The moving Industry can seem like it uses a different language.
We have compiled a list of 458 moving industry terms, and their definitions, to help the average person understand their paperwork and the terminology used by their Move Coordinator. This is the most complete and comprehensive Moving Terms Dictionary that exists!
[A] Moving Terms
The level of accessibility to the home where the moving company is supposed to pick up or deliver household goods. Various factors increase or decrease the accessibility level such as the available infrastructure in the area, the distance from the home to the parked moving van, the number of stairs to be passed, the availability of a freight elevator, etc.
Fees for services in addition to the basic transportation of household goods.
Accessorial Services or Additional Services
Services such as packing, unpacking, an extra stop, or shuttle that you request. Charges for these services are in addition to the transportation costs.
A structure secondary to the main building on the property.
Actual charges or weight on a shipment.
Actual Cash Value (A.C.V.)
Money equal to the cost of replacing lost, stolen, or damaged property after depreciation.
The total cost of the move from start to finish.
Additional Services Performed at Origin/Destination Service and Delivery Report (A.S.P.O.D.)
A form that serves as proof that additional services were performed at origin and/or destination points. The customer’s signature verifies that the services were completed as stated.
Additional Transportational Charge (A.T.C.)
This 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 the area for pick up or delivery.
An employee who handles and settles claims against the moving company for damage and/or loss of household goods during transit, property damage, and injuries.
Charges for services performed by a third party provider contracted by the moving company at the customer’s request. Third party experts, such as craftsmen and insurance agents, are hired when their advice or services are considered essential for the successful completion of the move. The carrier pays for these extra services and adds the total amount to the Bill of Lading.
An affiliated moving company authorized to act on behalf of the van line. The agent may handle the booking, origin, hailing, and/or destination services.
Agreed Delivery Date (A.D.D.)
Two or more dates mutually agreed upon between the customer and the carrier for the delivery of the shipment.
Agreed Pickup Date (A.P.D.)
The exact time when a shipment is supposed to arrive at the designated destination.
Freight that is moved via air transportation.
Air Cargo Containers
Container designed to conform to the inside of an aircraft.
A service providing the air transportation of goods.
A suspension system made of cylinders filled with compressed air used on trailers and tractors to provide a safer ride than conventional spring suspensions.
Air Waybill (A.W.B.)
A document issued by a carrier to a shipper that supplies written evidence regarding the receipt of goods, the mode of transportation, and the arrangement to deliver goods at the requested destination to the lawful holder of the bill of lading.
Amendment to the Order for Service
A form used to record any changes to the shipment such as additional packing or other services, destination location, valuation, or agreed pickup and delivery dates.
American Moving & Storage Association (A.M.S.A.)
An organization of moving companies dedicated to the mutual interests of the transportation industry.
A.M.S.A. Certified Mover
An interstate carrier that transports your household goods shipment under its own operating authority, granted by the Federal Highway Administration. A.M.S.A. Certified Movers subscribe to the A.M.S.A. Code of Conduct and have pledged to conduct their business in the most efficient and professional manner possible.
A.M.S.A. Certified Van Line
An interstate carrier granted authority by the Federal Highway Administration to ship household goods on a national basis, using a network of agents to provide origin, destination, and hauling services. These van lines subscribe to the A.M.S.A. Code of Conduct to operate their business in the most efficient and professional manner possible and are responsible for the acts of their agents.
Annual Carrier’s Performance Report
A yearly report giving statistics on a carrier’s performance in areas such as estimating, claims settlement, and on-time delivery. At the time of your estimate, you will be given a copy of this report for which you must sign a receipt.
Preparation of appliances to make them safe for transportation. This does not include the disconnecting of plumbing or electrical service.
A wheeled platform that assists in moving heavy household items between the home and the van. It can stand vertically, horizontally, or at an angle.
Independent dispute settlement program.
A notice sent by the carrier that informs the customer of the estimated arrival date of the shipment. An arrival notice on an international move normally indicates where the cargo will be available for customs clearance, pickup, or comparable handling, when free-time will expire, any applicable charges, or any other requirements that must be met prior to release.
The process of taking household goods and furniture apart for transportation and putting them back together again at the destination point.
The amount of cash value assigned to the items in a shipment. When purchasing valuation, the customer will pay a certain amount of money per $1,000 of assessed value to cover the cost of any damaged goods.
Automobile Handling Charge
A charge to the customer, in addition to the weight, for movement of an automobile.
A service provided when a shipment cannot be serviced, picked up, or delivered by a road van, and a smaller unit must be employed for movement to or from the road van. The fee is chargeable to the customer. Also called a Shuttle Service.
Average Transit Time
The average time in shipping from one point to another.
[B] Moving Terms
Bill of Lading
Customer’s receipt for goods and contract for transportation. The customer’s signature acknowledges that the household goods can be loaded on the can and released to the moving company.
Net charges billed.
The weight on which all interstate charges are based.
A binding estimate is an agreement made in advance between the customer and the moving company that guarantees the total cost of the move based on the quantity of items and services shown on the 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 on the day of the load.
A form that allows a van operator or customer to easily check off items as they are delivered. Also called a Check Off Sheet.
Made in good faith without fraud or deceit.
Booking Agent or Booker
The agent that accepts the order for the customer’s move and registers it with the van line. The booking agent may or may not be the origin or destination agent.
Bottom Line Discount (B.L.D.)
This program applies to residential and national account, household goods shipments moving within the U.S. or to or from Canada. Under this pricing option, the charges to the customer are discounted by a single percentage on both the transportation and accessorial charges.
Breach of Contract
The violation or default of a contract due to not performing a particular task.
Any large and awkwardly-shaped items, such as pianos, automobiles, motorcycles, hot tubs, snowmobiles, campers, swing sets, etc. that don’t fit in standard moving boxes and require special packing and handling to ensure safe transportation.
Bulky Article Charge
To ensure safe transportation, some articles included in a shipment require extra handling, and thus, and extra handling charge.
An extra fee by a steamship line when there is an increase in the price of fuel. It is normally assessed as a percentage of the base freight rate.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (A.T.F.)
a federal agency that investigates and controls the importation of alcohol, tobacco products, firearms, and munitions.
