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Logistic Glossary – Letter M

Machine Downtimes

Time during which a machine cannot be utilized. Machine downtimes may occur during breakdowns, maintenance, changeovers, etc.

Macro Environment

The environment external to a business, including technological, economic, natural, and regulatory forces that marketing efforts cannot control.

Maintenance, Repair, and Operating Supplies (MRO)

Items used in support of general operations and maintenance, such as maintenance supplies, spare parts, and consumables used in the manufacturing process and supporting operations.

Major Carrier

A for-hire certificated air carrier that has annual operating revenues of $1 billion or more; the carrier usually operates between major population centers.

Make to Order (Manufacture to Order)

A manufacturing process strategy where the trigger to begin manufacture of a product is an actual customer order or release rather than a market forecast. For make-to-order products, more than 20% of the value added takes place after the receipt of the order or release, and all necessary design and process documentation is available at the time of order receipt.

Make to Stock (Manufacture to Stock)

A manufacturing process strategy where finished product is continually held in plant or warehouse inventory to fulfill expected incoming orders or releases based on a forecast.

Make-or-Buy Decision

The act of deciding whether to produce an item internally or buy it from an outside supplier. Factors to consider in the decision include costs, capacity availability, proprietary and/or specialized knowledge, quality considerations, skill requirements, volume, and timing.

Management of All Logistics

The effective management of all costs associated with logistics functions and activities so as to minimize their sum across the product supply chain.


A document which describes individual orders contained within a shipment.

Manufacture Cycle Time

The average time between commencement and completion of a manufacturing process, as it applies to make-to-stock products.

Manufacturer's Representative

One who sells goods for several firms but does not take title to them.

Manufacturing Calendar

A calendar used in inventory and production planning functions that consecutively numbers only the working days so that the component and work order scheduling may be done based on the actual number of workdays available. Synonyms M-Day Calendar, Planning Calendar, Production Calendar, Shop Calendar

Manufacturing Lead Time

The total time required to manufacture an item, exclusive of lower-level purchasing lead time. For make-to-order products, it's the length of time between the release of an order to the production process and shipment to the final customer. For make-to-stock products, it's the length of time between the release of an order to the production process and receipt into finished goods inventory. Included are order preparation time, queue time, set-up time, run time, move time, inspection time, and put-away time. Synonym Manufacturing Cycle Time.

Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP-II)

A method for the effective planning of all resources of a manufacturing company. Ideally, it addresses operational planning in units, financial planning in dollars, and has a simulation capability to answer what-if questions. It consists of a variety of processes, each linked together business planning, production planning (sales and operations planning), master production scheduling, material requirements planning, capacity requirements planning, and the execution support systems for capacity and material. Output from these systems is integrated with financial reports, such as business plan, purchase commitment report, shipping budget, and inventory projections in dollars. Manufacturing resource planning is a direct outgrowth and extension of closed-loop MRP.

Marginal Cost

The cost to produce one additional unit of output. The change in total variable cost resulting from a one-unit change in output.

Marine Cargo Insurance - Average

A term in marine cargo insurance signifying loss or damage to merchandise.

Market Demand

In marketing, the total demand that would exist within a defined customer group in a given geographical area during a particular time period given a known marketing program.

Market Dominance

The absence of effective competition for railroads from other carriers and modes for the traffic to which the rail rate applies. The Staggers Act stated that market dominance does not exist if the rate is below the revenue-to-variable-cost ratio of 160 percent in 1981 and 170 percent in 1983.

Market Segment

A group of potential customers sharing some measurable characteristics based on demographics, psychographics, lifestyle, geography, benefits, etc.

Market-Positioned Warehouse

Warehouse positioned to replenish customer inventory assortments and afford maximum inbound transport consolidation economies from inventory origin points with relatively short-haul local delivery.

Master Air Waybill (MAWB)

The bill of lading issued by air carriers to their customers.

Material Acquisition Costs

One of the elements comprising a company's total supply chain management costs. These costs consist of the following

Material Requirements Planning (MRP)

A decision-making methodology used to determine the timing and quantities of materials to purchase.

Materials Management

Inbound logistics from suppliers through the production process. The movement and management of materials and products from procurement through production.

Materials Planning

The materials management function that attempts to coordinate materials supply with materials demand.

Matrix Organizational Structure

An organization structure in which two (or more) channels of command budget responsibility, and performance measurement exist simultaneously. For example, both product and functional forms of organization could be implemented simultaneously; in other words, the product and functional managers have equal authority and employees report to both managers.


Master Air Waybill.

Maximum Order Quantity

An order quantity modifier applied after the lot size has been calculated that limits the order quantity to a pre-established maximum.

Measurement Ton

Forty cubic feet; used in water transportation ratemaking.

Merge In Transit

The process of "merging" shipments from suppliers and going directly to the buyer or to the store, bypassing the seller. A "drop shipment" from several vendors to one buyer.


The combination of two or more carriers into one company that will own, manage, and operate the properties that previously operated separately.


Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES).

Minimum Weight

The shipment weight the carrier's tariff specifies as the minimum weight required to use the TL or CL rate; the rate discount volume.

Mixed Loads

The movement of both regulated and exempt commodities in the same vehicle at the same time.

Modal Split

The relative use that companies make of transportation modes; the statistics include ton-miles, passenger-miles, and revenue.

MRO items

Maintenance, repair, and operating items--office supplies, for example.


See Maintenance, Repair, and Operating Supplies (MRO).


See Material Requirements Planning (MRP).


See Manufacturing Resource Planning.


See Material Safety Data Sheet.


The ability to process orders using a variety of currencies for pricing and billing.


Pertaining to the ability to process orders in many different country-specific languages using voice and text.

Multinational Company

A company that both produces and markets products in different countries.

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