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:

- unit load
- upc code


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unit load
(also unitized load) any configuration of materials that allow it to be moved by machinery as a single unit. In third-party logistics, a unit load is usually a filled pallet of freight.

UPC code
(universal product code or UPC) a coding system as well as a symbology designed to uniquely identify a product and its manufacturer. Though used primarily by retailers, it also can be used in product fulfillment warehouses as the SKU number for inventory control prior to the product being shipped to retail. The UPC code is a 12-digit code. The first 6 digits represent the manufacturer of the labeled item, as assigned by the Uniform Code Council. The next 5 digits identify a particular product assigned by the manufacturer. The twelfth digit is a check character, based on an algorithm using the previous 11 digits. For retail, the UPC codes is attached to the product, or more commonly, printed on its packaging, with a corresponding barcode.