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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:

- scan & pack
- semi-trailer
- serial number
- sheet fed
- shipper
- shipping accuracy
- shipping manifest system
- shopping cart integration
- skid
- sku (stock keeping unit)
- slotting
- string
- supply chain management

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Standard Carrier Alpha Code, a two-to-four letter identification in the U.S.A. to identify freight carriers. It is used for bills of lading, manifests, packing lists, and in other logistics management documents.

see supply chain management

scan & pack
A process of using a portable scanner to scan bar code that is either attached to a product or is a product's bin, to officially remove the product from a computerized inventory list and transfer it to a picked item in an outbound order database

A trailer that is pulled by a tractor (truck cab). It is called a semi-trailer because the front of the trailer rests in front of the rear axel on the tractor rather than behind the truck or tractor

serial number
Also called manufacturer's serial number (MSN); a number assigned from a series to identify one specific product unit, and thus is unique to it. Though called a "number", it can include letters. A serial number is usually printed, etched, or stamped onto the product by the manufacturer, but it can be assigned to a product by a distributor or other entity.

sheet fed
printers (whether offset, laser or digital) which print on sheets rather than rolls of paper.

the company that needs to have its goods imported or exported internationally or shipped domestically. The shipper should not be confused with the carrier, which actually is responsible for transporting the goods.

shipping accuracy
the measure of the accuracy of the shipping process.

shipping manifest system
software used to associate shipments with carrier, service, rate, etc. Shipping manifest systems will produce a report (physical or electronic) that is sent to the carrier to be used for billing purposes. Shipping systems will usually produce shipping documents such as compliance shipping labels, bill of ladings, etc.

shopping cart integration
The process of mapping the data fields from the records and files of an electronic shipping cart at a website to an order management systems (OMS) of a fulfillment house so that the order can be processed and tracked. Shopping cart integration is a mandatory function of B2C third-party logistics (3PL) and third-party fulfillment (3PL) providers.

(synonymous with pallet) skid can refer to the actual device or to the amount of goods that are on the skid, as in "We have four skids of merchandise left." A standard skid is 40" by 48" and is approximately 4" high.

SKU (stock keeping unit)
an item stored and tracked. Also the number assigned to identify the item itself.

stock keeping unit
see SKU

slotting describes the activities associated with optimizing the pick location for a product. Factors to be considered for slotting optimization include the times a SKU is picked, the amount of cubic feet the stored items used, and the minimum face dimensions required at picking location, distance from other SKUs that could be part of the same batch, and distance from the product staging area.

the sequence of ports at which a container vessel is scheduled to call.

supply chain management (SCM)
the management of a supply chain of goods as a process from supplier of raw materials or components to the manufacturer, to the distributor to the wholesale buyer to the end consumer. Supply chain management involves the actual products moving through the chain, but also the management of all the information (data) about the product, such as its origin, its destination, payment status, client ordering history, and information about all parties that handle the product in all links of the supply chain. Well-integrated third party SCM fulfillment company streamlines inventory, increases inventory turnover, improves the speed of completing transactions, and increases revenue for the client.