Helpful Moving Terminology

Accessorial (Additional) Services: Services such as packing, appliance servicing, unpacking or piano stair carries require a 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 the client’s request. The charges for these services are paid for by the mover and added to the bill of lading charges.

Agent: The local moving company representing a national van line. May serve as booking, origin, destination and/ or hauling agent.

AMSA Certified Mover: An interstate carrier that transports household goods shipment under its own operating authority, granted by the Federal Highway Administration. AMSA Certified Movers subscribe to the AMSA Code of Conduct and have pledged to conduct their business in the most efficient and professional manner possible.

AMSA Certified Van Line: An interstate carrier that transports household goods shipment under its own authority, granted by the Federal Highway Administration, on a national basis. Van Lines use a network of agents throughout the country to provide the origin, destination and hauling services needed to accomplish a move. Like Certified Movers, AMSA Certified Van Lines subscribe to the AMSA Code of Conduct. They have pledged to conduct their business in the most efficient and professional manner possible and are responsible for the acts of their agents.

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 signing. If you do not agree with something on the bill of lading, do not sign it until satisfied that it is correct. The bill of lading is an important document. Don’t lose or misplace your copy.

Binding/Non-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. A non-binding estimate is 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.

Booking Agent: Agent or person who sells and registers a move. A booking agent does not necessarily have to be located at or near the origin or destination.

Carrier: The mover providing transportation of household goods.

Change Order: A form used to amend the amount indicated on the original estimate due to the addition or deletion of items to be shipped or services requested by the customer.

C.O.D.: Transportation for a private shipper for which payment is required at the time of delivery at the destination residence (or warehouse).

Destination Agent: Agent located at or near your destination who provides necessary services and information at the end of your move.

Estimate: A general calculation of the transportation charges, as well as costs for additional services requested by the customer. Includes an estimation of shipment weight.

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

Flight Charge: An extra charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs.

Guaranteed Pickup and Delivery Service: An additional level of service whereby dates of service are guaranteed, with the mover providing reimbursement for delays. This premium service is often subject to minimum weight requirements.

Hauling Agent: Agent who owns the van assigned by the van line to transport your possessions.

High Value Article: Items included in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound. These items should be disclosed to the mover to ensure they are protected accordingly.

Inventory: The detailed descriptive list of household goods showing the number and condition of each item.

Long Carry: An added charge for carrying articles excessive distances between the mover’s vehicle and the residence.

Order for Service: The document authorizing the mover to transport household goods.

Order (Bill of Lading) Number: The number used to identify and track a shipment.

Origin Agent: Agent at origin responsible for performing packing and preparing necessary documentation.

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

Pickup and Delivery Charges: Separate transportation charges applicable for transporting a shipment between the SIT warehouse and a residence.

Registration Number: The number assigned by the van line to identify a shipment. Found in the upper right-hand corner of the Order for Service and the bill of lading.

Relocation Consultant: The agent sales representative responsible for providing the customer with an estimate of the cost of his/her move, as well as for answering any and all questions the customer might have with regard to the moving process.

Shuttle Service: Use of a smaller vehicle to provide service to residences that are not accessible to the mover’s normal linehaul equipment.

Storage-In-Transit (SIT): Temporary warehouse storage of a shipment pending further transportation, for example, if a new home isn’t quite ready to occupy.  SIT services must be by specific request, which may not exceed a total of 90 days of storage.  The client 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. The valuation charge compensates the mover for assuming a greater degree of liability than that provided for in the base transportation charges. This is also known as Extra Care Protection.

Van Foreman: The van driver having overall responsibility for the loading, transport, and unloading of the customer’s belongings.

Van Line: The national moving company through which affiliated agents are granted the necessary authority to transport interstate shipments. The van line handles dispatching, shipment routing and monitoring, paperwork processing, and claims settlement for all interstate shipments handled by its agents.

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.