In this section, we explain many transport terms which will be helpful to understand the operation and specific character of the TSL sector. Here, we will also publish answers to the most frequent questions asked to our forwarders.
French: L’Accord européen relatif au transport international des marchandises dangereuses par route Popular term for dangerous goods, as well as the name of an international convention which provides for the transport of dangerous goods. Detailed information on and legal acts providing for the transport of dangerous goods are available on the website of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport
Notification (advice note)
A notice on goods shipment addressed to a consignee. For forwarding purposes, notification means the process of notifying a forwarder of an intention to load or unload goods at specific time.
An auxiliary document used in road transport, mainly LTL transport. It specifies where particular batches of goods are to be shipped. The document is attached to copies of a bill of lading and issued by a sender of goods.
C-Commerce (Collaborative Commerce)
A model of electronic commerce the purpose of which is to enable mutual contacts between colleagues or separate companies being business partners. In practice, it means establishing dependencies between business partners to optimise all trading processes.
CEPIK (Centralna Ewidencja Pojazdów i Kierowców)
The IT System of the Central Record of Vehicles and Drivers, which contains information about vehicles registered in Poland and drivers with a Polish driving licence. It comprises two records: the central record of vehicles (CEP) and the central record of drivers (CEK). The central record of vehicles collects data of vehicles registered in Poland.
A truck used to transport goods at a relevant temperature. Refrigerated trucks are equipped with refrigerating units to ensure relevant temperature.
A semi-trailer used to transport goods in the form of coils. Coils are placed in a well along the longitudinal axis of the vehicle.
Transport between two countries by a forwarder whose registered office is located outside those countries.
Drivers’ working time
Total driving time (subject to the defined standards). After a 4.5-hour drive, the driver must take a 45-minute break. After the break, the driver must drive for 4.5 hours and then rest usually for 11 hours. 3 times a week, the resting time may be shortened to 9 hours. The driver works 15 hours a day at the maximum.
A vehicle, semi-trailer or trailer made of a cargo box which resembles a tilt. A basic difference is that for loading/unloading purposes, the “curtain” may be parted at the side of the truck.
In the transport industry, it means that goods must be delivered to the consignee within the exactly defined time limit (date, time). They must not be delivered earlier or later. If a forwarder fails to keep the time limit, this may bring about various consequences: the forwarder must wait for the next slot (sometimes even several days), pay contractual penalties and costs connected with a failure to deliver goods on time and with production stoppage.
It means a full truckload, which means that the whole available loading space is used. The customer may also load a part of a vehicle (partial load) or book the whole space (which means that nothing is added). This is important when the time of transport matters or sensitive goods are transported.
Terms of Transport
A right and obligation to arrange for and pay the cost of transport as set out in the purchase and sales agreement. Both business partners, i.e. a buyer and a seller, often agree on terms of transport during contract negotiations. The agreement is bilateral and partners must decide on contractual terms and conditions (own or third-party terms of transport). A commission contract stipulates who decides on the type of transport, route, as well as collection and delivery due dates.
International Commercial Terms The international set of rules which define terms and conditions for a transport agreement between a seller and a buyer, the division of costs between a sender and a consignee, the type of transport agreed and liability for particular stages of the transport agreement.
An entity that is responsible for logistic management in terms of cargo integration and the widely understood consolidation of goods, including all branches of transport.
Delivery just in time; transport planning without time wasting. Optimisation of production costs by reducing the cost of goods warehousing. The purpose is also to use human resources more effectively and improve the flow of necessary information, increase productivity and reduce the probability of goods exceeding their sell-by date or goods being damaged.
Cabotage, cabotage transport
Transport by various means of transport (railway, road, air transport) within a given country by an entity registered in another country (e.g. a Polish company transporting goods from Hamburg to Berlin provides cabotage transport in Germany). Goods must be loaded and unloaded within one country. An article which discusses this issue in details and includes references to applicable legal regulations is available on:
It is used to protect tie-down straps. The protectors made of stretchy materials and fixed along the straps. They protect the strap against wearing through. The surface of contact between a corner protection and goods is much bigger than between a strap and goods. Therefore, pressure force is spread on a bigger surface. Corner protectors protect both the strap against its premature wearing through and the goods in transit, which contributes to bigger transport safety.
A steel pole being a part of a trailer which maintains crosswise (wooden or aluminium) reinforcement.
The growth of the number of vehicles on roads and traffic intensity, otherwise “traffic paralysis”, caused by certain road sections being jammed.
External transport costs
All consumption costs related to means used to provide a transport service, which are not incurred by a buyer or a service provider. External costs comprise costs connected with the negative impact of transport on the natural environment and human life.
Less than truckload. The whole available loading space is not booked for single cargo. Along the transport route, there are usually many loading/unloading places and goods may be sometimes trans-shipped to another vehicle (in order to optimise the route and transport costs). Delivery due times are longer, but prices are more attractive for customers. However, given weight and size, not all goods may be transported as LTL, even if they do not occupy the whole loading space.
Chains, fixing chains
Used to fix heavy goods in the truck in order to protect them against moving.
Mats (anti slip mats)
Made of rubber granulate. Used as an additional element to protect cargo against moving. Frequently used together with protecting strips to avoid goods slipping in the loading space.
A flexible vehicle that is excellent for classic and volume transport. Popular trailers of this type are semi-trailers with floor lowered to the maximum in order to achieve a loading space that is three metre high. In that way, the semi-trailer is adjusted to transport both ordinary goods and goods of bigger dimensions.
French Convention relative au contrat de transport international de marchandise par route A basic document which confirms that a transport agreement has been executed. It includes information about an loading and unloading place, key data of goods transported (quantity, weight), data of transport parties, shipment and collection due dates, agreed transport costs, and additional information (connected, for example, with customs duties) and the list of documents which have been handed over to the driver.
