New to using courier services? Sometimes the shipping terms used in the courier industry can make the simplest of conversations or procedures seem complicated.

We’re on a mission to help World Options customers “junk the jargon” and explain shipping terms with the following extensive guide. So that next time your carrier mentions “DDU” or “Gross Weight” you know exactly what they are talking about.


An access point, also known as a drop-off point, is a convenient location for people to drop-off and collect parcels and packages. Many drop-off points are located at places such as convenience stores and supermarkets.


An incident or event such as extreme weather or war outside human control, which results in a carrier delaying shipments.

act of god

Air Freight

The transportation of freight, cargo, parcels, and documents via air transport, typically occurs in metal containers.

air freight


Also known as an air consignment note, an air waybill is a document that is produced by an airline as evidence of receiving goods. It acts as a receipt for the shipper. An air waybill is non-negotiable. An air waybill is usually attached alongside goods sent by air transport.


Airport to airport is a shipping service where cargo is shipped between airports and does not stop at any other location.


A document that is produced by a carrier that lists the amount, type and destination of goods being shipped. The purpose of a bill of lading that it is a receipt for goods sent. Different types of bill of lading documents include:

  • Air waybills
  • Inland bill of lading
  • Multimodal bill of lading,
  • Ocean bill of lading
  • ‘To order’ bill of lading

Bonded Warehouse

A building where goods that are normally subject to customs duties, may be stored, manufactured and altered without the goods needing to have any customs duties charged on them. Some bonded warehouses may be used to keep goods such as electronic items, watches, jewellery, and other expensive goods.

Booking Number

A set of unique numbers, that act as an identifier for a shipment. Some booking numbers can be used to track the journey of a shipment.

Bulk Cargo

Cargo transported in an unpacked state and large amounts. Examples of bulk cargo include petroleum, coal, and grain.

bulk cargo

Cargo (CGO)

Goods transported by airplane, ship, train, truck or van.


The seller has the responsibility to deliver goods to a particular place, but not insuring the goods.

CArriage and insurance paid (CIP)

The seller assumes all responsibilities and risks until the goods are successfully delivered to the carrier at the place of shipment and not at the place of destination. Once the goods reach the carrier, the buyer assumes all risks.


The brand that will courier the goods. All of the following companies are World Options’ partner carriers.

ups, dhl, dpd tnt, fedex carrier logos

Carrier Surcharges

Carrier surcharges are extra charges that carriers add onto the cost of a shipment if the goods exceed the carrier’s shipping rules. Example instances which may trigger a carrier surcharge include:

  • Incorrect address
  • Missing or invalid account number
  • Late payment charge on an overdue invoice
  • Oversized pallet
  • Receiver or third party refuses to pay shipping charges
  • Inaccurate customer measurement of package weight, size and dimensions
  • Package over maximum limits (weight and height)

Cash On Delivery (COD)

COD payments are where a person will pay for the delivery at the time of delivery and not in advance. Some couriers do not allow someone to inspect their shipment, without paying first.

Certificate Of Origin (COO)

A certificate of origin is produced by the exporter and is a document that lists the country in which the item was manufactured. There are typically two types of certificate of origin documents

  • Non-Preferential Certificate Of Origin

These certify that the country in which the goods originate from do not qualify for any special or preferential handling. Many countries consider these to be ‘ordinary COs.’

  • Preferential Certificate Of Origin

These documents signify that the goods qualify for lower tariffs.


Hiring an aircraft from a courier to transport cargo. Items moved using this method include:

  • Animals (cattle, horses)
  • Bulky cargo
  • Temperature-controlled goods (medical products, urgent health supplies, etc)

aircraft charter shipping terms


The term CIF is an abbreviation used in the freight industry and stands for cost, insurance and freight. CIF is used for freight shipments when a buyer of goods requires the seller of the goods to arrange the delivery by sea to a designated port paid for by the seller. Which means the seller is liable for any loss or damage to the buyer's order in transit until it reaches the export port. When the goods are loaded at the export port, the buyer then becomes responsible for loss or damage to the shipment thereafter.

