The spatial organization of transportation and mobility
Absolute advantage. A trade theory underlining the ability of an actor (an individual, or firm, or country) to produce a greater quantity of a good, product, or service than competitors, using the same amount of resources.
Access. The capacity to enter and exit a transport system. It is an absolute term implying that a location has access or does not.
Accessibility. The measure of the capacity of a location to be reached by, or to reach different locations. The capacity and the structure of transport infrastructure are key elements in the determination of accessibility.
Aerodrome. A defined area on land or water (including any buildings, installations, and equipment) intended to be used either wholly or in part for the arrival, departure, and movement of aircraft. Aerodromes may include airports, heliports, and other landing areas.
Aframax. A tanker of standard size between 75,000 and 115,000 dwt usually carrying half a million barrels of oil. The largest tanker size in the AFRA (Average Freight Rate Assessment) tanker rate system.
Agglomeration economies. (see economies of agglomeration).
Air cargo. Total volume of freight, mail and express traffic transported by air. Includes freight and express cargo such as small-package services, express services, and priority reserved freight.
Air carrier. Commercial system of air transportation, consisting of domestic and international scheduled and charter service.
Air space. The segment of the atmosphere that is under the jurisdiction of a nation or under an international agreement for its use. They include two major components, one being land-based (takeoffs and landings) and the other air-based, mainly composed of air corridors. These corridors can cover altitudes up to 22,500 meters. Most commercial air transport services are limited to the use of predetermined corridors.
Air transportation. Includes companies that provide domestic and international passenger and freight services, and companies that operate airports and provide terminal facilities.
Airport. 1) An area of land or water that is used or intended to be used for the landing and takeoff of aircraft, and includes its buildings and facilities, if any; 2) Facility used primarily by conventional, fixed-wing aircraft; 3) A facility, either on land or water, where aircraft can take off and land. Usually consists of hard-surfaced landing strips, a control tower, hangars and accommodations for passengers and cargo; 4) A landing area regularly used by aircraft for receiving discharging passengers or cargo.
Alternative fuels. Low-polluting fuels which are used to propel a vehicle instead of high-sulfur diesel or gasoline. Include methanol, ethanol, propane or compressed natural gas, liquid natural gas, low-sulfur or “clean” diesel and electricity.
Amtrak. Operated by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation of Washington, DC. This rail system was created in 1970 and was given the responsibility for the operation of intercity, as distinct from suburban, passenger trains between points designated by the Secretary of Transportation.
Arterial street. A major thoroughfare used primarily for through traffic rather than for access to adjacent land, that is characterized by high vehicular capacity and continuity of movement.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Free trade area established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the Bangkok Declaration. The members of ASEAN are Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Secretariat of the Association is located in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Automatic Identification System (AIS). Transponders on shipping vessels that rely on radio signals to broadcast attributes such as position, ship number, heading, and speed.
Average Vehicle Occupancy (AVO). The number of people traveling by private passenger vehicles divided by the number of vehicles used.
Average Vehicle Ridership (AVR). The ratio of all people traveling by any mode, including cars, buses, trains and bicycles (or telecommuting), in a given area during a given time period to the number of cars on the road. A key measure of the efficiency and effectiveness of a transportation network – the higher the AVR, the lower the level of energy consumption and air pollution.
Backhaul. Traffic for the return movement of a car or container towards the point where the initial load originated or to handle a shipment in the direction of the light flow of traffic.
Balance of payments. A record of receipts from and payments to the rest of the world by a country’s government and its residents. The balance of payments includes the international financial transactions of a country for commodities, services, and capital transactions.
Balance of trade. The difference between a country’s total imports and exports. If exports exceed imports, a positive balance of trade exists.
Baltic Dry Index (BDI). Assessment of the average price to ship raw materials (such as coal, iron ore, cement, and grains) on a number of shipping routes and by ship size. It is an indicator of the cost paid to ship raw materials on global markets and an important component of input costs. The index is considered a leading indicator (forward-looking) of economic activity since it involves events taking place at the earlier stages of global commodity chains.
Barge. A non-motorized water vessel, usually flat-bottomed and towed or pushed by other craft, used for transporting freight. Dominantly used on river systems.
Barrel. A unit of volume equal to 42 U.S. gallons (or 159 liters) at 60 Degrees Fahrenheit, often used to measure volume in oil production, price, transportation, and trade.
Base period. The period between the morning and evening peak periods when transit service is generally scheduled at a constant interval. Also known as “off-peak period”. The time of day during which vehicle requirements and schedules are not influenced by peak-period passenger volume demands (e.g., between morning and afternoon peak periods). At this time, transit riding is fairly constant and usually low to moderate in volume when compared with peak-period travel.
Base fare. The price charged to one adult for one transit ride; excludes transfer charges, zone charges, express service charges, peak period surcharges, and reduced fares.
Berth. A specific segment of wharfage where a ship ties up alongside at a pier, quay, wharf, or other structure that provides a breasting surface for the vessel. Typically, this structure is a stationary extension of an improved shore and intended to facilitate the transfer of cargo or passengers.
Big data. Automatically generated data sets that are so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate. They offer new opportunities for the analysis, capture, search, sharing, storage, transfer, visualization and querying of information related to transportation, such as the tracking of individuals, vehicles, items or loads.
Bicycle. A single-track vehicle this is human or motor-powered. Most are designed to carry one passenger, but some are designed to carry freight.
Bike lane. A right of way reserved for bicycle use. They can be purposely built or converted from existing rights of way such as sidewalks, roads or rail lines.
Bill of lading. A document that establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company. It serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage and a receipt for goods. They take their origin during the Mercantislit era (17th century) as long-distance trade grew and merchants needed official evidence for a consignee to claim goods at a destination.
Block. A group of railcars destined to the same location or customer.
Block hour. The standard measure of aircraft utilization used by the airline industry. It is the time from the minute the aircraft door closes at the departure of a revenue flight until the moment the aircraft door opens at the arrival gate.
Blockchain. A distributed electronic ledger that records transactions in units that are called blocks that are stored on multiple servers (nodes) in a peer-to-peer network. Each time there is a new transaction, a new block is created and appended to the existing blocks. They are often referred to as digital ledger technologies (DLT).
Break-bulk cargo. Refers to general cargo that has been packaged in some way with the use of bags, boxes or drums. This cargo tends to have numerous origins, destinations, and clients. Before containerization, economies of scale were difficult to achieve with break-bulk cargo as the loading and unloading process was very labor and time-consuming.
Break-even. The volume of goods or services that have to be sold in order for the business to make neither a loss nor a profit. Above this figure, the activity is making a profit and below this figure, the activity is generating a loss.
Bridge. A structure including supports erected over a depression or an obstruction, such as water, highway, or railway, and having a track or passageway for carrying traffic or other moving loads, and having an opening measured along the center of the roadway of more than 20 feet between undercopings of abutments or spring lines of arches, or extreme ends of openings for multiple boxes; it may also include multiple pipes, where the clear distance between openings is less than half of the smaller contiguous opening.
British Thermal Unit (BTU). The amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit (F) at or near 39.2 degrees F and 1 atmosphere of pressure.
Bulk cargo. Refers to freight, both dry or liquid, that is not packaged such as minerals (oil, coal, iron ore) and grains. It often requires the use of specialized ships such as oil tankers as well as specialized transshipment and storage facilities. Conventionally, this cargo has a single origin, destination, and client. It is also prone to economies of scale.
Bulk carriers. All vessels designed to carry bulk cargo such as grain, fertilizers, ore, and oil.
Bulk terminal. A purpose-designed berth or mooring for handling liquid or dry commodities, in unpackaged bulk forms, such as oil, grain, ore, and coal. Bulk terminals typically are installed with specialized cargo handling equipment such as pipelines, conveyors, pneumatic evacuators, cranes with clamshell grabs, and rail lines to accommodate cargo handling operations with ships or barges. Commodity-specific storage facilities such as grain silos, petroleum storage tanks, and coal stockyards are also located at these terminals.
Bus (Motorbus). Any of several types of self-propelled vehicles, generally rubber-tired, intended for use on city streets, highways, and busways, including but not limited to minibusses, forty and thirty-foot buses, articulated buses, double-deck buses, and electrically powered trolleybuses, used by public entities to provide designated public transportation service and by private entities to provide transportation service including, but not limited to, specified public transportation services. Self-propelled, rubber-tired vehicles designed to look like antique or vintage trolleys are considered buses.
Bus, Trolley. An electric, rubber-tired transit vehicle, manually steered, propelled by a motor drawing current through overhead wires from a central power source not on board the vehicle. Also known as “trolley coach” or “trackless trolley”.
Bus lane. A street or highway lane intended primarily for buses, either all day or during specified periods, but sometimes also used by carpools meeting requirements set out in traffic laws.
Bus stop. A place where passengers can board or disembark from a bus, usually identified by a sign.
Cable car. An electric railway operating in mixed street traffic with unpowered, individually controlled transit vehicles propelled by moving cables located below the street surface and powered by engines or motors at a central location not on board the vehicle.