[C] Moving Terms
Large metal containers for holding lift vans or loose loaded goods for overseas transport on ships.
Awritten agreement to terminate a sales contract.
If a customer cancels an already confirmed move, they may be charged a cancellation fee for the inconvenience they have caused the carrier.
Freight being transported by air, ship, or vehicle.
A claim filed for damage to household goods being transported by the carrier.
The movement of goods by a carrier.
The moving company providing transportation of household goods under whose Department of Transportation registration the shipment is moved.
The financial liability for loss or damage of goods based on the value placed on the goods.
Boxes/cartons packed by the carrier.
Carrier’s Certificate and Release Order
A document used to advise the U.S. Customs Service of the details of a shipment, including its ownership, point of origin, and number of shipping cases. This document certifies that the party named on the certificate is the true owner or consignee and is, therefore, entitled to file for customs release of the cargo.
Transporting goods to or from storage.
Someone who transports goods within the confines of a port. Also called a Drayman.
Another term for a moving box.
Cash on Delivery (C.O.D.)
Shipments in which the customer pays the moving charges at the time of delivery. For C.O.D. shipments, payment is required in cash, check, money order, or credit card.
Cash paid in a claims settlement for loss or damage to property.
Insurance protecting against a warehouse fire and other catastrophic occurrences.
Carrier Evaluation and Rating System.
Certification of Origin
A document used to determine the country where goods were manufactured or produced.
Certification of Title
A statement issued by a state government verifying ownership and acknowledging liens placed upon any automobile, truck, tractor, or other vehicle.
Certification of Weight
An authoritative statement of the weight of a shipment prepared by a weigh master.
A form used to amend the amount indicated on the original estimate due to the addition or deletion of items to be shipped or services requested by the customer.
Check Off Sheet
A form used by the van operator or customer to mark items as delivered, as they are unloaded. Also called a Bingo Sheet.
Statement of loss, damage, or delay to a household goods shipment while in the care, custody, or control of the carrier or its affiliated agent.
A file containing all documents necessary for the carrier’s claims administration department to process a claim.
Clean Receipt/Clean Bill of Lading
A bill of lading for goods received in apparent good condition with no damage or missing items.
A shipment of non-household goods.
The company that ships a commercial shipment.
The portion of the fees paid for a shipment payable to the origin agent, booking agent, destination agent, or hauler.
When a single shipment completely occupies a van, due to bulk, it is charged on actual weight or 7 pounds per cubic foot of the van, whichever is greater. This does not apply to household goods shipments.
Fulfilling the requirements on shipping documents and papers in accordance with government regulations.
Damage to the contents of a package without apparent damage to the package itself.
An item of value provided with the intent of motivating a person to enter into a contract or to discourage a certain act such as a lawsuit.
The person who receives the shipment at the destination.
The person at origin who arranges for the transportation of the shipment.
The combining of two or more small shipments into one unit between two given points, usually for a rate less than that which would have been assessed against each individual shipment within the consolidation.
Container on Flat Car (C.O.F.C.)
A term used in rail transportation of a steamship container when the container is not mounted on a chassis, requiring special equipment to transfer the container between the flat car and a chassis or flatbed truck.
The use of a standard box, carton, drum, or barrel to transport freight.
Transportation of goods by a carrier under a contract, rather than a tariff.
A means of transportation (car, truck, boat, etc.)
The person who sets up and supervises disposition of shipments and coordinates shipments between the origin agent, destination agent, van operator, and the carrier.
An invoice correcting charges and/or rates on the original invoice.
An additional person to sign a legal document, thus becoming jointly responsible for fulfilling the obligations under the contract.
Cost of Living Allowance
In relation to corporate relocation, money provided to an employee for the completion of certain repairs or improvements to a home or for expenses incurred while moving to a new location with higher living costs.
The process of packing certain delicate or valuable items in a custom-built wooden crate to ensure better protection during shipment.
Staff in charge of supervising other crew members on the job.
Country of Origin
The country in which a product is manufactured, produced, or grown rather than the country from which it is shipped.
A measurement of the capacity of cubic space of a truck or container. The industry average is 7 pounds per cubic foot.
A sheet containing written measurement of household goods items. Also called a Table of Measurement.
A fee imposed by a country on imports and exports. The U.S. Customs Service is the agency responsible for collecting a custom.
Review of the documentation and physical inspection of the contents of the household goods shipment by a customs official.
CWT (Per-Hundred Weight)
The cost rate per designated weight. Usually 100 pounds.
[D] Moving Terms
When a piece of property arrives at the destination in a condition different from pick-up.
The number of miles traveled by an unloaded truck in order to pick up a shipment.
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 was handled.
Declared Value Protection
A valuation option that allows the customer to declare a specific amount of value on a shipment, using $1.25 per pound minimum or lump sum value, for an additional charge. This coverage protects goods at today’s market price less depreciation.
A claim filed for expenses incurred as a result of a late pick-up or delivery. Usually for motel and meal expenses.
The act of transporting a shipment to the designated destination, unloading the goods, and handing them over to the shipper.
Delivery Date (D.D.)
The actual date on which the goods were released to the customer or consignee.
Permission issued by the consignee to the ocean/air carrier for release of cargo to an inland carrier. It should include all data necessary for identification of the cargo.
The customer signs this report to verify the delivery of goods. A part of the additional services performed at origin/destination and delivery report.
The time period in which the movers are supposed to deliver a shipment to its final destination. The delivery window can range from 2 to 5 days depending on various factors.
The fee assessed for holding household goods in an ocean container, truck/trailer, or other carrier owned equipment beyond the allowed time. Fees are charged for each day.
The measurement ratio of an item’s weight to its volume.
Department of Transportation (D.O.T.)
The cost to reproduce or replace property, less depreciation to the time of appraisal.
A guide showing the average life span of an item and its estimated depreciation each year.
The final point of delivery of the goods as specified by the customer.
The agent designated in the destination area to be available to assist or provide information regarding the shipment to the customer or the van operator.
Services performed upon arrival of shipment at the destination.
A charge to the customer for keeping a container beyond a certain time limit.