Click & Collect

When placing an online order or shipment, some retailers and courier suppliers offer customers the option of “Click & Collect” which means the customer or business placing the order can collect the goods from a retailer or collection point rather than receive the delivery at their address.

Collection cut-off time

The is the latest time in which a courier can collect the items which require delivery. Meaning the customer or business placing the order must have the goods ready for collection before the collection cutoff time. Cut-off times vary depending on courier and postcode of the item being collected.

Collection point

The particular location goods will be collected by a courier. Collection point can be an office, the shippers home address or an approved courier access point.

Commercial Invoice

A document created when processing a shipment that describes the goods being transported, address of the sender and receiver, the value of the shipment, country of origin, harmonised tariff codes, quantity, weight, net, and gross price, EORI number, plus any taxes or customs charges. When booking a shipment, the World Options online shipping portal gives customers the ability to create an electronic commercial invoice like the below.

commercial invoice


Become a Customer


A commodity code is a 8-digit number for exporting goods inside and outside the European Union. For importing goods from outside the EU, the commodity code becomes a 10-digit number. All products are placed in a commodity code and the code will dictate the amount of duty and VAT the item is liable to be charged for and whether there are any import or export restrictions in place.

Common Carrier

A courier brand which services general customers.


Common law makes decisions based on previous cases, instead of making judgements based on statutes and regulations.

Consequential Loss

Consequential loss refers the loss of goods or services resulting from a contractor failing to carry out a requested task. In terms of shipping deliveries, consequential loss is often used by customers claiming loss due to the carrier’s failure to deliver the goods, or delayed delivery of goods or the loss or damage of goods which then resulted in the customer incurring additional costs, such as: loss of business, loss of contract, loss of earnings etc. The customer would be required to provide proof that they had incurred additional costs or loss of business because to the carrier's failures.


A company or person that receives goods at the point of delivery. A consignee is not the owner of the goods. The consignee only becomes the owner of the goods, once they have paid the consignor(sellers) invoice in full.

person receiving consignee parcel


A shipment to a carrier for delivery.


The consignor is the person or company who requires a parcel or shipment to be delivered on their behalf to a destination. The consignor will be required to pay a selected carrier to transport the goods to a delivery address for them.

Consolidated Freight

Consolidated freight is when multiple parcels or shipments are put together into one large shipment or container and transported by a carrier by road, sea or air. Consolidated freight can be shipments from multiple consignors to save space when shipping multiple small items to the same destination, city, port or country.

consolidated freight container


Rectangular boxes constructed from metal, which are used to transport cargo. Shipping containers can range from 8ft to 40ft. Containers are attached to trucks, then loaded/unloaded with the goods at their chosen location.

shipping containers

Controlled Atmosphere

Goods which need to be transported in an atmosphere where the interior temperature is kept at a specific level, to stop the goods from becoming damaged or spoiling. Goods which are commonly transported in temperature-controlled shipping containers include:

  • Fruit (bananas, mangoes, etc)
  • Vegetables
  • Meat
  • Fish


Conventions are legal clauses related to uninsured goods which might be lost or damaged in transit. They are very complex set of laws and rules which in brief relates to a number of legalities regarding transportation of persons, luggage and cargo by road and air.

  • CMR convention

CMR convention is a United Nations convention that was signed in 19 May 1956, regarding the transportation of cargo by road in Europe. The CMR convention can be used by carriers in cases where uninsured goods have been lost or damaged while being transported in Europe.

Carriers are liable for the loss or damage of goods occurring between the time when they pick up the goods until delivery. Carriers are able to use a number of defences within the CMR convention as proof of liability.

The defences are: Losses caused by the wrongful act, neglect or instructions by the customer, inherent vice or through circumstances which the carrier could not avoid which they were unable to prevent. Another defence used by carriers are special risks which the carrier could not avoid or prevent based on the circumstances such armed hijacks of goods. Liability fees paid back to the claimant is based-on the weight of the items lost or damaged and is calculated based on stock market and currency rates at the time of processing the claim.

  • WAR – Warsaw Convention

Similar to the Montreal convention, WAR is an international law relating to the liability for the loss or damage of persons, luggage and goods being transported internationally by air.

