Importing Terminology

One of the most confusing parts of Amazon FBA Private Label business is sourcing. If you are sourcing from China, not only is the language barrier present but also the vocabulary with importing is a language of it’s own. That is why I have developed this glossary of frequently used importing terminology. It is not a comprehensive list, but it will allow you to engage in discussions with suppliers.

Bill of Lading (B/L) - Document issued to a shipper that includes:

  1. A receipt for the goods delivered to the carrier for shipmen
  2. A definition of the contract of carriage of the goods
  3. A document of Title to the goods described

Carrier - The person or entity that performs the shipping of the products by rail, road, sea, air, or combination

Ex Works - An agreement in which the seller is required to make goods ready for pickup at his or her own place of business. All other transportation costs and risks are assumed by the buyer.

Gross Weight - The full weight of a shipment including the weight of the products, packaging materials, and container.

ISO 9000 - International quality standards

LCL - Less than container Load

FCL- Full container load

Lead Time - The time between the initiation and completion. Can be applied to production to receiving of products.

LTL - Less than Truckload, rate when the quantity of freight is less than the entire truckload

FTL – Full container load

MOQ - Minimum order quantity. The smallest quantity a manufacturer will produce per trade.

Net Weight - The weight of goods alone without any shipping cartons or packaging

Case pack – Number of individual items with a larger package

Master pack – Number of cases (see case pack) within a larger package

FOB - Freight on Board, the point at which ownership is transferred from supplier to customer while shipment is in transit

I hope this glossary of import terms allows you to have a conversation with your suppliers with a baseline knowledge. We are here to help you with how to negotiate with suppliers, answer specific questions on items that are unclear, and make sure you have a successful importing experience.