The process of moving comes with a lot of organization, planning, packing and stress. It also comes with a lot of foreign lingo that you may not be familiar with. To ensure you know all of the necessary jargon that’s thrown around with moving companies, etc., here are the ABCs of moving.
Access – The level of accessibility to the home where the moving company is supposed to pick up or deliver household items. Certain factors can increase or decrease the level of accessibility, such as the available infrastructure in the area, the distance from the home to the parked moving vehicle, the number of stairs to be passed and the availability of freight elevators in the building.
Accessorial (Additional) Services – Services such as packing, unpacking, appliance servicing, split pick-up or delivery that you request from the moving company in addition to the shipment of your household goods. Extra services are optional, but they can be necessitated by circumstances beyond your control. Accessorial services are charged in addition to the transportation costs.
Note: Be sure additional services requested are included in the final estimate.
Agent – An affiliated moving company (typically a local one) that is authorized to act on behalf of a larger, national motor carrier company. The agent may handle all interactions between the customer and the company, or just part of it.
Agreed Delivery Date – The date when a shipment is supposed to arrive at the designated destination, according to the contract between the home mover and the moving company.
Agreed Pick-up Date – The exact time period you have booked for your move. Typically refers to the date when your chosen movers should come to load your household items.
American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) – An organization of moving companies that represents the interest of the moving and storage industry and works to ensure the highest standards of professional conduct and service in the trade, to help and protect its customers.
Appliance Service – Different services required to ensure the safe disconnection, transportation and reconnection of large household appliances, such as refrigerators, washing machines, clothes dryers and dishwashers.
Appliance Dolly – A wheeled platform that assists in moving heavy household items between the home and the moving vehicle. It can stand vertically, horizontally, or at an angle.
Assessed Value – The amount of cash value assigned to the items in a shipment. When purchasing moving insurance, the customer pays a certain amount of money per $1000 of assessed value to cover the cost of any damaged goods during shipment.
Bill of Lading – The formal binding contract between a home mover and a moving company for the transportation of household goods. It states the dates, services, specific conditions and charges involved in the move. It also specifies the method of payment and the kind of insurance coverage chosen by the customer, and serves as a receipt.
Binding Estimate – A moving company’s offer that states the total charges for your relocation, based on the size of the move and the requested moving services. A binding estimate guarantees the final cost of your move and can only be given after a moving estimator has performed an in-house visual survey of your household items and discussed any required additional services with you.
Bulky Items – Any large and awkwardly-shaped items, such as pianos, automobiles, motorcycles, hot tubs, snowmobiles, campers, swing sets, etc., that don’t fit in standard moving boxes and require special packing and handling to ensure safe transportation. A bulky-article charge is required for the relocation of such items, in order to compensate the carrier for the difficult loading and shipping procedures, as well as for the large amount of space these items consume during transit. You may have to pay additional weight additive charges, depending on the exact weight of your bulky item.
Cancellation Fee – If a customer cancels an already confirmed move, they may be charged a cancellation fee for the inconvenience they have caused the moving company.
Carrier – A moving services provider that is properly licensed and authorized to transport household goods.
Carrier Liability – The financial liability a carrier assumes for the customer’s shipment in case of loss or damage of goods.
Claim – A statement of loss or damage to household goods while in the custody of the moving company, which services as a request for a monetary compensation.
Consolidation – The combined shipment of the household goods of two or more customers. Consolidated shipments are shipped at a lower rate than what has been assessed against each individual shipment within the consolidation.
Crating – The process of packing certain delicate or valuable items in custom-built wood crates in order to ensure better protection during shipment.
Delivery – The act of transporting a shipment to the designated destination, unloading goods, and handing them over to the shipper of household items.
Delivery Window – A delivery window is the time period in which the movers are supposed to deliver a shipment to its final destination.
Department of Transportation – A federal agency that regulates the transportation industry, including the relocation of household goods, through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA).
Deposit – A certain amount of money – usually 10%-15% of the estimated moving cost – that a shipper of household goods pays to his/her chosen moving company in order to book their services for a specific date.
Destination Services – Any service provided at the destination by a driver, destination agent, or third party – unpacking, arranging furniture, servicing appliances, etc.
Estimate – An approximate evaluation by the mover of the final cost of the move, based on the total weight (or cubic feet) of the shipment, the actual distance to the final destination, and the required additional services.
Estimated Weight – The approximate weight of belongings, based on the inventory list or on a visual estimate performed by a relocation specialist.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – A specialized agency within the Department of Transportation that regulates the operation requirements for carriers, moving vehicle drivers, moving vehicles, and vehicle equipment.
Flight Charge – An additional charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs.
Freight Service – A partial low-cost moving service that refers only to the transportation of household goods from the origin to the destination.
Full (Replacement) Value Protection – A value program under which the carrier assumes liability for the full cost of repairs or the replacement value of any lost or damaged goods without deduction for depreciation of the items.
Full-Service Move – A full-service mover will handle a move from start to finish (packing, loading, transportation, unloading, and unpacking of household items and personal belongings). Full-service rates include everything, from the cost of cartons and packing labor to unpacking and removal of packing materials.
Furniture Blankets – Large, soft covers designed to provide the best protection possible for household appliances, furniture, and other bulky items during the moving process.
Furniture Pads – Convenient felt pads that are placed under heavy household items in order to allow the mover to slide heavy furniture pieces and appliances across the floor in a safe and effortless manner.
Gross Weight – The total weight of the moving vehicle and its contents after all the household goods have been loaded.
Guaranteed Pickup and Delivery Service – A premium service provided by the moving company to guarantee pickup and delivery dates.
