Logistics Glossary Vs. Urban Dictionary – Useful to Funny Definitions

 In bill of lading, container shipping, containers, FOB, International Shipping, logistics, Logistics Glossary,, Urban Dictionary,

It’s back! The most entertaining way to look at definitions of international shipping terms: comparing Logistics Glossary definitions to their Urban Dictionary counterparts.

Let’s face it, international shipping can be a little boring from time to time. And there certainly are many terms unique to the industry. However, the words and acronyms themselves are not all that unique. Many exist with different meanings outside of the shipping industry.

If you’re ever using international shipping jargon with a colleague and a passerby gives you a funny look, perhaps the following comparisons will help you know why.

So back by popular demand, and without any further ado, here is the fourth installment of International Shipping Definitions vs. Urban Dictionary Definitions:

Logistics Glossary Vs. Urban Dictionary


Commonly written BoL or BL, BOL is the Freight Bill-of-Lading, also known as a freight bill. Here’s the Logistics Glossary’s definition:
A document providing a binding contract between a shipper and a carrier for the transportation of freight, specifying the obligations of both parties. Serves as a receipt of freight by the carrier for the shipper. Usually designates the consignee, and the FOB point.
Here’s how the Urban Dictionary defines BOL, along with an example of its use:
Tired of the overuse of LOL? Feeling like it means nothing anymore when you really DID just Bust Out Laughing because people end every freaking sentence with LOL? Use BOL. Busted Out Laughing. It’s LOL, ROFL, LMAO, and OMG rolled into one.
When my friend said this to me, “I had this bizarre dream about you and me and Alan Rickman and Tom Brokaw. In the middle of the dream me and the boys went to see you perform at the Stone Pony and you did some extremely odd things, and then you sang your own lyrics to ‘They Don’t Know About Us,’ by Tracey Ullman but then Elizabeth Edwards cam out on stage and made you stop because it needed to be censored,” I BOL’d.
LOL has gotten really old. I might just use BOL moving forward.


Since the Logistics Glossary definition of the last acronym included this acronym in it, I figured we might as well look at FOB next. Here’s what the Logistics Glossary has to say about FOB:

FOB (Free-on-Board) Point

Point at which ownership of freight changes hands from shipper to consignee. FOB origin indicates that consignee owns the goods in transit; FOB-destination indicates that shipper owns goods in transit. Owner of goods in transit is liable for loss and damage to freight, and thus should provide insurance.

The definition to be found in the Urban Dictionary is, of course, very different; however, it does have something to do with a ship:

Is an acronym for “Fresh Off the Boat”, and refers to new immigrants to a country (mostly Western). A phrase first coined in New Zealand in the early 90’s by Polynesians to differentiate new arrivals (immigrants) from the old country (Tonga, Samoa, etc) from those with a Western upbringing. Now commonly used to describe any person new to a country, who is not well versed with its language or culture (mainly Western). Can be taken as an insult, or a term of endearment (eg; pride of culture).
“That Sione is such a F.O.B. He doesn’t speak good English, & last week he walked through the drive-thru at Macca’s (Mac Donalds) …”
Fresh Off the Boat
As a side note, this particular definition of FOB has become wider spread in the last few years with the popular ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat. Odds are if you’re using the term FOB, the average person will think you mean fresh off the boat rather than free-on-board.


Let’s get away from the acronyms and look at the international shipping term Hub-and-Spoke. The Logistics Glossary defines Hub-and-Spoke as follows:
A transportation system design in which large hub terminals are used for freight consolidation. Medium-volume services serve the spoke-to-hub collection and hub-to-spoke distribution tasks. Large-volume services are operated in the hub-top-hub markets. In most systems, all outbound/inbound freight for a spoke uses the same hub, and thus larger shipment sizes are realized. Many transportation systems are oriented in this way.
Examples: Delta airlines, FedEx, LTL, and now ocean shipping. Not TL, however.
Okay, thank’s Logistics Glossary. But the Urban Dictionary has a much simpler definition, even removing the hyphens from the term:
Hub and Spoke
To restore to a good or sound condition, mend, restore or renew, making good, remedy, etc…
Boss: Did you get to that Smith job yet?
Worker: Yep, all fixed. It’s hub and spoke.


In international shipping, the Logistics Glossary says dead-head is:

A portion of a transportation trip in which no freight is conveyed; an empty move. Transportation equipment is often dead-headed because of imbalances in supply and demand. For example, many more containers are shipped from Asia to North America than in reverse; empty containers are therefore dead-headed back to Asia.

Like with the previous term, the Urban Dictionary sees no reason to hyphenate. In contrast to the previous Urban Dictionary term, and all of Urban Dictionary’s definitions so far in this installment, I actually knew this term’s “urban” definition.

