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The ABC of Haulage: Did You Know That... by Laura Jeeves

The ABC of Haulage: Did You Know That... by
Article Posted: 04/25/2016
Article Views: 122
Articles Written: 3897
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The ABC of Haulage: Did You Know That...

The world of haulage has its own distinct language that consists of hundreds of words and phrases relating to one or more aspects of the industry. Many of these phrases, words and abbreviations are well known throughout the industry but we thought that a brief recap on some of the more obscure terms and their meanings could be helpful.

AAR – Against all Risks Insurance

Damage to goods in shipment is one of the risks we face on a day to day basis. As far as the client is concerned, the person to blame is irrelevant because, from his point of view, the haulage company is where the buck stops. As the name suggests, and pretty much like comprehensive car insurance, taking out AAR protects you from liability in the event of damage, regardless of who is at fault.

Ad Valorem – Latin for” According to Value”

This is term is used to denote a tax that is levied based on the value of goods, a service or a transaction. A prime example is VAT. The tax may be collected at the time of the transaction or, in some cases, may be annual.


If you transport goods across borders, you will aware of this document’s importance. As a rule, when goods enter a country, taxes must be paid. But there are circumstances, such as when they are merely moving though a country to another, when payment of import duty etc. would be unrealistic. Basically, the Carnet is a customs document allowing the holder to bring their goods into the country without having to pay duty or posting a bond.


Hopefully your haulage company will never have had to deal with this. Basically, demurrage is a penalty a carrier pays to their customer if delivery is delayed beyond an agreed period of time. The time and the penalty are usually set out in the contract

Free Astray

This is yet another term that hopefully you will never have come across. If a shipment is lost and later comes to light, the haulage company ships it to its destination at no extra charge.


Groupage stands for the practice of combining a number of small shipments to the same geographical location into one container or truck to save costs and streamline operations.

Inherent Vice

A term used by insurance companies to describe characteristics of a load being transported that could result in damage to cargoes without any external cause or reason. Foe examples are unstable chemicals that are prone to sudden combustion or explosion. Such loads may be refused coverage by insurers.

Issuing Carrier

The haulage contractor who provides all relevant transportation documentation for a specific load.


The abbreviation for “Transport International par la Route.” This is a road haulage operating agreement between European countries and the United States for the international movement of cargo by road. When the TIR symbol is displayed on a sealed container, it can be transported across borders without inspection.

There are many more professional terms that we have not addressed here. One comprehensive site that contains a plethora of definitions is the Dictionary of Transport and Logistics. In addition, there is a widely used truckers’ slang that varies from country to country. There is a special Wikipedia site with a lexicon of slang as well.

Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage work with available drivers. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.

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