Logistics Lingo

general 5 September 2018

Every business carries with it a specific vocabulary of jumbling jargon and obscure acronyms; logistics companies are no exception. We’re taking a look at the place of jargon in logistics, as well as providing a handy glossary for 3PL newbies!

Jargon is defined by the online dictionary as a set of ‘special words or expressions used by a profession or group that are difficult for others to understand’. The question must be asked; what’s the place for such language that’s unintelligible to outsiders, and why did it originate?

Often, jargon is spurred by a simplifying acronym for an arduously long technical term. For example, RIDDOR is so much easier to say than the tongue twisting Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, right? Abridging acronyms can make communication more effective and efficient if the understanding of technical abbreviations is mutual, particularly in fast paced environments such as the logistics industry.

It can be argued that some jargon is pretty pointless and overcomplicating, making outsiders feel peripheralised by incomprehensible terms. This, in fact, could be the entire point. Psychologists have found that jargon is often used to create a bonding group identity, promoting an inclusive environment within a workforce. It can, however, be problematic when this method of communication becomes habitual, and is used outside of the workplace clique, although still in a professional context; this could be particularly alienating for customers or suppliers who aren’t privy to the special breed of hermetic terms.

Precision can also be a reason jargon comes in handy; sometimes, common terms are just too loose to describe something industry specific, leading to a misinterpretation of meaning. For example, terms like FSDU which may mean nothing to the common man can instantly and exactly explain the type of point of sale display a contact packing company needs to produce, in one simple term.

When used correctly, jargon can be functional and unifying. The key is to ask yourself in each communication ‘is this the best way to convey the right message to my audience?’ before you customarily slip into organisational idioms. Look for signs of understanding, clarify your message and invite questions should clarity be required. Jargon has its place, but should be used mindfully, and never exclusively.

Speaking of Jargon… Here’s a handy Glossary to give you a head start in the logistics world!

ADR = Agreement on Dangerous Goods by Road                              

APERTURE = Racking Space that can be divided smaller apertures (pick face)

COSHH = Control of Substances Hazardous to Health

CSR = Corporate Social Responsibility

DGSA = Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor

DIMS = Pallet Dimensions

DSE = Display Screen Equipment

DWWP = Daily Warehouse Work Plan

EI = Environmental Instruction

ETA = Estimated Time of Arrival

FLT = Forklift Truck

FSDU = Freestanding Display Unit

IOSH = Institution of Occupational Health and Safety

Gifting = Assembling gift sets as part of Contract Packing

GMP = Good Manufacturing Practice

‘Gun’ = Handheld scanners in warehouse

L-Sealing = completely enclosed wrapping of a product

MHE = Materials Handling Equipment

MSDS = Material Safety Data Sheet

NCI = Not Come In (Pallet)

OJT = On the Job Training

PO = Purchase Order

POS = Point of Sale

QA = Quality Assurance

QF = Quality Failure

QI = Quality Incident

RH&D = Receiving, Handling and Delivery

RIDDOR = Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations

RRD = Rate Renewal Date

SLA = Service Level Agreement

SOP = Standard Operating Procedure

SSSR = Site Safety Security Rules

SSW = Safe System of Work

TB = Time Booking

TMS = Transport Management System

TL = Tail Lift

VNA = Very Narrow Aisle

WMS = Warehouse Management System

PICK FACE = Smaller division of an aperture

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