  • Montreal Convention

Is a US law which relates to the liability for the loss or damage of persons, luggage and goods being transported by air.


Goods which need to be transported in an atmosphere where the interior temperature is kept at a specific level, to stop the goods from becoming damaged or spoiling. Goods which are commonly transported in temperature-controlled shipping containers include:


The shipping and logistics companies World Options is partnered with. These couriers are UPS, FedEx, DHL, TNT.


C.T.O or C/T/O stands for Country of Origin. When booking an international shipment C/T/O is a required field on the booking form. This means the sender is required to state the country the goods are being sent from.


Every country has a customs department located at ports and airports. The customs department are appointed by the government of that country to monitor goods being imported into their country as well as apply and collect duties and taxes for goods upon the point it reaches the port. It’s also the duty of a customs department to prevent goods from entering their country if they are dangerous, banned, restricted and prohibited.

Customs Clearance

Customs clearance involves the process of a country allowing goods to be either shipped in or out of the country. The first step is the shipper correctly preparing documentation for shipping. Next, a customs officer will check the paperwork and see if any taxes/duties need to be applied. If taxes haven’t been paid, the officer will request payment - this is done via DDU(Deliver duty unpaid) and DDP(Deliver duty paid.) Once the taxes have been paid, the shipment is allowed to finish the journey.

Customs Invoice

A customs invoice is a more detailed type of commercial invoice, in that a customs invoice will be in a specific format and will contain information such as description, quantity, price, insurance, freight, terms of delivery, volume, conditions of sale, unit price, total

Dangerous Goods

Dangerous goods are items which may pose a risk to people, animals or the environment. Flammable items are also classed as being dangerous. Goods commonly classed as being dangerous include:

  • Batteries
  • Chemicals
  • Explosives
  • Flammable liquids
  • Toxic substances
  • Radioactive material
  • Corrosives

dangerous goods


There are a variety of items which are classed as:

  • Dangerous & Hazardous Items
  • Prohibited Items
  • Restricted Items

It’s important to note that all the above categories have different meanings and vary in shipping requirements and restrictions. Please view the above categories alphabetically further down this page for detail of what the terms mean.


Dangerous and hazardous items cannot be shipped under normal circumstances. Specialist carriers and transportation services may ship these goods, however World Options and its partner carriers do not ship the following items.

dangerous and hazardous items

Please Note: These restrictions apply to all services offered by the world options shipping service. However, it is highly advisable to also check that you comply with customs at the destination country and also the policy of your chosen carrier, because further restrictions may apply. If in any doubt, please contact world options customer support team.


Declared value is the amount of money that a carrier will payout to a customer if their goods are damaged or lost during delivery. If the value of goods is not declared on a shipping label or if there is no written proof of the value of the goods - most carriers will only pay out compensation up to a specific amount. This amount is usually around £100.

delivered at place (DAP)

An incoterm where the seller agrees to pay for all of the costs (packaging, documentation, delivery, etc) and is responsible for all losses, if goods are damaged or lost during transit. The buyer has to pay for import and other duties and taxes, once the goods have arrived at their location.


The seller is responsible for the goods clearing export and customs, unloading the goods and is responsible for all risks until the consignment reaches the named terminal on destination. The named terminal can be a cargo terminal, warehouse, quay or container/storage yard. Once the goods are unloaded and are made available at the terminal on destination, the buyer is responsible for all risks.


The seller assumes all risks until the goods are delivered to a named place of delivery. The seller is also responsible for the goods clearing customs, paying for the cost of delivering the goods to a named place of delivery. The buyer takes on all responsibilities once the goods have reached the named place of delivery.


DDU is no longer used, as it is an old shipping term. DAP is now used instead of DDU.

When exporting goods, the sender pays for the shipment of the goods and the receiver will pay for any duties and taxes applied by customs when the goods arrive at the destination country. This is the most common and safest way of avoiding duties and taxes issues for the sender. The receiver of the goods is contacted by the courier to inform them of the customs charges before the charges are applied in case there is any dispute, the receiver is required to provide authorisation that they accept the charge.

