Every day, I continue to learn something new about the online job search process. Today, I learned that truck driving jobs is one of the most competitive niches in the job board business.

“Really?” you ask?

You bet. Here’s why.

When truck drivers finish delivering a local or long haul load, many times they have to head back home, or to another destination. It makes sense, that if they can pick up another load, on their way back, or to their next delivery, to keep the truck full, they can make more money.

Well, welcome to the Internet. Most truck stops are already Wi-fi enabled. Using online job boards, truck drivers can log into the Internet, find a delivery, that needs to be made, pick it up, and take off. It’s actually a pretty unique solution to creating great efficiencies.

So you want to be a trucker, eh? There are some terms you are going to need to know, and having the “lingo” down pat can’t ever hurt in a job interview, or during a networking opportunity. With that in mind, let’s review some of the industry’s common terms.

Motor Carrier- a person or company providing transport of people or goods using commercial vehicles

Shipper- The person “sending” goods using a freight service

Receiver- The person “receiving” goods using a freight service

Consignor- The person who transfers legal responsibility for a load to a carrier

Consignee- The person who takes legal responsibility for a load from a carrier

Freight- The cargo being hauled / handled

BOL (Bill of Lading)/Manifest- A paper 租車司機 document that states the content and nature of the cargo

Intermodal- a description referring to a single container that is transported via multiple means during shipment, i.e. from air to sea to rail to a truck

TSE/Shore Power- Truck Stop Electrification- external power “docks” that allow truckers to operate internal systems such as climate control or television without idling their engines

Deadheading- Operating a truck that isn’t hauling any cargo

OTR (over-the-road)- Any trip longer than the maximum per-day period of 14 hours where the driver doesn’t return to the home location

Terminal- A dock where trucks come and go and freight is sorted

Owner/Operator- a self-employed independent contractor that operates a privately owned or leased truck

Team Drivers- A team of 2 or more drivers that ride in the same truck and drive in shifts so that the truck is essentially always in motion. Usually used when a shipment is time-sensitive or perishable

Dedicated (regular) Route- a driver that transports cargo between 2 or more locations repetitively, usually keeping to a certain schedule.

Irregular Route- a driver who goes anywhere at any time without sticking to a scheduled route

Regional- a Driver who works in a limited geographical area within a certain radius. A regional driver may or may not maintain a regular schedule.

Truckload (TL)- A load of freight consisting mostly of one kind of cargo, usually handled by an Over-The-Road driver