A hardcore fan of the Grateful Dead. The complete opposite of a Parrothead.
Julio: Dude, that bro is trippy.
Beckworth: Hahaha, bro, that is just a Deadhead.
The Urban Dictionary has several submissions, all amounting to a Deadhead being a fan of the Grateful Dead. Some made reference to tie-dye shirts, LSD, marijuana, and Bill Clinton; however, I liked this one the best because it juxtaposes Deadheads with Parrotheads.
What’s a Parrothead, you ask?
It turns out, a Parrothead is a Jimmy Buffet fan. But after reading the final sentence of the Parrothead definition in the Urban Dictionary, there seems to be a very striking similarity between a Deadhead and Parrothead, even though they were previously defined as opposites.
A Parrothead is a fan of Jimmy Buffett (there is no other meaning). The typical parrothead is pictured to wear a Hawaiian shirt, flip-flops, and other tropical attire, and to enjoy drinking margaritas on the beach. Parrotheads often decorate their homes in tropical motifs. In general the life of a parrothead is one of relaxation and being on a permanent mental vacation even while at work.


Intermodal is an incredibly common term in the international shipping industry. Here’s how the Logistics Glossary defines it:
Transportation that uses a specialized container that can be transferred from the vehicle of one mode to the vehicle of another; a single freight bill is used for the shipment.
Example: Ocean shipping containers which can be hauled by trucks on chassis, railcars, ocean vessels, and barges. Also: UPS line-haul vans (these vans can be stacked onto railcars for long distance moves).
What’s interesting about the Urban Dictionary definition of this term is that it actually gets its origin from the international shipping term. Of course, Urban dictionary gives it a twist:
A term in underground traveling subcultures of Freight train hopping, Hitchhiking, Squatting, Gypsies, Hobos, Migrants, and Punks. Used to describe one’s ability to travel using any & all available modes of travel for free or dirt cheap. Trains (freight, passenger & public transit), Hitchhiking, Rideshare, Planes, Mopeds, Motorcycles, Bicycles, Horses, Goats & Boats & maybe even walking for a spell if it is the only available option. Derived from an actual term in the freight shipping industry meaning to move freight using Rail, Ships & Trucks.
The Bulls chased us out of the Stockton yard so we had to go intermodal for awhile. We got picked up on the 5 by some hippees who drove us as far as LA where we hung out at a squat & lined up a rideshare to Tucson.
Disclaimer: I try not to edit the Urban Dictionary definitions at all, but I cleaned up this one just a little bit, separating the first two sentences that were previously combined and hard to understand on a first reading.


chassis-hanjin-pool-of-pools-congestionYou don’t have to be in the international shipping industry to be familiar with what a chassis is. This term was already referenced in a previous Logistics Glossary definition, but here is how it appears elsewhere in the glossary:
Intermodal ocean containers are moved on the road by attaching them to a separate piece of equipment, a chassis, which is essentially a set of wheels on a lightweight frame.
Now, it turns out the top definitions of chassis in the Urban Dictionary could make a guy using the term sound like a deusche. I feel like I could only type that word in one of these Urban Dictionary blog editions.
1. Noun: The female backside. Rumpshaker. Booty. Moneymaker. Ass. Heinie. Rear-end.

2. Noun: A superior hindquarters, usually on a well-proportioned female.

“Check out the chassis on that brunette hottie by the jacuzzi.”
I have to say, that definition of chassis (which was repeated in different ways by different contributors to the site) was a predictably typical entry from the Urban Dictionary. However, there is another definition provided for the word that is much more entertaining:
Chassis, usable in any situation. There is no badtime to say “chassis”
“whats up”
From now on, I might just answer the phone by saying, “Chassis.” I expect the response to always be, “Cool, cool.”


Let’s end with the most random Urban Dictionary definition to a common international shipping term I’ve ever seen.

It seems like the whole international shipping industry revolves around containers. I almost don’t want to waste time by putting the Logistics Glossary definition here. Almost.

A single, rigid, sealed, reusable metal box in which merchandise is shipped by vessel, truck, or rail. Container types include standard, high cube, hardtop, open top, flat, platform, ventilated, insulated, refrigerated, or bulk. Usually 8 ft x 8 ft in width and height, 20 to 55 ft long. Specialized containers also exist for air transportation modes, but are much smaller and cannot be directly transferred to truck or rail.

Any guesses for what the Urban Dictionary thinks a container is? Ew. Get your mind out of the gutter. Here it is:
1. people who where jeans with flip flops
bob: haha.. look at what that hippie’s wearing, rainbow flip flops and jeans
billy: ugh, what a container.
BOL. I told you it was random.
Okay, that’s enough Urban Dictionary for one blog entry. But if you want more, you can check out the three previous installments:

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