Cabotage. Transport between two terminals (a terminal of loading and a terminal of unloading) located in the same country irrespective of the country in which the mode providing the service is registered. Cabotage is often subject to restrictions and regulations where each nation reserves for its national carriers the right to move domestic freight or passenger traffic.
Canal. An artificial open waterway constructed to transport water, to irrigate or drain the land, to connect two or more bodies of water, or to serve as a waterway for watercraft.
Capacity (static / dynamic). The capability of a transport infrastructure or mode to handle a level of throughput under specific conditions. The static dimension of capacity involves fixed assets such as area available for operations while the dynamic capacity is the more intensive use of the available area. For instance, the static capacity of a road would be the number of standard lanes while the dynamic capacity would be influenced by the type of vehicles and speed limit.
Capesize. An ill-defined standard which has the common characteristic of being incapable of using the Panama or Suez canals, not necessarily because of their tonnage, but because of their size. These ships serve deepwater terminals handling raw materials, such as iron ore and coal. As a result, “Capesize” vessels transit via Cape Horn (South America) or the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa). Their size ranges between 80,000 and 175,000 dwt.
Carbon dioxide (CO2). A colorless, odorless, non-poisonous gas that is a normal part of the ambient air. Carbon dioxide is a product of fossil fuel combustion.
Carbon monoxide (CO). A colorless, odorless, highly toxic gas that is a normal by-product of incomplete fossil fuel combustion. Carbon monoxide, one of the major air pollutants, can be harmful in small amounts if breathed over a certain period of time.
Carpool (car sharing). An arrangement where two or more people share the use and cost of privately-owned automobiles in traveling to and from pre-arranged destinations together.
Carrier. The agent (company) moving passengers or freight.
Carrier haulage (Line Haulage). Inland movement of a container provided by a shipping line using a haulage contractor acting as a third party. The shipping line selects the carrier, which can be an independent carrier or a subsidiary of the shipping line. The shipping line is liable for any issues taking place during carrier haulage.
Catchment area. Area or region whose economic, political, cultural, social influence is felt over a larger area. In transportation, it consists of the area under influence of a focal point towards which centripetal fluxes converge; an interception zone of several carriers. Also labeled as Area of Influence or Hinterland.
Centrality. Focus on the terminal as a point of origin and destination of the traffic. Thus, centrality is linked with the generation and attraction of movements, which are related to the nature and the level of economic activities within the vicinity of the concerned terminal. The function of centrality also involves a significant amount of intermodal activities.
Charter. Originally meant a flight where a shipper contracted hire of an aircraft from an air carrier but has usually come to mean any non-scheduled commercial service.
City logistics. The means over which freight distribution can take place in urban areas as well as the strategies that can improve its overall efficiencies, such as mitigating congestion and environmental externalities.
Class I railroad. An American railroad with an annual gross operating revenue in excess of $250 million based on 1991 dollars.
Clean Air Act (CAA). Federal legislation that sets national air quality standards.
Coach service. Transport service established for the carriage of passengers at special reduced passenger fares that are predicated on both the operation of specifically designed aircraft space and a reduction in the quality of service regularly and ordinarily provided.
Coal. A black or brownish-black solid, combustible substance formed by the partial decomposition of vegetable matter without access to air. The rank of coal, which includes anthracite, bituminous coal, sub-bituminous coal, and lignite, is based on fixed carbon, volatile matter, and heating value. Coal rank indicates the progressive alteration, or coalification, from lignite to anthracite. Lignite contains approximately 9 to 17 million British Thermal Unit (BTU) per ton. The heat contents of sub-bituminous and bituminous coal range from 16 to 24 million BTU per ton, and from 19 to 30 million BTU per ton, respectively. Anthracite contains approximately 22 to 28 million BTU per ton.
Code-sharing. An arrangement where an airline places its own code to another carrier’s flight. The airline that is operating the flight is called the operating carrier, and the airline that is marketing the flight is called the marketing carrier. Both carriers may sell tickets for the flight under their own brand.
Cold chain. A temperature-controlled supply chain linked to the material, equipment, and procedures used to maintain specific shipments within the appropriate temperature range. Often relates to the distribution of food and pharmaceutical products.
Combi. A type of aircraft whose main deck is divided into two sections, one of which is fitted with seats and one which is used for cargo.
Commercial geography. Investigates the spatial characteristics of trade and transactions in terms of their cause, nature, origin, and destination. It leans on the analysis of contracts and transactions.
Commodity. Resources that can be consumed and has no qualitative differentiation. They can be accumulated for a period of time (some are perishable while others can be virtually stored for centuries), exchanged as part of transactions or purchased on specific markets (such as futures market). Some commodities are fixed, implying that they cannot be transferred, except for the title. This includes land, mining, logging and fishing rights. In this context, the value of a fixed commodity is derived from the utility and the potential rate of extraction. Bulk commodities are commodities that can be transferred, which includes for instance grains, metals, livestock, oil, cotton, coffee, sugar, and cocoa. Their value is derived from utility, supply, and demand (market price).
Common carrier. A transportation company engaged in the business of handling persons or freight for compensation and for all customers impartially.
Comparative advantages. The relative efficiencies with which countries (or any economic unit) can produce a product or service.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). Natural gas, which is comprised primarily of methane, compressed to a pressure at or above 2,400 pounds per square inch and stored in special high-pressure containers. It is used as a fuel for natural gas-powered vehicles, mainly by buses.
Commuter. A person who travels regularly between home and work or school.
Commuter bus service. Fixed route bus service, characterized by service predominantly in one direction during peak periods, limited stops, use of multi-ride tickets, and routes of extended length, usually between the central business district and outlying suburbs. Commuter bus service may also include other services, characterized by a limited route structure, limited stops, and a coordinated relationship to another mode of transportation.
Commuter rail. Railroad local and regional passenger train operations between a central city, its suburbs, and/or another central city. It may be either locomotive-hauled or self-propelled and is characterized by multi-trip tickets, specific station-to-station fares, railroad employment practices, and usually only one or two stations in the central business district. Also known as “suburban rail.”.
Conference (liner). An association of ship owners operating in the same trade route who operate under collective conditions such as tariff rates and shared capacity. They provide international liner cargo services on particular routes within specified geographical areas. Shipping lines have an agreement within the framework of which they operate under uniform or common freight rates and any other agreed conditions with respect to the provision of liner services.
Congestion. When the transport demand exceeds the transport supply in a specific section of the transport system. Under such circumstances, each vehicle impairs the mobility of others. Urban congestion mainly concerns two domains of circulation, private and public, often sharing the same infrastructures.
Connecting carrier. A carrier that has a direct physical connection with another or forming a connecting link between two or more carriers.
Consignee. A person or company to whom commodities are shipped. Officially, the legal owner of the cargo.
Consolidated shipment. A method of shipping whereby an agent (freight forwarder or consolidator) combines individual consignments from various shippers into one shipment made to a destination agent, for the benefit of preferential rates. (Also called “groupage”) The consolidation is then de-consolidated by the destination agent into its original component consignments and made available to consignees. Consolidation provides shippers access to better rates than would be otherwise attainable.
Constant dollars. Figures where the effect of change in the purchasing power of the dollar has been removed. Usually, the data are expressed in terms of dollars of a selected year or the average of a set of years.
Container. A large standard size metal box into which cargo is packed for shipment aboard specially configured oceangoing containerships and designed to be moved with common handling equipment enabling high-speed intermodal transfers in economically large units between ships, railcars, truck chassis, and barges using a minimum of labor. The container, therefore, serves as the transfer unit rather than the cargo contained therein.
Container On Flatcar (COFC). The movement of a container on a railroad flatcar. This movement is made without the container being mounted on a chassis.
Container terminal. A set of facilities supporting the handling (loading and unloading) of containers. The intermodal relation defines the nature of the container terminal, such as a container port, an intermodal terminal (rail) or a barge terminal.
Containerization. The increasing and generalized use of the container as support for freight transportation. It involves a process where the intermodal container is increasingly used because it substitutes cargo from other conveyances, it is adopted as a mode supporting freight distribution and its spatial diffusion in terms of the transport systems able to handle containers.
Containership. A cargo vessel designed and constructed to transport, within specifically designed cells, portable tanks and freight containers which are lifted on and off with their contents intact. There are two types of containership full and partial. Full containerships are equipped with permanent container cells with little or no space for other types of cargo. Partial containerships are considered multi-purpose container vessels, where one or more but not all compartments are fitted with permanent container cells, and the remaining compartments are used for other types of cargo. This category also includes container/car carriers, container/rail car carriers, and container/roll-on/roll-off vessels.
Conventional car. A single platform flat car designed to carry a trailer or container. Containers can only be single stacked on a conventional car. Conventional cars are equipped with one or two stanchions, depending on length, for shipment of one or two trailers.
Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards. CAFE standards were originally established by Congress for new automobiles, and later for light trucks, in Title V of the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act (15 U.S.C. 1901, et seq.) with subsequent amendments. Under CAFE, automobile manufacturers are required by law to produce vehicle fleets with a composite sales-weighted fuel economy which cannot be lower than the CAFE standards in a given year.
