Mexico Intermodal Glossary

A-B

Agave-Pacific Star
Discontinued ramp-to-ramp all-rail service with the FXE that offered intermodal service in rail and shipper furnished trailers between the West Coast and Mexico ramps in Mexico City, DF (Pantaco) and Guadalajara, JA. This all-rail service was consolidated under one product name - Mexico Direct.

Authorized Mexican Motor Carrier (AMMC)
Mexican motor carriers that have contractual transportation rates with UPCS to bring a unit from Nuevo Laredo, TM to its final destination in Mexico (south) or pick up a unit Mexico and bring to the border.

Automated Manifest System (AMS)
U.S. Customs' computer system which electronically processes bonds and entry numbers.

Aztec Eagle
Discontinued ramp-to-ramp all-rail service with the TFM that offered intermodal service in rail and shipper furnished trailers between U.S./Canadian and Mexico ramps in Mexico City, DF (Pantaco); Queretaro, QA; Monterrey, NL; Guadalajara, JA and San Luis Potosi, SL. This all-rail service was consolidated under one product name - Trans-Border.

Beneficial Owner
The actual owner of the lading that is being shipped. The IMC negotiates transportation services and rates on behalf of the beneficial owner.

Bill of Lading
A shipping form which is both a receipt for property and a contract for delivery of goods by a carrier.

Blocking and Bracing (B&B)
Wood, metal or other approved support devices to prevent product movement when loaded in or on railcars, containers and trailers

Bonded Warehouse
A warehouse owned by persons approved by the Treasury Department, an under bond or guarantee for the strict observance of the revenue laws; utilized for storing goods until duties are paid or goods are otherwise properly released.

Border Service
A domestic ramp-to-ramp service in containers or trailers, rail or private, between several U.S./Canadian ramp points and four Mexico gateways located at El Paso, Laredo and Rio Valley, TX; plus Tucson, AZ.

Bridge and Transfer (B&T)
Transportation of the unit over the border.

Broker
An individual who acts as an agent for a customer, who is attempting to route a car to a customer in Mexico or Canada. Equipment destined to a locale in Mexico is billed only to the border. At that time a broker, in cooperation with a broker in Mexico, prepares the proper paperwork which allows the car to cross the border and proceed to its destination.

Bundled Product/Rate
Term used to describe an intermodal product for which an allotment of "free days" or relief of per diem is built into the line haul rate.

C

CN
Canadian National

COFC
Container on flat car

CPRS
Canadian Pacific Railway

Cargo Selectivity
Random process utilized by Mexican Customs which determines whether the shipment is inspected by Customs personnel (red light) or released without inspection (green light).

Carte de Encomenda
The Mexican power of attorney form

Certificate of Origin
A certified document as to the origin of the goods which is sometimes required in connection with foreign traffic.

Commercial Invoice
Completed and signed by the shipper with the following descriptions:

  • U.S. port of entry (where the duties will be paid)
  • Seller/manufacturer name, address and contact
  • Consignee name, address and contact
  • Invoice date and type of transaction (F.O.B., Mexican border or mid-bridge, etc.)
  • Packing List or merchandise description in English, including:
    • Item name
    • Grade quality of each item
    • Marks, numbers and symbols under which sold
    • Marks and number of packages
    • A review of any additional specific information needed for each item
  • Total number of items (e.g. pallets, packages, etc.)
  • Purchase price (type of currency specified)
  • U.S. dollar equivalent to purchase price
  • Freight, insurance, commission and packaging charges itemized by name and amount
  • Rebates, drawbacks, bounties or discounts
  • Country of origin, by item if necessary
  • Assists: raw materials, components or machinery, etc. used in production
  • Unit number

Commodity
Any article of commerce. Goods shipped.

Competitive Rate
Rate published to meet the competition of another carrier.

Connecting Carrier
A carrier that has a direct physical connection with another or forming a connecting link between two or more carriers.

