Moving Glossary

Sometimes, it can feel like moving contracts are written in a different language or that movers have their own special jargon. We’ve compiled this dictionary to help you translate what your movers and their documents are saying.


Accessorial Charges
Fees for services in addition to the basic transportation of household goods.
Accessorial Services
Services such as packing, appliance servicing, unpacking or piano stair requested by the shipper (or are required by a landlord or other special circumstances), subject to additional charges.
Actual Charges
From start to finish, the total cost of the move.
Additional Transportation Charge
Supplementary charges based on the cost of transportation to a certain area.
Advanced Charges
Charges for services performed by a professional, craftsman, or other third party at the request of the shipper. Charges are added to the bill of lading.
A local moving company, under agreement with a national moving company, which may serve as the booking, origin, destination and/or hauling agent.
Agreed Delivery Date
Two or more dates mutually agreed upon between the customer and the agent for the delivery of a shipment.
Air Ride
A suspension system made of cylinders filled with compressed air used on trailers and tractors to provide a safer ride than conventional spring suspensions.
Air Waybill
Functions as both a receipt for and contract for the transportation of cargo between a customer and an air carrier.
American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA)
An organization of moving companies dedicated to the mutual interests of the transportation industry.
AMSA Certified Mover
An interstate carrier granted authority by the Federal Highway Administration to ship household goods, and which subscribes to the AMSA Code of Conduct to operate their business in the most efficient and professional manner possible.
AMSA Certified Van Line
An interstate carrier granted authority by the Federal Highway Administration to ship household goods on a national basis, using a network of agents to provide origin, destination, and hauling services. These van lines subscribe to the AMSA Code of Conduct to operate their business in the most efficient and professional manner possible and are responsible for the acts of their agents.
Appliance Service
A service to prepare major electrical appliances for safe transportation.
Arrival Notice
A notice sent by the agent informing the shipper of the estimated arrival date of the shipment.
The process of taking household goods (furniture, lamps, etc.) apart before transportation and then putting them back together upon arrival at new location.
Automobile Handling Charge
A supplementary charge for the movement of an automobile.
Average Transit Time
The average time required for a shipment to travel from one location to another.


Bill of Lading
A receipt for services rendered and a contract for the transportation of goods, often necessary to claim the shipment at the destination.
Billable Charges
Net total of all charges billed.
Billing Weight
The weight used to determine all charges.
Binding Estimate
An agreement made in advance that guarantees the total cost of the move based on the quantities and services shown on the estimate.
Bona Fide
Made in good faith without fraud or deceit.
Booker or Booking Agent
A person who sells and registers a move, not necessarily located at or near origin or destination.
Breach of Contract
The violation or default of a contract caused by the failure to perform a particular duty.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)
A federal agency that investigates and controls importations of alcohol, tobacco products, firearms and munitions.


Cancellation Document
A written agreement to terminate a sales contract.
A shipment being transported by vehicle, air, or ship.
Cargo Claim
A claim filed for damage to household goods caused during transport.
The movement of goods or cargo by a carrier.
A company that transports goods from one location to another.
Carrier Liability
The financial responsibility of the mover based on the declared value of goods lost or damaged during a move.
Carrier Packed
Boxes and cartons packed by the moving agent.
Transporting goods into or out of storage.
Cash on Delivery (COD)
A shipment that is paid for at the time of delivery and prior to unloading the shipment. Also called Collect on Delivery.
Cash Settlement
A claims settlement for loss or damage to property that is paid for in cash.
Catastrophic Coverage
Insurance that protects against a warehouse fire and other catastrophic occurrences.
Certificate of Origin
A document used to determine the country where goods were manufactured or produced.
Certificate of Title
A statement issued by a state government verifying ownership and acknowledging liens placed upon any automobile, truck, tractor or other vehicle.
Certificate of Weight
An official statement prepared by a weigh master declaring the weight of a shipment.
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.
Check Off Sheet
A form used by the van operator or customer to mark items as delivered, as they are unloaded. Also called a Bingo Sheet.
A written report filed by a customer with the moving agent to collect payment for loss or damage to property that may have occurred during shipment.
Claim File
A file containing all documents needed for the claims administration department to process a claim.
Clean Receipt/Clean Bill of Lading
A bill of lading for shipments received with no damage, missing items or apparently good condition.
Commercial Shipment
A shipment containing non-household goods.
Commercial Shipper
A company that ships commercial shipments.
The portion of the fees paid for a shipment payable to the origin agent, booking agent, destination agent or hauler.
Fulfilling the requirements mandated by government regulations on shipping documents and papers.
Concealed Damage
Damage to the contents of a package without readily visible damage to the package itself.
An item of value provided with the intent of motivating a person to enter into a contract or to discourage a certain act such as a lawsuit.
The person at destination designated to receive the shipment.
See Shipment.
The person at origin who arranges for shipment transportation.
The combining of two or more small shipments into one unit during transit, usually for a rate less than what would have been assessed against each individual shipment.
The use of a standard barrel, box, carton, or drum to transport freight.
A written agreement or legally enforceable promise between two parties.
Contract Carriage
Transportation of goods by a carrier under a contract rather than a tariff.
A means of transportation (car, truck, boat, etc.)
The person who sets up, supervises, and coordinates shipments between the origin agent, destination agent, van operator, and moving agent.
Corrective Billing
An invoice correcting the original charges and/or rates on the initial invoice.
An additional person to sign a legal document, thus becoming jointly responsible for fulfilling the obligations under the contract.
Cost of Living Allowance
In relation to corporate relocation, money provided to an employee for the completion of certain repairs or improvements to a home or for expenses incurred while moving to a new location with higher living costs.
Country of Origin
The country in which a product is manufactured, produced, or grown rather than the country from which it is shipped.
A measurement of the capacity (cubic space) of a truck or container. The industry average is 7 pounds per cubic foot.
Cube Sheet
A written measurement of household goods items. Also called Table of Measurements.
  1. The U.S. Customs Service
  2. A fee imposed by a country on imports and exports that is collected by the U.S. Customs Service.
  3. The place where imports and exports are physically examined.


