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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.

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Jump to terms:

- FIFO (or First-In, First-Out)
- file
- fill material
- floorload
- forklift
- franking
- freight forwarder
- ftp
- ftp site
- fulfillment
- fulfillment house

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FIFO (First-In, First-Out)
inventory management system wherein the first product into the warehouse (the oldest) is the first product out. This system helps insure that the oldest batch shipments are shipped first. Almost all products on a batch system, perishable products, and items with a limited shelf life are shipped on a FIFO basis.

In a database files are also known as tables and are formatted into lists and other structures so that the data can be retrieved and interpreted. Each file consists of one or more records that consist of one or more fields. Among other files, a third party fulfillment (3PF) company would have all the names, addresses, and transaction & shipping history of all of its clients’ customers.

fill material
Type of dunnage including loose fill (packing peanuts), paper, bubble wrap, foam, and air pillows.

floor load
(or floor-loaded container) a shipping container of freight that is loaded with freight from the floor up, rather than on pallets. A full floor-loaded container can hold more freight than a palletized load, but the containers take longer to load and to unload. Shipments to and from China are not permitted to use wooden pallets, so unless plastic pallets are uses, such shipments would be floor loads.

forklift (or fork lift)
a motorized warehouse vehicle with a large fork that can be inserted under a pallet to transport it and lift it; also called a towmotor. Sometimes called a liftruck.

refers to the imposition of postage on a letter or parcel to indicate payment of postage. To frank a letter means running it through a mail meter, affixing a stamp, or ink-jetting a mailing permit.

freight forwarder
the agent that contracts with carriers to move goods on behalf of shippers. A freight forwarder can provide all the logistical support for door-to-door pick-up and delivery of a shipment, handling details such as customs clearance and all intermodal transfers.

(file transfer protocol) a computer communications protocol for file transfer across a network. FTP applications are computer programs that support such file transfer, usually across the Internet.

FTP site
a site set up on a computer server using file transfer protocol (FTP). For B2C e-commerce, many websites are designed to store orders at an FTP site for later downloading by the fulfillment house or third-party logistics provider. FTP sites can also be used to store databases or reports supporting the clients of fulfillment houses.

(also fulfillment or fulfilment) The activity of processing customer shipments. Though most manufacturing and warehouse operations process customer shipments, this term usually refers to operations that ship many small orders (usually parcels) to end users as opposed to operations that process larger shipments to other manufacturers, wholesalers, or resellers. Examples of fulfillment operations would include operations that process shipments for mail-order catalogs, internet stores, or repair parts.

fulfillment house
a third party logistics warehouse specializing in fulfillment of orders (see fulfillment, third party logistics, and supply chain managment.