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Break bulk - taking a large consignment and splitting it into smaller amounts for onward delivery

Containers - four different lengths exist in the general market place: 20’, 30’, 40’, 45’. The height of these containers (‘boxes’) varies from 8’6” to 9’6”. The latter are often referred to as ‘high-cube’ due to greater volumetric capacity - they are also becoming far commoner in international trade. Containers are generally (with some specialised exceptions) 2.5m wide

Container stuffing - the act of loading goods into containers, by hand or specialised equipment, eg fork lift trucks, and using ‘dunnage’ (packing material to minimise movement) and load restraining equipment

FOC - Rail Freight Operating Company that provides traction, wagons and possibly other services to customers
Gauge clearance - the term for facilitating a greater loading gauge on a route

Groupage - combining orders from several different sources or customers into logistically efficient and cost effective larger consolidated loads for onward movement

Intermodal - being able to transfer the goods from one mode (eg road) to another (eg rail) in a unitised manner such as by transferring a container from a road lorry to a rail wagon without having to handle the goods individually

Loading gauge - as opposed to track gauge (which in GB is standard at 4’81/2”), the British rail network was not built to a uniform size and therefore the levels of clearance under bridges, station canopies, tunnels and next to station platforms is not uniform. The smallest gauge is called W6 and W8 is the minimum required for 9’6” boxes, albeit on specialist low platforms or well wagons.W10 is the minimum for moving 9’6” boxes on standard wagons and some combinations of specialist equipment may allow 9’6” boxes to traverse routes of a smaller loading gauge.W12 allows more continental wagons and swap bodies and is compatible with a wider range of rail vehicles from continental Europe

Swap bodies - typically these are trailers that can be lifted off a road vehicle and then transported by rail. Often these are curtain-sided

TEU - Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit: the standard measure of size in the container industry. Container ship and train capacity is defined in TEU. Currently a standard articulated lorry can carry two 20’ or one 40’ container, ie 2 x TEU

Wagon load - a traditional type of freight flow of individual loads in wagons from different consignors and marshalled together to form one train: now defunct in GB and replaced by groupage type road logistics operations who may then in turn use rail through 3PLs