Glossary of Moving Terms

Unfamiliar with the terminology used in the moving industry? Look over the following moving terms to get up-to-date with the words and phrases used by the professional moving companies.

  • Advanced Charges
    Fees for additional moving services incurred during the moving process, which must be listed on the bill of lading. Generally, the addition of these fees results when a third party must be hired to complete the move at your request.
  • Agent
    The representative of a moving company that is authorized to carry out a move.
  • Appliance Service
    An additional service that prepares large appliances for transport in accordance with safety guidelines.
  • Bill of Lading
    The document that functions as a receipt for the moving service. The bill of lading must be agreed to beforehand and signed. Always keep a copy for your records, and always read over all the terms laid out on the document.
  • Binding Estimate
    A rate that is quoted to the customer for the moving service. This rate must be adhered to on the Bill of Lading by the movers, given certain exceptions.

  • Broker
    A third party agency that books and arranges the move with an available mover. They are not actually responsible for the actions of the transporters.
  • Carrier
    The actual person responsible for transporting your goods.
  • Carrierʼs Liability
    The amount, expressed in a sum, of financial responsibility a carrier assumes for your possessions. This is not the same as insurance, and not all carrierʼs may assume the same liability levels.
  • Claim
    A notice by the customer indicating loss or damages of transported goods while in the possession of the transporter.
  • COD
    Cash-on-delivery. Most movers require cash payments upon delivery of household goods. Cashierʼs checks and money orders may also be acceptable, but credit cards, generally, are not accepted.
  • Consignee
    The individual who will receive the shipped goods.
  • Consignor
    The individual whose goods are picked up. This may be the same person as the consignee.
  • Deadhead
    The distance traveled by the transporter to the pick-up destination.
  • Declared Valuation
    The value of the items being shipped as agreed upon by the shipper. This figure determines the maximum liability of the carrier.
  • Delivery Window
    The period of time within which the transporter agrees to deliver shipped goods to the shipper. This date may or may not be legally binding.
  • Destination Agent
    The individual responsible for coordinating the delivery of shipped items with the shipper and the carrier.
  • Elevator Carry
    A charge assigned if the movers have to use an elevator to transport goods.
  • Expedited Service
    A shipment that is guaranteed in writing to be completed within a specific time frame. The cost of this service is often much higher than the standard shipment.
  • Flight Charge
    A charged assigned if the movers have to navigate flights of stairs to pick-up or deliver your shipment.
  • FMCSA
    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
  • Force Majeure
    A clause that protects both the shipper and the transporter in the event that a part of their contract cannot be completed as a result of circumstances beyond their control. The event must not have been preventable by taking due diligence.
  • Freight Forwarder
    A company that utilizes for-hire carriers to transport goods via truck, ship, or other transport methods. Freight forwarders, unlike brokers, actually maintain responsibility for the items being shipped, and may collect and disperse the items at the points of pick-up and delivery themselves.
  • Full Service Move
    The most common type of moving service. It involves the entirety of packing and moving all items from the origin the destination.

  • Full Value Replacement Coverage
    The sum of money required to obtain coverage that includes compensation for the entire value of the items being shipped.
  • Gross Weight
    The total weight of the carrier vehicle once it has been loaded with your goods.
  • High Value Item
    An item that exceeds a specified value limit that must be declared to the movers to ensure that it is transported with necessary precautions.
  • Interstate Move
    An interstate move involves transporting from one state to another, or requires traveling through another state to get to the delivery location, even if the delivery location is in the same state as the pick-up location.
  • Intrastate Move (Local Move)
    A move that involves transporting goods strictly within the same state. The mover cannot enter another state in the process.

  • Inventory
    A detailed, descriptive list of the contents being moved by the transporter.
  • Line Haul Charges
    Charges incurred by the vehicle during the transportation of your items. These charges should be listed on the bill of lading.
  • Long Carry
    An additional charge incurred by the mover when the transporters must carry transported goods a lengthy distance between the transport vehicle and the pick- up or delivery location.
  • Long Haul
    A move that requires a transporting vehicle to travel over a set distance, usually over 400 miles.
  • Moving Kit
    A package containing all the necessary supplies for a person to pack and load all transported items him or herself.
  • Net Weight
    The weight of the items being transported. This is determined by subtracting the weight of the transport vehicle from the gross weight.
  • 110 Percent Rule
    A law that requires movers to complete a delivery for no more than 10 percent above the price of a non-binding estimate provided by the movers.
  • Operating Authority
    The legal certification decreed by a government agency to the movers permitting them to move household goods in a region.
  • Overflow
    Items that are left behind at the pick-up location due to insufficient space on the transport truck. These items are, usually, picked up by a separate vehicle for transport to the destination.
  • PBO
    Packed by Owner.
  • Pickup and Delivery Charges
    Additional charges incurred in the process of picking- up or delivering your goods. They are listed on the bill of lading.
  • Reasonable Dispatch
    The shipment of goods by the mover within the time period specified by the contract and/or bill of lading. If violated, the mover must prove force majeure to avoid legal action.
  • Released Value
    A type of protection for shipped items in which the mover assumes the least amount of liability possible at no additional cost. This must be stipulated on the bill of lading.
  • Reweighing
    Weighing a shipment a second time at the bequest of either the shipper or the mover.
  • Short Haul
    A move that requires a transporting vehicle to travel less than a set distance, usually 400 miles.
  • Standard Coverage
    The minimum amount of coverage provided by movers as required by law.
  • Tare Weight
    The weight of the moving van before it has been loaded.
  • Tariff
    Detailed information provided by the shipper that includes the specific services and rates applicable to the contracted shipment.
  • USDOT Number & MC Number
    Numbers listed by the FMCSA indicating that the movers are properly licensed with the federal government.
  • Valuation
    An assessment of the monetary worth of the shipment provided by the shipper. A valuation fee protects the shipper in case they are held liable for damage to the goods being transported. All shippers are liable, to a certain degree, for the items they transport.

After looking over these moving terms, you should have a better idea of how the moving industry works. If you have any questions or want to hire a moving company, please fill out our online form to receive free moving quotes.