Logistics Glossary

This section provides definitions of need-to-know logistics terms.

Term Meaning
Asset type A type of business in which a logistics operator provides their own logistics services using their own warehouses, information systems, and transportation means.
Automatic labeling machine A material handling device that prints labels appropriate to a purpose and automatically applies them to containers and cartons on a conveyor.
Block stacking A method of stacking cargo on a pallet so that the shape and direction of each stacked level are the same.
Brick stacking A method of stacking cargo on a pallet with switching the horizontal and vertical direction of the cargo on each level. Products are easy to see and this stacking method is effective for keeping the cargo from toppling.
Bulk loading Loading cardboard boxes as is without using a pallet.
Bulk transportation Cargo that is loaded as is without packaging.
Business continuation plan (BCP) A plan to continue and quickly recover a business when a disaster occurs.
Cargotainer A cart for transporting goods. It is used to move goods around a warehouse and to load trucks.
Carousel Rotating consolidated shelves that move to the required location for warehousing and picking. Carousels increase storage density. There are horizontal carousels and vertical carousels.
Cart A cart with a handle and casters for transporting loads.
Cart picking Picking using a cart.
Carton clamp A forklift attachment. It can be used to pick up and transport box-shaped loads.
Case rack A special rack that can store products by the case.
Cellular method A production method in which one person or a small team completes or inspects the assembly process of a product.
Co-loading Consolidating mixed cargo by two or more carriers into units of one container.
Cold chain A low-temperature logistics system used in the transportation of fresh foods and pharmaceuticals.
Container A shipping container. The dimensions of containers for international ocean freight are defined by the ISO.
Cooperative delivery Multiple shippers delivering cargo using a single truck. A facility for cooperative delivery is called a cooperative delivery center.
Courier delivery Door-to-door transportation of a small package overseas using an airplane. This is also called international parcel delivery.
Cross belt sorter A material handling device that is one type of automatic sorter in which conveyance units equipped with one or two conveyors in the horizontal direction are connected together. Each conveyor operates independently to automatically sort products.
Cycle inventory A method to sequentially take inventory by determining the predetermined number of goods at a fixed cycle. A benefit is that entering and dispatch work is not stopped with this method.
DWS An abbreviation for dimensioning, weighing, and scanning. A dimensioning, weighing, and scanning system identifies the dimensions, weight, and barcodes of items to ship on a belt conveyor. This system helps prevent mis-shipments and facilitates speedy shipments.
Dead stock The bad inventory that is not likely to be shipped.
Depot A logistics site that performs deliveries for a limited area. Or a small delivery center.
Devanning Unloading cargo from a container. The term "vanning" is used for loading a container.
Double transaction A method in which the interior of the warehouse is managed by splitting it into a picking area and stock area.
FIFO An abbreviation for "first-in first-out".
First-in first-out The first item to enter the warehouse is the first item to leave.
First-in last-out The first item to enter the warehouse is the last item to leave.
Fixed location Fixing the location to store products in a warehouse and always using that same location.
Floor load capacity The weight that the floor can withstand when an even weight is applied to it.
Fluted corrugated sheet The sheet of fiberboard that composes the corrugated part of a cardboard box. It is classified by strength.
Foam peanut A cushioning material made of expanded polystyrene. The curled-shape creates cushioning properties.
Free location A location management method in which the locations where goods are stored are given location numbers.
Gantry crane Large cranes installed on the docks of a bay. They are used to load and unload cargo, such as containers.
Green logistics Logistics with a goal of reducing the burden on the environment. This corresponds to modal shifts, cooperative transportation, consolidating logistics sites, and higher efficiency with electronic tags.
HHT (Hand Held Terminal) An information terminal with excellent portability.
ITS An abbreviation for "intelligent transport systems", which is an approach to making transportation more efficient by using cutting-edge information and communications technologies. A good example of ITS is the ETC (electronic toll collection) system used at highway tollbooths.
Intranet An in-house computer network that uses internet devices and protocols.
