Essential Shipping Terms Every E-commerce Business Owner Should Know


The eCommerce sector is rapidly evolving, and it is becoming increasingly essential for business owners to have an understanding of basic shipping terms to ensure that their products are delivered to customers efficiently. However, navigating the world of shipping can be complex, as it has a wide range of terminologies that can be highly confusing at times. This article will help you understand some of the most important shipping terms that every e-commerce seller should know.




A carrier is a company or individual responsible for transporting goods from one location to another. Choosing a reliable carrier is crucial for ensuring that your products are delivered safely and on time.




Freight refers to goods transported by a carrier, and it can also refer to the cost of transporting those goods. As an e-commerce seller, it’s essential to understand the freight costs associated with shipping your products, as it will impact your profit margins.


Bill of Lading (BOL)


A Bill of Lading (BOL) is a legal document that details the shipment of goods. It includes important details such as the names of the shipper and receiver, the type of goods being transported, the destination, and the carrier responsible for transporting the goods.




Delivery refers to the act of bringing goods to the final destination, whether it’s to a customer’s doorstep, a warehouse, or a retail store. Accurate delivery information is essential to ensure that your products arrive at their intended destination.




Tracking is a useful tool that allows you to monitor the progress of your shipment. It’s especially important when shipping high-value items or products that are time-sensitive. You can track your package by entering the tracking number on the carrier’s website.


Transit Time


Transit time is the amount of time it takes for your shipment to reach its destination. It’s important to consider transit time when choosing a shipping method, as some carriers may offer faster delivery options for an additional cost.


Shipping Zones


Shipping zones are geographical areas that carriers use to determine shipping rates. As an e-commerce seller, it’s important to understand shipping zones to accurately calculate shipping costs and adjust prices accordingly.


Dimensional Weight


Dimensional weight is a calculation used by carriers to determine shipping rates. It takes into account the size of the package as well as its weight. Understanding dimensional weight is important, especially if you’re shipping large but lightweight items, as their dimensional weight may impact your shipping costs more than their actual weight.




Insurance is coverage that protects the value of your shipment against loss or damage during transit. Most carriers offer insurance, and it’s recommended that you consider purchasing it, especially for high-value items.




Customs refers to the regulatory authorities responsible for controlling the import and export of goods. When shipping internationally, customs clearance is required, and additional fees may apply. Understanding customs regulations and fees associated with international shipping is crucial to avoid delays and additional costs.




By understanding these essential shipping terms, you can navigate the world of shipping with ease and make informed decisions when choosing carriers and shipping methods that are best suited to your business needs. Don’t let complicated shipping terminologies discourage you from expanding your e-commerce business. With the right knowledge, you can make shipping a breeze!