A Comprehensive Glossary of Moving Industry Terminology

Whether you’re a client or an entrepreneur who wants to start a moving business, you should get acquainted with the basic moving industry terminology. In the end, given the vast number of moving terms, it’s really easy to get lost in the shuffle and pay for something you didn't need.

After going through this moving glossary, you will never again have trouble with moving terminology!

Moving Glossary 

Accessorial (Additional) Services - Various services that come with additional charges, like carrying items up and down the stairs, packing and unpacking, labeling, and so on.

Advanced charges - Services paid by the mover and subsequently charged to the client in full amount for additional services from third-party (non-mover) providers.

Agent - A logistics professional working as a separate entity or a part of a moving company, ensuring a simple and effective move for a client.

AMSA Certified Mover - A moving company that has a certificate from AMSA (American Moving and Storage Association).

AMSA Certified Van Line - An interstate moving company that has a certificate from AMSA (American Moving and Storage Association).

Appliance Service - Service of preparing home appliances for a move so they don't get damaged in transport.

Bill of Lading - Contract between a mover and a client that outlines responsibilities and terms, including transportation price, items involves, and dates.

Binding/Non-Binding Estimate - A binding estimate is a flat price a client has to pay for a move. A non-binding estimate gives an approximation as to how much a service would cost.

Booking Agent - A logistics professional that books and registers the move.

Carrier - Alternate term for a mover.

Change Order - A type of order that changes the agreed-upon move price based on the inclusion or deletion of items and/or services.

Check-Off Sheet - A sheet that lists all the items meant to reach the destination. Upon delivery, a moving professional will check off entries to ensure everything is delivered.

Claim - A complaint form that allows a client to recuperate losses due to damage and loss of items, as well as delayed delivery.

Contract Number - The number of moving contracts located in the upper-right corner of the Bill of Landing and Order of Service, which helps a van line identify the shipment.

C.O.D. - C.O.D. (Cash On Delivery) is a type of agreement where a client pays for service upon delivery. A client has the option of paying with a credit card, cash, or check.

Destination Agent - A logistics professional that waits at the delivery destination and provides information and assistance that will help finish the move.

Estimate - An estimate of move charges that also include the cost of additional services and the weight of cargo.

Expedited Service - An agreement that obligates a mover to deliver items by the set date, which a client compensates by paying a higher minimum weight charges.

Flight Charge - An additional service charge based on how many stairs movers have to climb up and down when carrying items.

Full-Value Protection - A type of cargo insurance where a company is obligated to cover damage or loss based on an item's current market value.

Guaranteed Pickup/Delivery - A service that ensures cargo delivery and pickup at pre-specified dates.

Hauling Agent - A logistics professional that owns a van involved in the move.

High Value Article - Any item that is worth more than $100 per pound. Unlike regular items, a client needs to disclose the addition of these items to a mover so that the object is properly packaged and protected.

Inventory - A list of items included in the move, with additional information about each object’s condition, number of units, and other relevant details.

Linehaul Charges - A service charge paid for the transportation of goods, commonly charged for long-distance moves and calculated based on mileage and cargo weight.

Local Move - A move made within an area, usually within 40 miles of the pickup location.

Long Carry - A service charge commonly introduced when a mover has to carry items at a long distance, from vehicle to destination.

Move Coordinator - A logistics professional that monitors the shipment status, providing a client with relevant information until the end of the move.

Order (Bill of Landing) Number - A single number that identifies and tracks the shipment.

Order for Service - A shipping order that lists all services that a mover should provide to a client while also giving the mover full authority to transport and manage the cargo.

Origin Agent - A logistics professional at the original location that provides information and assistance to finish the move.

Peak Season Rates - The high transportation rates commonly applied during peak season, that is, from May to September.

Pickup and Delivery Charges - Additional charges for picking up and delivering client’s items from storage or warehouse to their residence.

Relocation Specialist - A logistics professional that analyzes the move and provides a price assessment. These experts also can answer all questions that a client might have regarding the process.

Shuttle Service - An additional service that a mover introduces when the staff can’t deliver the cargo with regular equipment. During shuttle service, a small vehicle is used to transport the objects to the destination.

Storage-In-Transit (S.I.T.) - A temporary storage for cargo that a client can use if the items can't be placed in the destination location. Storage-In-Transit is commonly used if a house is not ready for a move in, or if there is some other delay.

Tariff - A document that lists a mover’s available services and rates, as well as other rules and regulations.

Third Party Charges - All service charges from third-party providers that were involved in the move per a client's request.

Valuation - A value assessment of a client's belongings involved in the transport.

Van Line - A national company that provides moving and related services by authorizing local agents as proxies. While a van line doesn't handle transportation, it's involved in all related processes, including paperwork processing, routing, shipment monitoring, dispatching, and settlements.

Van Operator - A logistics professional that drives the vehicle and is responsible for loading, unloading, and additional services.

Warehouse Handling - A charge related to storage-in-transit service. It includes loading and unloading fees, warehousing fee, and item delivery fee.

Weight Ticket - A document providing information about van's weight before and after loading cargo.

Understanding these terms can significantly facilitate your interaction with moving professionals, as well as ensure you're only paying for the services you genuinely need. So whether you're a client planning a move or an entrepreneur thinking about starting a moving business, this glossary serves as an essential toolkit. Here's to a smoother and more informed moving experience!

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