Disassembled by Owner (D.B.O.)
Items are disassembled by owner rather than by carrier. Carrier is not responsible for the reassembly of these items.
Coordinates the movement of shipments from origin to destination.
A person who communicates the route of a shipment to van operators and agents, and ensures instructions are carried out accordingly.
When a customer changes the destination of their shipment after it is en route, transportation charges shall be calculated from the point of origin, to the point at which the carrier is able to effect the diversion, plus the transportation charge from the diversion point to the new destination point.
An elevated section of a building that is level with a van for ease of loading and unloading.
Receipt issued by an ocean carrier or its agent for merchandise delivered at a dock or warehouse awaiting shipment.
A small platform on rollers or wheels used to handle freight.
A shipment moving within the continental United States.
The service from origin residence to destination residence, exclusive of any storage in transit, custom duties, taxes, warehouse handling, etc.
The service from origin residence to free arrival of the vessel/aircraft at the destination city, exclusive of any storage in transit, customs duties, taxes, warehouse handling, any charges incurred once the vessel/aircraft has arrived, etc.
Moving freight within a city.
The person who performs drayage. Also called Cartman.
Staff specializing in operation of vehicles. Often performs labor duties and serves as the crew leader.
Drug Enforcement Administration (D.E.A.)
A federal agency empowered to investigate and control entry and use of illegal drugs and substances within the U.S., often in cooperation with foreign governments.
Material other than packaging used to prevent damage to freight or to support it in shipment.
A tax imposed on the importation or exportation of goods by the federal, state, or local government.
[E] Moving Terms
Effective Bottom Line Discount (E.B.L.D.)
Overall discount of contract shipments taking into effect all free charges and split discounts using the effective date of the contract as the base for the gross distributable charges. Total billable charges divided by total gross charges.
Elevator, Stair Carry, and Long Carry Charge
A tariff charge assessed to the customer whenever any one or more of these services are necessary to accomplish pickup or delivery. This is a per hundred weight charge, based on the actual weight carried.
On the way.
Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.)
A federal agency which investigates and controls entry into the United States of any motor vehicle not meeting federal emission control standards.
A box of essential items (such as medicines, basic toiletries, first-aid kit, change of clothes, etc.) that should travel with the shipper so that they have access to their most needed possessions at any time.
An approximate calculation of the size, value, cost, and weight of a shipment or the cost of transportation and services. You can get a free estimate here.
Estimated Time of Arrival (E.T.A.)
The estimated time the shipment will arrive at the destination.
Estimated Time of Departure (E.T.D.)
The estimated time the van operator will leave the origin with the shipment or estimated date on which a vessel is to depart from a seaport.
An approximate weight of a shipment determined by multiplying the estimated cubes by 7 pounds.
A report itemizing additions or changes to the original inventory.
Exclusive Use of Vehicle
Upon request and subject to availability, the customer may request and the carrier may provide an exclusive unit for a shipment. Transportation charges are based on actual weight and subject to specific weight minimums.
Commodities that are exempt from government rules and regulations for carriers.
A discount on government taxes given to eligible taxpayers.
A U.S. citizen employed and living in a foreign country.
A special request for delivery of a less than 5,000-pound shipment on a specified date. The customers pays for a 5,000-pound shipment, more weight than the actual weight of the shipment, so faster service can be provided.
A valuation extension on a shipment in storage in transit.
Hourly labor charge for performing any requested services for which specific fees are not published. This generally covers activities such as removing/placing items in attics/crawlspaces, packing/unpacking owner’s furnished containers, etc.
Extra Pickup or Delivery (Extra Stop)
Transportation charge includes pickup from a single address and delivery to a single address. Additional charges are assessed for each stop or call requiring an addition pickup or delivery.
[F] Moving Terms
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (F.M.C.S.A.)
A specialized agency within the Department of Transportation that regulates the operation requirements for carriers, moving vehicle drivers, moving vehicles, and vehicle equipment.
A person serving in a position of trust and confidence for another.
An old designation for household goods.
A term referring to the structure of the floor of a trailer, wherein the floor is level from the trailer’s nose to its back door.
A carrier using flatbed trailers under the terms, rates, and authorities of a household goods carrier for transport of containerized household goods between ports and/or warehouses. Charges for such carriage are normally based on net weight of the shipment, but often subject to a specified minimum density factor.
An additional charge for carrying items up or down stairs, also known as a Stair Carry Fee.
The loss of the rights to something because of failure to meet the terms of an agreement.
A period of time specified by a carrier during which no charge will be assessed for holding cargo at a pier, dock, warehouse, facility, etc., pending pickup by a consignee, or for allowing a container, trailer, or rail car to be held by a customer or consignee for loading or unloading.
Goods to be shipped or transported.
Freight All Kinds (F.A.K.)
Rates assessed regardless of the commodity being transported. It is normally used with ocean or rail carriage, and normally only when no specific commodity rate is available.
A document for describing a shipment, its weight, amount of charges, the rate for charges, taxes, and whether charges are collected or prepaid.
The charges assessed for transporting freight.
A licensed business that assembles and dispatches shipments on behalf of others in foreign or domestic commerce and handles the formalities involved with such shipments.
The carrier’s tariff provides for a percentage adjustment to the transportation charge to aid in the recovery of the increased cost of fuel. The surcharge, which can change monthly, is based upon the national average cost of diesel as reported by the U.S. Department of Fuel and Energy.
Full-Service Packing and Unpacking
Rates that apply based on the weight of the shipment when the carrier is requested by shipper to pack or unpack the complete shipment. The full-service packing rates include cartons and packing labor. The full-service unpacking rates include the unpacking of carrier packed cartons and the removal of such debris.
Full Value Protection (F.V.P.)
A valuation option under which the carrier assumes liability to the customer for either the full cost of repairs or the replacement value of articles lost, missing, or destroyed without deduction for depreciation. If the customer chooses an optional deductible, he or she assumes the loss up to the deductible amount.
Full Service Move
A full service mover will handle a move from start to finish (packing, loading, transportation, unloading, and unpacking). The full service rates include everything – from the cost of cartons and packing labor to unpacking and removal of packing materials. This is the most expensive but also the easiest, safest, and most beneficial moving option for shippers.