Corridor. A linear orientation of transport routes and flows connecting important locations that act as origins, destinations or points of transshipment. Corridors are multi-scalar entities depending on what types of flows are being investigated. Thus, they can be composed of streets, highways, transit routes, rail lines, maritime lines, or air paths.
Costs (Transport). A monetary measure of what the transport provider must pay to produce transportation services and comes as fixed (infrastructure) and variable (operating). They depend on a variety of conditions related to geography, infrastructure, administrative barriers, energy, and how passengers and freight are carried. Three major components, related to transactions, shipments and the friction of distance, impact on transport costs.
Cost-benefit analysis. A tool employed to evaluate projects by providing a set of values that are useful to determine its feasibility from an economic standpoint.
Costs-Insurance-Freight (CIF). The price of a good is a uniform delivered price for all customers everywhere, with no spatially variable shipping price, which implies that the average shipping price is built into the price of a good. The CIF cost structure can be expanded to include several rate zones.
Cross-border transportation. The activities, infrastructures, and flows that ensure the passage of passengers and freight across an international border. Cross-border transportation can be facilitated, monitored, controlled and even prevented.
Cross-docking. A form of inventory management where goods are received at one door of the distribution center/sorting facility and shipped out through the other door in a very short amount of time without putting them in storage. It consequently contributes to the reduction of operating costs with an increase in the throughput and with a reduction of inventory levels.
Crude oil petroleum. A naturally occurring, oily, flammable liquid composed principally of hydrocarbons. Crude oil is occasionally found in springs or pools but usually is drilled from wells beneath the earth’s surface.
Current dollars. The dollar value of a good or service in terms of prices current at the time the good or service is sold. This contrasts with the value of the good or service measured in constant dollars.
Cycle time. The amount of time required from the receipt of an order to when this order is completed (assembled) and ready for delivery. Often labeled as the completion rate and is mostly linked with the function of production in the manufacturing sector; it’s level of responsiveness.
Deadhead. Miles and hours that a vehicle travels when out of revenue service. This includes leaving and returning to the garage, changing routes, etc., and when there is no reasonable expectation of carrying revenue passengers. However, it does not include charter service, school bus service, operator training, maintenance training, etc. For non-scheduled, non-fixed-route service (demand responsive), deadhead mileage also includes the travel between the dispatching point and passenger pick-up or drop-off.
Deadweight tons (dwt). The lifting capacity of a ship, including cargo, fuel, ballast, and crew. Reflects the weight difference between a fully loaded and an unloaded ship.
Demand responsive. Non-fixed-route service utilizing vans or buses with passengers boarding and alighting at pre-arranged times at any location within the system’s service area. Also called “Dial-a-Ride”.
Demand (Transport). The expression of the transport needs, even if those needs are satisfied, fully, partially or not at all. Like the transport supply, it is expressed in terms of the number of people, volume, or tons per unit of time and space.
Depth (controlling or limiting). The maximum sailing draft of a channel, which is determined by the point of least depth along that channel.
Depth (maximum lower low water; MLLW). An average lower tide depth took over a period of time, at least 5 years.
Deregulation. Consists of a shift to a competitive economic climate by reorienting and/or suppressing regulatory mechanisms. Deregulation, however, does not necessarily refer to the complete absence of free-market regulation measures but rather to the promotion of competition-inducing ones (which can seek elimination of monopolies, for example). Particularly observed in the transport and telecommunications sectors.
Derived demand. The demand generated as a result of the demand for other goods or services. Transportation activities mainly take place because of derived demand.
Design capacity. The theoretical capacity of transport infrastructure such as a road or terminal based on specific operating conditions.
Diluted bitumen (dilbit). Bitumen11 has been diluted with lighter types of petroleum so that it can be transported by pipelines.
Distribution center (Freight). Facility or a group of facilities that perform consolidation, warehousing, packaging, decomposition and other functions linked with handling freight. Their main purpose is to provide value-added services to freight and are a fundamental component of freight distribution. DCs are often in proximity to major transport routes or terminals. They can also perform light manufacturing activities such as assembly and labeling.
Dock. A feature built to handle ships. It can also refer to an enclosed port area used for maritime operations.
Double Stack. The movement of containers on articulated rail cars which enables one container to be stacked on another for better ride quality and railcar utilization.
Downtime. A period during which a vehicle or a whole system is inoperative because of repairs or maintenance.
Drayage. The movement of a container or trailer to or from the railroad intermodal terminal to or from the customer’s facility for loading or unloading.
Dry bulk cargo. Cargo which may be loose, granular, free-flowing or solid, such as grain, coal, and ore, and is shipped in bulk rather than in package form. Dry bulk cargo is usually handled by specialized mechanical handling equipment at specially designed dry bulk terminals.
Duopoly. A market that is dominated by two firms provides goods or services.
Duopsony. Two major buyers of a good or service in a market.
Dunnage. Packaging materials used to keep cargo in place inside a container or transportation vehicle.
Dwell time. The time a vehicle (bus, truck, train, or ship) is allowed to load or unload passengers or freight at a terminal. For freight operations, it refers to the amount of time cargo stays in a terminal yard or storage area while waiting to be loaded. Dwell time can be operational, which reflects the performance of terminal infrastructures and management, including the scheduling and availability of transport services. It can also be transactional, which is usually linked with the performance of clearance procedures (such as customs). Finally, dwell time can be storage related, implying that the owner or the carrier of the cargo deliberately leaves the cargo at the terminal as part of a transport or supply chain management strategy.
Dynamic routing. In demand-response transportation systems, the process of constantly modifying vehicle routes to accommodate service requests received after the vehicle began operations, as distinguished from predetermined routes assigned to a vehicle.
Economic evaluation (also called Appraisal or Analysis) refers to various methods for determining the value of a policy, project or program to help individuals, businesses, and communities make decisions that involve tradeoffs. Economic evaluation is an important part of transportation decision-making.
Economies of agglomeration. The benefits of having activities locate (cluster) next to another, such as the use of common infrastructures and services.
Economies of density. The benefits derived from the increasing density of features on the costs of accessing them. This could involve markets (e.g. consumption, labor) or resources (e.g. mining, agriculture).
Economies of scale. Cost reductions or productivity efficiencies achieved through size increase. The outcome is a decrease in the unit cost of production associated with increasing output.
Economies of scope. Cost savings resulting from increasing the number of different goods or services produced.
Electronic data interchange (EDI): Communication mode for inter- and intra-firm data ex-change in the freight forwarding and logistics business.
Energy. The capacity for doing work as measured by the capability of doing work (potential energy) or the conversion of this capability to motion (kinetic energy). Energy has several forms, some of which are easily convertible and can be changed to another form useful for work. Electrical energy is usually measured in kilowatt-hours, while heat energy is usually measured in British thermal units.
Energy Intensity. In reference to transportation, the ratio of energy inputs to a process to the useful outputs form that process; for example, gallons of fuel per passenger-mile or Btu per ton-mile.
Enplanement. The boarding of aircraft by passengers for commerce, which includes in-transit passengers.
Environmental impact assessment. A process for carrying out an appraisal of the full potential effects of a development project on the physical environment.
Environmental management system. A set of procedures and techniques enabling an organization to reduce environmental impacts and increase its operating efficiency.
Ethanol. An alternative fuel; a liquid alcohol fuel with vapor heavier than air; produced from agricultural products such as corn, grain, and sugar cane.
European Union (EU). Formerly the European Community (EC), the European Union since signing of the Maastricht Treaty in November 1993. A regional trade block composed of 28 European states (as of 2016). Its core institutions are known as the «institutional triangle» composed of the European Parliament (Strasbourg), the Commission (Brussels), and the EU Council (Brussels). The European Bank manages the common currency (euro) that several EU countries are using.
Exclusive right-of-way. A highway or other facility that can only be used by buses or other transit vehicles.
Externality (external cost). Economic cost not normally considered in markets or in decisions by market players.
Fare. The price paid by the user of a transport service at the moment of use.
Fare elasticity. The extent to which ridership responds to fare increases or decreases.
Fare structure. The system set up to determine how much is to be paid by various passengers using a transit system at any given time.
Feeder. Short sea shipping service which connects at least two ports in order for the freight (generally containers) to be consolidated or redistributed to or from a deep-sea service in one of these ports. By extension, this concept may be used for inland transport services and air transportation.
Ferryboat. A boat providing fixed-route service across a body of water, which can be short or long distance.
Fixed cost. Costs that do not vary with the quantity shipped in the short-run, i.e. costs that must be paid up-front to begin producing transportation services.
Fixed route. Service provided on a repetitive, fixed-schedule basis along a specific route with vehicles stopping to pick up and deliver passengers or freight to specific locations; each fixed-route trip serves the same origins and destinations, unlike demand responsive. The terms apply to many modes of transportation, including public transit, air services, and maritime services.
Flag of convenience. A mean by which ship owners can obtain lower registration fees, lower operating costs, and fewer restrictions by registering their ships to a third country.
Flag state. Country of registry of a seagoing vessel, which is subject to the maritime regulations in respect of manning scales, safety standards and consular representation abroad of its country of registration.
Flat car. A freight car having a floor without any housing or body above. Frequently used to carry containers and/or trailers or oversized/odd-shaped commodities. The three types of flat cars used in intermodal are conventional, spine and stack cars.
