Glossary Home
3pl scm fulfillment glossary

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.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |

N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | XYZ

Jump to terms:

- backhaul
- backorder
- bar code
- barcode printer
- barcode reader
- batch picking
- bay
- benchmark
- benchmarking
- bill of lading
- bin
- blank sailing
- blind count
- bill of material (BOM)
- brownfield site
- business to business (B2B)
- business to consumer (B2C)

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |

N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | XYZ


cargo transported on a return trip. For trade between Asia and the U.S.A. As an example, some Trans-Pacific carriers have returned from Asia with a backhaul of empty containers.

an order that is past its required shipping date because the product is out-of-stock.

barcode (bar code)
a series of bars and spaces encoded to correspond to alpha-numeric characters. Barcodes are designed to be read by scanners and converted into data.

barcode printer (bar code printer)
a printer with internal software capable of converting data into a barcode. A bar code printer can provide faster printing, since it is usually dedicated to printing bar codes and does not require the computer or separate computer software to send an image of a bar code to the printer head.

barcode reader (bar code reader)
any device, portable or fixed, that can convert barcode images into data.

batch picking
A method of order picking in which all orders are grouped into small batches. All the orders in the batch are then picked in one pass. [See zone picking and wave picking].

a specific area of a warehouse designated for particular activity or for storage of specific goods.

a measurement, usually of efficiency, that is used for comparison purposes.

the process of comparing a measurement to a benchmark. External benchmarking compares internal measurement to that of an external source, such as comparing how fast a competitor can process a complex order compared to one’s own operation. Internal benchmarking seeks to compare internal measurements to historic internal measurements. Operational efficiency, picking accuracy, and inventory accuracy, are a few 3PL or 3PF areas for commonly used for benchmarking, to increase efficiency to improve quality control.

bill of lading (BL, BOL, B/L)
description coming soon

a physical storage container for to store mutiple units of the same SKU. Bins can be of of corrugated cardbord, plastic, or metal. Bin can also be the storage location or slot of the product.

blank sailing
a containership voyage that has been canceled by the carrier, or a port within a string of ports that is cancelled.

blind count
a system in which inventory is counted by a person without knowledge of how much inventory is supposed to be available. Blind counting helps avoid biasing the results toward expected inventory levels instead of determining actual counts.

BOM (Bill of Material)
lists materials (components or ingredients) required to produce an item. Multilevel BOMs also show subassemblies and their components.

brownfield site
warehouse fulfillment site where there has been a previous structure, such as a factory or mill.

business to business (B2B or b2b)
activities directed from one business toward another business. B2B third party logistics and fulfillment activities include warehousing products and processing orders to other businesses on behalf of a client. Some examples include order processing and shipment of replacement parts to service departments, manufactured products to distributors, consumer goods to retail stores or distribution centers, and information or sample packages to brokers, salesmen or to other representatives of the clients’ business.

business to consumer (B2C or b2c)
activities directed from a business toward consumers. B2C third party fulfillment activities include the warehousing products and processing orders and handling customer service for products shipped directly to consumers on behalf of a business. Orders for such products are generated through such mediums as websites, catalogs, direct mail, e-mail, print advertisements, telemarketing, and television and radio advertising.