High-Value Article – Items in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound ($220 per kilogram). The shipper of household goods is required to fill out a high-value article inventory form listing these items in order to ensure their adequate protection.
Household Goods – All personal belongings and property used in a home.
Hoisting Services – Auxiliary services offered by movers in case extremely large and heavy items need to be handled.
Inspection (Visual) – A visual inspection of the shipper’s home performed by a qualified representative of a moving company in order to get a realistic idea of the type and number of household items to be relocated and the kind of moving services that will be required to complete the job.
International Move – Any relocation that involves the crossing of international boundaries, regardless of distance.
Interstate Move – Any relocation that involves the crossing of state boundaries, regardless of distance.
Intrastate Move – Any relocation (typically over 50 miles) that does not require crossing a state line. Intrastate moves are not regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
In-transit – A stage of the transportation process when the shipment is en route between the origin and destination.
Inventory – A detailed list of all household goods entrusted to a mover. It includes a description of the items (their type, number, and current condition) and should be signed by the shipper and the driver, both at the origin and destination, to certify the condition of the goods, or to note any existing problems.
Loading – The act of taking the household goods of a customer out of his/her old property, placing them into the moving truck, and securing them to ensure their safety during transit.
Loading Ramp – A convenient retractable platform that connects the interior of a moving vehicle to the ground. It may be attached to the moving truck or may be a separate piece of equipment. In either case, it is designed to make loading/unloading operations easier and safer.
Local Move – A move within the boundaries of the state, taking place over a distance of less than 100 miles (160 kilometers). Local moves are charged on an hourly rate and are regulated by individual states’ Departments of Transportation or Public Utilities Commissions.
Long-term storage – The storage of household items for longer than one month.
Motor carrier – A company that provides truck transportation.
Moving Company (Mover) – A motor carrier engaged in the transportation of household goods. Movers must be properly licensed and authorized in order to operate legally. Your chosen mover may carry out the entire process of planning, implementing, and managing the relocation or may contract with third parties to complete a safe and efficient move.
Moving Cost – The cost of transportation of household items to their final destination, usually estimated without the proper insurance and the additional service charges required in the moving process.
Moving Dolly – A hand-operated wheeled platform used for easier transportation of boxes.
Moving Process – All the moving-related actions (planning, packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking), divided into three main relocation stages: pre-move preparations, moving-day procedures, and post-relocation activities.
Moving Truck / Van – The moving vehicle in which the household items of the customer will be transported to his/her new home.
Net Weight – The gross weight minus the tare weight.
Non-Binding Estimate – A non-binding estimate is the carrier’s approximation of the cost based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the requested accessorial services. It is usually issued for free without performing an in-home survey. The final moving cost, however, is not guaranteed. Instead, charges are based on the actual weight of the shipment, the complexity of the job, and the tariff provisions in effect during the time period of the move.
Non-Allowables – Moving companies will not accept specific items for shipment, such as those that pose a risk of contamination or damage to the carrier’s property or the property of other customers, as well as perishables.
Order for Service – A written agreement between the individual shipper and the moving company that authorizes the carrier to handle the transportation of a customer’s household goods.
Packers – Professionals who provide packing services to prepare a customer’s belongings for shipment in a safe and efficient manner. Professional packers can also unload and unpack the delivered goods upon the customer’s request.
Packing – The process of preparing one’s household items for shipment, wrapping them safely, placing them into suitable moving containers, and sealing and labeling the boxes. Using proper packing materials and efficient packing techniques is essential for ensuring the safety of items during shipment and keeping them in excellent condition throughout the entire moving process.
Packing Services – Services provided by full-service movers, in which all packing and unpacking activities are handled by the moving company’s staff.
Packing Supplies – Also known as packing materials, these are cardboard boxes of different sizes, wrapping and cushioning materials (packing paper, bubble wrap, foam sheets, packing peanuts, etc.), packing tape and other equipment required for providing adequate protection to household items while in transit.
Peak Season Rates – Higher moving charges that are applied to shipments in the summer months, when the demand for moving services is at its highest.
Permanent Storage – Storage of goods for an indefinite period of time. Permanent storage begins immediately after the initial storage-in-transit period expires.
Pick-up and Delivery Charges – Additional charges for transporting a shipment between a storage-in-transit warehouse and a customer’s residence.
Quote (Moving Quote) – The estimated cost of a move, offered by the moving company for free.
Self-Service Mover – A mover that transports a customer’s goods after they have been packed and loaded into the moving vehicle by the shipper. Upon arrival, the customer unloads the vehicle and calls the mover to pick it up when the task is completed.
Shipper of Household Items – An individual whose household items and personal possessions are being relocated from a place of origin to a designated destination.
Storage in Transit – The temporary storage of a customer’s household items in a carrier’s storage facility while pending further transportation or waiting to be delivered to the final destination. Typically, SIT service may not exceed a total of 90 days of storage, but the amount of time may be determined by individual carrier.
Tare Weight – The weight of the moving truck and its contents before a shipment is loaded.
Transit Time – The time from the moment the customer’s belongings are picked up to the moment they are delivered to their designated destination.
Unpacking – The process of unloading the customer’s goods and taking them out of their containers, as well as the disposal of any packing materials.
Weight Additive – Any extra weight added to the net weight of certain articles, to compensate the operator for the excessive van space they have to use.
Weight Ticket – The certificate a customer gets when the moving van is weighed at the weigh station on certified scales. It will show the weight of the entire shipment, as well as the weight of the vehicle without a load.
X, Y, Z
For more trusted moving tips from ABC Movers, click here.