Residential Moving Glossary

bookIt is imperative that you thoroughly read and understand all the documents you are given when you hire a moving company.  Remember, movers use these terms daily, so it is up to you to ask questions if there is anything you do not understand.  This glossary will help to familiarize yourself with all the moving lingo you’ll encounter throughout your move.





Accessorial charges:  These are charges for additional moving services such as appliance servicing or unpacking.  These are charged in addition to the transport cost for the items.


Appliance servicing: This refers to preparing large electrical appliances for shipment.  For this additional charge, appliances are safely packed for you.



Bill of Lading: The Bill of Lading is the contract between you and your moving company that contains the order number for your shipment.  This is useful for correspondence and tracking.



Carrier: Carrier is synonymous with the mover who is transporting your belongings.


C.O.D. (Cash on Delivery): This designates that payment is due to the moving company upon delivery.



Destination agent: This is the person or agent in the destination area who is responsible for relaying information about your shipment to both you and your carrier.


Diversion: This refers to a change in the destination after the shipment is already en route.  Typically, additional transportation fees will be charged.



Estimate, Binding: A binding estimate is a written agreement between you and your moving company that explicitly guarantees the total cost of the move.  This guarantee is based on an estimate of your belongings before the move.


Estimate, Non-Binding: A non-binding estimate is not guaranteed.  Final charges will be based on factors such as the weight of your shipment, tariff provisions in effect, and other charges incurred throughout the shipment.



Flight charge: The charge for the movers to transport your items up or down a flight of stairs, as determined by your mover.


Full Service Mover: This describes a mover who will lift the items from each room of your home, transports them to your new home, and places them in specific rooms of your new home.



Guaranteed Pickup and Delivery Service: This is a premium addition, generally subject to weight requirements, that will guarantee dates of pickup and delivery.



High Value Articles: Items in your shipment that cost above $100 per pound.



Impracticable Operations: This refers to a set of conditions outlined in the tariff.  It refers to a situation where your mover is unable to execute a pickup or delivery with their normal equipment.  In these cases, additional equipment and labor may be necessary.  You may be charged a fee for impracticable operations, whether you requested the extra help or not.


Interstate: Interstate describes a move that is out of the state your current home is in.


Intrastate: Intrastate describes a move that is inside of the state your current home is in.



Linehaul Charges: These are charges that are determined by the mileage and weight of your shipment during a long-distance move.


Long Carry Charge: This charge can apply when movers must carry your belongings a far distance to their truck, as outlined in your agreement.



Mobile Containers: These large containers are delivered to your door, and remain at your home until you pack them and call to have them picked up and transported to your new home.


Moving Company: The company that is transporting your belongings.



Non-allowable list (prohibited items): The non-allowable list details all the items that your carrier will not collect or ship for you.  These items are generally excluded to ensure that there is no damage or contamination to the carrier’s property.  For example, propane tanks and chemicals are generally prohibited items.



Order for Service: The document that authorizes your mover to transport your belongings.


Overflow: This is a situation where some of your items have been left behind due to a lack of space on the main moving vehicle.  Generally, additional vehicle(s) will be used to finish transporting.



Packing service: A service that includes the packing and unpacking of your belongings throughout the move.


PBO: Designates items that have been Packed By Owner.



Quote: A quote is an estimate of the cost for your entire moving situation.  Many moving companies offer free quotes to help you choose the best company for your budget.



Self-Service Mover: A self-service mover is a company that provides you with a trailer or other vehicle for you to load and unload yourself.


Shuttle Service: This describes a scenario where the moving company must use a smaller vehicle to transport your belongings.  Shuttle service would be required where the destination is not accessible to large moving trucks.


Stair-Carry Charge (Flight Charge): A stair-carry charge is charged when the movers must carry your belongings up or down flights of stairs.


Standard Coverage: Moving companies are required, by law, to provide you with a certain amount of free coverage.  Standard coverage is the minimum amount of coverage.


Storage-In-Transit (SIT): When the destination is not ready for your belongings, they can be temporarily stored.  You will usually be charged a fee for warehouse handling.


Survey: Examining your shipment to determine an estimate for moving charges.



Tare Weight (light weight): Tare weight describes the weight of the moving vehicle, loading equipment, and materials provided by the moving company.  This does not include the weight of your shipment.


Tariff: The tariff details all rates, rules, and regulations that apply to your moving company.  Tariffs will vary depending on the distance of your move.



Valuation: Your moving company will ask you to declare the total dollar value of your belongings before shipment.  This declared value is the maximum amount your moving company can be held liable for.



Warehouse Handling: Every time a Storage-In-Transit service is provided, you must pay additional charges for the temporary storage and handling of your items.