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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:

- RA
- rack
- radio frequency (rf)
- rejection rate
- replenishment
- retail
- reverse logistics
- refurbishing
- rolled cargo
- roller conveyor
- rfid

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Return Authorization.(See RMA).

shelving in a warehouse for palletized freight (see pallet racks)

Retail Distribution Center, from which individual stores receive their products. The RDCs consolidate products from multiple vendors to make delivery to the individual stores more efficient.

a supply-chain-management process in which depleted inventory is replaced, to increase the on-hand quantities of products. Computer algorithms can be written to search inventory databases, historical orders, and pending orders, to help anticipate and automate the replenishment process

radio frequency (RF)
in warehousing refers to the portable data collection devices that use radio frequency to transmit data to host system for inventory management and reporting purposes.

rejection rate
for freight, the percentage of shipment refused by freight forwarders after they had previously agreed to handle the shipment.

in B2B fulfillment, the bricks and mortar establishments to which the fulfillment house ships product, either directly to the retail locations or to their distribution centers. Fulfillment operations supporting direct-to-consumer sales, though not wholesale orders, are called direct-response, direct-to-consumer (D2C), or business-to-consumer (B2C) sales. Retail support requires careful supply-chain management, EDI order processing, and knowledge of each store’s compliance guidelines.

reverse logistics
the processing of returned products, whether from B2B or B2C operations. Reverse logistics often involves customer service, product refurbishing, product repackaging, processing of credits and refunds, restoring product to inventory, and the liquidation of product.

the restoration of a product to “as new” condition, according to standards set by the client. Refurbishing can involve examining and testing returned product, replacement of parts and collateral materials, repackaging of products, and the return of products to inventory.

Return Merchandise Authorization, also RA. Usually a code number issued by the seller of a product authorizing the consignee to return the product.

rolled cargo
a freight shipment that gets bounced from a scheduled container shipment because the ship's total cargo load is overbooked.

roller conveyor
a series of rollers supported in a frame over which objects are moved by gravity or by power.

(radio frequency identification) refers to systems that use transponders that transmit data to an RFID receiver. RFID systems can be used to track things as large as ocean-going containers onboard a ship to being incorporated into a label on product. RFID can carry more information than barcodes, allowing for such information as batch number, and date of manufacture.

Returnable Transport Packaging is a packaging medium which can be used multiple times for shipments between vendors and clients. Examples include pallets and shipping containers. RTP is not counted an end purchaser's inventory stock, because it pertains to the vendor.