German Mindeslohngesetz The Minimum Wage Law providing for the minimum wage of EUR 8.5 for an hour of work in Germany, which applies, among others, to Polish drivers. Pursuant to MiLoG, the minimum wage must be paid to employees who are not German citizens, but work in Germany, even if they are hired by an employer from a country other than Germany and to employees who work in Germany temporarily. This applies not only to cabotage in Germany, but to loading or unloading in Germany and to transit across Germany. The penalty for the violation of these regulations is up to EUR 30,000.
A fee payable for using a road, motorway, bridge or tunnel.
Principle of the anonymity of a sender and consignee. A sender is not informed about the destination of goods and a consignee is not informed who is a sender. A driver issues a separate CMR in accordance with a contracting party’s instruction.
International and domestic forwarder transport insurance.
Clothes protecting against the impact of external factors. They are often required during goods loading or unloading. Protective clothes include mainly: gloves, protective helmet, shoes, glasses and vest.
Polish General Forwarding Rules
A forwarder’s code prepared by the Polish International Freight Forwarders Association, which is made of 31 articles. The Rules provide for rights and obligations of the parties to a forwarding agreement. They are not a legal regulation or source of law. They apply to relationships between a forwarder and a contracting party. If the shipment agreement provides for a substitute forwarder, the rules will also apply to the substitute forwarder and the contracting party of the substitute forwarder which has given an order thereto. The Rules provide for key definitions, general regulations, a forwarder’s obligations connected with the provision of its forwarding services and the execution of forwarding agreements, as well as forwarder’s liability for damage arising from the organisation of goods transport. The Rules do not apply to the transport of money, works of art and human remains. The complete text of the Polish General Forwarding Rules is available on:
A construction made of wood or another material used to transport or store goods. EUR-pallets have standard dimensions of 120 x 80 cm and are marked with the “EUR” symbol at the side.
Pallets of 120 cm x 100 cm. Used as a substitute to EUR-pallets (120×80) to distribute heavy products. Their loading capacity is bigger than the capacity of EUR-pallets.
In the transport with the use of pallets, two situations are possible:
- non-replaceable pallets: a driver does not need to have additional pallets in the truck; goods are packed on the pallets during loading and are handed over together with pallets during unloading;
- replaceable pallets: replacement pallets are transported in the truck (in the pallet basket); during loading, a driver hands over the number of pallets that equals to the number of pallets loaded; during unloading, a driver receives the number of empty pallets that equals to the number of pallets unloaded. The whole operation is reflected in the transport documentation (pallet receipt).
Elements that fix and protect goods in transit. The purpose of the straps is to counteract forces influencing the moving goods and reduce losses arising from goods movement. Straps must not be damaged and must have a legible label.
A semi-trailer or trailer covered with a sheet of a relatively large size which protects goods against weather conditions. It is supported on scaffolding and forms the top part of the cargo box.
Oversize transport consists of transporting goods that exceed admissible standards for traffic on public roads in terms of weight and size. It is also called non-standard transport. For oversize load, organisation, specialised equipment and experienced staff are necessary. It is often necessary to hire a pilot who signals the transport to other road users and takes care of the transport safety.
Quick response A graphic code used to quickly identify real demand for the final product, as reported during subsequent deliveries. The main assumption of the system is based on partnership between all elements of the supply chain, which means that each element of the supply chain has specific obligations.
Goods/cargo unloading after reaching the destination.
Semi-trailer element that enables to move goods in both directions to enable their loading and unloading. Movable floor ensures automation and enables the loading and unloading of goods on pallets by eliminating the need to use a fork lift and entrances to the trailer. Movable floor enables to shorten unloading to 10 minutes, depending on goods transported.
Service consisting in the organisation of transport and other related services. In terms of range, there is domestic, international, public or own forwarding. In terms of means of transport, there is railway, air, sea and road forwarding. Forwarding covers all activities connected with the organisation of safe, cost-effective and timely transport. It does not cover, however, the very transport. A forwarding agreement does not equal to a transport agreement.
A device usually installed in buses and trucks. It records a vehicle distance and speed in time and a driver’s activeness, i.e. periods of work and rest (so-called break). At present, digital tachographs, which record data internally, are most popular.
Goods for which no special semi-trailer fittings or driver training is required and which are not classified as ADR. Examples of neutral goods: car parts on pallets, construction materials, paper.
Transport, Shipment and Logistics sector or industry.
A truck element located at the back of the car which helps to load and unload goods. It is operated from the driver’s cab or next to the lift.
A mechanical motor driven vehicle used mainly to transport materials of large weight (up to several dozen tonnes). It is used mainly for unloading purposes at production plants, ports, warehouses. Goods are usually transported on wooden pallets. Fork lifts may be operated only by authorised persons. Link to the description of a fork lift construction:
Link to the description of a fork lift construction:
An electronic system which monitors and registers the temperature of goods transported. Temperature recorders are installed in vehicles used to transport frozen or cooled food products (refrigerated trucks). Based on a printout from the temperature recorder, we are able to easily define the temperature of goods both during their loading and unloading.
Goods loading onto the means of transport. Depending on the type of a truck, goods may be loaded from the side, back or top by the use of a lift.
Depending on the type of a truck, the following types of loading are possible:
- in the case of refrigerated trucks, only back loading is possible;
- Walking Floor: easy top loading, usually for loose materials (side or back loading is also possible);
- Box truck (stiff construction): only back loading;
- Tilt/Curtain: one of the most popular trailers: side, top and back loading possible.
Back loading is often made by the use of a platform or hydraulic lift. Top loading is usually made by the use of a lift.
Truck with a semi-trailer of more than 13.6 m