Fleet. The vehicles in a transport system. Usually, fleet refers to highway vehicles, rail vehicles as well as ships.
Footprint (transportation). The amount of space required to support transport infrastructures, terminals and operations.
Foreland. A maritime space with which a port performs commercial relationships. It includes overseas customers with which the port undertakes commercial exchanges.
Forwarding agent / Freight forwarder. An intermediary who arranges for the carriage of goods and/or associated services on behalf of a shipper.
Fourth-Party Logistics Provider (4PL). Integrates the resources of producers, retailers and third-party logistics providers in view to build a system-wide improvement in supply chain management. They are non-asset based meaning that they mainly provide organizational expertise.
Freight On Board (FOB; or Free On Board). The price of a good is the combination of the factory costs and the shipping costs from the factory to the consumer. The consumer pays for the freight transport costs. Consequently, the price of a commodity will vary according to transportation costs.
Free trade zone. A port or an area designated for duty-free entry of any non-prohibited goods. Merchandise may be stored, displayed, transformed, used for manufacturing, discarded, etc., within the zone and re-exported without duties. An area is thus a form of extraterritoriality since it is outside the customs regime of a country.
Freight consignee and handlers. Freight consignees are independent of shippers or producers. They are commissioned by the latter to accomplish all transport operations including storage, transport, management, sometimes re-expedition, etc. from origin to final destination. The notion of freight handler is broader. It comprises any actor involved in the transport of freight from origin to destination including transport terminals and sub-contractual services, for instance.
Freight forwarder. An individual or company that accepts less-than-truckload (TLT) or less-than-carload (LCL) shipments from shippers and combines them into carload or truckload lots. Carriers collecting small shipments to be cumulatively consolidated and transported relying upon a single or several modes of transportation to a given destination. Functions performed by a freight forwarder may include receiving small shipments (e.g., less than container load) from consignors, consolidating them into larger lots, contracts with carriers for transport between ports of embarkation and debarkation, conduct documentation transactions, and arrange delivery of shipments to the consignees.
Freight village. A concentration (or a cluster) of freight-related activities within a specific area, commonly built for such a purpose, master-planned and managed. These activities include distribution centers, warehouses and storage areas, transport terminals, offices and other facilities supporting those activities, such as public utilities, parking space, and even hotels and restaurants. Although a freight village can be serviced by a single-mode, intermodal facilities can offer direct access to global and regional markets.
Fringe parking. An area for parking usually located outside the Central Business District (CBD) and most often used by suburban residents who work or shop downtown. Commonly corresponds to an access point of a transit system, such as a rail or subway station.
Fuel Cell. A device that produces electrical energy directly from the controlled electrochemical oxidation of the fuel, commonly hydrogen. It does not contain an intermediate heat cycle, as do most other electrical generation techniques.
Gasohol. A blend of motor gasoline (leaded or unleaded) and alcohol (generally ethanol but sometimes methanol) limited to 10 percent by volume of alcohol. Gasohol is included in finished leaded and unleaded motor gasoline.
Gasoline. A complex mixture of relatively volatile hydrocarbons, with or without small quantities of additives, obtained by blending appropriate refinery streams to form a fuel suitable for use in spark-ignition engines. Motor gasoline includes both leaded or unleaded grades of finished motor gasoline, blending components, and gasohol.
Gateway. A location offering accessibility to a large system of circulation of freight, passengers and/or information. Gateways reap the advantage of a favorable physical location such as highway junctions, the confluence of rivers, seaboards, and have been the object of a significant accumulation of transport infrastructures such as terminals and their links. A gateway generally commands the entrance to and the exit from its catchment area. In other words, it is a pivotal point for the entrance and the exit of merchandise in a region, a country, or a continent. Gateways tend to be locations where intermodal transfers are performed.
General cargo. General cargo consists of those products or commodities such as timber, structural steel, rolled newsprint, concrete forms, agricultural equipment that are not conducive to packaging or unitization. Break-bulk cargo (e.g., packaged products such as lubricants and cereal) are often regarded as a subdivision of general cargo.
Geographic Information System (GIS). A special-purpose system composed of hardware and software in which a common spatial coordinate system is the primary means of reference. GIS contains subsystems for: data input; data storage, retrieval, and representation; data management, transformation, and analysis; and data reporting and product generation.
GIS-T. Acronym for Transportation-oriented Geographic Information Systems.
Global Trade Item Number (GTIN). A unique identification number assigned to any product or service that may be priced, ordered, or invoiced at any point along a supply chain. Trade items can include individual items as well as the same items in packaging configurations offered for sale (a case, a pallet). Each packaging level is identified by a unique GTIN.
Graph theory. A branch of mathematics concerned about how networks can be encoded and their properties measured.
Great circle distance. The shortest path between two points on a sphere. The circumference inferred out of these two points divides the earth into two equal parts, thus the great circle. The great circle distance is useful to establish the shortest path to use when traveling at the intercontinental air and maritime level. The great circle route follows the sphericity of the globe, any shortest route is the one following the curve of the planet, along the parallels.
Green logistics. Supply chain management practices and strategies that reduce the environmental and energy footprint of freight distribution. They focus on material handling, waste management, packaging, and transport.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP). A measure of the total value of goods and services produced by a domestic economy during a given period, usually one year. Obtained by adding the value contributed by each sector of the economy in the form of profits, compensation to employees, and depreciation (consumption of capital). Only domestic production is included, not income arising from investments and possessions owned abroad, hence the use of the word domestic.
Gross National Product (GNP). The total market value of goods and services produced during a given period by labor and capital supplied by residents of a country, regardless of where the labor and capital are located. GNP differs from GDP primarily by including the capital income that residents earn from investments abroad and excluding the capital income that nonresidents earn from domestic investment.
Gross register tonnage. The total cargo space available for a ship to carry commercial cargo. It excludes non-cargo revenue space, such as the engine room and stores.
Handy and Handymax: Traditionally the workhorses of the dry bulk market, the Handy and more recent Handymax types remain popular ships with less than 50,000 dwt. This category is also used to define small-sized oil tankers.
Haulage, Carrier / Merchant. Carrier haulage is an inland container movement (to or from a port terminal) done by the ocean shipping company, often through a parent company. The carrier is liable if the merchandise is lost or damaged during transport, or if there is a delay. Merchant haulage is when the importer or the exporter assumes the transport of the container to or from a port terminal. The merchant is liable if the cargo is lost or damaged. One of the main advantages of merchant haulage is that it gives importers and exporters more flexibility in the timing of inland distribution, However, the merchant must pick and bring back the container at a predesigned location and time.
Headway. The time interval between vehicles moving in the same direction on a particular route.
Heavy rail. An electric railway of high capacity and characterized by exclusive rights-of-way, multi-car trains, high speed and rapid acceleration, sophisticated signaling, and high platform loading.
High-Occupancy-Vehicle Lane (HOV). A highway or road lane reserved for vehicles that have a specific level of occupancy, with at least one passenger. Often used to alleviate congestion and favor carpooling.
Highway (Motorway). Road, specially designed and built for motor traffic, which does not serve properties bordering on it, and which: (a) is provided, except at special points or temporarily, with separate carriageways for the two directions of traffic, separated from each other, either by a dividing strip not intended for traffic, or exceptionally by other means; (b) does not cross at level with any road, railway or tramway track, or footpath; (c) is specially sign-posted as a motorway and is reserved for specific categories of road motor vehicles. Entry and exit lanes of motorways are included irrespective of the location of the sign-posts. Urban motorways are also included.
Hinterland. Land space over which a transport terminal, such as a port, sells its services and interacts with its clients. It accounts for the regional market share that a terminal has relative to a set of other terminals servicing this region. It regroups all the customers directly bounded to the terminal. The terminal, depending on its nature, serves as a place of convergence for the traffic coming by roads, railways or by sea/fluvial feeders.
Hub (Hub and spoke). A central point for the collection, sorting, transshipment, and distribution of goods and passengers for a particular area. This concept comes from a term used in air transport for passengers as well as freight. It describes collection and distribution through a single point such as the “Hub and Spoke” concept. Hubs tend to be transmodal (transfers within the same mode) locations.
Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). Goods and services related to the production, storage, analysis and transmission of information in a digital format using a wide range of devices such as computers and smartphones.
Inflation. Increase in the amount of currency in relation to the availability of assets, commodities, goods, and services. Commonly the outcome of an indirect confiscation of wealth through an over-issuance of currency by central banks and governments.
Infrastructure. Capital goods which are not directly consumed and serve as support to the functions of society (individuals and corporations). 1) In transport systems, all the fixed components, such as rights-of-way, tracks, signal equipment, terminals, parking lots, but stops, maintenance facilities, etc. 2) In transportation planning, all the relevant elements of the environment in which a transportation system operates.
Inland port. A rail or a barge terminal that is linked to a maritime terminal with regular inland transport services. An inland port has a level of integration with the maritime terminal and supports more efficient access to the inland market both for inbound and outbound traffic. This implies an array of related logistical activities linked with the terminal, such as distribution centers, depots for containers and chassis, warehouses and logistical service providers.
