Glossary of Moving Terms

We put together this glossary of common terms used throughout the moving industry. Remember, if you have any questions contact your personal Move Counselor.  

Accessorial (Additional) Services Services such as packing, appliance servicing, unpacking, you request to be performed (or are necessary because of landlord requirements or other special circumstances). Charges for these services are in addition to the transportation charges.

Additional Transportation Charge (ATC)
This regionally adjusted charge compensates the carrier for services performed in areas where the labor rates are higher than the national average. It also compensates the carrier for additional costs incurred due to traffic congestion and added time traveling to an area for pickup or for delivery.

Advanced Charges
Charges for services of others engaged by an agent or the carrier at your request. These charges are advanced to your bill of lading charges. For example; having a pool table dismantled by 3rd Party Service provider is an advanced charge.

Agent
A local moving company authorized to act on behalf of a larger, national company.

Appliance Service
The preparation of major electrical appliances to make them safe for shipment.

Auxiliary Service (Shuttle)
If the assigned over-the-road van is unable to make a normal pickup/delivery because of physical constraints and a second, smaller, vehicle is needed, this is considered Auxiliary Service (a shuttle). Examples of such physical constraints include situations such as a road or driveway that is too narrow, a bridge unable to support the weight of the van, and the inability to park the moving van within a reasonable distance of the pickup or the delivery residence. Charges for the second, smaller, vehicle are assessed on an hourly basis, in addition to charges for the extra labor involved in making the pickup with the shuttle truck.

Bill of Lading
This is your contract with the carrier. It is your receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation. Your signature acknowledges that your goods have been loaded on the moving van and released to the carrier.

Binding Estimate
A binding estimate is an agreement made in advance with the mover that guarantees the total cost of the move based on the quantities and services shown on the estimate. Also see Non-Binding Estimate.

Binding, Not-to-Exceed/ Guaranteed, Not-to-Exceed 
This is generally considered the best type of estimate for consumers.  The estimate guarantees that clients won’t pay more than the estimated moving costs, but if their actual moving costs are less than the estimate, they will be billed the lesser amount.

Booking Agent
The agent who accepts the order for your move and registers it with the van line. The booking agent may, or may not, also act as your origin or your destination agent.

Bulky Article
Items such as cars, boats, snowmobiles and campers usually carry a bulky article charge to compensate the carrier for the difficulty of loading and unloading such articles, and their unusual bulk or low weight density. In some cases, an additional weight additive is applicable.

Carrier
The company providing transportation for your household goods and on whose interstate or intrastate operating authority the shipment is moved.

Claim
Shipper's statement of loss or damage to any of his or her household goods while they were in the care of the carrier or its agent. Such a statement is generally made on a Claim Form.

C.O.D. (Cash On Delivery)
Shipments where customer pays moving charges at the time of delivery. For C.O.D. shipments, payment is required in cash, or by traveler's check, cashier's check or credit card (pending a prior credit card approval process). Personal checks are not accepted for payment of C.O.D. charges.

Consignee
The person to whom the shipment is to be delivered.

Consignor
The person from whom the shipment picked up from.

CP (Carrier Packed)
Articles packed into cartons or crates by the carrier, not the shipper.

Cwt.
This abbreviation stands for the rate or charge per 100 pounds.

Declared Valuation
The shipper's indication of the value declared for the possessions being shipped, thereby establishing the carrier's maximum liability for loss or damage to the shipment. If no value is declared, the liability is then controlled by the tariff under which the shipment is moved.

Destination Agent
The agent designated in the destination area to be available to assist or provide information to you or the van operator regarding your shipment.

Elevator Carry
A charge to compensate the carrier for the additional labor required to move a shipment by way of an elevator.

Estimate
A professional assessment as to the van space requirements, weight of your household goods and cost of the move determined by the physical visual inspection of a shipment by a representative of the carrier. Also see Binding and Non-Binding Estimates.

Expedited Service
A program which, for an additional charge, allows a specific delivery date to be requested. If the date is not met, only standard charges apply.

