Shipping Terms Part 2

Important Shipping and eCommerce Terms Explained - Part 2!

4th July 2023, 9:09am in Business by Amy Newham

Last year, we created a glossary of standard shipping and eCommerce terms that every business owner should know.

At Interparcel, we aim to simplify parcel delivery, so we’ve compiled 20 more terms to help decipher the shipping jargon!

1. AWB (air waybill)

An air waybill (a consignment note, dispatch note or waybill) is the documentation printed and attached to a shipment. It provides essential information for the sender, and the barcode is used for tracking and identification.

2. Bulk Services

Bulk services are international packet services that do not include a collection. Once you activate bulk rates in your Account Settings, bulk services may be available when quoting for international parcels. Book and pay for as many packages as you need and attach the shipping label to each package. When you’re ready to send, place each parcel into a larger box and visit the Bulk Collection page to book your UK collection. Booking just one collection can save you money if you regularly ship overseas.

3. Collection

Collection parcel delivery services

A parcel collection service is where a package, or multiple packages, is picked up by the courier driver from your home or business address and delivered to the recipient.

4. Consignment

Each parcel or group of packages sent using an Interparcel service to each delivery address.

5. Customs

Customs is an official organisation responsible for collecting tariffs and controlling the flow of goods into and out of a country. For international shipments, you are required to complete a customs invoice. It is so the country’s customs authority can calculate if any local duties and taxes are due.

6. DDU (Delivery Duty Unpaid)

DDU is where the receiver pays all customs, duties and fees after the goods have arrived in the destination country. All Interparcel European deliveries are DDU.

7. Drop Off point

A Drop Off point is where you drop off your parcel for collection by the courier. It can be a local convenience store or Post Office. Depending on the carrier, drop-off points are also called Service Points, Retail Locations or ParcelShops.

8. Enhanced Cover

Enhanced cover means an additional level of Transit Cover that tops up the total amount cover, which is purchased at the time of booking. You can increase cover up to £2,000 on certain courier services.


Introduced in July 2021, the Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) is an online portal that simplifies VAT eCommerce obligations. It enables any business sending to a consumer (up to the value of £135) to prepay VAT to a third party.

10. Prohibited item

Prohibited items

A Prohibited Item must not be sent through any of our courier services because it might be banned or could be dangerous. Examples include tobacco products, pornographic items and perishable goods. Attempting to send any of these items may result in prosecution, heavy fines and imprisonment.

11. Reason For Export

Providing a ‘Reason For Export’ is essential information on a commercial invoice because it affects how much tax can be applied to a consignment. The ‘Reason For Export’ could be because it’s a Gift, Sale, Sample, Repair, Return, Document or Personal Effect.

12. Restricted item

A Restricted Item means an item strongly recommended not to send using an Interparcel service. This could be because it’s fragile and more prone to damage.

13. Rule Manager

Rule Manager

Rule Manager is a time-saving tool designed to automate the shipping process - created by Interparcel and available to all account holders for free. Create and manage rules that control how your shipments are imported by setting your conditions and actions.

14. Shipment value

Shipment value means the declared value of your goods. It should be as accurate as possible.

15. SKU (stock-keeping unit)

Used in inventory management, SKU is a unit of measure in which material stocks are managed.

16. Surcharge

A surcharge is an additional administrative charge from the carriers that is payable to you in addition to the carriage fees. They are not penalties imposed by Interparcel. You might incur a surcharge if the consignment is not as described, the parcel was not available for collection, etc.

17. Tax Status

On a customs invoice, you need to state your tax status. You have three options: Private Individual, Company (not VAT registered) or Company (VAT registered).

18. Tracking number

Tracking number

Your tracking number starts with GB followed by 10 digits, e.g., GB1234567890. You need your tracking number to check the progress of your parcel delivery on our website.

19. Volumetric weight

Volumetric weight refers to the space that a package occupies in relation to its weight. You can calculate volumetric weight by multiplying the length, width and height and dividing the result by the dimensional weight divisor.

20. Voucher codes

Vouchers issued by us that may be redeemed against your order. A percentage or value reduces the price of your booking.

Send a parcel with Interparcel today!

We hope the above list helps you understand common eCommerce references and parcel delivery terminology. We aim to make the booking process as easy and quick as possible so you can concentrate on other areas of your business.

With a free Interparcel Account, you’ll gain access to many time-saving tools and features, such as:

Enter your parcel details online for an instant list of reputable courier services at affordable prices. If you require assistance with your booking, you can contact Customer Services seven days a week!

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