Glossary: 3PL, Fulfillment, FBA Prep, and Logistics Terms

October 2, 2023


Agile Supply Chain: A supply chain management strategy focused on responsiveness and flexibility, allowing it to adapt quickly to changing conditions.

Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS): A type of system used in manufacturing and distribution to automatically place and retrieve inventory from defined storage locations.


Backorder: An order that cannot be filled at the current time due to a lack of available inventory.

Bill of Lading (BOL or B/L): A legal document between the shipper and carrier; details the type, quantity, and destination of the goods being carried.


Carrier: A firm that transports goods or people via land, sea, or air.

Cross-Docking: The practice of unloading goods from incoming shipments and loading them directly onto outbound shipments, minimizing warehouse storage time.


Demand Planning: A multi-step operational supply chain management process used to create reliable forecasts.

Distribution Center (DC): A facility that holds inventory and redistributes it to retailers or consumers.


E-commerce Fulfillment: The process of storing, picking, packing, and shipping online orders to consumers.

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange): The computer-to-computer exchange of business documents in a standard electronic format.


FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon): Amazon’s fulfillment service wherein sellers send their products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers for storage and shipping to customers.

Freight Forwarder: A company that arranges the import and export of goods and handles the logistics of moving goods.


Gross Weight: The total weight of a shipment, including packaging and containers.


Hub: A central location in a network, through which traffic is directed.


Inventory Management: The supervision of non-capitalized assets (inventory) and stock items.

Incoterms: International Commercial Terms defining the responsibilities of buyer and seller in the arrangement of transportation and other responsibilities.


Just In Time (JIT): An inventory management system that aligns raw material orders from suppliers directly with production schedules.


Key Performance Indicator (KPI): A measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.


Last Mile Delivery: The final step of the delivery process from a distribution center or facility to the end-user.

Lead Time: The amount of time taken to process, produce, and deliver an order after the order is placed.


Material Handling: The movement, protection, storage, and control of materials and products throughout manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, consumption, and disposal.

Multi-Channel Fulfillment: The use of several channels to fulfill customer orders.


Network Design: The planning and design of supply chain networks to optimize efficiency and responsiveness.


Order Fulfillment: The complete process from point of sales inquiry to delivery of a product to the customer.

Outsourcing: Contracting work out to a third-party.


Packing Slip: A shipping document that accompanies delivery packages, usually inside an attached shipping pouch or inside the package itself.

Pallet: A portable platform on which goods can be moved, stacked, and stored, especially with the aid of a forklift.


Quality Control (QC): The process of ensuring that products meet the company’s quality standards.


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID): The use of radio waves to read and capture information stored on a tag attached to an object.

Reverse Logistics: The process of moving goods from their typical final destination to another point, for the purpose of return, repair or remanufacturing.


Supply Chain: The network of all the individuals, organizations, resources, activities, and technology involved in the creation and sale of a product.

Shipment Tracking: Monitoring the journey of a shipment as it travels to its destination.


Third-Party Logistics (3PL): A service that allows you to outsource various supply chain management functions such as warehousing, distribution, and fulfillment.

Transportation Management System (TMS): A logistics platform that uses technology to help businesses plan, execute, and optimize the physical movement of goods.


Uniform Resource Locator (URL): A reference (an address) to a resource on the Internet.


Vendor-Managed Inventory (VMI): An inventory management practice where the supplier holds the inventory and refills it as needed.


Warehouse Management System (WMS): A software application that supports the day-to-day operations in a warehouse.

Waybill: A non-negotiable document prepared by or on behalf of the carrier that provides details and instructions relating to the shipment of a consignment of goods.


X-Docking: See Cross-Docking.


Yard Management System (YMS): A software system designed to oversee the movement of trucks and trailers in the yard of a manufacturing facility, warehouse, or distribution center.


Zone Skipping: The consolidation of packages to bypass various local postal networks, resulting in reduced shipping costs and faster delivery times.

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