Delay Claim
A claim filed for expenses incurred as a result of a late pick-up or delivery, usually for motel and meal expenses.
Delivery Date
The actual date on which the shipment is turned over to the customer or consignee.
Delivery Report
A report signed by the customer to verify delivery of goods. This is part of the additional services performed at origin/destination and delivery report.
An additional charge for keeping a container, trailer, or railcar beyond a specific length of time.
The measurement ratio of an item’s weight to its volume.
Department of Transportation (DOT)
The government agency responsible for regulating the transportation industry.
Money paid by a buyer up front to secure a contract and protects the seller from breach of contract.
Depreciated Cost
The cost to reproduce or replace property, less depreciation to the time of appraisal.
Depreciation Guide
A guide showing the average life span of an item and its estimated depreciation each year.
The final point of delivery as specified by the customer.
Destination Agent
Agent located at or near destination who provides necessary services at the end of the move, and who is also the authorized receiving agent if the shipment is going into storage.
Destination Service
Services performed upon arrival of shipment at destination.
A charge to the customer for keeping a container beyond a certain time limit.
Disassembled by Owner
Items are disassembled by owner rather than by the moving agent, which releases the agent from responsibility to reassemble these items.
Department responsible for the coordination of moving shipments from origin to destination.
A person who communicates the route of a shipment to van operators and agents, and ensures instructions are carried out accordingly.
A change of a shipment’s destination while it is en route and prior to arrival at the original destination.
An elevated section of a building that is level with the trailer of a truck for ease of loading and unloading.
A small platform on rollers or wheels used to more easily move items and freight.
Domestic Shipment
A shipment being transported within the continental U.S.
Door-to-Door Service
The service from origin residence to destination residence, where there is no storage in transit, customs duties, taxes, warehouse handling, etc.
Moving freight within a city.
The person who performs drayage. Also called Cartman.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
A federal agency empowered to investigate and control entry and use of illegal drugs and substances within the U.S., often in cooperation with foreign governments.
Material other than packaging used to prevent damage to or support freight while in shipment.


Elevator Carry Charge
An additional charge assessed to the customer only if an elevator is required to move items between the moving van and residence.
En Route
On the way.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
A federal agency which investigates and controls entry into the U.S. of any motor vehicle not meeting federal emission control standards.
An approximate calculation of the transportation charges of a shipment based on the size, cost, value, weight, and additional requested services.
Estimated Cost of Service
A written document used as a preliminary inventory of a shipment to determine approximate charges for weight, special services, mileage, rate, charges, etc.
Estimated Time of Arrival
The date and time it is estimated a shipment will arrive at its destination.
Estimated Time of Departure
The estimated time a shipment will leave the origin location.
Estimated Weight
The approximate weight of a shipment.
Exception Report
A report that itemizes additions or changes to the original inventory.
Excise Tax
A government tax imposed on the consumption, manufacturing or sale of commodities.
Exclusive Use
The requested by a customer to have a shipment travel alone on a truck. This usually involves a differing fee structure based upon actual weight of the shipment with a minimum total weight.
Exempt Commodities
Commodities that are exempt from rules and regulations imposed on carriers by the government.
A discount on government taxes given to eligible taxpayers.
Expedited Service
An agreement with the mover to perform transportation by a set date in exchange for charges based on a higher minimum weight.
Extended Liability
An extension of the valuation on a shipment in storage-in-transit.
Extra Delivery
An additional location, other than the destination address, where a portion of a shipment is unloaded.
Extra Pickup
An additional location, other than the origin address, where a portion of a shipment is loaded. Also called Extra Stop.