Lead time The time which takes from when a product is purchased until it is delivered. Production and transportation are included in this figure.
Linerboard Paperboard that is used for the front and back of cardboard. It is classified by strength.
Logistics ABC An abbreviation for "Activity Based Costing". This is one method for managing logistics costs.
Mast Refers to the pillars of the lift on the front of the forklift.
Mobile rack A movable rack that moves on floor-mounted rails. The rack can be moved horizontally.
Modal shift Switching from trucks to a high-volume transportation method such as rail or ship. This contributes to reducing the burden on the environment.
Nestainer A nested steel pallet using for storing cargo in warehouses and factories.
Node Refers to a logistics site, such as a freight terminal, port, airport, delivery center, or truck terminal.
One-way pallet A disposable pallet that can be used for importing and exporting cargo.
Overhang Cargo that extends from a rack is said to be overhanging.
Pallet A wooden base on which to place cargo. Pallets are used to transport cargo with forklifts.
Parcel A small package.
Polypropylene strapping Plastic strapping used for bundling packages.
Power gate A device that makes the tailgate at the back of the truck bed flat to raise and lower loads between the ground and truck bed. This makes loading and unloading heavy loads easier. This is also called a tailgate lifter.
RFID Devices that can read information without touching small tags.
Ratio of actual driving distance The ratio of the distance that cargo was loaded and transported to the total distance traveled.
Reach-type forklift A type of forklift in which the forks extend forward and the load is supported by the front wheels. These are also called straddle reach trucks.
Risk management Managing risk within a company in a systematic manner to prevent or reduce losses.
Roll box Another term for "roll-box pallet" and "cargotainer". A cart with side fencing on which products are placed in cartons or collapsible containers and carried.
Roll clamp A forklift attachment. This attachment is used to safely and reliably clamp rolls of paper and cargo in the shape of a cylinder.
Rotating fork An attachment that rotates around the face to which the fork was installed. Loose materials, powders, and liquids can be transported and released by using a special carton.
Route delivery A delivery method in which vehicles are allocated and delivery is made according to a predetermined route.
SCM Supply chain management. A strategic business management method that takes all of the processes from the procurement of materials to sales as a single business process. Supply chain management attempts to optimize the entire supply chain without being stuck in the framework of a company or organization.
Shrink wrapping A packing method in which the load is covered in a special vinyl film and heat shrunk to firmly hold the entire load.
Side-shift fork A forklift attachment. The two jaws can slide horizontally.
Single picking Picking goods by destination or in units of stores.
Spring balancer A machine for hoisting and moving cargo horizontally.
Stacker crane A crane with a front-back travel function and up-down elevator function. It is installed between racks in an automated warehouse.
Stretch wrap A cling film used to secure cardboard boxes loaded on a pallet. It can prevent loads from toppling during storage and transportation.
Subcontracting Delivering cargo by temporarily borrowing trucks and drivers from other truck freight operators when loads cannot be handled by the company's own vehicles, such as during peak times.
Supply chain The chain of all processes from the raw materials stage until the product or service reaches the consumer.
Tailgate lifter A device that makes the tailgate at the back of the truck bed flat to raise and lower loads between the ground and truck bed. This makes loading and unloading heavy loads easier.
Ton-kilometer A unit that indicates a quantity of freight carriage. The unit is the transportation distance (kilometers) multiplied by the weight of the freight (tons).
Total picking A work method in which products are picked for multiple destinations in batch and then sorted by shipping order at a temporary storage area or sorting area.
Total picking method A method in which the items and goods are picked for multiple destinations in batch and sorted by destination in the cargo handling area.
Unit load Cargo in which multiple items of cargo are grouped together using a container, pallet, or case.
Utilization efficiency An indicator of vehicle use efficiency. This is the value of the total number of operating days of a vehicle that has been driven loaded with cargo in a certain time period divided by the total number of days the registered vehicle is in possession.
Wing body truck A type of truck in which the sides of the cargo bay can be opened. This makes loading and unloading with a forklift easier.
Working load limit The maximum load permitted for the crane.