Logistic terms

We’ll help you make sense of the industry jargon and terms used.

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Letter of Credit


Slip of e.g. paper or metal attached to an object to indicate the nature, ownership, destination, contents and/or other particulars of the object.

Laden Vessel

Vessel where cargo has been put on board.

Land Bridge

Movement of goods from one port to another partially by land and partially by water, as a substitute for all-water transport.


To hold goods in position by the use of e.g. wires, ropes, chains and straps.

Lashing Point

Point on a means of transport to which wires, chains, ropes or straps, which are used to hold goods in position, are attached.

Last Carrier

Participating airline over which air routes the last section of carriage under the Air Waybill is undertaken or performed.

Last in/First out

Abbreviation: LIFO. Method of which the assumption is that the most recently received (last in) is the first to be used or sold (first out).


Angular distance of a position on its meridian north or south from the equator, measured in degrees.

Lay Days

Number of days allowed in a charter party for the loading and discharging of cargo. Lay days may be indicated in different ways, e.g. consecutive days, working days, weather working days.

Lay up a Vessel

Temporary cessation of trading of a vessel by the shipowner.

Layout Key

Layout Key


Less than Container Load

Lead Time

1. The amount of time between the request of a service and the actual provision of this service. 2. A span of time required to perform an activity. 3. In a logistics context, the time between the initiation of a process and its completion.


Contract by which one party gives to another party the use of property or equipment, e.g. containers, for a specified time against fixed payments.

Leasing Company

Company from which property or equipment is taken on lease.

Leasing Contract

Contract for the leasing of property or equipment.

Less than Container Load

Abbreviation: LCL. 1. A general reference for identifying cargo in any quantity intended for carriage in a container, where the carrier is responsible for packing and/or unpacking the container. 2. For operational purposes a LCL (less than full container load) container is considered a container in which multiple consignments or parts thereof are shipped.

Less than Truck Load

Abbreviation: LTL. Term used if the quantity or volume of one or more consignment(s) does not fill a standard truck.


Party to whom the possession of specified property has been conveyed for a period of time in return for rental payments.


Party who conveys specified property to another for a period of time in return for the receipt of rent.

Letter of Credit

Abbreviation: L/C. Method of payment between buyer and seller. The buyer opens a Letter of Credit in favor of the seller at their local bank by depositing the amount of the purchase price and dictating certain documents which the seller must present in order to obtain a payment. The Letter of Credit will be sent to a bank in the vicinity of the seller and upon presentation of the documents called for, the local bank will release payment.

Letter of Credit, Payment by Sight Draft

Document, issued by a bank per instructions by a buyer of goods, authorizing the seller to draw a specified sum of money under specified terms, usually the receipt by the bank of certain documents, within a given time.

Letter of Indemnity

Written confirmation of holding a specified party harmless. E.g.: When a bank refuses to accept a foul Bill of Lading, the shipper may obtain a clean Bill of Lading. To acquire this, the shipper signs a letter of indemnity, which is an inducement to obtain the clean Bill of Lading through the dock or mate’s receipt, given on delivery of the goods to dock or ship, showing that the shipment was damaged or in bad condition. This acts as a form of guarantee whereby the shipper accords a claim settlement against a steamship by a Bill of Lading holder resulting from a clean bill being issued.

Letter of Instruction

Written directions to be followed.


Legal responsibility for the consequences of certain acts or omissions.


Business arrangement in which the manufacturer of a product (with proprietary rights over certain technology or trademarks) grants permission to some other group or individual to manufacture that product (or make use of that proprietary material) in return for specified royalties or other payment.


Legal claim on assets (personal or commercial) to pay a debt or duty.

Life Cycle Cost

Encompasses all costs associated with the product’s life cycle. These include all costs involved in acquisition (research & development, design, production & construction and phase-in), operation, support and disposal of the product.