Integrated carriers. Carriers that have both air and ground fleets; or other combinations, such as sea, rail, and truck. Since they usually handle large volumes, they are less expensive and offer more diverse services than regular carriers.
Intermediacy. Focus on the terminal as an intermediate point in the flows of passengers or freight. This term is applied to the frequent occurrence of places gaining an advantage because they are between other places. The ability to exploit transshipment has been an important feature of many terminals.
Intermodal terminal. A terminal that can accommodate several modes of transportation. They increasingly tend to be specializing at handling specific types of passengers or freight traffic, while they may share the same infrastructures.
Intermodal transport. The movement of passengers or freight from an origin to a destination relying on several modes of transportation. Each carrier is issuing its own ticket (passengers) or contract (freight). The movements from one mode of transport to another are commonly taking place at a terminal specifically designed for such a purpose. Therefore, intermodal transportation in the literal sense refers to an exchange of passengers or freight between two transportation modes, but the term has become more commonly used for freight and container transportation across a sequence of modes. In North America, the term intermodal is also used to refer to containerized rail transportation.
Intermodalism. A system of transport whereby two or more modes of transport are used to transport the same loading unit or truck in an integrated manner, without loading or unloading, in a transport chain. Typically used in three contexts: 1) most narrowly, it refers to containerization, piggyback service, or other technologies that provide the seamless movement of goods and people by more than one mode of transport. 2) more broadly, intermodalism refers to the provision of connections between different modes, such as adequate highways to ports or bus feeder services to rail transit. 3) In its broadest interpretation, intermodalism refers to a holistic view of transportation in which individual modes work together or within their own niches to provide the user with the best choices of service, and in which the consequences on all modes of policies for a single-mode are considered. This view has been called balanced, integrated, or comprehensive transportation in the past.
International Air Transportation Association (IATA). Established in 1945, a trade association serving airlines, passengers, shippers, travel agents, and governments. The association promotes safety, standardization in forms (baggage checks, tickets, weigh bills), and aids in establishing international airfares. International Air Transportation Association (IATA) headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). A specialized agency of the United Nations whose objective is to develop the principles and techniques of international air navigation and to foster planning and development of international civil air transport. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Regions include (AFI) African Indian Ocean Region, (CAR) Caribbean Region, (EUR) European Region, (MID/ASIA) Middle East/Asia Region, (NAM) North American Region, (NAT) North Atlantic Region, (PAC) Pacific Region, (SAM) South American Region.
International Commercial Terms (INCOTERMS). Pre-defined commercial contract terms which stipulate exactly which party owns cargo over the course of a shipment, as well as who bears responsibility for transporting the cargo.
International Maritime Organization (IMO). Established as a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1948. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) facilitates cooperation on technical matters affecting merchant shipping and traffic, including improved maritime safety and prevention of marine pollution. Headquarters are in London, England.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO). A non-governmental organization established in 1947 to promote the development of standardization and related activities with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services, and to developing cooperation in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity. ISO’s work results in international agreements that are published as International Standards.
International trade. An exchange of goods or services across national jurisdictions. Inbound trade is defined as imports and outbound trade is defined as exports. Subject to the regulatory oversight and taxation of the involved nations, namely through customs.
Jet stream. A migrating stream of high-speed winds present at high altitudes.
Jitney. Privately-owned, small or medium-sized vehicles usually operated on a fixed route but not on a fixed schedule.
Just-in-Time. The principle of production and inventory management in which goods arrive when needed for production or consumption. Warehousing tends to be minimal or non-existent, but in all case much more efficient and more limited in duration.
Knot, Nautical. The unit of speed equivalent to one nautical mile: 6,080.20 feet per hour or 1.85 kilometers per hour.
Lading. Refers to the freight shipped; the contents of a shipment.
Landbridge. An intermodal connection between two ocean carriers separated by a landmass linked together in a seamless transaction by a land carrier.
Landed cost. The dollar per barrel price of crude oil at the port of discharge. Included are the charges associated with the purchase, transporting, and insuring of cargo from the purchase point to the port of discharge. Not included are charges incurred at the discharge port (e.g., import tariffs or fees, wharfage charges, and demurrage charges).
Layover time. Time built into a schedule between arrival at the end of a route and the departure for the return trip, used for the recovery of delays and preparation for the return trip (e.g. fueling, crew rotation).
Lead time. The time it takes for an order to be fulfilled, which includes preparation, packing, and delivery to a designed location. Often labeled as the arrival rate and is mostly linked with the function of distribution, mainly its efficiency and reliability; its level of responsiveness.
Less than Truckload (LTL). A shipment that would not by itself fill the truck to capacity by weight or volume.
Letter of credit. A document issued by a financial institution that provides a promise of payment for a trade transaction, implying that it can be redeemed if certain conditions are satisfied. They are mainly used in international trade for transactions between actors, such as a buyer and a seller, in different countries.
Level of service. 1) A set of characteristics that indicate the quality and quantity of transportation service provided, including characteristics that are quantifiable and those that are difficult to quantify. 2) For highway systems, a qualitative rating of the effectiveness of a highway or highway facility in serving traffic, in terms of operating conditions. A rating of traffic flow ranging from A (excellent) through F (heavily congested) and compares actual or projected traffic volume with the maximum capacity of the intersection or road in question. 3) For paratransit, a variety of measures meant to denote the quality of service provided, generally in terms of total travel time or a specific component of total travel time. 4) For pedestrians, sets of area occupancy classifications to connect the design of pedestrian facilities with levels of service.
Light-Rail Transit (LRT). Fixed guideway transportation mode that typically operates on city streets and draws its electric power from overhead wires; includes streetcars, trolley cars, and tramways. Differs from heavy rail — which has a separated right of way and includes commuter and intercity rail — in that it has lighter passenger capacity per hour and more closely spaced stops.
Linehaul costs. Costs that vary with distance shipped, i.e., costs of moving goods and people once they are loaded on the vehicles.
Liner. Derived from the term “line traffic,” which denotes operation along definite routes based on definite, fixed schedules. A liner thus is a vessel that engages in this kind of transportation, which usually involves the haulage of general cargo as distinct from bulk cargo.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). An alternative fuel; a natural gas cooled to below its boiling point of -260 degrees Fahrenheit so that it becomes a liquid; stored in a vacuum type container at very low temperatures and under moderate pressure. LNG vapor is lighter than air.
Load factor. The ratio of passengers or freight carried versus the total passenger or freight capacity of a vehicle or a route.
Location-allocation models. A family of models used to optimize the location of a series of facilities such as manufacturing facilities, distribution centers or any other market servicing activities. The goal is to optimally service a set of locations expressing demand, often with the purpose of minimizing transport costs.
Logistics. A wide set of activities dedicated to the transformation and distribution of goods, from raw material sourcing to final market distribution as well as the related information flows. Derived from Greek logistikos (responsible for counting), the word is polysemic. In the nineteenth century, the military referred to it as the art of combining all means of transport, revictualling and sheltering of troops. In a contemporary setting, it refers to the set of operations required for goods to be made available on markets or to specific locations.
Logistic zone. Grouping of activities dealing with freight distribution such as distribution centers (warehousing, storage, light transformations), transportation (freight forwarders, shippers, transport operators, customs brokers) and supporting services (human resources, maintenance, and repair) within a defined and often planned area.
Logit model. A probabilistic model for representing a discrete choice behavior of individuals. On any choice occasion, the individual is assumed to choose the mode of the highest preference. Over repeated choice occasions preferences are assumed to have a probabilistic component. For the logit model, this random component of preference is taken to have a double exponential distribution.
Long ton. 2,240 pounds.
Lowry model. One of the first transportation/land use model to be designed in 1964. The core assumption is that regional and urban growth (or decline) is a function of the expansion (or contraction) of the basic sector. This employment is, in turn, having impacts on the employment of the retail and residential sectors.
Maglev – Magnetic levitation. Technology enabling trains to move at high speed above a guideway on a cushion generated by magnetic force.
Manifest. A list of the goods being transported by a carrier.
Marginal utility (cost). The utility derived from the production or consumption of one additional unit. Declining marginal utility implies that each additional unit produced or consumed involves less derived utility than the previous one. This is common in retailing where a consumer derives lower benefits from owning more of the same good. Increasing marginal utility implies that each additional unit produced or consumed involves more derived utility than the previous one. This is common in manufacturing where the principle of economies of scale underlines that each additional produced unit comes with a higher utility (profit) for the producer.
Maritime route. Corridor of a few kilometers in width trying to avoid the discontinuities of land transport by linking ports, the main elements of the maritime / land interface. Maritime routes are a function of obligatory points of passage, which are strategic places, of physical constraints (coasts, winds, marine currents, depth, reefs, ice) and of political borders. As a result, maritime routes draw arcs on the earth’s water surface as intercontinental maritime transportation tries to follow the great circle distance.
Maritime terminal. A designated area of a port, which includes but not limited to wharves, warehouses, covered and open storage spaces, cold storage plants, grain elevators, and bulk cargo loading and unloading structures, landings, and receiving stations, used for the transmission, care, and convenience of cargo and/or passengers in the interchange of same between land and water carriers or between two water carriers.