The use of disinfectant or pesticides to treat goods exposed to insects or bateria. It is typically either requested by the customer or required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Large soft covers designed to provide the best possible protection for household appliances, furniture, and other bulky items during the moving process. Furniture blankets can also be used to prevent property damage by taping them over banisters, doorways, and walls.
When put under heavy household items, these felt pads allow the movers to slide heavy furniture pieces and appliances across the floors in a safe and effortless manner.
[G] Moving Terms
Common freight, except for Class A and B explosives, bulk commodities, and household goods.
General Commodity Rate
Rates assessed regardless of the goods being transported, normally applied to air carriage, and only used when no specific commodity rate is available.
General Services Administration (G.S.A.)
The government agency that hands out the rules for government moves. The G.S.A. also grades all carriers on performance, and manages, leases, and sells buildings belonging to the government.
A third-party that works with those moving out of a specific geographical area, regardless of the corporate client.
Government Bill of Lading
The contract for goods being transported for any agency of the federal government.
Government Bill of Lading Shipper
A customer from any agency of the federal government whose household goods are being transported under a government bill of lading.
Gross Chargeable Weight
In the airfreight industry, weight equal to one pound chargeable for 166 cubic inches of consumed space by the shipment.
The total weight of the moving vehicle and its contents after all the household goods have been loaded.
Planning, organizing, and executing every aspect of both the facility and employee relocation.
Guaranteed Pick-Up and Delivery Service
An additional level of service whereby dates of service are guaranteed with the carrier providing reimbursement for delays. This premium service is often subject to minimum weight requirements.
[H] Moving Terms
A charge normally applied to cover the physical handling of cargo, at both the port of embarkation and the port of debarkation.
The van operator or agent that actually performs the service of transporting the goods on his or her equipment.
The agent the hauling operator represents.
Insurance protecting against fire, flood, wind, etc.
A person hired by the van operator or agent to assist in the loading and unloading of goods.
High Value Article
Also known as items of extraordinary value or valuable items, these are the items in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound. The shipper is required to fill out a high-value article inventory form listing these items in order to ensure their adequate protection.
High-Value Article Inventory Form
The carrier will have you fill out a high-value inventory form to list items included in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound to ensure they are protected accordingly.
Auxiliary services offered by movers in case that large or heavy items need to be handled in or out of homes through windows. Specialized equipment, such as a hoisting crane and a moving platform, are required to perform such services.
Home Location Housing Cost
The normal cost of living with a particular income and family size in a certain area of the country.
The cost of the moving service paid by the hour per mover per truck. Hourly rates usually apply for local moves.
Hours of Service
The maximum legal hours a van operator may drive and work.
Household Goods (H.H.G.)
Personal goods or property used or to be used in a home.
Household Goods Carrier’s Bureau (H.G.C.B.)
Household Goods Transportation Act
A federal law enacted to make household goods carriers responsible for the acts of their agents.
A sum paid when the housing costs of the host location exceed those of the home location.
[I] Moving Terms
To bring goods in from a foreign country.
A special permit of license issued by a government agency before various items can be imported into that country.
Minor expenses that occur during a temporary relocation.
Equipment used to move goods on or off stairs, often in conjunction with a stair mobile.
A promise to reimburse a person for damage or loss.
The individual requesting movement of a shipment and paying the transportation charges.
An existing condition of an article that may cause damage to that article if transported.
Inland Bill of Lading
Used to document transportation of goods between two points within the U.S., usually between an inland point and a port or an airport.
A legal written document such as a contract, deed, or grant.
Insurance-Related General Increase (I.R.R. Surcharge)
The carrier’s tariff provides for a percentage adjustment to the transportation charge to aid in the recovery of the increased cost of carrier’s and van operator’s liability insurance expenses.
The transportation of one carrier’s equipment by another carrier.
An agreement between two carriers allowing for the equipment of one carrier to be transported or used by the other carrier, outlining responsibilities for liability of the equipment and any per diem charges.
The transfer of a shipment from one point to another between two different carriers.
Freight shifted from one mode of transportation to another, with the freight generally in shipping containers and meeting certain criteria previously agreed upon among the carriers involved.
The supporting of goods inside a package to protect against damage during transportation.
Internal Air Transport Association (I.A.T.A.)
An International Air Carrier’s organization that focuses on matters of rates, handling documentation procedure, etc.
Any relocation that involves the crossing of an international boundary, regardless of distance.
A shipment moving between two or more states.
Interstate Commerce Commission (I.C.C.)
The federal agency governing the interstate transportation industry, including movers of household goods.
A shipment moving within only one state.
A stage of the transportation process when the shipment is en route between origin and destination.
A detailed descriptive list of the items in the shipment and their condition before the van is loaded.
The bill presented to the customer for payment of charges.
Irregular Route Carrier
Any carrier that provides non-scheduled service over irregular routes.
An agreement that cannot be changed or revoked.
[J] Moving Terms
A single rate between an origin and destination point offered by two or more connecting carriers.
[K] Moving Terms
[L] Moving Terms
A person hired by the can operator or agent to assist in the loading and unloading of goods.
Land Bridge, Full
Carriage from one foreign port to another foreign port, passing across the entire United States via rail or truck.
Land Bridge, Micro
Carriage from an inland point in the United States via rail or truck to a foreign port.
Land Bridge, Mini
Carriage between a U.S. port and a foreign port, but moving through a different U.S. port.
Value of goods upon arrival at destination, including the value of the goods themselves, plus additional costs for packaging, containers, freight charges, transportation, insurance charge, and handling.
A deadline date and time by which cargo must be received at a designated location so that it can be boarded on a specific vessel, aircraft, truck, or railcar.
When goods are delivered to the destination after the agreed delivery date.
Less-Than-Container Load (L.C.L.)
When goods shipped by a carrier are placed into a common container with other cargo or loose into the holds of the vessel.
When goods shipped by a carrier share a trailer with other customers’ cargo. Also used applicable to rates based on such individual cargo as opposed to full utilization of a trailer.
