Customs' clearance of cargo is postponed until the cargo reaches an inland customs point rather than at congested gateway cities. Cargo moves under the carrier's bond (posted with US Customs) from the gateway to the inland customs port.

Inbond Entry:

Entry made at the first US port by a bonded carrier or agent.

International Commercial Terms Maintained by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). This codification of terms is used in foreign trade contracts, to define the point up to which the seller is liable for the delivery of the goods, and the point in which the risk of loss is transferred from the seller to the buyer. The last edition, Incoterms 2000 contains 13 codes:

EXW – Ex – works FCA – Free Carrier (named place)
FAS – Free Alongside Ship (named port of shipment)
FOB – Free On Board

Indirect Air Carrier:

An entity which purchases cargo space from an airline and sells the space to other shippers. A freight forwarder is an indirect air carrier.

International Air Transport Association (IATA):

The trade and service organization for airlines of more than 100 countries serving international routes


A shipment traveling between states


A shipment originating and terminating within one state's boundaries.

Issuing Carrier:

The carrier who issues the Air Waybill

Joint Rate:

A single rate which applies for carriage over the lines of two or more carriers and which is published as a single amount.


The enclosure in which a live animal is shipped, most commonly for dogs and cats.


An international measure of weight containing 2.2046 pounds.

Known Shipper:

An entity which ships its own products, and has a valid account number with an airline, or appears in the cargo profile list / cargo security profile

Legal Connection:

The amount of time needed to connect cargo from one aircraft to another, or one airline to another. Also referred to as connection time and transfer time.

Letter Of Credit:

A document issued by a bank stipulating that a certain sum shall be paid to the beneficial name under clearly stated conditions. It is a method of paying for goods where a buyer establishes credit with a local bank, clearly indicating goods to be purchased. Upon receipt of documentation, the bank either is paid by the buyer or takes title to goods and transfers funds to seller. NOTE:

On such occasions, the airline can not release goods to the ultimate consignee until a written release is produced by the bank named on the Air Waybill.
Liner terms:

Conditions under which a shipping company will transport goods, including the amount payable for carriage of the goods

Live Animals:

An airline term to identify live cargo

Local Rate:

Rate for shipments between city pairs, all on the same airline


A set time after which no cargo may be sent to be boarded on a flight


Number of pieces in one shipment
Lot Label:

A label or stencil applied to cargo identifying the shipment by Air Waybill number, number of pieces, actual weight of each piece, total actual weight, destination airport, date of shipment, and routing.
Lower deck:

An aircraft compartment, below the Main Deck

Main deck:

Also known as Upper Deck. A freighter aircraft has it entire upper deck equipped for main deck type of containers / pallets loading. There is no main deck type of container / pallet at passenger aircraft
Master Air Waybill – (MAWB):

Air Waybill covering a consolidated consignment, showing the consolidator as shipper

Master Loader:

The IATA agent who collects the responsibility for contracting with other agents to assemble goods for consolidation to the airlines.

MET – Merchandise Enforcement Team:

A special unit of US Customs

Minimum Charge:

The minimum amount which applies for the transportation of air cargo service, no matter how small the shipment


No Authentication Required


No Documents Required


Not Elsewhere Specified. An abbreviation which often appears in cargo tariffs along with NOS – Not Otherwise Specified and possibly, NOIBN – Not Otherwise Indexed by Number.


Next Flight Out. A term used by some shippers meaning SPD – Small Package Delivery.


Notify On Arrival

NarLetterList-Body Aircraft:

B-727, B-737, B-757 and A-320 are all examples of narLetterList-body aircraft.

Net Weight:

The actual weight of a shipment (not including the weight of the container / unit load device – (ULD)).


When an air carrier authorizes a bonded agent (forwarder, broker) to update Air Waybill information (master Air Waybill or house Air Waybill) directly to customs via Air Manifest System

Non-Stop Flight:

A flight with no stops from origin to destination

No Op:

Abrvision for Not in operation, or does not operate.

No Show:

Shipper who fails to show up to ship an already booked shipment. Also, a shipment which fails to show up at destination off a flight.

Normal Processing Time:

A time frame each airport city publications for recovery time.

Normal Rate:

The international term for the published per pound or per kilo rate (between minimum charge and 45K / 100L rate.)


No Value Declared


Removing the cargo from the aircraft

On-Demand Truck:

A shuttle truck operating only if freight has been booked for it

On Hand – (OH):

Cargo is confirmed at a particular airport and available for the customer to pick-up.

One-Shot Truck:

A shuttle truck arranged by a station on a one-time only basis


A routing from origin to destination on the designated carrier only


The point at which a shipment begins

Over-Pivot Weight:

The weight in excess of the pivot weight. See Pivot Weight.

Over-the-Road Truck:

Pick-up and delivery service performed beyond the usual radius of regular Air Cargo, Inc. pick-up and delivery service. These shipments are normally by use of a bill of lading or PRO.


A wooden or metal base to which cargo is secured

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