There are a lot of specialised and hard-to-understand terms in the transport & logistics industry. Confused? You’re in the right place. On this page, Equity Logistics will define some of the most frequently-used terms in the industry.

Air Cargo

Air cargo refers to all types of freight and cargo moved by air, often in combination with another mode of transport like trucks or rail-based shipping.

Break Bulk

This refers to the transport of cargo that is loaded in individual containers, rather than a large standardised intermodal cargo container – in sacks, barrels, boxes, crates, or other such containers, for example. This is relatively rare in modern ocean-going freight, but may be used for oversized goods that can’t fit into a container.

Bill Of Lading

This is issued during the load and discharge process at a port. The bill of lading is a document issued by the carrier to recognise that they have received cargo for shipment. It will list all of the goods that are to be shipped.


This term is used to refer to an individual freight provider who “carries” a shipment from point A to point B.


Commodities include manufactured goods, raw materials, grown products, and any other type of good that’s for sale.

Customs Broker

A customs broker is a customs service that works with a client to obtain customs clearance for a particular shipment.

Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF)

This is an additional fee placed on top of standard freight charges. It’s intended to account for constant fluctuations in exchange rates between currencies, and protects carriers from losses due to these fluctuations.

Full Container Load (FCL)

This refers to the shipment of a full load in an intermodal cargo container

General Cargo Vessel

This refers to any kind of ocean-going vessel that will carry cargo of multiple types in containers, like food, furniture, cars, consumer products, and more.

Roll On, Roll Off (RoRo)

This refers to a type of transport for cars and other wheeled vehicles, where loading or unloading is done by driving the vehicles onto a specialised transport ship, similar to a large parking garage that floats on the water. The name comes from the fact that the cars “roll on” to load and then “roll off” to unload.

Intermodal (INT)

This refers to a method of transport using intermodal containers, which are standardised 20 or 40-foot containers that are used in oceangoing, roadgoing, and rail transport.

Less Than Load (LTL)

This refers to a shipment that does not fully occupy a standard intermodal shipping container. Often, multiple clients will ship LTL shipments together in a single container to save money.

Letter Of Credit

A letter of credit is a tool used in international trade by importers and exporters. This document is issued by a bank, and certifies that a buyer of a particular shipment of goods will make the payment at the agreed-upon time and for the agreed-upon amount. If the buyer does not pay, the bank will have to pay and then recover the funds from the buyer.


The shipper is the seller, exporter, or consignor named in the bill of lading – in other words, usually the person who owns and is shipping the goods.

Terms & Conditions

The terms & conditions you agree to with a freight provider outline your freight rates, insurance coverage, the responsibilities of each party, and many other legal details about your shipment.

View our Terms & Conditions

Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

This is an individual or company who serves as a liaison between a shipper and a carrier, but does not function as a shipper or carrier themselves. At Equity Logistics, this is what we do – we work with our clients to find freight carriers to move their cargo quickly, efficiently, and safely throughout Australia and beyond.