Consignee
The individual or organization to which freight is shipped.

Consignor
The individual or organization shipping freight to a consignee.

Containers
A receptacle that resembles a truck trailer without wheel (chassis) that is lifted onto flat cars. Containers are designed for all modes of intermodal transport. Containers are 20, 40, 45, 48 or 53 feet in length.

Corporate Logistics Mexico (CLM)
TFM's logistics provider which performs the Mexican drayage on Trans-Border door service.

Customs Duties
Amount payable to the government on goods imported or exported.

Customs Form 7512 (Transportation Entry and Manifest of Goods Subject to Customs Inspection and Permit)
The basic document for in-bond shipments prepared at origin and sent with the shipment to destination where the carrier presents it to U.S. Customs.

Customs Tariff Schedule
Charges assessed by the government on imports or exports.

D-E

Delivery
Drayage from the destination intermodal ramp to the receiver's facility.

Detention
A charge made on trailers/containers held by or for a consignor/consignee for loading or unloading, forwarding directions, or any other purpose, beyond the specified free-time, if any.

Destination Ramp
The railroad terminal that a unit will go to, to be picked up by truck for delivery.

Door-to-ramp
A movement of lading from the customer's front door (dock) to the destination intermodal ramp closest to the receiver.

Double Stack
The movement of containers on articulated rail cars which enable the one container to be stacked on another container for better ride quality and car utilization.

Double Stack Services (DSS)
UP's freight forwarder on Trans-Border service

Drayage The over-the-road movement of a container or trailer to or from the railroad intermodal terminal to or from the customer's facility for loading or unloading.

Drayman
A person employed to pick up or drop off a container or trailer at an intermodal terminal.
Drop and Pull (D&P) - drayman drops loaded or unloaded unit at shipper or receiver and hooks up to unit which was previously dropped and returns it to the ramp.

DSS Shipment Information Form
A request for specific information from DSS to the shipper/IMC.

Duties
Fees assessed by U.S. and/or Mexican Customs on imports and exports. Also known as Customs duties.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
The process of sending and retrieving information electronically, i.e. bills of lading, freight bills, etc.

EMHU
Containers in the EMP program which are 53 feet in length. While EMRUs and EMHUs are both 53 feet in length, the height on the EMHUs is greater than that of the EMRU.

EMP Containers (EMP)
A domestic interline container service offered by Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern. Also included in the program are agent railroads such Iowa Interstate, Wisconsin Central, Canadian Pacific, Canadian National and Kansas City Southern. EMP provides a fleet of nearly 25,000 48' and 53' domestic containers and chassis that may move throughout a large network. All EMP program units are stenciled EMPU, EMRU or EMHU.

EMPU
Containers in the EMP program which are 48 feet in length.

EMRU
Containers in the EMP program which are 53 feet in length. While EMRUs and EMHUs are both 53 feet in length, the height on the EMHUs is greater than that of the EMRU.

Entry Number
An official U.S. Customs document that is utilized for the determination and payment of applicable duties and as proof of the legal importation of the goods into the U.S.

Equipment Interchange Agreement (EIA)
Agreement between a railroad and a drayage company that allows a specific drayage company to drop off or pick up railroad or private intermodal equipment at the said railroad's facilities. Also known as an Equipment Interchange Agreement.

Export
Goods moving to another country from the U.S.

F-G

FAK
Freight of all kinds

Fianza Permit
A permit is required to move U.S. equipment to Mexico for a specified period of time (30 days).

Free-time
The period allowed the owner to accept delivery before storage or detention charges begin to accrue.

Freight Bill
Statements containing commodity and payment information.

Freight Forwarder
One who assembles small shipments into one large shipment which is then tendered to a regulated over the road carrier. Upon reaching destination, the shipment is separated into small shipments and delivered.

FXE
Ferrocarril Mexicano railroad

Gateway
A point through which freight commonly moves from one territory or carrier to another.