Letter of Authority
A letter authorizing the carrier to move an employee, assuring that the commercial account will pay for the move if no purchase order or order for service is used.
The process of imposing a tax upon a person or property.
Insurance that covers property damage and/or bodily injury to someone else.
Wooden crates used to hold goods during transport (especially overseas) or storage. Each liftvan holds approximately 1,000 pounds.
A partnership where one party is fully liable and the other is liable only for the amount that they have invested.
The transportation revenues on a shipment.
The basic tariff fees for long-distance moves. Linehaul charges are determined by the actual mileage traveled by the moving truck and the weight of your shipment. These charges apply in addition to the extra service charges.
Linehaul Discount Program (L.H.D.)
A program that applies to residential and national account, household goods shipments moving within the U.S., or to or from Canada. Under this pricing option, the charges are based on actual weight and actual rates less than linehaul discount.
Linehaul Protection Program (L.H.P.)
A program that applies to residential and national account, household goods shipments moving within the U.S., or to or from Canada. Under this pricing option the customer is given a binding price or a specific linehaul discount based on the actual weight and actual services, whichever is less.
Goods are removed from the building and placed on a truck.
The date on which the shipment is actually picked up.
Agreed pick-up dates.
The act of taking the household goods of a customer out of his or her old property (origin), placing them into the moving truck, and securing them to ensure their safety during transit.
A convenient retractable platform that connects the interior of a moving vehicle to the ground.
A move within a particular geographical area like a town or district instead of a state or country.
Varying rates charged by a carrier based within a local area.
A daily record of the hours worked and the route traveled by a van operator.
Carrying goods the distance from the van to the outside entrance of a home or inside entrance of an apartment in excess of 75 feet. Each 50 feet after, or fraction thereof, is chargeable.
Long Carry Fee
An additional charge assessed when the customer’s belongings must be carried an excessive distance (more than 75 feet) from the rear of the moving truck to the entrance of the home.
A shipment that cannot be serviced in one day because of the distance of the move.
Storage of household items for longer than 1 month.
An offer that is considerably lower than the others. Such uncharacteristically low estimates are usually given by unprofessional movers in an attempt to secure moving jobs and rip off heedless customers.
Lump Sum Value
Declaring a specific amount of valuation in excess of $1.25 per pound times the weight of the shipment.
A person hired by the van operator or agent to assist in the loading and unloading of goods.
[M] Moving Terms
Maximum Collection Option (M.C.O.)
If the actual cost of a shipment exceeds the estimated cost, the carrier may collect 110% of the original estimate from the customer upon delivery and the remaining balance due within 30 days. Also called 110% Collection Option.
Damage to an item because of mechanical malfunctions, not mishandling from the can operator.
Method of Payment
Payment must be in the form of cash, checks, money order, a bank cashier’s check, or a credit card.
Official guide specified by tariff and used by carriers to determine mileage from one city to another, regardless of the route actually driven.
The minimum fee for which a shipment may be legally handled.
The minimum weight-to-cube ratio of a surface shipment on which the weigh charge of the shipment will be computed.
The designated weight level at which a particular rate must be assessed. Below this level, higher rates may be applicable. Above this level, lower rates may be considered.
Motor Carrier (M.C.)
A carrier by motor vehicle.
Motor Vehicle Inventory
A form used when transporting an automobile, motorcycle, or boat that lists the vehicle’s miles and condition at both origin and destination.
Sales companies that book and coordinate a move, selling the job to an actual moving company. They provide communication and mediation in the moving process for a commission fee.
Moving Company or Mover
A motor carrier engaged in the transportation of household goods. Movers must be properly licensed and authorized in order to operate legally.
The cost of transportation of household items to their final destination, usually estimated without the proper insurance and the additional service charges required in the moving process.
A hand-operated wheeled platform used for easier transportation of boxes.
All the moving related actions divided into three main stages: pre-move preparations, moving day procedures, and post relocation activities.
Moving Van or Moving Truck
The moving vehicle in which the household items of the customer will be transported to their new residence.
[N] Moving Terms
National Account (N.A. or N.A.C.)
A company that uses the carrier’s moving services to transport household goods for its employees or other parties, products, general commodities, exhibits, or new products.
National Account Shipment
A shipment paid for by a company, rather than the householder.
The actual weight of a shipment obtained by subtracting the tare weight from the gross weight.
Non-Allowable List (Prohibited Items)
The carrier will not accept shipment property that will contaminate or damage the carrier’s property or the property of other customers, nor will it remove items that would damage the article or the premises. Further, the carrier will not accept liability for items of a perishable nature.
The carrier’s approximation of the cost based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the requested accessorial services. The final moving cost is not guaranteed. The charges are based on the actual weight of the shipment, the complexity of the job, and the tariff provisions in effect at the time of the move.
Normal Destination Service
Delivery to and unpacking at a single family residence occupying a single ground floor, with such residence readily accessible from a public thoroughfare, with unpacking performed at the time of the initial delivery to the residence and applicable removal of any packing materials, dunnage, debris, at that time. Any services not falling within this description would be considered non-standard and would necessitate additional charges to the customer for the services rendered.
Normal Origin Service
The proper preparation of a household goods shipment at the origin residence, with such residence readily accessible from a public thoroughfare; the containerization of the goods, with such containerization being performed either at the origin residence or at the warehouse of the origin agent, dependent upon applicable procedures or commitments made for the handling of a specific shipment.
Destination address of customer for contact.
Notification of Delay
Advisory to the customer that the shipment will be late, along with the reason for delay, the last known location, and the new delivery dates. Also call Extensions.
[O] Moving Terms
The government permit that defines the scope of a carrier’s operation by area and commodity.
A verbal agreement.
Order for Service
A document authorizing the moving company to transport your household goods.
Used to identify the customer’s shipment and appears on the upper right of the Order for Service and the Bill of Lading. This number should be used whenever the carrier is contacted.
The location from which a shipment is picked up and loaded for transportation.
Origin and Destination Service Charge
A rate that applies based on the weight of the shipment plus any weight additives and location where the shipment is picked up and delivered. The charges compensate the carrier for basic handling and servicing of the shipment.
