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Logistic Glossary – Letter I


Interstate Commerce Commission (U.S.).


Pallets and containers used in air transportation; the igloo shape fits the internal wall contours of a narrow-body airplane.


International Maritime Bureau (IMB).


International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Import/Export License

Official authorization issued by a government allowing the shipping or delivery of a product across national boundaries.


Movement of products from one country into another. The import of automobiles from Germany into the US is an example.

Importation Point

The location where goods will be cleared for importation into a country.

In Bond

Goods are held or transported In-Bond under customs control either until import duties or other charges are paid, or to avoid paying the duties or charges until a later date.

Inbound logistics

The management of materials from suppliers and vendors into production processes or storage facilities.

Incentive Rate

A rate that induces the shipper to ship heavier volumes per shipment.


International terms of sale developed by the International Chamber of Commerce to define sellers' and buyers' responsibilities.

Independent Action

A carrier that is a rate bureau member may publish a rate that differs from the rate the rate bureau publishes.

Independent Trading Exchange (ITE)

Often used synonymously with B2B, e-marketplace, or Virtual Commerce Network (VCN). ITE is a more precise term, connoting many-to-many transactions, whereas the others do not specify the transactions.

Indirect Cost

A resource or activity cost that cannot be directly traced to a final cost object since no direct or repeatable cause-and-effect relationship exists. An indirect cost uses an assignment or allocation to transfer cost.

Indirect Retail Locations

A retail location that ultimately sells your product to consumers, but who purchases your products from an intermediary, like a distributor or wholesaler.

Information System (I/S)

Managing the flow of data in an organization in a systematic, structured way to assist in planning, implementing, and controlling.

Inherent Advantage

The cost and service benefits of one mode compared with other modes.

Inland Bill of Lading

The carriage contract used in transport from a shipping point overland to the exporter's international carrier location.

Inland Carrier

An enterprise that offers overland service to or from a point of export.


The opposite of outsourcing, that is, a service performed in house.

Inspection Certificate

A document certifying that merchandise (such as perishable goods) was in good condition immediately prior to shipment.

Insurance Certificate

A document issued to the consignee to certify that insurance is provided to cover loss of or damage to the cargo while in transit.


A system of protection against loss under which a number of parties agree to pay certain sums (premiums) for a guarantee that they will be compensated under certain conditions for specified loss and damage.

Integrated Carrier

An airfreight company that offers a blend of transportation services such as air carriage, freight forwarding, and ground handling.

Integrated Logistics

A comprehensive, system-wide view of the entire supply chain as a single process, from raw materials supply through finished goods distribution. All functions that make up the supply chain are managed as a single entity rather than managing individual functions separately.


In EDI, the exchange of electronic information between companies. Also, the group of transaction sets transmitted from one sender to one receiver at one time. Delineated by interchange control segments.

Intercoastal carriers

Water carriers that transport freight between East and West Coast ports, usually by way of the Panama Canal.

Intercorporate hauling

A private carrier hauling a subsidiary's goods and charging the subsidiary a fee; this is legal if the subsidiary is wholly owned or if the private carrier has common carrier authority.


The practice of assigning an employee multiple tasks which are performed concurrently.


Two or more motor carriers working together to haul a shipment to a destination. Carriers may interchange equipment but usually they rehandle the shipment without transferring the equipment.

Intermediate Destination

A stopping point for a shipment prior to the final destination.

Intermediately Positioned Warehouse

A warehouse located between customers and manufacturing plants to provide increased customer service and reduced distribution cost.

Intermittent-Flow, Fixed-Path Equipment

Materials handling devices that include bridge cranes, monorails, and stacker cranes.

Intermodal Container Transfer Facility

A facility where cargo is transferred from one mode of transportation to another, usually from ship or truck to rail.

Intermodal Marketing Company (IMC)

An intermediary that sells intermodal services to shippers.

Intermodal Transportation

Transporting freight by using two or more transportation modes, such as by truck and rail or truck and oceangoing vessel.

Internal Labor and Overhead

The portion of COGS that is typically reported as labor and overhead, less any costs already classified as "outsourced."

Internal Water Carriers

Water carriers that operate over internal, navigable rivers such as the Mississippi, Ohio, and Missouri.

International Air Transport Association

An international air carrier rate bureau for passenger and freight movements.

International Civil Aeronautics Organization

An international agency responsible for air safety and for standardizing air traffic control, airport design, and safety features worldwide.

International Import Certificate

A document required by the importing country indicating that the importing country recognizes that a controlled shipment is entering their country. The importing country pledges to monitor the shipment and prevent its re-export, except in accordance with its own export control regulations.

International Maritime Bureau (IMB)

A special division of the International Chamber of Commerce.

International Maritime Organization (IMO)

A United Nations-affiliated organization representing all maritime countries in matters affecting maritime transportation, including the movement of dangerous goods. The organization also is involved in deliberations on marine environmental pollution.

International Standards Organization (ISO)

An organization within the United Nations to which all national and other standard-setting bodies (should) defer. Develops and monitors international standards, including OSI, EDIFACT, and X.400.

In-Transit Inventory

Material moving between two or more locations, usually separated geographically; for example, finished goods being shipped from a plant to a distribution center. In-transit inventory is an easily overlooked component of total supply chain availability.

Inventory Accuracy

When the on-hand quantity is equivalent to the perpetual balance (plus or minus the designated count tolerances).

Inventory Carrying Cost

One of the elements comprising a company's total supply chain management costs. These costs consist of the following

Inventory Cost

The cost of holding goods, usually expressed as a percentage of the inventory value; includes the cost of capital, warehousing, taxes, insurance, depreciation, and obsolescence.

Inventory In Transit

Inventory in a carrier's possession, being transported to the buyer.

Inventory Management

The process of ensuring the availability of products through inventory administration.

Inventory Planning Systems

The systems that help to strategically balance the inventory policy and customer service levels throughout the supply chain. These systems usually calculate time-phased order quantities and safety stock using selected inventory strategies. Some inventory planning systems conduct what-if analysis and compare the current inventory policy with simulated inventory scenarios to improve the inventory ROI.

Inventory Turnover

Inventory Turns.

Inventory Turns

The cost of goods sold divided by the average level of inventory on hand. This ratio measures how many times a company's inventory has been sold during a period of time. Operationally, inventory turns are measured as total throughput divided by average level of inventory for a given period. How many times a year the average inventory for a firm changes over or is sold.

Inventory Velocity

The speed at which inventory moves through a defined cycle (i.e., from receiving to shipping).

Inventory, Days of

The number of days of inventory on-hand at any given time.


Raw materials, work in process, finished goods, and supplies required for creation of a company's goods and services. The number of units and/or value of the stock of goods held by a company.


A detailed statement showing goods sold or shipped and amounts for each. The invoice is prepared by the seller and acts as the document that the buyer will use to make payment.

Irregular Route Carrier

A motor carrier that may provide service utilizing any route.

ISO 14000 Series Standards

A series of generic environmental management standards under development by the International Organization of Standardization which provide structure and systems for managing environmental compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements and affect every aspect of a company's environmental operations.

ISO 9000

A series of quality assurance standards compiled by the Geneva, Switzerland-based International Standards Organization. In the United States, ISO is represented by the American National Standards Institute based in Washington, DC.


See International Standards Organization (ISO).

Issuing Carrier

The carrier whose name is printed on the bill of lading and with whom the contract of carriage exists.


Independent Trading Exchange (ITE).

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