Golden Triangle
Area in Mexico located between Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mexico City which most of the freight moves to and from and contains 80% of the Mexican population.

H-I-J

Hazardous Material
Substance or combination their of which, because of its quantity, concentration, physical or chemical characteristics, may cause or significantly pose a substantial hazard to human health or the environment when improperly packaged, stored, transported, or otherwise managed.

Hazardous STCC
A commodity code for materials which are explosive, flammable, radioactive, or corrosive. Because they can be extremely dangerous in the event of an accident, their movement is highly regulated. Any commodities officially classified as hazardous are assigned a STCC number that begins with 49.

Immediate Exportation (IE)
An entry, which allows foreign merchandise arriving in the U.S. port to be transported in-bond through the U.S. and then exported immediately from the same U.S. port without the payment of duties.

Immediate Transportation (IT)
An entry, which allows foreign merchandise arriving at a U.S. port to be transported in-bond to another U.S. port, where the broker or importer will file an entry.

Import
Goods moving to the U.S. from another country

In-bond
When lading clears Customs at the ultimate destination instead of at the border.

In-bond Documentation Fee
Fee charged for processing in-bond documentation.

In-gate
The process of checking a container or trailer into the intermodal facility. The ingate process includes inspection of the unit, reservation confirmation, the input of data into Union Pacific's computer system and the filling out of the J-1.

Interchange
The exchange of railcars, trailers or containers between connecting railroads or to a drayman, consignee or consignor.

Intermodal
Transport of freight by two or more modes of transportation. Examples are: ship-rail, rail-truck.

Intermodal Terminal
A railroad facility designed for the loading and unloading of containers and trailers to and from flat cars for movement on the railroad and subsequent movement on the street or highway.

Intermodal Marketing Company (IMC)
IMCs purchase rail and truck transportation services, utilize equipment from multiple sources, and provide other value-added services under a single freight bill to the ultimate shipper.

International Customer Service Center (ICSC)
UP's customer service support in Laredo to oversee all communication for Mexico operations.

IVA
A tax imposed by the Mexican government and assessed by the MCB on transportation costs in Mexico. Also under Mexican IVA taxes.

J-1
A report generated during the ingate and outgate process. The J-1 details damage to the unit (if any), container information, shipping information, drayman involved and time of ingate/outgate.

L-M

Lift
The process of moving a container or trailer to and/or from a rail car.

Live Load/Unload
When a drayman stays with a container or trailer while being loaded or unloaded.

Manifest
A document containing a complete description of the contents of a container or trailer, as well as the number of bundles, weight, equipment number and entry number.

Mexican Customs Broker (MCB)
Ensures the customer in Mexico imports or exports the commodity under the proper classification as specified by the Mexican Customs tariff and pays the proper duties to the Mexican government

Mexican IVA Tax
A tax imposed by the Mexican government and assessed by the MCB on transportation costs in Mexico

Mexico Direct
An all-rail, seamless Intermodal service between U.S. and Canada and major Mexican markets.

Misuse Charge
A misuse charge is a penalty imposed by the railroads for taking a unit out of one metro area and returning the unit to another metro area empty or loaded. For example, if a unit outgates in Detroit and ingates empty or loaded to Chicago, a misuse charge will occur. These charges are determined by participating railroads and can be changed at any time.

N-O-P

National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
UP's customer service support to oversee all communication for domestic operations.

North American Rail Link (NARL)
Transportation between U.S./Canada and Mexico via UP.

Notify Party
The party (as stipulated by the shipper) that is notified at the time a container or trailer is grounded from a train. Most notify parties are draymen.

NS
Norfolk Southern

Origin Ramp
The railroad terminal that a unit is brought to for rail transportation.

