What do ETD, ETA, ATD, CRD and TT mean?

Update date:
21 May 2024
Date of publication:
30 May 2023
Reading time: 3 minutes
Rail transport of containers from China

Table of contents:

In the world of transport, it is extremely important to be fluent in terms that are used as the daily bread of the transport industry before loading or after unloading goods. Often, a situation may arise where our business partner uses one of the following phrases and we do not quite know what it means in practice. It is worth here take a moment and focus a little on this topic so that nothing can surprise us any more. All names are given in English, with an explanation next to them. 

What is the difference between an ETD and an ETA ?

ETD → Estimated / Expected Time of Departure) - in practice, this means the expected date of departure of the ship, train or, in the case of air transport, the departure of our goods. This gives us an exact date for the departure of the cargo. 

Often, in conversations with our logistics partners, we may ask what the ETD is for the cargo i.e. in this case when our ship, train or plane will set sail.

ETA > (Estimated / Expected Time of Arrival) → in this case, this term informs us what the planned arrival time of the sea, rail or air transport is. Of course, the arrival time given assumes the expected arrival time of the cargo. 

During transports we can ask our business partners when the ETA of the cargo is planned, this can change along the way.

In addition, the following concepts can still be encountered:

ATD > ( Actual Time of Departure ) → In the case where the ETD is the scheduled departure, departure or departure time of our cargo then the ATD specifies the exact time when the cargo set off. In the case where the logistics company gives us the ETD time it is only the expected departure time of our cargo. As in transport is sometimes delayed and that is why the term ATD was created, to report when the transport actually goes out.

What does CRD mean? 

CRD > ( Cargo Readiness Date ) -> i.e. the so-called readiness of the cargo , in contacts with our logistics and trading partners this abbreviation will refer to the date on which the cargo will be ready for dispatch.

What does TT mean? 

TT > ( Transit Time ) -> The concept defines what is the transport time that a cargo will drive, sail or fly to its destination. It defines the time from the departure of the means of transport i.e. ATD to arrival at the rail or air terminal or port. It does not include the time from the readiness of the cargo to the delivery of the goods to the place of departure. 

It does not include the time when the goods are collected from our shipper and awaiting shipment, nor does it include the time of delivery from the air, rail or port terminal directly to our address.

Below is an illustration, just to make it a little easier.

All concepts presented will apply to both sea, rail and air freight

Transit time per transport:

In all these types, you have to add the time it takes to deliver the cargo to the place of shipment and the time it takes to clear customs and deliver the cargo once it arrives in Poland. This is time that unfortunately we cannot speed up.

In the case of air transport, the goods must be delivered to the airport usually 2-3 days before arrival, a time not included in the transit time quoted by the companies.

In the case of the railways, cargo must be at the terminal usually seven days in advance of the scheduled departure date before departure.

For sea transport, it all depends on the shipowner chosen, but it is assumed that the container must arrive at the sea terminal 3 to 7 days in advance. Always ask when the CUT-OFF is for a container / cargo. This date represents the final time at which the container/cargo must be delivered to the port in order to make it to the planned departure. If we fail to produce, we may be charged an additional fee.

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