Package Delivery Services Key Terms

Pick up a bundle of package delivery services key terms

Key terms in the package delivery service industry discuss special charges, such as accessorials. They also name required documents, like a bill of lading and certificate of origin. New technological methods and software in the package delivery system have created a new vocabulary. Key package delivery terms describe new delivery methods, as with rate-shopping software. Some terms, such as LTL shipper, describe the actual package carrier. Make sure you understand the following terms to make the right choices for your business.


Accessorials are additional charges on packages that result in extra work being placed on the carrier by the sender. These include charges for lack of information, wrong addresses, and more.

Bill of lading

A bill of lading is a document used by package delivery carrier services. This document is the record of receipt from the carrier for the packages being shipped.

Certificate of origin

A certificate of origin is a special document used by the package delivery service industry specifying where the product originated. This is a necessary document that some countries require in order for a package to clear the country's customs system.

Less than truckload (LTL) shipper

A less than truckload (LTL) shipper, as opposed to a truckload (TL) shipper which only operates with full truckloads, is a package delivery carrier that combines small shipments from different shippers. These packages are collected at specially placed hubs.

Rate-shopping software

Companies use rate-shopping software to find the least costly carrier for packages needing delivery. The software determines the carrier based on the package's weight and final destination.

Tariff code

A tariff code is a set of numbers, consisting of a six to 10 digit number code, that is specific to certain types of products. The World Customs Organization determines the code and it is used for tax purposes on packages shipped internationally.

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