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Moving Industry Terminology

Moving can be an overwhelming period for residents and clients. Knowing the right moving terminology can help make the moving process less confusing and the moving industry more transparent.

 

A

 

Access

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.

 

Accessorial Charges

Additional charges from a moving company for services such as packing, unpacking, crating, or appliance disconnection. These fees are added to the baseline moving cost.

 

Actual Cash Value (A.C.V.)

Money equal to the cost of replacing lost, stolen, or damaged property after depreciation.

 

Actual Charges

The final cost of a move from start to finish including moving cost, warehouse fees, and accessorial charges.

 

Adjuster

A representative who settles claims against a moving company for damage or loss of household goods during a move.

 

Additional Services Performed at Origin/Destination of 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 Transportation Charges (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.

 

Adjuster

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.

 

Advanced Charges

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.

 

Agent

A moving company that is represented by a van line. An agent and their van line work together to serve customers.

 

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.

 

Air Ride

A suspension system made of cylinders filled with compressed air used on trailers and tractors to provide a safer ride than conventional spring suspensions.

 

Amendment to the Order of 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.

 

AMSA

The American Moving & Storage Association is an organization of moving companies dedicated to improving the moving and storage industry for moving companies and their customers, advocating on behalf of moving companies, and promoting ProMovers.

 

Appliance Dolly

Supplied by self-service movers to help you load and unload large items like appliances and oversized furniture.

 

Appliance Service

A service offered by moving companies or a third-party to prepare appliances like washing machines, dryers, and refrigerators for transportation. This service may not include the disconnection of plumbing or electrical services.

 

Assembly and Disassembly

The process of taking apart furniture before loading it into the moving truck and reassembling it at the destination.

 

Assessed Value Coverage

This specifies how much money per $1,000 of assessed value you will need to pay to cover your household items to their fully assessed value. Purchasing this protection requires that a cash value be assigned to the items you will be moving. If a deductible is applied, that value is stated next to the cost-per-$1,000 figure.

 

Automobile Handling Charge

A charge to the customer, in addition to the weight, for the movement of an automobile.

 

B

 

Bill of Lading

A legally binding document that outlines all of the details of the move from the shipping date to the items loaded on the moving truck. This document serves as a receipt of a customer’s agreement with a moving company.

 

Billable Charges

Net charges billed.

 

Billing Weight

The weight on which all interstate charges are based.

 

Bulky Article Charge

Large items such as pool tables that require extra handling are subject to an additional charge.

 

C

 

Cancellation Fee

If a customer cancels an already confirmed move, they may be charged a cancellation fee for the inconvenience they have caused the carrier.

 

Cargo Claim

A claim filed for damage to household goods being transported by the carrier.

 

Carrier

The moving company who transports your belongings.

 

Cash on delivery (C.O.D.)

When a customer agrees to make a payment to the moving company upon delivery at the destination.

 

Claim

A claim filed for loss, damage, or delay in the delivery of household goods during any stage of the move or during warehousing.

 

Cost of Move

This addresses how much the specific move will cost, not including the various extra charges and insurance. Although every effort is made to gather the most accurate information, customers should be aware of the fact that many factors affect the cost of a move. 

 

Crating

The process of building wooden boxes to protect delicate or valuable items during transit.

 

Crew Leader

Staff in charge of supervising other crew members on the job.

 

Cube Sheet

A list of household goods and the amount of space (in cubic feet) they occupy in a truck. This is then converted into weight and used to determine the moving estimate.

 

D

 

Delivery Report

A report, signed by the customer, used to verify the delivery of household goods at the destination.

 

Delivery Window

The time in which a moving company is scheduled to deliver a shipment to its final destination. The delivery window will depend on the distance of the move.

 

Destination

The final point of delivery of the goods as specified by the customer.

 

Destination Agent

The agent responsible for coordinating information to the customer and moving company at the moving destination.

 

Disassembled by Owner (D.B.O.)

Items are disassembled by the owner rather than by the carrier. Carrier is not responsible for the reassembly of these items.

 

Diversion

A route change to a shipment’s destination or an additional stop after a moving truck is already en route.

 

Dolly

A small platform on rollers or wheels used to handle freight.

 

Door-to-Door Service

A service where household goods are delivered from the origin to the destination directly and without storage.

 

E

 

Elevator Charge

An additional charge applied when a moving process includes moving items in an elevator.

 

En Route

On the way.

 

Estimate, Binding

An agreement made between a customer and a moving company that guarantees the total cost of the move based on the weight of household items plus accessorial services.

 

Estimate, Non-Binding

A non-binding approximation of a moving cost based on the estimated weight of household items and any accessorial services.

 

Essentials Box

A box of essential items that are not packed onto the moving truck. Designed for the individuals who are moving to use during the last days spent in an old home or the first days spent in a new home.

