Get the scoop on common moving and storage terms
What’s a bill of lading? And why is it so important to your move?
Get answers to those questions and more here in our glossary.
Accessorial (Additional) Services: Services such as packing, appliance servicing, unpacking or piano stair carries that you request to be performed (or are necessary because of landlord requirements or other special circumstances). Charges for these services are in addition to the transportation charges.
Advanced Charges: Charges for services not performed by the mover but instead by a professional, craftsman or other third party at your request. The charges for these services are paid for by the mover and added to your bill of lading charges.
Agent: A local moving company authorized to act on behalf of a larger, national company.
Appliance Service: Preparation of major electrical appliances to make them safe for shipment.
Bill of Lading: The receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation. It is your responsibility to understand the bill of lading before you sign it. If you do not agree with something on the bill of lading, don’t sign it until you are satisfied that it is correct. The bill of lading is incredibly important for your records—don’t lose or misplace your copy.
Bulky Article: To ensure safe transportation, some articles included in a shipment (for example, pianos, automobiles and hot tubs) require extra handling as well as a large amount of space during transit.
Carrier Liability: The responsibility that the mover assumes for the customer’s shipment. The amount of liability varies from carrier to carrier. Carrier liability is different from insurance, which protects your shipment from more potential claims.
Carrier-Packed (or CP): Items that are packed into boxes, mobile storage units or cartons by the moving company, not the customer. This service incurs additional costs.
Claim: Statement of loss, damage or delay to a household good shipment while in the care, custody or control of the carrier or its affiliated agent.
C.O.D. (Cash on Delivery): Transportation for an individual shipper for which payment is required at the time of delivery at the destination residence or warehouse.
Department of Transportation (DOT): The federal agency which, through the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) within the DOT, governs the interstate transportation industry, including movers of household goods.
Destination agent: The agent designated in the destination area to be available to assist or provide information regarding your shipment to you or the van operator.
Diversion: When a customer changes the destination of their shipment after it is already en route. Transportation charges are calculated from the point of origin to the point at which the carrier is able to carry out diversion, plus the transportation charge from the diversion point to the new destination point.
Binding estimate: A binding estimate is an agreement made in advance with the mover that guarantees the total cost of the move based on the quantities and services shown on the estimate.
Binding Not-To-Exceed: A moving company quotes a maximum fee after performing a thorough estimate. If the freight weight exceeds the estimate, the fee does not change. If the freight weight is below the estimate, the customer pays only for the weight that is moved.
Non-binding estimate: 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. Leaders does not offer this type of estimate, as it often favors the carrier over the customer.
Expedited Service: An agreement with the mover to perform transportation by a set date in exchange for charges based on a higher minimum weight.
Extra Labor: Hourly labor charge for performing any requested services that don’t have predetermined fees. This could include jobs such as removing or placing items in attics or crawlspaces, and packing or unpacking owner’s furnished containers.
Extra pickup or delivery: Additional charges are assessed for each stop or call requiring an additional stop between the scheduled pickup and delivery.
Flight Charge: An extra charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs.
Full-Service Moving Company: Moving companies that provide professional packing services at the pickup site, expedient transportation of the shipment to the destination and subsequent unpacking. Services can be further extended to include the packing and set-up of large appliances for an additional charge.
Guaranteed Pickup and Delivery Service: An additional level of service whereby dates of service are guaranteed, with the mover proving reimbursement for delays. This premium service is often subject to minimum weight requirements.
High-Value Article: Items included in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound.
Inventory: The detailed descriptive list of your household goods showing the number and condition of each item.
Linehaul Charges: Charges for the vehicle transportation portion of your move. These charges apply in addition to the additional service charges.
Long Carry: An added charge for carrying articles excessive distances between the mover’s vehicle and your residence.
Moving Company: Carries out the entire process of planning, implementing and managing a safe, secure and efficient relocation. Contracts with third parties and hauling companies as needed to complete the move.
Non-Allowable List (Prohibited Items): The moving company won’t accept shipment property that will contaminate or damage the mover’s property or the property of other customers. The list could include alcohol, chemicals and propane tanks. In addition, the movers will not accept liability for perishable items, such as food, wine collections, plants, etc.
Order For Service: The document authorizing the mover to transport your household goods.
Order (Bill of Lading) Service: The number used to identify and track your shipment.
PBO (packed by owner): When articles are packed by the customer and not by the moving company.
Peak Season Rates: Higher linehaul charges that are applicable during the summer months when the majority of home moves take place.
Pickup And Delivery Charges: Separate transportation charges applicable for transporting your shipment between the storage-in-transit (SIT) warehouse and your residence.
Shipper: The person or entity whose belongings are being transported from the origin to the destination. The shipper must approve all additional charges that the moving company may suggest, and incurs all costs associated with relocation.
Shuttle service: Use of a smaller vehicle to provide service to residences that are not accessible to the mover’s normal, larger linehaul equipment. This could be due to an extremely narrow road, inadequate parking area for the moving truck, a weak bridge or other constraints.
Survey: When an agent carefully examines a mover’s belongings to provide an estimate.
Unpacking: Removing the customer’s items from containers and placing them on a flat surface, as well as the disposal of containers and other packing materials.
Tariff: The mover’s required, published price list of rules, regulations, rates and charges for the performance of interstate moving services.
Storage In Transit (SIT): Temporary warehouse storage of your shipment pending further transportation. For example, SIT could be utilized if your new home isn’t quite ready to occupy. You must specifically request SIT service, which may not exceed a total of 90 days of storage, and you will be responsible for the added charges for SIT service, as well as the warehouse handling and final delivery charges.
Valuation: The degree of “worth” of the shipment. This tariff-based coverage compensates the mover for assuming a greater degree of liability than what is provided by the base transportation charges. Valuation does not constitute insurance.
Warehouse Handling: An additional charge applicable each time SIT service is provided. This charge compensates the mover for the physical placement and removal of items within the warehouse.
Ask the moving and storage companies
More questions? Check out our frequently asked questions here. From accessorial services to warehouse handling, our team of experts wrote the book on moving and storage companies. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, give us a call at 1-800-481-6843 or contact us online.