Extra Stop (Extra Pickup or Delivery)
If a van operator is required to make an extra stop at either origin or destination (other than the main pickup or delivery points) an extra charge is assessed - the charge is determined by the tariff.

Flight Charge (Stair Carry)
An extra charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs.

Full Value Replacement Protection
A valuation program which does not incorporate depreciation as a factor in settling claims for loss or damage.

Guaranteed Pickup and Delivery Service
An additional level of service whereby dates of service are guaranteed, with the mover providing reimbursement for delays. This premium service is often subject to minimum weight requirements.

High Value Article
Items included in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound.

Inventory
The list itemizing the goods (and their condition) that you have released to the carrier.

Intrastate move
A move that does not cross state boundary, typically over 50 miles. See Interstate move or Local move.

Interstate move
A move which crosses a state boundary regardless of the amount of miles. See Intrastate Move or Local move.

Linehaul Charge
The tariff transportation charge to move your shipment from point of origin to its final point of destination.

Local move
A move within a state, typically 50 miles or less. See Intrastate move or Interstate move.

Long Carry (Distance Carry)
A charge assessed when a shipment must be moved more than 75 feet from the rear of the moving van to the entrance of the residence.

Non-Binding Estimate
A non-binding estimate is the carrier's approximation of the cost based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. A non-binding estimate is not binding on the carrier and the final charges will be based on the actual weight and tariff provisions in effect.  The actual bill may be more or less than the estimate.

Operating Authority
Certification issued by a state or federal governmental entity authorizing a carrier to move household goods between designated geographical areas. A van line's agent may also have its own separate operating authority issued by a state or federal governmental entity, to move shipments within a certain geographical area.

Order For Service
The document authorizing the carrier to transport your household goods.

Order For Service Number
The number used to identify your shipment. It appears in the upper right corner of the Bill of Lading and on the Order for Service.

Origin Agent
The agent designated in the origin area to be available for preliminary readying of the shipment before movement (such as packing cartons), or to provide information to you regarding your move.

Overflow
Articles that are left behind due to insufficient space on a van, to be loaded on a second van for transportation and delivery.

Peak Season Rates
Higher linehaul charges that are applicable during the summer months.

Pickup and Delivery Charges
A separate transportation charge applicable for transporting your shipment between the SIT warehouse and your residence.

PBO (Packed By Owner)
Articles packed into cartons or crates by the shipper, not the carrier.

Re-weigh
Second weighing of shipment performed at destination at the shipper's or the carrier's request.

Shipper
The person (customer) whose goods are being moved.

Shuttle Service
The use of a smaller vehicle to provide service to residences that are not accessible to the mover's normal linehaul equipment.

Short Haul
A move that takes place under 450 miles. Short hauls are (generally) performed with straight trucks, although tractor-trailers are often employed to complete large short haul moves.

Storage In Transit (S.I.T.)
Temporary storage of your household goods in the warehouse of the carrier's agent, pending further transportation.

Straight Truck
A truck, generally one half the size and capacity of a tractor-trailer. Straight trucks are single cab and body vehicles (as opposed to a tractor-trailer on which the cab can be separated from the trailer).

Survey
The booking or origin agent examines (i.e.: surveys, or visually inspects) the shipper's goods to develop a cost estimate.

Tariff
The carrier's provisions, including rates, for services performed during the course of moving a shipment.

Third Party Services
Services performed by someone other than the carrier at your request or as required by federal, state or local law.

Unpacking
The removal of your goods from containers (boxes) and crates, and the disposal of such containers and packing materials.

Valuation
Shipper's declaration of the value declared for the possessions being shipped, thereby establishing the carrier's maximum liability for loss or damage to the shipment. If no value is declared, the liability is then controlled by the tariff under which the shipment was moved.

Van
A term used by movers to indentify all types and kinds of trucks used for moving.

Van Operator
The driver of the vehicle carrying your household goods.

Warehouse Handling
An additional charge applicable each time SIT service is provided. This charge compensates the mover for the physical placement and removal of items within the warehouse.

Contact The Move Advocate Like The Move Advocate on Facebook!