 

Expedited Service/ Express Delivery

This is an agreement to transport goods by a set date in exchange for a higher rate.

 

F

 

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA, is an agency within the Department of Transportation that regulates the operational requirements for moving companies, trucks, and equipment.

 

Flight Charge

An additional charge for a moving professional to carry items up or down one or multiple flights of stairs.

 

Full-Service Moving

A service where a moving company completes the moving process from start to finish for the customer. This includes providing materials, packing, loading, transporting, unloading, unpacking, and the clean-up of household goods.

 

Full-Value Protection Insurance

An insurance policy which covers the current market value of an item, an item’s replacement, or the cost to repair an item if it’s damaged or lost by a moving company during a move.

 

Furniture Blankets

Soft, sturdy blankets designed to protect household appliances, furniture, banisters, doorways, and walls during the moving process.

 

Furniture Pads

Placed under heavy household items, furniture pads help heavy furniture and appliances slide across floors without causing damage.

 

G

 

Gross Weight

The combined weight of a moving truck loaded with household goods.

 

Guaranteed Pickup and Delivery Service

A premium moving service that guarantees specific pickup and delivery dates.

 

H

 

Handling Charge

A charge normally applied to cover the physical handling of cargo, at both the port of embarkation and the port of debarkation.

 

Hauler

The van operator or agent that actually performs the service of transporting the goods on his or her equipment.

 

Hazard Insurance

Insurance that protects against damage from fire, floods, wind, and other natural events.

 

High-Value Articles

Household items that are valued at more than $100 per pound.

 

Hoisting Services

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.

 

Household Goods (H.H.G.)

Personal goods or property used or to be used in a home.

 

I

 

Impracticable Operations

Conditions that prohibit a moving company from carrying out a pickup or delivery with their standard equipment and require special equipment or additional labor. These terms are defined in a moving company’s tariff.

 

Inherent Vice

When the condition of an item prevents a moving company from moving the item without causing it damage, such as fragile antiques.

 

Interstate Commerce Commission

The Interstate Commerce Commission, or ICC, is the federal agency governing interstate transportation. Their jurisdiction includes moving companies.

 

Interstate Move

Any move that involves crossing a state boundary, regardless of distance.

 

Intrastate Move

A move where the origin and destination are located in the same state.

 

Inventory

A detailed list of the quantity and condition of household items.

 

L

 

License

Movers are required by law to obtain certifications necessary to transport household goods within state boundaries (i.e. local/intrastate) or across state lines (i.e. interstate). The license numbers shown are used to identify the status of the mover’s operating authority and insurance coverage. Individual states may require additional license information based on the type of move performed.

 

Line-Haul Charges

Charges calculated by the mileage and weight of a shipment; specifically for long-distance moves.

 

Load

Goods are removed from the building and placed on a truck.

 

Load Date

The date on which the shipment is actually picked up.

 

Load Spread

Agreed pick-up dates.

 

Loading

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.

 

Loading Ramp

Provided by self-service movers to help you load your household goods onto the trailer.

 

Local Move

A short-distance move, typically 40 miles or less.

 

Long Carry Charge

A charge applied when a moving company carries items an excessive distance from a home to the moving truck or vice versa. This distance is determined by the moving company.

 

Long Distance

A shipment that cannot be serviced in one day because of the distance of the move.

 

Long-Term Storage

Storage of household items in a warehouse for an extended period of time, typically one month or longer.

 

M

 

Moving Cost

The cost for a moving company to transport household items to their final destination. This does not include additional services or insurance costs.

 

Moving Process

All moving-related actions from beginning to end. Divided into pre-move preparations, moving day procedures, and post-relocation tasks.

 

N

 

Net Weight

The weight of a shipment; obtained by subtracting the tare weight (the weight of the moving truck) from the gross weight (the weight of the fully-loaded moving truck).

 

Non-Allowable List (prohibited items)

A list of items that moving companies will not handle because they may contaminate or damage the moving company’s property or the property of the customer. For example, furniture that will not fit through doorways, items infested with bugs, household chemicals, and propane tanks are subject to this list.

 

Notification of Delay

Notice to a customer that a delivery will be delayed and includes the reason for the delay, the last known location of the truck, and a new delivery date.

 

O

 

Order for Service

A document authorizing a moving company to move your items.

 

Order Number

A number used to identify a customer’s move. This number appears on the Order for Service and the Bill of Lading.

 

Origin Agent

The agent responsible for coordinating information and preparing the necessary documentation for the customer and moving company at the moving origin.

 

Overflow

When items are left behind due to insufficient space on the primary moving truck. An additional truck is then utilized to transport the leftover items.

 

P

 

Packing Service

A service offered by moving companies or third-parties where professionals pack items before moving day and unpack them upon delivery.