Delivery Instructions

Occasionally, some carriers allow delivery instructions to be sent along with a shipment. The delivery instructions will usually contain specific information as to where the goods should be delivered to. Whether it be at an office reception area, another place or left with a person.

man reading delivery instructions

Delivery Note

A document which contains a description and quantity of the goods being shipped.


Density refers to the capacity inside a box, package or container that goods will fill once packed. Shippers can lower their shipping costs by properly packing out their box, thus optimising all available space.


A shipment’s final location.


(Daley, Hillbolm, and Lynn.) A World Options shipping partner. The world’s second-largest logistics company. Headquartered in Bonn, Germany. DHL ships over 1 billion parcels every year around the world.

dhl shipping truck

Dimensional Weight

The dimensional weight of an item is calculated by multiplying an items length, width and then sharing it by the volumetric divisor (length X width X height / volumetric divisor = dimensional weight.) Each courier uses a different volumetric divisor.


Dimensions are the size of the parcel or box that an item will be shipped in. A common way of calculating the dimensions is to multiply the length, width, and height of a package.


Disbursement is a form of payment from a person or business to a dedicated fund to be paid on their behalf to a third party. When sending a shipment oversees the courier can request a disbursement fee from the sender or receiver in advance to cover customs fees. Instead of the sender or receiver paying this separately to customs they can pay this directly to the courier to ensure faster clearance of imported goods.


Domestic shipping is goods which are shipped within the borders of the United Kingdom and its four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Door-To-Door Delivery

Door to door delivery works by a courier driver collecting a package from the shipper and delivery directly to the destination.

door to door delivery parcel


(Dynamic Parcel Distribution.) A French shipping group operating around the world. DPD specialise in shipping parcels which weigh under 30 kg.


A courier company employee in charge of driving the van or vehicle which contains packages and is responsible for the delivery of goods.

drivers unloading parcels from van

Drop Off Point

Known alternatively as an access point - the location where packages may be dropped off at, to be collected by a courier.


Goods which are eligible for taxes and duties.

Duty Reversal

Known as DDP, duty reversal involves the payment of duties being made by a shipper rather than the receiver of goods.

Economy Delivery

Generally, the cheapest and slowest way to deliver goods. Most economy deliveries will take 2 to 3 days longer than express deliveries.


Entry documents are needed for goods to be passed through customs checking.


EORI stands for (Economic Operator Registration and Identification). This a unique set of numbers provided by the UK Government to each business which exports goods. It allows the business to move goods internationally, inside and outside of the EU. Here’s more information about how to get an EORI number.


Estimated time of arrival is the time and date that goods are expected to arrive at a particular location.

clock estimated time arrival


Exception scans are when packages are delayed due to a delivery problem, such as a package being held in customs or a delivery being attempted at an address but not succeeding. An exemption scan will tell the receiver that they need to contact the courier to resolve the issue.


Quick delivery. One of the fastest delivery services available. Expedited delivery will cost more than economy delivery.


Goods which are sent outside the borders of a country.


Certain countries may limit the export of particular goods. Because of this exporters will need to produce documentation from the authorities allowing the goods to leave the country.

Express Delivery

Express delivery is quick delivery service, where goods are transported by air for the goods to reach their destination as quickly as possible.


Exworks is an incoterm, which means that the seller of goods is responsible only for the manufacture and packaging of goods and that the buyer is responsible for all other costs, such as transportation, customs duties, and insurance costs.


The Federal Communication Commission is a federal US government agency in charge of regulating domestic and international radio, satellite and cable communications. The agency is also tasked with controlling the importation of electronic devices into the United States.


The Food and Drug Administration is an American federal government agency whose mission it is to protect the US general public, by ensuring the safety of food, prescription drugs, medical devices, biological products, cosmetics, electronic products, veterinary and tobacco products


Fedex (Federal Express) a multinational American logistics company, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Fedex is the world’s second-largest courier company.

fedex airplane

Force Majeure

Force majeure is an event, which is out of human control, such as a natural disaster which delays carriers from delivering goods on time. The meaning of force majeure is the same as an act of God.

