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Logistic Glossary – Letter D

Dangerous Goods

Articles or substances capable of posing a significant risk to health, safety, or property, and that ordinarily require special attention when transported. See also Hazardous Goods.

Data Interchange Standards Association (DISA)

The secretariat which provides clerical and administrative support to the ASC X12 Committee.

Data Mining

The process of studying data to search for previously unknown relationships. This knowledge is then applied to achieving specific business goals.

Data Warehouse

A repository of data that has been specially prepared to support decision-making applications. Synonym Decision-Support Data.


Data stored in computer-readable form, usually indexed or sorted in a logical order by which users can find a particular item of data they need.

Date Code

A label on products with the date of production. In food industries, it's often an integral part of the lot number.

Days of Supply

Measure of quantity of inventory on hand in relation to number of days for which usage will be covered. For example, if a component is consumed in manufacturing at the rate of 100 per day and there are 1,585 units available on hand, this represents 15.85 days' supply.


Distribution Center (DC)

Dead on Arrival (DOA)

A term used to describe products which are not functional when delivered. Synonym Defective.


The return of an empty transportation container to its point of origin. See Backhaul.

Deadweight Tons (DWT)

The cargo carrying capacity of a vesel, including fuel oil, stores and provisions.

Decentralized Authority

A situation in which a company management gives decision-making authority to managers at many organizational levels.

Decision Support System (DSS)

Software that speeds access and simplifies data analysis, queries, etc.

Declaration of Dangerous Goods

To comply with the U.S. regulations, exporters are required to provide special notices to inland and ocean transport companies when goods are hazardous.

Declared Value for Carriage

The value of the goods, declared by the shipper on a bill of lading, for the purpose of determining a freight rate or the limit of the carrier's liability.


An enterprise that provides services to un-group shipments, orders, goods, etc., to facilitate distribution.

Dedicated Contract Carriage

A third party service that dedicates equipment (vehicles) and drivers to a single customer for its exclusive use on a contractual basis.

Defective goods inventory (DGI)

Those items that have been returned, have been delivered damaged and have a freight claim outstanding, or have been damaged in some way during warehouse handling.

Delivery Appointment

The time agreed upon between two enterprises for goods or transportation equipment to arrive at a selected location.

Delivery Instructions

A document issued to a carrier to pick up goods at a location anddeliver them to another location. See also Delivery Order

Delivery Order

A document issued by the customs broker to the ocean carrier as authority to release the cargo to the appropriate party.


Supplier/manufacturer arrangement in which suppliers are responsible for the transport of the goods they've produced, which are being sent to a manufacturer. This responsibility includes tasks such as ensuring that products get through Customs.

Delta Nu Alpha

A professional association of transportation and traffic practitioners.

Demand Chain Management

The same as supply chain management, but with an emphasis on consumer pull versus supplier push.

Demand Planning Systems

The systems that assist in the process of identifying, aggregating, and prioritizing all sources of demand for the integrated supply chain of a product of service at the appropriate level, horizon, and interval.

Demand Pull

The triggering of material movement to a work center only when that work center is ready to begin the next job. In effect, it eliminates the queue from in from of a work center, but it can cause a queue at the end of a previous work center.

Demand Side Analysis

Techniques such as market research, surveys, focus groups, and performance/cost modeling used to identify emerging technologies.

Demand Signal

A signal from a consumer, customer or using operation that triggers the issue of product or raw material.

Demand Supply Balancing

The process of identifying and measuring the gaps and imbalances between demand and resources in order to determine how to best resolve the variances through marketing, pricing, packaging, warehousing, outsource plans, or some other action that will optimize service, flexibility, costs, assets, (or other supply chain inconsistencies) in an iterative and collaborative environment.

Deming Circle

The concept of a continuously rotating wheel of plan-to-do-check-action (PDCA) used to show the need for interaction among market research, design, production, and sales to improve quality. Also see Plan-Do-Check-Action.

Demographic Segmentation

In marketing, dividing potential markets by characteristics of potential customers, such as age, sex, income, and education.


The carrier charges and fees applied when rail freight cars and ships are retained beyond a specified loading or unloading time. Also see Detention, Express.

Denied Party Listing (DPL)

A list of organizations that is unauthorized to submit a bid for an activity or to receive a specific product. For example, some countries have bans on certain products like weapons or sensitive technology.

Density rate

A rate based upon the density and shipment weight.


A physical characteristic measuring a commodity's mass per unit volume or pounds per cubic foot; an important factor in ratemaking, since density affects the utilization of a carrier's vehicle.


Revisions or complete elimination of economic regulations controlling transportation.

Derived demand

The demand for a product's transportation is derived from the product's demand at some location.

Design for Manufacture/Assembly (DFMA)

A product design methodology that provides a quantitative evaluation of product designs.

Design of Experiments (DOE)

A branch of applied statistics dealing with planning, conducting, analyzing, and interpreting controlled tests to evaluate the factors that control the value of a parameter or group of parameters.


The location designated as a receipt point for goods/shipment.


The carrier charges and fees applied when rail freight cars and ships are retained beyond a specified loading or unloading time. Also see Demurrage, Express.


The unloading of cargo from a container or other piece of equipment. See Stripping.


See Design for Manufacture/Assembly (DFMA).


See Duty Free Zone


A discount offered by a carrier that faces a service time disadvantage over a route.

Direct Cost

A cost that can be directly traced to a cost object since a direct or repeatable cause-and-effect relationship exists. A direct cost uses a direct assignment or cost causal relationship to transfer costs. Also see Indirect Cost, Tracing

Direct Product Profitability (DPP)

Calculation of the net profit contribution attributable to a specific product or product line.

