Glossary of Terms

for Third Party Logistics, Supply Chain Management & Fulfillment Operations

Many of the terms used in the world of third-party logistics do not appear in a standard dictionary, nor is there a dictionary of fulfillment or warehouse management definitions. We offer this glossary to help you better understand our business. If you have a term you would like defined, or have a definition that you would like to share with us, please send us an e-mail.

Jump to terms:

- database
- DC
- dead stock
- distribution center
- dock
- dock leveler
- drop shipping
- dunnage


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D


database
A collection of data organized in fields, records, and files for the purpose of easily retrieving information. In 3PL operations, databases keep track of individual B2C and B2B orders, inventory, financial transactions, shipping information, and many other logistical elements. Databases are usually computerized. Some popular database programs are MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, SAP, FoxPro, and FileMaker Pro.

DC
see distribution center.

dead stock
Product that has not had any turnover and is sitting idle in the warehouse.

distribution center
A centralized location at which products and shipments can be stored and consolidated and combined for shipment to individual stores, businesses, or consumers. A single distribution center for a retail chain could be a be a national distribution center (NDC). If a retail chain, such as Walmart, Target, or Kmart has multiple DCs, these woud be regional distribution centers (RDCs).

dock
A warehouse door and platform for loading and unloading trailers.

dock leveler
A metal plate in the floor of warehouse dock door entrance that can be raised or lowered to bridge the warehouse floor height with the floor of the trailer.

drop shipping
The procedure in which products purchased from a retailer are shipped to the consumer directly either by the manufacturer or a third-party fulfillment (3PL) house. In some instances, B2B products that are shipped directly to retail chain stores, bypassing distribution centers, are also called drop-shipped orders.

dunnage
Packing materials used to prevent a product from moving within its package, or for preventing packages or pallets from moving within a trailer or in the hold of a ship. Examples of dunnage include airbags, foam peanuts, other foam products, wadded paper, and closed-cell plastic wrapping.