Trade Terms

F.O.B. — Free On Board

Extract from USDA web site (

"F.O.B." means that the commodity is placed "free on board" the carrier at shipping point in suitable shipping condition, and that the buyer assumes all risk of damage and delay in transit not caused by the seller. This means, for example, that if a load is wrecked or stolen in transit, the buyer must pay the invoice price to the seller and file a claim with the carrier to recover damages. Under F.O.B. terms, the seller guarantees that the product, when loaded onto the carrier, is in "Suitable Shipping Condition."

The term in the lumber industry originated when some mills began to ship via rail. They would F.O.B. a rail car at the closest rail siding. This means the mill (the seller) would get it loaded onto the rail car and pay for all charges (shipping and handling) related to getting it loaded. Once loaded, the receiver would be responsible for all freight charges, insurance, damage, etc... Sometimes they would F.O.B. the siding, which means they would only pay to get it to the siding and not loaded onto a rail car, ship, truck, etc...


C.O.D. — Cash-on-delivery

Extract from web site (

Cash-on-delivery is when the customer pays for merchandise when it is delivered, instead of upfront.


C.O.E. — Coefficient of Expansion

Extract from the book "The Fused Glass Handbook" by Gil Reynolds:

The measured expansion of heated glass based on the percentage of change of a glass rod heated one degree centigrade.