Market area. The surface over which a demand offered at a specific location is expressed. Commonly, a customer is assumed to go to a location where a product or service can be acquired or a part of a finished good has to be shipped from the place of production to the place of consumption.
Materials management. All the activities related to the manufacturing of commodities in all their stages of production along a supply chain. It includes production and marketing activities such as production planning, demand forecasting, purchasing, and inventory management. It must ensure that the requirements of supply chains are met by dealing with a wide array of parts for assembly and raw materials, including packaging (for transport and retailing) and, ultimately, recycling discarded commodities.
MERCOSUR. A trade alliance between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, with Chile and Bolivia as associate members.
Merchant haulage. The movement of a container assumed by the merchant (the cargo owner or an agent acting on its behalf) using a contracted carrier. The merchant selects the carrier. The carrier is liable for any damage taking place during transport.
Methanol. An alternative fuel; a liquid alcohol fuel with vapor heavier than air; primarily produced from natural gas.
Microbridge. A cargo movement in which the water carrier provides a through service between an inland point and the port of load/discharge.
Minibridge. Joint water, rail, or truck container move on a single Bill of Lading for a through route from a foreign port to a U.S. port destination through an intermediate U.S. port or the reverse.
Mobility. The ease of movement of a passenger or a unit of freight. It is related to transport costs as well as to the attributes of what is being transported (fragility, perishable, price). Political factors can also influence mobility such as laws, regulations, borders, and tariffs. When mobility is high, activities are less constrained by distance.
Mobility as a Service. Bundling of transportation services to users through an information technology platform.
Mobility on Demand. A transport system where the mobility of passengers and freight can be arranged through an information technology platform, rather than through privately owned vehicles.
Modal share. The percentage of total passengers or freight moved by a particular mode of transportation.
Modal split (share). 1) The proportion of total person trips that use each of various specified modes of transportation. 2) The process of separating total person trips into the modes of travel used. 3) A term that describes how many people use alternative forms of transportation. It is frequently used to describe the percentage of people who use private automobiles, as opposed to the percentage who use public transportation.
Mode, Transport. The physical way a movement is performed.
Model. An analytical tool (often mathematical) used by transportation planners to assist in making forecasts of land use, economic activity, travel activity and their effects on the quality of resources such as land, air, and water.
Monorail. An electric railway in which a rail car or train of cars is suspended from or straddles a guideway formed by a single beam or rail. Most monorails are either heavy rail or automated guideway systems.
Multi-modal platform. A physical converging point where freight and/or passenger transshipment takes place between different modes of transportation, usually a transport terminal.
Multi-modal transportation. The movements of passengers or freight from an origin to a destination relying on several modes of transportation using one ticket (passengers) or contract (freight). Technically the same as intermodal transportation, but represents an evolution requiring a higher level of integration between the actors involved such as carriers and terminal operators.
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Legislation requiring federal agencies to prepare environmental impact assessments for all the actions they perform. Enacted in 1970, it is considered one of the most significant environmental regulations, which became the standard for many others.
Narrow-body aircraft. An aircraft with a single aisle for the movement of passengers within the place.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) / USMCA. A trade treaty implemented in 1994 that binds Canada, the United-States and Mexico over a series of common economics rules. Besides the liberalization of the exchange of goods and services, NAFTA regulates investments, intellectual property, public markets, and the non-tariff barrier. NAFTA is a result of a tradition of trade negotiations between Canada and the U.S. that became explicit with the 1989 Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the 1991 Canada-U.S. Trade Agreement (CUSTA). In 2020, NAFTA was renegotiated with clauses including a higher North American content for goods to be duty-free and the minimum wage in key manufacturing sectors such as automotive.
Net tonnage. The net or register tonnage of a vessel is the remainder after deducting from the gross tonnage of the vessel the tonnage of crew spaces, master’s accommodations, navigation spaces, allowance for propelling power, etc. It is expressed in tons of 100 cubic feet.
Network. Framework of routes within a system of locations, identified as nodes. A route is a single link between two nodes that are part of a larger network that can refer to tangible routes such as roads and rails, or less tangible routes such as air and sea corridors.
Network analysis. The pattern of transportation systems, the location of routes or rails, the location of intersections, nodes and terminals can be considered as a network. Networks analysis aims at identifying flows, shortest distances between two given points, or the less expensive road to take for transporting goods between those points. To facilitate the task, networks have been approximated using graph theory relying on topology.
New Panamax. Ship class able to fit into the locks of the expanded Panama Canal. It is defined by the new lock dimensions of 427 meters in length, 55 meters in beam (width), and 18.3 meters in depth. This represents a capacity of about 12,500 TEU or 120,000 dwt.
Nitrogen Oxides. A product of combustion of fossil fuels whose production increases with the temperature of the process. It can become an air pollutant if concentrations are excessive.
Ocean bill of lading. A receipt for the cargo and a contract for transportation between a shipper and the ocean carrier. It may also be used as an instrument of ownership which can be bought, sold, or traded while the goods are in transit.
Oceanic airspace. Airspace over the oceans of the world considered international airspace, where oceanic separation and procedures per the International Civil Aviation Organization are applied. Responsibility for the provisions of air traffic control service in this airspace is delegated to various countries, based generally upon geographic proximity and the availability of the required resources.
Off-peak period. Non-rush periods of the day when travel activity is generally lower and less transit service is scheduled. Also called the “base period”.
Offshoring. The transfer of an organization of production function to another country, whether the work is outsourced or stays within the same corporation.
Offshore hub. A port terminal that dominantly serves transmodal (ship-to-ship) operations, implying limited connections in relation to its total traffic with its hinterland. They are mainly used to feedering, relay and interlining between maritime shipping routes. The term offshore can be misleading as many ports performing this function are located at standard port locations.
Operating cost. Costs that vary with the quantity shipped in the short-run. 1) Fixed operating cost refers to expenditures that are independent of the amount of use. For a car, it would involve costs such as insurance costs, fees for license and registration, depreciation and finance charges; 2) Variable operating cost: expenditures which are dependent on the amount of use. For a car, it would involve costs such as the cost of gasoline, oil, tires, and other maintenance.
Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In 1961 it replaced the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) created in 1948 to facilitate post-war reconstruction of Europe via American aid. It acts as a policy leveling forum where government representatives of member states seek to harmonize economic policies touching such sectors as commerce, industry, cooperation, foreign aid, and agriculture.
Outsourcing. The practice of having some activities that used to be performed within a corporation by another corporation. It often enables to reduce costs and focus on core competencies by outsourcing low productivity tasks to a sub-contractor.
Pallet. A raised platform, normally made of wood, facilitating the handling of goods. Pallets are of standard dimensions.
Pandemic. An epidemic of infectious disease that spreads through human populations across a large area, even worldwide.
Panamax. A maritime standard corresponding to about 65,000 deadweight tons or 4,200 TEU. Refer to a ship with dimensions that allow it to pass through the initial locks of the Panama Canal: maximum length 295 meters, maximum beam overall 32.25 meters, maximum draught 13.50 meters.
Park and Ride. An access mode to transit in which patrons drive private automobiles or ride bicycles to a transit station, stop, or carpool/vanpool waiting area and park the vehicle in the area provided for the purpose. They then ride the transit system or take a car-or vanpool to their destinations.
Particulates. Carbon particles formed by partial oxidation and reduction of hydrocarbon fuel. Also included are trace quantities of metal oxides and nitrides, originating from engine wear, component degradation, and inorganic fuel additives. In the transportation sector, particulates are emitted mainly from diesel engines.
Passenger-km (or Passenger-mile). The total number of miles (km) traveled by passengers on vehicles; determined by multiplying the number of unlinked passenger trips times the average length of their trips.
Payload. Weight of commodity being hauled. Includes packaging, pallets, banding, etc., but does not include the truck, truck body, etc.
Peak oil. A theory concerning oil production initially brought by the geophysicist King Hubbert published in 1956, which assumes that due to the finite nature of oil reserves that production will eventually reach maximum output. Once peak production has been reached, production declines, and prices go up until oil resources are depleted or too costly to have widespread use.
Peak period (hour). Represent a time period of high usage of a transport system. For transit, it refers to morning and afternoon time periods when ridership is at its highest.
Peak/Base ratio. The number of vehicles operated in passenger or freight service during the peak period divided by the number operated during the base period.
Pendulum service. Involves a set of sequential port calls along with a maritime range, commonly including a transoceanic service from ports in another range and structured as a continuous loop. They are almost exclusively used for container transportation with the purpose of servicing a market by balancing the number of port calls and the frequency of services.
Physical distribution. The collective term for the range of activities involved in the movement of goods from points of production to final points of sale and consumption. It must ensure that the mobility requirements of supply chains are entirely met. Physical distribution comprises all the functions of movement and handling of goods, particularly transportation services (trucking, freight rail, air freight, inland waterways, marine shipping, and pipelines), transshipment and warehousing services (e.g. consignment, storage, inventory management), trade, wholesale and, in principle, retail.
Piggyback trailers. Trailers designed for quick loading on railcars.