The agent designated in the origin area to be available for preliminary readying of the shipment before movement and/or to provide information regarding the customer’s move.
Services provided at the origin of the shipment.
The accidental delivery of an item to a customer or warehouse when the item actually belongs to someone else. All overages should be reported immediately to the carrier so that it can be returned to the rightful owner.
A claim filed by a customer to dispute transportation charges, packing, or other services, excluding property damage.
When articles to be shipped are left behind due to insufficient space on the primary van. An additional van(s) is then utilized for transportation and delivery.
An overtime charge is assessed when a shipment is loaded or delivered after the normal business hours of the week. This may be done for the convenience of the client or may be necessitated by certain laws, ordinances, or landlord requirements.
Overtime Loading and Unloading Service
If you request loading or unloading on a specific date which is a Saturday, Sunday, or a holiday, an overtime charge, based on the weight of your shipment is assessed. This is also true if you request the service to be preformed after normal working hours on any week day, or when prevailing wages laws ordinances or landlord requirements will not allow loading/unloading during normal working hours on week days.
The driver, operator, or legal owner of the tractor.
[P] Moving Terms
Packed By Carrier (P.B.C.)
The carrier packs the goods at origin.
Packed By Owner (P.B.O.)
When items are packed for moving by the customer.
Professionals who provide packing services at origin to prepare a customer’s belongings for shipment in a safe and efficient manner. Professional packers can also unload and unpack the delivered goods upon the customer’s request.
Either the services or the material required to prepare a shipment for safe transportation and handling.
A date set aside for packing. It is usually one day prior to loading the goods.
A detailed listing of all packed items in a shipment. It is often combined as one document form with the inventory.
Services provided by a full service movers in which all the packing and unpacking activities are handled by an experienced moving staff.
Packing Service Report
A document that provides a record of special services performed like packing and appliance services.
Also known as packing materials, these are cardboard boxes of different sizes, wrapping and cushioning materials (packing paper, bubble wrap, foam sheets, packing peanuts, etc.) packing tape and other equipment required for providing adequate protection to the household items while in transit.
Blanket-like padded material used for covering articles of furniture during a shipment.
A portable platform for holding material for storage or transportation. Also called a skid.
A term denoting that storage containers are stacked on pallets.
All the moving related documents, forms, and receipts.
A container, article, or object wrapped or packed up.
Peak Season Rates
Linehaul rates applicable on all household goods shipments moving between May 15th and September 30th.
- Charges paid by one carrier to another for use of its freight cars, trailers, or containers.
- A daily allowance given to a transferred employee for temporary living expenses.
A term for additional services performed at origin or destination.
Items like frozen foods, fruits, and plants that are liable to spoil or perish and cannot be transported by the carrier according to the Department of Transportation rules.
The warehousing of a shipment indefinitely.
The federal authorization granted to a van operator to use a commercial vehicle.
Physical Damage Insurance
Insurance to cover a truck, trailer, van, etc., for fire, theft, and collision.
A device used primarily to move pianos up or down stairs.
Pick Up and Delivery Rates
Separate transportation rates applicable between the storage in transit warehouse and the residence or other establishment.
Damage that already existed on an item before being shipped.
Preferred Arrival Date (P.A.D.)
The date the customer requests for delivery of goods.
A shipment on which all or part of the transportation charges have been paid to the carrier prior to its arrival at destination.
A mover who performs a range of services (selling, packing, and hauling) in the name of a household goods van line on a consistent and ongoing basis.
A number used to identify individual bills of lading or freight bills.
Property Damage Claim
A claim filed for damage to a home, driveway, lawn, etc., caused by the van operator due to an accident or during the loading or unloading of a shipment.
Property Damage Insurance
Insurance to cover property damage.
An old term for the classification of articles of a shipment.
A written authorization to bill a company for a move, sometimes used in the place of the order for services form.
[Q] Moving Terms
Quote or Moving Quote
An estimation of the cost of a move offered by the moving company.
[R] Moving Terms
A metal slope used to bridge and incline. Usually from the ground to the truck.
Charges applicable to the transportation and services on a shipment.
The dates or period of time agreed upon by the customer and the carrier to pick up and deliver a shipment. Should be noted on the Bill of Lading.
The basic compensation for loss or damage to goods while in the carrier’s custody. There is no additional fee for standard coverage but it provides minimal protection. The mover assumes liability for 60 cents per pound per article.
A change in the final consignee on the bill of lading prior to delivery.
The act of transferring real property from buyer back to original owner.
A refrigerated trailer.
Return of excess charges.
To provide the van line with all the pertinent information regarding a shipment so that arrangements can be made to handle the shipment from start to finish.
A reference number assigned to identify a shipment. The number will appear on all documentation and correspondence.
The year in which a registration is issued.
The declared value that establishes the carrier’s liability for loss or damage of a shipment.
A service provided to an employee for assistance in relocation.
A facility that provides clients with information about the new city or area of the new home. These centers often offer service to both individuals and corporations and are established by real estate firms or relocation specialists.
The agent sales representative responsible for providing the customer with an estimate of the cost of their move as well as for answering any and all questions the customer may have with regard to the moving process.
Any financial costs resulting from a relocation.
A packet of information sent to a transferee containing pertinent information on the new location.
Relocation Management Company
A third-party business used to administer a company’s relocation policy. A relocation management company makes fair market value offers to purchase the homes of transferees, provide counseling, and aid in the home search. They also can coordinate shipments, write corporate relocation policies, and offer lease management options.
A policy of benefits and services provided by a company to its transferring employees during a relocation.
Money or action used as compensation for a wrongful condition.
Fixing an item damaged in transit.
The cost of replacing property damaged, lost, or stolen with similar property.
Replacement Value Protection
Valuation for repair or replacement of damaged property without deduction for depreciation.
Required Delivery Date (R.D.D.)
The mandatory delivery date agreed upon by the military and the carrier on military shipments.
Capable of being changed, canceled, or recalled.
Before the actual initiation of the unloading of your shipment, you may request a reweigh of the shipment. If a reweigh is performed, the actual charges will be based upon the reweigh weight, regardless of whether the reweigh weight is higher or lower than the first weight of the shipment.