OutReach Program
A rail-truck or truck-rail movement in which Union Pacific has combined the rail and drayage into a single transportation package for EMP containers. Containers are shipped via rail from one terminal to another. After that, a contracted drayage firm drays the container to the paper ramp operator's lot for customer pickup. The process also works reverse as well, shipment can originate with the truck movement and then move to the rail portion of the movement. Also referred to as the OutReach Program.

OTR
Refers to movement by a truck over the road.

Packing List
A detailed specification as to goods packed into a container or trailer.

Paper Ramp
A rail-truck or truck-rail movement in which Union Pacific has combined the rail and drayage into a single transportation package for EMP containers. Containers are shipped via rail from one terminal to another. After that, a contracted drayage firm drays the container to the paper ramp operator's lot for customer pick-up. The process also works reverse as well, shipment can originate with the truck movement and then move to the rail portion of the movement. Also referred to as the OutReach Program.

Passport Commercial Zone
Geographical area of commercial influence of a specified point.

Passport Mexican Equipment Order Form
Form completed by the shipper/IMC and submitted to UPCS to request equipment for northbound shipments.

Passport Number
A number provided by UPCS for first-time which allows UPCS to minimize delays at the border and expedite the delivery (southbound) and pick-up (northbound) in Mexico.

Passport Number Request Form
A form completed by the customer and submitted to UPCS that provides specific shipment information, such as name and address data for the shipper, receiver, notify party, USFF and MCB, as well as the commodity, equipment, rate, etc.

Pedimento
Official Mexican Customs document that is utilized for declaration of commodities and calculation of duties if applicable and as proof of the legal importation of the goods. It is equivalent to the U.S. formal entry summary.

Per Diem
Charge based on a fixed rate per day which a carrier makes against another carrier or customer for use of its containers or trailers.

Pick-up
Drayage from the shipper's facility to the origin intermodal ramp.

Port of Entry
A port at which foreign goods are admitted into the receiving country. Ports of entry are officially designated by the government.

Pre-file
Presentation to U.S. Customs, at the port of entry, of all required documentation for entry of goods into the U.S., prior to the actual arrival of the goods to the U.S.

Private Equipment
Equipment whose ownership is vested in a person or company that is not engaged in the service of common carriage.

Power of Attorney
A form completed by the U.S. shipper and submitted to DSS showing DSS as the true and lawful forwarding agent for export control and filing of the SED with U.S. Customs for southbound traffic.

R-S

Ramp
Slang word for an intermodal terminal. Ramps were originally structures, permanent or temporary, from which trailers or machinery are driven onto or off of a railroad flatcar.

Ramp-to-Door
A movement of lading from the intermodal ramp closest to the customer to the receivers from door (dock).

Ramp-to-Ramp
A movement of lading from the intermodal ramp closest to the customer to the closest intermodal ramp to the receiver.

Rate Authority
A private contract issued to Union Pacific Intermodal customers that lists rates for specific origin and destination pairs. Also includes restrictions and provisions for the application of those rates (a.k.a. SCQ).

Receiver
The individual or organization to which freight is shipped.

Red Customs Seal
High security seal which numbers are registered with the Mexican Treasury Department (Secretaria de Hacienda) that are utilized to secure the cargo doors of in-bond shipments.

Red Light/Green Light Inspection
Slang that is used when one refers to the random cargo selectivity process utilized by Mexican Customs which determines whether the shipment is inspected by Customs personnel (red light) or released without inspection (green light).

Restricted Commodity
Articles that will be accepted by carriers only under certain definite conditions.

REZ-1
An independent agent that handles all reservations and billing functions for EMP customers with a centralized system to manage assets through the internet. REZ-1 also handles UP trailer reservations for selected points.

RFC (Registro Federal de Contribuyentes)
This is the federal tax identification number issued by the Mexican government to registered companies or individuals, the number is made up by taking the first, second and third letters of the company's or person's name plus the date they incorporated their business (companies) or the date of their birth (individuals).

Rule 11
A railroad accounting term which refers to a customer shipping their freight "pre-paid" to an intermediate point and "collect" beyond that intermediate point to the final destination.

