Moving Glossary

Moving Terms Explained

Like most industries, moving uses lots of special terms. Here’s a list of the ones you’re most likely to come across.

Access: How accessible is the property: how much room is there to park a vehicle, how far will the distance be from the moving van to the front door, the availability of lifts, how many floors in the building, etc.

Accessorial: Having to do with services or features in addition to the moving basics.

Accessorial Service: Services over and above basic moving service. These may be necessary, as in the “long carry” add-on charges, or “elevator”; or they may be optional, as in “unpacking” or “extra delivery.”

Addendum: Something added, as a note, remark, or appendix.

Addendum to Order for Service: Commonly called “addendum” or “change order.” A form that records a change in the services to be provided to a customer, and the cost of such services. This form “orders service” and is the senior authority pertaining to such services. This means senior to the original order for service, bill of lading, and verbal orders or agreements from any source (such as salespeople or dispatchers).

Additional Transportation Charge: A charge assessed the customer to compensate a driver for the inconvenience of driving through a congested area.

Appliance de-Service: The reconnecting of a serviced appliance at the destination.

Appliance Service: The preparation of an appliance for shipment. This includes but is not limited to washers, ice makers, and gas dryers. Service may include securing loose parts, disconnecting fittings, etc. It does not include simply unplugging an appliance.

ATC: Additional transportation charge.

Auxiliary: Helping or acting as an extra help.

Auxiliary Service: An extra procedure required to facilitate loading or unloading, such as using a shuttle truck, ferry boat shuttle, helicopter, etc.

Bedbugs: Slang for household goods.

Bill: An account of services rendered or work done, with the price or value next to each article

Bill of Lading: A written receipt for goods accepted for transportation, given by a shipping company to the consignor.

Binding quote: A guaranteed price based on the inventory.

Bonded warehouse: A warehouse that meets with local customs specifications, and allows shipments to be stored pending clearance by customs.

Bulky article: An object that by itself occupies more than 100 cubic feet. This usually means a vehicle.

Bill: An account of services rendered or work done, with the price or value next to each article

Bill of Lading: A written receipt for goods accepted for transportation, given by a shipping company to the consignor.

Binding Quote: A guaranteed price based on the inventory.

Bonded Warehouse: A warehouse that meets with local customs specifications, and allows shipments to be stored pending clearance by customs.

Bulky Article: An object that by itself occupies more than 100 cubic feet. This usually means a vehicle.

Carrier: A corporation that undertakes for hire to transport goods from one place to another. This means the van line, not an agent or driver.

Cash: Money in the form of bills or coins. Checks are not cash.

Certified Check: A check whose payment is guaranteed by a bank.

Claim: To demand or ask for something one thinks one has a right to, such as compensation for a damaged article.

COD: Collect upon delivery.

Consign: To give over; entrust.

Consignee: A person who is designated to receive a shipment.

Consignor: A person who gives over or entrusts a shipment. A consignor and a consignee can be the same person.

Credit: To add to a person’s account.

Customs Clearance: Formal inspection procedures carried out before allowing a shipment into a country.

CWT: Per hundred weight; c = the roman numeral “100,” wt = ”weight.”

Declared Value: Value of goods declared by the owner for insurance purposes. This will form the basis of your insurance coverage; it is important that it reflect the true value of your belongings.

Dispatch (verb): To send out to a certain place or do a certain job. Noun: operations department.

Dispatcher: A person who dispatches.

D.O.T.: Department of Transportation. The government agency that administers trucking regulations.

Drayage: To transport a shipment by cart or dollies, as from a dock to a warehouse, or from an exhibit booth to a loading area, etc.

Exception: A notation of something left out.

Exception sheet: A document that lists exceptions to an original inventory.

Excessive: Beyond what is right and proper.

Excessive distance carry: (Also called a long carry.) Any distance from residence access door (the door you will be using) to the truck access door in excess of 75 feet. It is measured and billed in 50-foot increments.

Gross: Weight of the truck after shipment is loaded.

ICC: Interstate Commerce Commission. The branch of the government that sets rates and regulations for the transport of objects or people across state lines.

Inventory: Detailed list of articles and their condition.

Lading: Load or cargo.

Leaveover: (Also known as an overflow.) The portion of a shipment that is left behind for one reason or another.

Legible: Clear enough to be read easily.

Linehaul: (Also LH) Also known as a basic transportation charge: the amount a customer pays for a move, not including any accessorial charges or insurance.

Packed by Owner (PBO): When you choose to pack your belongings yourself, either in cartons supplied by the mover or your own boxes. Insurance companies often refuse to insure goods packed by the owner.

Reweigh: The action of weighing a shipment a second time. A customer has the right to request and witness a reweigh. There is a charge for this unless the second weight is the lighter of the two weights by 100 pounds or more on shipments weighing less than 5000 pounds, or 2 percent or more on shipments weighing more than 5000 pounds.

Shipper: The customer. The person ordering the service and responsible for payment.

Storage in Transit: (Also S.I.T.) Shipments in a warehouse awaiting transport to their final destination.

Surcharge: A charge in addition to the basic charge.

Tare: The weight of a truck, not including the shipment.

Tariff: List of charges for moving services set by or approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Third Party Services: Some movers offer to arrange or coordinate additional professional services, e.g., plumbers, house cleaners, waterbed dismantling/assembling, carpenters, maid service, etc.

Waiting Time: Time spent waiting for a customer to let a driver load or unload after the agreed-upon time has passed. This is billed by the hour, with the first two hours free.

Weight Additive: An amount of weight added to the total weight of a shipment to compensate for the space taken up by a very large but lightweight object. The tariff lists specific objects that this applies to, and the specific weight additives for each object.

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