Now what exactly was … The world of logistics is full of technical terms, and new terms are constantly being added. Our glossary explains them all in a nutshell. If a term you are looking for is not listed here, please don't hesitate to contact us. We'll be happy to add your technical term to our list.



Activity-based costing
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Activity-based costing is a model that allows process-oriented tracking and recording of the overheads for products, supply channels, logistics or customers. It represents a method for the development of logistics-oriented cost accounting and time analysis accounting. Activity-based costing enables the indirect costs to be shown that are incurred by service areas based on requirements. Activity-based costing focuses on identifying cost drivers, reference figures or process variables.

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AdBlue is a high quality solution, especially developed for the automotive SCR catalytic converter. By injecting AdBlue into the SCR catalytic converter, all harmful nitrogen oxides are immediately reduced into harmless nitrogen and water. It is only by using AdBlue that this catalytic conversion has the optimal effect. AdBlue has been prescribed by the heavy duty vehicle manufacturers.


Added Value
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Value attributed to products, and services as the result of a particular process (e.g. production process, storage, transport).

Item for: Authorized Economic Operator

AEO status is an accreditation regime to prove supply chain compliance. The AEO regulation encourages companies to increase security, in exchange for incentives which will improve the efficiency of the supply chain and ultimately reduce costs. The incentives include, for instance, fewer physical border controls, easier reporting, a reduced customs risk rating and priority treatment for goods selected for examination. Obviously, no such incentives will apply to non-AEO businesses.

Air freight
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The transport of goods by air.

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The German customs administration introduced the IT-system ATLAS (Automated Tariff and Local Customs Clearances System) nation wide. Thus the handling of the commercial goods transit with third countries is automated. Atlas is a standardised form for customs declaration and documentation.

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An English term meaning the examination and verification of a company's financial records. In an audit, virtually all areas of a company are examined with respect to performance, costs, quality and efficiency. This usually involves comparing target and actual situations, i.e. judging how effectively set targets have been achieved. In this way, audits secure continuous improvements in quality and costs. To be successful, audits must be carried out at regular intervals - either by external or internal auditors.

Audits are also performed with regard to the issuing of certificates or complying with defined standards. For such quality audits, the applicable ISO standard is the DIN ISO 9000:2000.

Item for: Air Waybill

Air waybills document the completion and contents of a transportation order by air.

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A barcode is a pattern of vertical bars representing digits between zero and nine. It is used on labels to identify and trace all kinds of articles. The barcodes are read by means of laser barcode scanners, which are moved over the barcode to scan it.

› cf. EAN

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Benchmarking is the process of comparing specific process parameters within a company, between competing companies or with industrial standards or best practice. Benchmarking focuses on functional and process areas, considering aspects like performance, costs, organizational structures and customer satisfaction. Generally, it is the key indicators of the best competitor that are used as a yardstick.

Bill of Lading
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Document that establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company under which freight is to be moved between specified points for a specified charge. Usually prepared by the shipper on forms issued by the carrier, it serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage, and a receipt for goods.

Bonded Shipments
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Shipments which are permitted to travel to inland destinations before customs clearance.

Bonded warehouse
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A facility or consolidation center that is authorized by customs to store goods. The payment of duties and taxes are only payable once the goods are removed.

Box car
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A closed freight car.

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In corporate practice, a budget is a formulated schedule of monetary parameters given to a manager in a department or division of a company as part of the company's annual financial plan. Budgeting refers to the process of drawing up a budget.

Item for: Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism

C-TPAT was established by US Customs and Border Protection authorities as a security partnership following the attacks on the World Trade Center. The aim is to combat international terrorism by ensuring a greater degree of security along all goods supply chains in the US trade sector. Any company dealing with transport or logistics who wants to join this partnership gives an undertaking to the US Customs and Border Protection authorities that they will comply with stricter security standards and contractually regulated guidelines. In return, the company is granted special status by the US Customs and Border Protection, including personally assigned customs officers and expedited customs clearance.

Item for: Currency Adjustment Factor

Adjustment applied by shipping lines or liner conferences on freight rates to offset losses or gains for carriers resulting from fluctuations in exchange rates of tariff currencies.

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Goods to be transported.

Carnet ATA
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The ATA Carnet, also referred to as the "merchandise passport", is a customs booklet for temporary imports.

CEP services
Item for: Courier, Express and Parcel Services

Providers of CEP services usually transport relatively low-weight items (31.5 kilograms or less) and low-volume items such as letters, documents and small packets. Such service providers are usually highly reliability and very fast. They often provide extra services like overnight or same-day delivery.