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The Ultimate Breakdown on Moving Terminology

Like most other industries, the moving industry has a number of terms that refer to specific types of services, charges and fees. If you are using a moving company to transport the items in your household, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the keywords that may be used when talking with an agent or going over a contract.papers

Industry terms can refer to very specific things, and if you do not understand their meanings, you may end up paying more for your move than you expected or not getting the type of service you want. Below is a list of commonly used terms, what they mean, and how they might apply to your move.

Allied's Moving Resources: Why Moving Terminology?

Allied's moving terminology is truly indispensible throughout your relocation. When going through a move, you should understand every word of the materials you are provided to ensure you know your rights. The more educated you are with moving terminology, the better protected you'll be.

Moving Terminology for Your Best Moving Education

Accessorial (Additional) Services Services such as packing, appliance servicing, unpacking or piano stair carries that you 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 your request. The charges for these services are paid for by the mover and added to your 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 your 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 your 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 your 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.

Auto Inventory If you are having a moving company transport an automobile, motorcycle or a boat, you should get an auto inventory, which lists the item(s) being moved, the condition and how many miles were recorded at the time of shipping.

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 you sign it. If you do not agree with something on the bill of lading, do not sign it until you are 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 your move. A booking agent does not necessarily have to be located at or near the origin or destination.

Bulky Article Some moving companies may charge you extra for items that are considered bulky. Bulky items include things like big-screen TVs, grandfather clocks, riding lawn mowers or sheds.

Carrier The mover providing transportation of your household goods.

Claim If you discover that something was damaged during the move, you'll need to file a claim with the moving company to be reimbursed for repairing or replacing the item.

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.

Cube Sheet 
Also referred to as a table of measurements, a cube sheet is a list containing the written measurement of your household goods.

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.

Fuel Surcharge Moving companies may be able to add an additional charge to the cost of moving your household goods to make up for increased fuel prices.

 Full-service Packing and Unpacking If you want the mover to handle both packing and unpacking your household goods, you can opt for full-service packing and unpacking. There will be an additional charge for this service to cover labor and the cost of boxes and tape.

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 your household goods showing the number and condition of each item.

Linehaul Charges Charges for the vehicle transportation portion of your move. These charges apply in addition to the additional service charges.

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

Non-allowable List
  This is a list of items that the moving company is either not allowed to or refuses to transport. Items on the non-allowable list are those that would contaminate or damage other shipments or the moving company's property. Additionally, items that would be damaged or cause damage when moved, such as furniture that will not fit through a doorway, may also be on the non-allowable list.

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

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

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

Peak Season Rates Higher linehaul charges that are applicable during the summer months.

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

 ProMover Program  AMSA members are eligible to apply for ProMover certification. There are both interstate and intrastate certifications, and the certifications are only awarded to moving companies that meet certain criteria and have been in good standing with the AMSA for 18 months.

Registration Number The number assigned by the van line to identify your 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 your shipment pending further transportation, for example, if your new home isn't quite ready to occupy. You must specifically request SIT service, which may not exceed a total of 90 days of storage, and you 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.

Part of Allied's Moving Resources

Now that you are familiar with moving terminology, you are better equipped to manage your next relocation. It's important to know what all the terms mean on moving documents, especially regarding your bill of lading and valuation coverage. To best protect your assets during a move, arm yourself with Allied's moving terminology.