 

Packing Supplies

Also known as packing materials, these are cardboard boxes, stretch wrap, packing paper, bubble wrap, foam sheets, packing peanuts, packing tape, and other equipment used to protect or contain household items.

 

Pallet

A portable platform for holding material for storage or transportation.

 

PBO

Stands for packed by the owner. A term used by moving companies to designate when items are packed by a customer.

 

Peak Season Rates

Prices for moves that take place during the busiest season for moving companies. Typically between May 15 and Sept. 30.

 

Permanent Storage

Storing items in a warehouse indefinitely.

 

Pickup and Delivery Charges

This is an additional charge that is applied when you have to transport your shipment between the Storage in Transit warehouse and your residence.

 

Pre-Existing Damage

Existing damage to an item that is not associated with the move.

 

Preferred Arrival Date (PAD)

The date a customer requests for delivery.

 

ProMover (AMSA)

A ProMover is a moving company that is certified by the American Moving and Storage Association as trustworthy, reputable, and professional.

 

Q

 

Quote

The price of a moving company’s services. Based on a customer’s in-home estimate and their specific moving needs.

 

R

 

Ramp

A metal slope used to bridge and incline. Usually from the ground to the truck.

 

Rate

Charges applicable to the transportation and services on a shipment.

 

Reasonable Dispatch

The performance of transportation on the dates, or during the period of time, agreed upon by you and your mover and shown on the Order for Service/Bill of Lading. 

 

Reweigh

A reweigh of the items on the moving truck may be requested by a customer upon delivery. If a reweigh is requested, charges will be calculated based on the new net weight.

 

Released Value Insurance

A basic moving insurance policy required by federal law and offered at no additional charge. This policy insures your belongings for 60 cents per pound per item regardless of the item’s value.

 

S

 

Self-Service Mover

Companies in this category will provide a trailer for you at your old home. You load the trailer yourself and the company returns to move the trailer to your new destination. You then unload the trailer yourself and call the mover to remove the empty trailer. 

 

Shuttle Service

The use of a smaller vehicle to transport items to a location that is not accessible to larger moving trucks.

 

Stair-Carry Charge

An extra charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs.

 

Standard Coverage

Movers, by law, are required to provide a minimum amount of free coverage. This number, typically 60 cents, refers to the amount of money you will receive per pound of damaged goods. This coverage is a bare minimum and should not be relied upon to cover you for any significant damage.

 

Storage-In-Transit (SIT)

A request for temporary storage in a warehouse if the destination is not ready to receive the items. SIT service may not exceed a total of 90 days and the customer is responsible for the cost of the service as well as any warehouse handling fees.

 

Stowage

The plan as to how cargo has been placed or positioned within a container, vessel, truck, etc.

 

Stretch-Wrap

A heavy-duty saran wrap, stretch-wrap is wrapped around furniture to protect it from damage.

 

Survey

Also referred to as an in-home estimate, a survey is a process where a moving professional visits a customer’s home and uses a cube sheet to create a list of furniture and estimate its total weight. They will also inquire about additional moving services and then provide a quote for the estimated cost of the move.

 

T

 

Tare Weight

The weight of the moving truck, equipment, and packing materials without a customer’s items. This weight helps determine the net weight of a customer’s move.

 

Tariff

A comprehensive list of a moving company’s rates, rules, and regulations. There are separate tariffs for different types of moves such as long-distance and short-distance moves.

 

Transit Time

The time spent in transit between a customer’s old home and their destination.

 

U

 

Unpacking

When a moving professional unloads boxes and crates from the moving truck and unpacks the contents at the destination.

 

Updater Certified Moving Company

Updater Certified Moving Companies meet a strict set of criteria regarding their reliability and customer service. They are regarded as the best moving companies in the industry.

 

USDOT Number

A USDOT number serves as registration for any vehicle that transports cargo across state lines (which includes moving trucks). This number is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration under the US Department of Transportation. You can check a moving companies USDOT number here.

 

V

 

Valuation

A valuation is the estimated value of a customer’s belongings. Before the Bill of Lading is signed, a customer will declare the monetary cost for all of the items included in their move. A moving company will use this number to determine their liability for damage to or loss of an item.

 

Van Line

Van lines coordinate teams of local agents across the country to provide moving services for customers. Van lines are national brands and their agents perform household moves on behalf of their van line.

 

W

 

Warehouse Handling

Warehouse handling fees that occur each time a SIT (temporary storage in a warehouse) service is provided. These include temporary warehousing, loading and unloading of items, and the final delivery of items to their destination.

 

Y

 

Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move

A government-issued document to help anyone who is moving understand every step of the moving process. Information about moving paperwork, estimates, claims, and insurance are all outlined in this document.

 

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