Direct Production Material

Material that is used in the manufacturing/content of a product. (Example purchased parts, solder, SMT glues, adhesives, mechanical parts, bill-of-materials parts, etc.)

Direct Retail Locations

A retail location that purchases products directly from your organization or responding entity.

Direct Store Delivery (DSD)

Process of shipping direct from a manufacturer's plant or distribution center to the customer's retail store, thus bypassing the customer's distribution center. Also called Direct-to-Store Delivery.

Direct-to-Store (DTS) Delivery

Same as Direct Store Delivery.


Data Interchange Standards Association (DISA)

Disaster Recovery Planning

Contingency planning specifically related to recovering hardware and software (e.g., data centers, application software, operations, personnel, telecommunications) in information system outages.

Discharge Port

The name of the port where the cargo is unloaded from the export vessel.

Discrete Manufacturing

Discrete manufacturing processes create products by assembling unconnected distinct parts as in the production of distinct items such as automobiles, appliances, or computers.


When the traditional sales channels are disassembled and the middleman gets cut out of the deal. Such as where the manufacturer ships direct to a retailer, bypassing the distributor.


The carrier activities involved with controlling equipment; involves arranging for fuel, drivers, crews, equipment, and terminal space.

Distributed Inventory

Inventory that is geographically dispersed. For example, where a company maintains inventory in multiple distribution centers to provide a higher level of customer service.

Distribution Center (DC)

The warehouse facility which holds inventory from manufacturing pending distribution to the appropriate stores.

Distribution Channel Management

The organizational and pipeline strategy for getting products to customers.

Distribution Channel

One or more companies or individuals who participate in the flow of goods and services from the manufacturer to the final user or consumer.

Distribution Planning

The planning activities associated with transportation, warehousing, inventory levels, materials handling, order administration, site and location planning, industrial packaging, data processing, and communications networks to support distribution.

Distribution Requirements Planning (DRP)

A system of determining demands for inventory at distribution centers and consolidating demand information in reverse as input to the production and materials system.

Distribution Resource Planning (DRP II)

The extension of distribution requirements planning into the planning of the key resources contained in a distribution system warehouse space, workforce, money, trucks, freight cars, etc.

Distribution Warehouse

A finished goods warehouse from which a company assembles customer orders.


Outbound logistics, from the end of the production line to the end user.


A business that does not manufacture its own products, but purchases and resells these products. Such a business usually maintains a finished goods inventory. Synonym Wholesaler.


The process of changing the destination and/or the consignee while the shipment is enroute.


See Dead on Arrival.

Dock Receipt

A document used to accept materials or equipment at an ocean pier or accepted location. Provides the ocean carrier with verification of receipt and the delivering carrier with proof of delivery.


In EDI, a form, such as an invoice or purchase order, that trading partners have agreed to exchange and that the EDI software handles within its compliance-checking logic.


The papers attached or pertaining to goods requiring transportation and/or transfer of ownership.


See Design of Experiments.

Domestic Trunk Line Carrier

A classification for air carriers that operate between major population centers. These carriers are now classified as major carriers.

Door to Door

The through-transport of goods from consignor to consignee.

Door to Port

The through transport service from consignor to port of importation.

Double Bottoms

A motor carrier operation that involves one tractor pulling two trailers.

Double-Pallet Jack

A mechanized device for transporting two standard pallets simultaneously.


Double trucks are two 28-foot trailers that are pulled by one tractor. Doubles also are known as "double bottoms."


To merge temporary files containing a day's or week's worth of information with the main data base in order to update it.


One or more companies or individuals who participate in the flow of goods and services moving from the manufacturer to the final user or consumer.


Denied Party List (DPL).


See Duty Drawback

Drayage Firms

Motor carriers that provide local pickup and delivery of trailers and containers (on chassis)


The service offered by a motor carrier for pick-up and delivery of ocean containers or rail containers. Drayage agents usually handle full-load containers for ocean and rail carriers.

Driving Time Regulations

U.S. Department of Transportation rules that limit the maximum time a driver may drive in interstate commerce; the rules prescribe both daily and weekly maximums.

Drop Ship

To take the title of the products but not actually handle, stock, or deliver it, e.g., to have one supplier ship directly to another or to have a supplier ship directly to the buyer's customer.


A situation in which an equipment operator deposits a trailer or boxcar at a facility at which it is to be loaded or unloaded.


Distribution Resource Planning (DRP II)


See Distribution Requirements Planning (DRP).


Direct Store Delivery (DSD).


Decision Support System (DSS).


Direct-to-Store Delivery (DTS).

Dual Operation

A motor carrier that has both common and contract carrier operating authority.

Dual rate system

An international water carrier pricing system in which a shipper signing an exclusive use agreement with the conference pays a rate 10 to 15 percent lower than non-signing shippers do for an identical shipment.


When a product is sold below cost in a foreign market and/or when a product is sold at a lower price in the foreign market than in a domestic market, with the intention of driving out competition in the foreign market.


The packing material used to protect a product from damage during transport.

DUNS Number

A coded, numerical representation assigned to a specific company (USA).

Duty Drawback

A refund of duty paid on imported merchandise when it is exported later, whether in the same or a different form.

Duty Free Zone (DFZ)

An area where goods or cargo can be stored without paying import customs duties while awaiting manufacturing or future transport.


A tax imposed by a government on merchandise imported from another country.

Dynamic Process Control (DPC)

Continuous monitoring of process performance and adjustment of control parameters to optimize process output.


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