Free Carrier

An incoterm, which means that the seller of goods is responsible for all export processing and all tasks up to when the goods are delivered to the buyer’s chosen delivery location. All other costs and arrangements are to be taken up by the buyer.

Free on board

Free on board is an incoterm where a seller is required to clear goods through customs and deliver them to the sellers chosen location. The buyer is responsible for all the risk and costs from the very moment that the goods have been loaded and are ready for transport. The buyer is also responsible for all customs and duty costs.


Freight is the shipment of a large amount of goods from one location to another. Freight is typically packed in large rectangular metal freight containers and transported by the means of either road, air or sea. Or a combination of all three modes of transport until the goods reach its destination.

Freight Companies

Freight companies are companies who are specialists in the moving of freight and cargo, between destinations.

Freight Forwarder

Freight forwarders act as agents in the shipping of goods on behalf of clients, by acting as a middle man between shippers and shipping companies by providing the best price possible for the cost of a shipment. Freight forwarders are generally highly experienced in that they will possess detailed knowledge regarding the law, shipping costs and banking requirements.

freight forwarder in warehouse


Companies that pick, pack and ship goods on behalf of manufacturers and e-commerce websites.


Products ready for use or consumption which are shipped by courier companies.

Gross Tonnage

Gross tonnage is the physical internal space within a sea shipping vessel. Specifically used to calculate volume in cubic meters to make provisions for the shipping of cargo by sea.

Gross Weight

Gross weight is the total weight of a shipment, this is calculated by combining the total weight of the shipment plus the internal and external packaging.


When multiple shipments are put together and consolidated into one shipment the term groupage is often used to describe this.

Harmonised System Code (HS)

A six-digit code that allows goods to be accurately classified. There are over 5,300 product descriptions


The movement of goods via road and air.


An abbreviation for ‘hazardous materials’ – items which present a risk when handled or during transport.

hazmat dangerous goods metal drums


A centralised location, used by courier companies to store, sort and consolidate with other goods which are headed to the same destination. Shipping companies use a hub as a way to lower their costs.


International Air Transport Association is a trade association which represents the majority of the world’s airlines. The IATA works to ensure the air travel is safe and it also controls the movement of dangerous goods by air.


The movement of goods into a country from abroad.


Import duty is levied upon goods by a country's customs authorities. Import duties vary from country to country, with differences in rates because of the different types of product.


A document issued by a government, which confirms the right of a business or agent to import products into a country from outside the country.


Import tax is charged on goods on entry into the country.


International shipping is the term used to describe shipments which are imports or exports to and from countries outside of the country of the sender. When a shipment is moved within the country of the sender is called a “Domestic Shipment or Domestic Shipping” and when the shipment is being transported outside of the country of the sender it is called an “International Shipment or International Shipping”. It refers to countries and territories around the world that World Options shipping partners deliver items to. World Options shipping partners ship to over 200 countries around the world.


Become a Customer


Packages that are on the move and are scheduled to be delivered.


‘International Commercial Terms’ are universally understood terms designed to provide clear directions and minimise confusion between importers and exporters.


Insurance is a facility which provides compensation to shippers when goods are lost, stolen or damaged during transport. Most carriers set a maximum liability amount (eg: £100) which means that if a package is damaged or lost, the carrier will compensate a shipper up to that amount.

Insurance claims are processed based on the Terms & Conditions set by the carrier shipping the goods.

Pallex Insurance

The excess on claims with Pallex is £100 therefore we will only process claims over £100.


Integration is the process of a software company integrating its software technology into other companies systems, they could be warehouse systems, order management systems or online websites. It's the process of connecting to different technologies through apps and plugins to get them to work together. Shipping integration services have been very popular in the online retail sector. World Options online software can be integrated into businesses websites to provide seamless shipping services when installing into, Shopify online stores and WooCommerce WordPress websites.

world options integrations


Integrator is a term used to describe the courier company which provides integration services for the delivery of goods. This can be software integration services which allow businesses ship goods to their customers. Overall it is used to describe the company responsible for the transportation of the goods via road, sea, and air.