Ride Time or Drive Time
The time from when crews leave their facility until the arrival at the origin, and the time from when the crew leaves the destination until they arrive back to their facility. Ride time/Drive time is charged at the same hourly rate of the job involved.
A card upon which is recorded the control number or pro number assigned to the individual shipments on the bill of lading.
The preference of a customer when more than one route between origin and destination points may be followed by one carrier because of interchanging with another carrier. Normally adhered to by the carrier, provided the rate involved would not change.
[S] Moving Terms
The retrieving of damaged items from the customer for which the carrier has paid full value in the settlement.
A voucher providing the weigh scale reading for tare weight and/or gross weight of a van.
A special metal lock inserted on the doors of a truck that is used to identify if any contents tampering has occurred because it must be broken to be opened.
Self Haul (SLF or S.H.)
The booking agent’s right to perform all services using its own personnel and equipment.
A mover that transports a customer’s goods after they have been packed and loaded onto the moving van by the shipper. Upon arrival, the customer unloads the vehicle and calls the mover to pick it up when the task is completed.
A freight-carrying, powerless truck trailer with one or more axles and constructed so that the front end rests upon the truck tractor.
The temporary holding of a shipment at a point between origin and destination.
Set-Off for Furtherance
A situation whereas the carrier’s household goods operations department directs a van operator to pick up a shipment and take it to a warehouse in a better traffic pattern to provide service.
A piece of furniture or property is put together to its complete state.
Shipment (SPMT or SHMT)
Property made available by a customer for transportation by a carrier.
The person paying for the move, the employee moving for a national account, or the person being moved by the military or government.
Shipper Load and Count
The customer counts, pads, loads, and unloads.
Shipper of Household Items
An individual whole household items and personal possessions are being relocated from the place of origin to the designated destination.
Instructions given to the carrier for transportation of shipment.
Shipments moving less than 400 miles.
Contract with a customer for a limited period of time. Certain pricing restrictions and service parameters apply when this contract method is utilized.
Used if the assigned over-the-road van is unable to make a normal pickup or delivery because of physical constraints. A shuttle service is the use of a secondary, smaller vehicle to complete the pickup or delivery. Charges for this service are based on the weight of the shipment and the location where the service is performed.
A type of contract giving an all-inclusive rate for basic tariff charges for a shipment.
A small, thin paper pad used to protect a shipment for transportation.
Customer may reserve blocks of cubic footage in 100 cubic foot units.
Special Customs Invoice
A form required by the U.S. Customs Service if the rate of duty is based upon the value of the shipment and the value of the shipment exceeds $500. This document is normally prepared by the foreign exporter, who must attest to the authenticity of the data.
Documents issued by the military that declare an individual is authorized to move.
Special Products (S.P. or S.A.)
Commodities like electronic microscopes, radio and radar equipment, biomedical products, computers, exhibits, general commodities, and new products that have an unusual nature or value requiring specialized handling or equipment.
Specific Commodity Rate
Custom-made economy rates based on criteria of quantity, frequency of shipping, or physical nature of a particular item or goods.
A shipment loaded on a commercial truckload trailer.
Agreed period of time stating the earliest and latest delivery dates the shipment will arrive at destination. Also called Delivery Spread.
Moving a shipment up or down a flight of stairs. The charge for this carry is listed as the Elevator, Stair Carry, and Long Carry Charge.
A piece of power equipment used in the moving of items up or down stairs.
Statement of Customer Responsibilities/Inventory of Items of High Value
A form used to assist the customer in determining total value of a shipment and to aid the carrier in determining what items need special handling and protection.
A compensation for expenses an employee incurs while traveling if the route is extremely long.
Safekeeping of goods in a warehouse.
The temporary storage of your household goods in the warehouse of the carrier’s agent, pending further transportation at a later date. S.I.T. service may not exceed a total of 180 days. After 180 days, the interstate nature of the shipment ends and is converted to the rules of the local warehouseman.
The plan as to how cargo has been placed or positioned within a container, vessel, truck, etc.
Straight Bill of Lading/Straight Consignment
A bill of lading that is non-negotiable, identifying only the individual who is to reveive the goods and the terms of the contract.
Smaller moving trucks that are single cab and body vehicles. They are about half the size and capacity of tractor-trailers. Straight trucks are generally used for local or shorter distance moves as they can easily maneuver in tight spaces.
A control strap that is used to secure tiers that locks into tracking on the sides of a van operator’s trailer.
A material used by the carrier to protect furniture from damage.
The substitution of the government or a national account’s insurance carrier, which has paid a claim, for the owner of the household goods.
The use of a different mode of transportation to fulfill a bill of lading obligation.
Summary of Dispute Settlement Program
An arbitration program that can be used by the individual customer in settling disputes on loss and damage claims.
An invoice containing charges not billed on the original transportation invoice.
Publication containing additions or revisions to the original tariff or other publications.
A charge above the usual or customary freight charges.
Surface Transportation Board
Government body responsible for the regulation and monitoring of railroads and rates for the household goods industry.
Performed by an agent to examine the customer’s belongings in order to develop an estimate of move charges.
Survey of a Shipment
A physical inspection of a shipment to determine its estimated weight.
Punitive action taken by military installations against a carrier/forwarder for tender of service violations.
A person hired by the van operator to assist in the loading and unloading of goods.
[T] Moving Terms
Table of Measurements
A document used to determine the cubic feet that furniture, appliances, cartons, and miscellaneous articles occupy in a van. By converting the cubic feet into pounds, an estimated weight is acquired that is used in calculating the estimated cost for a move. Also called a Cube Sheet.
A numbered and color-coded label placed on every item in a shipment to correspond with inventory listings.
The weight of a truck before a shipment is loaded, including all essential loading equipment and packing materials.
A publication containing the carrier’s rates, rules, and regulations for services performed.
Individual sections filed within the tariff that list the rules and application of the charges for each specific service.
System designed to store all tariff charges, rate schedules, and sections found in each individual tariff. A rating system pulls information from the tariff system by use of a tariff number.