Pipeline. A continuous pipe conduit, complete with such equipment as valves, compressor stations, communications systems, and meters for transporting natural and/or supplemental gas from one point to another, usually from a point in or beyond the producing field or processing plant to another pipeline or to points of utilization. It also refers to a company operating such facilities.
Planning. A process that allows people’s needs, preferences, and values to be reflected in decisions. Planning occurs at many different levels, from day-to-day decisions made by individuals and families, to major decisions made by governments and businesses that have comprehensive, long-term impacts on society. Management can be considered a short-term form of planning, while planning can be considered a longer-term form of management.
Platform / modular manufacturing. Strategy in which a multinational corporation retains its core competencies, namely its research and development, retailing, marketing, and distribution while subcontracting (outsourcing) much of the manufacturing to the lowest bidders.
Policy (Transport). The development of a set of constructs and propositions that are established to achieve particular objectives relating to social, economic, and environmental development, and the functioning and performance of the transport system.
Port. A harbor area in which are located marine terminal facilities for transferring cargo between ships and land transportation.
Port Authority. An entity of state or local government that owns, operates, or otherwise provides wharf, dock, and other marine terminal investments at ports.
Port holding. An entity, commonly private, that owns or leases port terminals in a variety of locations. It is also known as a port terminal operator.
Port of entry. A port at which foreign goods are admitted into the receiving country. It also refers to an air terminal or land access point (customs) where foreign passengers and freight can enter a country.
Port regionalization. A strategy aiming at improving the regional accessibility and connectivity of a port by better linking it to its hinterland. This includes the development of intermodal services, particularly by rail and barges, and the setting of intermodal facilities such as inland terminals.
Post-Panamax. Ship classes that are higher than the standard size of the Panama Canal locks (Panamax) before its expansion.
Primary transportation. Conveyance of large shipments of petroleum raw materials and refined products usually by pipeline, barge, or ocean-going vessel. All crude oil transportation is primary, including the small amounts moved by truck. All refined product transportation by pipeline, barge, or ocean-going vessel is primary transportation.
Product life cycle. Defined as the period that starts with the initial product design (research and development) and ends with the withdrawal of the product from the marketplace. A product life cycle is characterized by specific stages, including research, development, introduction, maturity, decline, and obsolescence.
Project cargo. The transportation of large and complex pieces of equipment and the associated materials to complete a construction project.
Propane. An alternative fuel; a liquid petroleum gas (LPG), which is stored under moderate pressure and with vapor heavier than air; produced as a by-product of natural gas and oil production.
Public transportation. Passenger transportation services, usually local in scope, that is available to any person who pays a prescribed fare. It operates on established schedules along designated routes or lines with specific stops and is designed to move relatively large numbers of people at one time.
Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID): Technology that uses small devices attached to objects that transmit data to a receiver. An alternative to barcoding used for identification and tracking purposes, notably for items shipped in units (boxes, containers, etc.), but can also be attached to an individual item. The main technical advantages include data storage capacity, read/write capability, and no line-of-sight requirements during scanning.
Railroad. All forms of non-highway ground transportation that run on rails or electromagnetic guideways, including; 1) Commuter or other short-haul rail passenger service in a metropolitan or suburban area, and 2) High-speed ground transportation systems that connect metropolitan areas, without regard to whether they use new technologies not associated with traditional railroads. Such term does not include rapid transit operations within an urban area that are not connected to the general railroad system of transportation.
Rail, Commuter. Railroad local and regional passenger train operations between a central city, its suburbs and/or another central city. It may be either locomotive-hauled or self-propelled and is characterized by multi-trip tickets, specific station-to-station fares, railroad employment practices and usually only one or two stations in the central business district. Also known as suburban rail.
Rail, Heavy. A high capacity electric railway characterized by exclusive rights-of-way, multi-car trains, high speed and rapid acceleration, sophisticated signaling, and high platform loading. Also known as rapid rail, subway, elevated railway or metropolitan railway (metro).
Rail, High speed. A rail transportation system with exclusive right-of-way which serves densely traveled corridors at speeds of 124 miles per hour (200 km/h) and greater.
Rail, Light. An electric railway with a light volume traffic capacity compared to heavy rail. Light rail may use shared or exclusive rights-of-way, high or low platform loading and multi-car trains or single cars. Also known as a streetcar, trolley car, and tramway.
Rapid transit. Rail or motorbus transit service operating completely separate from all modes of transportation on an exclusive right-of-way.
Rate. The price of transportation services paid by the consumer. They are the negotiated monetary cost of moving a passenger or a unit of freight between a specific origin and destination. Rates are often visible to the consumers since transport providers must provide this information to secure transactions.
Reefer. The generic name for a temperature-controlled transport unit, which can be a van, small truck, a semi-trailer or a standard ISO container. These units, which are insulated, are specially designed to allow temperature-controlled air circulation maintained by an attached and independent refrigeration plant.
Reefer ship. General cargo ship with 80 percent or more insulated cargo space.
Resilience. The capability of a transport system to resume operations at a level similar to that before a disruption occurred. The less disruption in terms of capacity and fluidity and the faster a system resumes its operations to a normal level, the higher its resilience.
Return on investment (ROI). The amount that is earned on a company’s total capital, calculated by dividing the total capital into earnings before interest, taxes, or dividends.
Ridesharing. A form of transportation, other than public transit, in which more than one person shares the use of the vehicle, such as a van or car, to make a trip. Also known as carpooling or vanpooling.
Ridership. The number of rides taken by people using a public transportation system in a given time period.
Right of way. Land reserved for transportation purposes, usually as a buffer along a path followed by a road or rail line. This buffer allow for safety, maintenance and potential expansion of the infrastructure.
Road train. A tractor unit pulling two or more trailers linked together.
Roll On/Roll Off (RO/RO) Vessel. Ships that are specially designed to carry wheeled container trailers, or other wheeled cargo, and use the roll-on/roll-off method for loading and unloading. The main method to transport automobiles in international markets.
Rolling stock. The vehicles used in a transit system, including buses and rail cars.
Rubber wheel/tire interchange. Containers or trailers that are interchanged between two railroads by means of drayage.
Semi-trailer. A non-powered vehicle for the carriage of goods, intended to be coupled to a motor vehicle in such a way that a substantial part of its weight and of its load is borne by the motor vehicle.
Shelf life. A term used to describe the length of time a commodity (e.g. food, drugs, chemicals) is suitable to be used or consumed. It mostly applies to temperature-sensitive goods.
Shimbel index. Measures the minimum number of links necessary to connect one node with all other nodes in a defined graph.
Shipper. The company sending goods.
Short sea shipping. Commercial waterborne transportation that does not transit an ocean. It is an alternative form of commercial transportation that utilizes inland and coastal waterways to move commercial freight from major domestic ports to its destination.
Shunting. Operation related to moving a rail vehicle or set of rail vehicles within a railway installation (station, depot, workshop, marshaling yard, etc.). It mainly concerns the assembly and disassembly of unit trains.
Shuttle. A public or private vehicle that travels back and forth over a particular route, especially a short route or one that provides connections between transportation systems, employment centers, etc.
Silk Road. Historical trade route linking the Eastern Mediterranean basin to Central and East Asia. Named as such because of many prized commodities, namely silk, tea, and jade, that were carried from China. Was operational between the 1st century BC and the 16th century.
Single-Occupant Vehicle (SOV). A vehicle with one occupant, the driver, who is sometimes referred to as a “drive alone”.
Site. The geographical characteristics of a specific location.
Situation. The relationships a location has in regard to other locations.
Source loading. Refer to the loading of a shipment, commonly in a container, at the location where the goods it carries are produced. The shipment remains untouched until it reaches its destination, thus conferring a level of integrity in the supply chain.
Spatial interaction. A realized movement of passengers or freight between an origin and a destination. It is a transport demand/supply relationship expressed over geographical space. Spatial interactions cover a wide variety of movements such as journeys to work, migrations, tourism, the usage of public facilities, the transmission of information or capital, the market areas of retailing activities, international trade, and freight distribution.
Spatial structure. The manner in which space is organized by the cumulative locations of infrastructure, economic activities and their relations.
Steel wheel interchange. Containers or trailers that are interchanged between two railroads while on the railroad flatcar.
Stock Keeping Unit (SKU). A distinct item and all the associated attributes (manufacturer, description, material, size, color, packaging, and warranty terms). Inventory is usually taken in terms of the quantity of each SKU. A corporation is free to set its own SKU numbers, implying that SKUs are not an international standard.
Suezmax. A standard which represents the limitations of the Suez Canal. Before 1967, the Suez Canal could only accommodate tanker ships with a maximum of 80,000 dwt. The canal was closed between 1967 and 1975 because of the Israel – Arab conflict. Once it reopened in 1975, the Suezmax capacity went to 150,000 dwt. An enlargement to enable the canal to accommodate 250,000 dwt tankers was completed in 2015.
Supply chain. A functionally integrated network of production, trade and service activities that covers all the stages in a supply chain, from the transformation of raw materials, through intermediate manufacturing stages, to the delivery of finished goods to a market. The chain is conceptualized as a series of nodes, linked by various types of transactions, such as sales and intrafirm transfers. Each successive node within a commodity chain involves the acquisition or organization of inputs for the purpose of added value.