Last in/First out

Lift-on/Lift-off Vessel

Abbreviation: LOLO. Vessel of which the loading and discharging operations are carried out by cranes and derricks.


Open or covered barge towed by a tugboat and used mainly in harbors and inland waterways.

Lighter Aboard Ship

Abbreviation: LASH. Vessel which carries barges.


Carriage of goods within a port area by a barge, e.g. from a vessel to a quay.


Weight of an empty vessel including equipment and outfit, spare parts required by the regulatory bodies, machinery in working condition and liquids in the systems, but excluding liquids in the storage tanks, stores and crew.

Line Item

Line Item

Line Number

Line Number

Liner Conference

Group of two or more shipping lines, which provides international liner services for the carriage of cargo on a particular trade route and which has an agreement or arrangement to operate under uniform or common freight rates and any other agreed conditions (e.g. FEFC = Far Eastern Freight Conference).

Liner in Free out

Abbreviation: LIFO. Transport condition denoting that the freight rate is inclusive of the sea carriage and the cost of loading, the latter as per the custom of the port. It excludes the cost of discharging.

Liner Service

Connection through vessels between ports within a trade.

Liner Shipping Company

Company transporting cargo in a regular service by ocean vessels.

Liner Terms

Condition of carriage denoting that costs for loading and unloading are borne by the carrier subject to the custom of the port concerned.

Live Stock

Cargo consisting of live animals, such as horses, cows, sheep and chickens.

Lloyd's Register of Shipping

British classification society.


Quantity or nature of what is being carried. This term normally refers to transport by truck.

Load Factor Management

Process of maximizing the utilization of the (slot) capacity of vessels and/or other means of transport.

Load Master

Person supervising process of loading and unloading.

Loaden Vessel

Vessel where cargo has been put on board.


Physical process of bringing cargo into a means of transport.

Loading Platform

Flat surface to facilitate loading usually alongside a warehouse.


Load calculator designed for a vessel approved by a classification bureau for the calculation of the vessel’s stability.

Loan Collection

Method of financing by which an exporter borrows on the basis of drafts turned over to a bank for collection.

Loan Receipt

Document signed by the assured where they acknowledge receipt of money advanced by the insurance company as an interest-free loan (instead of payment of a loss) repayable to the insurance company only if the loss is recovered from a third party and then only to the extent of the recovery.

Local Charge

Local Charge

Local Rate

Local Rate

Locating Pin

Locating Pin


For marine purposes: A space, enclosed at the sides by walls and at each end by gates, by which a vessel can be floated up or down to a different level.


Compartment, in a shed or on board of a vessel, used as a safekeeping place to stow valuable goods, and which can be secured by means of a lock.

Log Book

Daily report of all events and other relevant particulars of a vessel and attested by the proper authorities as a true record.

Logistics Chain

All successive links involved in the logistic process.


Lift-on/Lift-off Vessel

Long Haul

Transportation of cargo by truck over long distances.


Angular distance of a position on the equator east or west of the standard Greenwich meridian, up to 180 degrees east or west.


Motor truck used for transport of goods. Note: Motor truck is an American term.

British synonym for motor truck is heavy goods vehicle. This British term means any vehicle exceeding 7.5 metric tons maximum laden weight.

Loss of Market

Situation in which, for one reason or another, sound cargo is no longer wanted by the consignee when it arrives. This is a “business loss” not recoverable under a Marine Cargo Policy; e.g., Christmas trees arriving in January undamaged.




Less than Truck Load



Luffing Crane

Crane with which the load can be moved to or from the vessel horizontally.


Travelers’ baggage, suitcases, boxes, etc., normally accompanied by a passenger.


Agreed sum of money, which is paid in full settlement at one time. This term is often used in connection with charter parties.

Lump-Sum Charter

Voyage charter whereby the shipowner agrees to place the whole or a part of the vessel’s capacity at the charterer’s disposal for which a lump-sum freight is paid.

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