The procedure whereby an expatriate’s taxes are reconciled so that the expatriate will be relieved of any excess taxes resulting from foreign living and burdened only with the amount of taxes he or she would expect to pay in the U.S. Also called Tax Reconciliation or Tax Balancing.
Tender of Service
Special rate quotation containing rules, regulations, special services, rates, and charges for use by the U.S. Department of Defense in the transportation of shipments. Not applicable to the general public.
Performed by someone other than the carrier or its agents at your request or required by federal, state, or local law.
An old term for Special Products.
Thru-Bill of Lading
A bill of lading covering items moving from an origin point to a final destination point, assuring one carrier liability even though applicable handling, transport, carriage, etc. May be performed by multiple service firms and modes of transportation.
A rate that applies from origin to destination. It can be offered by a single carrier, even though the applicable service may entail interlining, transloading, transhipping, or other underlying means of transport or hauling.
The shipment is loaded on the van at the origin residence and remains on the same unit until unloaded at the destination residence.
A row of stacked household goods across a van operator’s trailer.
Total Quality Assurance Program (T.Q.A.P.)
The quality control program of the military to evaluate the performance of the carrier.
A request to check on the location of a shipment to either speed its movement, confirm the delivery date, or seek lost items.
A letter sent to all customers with household goods on the same truck that lists the missing items reported by one or more of the customers.
A long-haul vehicle used for long-distance shipments and very large local shipments. It consists of a towing truck and a trailer that can hold the contents of a large house or several smaller shipments. Depending on the level of accessibility at origin or destination, shuttle services may be required for shipments transported in a tractor-trailer.
Traffic Manager (T.M.)
An employee of the national account who arranges transfer of that company’s employees and has the power to designate which moving company will handle the household goods.
Unloading a shipment from one vehicle to another, typically only occurring between the equipment of only one carrier.
The time from the moment when your belongings are picked up to the moment when they are delivered to the designated destination.
When the booker is responsible for billing the national account, all necessary billing documents are transmitted to the booking agent.
The long and short-term contracts that allow a carrier and a national account to agree, in writing , on specific pricing and service parameters that will apply to the account’s employee relocation or other transportation needs.
Based on a tariff rate per hundred pounds for the actual weight of a shipment and the number of miles it will be traveling. The cost of a single loading, transporting, and unloading goods comprise the charge.
Transportation Officer (T.O.)
The government official responsible for authorization of charges on government moves.
A carton constructed with a triple thickness of corrugated cardboard, affording considerable strength to the carton. Used as a shipping container for air freight shipments.
[U] Moving Terms
U.S. Customs Service
The government agency that imposes fees on imported and exported goods and is responsible for collecting such fees. Also called Customs.
An apartment, condominium, or piece of property used independently. Under law, each unit owner has access to a public way and holds interest in the surrounding common elements.
Removing the customer’s goods from containers and placing them on a flat surface, as well as the disposal of such containers and packing materials. If ordered, unpacking service must be performed at the time of delivery unless requested otherwise.
Charging an interest rate in excess of what is allowable by law.
[V] Moving Terms
A tariff-based coverage for a customer’s household goods while they are in the care, custody, and control of the carrier. Valuation is NOT insurance.
Factors determining the worth of a property.
The truck used for carrying household goods.
The van driver having overall responsibility for the loading, transport, and unloading of the customer’s belongings.
A motor carrier with local agents that coordinates the movement of Household Goods and Special Products.
Van Line Agent
A smaller local moving company authorized to perform moves on behalf of a larger, national moving carrier.
Oversees the loading, hauling, and unloading of your possessions.
Shipment that is moved from one van to another while en route for a number of reasons.
A verbal acceptance of a contract through a third-party.
An invoice to the government agency detailing the charges incurred on a shipment and the amount due.
[W] Moving Terms
If you are unable to accept delivery of you shipment within the free waiting time after notification of arrival at your destination, you may request waiting time until the delivery can be made. There is a charge for the vehicle and manpower for each hour. The alternative is unloading you shipment at an agent’s warehouse. You will have storage, handling, and delivery from the warehouse expenses, and consequently it may be less expensive to pay for waiting time. The carrier is not obligated to provide waiting time, but we will do so when it does not result in the delay in the delivery of another customer’s shipment or does not cause other undue inconvenience to the carrier.
Authorization by a national account to ship an employee’s household goods without that employee’s signature on the order for service.
A ramp used from a van to the ground to eliminate lifting heavy objects.
A building for the storage of goods, merchandise, and equipment.
Warehouse Handling Charge
An additional charge applicable each time storage in transit service is provided. This charge compensates the carrier for the physical placement and removal of items within the warehouse like stacking, unstacking, etc.
Receipt for warehousing services.
The process for a shipment to be weighed.
Some articles included in the shipment are comparatively light and occupy space in the van that is not commensurate with their weight. To compensate for this inequity, our tariff provides a schedule of additional weights for such articles.
The breaks given in a rate schedule at which the charges per specified weight decrease as the shipment increases in weight, and that allow the option of utilizing a higher weight level than the actual weight involved at a lower rate, resulting in reduced assessed charges.
A listing of household goods average weights to be utilized on shipments released at a carrier’s liability of 60 cents per pound per article.
A certificate needed to show the weight of a shipment. It shows the weight of each shipment weighed on certified scales and the weight of the vehicle without a load. It also is used when ordering permits. Also called a Scale Ticket.
A charge by a port authority against a vessel for using its wharf/pier for loading and unloading.
Will Advise (W.A.)
The term used when it is known that a shipment is moving, but dates for pickup or delivery have no yet been established.
[X] Moving Terms
[Y] Moving Terms
Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move
A government-required publication given to all COD customers by the carrier. Also called OCE-100.
[Z] Moving Terms
Do you have any moving terms that we left out or moving terms you don’t know what they mean? Put them in the comments section below!
About the Author
Elijah is a marketing evangelist and relocation specialist. He writes regularly for Olympic Moving & Storage and Bekins Northwest. He has also been featured on several of the industry’s most authoritative blogs as a guest writer. You are welcomed to contact Elijah in the comment sections below his posts, on his LinkedIn page, and on Twitter.
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