Glossary for Digital Logistics & Transportation Management

Even if you’re a seasoned logistics professional, the amount of terms and acronyms can be daunting. We assembled this easy transport glossary to help. The glossary includes both terms germane to transportation management processes and the digital systems with which they connect. It can also help improve your logistics vocabulary.

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3rd Party Logistics provider (3PL)

Businesses use a 3PL to outsource distribution, warehousing, and fulfillment services. A 3PL’s specialization and expertise in the logistics ecosystem adds value for shippers.


Application Programming Interface (API)

A software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. The API connection between a company’s ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system and Alpega TMS is an example; API technology provides a smooth connection that allows necessary data sharing.

Airway bill (AWB)

Proof of delivery for air freight and parcel shipments which travel by air.


Bill of lading (B/L or BoL)

A bill of lading is a legally binding document that provides the carrier and shipper with all of the necessary details to accurately process a shipment. Typically for ocean transport.



A company or individual that provides transportation services. Carriers typically own and operate transportation equipment, such as trucks.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM is the process of managing interactions with existing as well as past and potential customers. A CRM system helps businesses digitalize and track these processes and can link to an ERP or TMS to get visibility on orders to help customer support handle inquiries.


Demurrage fee

Port terminals charge a demurrage fee for goods that exceed the allotted time for loading or pickup. The fees fall to shippers, and cover both import and export activities. Also known as a demurrage cost.

Digital supply chain twin (DSCT)

A digital copy of an organization’s current supply chain used primarily for planning exercises. Also known as a ‘digital twin supply chain.’ Learn more on our blog.

Distributed Order Management System (DOMS)

A Distributed Order Management System processes orders from multiple sales channels and intelligently routes them to the ideal fulfillment center.


Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)

An EAM involves managing and maintaining the physical assets of an organization throughout each asset's lifecycle.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Used most often in the context of an ERP system. An ERP integrates all the core processes needed to run a company into a single system. These processes include: finance, HR, manufacturing, supply chain, services, procurement and others.

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

Standards a company uses to self-evaluate conscientiousness across their operations and processes. ESG goals often motivate a company to engage in greener logistics practices.


Global Demand Supply Matching (GDSM)

A process of matching global demand to supply. Companies use GDSM forecasting to optimize resources and manufacturing capacity.



The Incoterms or International Commercial Terms are a series of pre-defined commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) relating to international commercial law.


Just In Time (JIT) manufacturing

Just in time manufacturing reduces flow times within production systems and supplier response times.
Related: Lean manufacturing.


Lean manufacturing

A manufacturing method that aims to speed up both production and responsiveness from suppliers and customers. A key difference between lean manufacturing and JIT manufacturing is that lean manufacturing is customer-centric.


Also known as less-than-load (LTL), is a shipping service for relatively small loads or quantities of freight. Related: FTL, Full-truckload

Load tender

A carrier sends a load tender to a shipper to request the retrieval of a shipment.

Logistics Service Provider (LSP)

Also known as a “carrier” in the U.S. Provides logistics services. Related: 3PL.


On Time In Full (OTIF)

Refers to status of deliveries. Non-OTIF deliveries may incur a fee and create problems in terms of customer satisfaction.

Order Management System (OMS)

An order management system is a computer software system used in a number of industries for order entry and processing.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)

A company that uses product components from one or more companies to build a product that it sells under its own company name and brand. Often used in automotive context.


Product Life-cycle Management (PLM)

Management of the typical stages of product life, such as development, introduction, stability and decline.

Proof of Delivery (POD)

A method to establish the fact that a recipient received contents sent by a sender. Related: CRM, Bill of lading, AWB


Real-Time Transportation Visibility (RTV)

Real-time visibility allows organizations to follow shipment routes live, in real time. Learn more about Alpega TMS’s real-time visibility network.


Service Level Agreement (SLA)

A commitment between a service provider and a client. For example, shippers typically negotiate SLAs with carriers to define performance expectations.


A company or organization that sends goods. Shippers can be both manufacturers and suppliers. Alpega TMS is a transportation management system for shippers.

Slot Booking

The management and scheduling of warehouse delivery slots. Smart Booking from Alpega TMS is a prime example of a digital slot booking system.

Spot Bidding

Spot bidding allows shippers to invite carriers to bid on a specific shipment. Also known as “Spot Request”. TenderEasy from Alpega enables quick and easy spot bidding for clients.


Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

Total cost of ownership is a financial estimate intended to help buyers and owners determine the direct and indirect costs of a product or service.


The process of procuring freight contracts. TenderEasy provides Europe’s easiest freight tendering solution.

Transportation Management System (TMS)

Software to manage transportation processes. Alpega TMS is a premier example.


Value Chain

The activities a company engages in to add customer value to the product or service offered. Decisions in supply chain management, for example, have ripple effects up the value chain.


Warehouse Management System (WMS)

A warehouse management system is a software application designed to support and optimize warehouse functionality and distribution center management. A TMS often connects with a WMS.

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