Supply Chain Management (SCM). The management of the whole commodity/supply chain, from suppliers, manufacturers, retailers and the final customers. To achieve higher productivity and better returns, SCM mainly tries to reduce inventory, increase transaction speeds, and satisfy the needs of the customers in terms of cost, quantity, quality, and delivery as much as possible.
Supply (Transport). The capacity of transportation infrastructures and modes, generally over a geographically defined transport system and for a specific period of time. Therefore, supply is expressed in terms of infrastructures (capacity), services (frequency) and networks. The number of passengers, volume (for liquids or containerized traffic), or mass (for freight) that can be transported per unit of time and space is commonly used to quantify transport supply.
Sustainable development. Development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Tanker. An oceangoing ship specially designed to haul liquid bulk cargo, particularly oil.
Tare weight. a) The weight of a container and the material used for packing. b) As applied to a car/trailer, the weight of the car/trailer exclusive of its contents.
Tariff. A general term for any listing of rates or charges. The tariffs most frequently encountered in foreign trade are tariffs of international transportation companies operating on sea, land, and in the air; tariffs of international cable, radio, and telephone companies; and the customs tariffs of the various countries that list goods that are duty-free and those subject to import duty, giving the rate of duty in each case.
Telecommuting. Using information and telecommunication technologies to perform work at a location away from the traditional office location and environment.
Terminal. Any location where freight and passengers either originates, terminates, or is handled in the transportation process. Terminals are central and intermediate locations in the movements of passengers and freight. They often require specific facilities to accommodate the traffic they handle.
Terminal costs. Costs of loading and unloading. They do not vary with distance shipped.
Thalweg. The deepest water at any point in a river. The longitudinal line of greatest continuous depth in the river channel.
Third-Party logistics provider (3PL). An asset-based company that offers logistics and supply chain management services to its customers (manufacturers and retailers). It commonly owns distribution centers and transport modes.
Threshold. The minimum and vital market size required to support a given type of economic activity. A mean number of passengers per trip can be identified to sustain the profitability of a coach line, for example. A threshold thus rests on a level of demand and can play a determining role in organizing both freight and passenger transport structures on the basis of demographic dynamics, geographic relations to markets and intensity of economic activities.
Ton. A unit of measurement of weight, frequently used in freight transport statistics. A metric ton is equivalent to 1,000 kilograms or 2,205 pounds. A short ton is equivalent to 2,000 pounds or 0.908 metric tons (in the United States the term ton is commonly used but implies a short ton). A long ton, a term not as frequently used, is equivalent to 2,240 pounds or 1.06 metric tons.
Ton-km (or ton-mile). Measure expressing the realized freight transport demand. Although both the passenger-km and ton-km are most commonly used to measure realized demand, the measure can equally apply for transport supply.
Track gauge. The distance between the internal sides of rails on a railway line. The standard gauge is generally 1.435 m. Other gauges are used for instance, in Spain and Portugal (1.676 m) or in the Russian Federation (1.524 m).
Trailer on Flat Car (TOFC). A rail trailer or container mounted on a chassis that is transported on a rail car. Also known as piggyback.
Tramp. An oceangoing vessel that does not operate along a definite route or on a fixed schedule, but rather calls at any port where cargo is available.
Transactions. In the business domain, a transaction is synonymous with exchange and refers to a commercial operation. Generally, before a transaction, there are some negotiations. Transactions generate varying costs, depending on the stakes, the competition, the context of the economic market, etc.
Transaction costs. Costs required for gathering information, negotiating, and enforcing contracts, letters of credit and transactions. Often referred to as the cost of doing business.
Transit system. An organization (public or private) providing local or regional multi-occupancy-vehicle passenger service. Organizations that provide service under contract to another agency are generally not counted as separate systems.
Transloading. The transshipment of loads from truck to rail and vice-versa. It is done to exploit the respective advantages of trucking and rail, namely, avoid long-distance trucking. Also refer to the moving of the contents of a container such as a 40-foot maritime container, into another container, such as a 53-foot domestic container, or a regular truckload.
Transmodal transportation. The movements of passengers or freight within the same mode of transport. Although “pure” transmodal transportation rarely exists and an intermodal operation is often required (e.g. ship to dockside to ship), the purpose is to ensure continuity within the network.
Transport geography. A sub-discipline of geography concerned about the mobility of passengers and freight. It seeks to link spatial constraints and attributes with the origin, the destination, the extent, nature and the purpose of movements.
Transportability (Mobility). The ease of movement of passengers, freight or information. It is related to transport costs as well as to the attributes of what is being transported (fragility, perishable, price). Political factors can also influence transportability such as laws, regulations, borders, and tariffs. When transportability is high, activities are less constrained by distance.
Transshipment. The transfer of goods from one carrier to another and/or from one mode to the other.
Trip assignment. In planning, a process by which trips, described by mode, purpose, origin, destination, and time of day, are allocated among the paths or routes in a network by one of a number of models.
Trip generation. In planning, the determination or prediction of the number of trips produced by and attracted to each zone.
Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU). A standard unit based on an ISO container of 20 feet length (6.10 m), used as a statistical measure of traffic flows or capacities. One standard 40 feet ISO Series 1 container equals 2 TEUs.
Ultra Large Crude Carriers (ULCC). Tanker ships from 300,000 to 550,000 dwt in size. Used for carrying crude oil on long haul routes from the Persian Gulf to Europe, America, and East Asia, via the Cape of Good Hope or the Strait of Malacca. The enormous size of these vessels requires custom built terminals.
Unit load. Packages loaded on a pallet, in a crate or any other way that enables them to be handled as a unit.
Unit load device. A container that has been specifically designed to fit the cargo storage area of an airplane.
Unlinked passenger trips. The number of passengers who board public transportation vehicles. A passenger is counted each time he/she boards a vehicle even though he/she may be on the same journey from origin to destination.
Upstream / Downstream. The relative location of a given activity along a supply chain. Upstream generally refers to the suppliers while downstream refers to the customers.
Urban form. The spatial imprint of an urban transport system as well as the adjacent physical infrastructures and socioeconomic activities. Jointly, they confer a level of spatial arrangement to cities.
Variable cost. A cost that varies in relation to the level of operational activity.
Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC). A crude oil carrying ship of between 150,000 and 320,000 deadweight tons. They offer good flexibility for using terminals since many can accommodate their draft. They are used in ports that have depth limitations, mainly around the Mediterranean, West Africa, and the North Sea. They can be ballasted through the Suez Canal.
Vessel. Every description of watercraft used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water.
Vessel sharing agreement. Agreement between two or more ocean carriers in which a number of container slots are reserved on particular vessels for each of the participants (right to book slots and obligation of the other carrier to carry the containers). Used to create operational efficiencies across carriers, namely a higher level of slot usage, with more port calls and higher frequency of service.
Warehouse. A place for the reception, delivery, consolidation, distribution, and storage of freight. Designed to store goods for longer periods of time.
Waterway. River, canal, lake or other stretches of water that by natural or artificial features are suitable for navigation.
Waybill. A document covering a shipment and showing the forwarding and receiving station, the names of consignor and consignee, the car initials and number, the routing, the description and weight of the commodity, instructions for special services, the rate, total charges, advances and waybill reference for previous services and the amount prepaid.
Weight, Gross. The weight of the goods including packing, wrappers, or containers, both internal and external. The total weight as shipped. Net: The weight of the goods themselves without the inclusion of any wrapper.
Weight, Tare. The weight of the packaging or container.
Weight, Ton. Metric measure equals 1000 Kilograms. A short ton is 2000 pounds and a long ton is 2240 pounds.
Wharf. A landing place where vessels may tie up for loading and unloading of cargo.
Wide-body aircraft. A commercial aircraft with two aisles for the movement of passengers.
World Bank. A financial body part of the United Nations system. The World Bank was created in 1944 at the outlet of the Bretton Woods financial and monetary conference. First loans helped finance reconstruction of Western Europe and Japan following World War II, but today the World Bank has considerably broadened its presence throughout the globe, lending to countries of Africa, Asia, Central Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union. Its priority is to lend capital to governments of developing countries to promote economic growth through the financing of large infrastructure projects, economic reform packages, and technical assistance. It thus has vested interests in a number of developing countries worldwide. Loans are also aimed at encouraging private sector development. Presently, the World Bank is composed of four main branches: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the International Development Agency (IDA), and the International Financial Society (IFS). Its headquarters are in Washington, D.C.
World Trade Organization. The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established on January 1, 1995, as a result of the Uruguay Round negotiations (1986-94). The seat of the WTO is located in Geneva, Switzerland. It performs various functions including administering WTO trade agreement, organizing forums for trade negotiations, handling trade disputes, monitoring national trade policies, providing technical assistance and training for developing countries, and cooperate with other international organizations.
Yard. A system of auxiliary tracks used exclusively for the classification of passenger or freight cars according to commodity or destination; assembling of cars for train movement; storage of cars; or repair of equipment.
Yield management (Transportation). The process of managing the usage price of a transport asset, such as the fare paid by users, in view of changes in the demand. The goal of such an approach is to maximize profit in the context where the transport supply is fixed. Commonly used in air transportation.