SAGAR Permit
A permit issued by the Mexican agency equivalent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Secretaria de Agricultura Ganaderia y Desarrollo Rural.

Seal
A device for fastening or locking the doors of a rail car, container or trailer. This is done for security and integrity of the shipment.

Secretaria de Hacienda
The Mexican Ministry of Finance

Service Code
A number assigned to each move which shows the service provided (eg. ramp-to-ramp, ramp-to-door, door-to-ramp).

Shipper
The individual or organization shipping freight to a consignee.

Shippers Export Declaration (SED)
An official U.S. Census form required by law (for trade statistics data) to be filled out when goods are shipped to foreign countries. All essential facts such as weight, size, value etc. must be given

Special Commodity Quote (SCQ)
A private contract issued to Union Pacific Intermodal customers that lists rates for specific origin and destination pairs. Also includes restrictions and provisions for the application of those rates.

Standard Transportation Commodity Code (STCC)
The STCC system is a 7 digit coding structure designed to classify all commodities or articles which move or may move in freight transportation.

Streamline Passport
The Streamline Passport program is a door-to-door intermodal freight transportation solution for customers throughout Mexico, backed by the industry's largest intermodal container fleet and Streamline's extensive drayage network. Streamline Passport shipments clear customs at the border and are serviced to and from Union Pacific's border terminals, including Laredo and El Paso, TX; and Nogales, AZ with drayage in and out of Mexico.

Street Interchange
A street interchange transfers financial responsibility of a unit from one IMC to another on a date and time that is specified by the drayage firm in control of that container or by an IMC that has financial responsibility for that particular container.

Storage Charge
A charge made on property stored.

System Equipment
Equipment owned or leased by a railroad. Each railroad considers their own equipment as system equipment.

T-U-V

Terminal
Facilities provided by a railway at a terminal or at an intermediate point on its line from the handling of passengers or freight; and for the breaking up, making up, forwarding and servicing trains, and interchanging with other carriers.

TFM
Transportacioin Ferroviaria Mexicana

Through Rate
A rate applicable from origin to destination over two or more rail carriers.

TOFC
Trailer on flat car

Trailer
A rectangular shaped box with permanent wheels attached for the transport of goods on rail, highway or a combination of both.

Transito Interno
Official Mexican Customs form used to document the movement of merchandise from the entry point to the interior Mexico destination under bond (equivalent to U.S. T&E).

Transportation & Exportation (T&E)
An entry, which allows foreign merchandise arriving in the U.S. port to be transported in-bond through the U.S. and then exported from another U.S. port without the payment of duties.

Transportation Bond
Assurance provided by a transportation company to the shipper and U.S. government that entry has been provided to Customs, the goods are properly classified and duties have been scheduled to be paid

Union Pacific Carrier Services (UPCS)
A logistics company which coordinates the local delivery on southbound loads, as well as the B&T service to the AMMC. On northbound shipments, UPCS will locate equipment for the IMC and coordinate the pick-up in addition to monitoring and coordinating the B&T at the border.

Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
The largest railroad in North America, operating in the western two-thirds of the U.S.

United States Customs Broker (USCB)
A company or individual licensed by the Treasury Department to act on behalf of importers/exporters in handling U.S. Customs transactions.

United States Freight Forwarder (USFF)
One who assembles small shipments into one large shipment which is then tendered to a regulated over the road carrier. Upon reaching destination, the shipment is separated into small shipments and delivered.

UP de Mexico
UP's logistics provider that can organize the Mexican drayage on Trans-Border ramp-to-ramp service.

UP de Mexico Drayage Pre-notification Form
A form completed by the IMC and submitted to UP de Mexico to request drayage service from UP de Mexico when utilizing Trans-Border ramp-to-ramp service.

V-Bond Number
An electronic number generated by the border crossing carrier through AMS and provided to U.S. Customs when the unit is manifested.