Moving Terminology


Accessorial Services - Services such as packing, appliance servicing, unpacking, or piano stair carries. Charges may be in addition to the line haul charges.

Agent - A local moving company authorized to act on behalf of a larger, national company.

Bill Of Lading number - The receipt for your goods and the contract for the transportation of these goods.

Carrier - The mover transporting your household goods.

Cash on Delivery (COD) - Payment is required at the time of delivery. 

Certified Scale - Any scale designed for weighing motor vehicles, trailers or semi-trailers not attached to a tractor.

Estimate, Binding - An agreement made in advance with your mover. It guarantees the total cost of the move based upon the quantities and services shown on the estimate.

Estimate, Non-Binding - This is what your mover believes the cost will be, based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. The final charges will be based upon the actual weight of your shipment, the services provided, and the tariff provisions in effect. 

Expedited Service - An agreement with the mover to perform transportation by a set date in exchange for charges based upon a higher minimum weight.

Flight Charge - A charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs. Charges for these services may be in addition to the line haul charges.

Freight Service - A low cost moving service where the mover delivers your goods at the door step of the address you specify.

Full Service Move - The most common type of move, with the carrier moving your household items from your old address to your new address.

Guaranteed pickup and delivery service - An additional service that features guaranteed dates of service.

High Value Article - These are items that have a value of more than $100 per pound.

Household Goods - Your personal effects and property.

Inventory - The detailed description of your household goods.

Line haul charges - The charges for the vehicle transportation portion of your move.

Long Carry - A charge for carrying articles excessive distances between the mover’s vehicle and your residence.

Mobile Container - Large storage containers that are delivered to your home.

Mover - A motor carrier engaged in the transportation of household goods

Operating Authority - The certification issued by a state or federal governmental department authorizing a mover or carrier to move household goods between designated geographical areas.

Peak Season Rates - Higher line haul charges applicable during the summer months.

Pickup and Delivery Charges - Separate transportation charges for transporting your goods between the storage-in-transit warehouse and your residence.

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 lasing.

Standard Coverage - By law moving companies must provide a minimum amount of free coverage, and refers to the amount of money you will receive per pound of damaged goods.

Storage-In-Transit (SIT) - The temporary warehouse storage of your shipment pending further transportation.

Surface Transportation Board - An agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation that regulates household goods carrier tariffs, among other responsibilities. The Surface Transportation Board’s address is 1925 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20423-0001. Their telephone number is 202-565-1674.

Tariff - An issuance containing rates, rules, regulations, classifications, or other provisions. The Surface Transportation Board requires that a tariff contain three specific items. First, an accurate description of the services the mover offers to the public. Second, the specific applicable rates and service terms for services offered to the public. Third, the mover’s tariff must be arranged in a way that allows you to determine the exact rate(s) and service terms applicable to your shipment.

Valuation - The degree of worth of the shipment.

Warehouse Handling - An additional charge applicable each time storage-in-transit service is provided. This charge compensates movers for the physical placement and removal of items within the warehouse.