The movement of goods on a journey via different means, such as road transport to air transport.


KYC stands for “Know Your Customer”. It is a process setup to help reduce fraud, theft and misuse of bank accounts. Banks or companies taking payment from overseas customers can request additional information such as passports, ID cards and address documents to confirm the identity of a customer is correct before proceeding with a transaction. This process reduces the misuse of bank accounts. The KYC procedure can be completed in order to open an account or complete a transaction for a new customer. The absence of KYC documents could result in the delay of shipments.

Landed Cost

The complete amount payable once the goods have arrived at the buyer's location. Items included in landed cost include: net price, transport fees, customs, duties, tariffs, taxes, and other costs incurred.


Packages that do not take up the entirety of a truck trailer.

less than truckload

Letter Of Credit

Letter of credit is a letter provided by a bank to another receiving bank or by one company to a company or customer confirming the guaranteed payment which will be credited to the receiving company or customer at a specific date or when specific terms are met. Letter of credit is also often generated by accounts departments within companies when a customer or business client is owed an amount of money and requires reimbursement.

Letter of indemnity

A letter of indemnity is used to provide assurances that the seller must ensure certain terms are met regarding the condition of goods upon arrival to the buyer. Meaning the seller must accept financial liability if the goods do not arrive in good condition specified within the terms of the letter of indemnity.


The management of the supply chain of which shipping is a part of. Other areas of logistics include storage, packaging, inventory management.


A document which lists the contents of a shipment.

man with shipping manifest

Minimum Charge

Minimum charge is when a carrier has implemented a minimum charge based on the size of a consignment to cover their shipping costs.


This is when a courier shipment has been diverted or directed to the wrong place or incorrect depot by mistake. Miss-routed shipments are often the reason items may get delayed or lost in transit if they have been loaded onto the wrong vehicle or taken to the wrong depot.

Mixed Container Load

Typically used to describe goods within a freight container being transported by road or sea, a mixed container is when a freight container is transporting a variety of different types of goods or products.


Non-Dutiable shipment is when a shipment which is being imported into another country is exempt from import duty charges. Typically gifts and personal effects in most cases are non-dutiable especially if they are under a certain value.

Non-stackable pallet

A non-stackable pallet is a pallet which must not have any other pallets stacked on top of it. It is usually used for the transportation of fragile goods in which the customer sending the shipment has requested that extra care be taken to avoid damage to the fragile items within the shipment. Therefore a non-stackable pallet often costs more to ship due to the fact other pallets cannot be stacked on top of it which creates unused shipping space on top of the pallet.


This is an online tool where business customers can book shipments when they request a free shipping account with World Options. Click here to request a free World Options account. Customers can then login to the online shipping portal, enter the dimensions of their shipment, destination and then view multiple shipping quotes from carriers such as DHL, UPS, TNT, FedEx and DPD in one place. Customers can then book the online shipment within seconds. When a shipment is booked, a shipping label is automatically generated, the customer is required to attach this to their shipment. The carrier will arrive to collect the goods and deliver it to its destination.

world options portal

Oversized Cargo

A consignment which exceeds the standard size or weight limits. Couriers will charge extra if cargo is greater than the normal limits.


The different products that goods are delivered in. Packaging can include, boxes, pallets, packets, tape, bubble filler, string or paper wrap.


A flat structure constructed of wood, plastic, metal steel and aluminium, used for the loading of goods, whilst being lifted by forklifts and jacks. Pallets are also used to ship goods. This works by placing packages/boxes onto pallets and then securing the packages with plastic film or straps. The pallets are then easily transported by forklifts.

woman moving pallets


A parcel is an item or items which have been wrapped and packaged for delivery. It is required to have the name and address of the recipient for it to be transported either via the postal service or by a courier provider. Parcels are required to have a barcode so they can be tracked all the stages until delivery to its destination.


The company that will receive the money.


The company responsible for the purchasing of goods.


