Moving Words You Should Know

accessorial services Services other than actual transportation, such as packing, unpacking, picking up goods from a second location, and so on. Charges for these services are in addition to transportation charges.

addendum (change order) A form used to amend the original estimate, usually due to changes in items to be shipped or services to be performed.

additional transportation charge (ATC) An adjusted charge that compensates the carrier when he performs services in areas where labor rates are higher than the national average. It also compensates a carrier for costs due to traffic congestion and for added time traveling for pickup or delivery.

appliance service The preparation of appliances that need special handling before shipping.

advanced charges (third party service) Charges for services performed by others but arranged for by your agent. Charges will appear on your bill of lading. Typically these are for specialized services to prepare delicate or valuable items.

agent A local moving company with authorization to act on behalf of a national moving company.

auxiliary service (shuttle) A smaller truck (shuttle) that is used when a large van for some reason cannot travel the roads required to reach a pickup or drop-off point.

bill of lading The contract between you and the moving company. It also serves as your receipt for your belongings.

binding estimate A written, guaranteed price for shipment based on an itemized list of items to be moved, the distance to be traveled, and services to be performed.

booking agent The agent who accepts your order for shipping and registers it with the van line.

bulky article Large items, such as cars, boats, and campers. An additional fee is charged for the difficulty of handling such items.


carrier The company actually providing transportation for your shipment.

claim Your statement of loss or damage to any part of your shipment.

C.O.D. (cash on delivery) Shipments that require payment upon delivery. Payment can usually be made in cash, traveler’s checks, money order, cashier’s check, or credit card.

consignee The person who will accept shipment, whether it is the shipper or someone the shipper designates.

consignor The person from whom the shipment was picked up, whether it is the shipper or someone the shipper designates.

CP (carrier packed) Articles packed into boxes and crates by the moving company.

cwt Hundredweight. The shipping charge per 100 pounds.

deadhead Traveling empty. The miles a van must travel without cargo to pick up a paying load.

declared valuation Your claim of the value of the goods being shipped. This establishes maximum liability of the mover.

destination agent An agent at the destination who will assist you or the van operator.

elevator carry An extra charge that is added if a shipment must be either picked up or delivered with the use of an elevator.

estimate A moving company’s representative’s estimate of the cost of moving your goods, based on weight and van requirements, as determined by a visual inspection of the shipment. See binding estimate and non-binding estimate.

expedited service Delivery on a specific date, as requested by the customer. An additional charge may apply.

extra stop Pickup or delivery at more than one point. Incurs an additional fee, regulated by tariff.

flight charge (stair carry) An extra fee for carrying large, bulky items up or down stairs.

gross weight The weight of the truck and contents after your goods have been loaded.


hauling agent The agent who owns the truck that will move your belongings.

high-value inventory Items that are worth more than $100 per pound, such as coin collections, furs, jewelry, or antiques.

ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) A federal agency in charge of the regulation of interstate transportation.

inventory An itemized listing of the items in your shipment, including notes on condition.

linehaul The tariff charge for transporting your goods from the pickup point to the destination.

long carry (distance carry) A charge added when goods must be carried an unusual distance from the truck to the house.

long haul Generally, a move that is more than 450 miles.

moving counselor The moving company representative who estimates the cost of your shipment and who will answer your questions about the estimate, services, or moving.

net weight The weight of your goods, found by subtracting the tare weight from the gross weight.

non-binding estimate A price given to you before the move that does not guarantee the final bill. The final bill will be calculated on the weight of the shipment, the distance traveled, and the services performed.

operating authority Certification for a carrier to transport household goods between designated geographical areas.

order for service The paper authorizing the mover to move your belongings.

order for service number (registration number) The number assigned to your shipment. It is used for record keeping and tracking your shipment.

origin agent An agent in your area who will help with preparing your shipment (such as packing household goods), or to provide information about your move.

overflow Items that are shipped on a second truck when space is unavailable on the first truck.


packed by owner (PBO) Items that you pack yourself.

packing service A company that prepares and packs your goods to be shipped.

peak-season rates Higher rates that are sometimes charged during the summer.

pickup and delivery charges Transportation charges for moving your shipment between a temporary storage warehouse and your residence.

reweigh A second weighing of your shipment at your or the mover’s request.

road van A tractor-trailer that makes long-haul trips.

shipper You. The person whose belongings are being moved.

short haul A shipment of fewer than 450 miles.

storage in transit Temporary storage of your shipment at the moving company’s warehouse.

straight truck A single cab and body vehicle.

survey The examination of your goods by the carrier’s agent for making an estimate of shipping costs.

tare weight The weight of the truck and contents prior to loading your shipment.

tariff The carrier’s provisions, including rates, for services performed during a move.

third-party services Services that are performed, at your request, by someone other than the carrier.

valuation Your declaration of the value of the items being shipped.

van A truck that is used for moving.

van line The national moving company that oversees affiliates who transport interstate shipments.

van operator The driver of the truck.

warehouse handling An extra charge for placing and/or removing items from temporary storage.