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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:

- mail order
- manifest
- marshalling area
- master carton
- master pack
- materials handling equipment
- merchant account
- middleware

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mail order
see direct mail and direct marketing

A document indicating the nature of goods being transported and their quantities. A driver manifest indicates the quantities of product that are being delivered to a warehouse, while a loading manifest indicates what is being consigned to the driver. For a single package, shipped via UPS or FedEx, a manifest is more commonly called a waybill. A collection of such waybills in a single batch of orders for pick-up might have a separate manifest.

marshalling area
The location in warehouse where products or packages are grouped together or collated for subsequent processing, shipping, etc.

master carton
A cardboard carton used to protect hold other smaller cartons, inner cartons, or individual packages.

master pack
A cardboard carton containing a fixed number of units of a product. While a master pack can be the same as a master carton, and can often have inner packs containing multiple individial packages, a master pack is usually smaller and is often used as a logistics unit for management of product sales to retail stores.

MHE - materials handling equipment
Machinery for handling products and packaging, such as a forklift, pallet jack, conveyor belt, pallet wrapper, and box erector.

merchant account
An account obtained by a merchant, or on behalf of a merchant, from issuer of credit cards. A merchant account enables the merchant to process credit card purchases from his customers. To engage in B2C e-commerce and much B2B e-commerce, it is essential to establish merchant accounts with Visa MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Once established it is important for a merchant to maintain a good relationship with this account provider by shipping to his customers promptly and accurately and maintaining a good customer service department. All of these logistical services can often be performed better and more cost-effectively through a third party fulfillment service.

software designed to integrate separate software and hardware systems. Much middleware involves data mapping, the transfer of data fields from one format into another.