The process of providing photographs of your shipment ensuring the weight reading and tape measurements are visible on the photograph to prove its size and weight reading. Photographic evidence also shows if a parcel was packaged correctly at the time of collection. In the event of a carrier discrepancy, query or additional charges related to inaccurate weight, dimensions or improper packaging, having photographic evidence as proof can help resolve queries and could result in getting additional carrier charges refunded back to the customer.

Physical Weight

The actual weight of goods, measured in kilos(kg), pounds(lbs), or tonnes (mt). To calculate the billable weight of a consignment, a shipping company will compare the physical weight with the dimensional weight and charge their customers on the greater amount.


The place where a consignment is picked up by a shipper or courier.

Port of Entry

The seaport from where goods enter a country. Seaports will contain customs officers who will inspect goods entering see whether the items need taxes or duties applying to them.

port of entry

Port of Exit

The port from where goods will exit a country for shipment to another country.


The delivery of letters and parcels via post. Postage can also refer to paid parcel stamps pasted onto letters, to classify the mail by what class stamp the post has been marked with (1st class, 2nd class…)

Pro Forma Invoice

A proforma invoice is an estimated quote for the sale and shipment of goods before the goods are delivered. A proforma invoice will contain a description of the goods and delivery charges.

Prohibited Items

Goods which courier companies will refuse to transport, this can be for many reasons. From the goods posing a danger to the general public or the goods being unsuitable to transport.

The following items are prohibited:

prohibited shipping items icons

Please Note: It is highly advisable to check that you comply with customs at the destination country and also the policy of your chosen carrier, because further restrictions may apply. If in any doubt, please contact World Options customer support team.

Proof Of Delivery

Proof of delivery is a confirmation that a product has been successfully delivered to its location. Most carriers conduct proof of delivery electronically with a confirmation being sent by email or text message.


POD is the physical signature made by the receiver of goods at delivery. It confirms to the shipper that the goods have been successfully delivered to their destination.


In shipping, quarantine stands for goods being set aside for some time, until tests are done on the goods so that the authorities are sure that the goods are safe to be distributed and sold on.

quarantine parcels with tape


A document which confirms to a seller that an invoice has been paid.


An area that a shipping company may consider as being difficult to get to. Remote areas may also be locations where the courier does not make many deliveries to. The company may charge extra for sending goods to a remote area.

Restricted Items

Goods which may not be allowed to be imported or exported by a countries authority. Restricted items require a government permit, before shipment.

The following items may have restrictions on them - these will vary by carrier or country:

restricted courier items icons

Please Note: It is highly advisable to check that you comply with customs at the destination country and also the policy of your chosen carrier, because further restrictions may apply. If in any doubt, please contact World Options customer support team.


Goods which are sent back to a shipper by a customer.

Road Freight

The transportation of goods by roads and motorways using trucks, trailers or vans.


At various stages of the transportation of a shipment from hub to hub, its barcode will be scanned usually by a machine or computer to track it and check if it has been arrived at a specific location and moved onto its next location. Scans are used to track the shipment at specific stages of its journey. This information is fed back to allow the customer to track the shipment online.

Sea Freight

The transportation of goods via sea, which have been packed into metal containers and loaded onto cargo ships or vessels.

sea freight


This is a form used for exports being sent from the US. The US government require a SED form to be completed for shipments leaving the US.

Shipment Value

This is the value of the content within the shipment used to declare a value for customs purposes. It can also be used for insurance cover. The shipment value is detailed on the customs invoice when booking a shipment.


A business opportunity that allows individuals to sell World Options parcel, courier, and freight shipping services to businesses.

Shipping Invoice

A shipping invoice is a document which describes the goods which are being shipped and the costs incurred for the shipment, including the acceptable payment methods, taxes, and date when the payment is due.

Shipping Label

A shipping label is an electronically generated label with a series of barcodes and address information. It is attached to a parcel or package and it contains information such as the name and address of the receiver, the tracking number, barcode, description of goods, the address of the shipper and more. Once an order is booked, a shipping label is electronically generated within the World Options online shipping portal, customers are required to print the shipping label and attached it to shipment once it has been packed ready for collection. Some couriers such as DHL also provide a Waybill with the shipping label, customers are required to give the Waybill to the courier driver on collection of the shipment.

shipping label and waybill

Shipping Tariff

Charges for shipping freight made by a carrier.

Stackable Pallet

To maximise the space within a warehouse pallets are stacked on top of each other to make full use of the space provided. A stackable pallet is a pallet that can have multiple pallets stacked on top of it without damage being caused to the goods within the pallets.

Standard Shipping Note (SSN)

An SSN is a document which provides information on the contents of a shipment to, couriers, government bodies or shipping agent. Most standard shipping notes are attached to all deliveries, except non-hazardous and dangerous goods.

Supply Chain Management (SCM)

The managing of the flow of goods between various points. Supply change management processes intend to make the process as quick, efficient and profitable as possible.


Support tickets allow customers the ability to digitally request help or assistance to a service provider through a support tickets software system. World Options have a support tickets feature in the World Options online shipping portal which helps customers contact us about a shipping or invoice query quickly without having to call. Customers can request support by raising a new Shipping Query Support Ticket or Invoice Query Support Ticket in an instant and a member of the team will be allocated to help resolve the query within a certain time frame.

world options support tickets


An additional cost added onto a shipment. Surcharges may include for example:

  • Late package surcharge
  • Over maximum weight
  • Late payment fee

Tariff Code

Also known as a harmonisation code, tariff codes classify products, to ensure that the right amount of taxes and duties are charged.

Terms Of Sale

An incoterm - terms of sale refers to the contract between sellers and buyers, which details the purchasing of goods and how those goods will be delivered.

Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

Third party logistics (TPL) is when a company outsources logistics tasks to a third-party provider. Third-party logistics providers can offer services such as:

  • Warehousing(ship, storing, handling returns)
  • Product Distribution
  • Transportation


Founded in 1946 as Thomas Nationwide Transport in Australia. Now based in the Netherlands. TNT was taken over by FedEx in 2016.

Toxicology Report

Toxicology reports may be needed to facilitate the importation of certain types of goods into a country, to ensure that they are safe to be imported. Toxicology reports may be required for products such as:

  • Food (additives)
  • Cosmetic products
  • Prescription drugs
UPS 18 1A 000 AA1 0000 0000
Fedex 12 1111 1111 1111 1111
DHL 10 1111 1111 11
TNT 9 111 111 111

Transport Companies

Companies which provide are involved in the movement of goods by road, sea and air.

Unit Of Measure

Unit of measure are abbreviations applied to some shipping items and procedures. The table below is an example of some unit of measure codes that UPS applies to Invoices.

Bag BG
Carton CT
Crate CR
Dozen DZ
Package PK
Pallet PAL
Square Meter SME
Yard YD


The United Parcel Service is the biggest courier company in the world, by way of annual turnover. A World Options shipping partner, who have their International headquarters in Sandy Springs, Georgia, USA.


Void stands for cancelling a shipment from being completed and or requesting a refund.

Volumetric Weight

Also known as dimensional weight - volumetric weight stands for the weight of a package, based upon its volume. Determining the volumetric weight of a package is achieved by calculating the length X width X height of a package.

War Risk

A surcharge applied by carriers on consignments headed to volatile areas, which are at war, may be heading towards war or may be prone to piracy and hijacking. Below are a list of some high risk areas (as of July 2019)

  • Libya
  • Gulf of Guinea (Nigeria, Benin, Togo)
  • Gulf of Aden (Somalia, Yemen)
  • Strait of Hormuz (Iran)


A building where goods are stored, before being transported for processing or delivery.

woman in warehouse

Warehouse Entry

A document which names the goods that have been imported and stored in a bonded warehouse.

Warsaw Convention

An international treaty which regulates the transport of goods internationally by air. If goods are lost, damaged or delayed, the convention outlines the level of financial compensation consumers may receive.


A Waybill is a printed label which is electronically generated when a shipment has been booked. It usually comes with a shipping label as well. Once a shipment has been booked the shipping label is required to be attached to the goods being shipped and the Waybill is required to be given to the courier driver on collection of the shipment.

DHL waybill document


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