First Proviso
An old designation for household goods.
Flat Floor
A term referring to the structure of the floor of a trailer, wherein the floor is level from the trailer’s nose to its back door.
Flatbed Carrier
A carrier using flatbed trailers under the terms, rates and authorities of a household goods carrier for transport of containerized household goods between ports and/or warehouses.
Flight Charge
An extra charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs.
The loss of the rights to something because of failure to meet the terms of an agreement.
A period of time specified by a carrier during which no charge will be assessed for holding cargo at a pier, dock, warehouse facility, etc., pending pickup by a consignee, or for allowing a container, trailer or railcar to be held by a customer or consignee for loading or unloading.
Goods to be transported or shipped.
Freight All Kinds
Rates assessed regardless of what is being transported and normally only used when no specific commodity rate is available.
Freight Bill
A document for describing a shipment, its weight, total charges, the rate for charges, taxes and whether charges are collected or prepaid.
Freight Charges
The charge assessed for transporting freight.
Freight Forwarder
A licensed business that assembles and dispatches shipments on behalf of others and handles the formalities involved with such shipments.
Fuel Surcharge
A means by which reimbursement is provided for fuel costs to van operators and haulers who are responsible for purchasing the fuel.
The use of disinfectant or pesticides to treat goods exposed to insects or bacteria. It is typically either requested by the customer or required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


General Commodities
Common freight, except for Class A and B explosives, bulk commodities and household goods.
General Commodity Rate
A rate used when no specific commodity rate is available, regardless of the goods being transported.
Geographic Management
A third-party that works with those moving out of a specific geographical area, regardless of the corporate client.
Gross Chargeable Weight
In the airfreight industry, weight equal to one pound chargeable for 166 cubic inches of consumed space by the shipment.
Gross Weight
The weight of the truck it has been loaded with a shipment.
Group Move
Planning, organizing and executing every aspect of both facility and employee relocation.
Guaranteed Pickup and Delivery Service
An additional level of service whereby dates of service are guaranteed, with the mover providing reimbursement for delays (subject to minimum weight requirements).


Handling Charge
A charge normally applied to cover the physical handling of cargo, at both the port of embarkation and port of debarkation.
The agent or van operator who actually transports the shipment or goods.
Hauling Agent
Owner of the van assigned by the van line assigned to transport a shipment.
Hazard Insurance
Insurance protecting against fire, flood, wind, etc.
A person hired by the van operator or agent to assist in loading and unloading a shipment.
High Value Article
Items in a shipment valued at more than $100 per pound, which should be disclosed to the moving agent to ensure they are protected accordingly.
Home Location Housing Cost
The normal cost of living with a particular income and family size in a certain area of the country.
Hours of Service
The maximum legal number of hours a van operator may drive and work.
Household Goods
Personal goods or property in a home.
Household Goods Transportation Act
A federal law enacted to make carriers of household goods responsible for the acts of their agents.
Housing Differential
A sum paid when the housing costs of the host location exceed those of the home location.


Minor expenses that occur during a temporary relocation.
Incline Dolly
Equipment used to move goods on or off stairs, often in conjunction with a stair mobile.
A promise to reimburse a person for damage or loss.
Individual Shipper
The person requesting movement of a shipment and paying the transportation charges.
Inherent Vice
An existing condition of an article that may cause damage to that article if transported.
Inland Bill of Lading
Used to document transportation of goods between two points within the U.S., usually between an inland point and a port or airport.
A legal written document such as a contract, deed or grant.
The transportation of one carrier’s equipment by a different carrier.
Interchange Agreement
An agreement between two carriers allowing for the equipment of one carrier to be transported or used by the other carrier.
The transfer of a shipment between two different carriers from one point to another.
Freight shifted from one mode of transportation to another (road to rail, rail to ocean, road to air).
Internal Packaging
The supporting of goods inside a package to protect against damage during transportation.
Interstate Move
A shipment moving across two or more states.
Intrastate Move
A shipment moving within the same state.
A detailed, descriptive list of all goods contained in a shipment and their condition, Also called Household Goods Descriptive Inventory.
The bill for payment of charges that is presented to the customer.
Irregular Route Carrier
Any carrier that provides non-scheduled service over irregular routes.
Irrevocable Consent
An agreement that cannot be changed or revoked.


Joint Rate
A single rate offered by two or more connecting carriers between an origin and destination point.



A person hired by the van operator or agent to assist in the loading and unloading of goods.
Land Bridge, Full
Carriage from one foreign port to another foreign port, passing across the entire U.S. via rail or truck.
Land Bridge, Micro
Carriage from an inland point in the US via rail or truck to a foreign port.
Land Bridge, Mini
Carriage between a U.S. port and a foreign port, but moving through a different U.S. port. (i.e. San Francisco to New Orleans via rail, then vessel carriage to a foreign destination port.)
Landed Value
Value of goods upon arrival at destination, including the value of the goods themselves, plus additional costs for packaging, containers, freight charges, transportation, insurance charge and handling.
Last Receiving
A deadline date and time by which cargo must be received at a designated location so that it can be boarded on a specific vessel, aircraft, truck or railcar.
Late Delivery
When goods are delivered to the destination after the agreed delivery date.
Less-Than-Containerload (LCL)
When goods shipped by a rail carrier or vessel are placed into a common container with other cargo or loose into the holds of the vessel.
Less-Than-Truckload (LTL)
When shipped goods share a trailer with other customers’ cargo.
Letter of Authority
A letter authorizing an agent to move an employee, assuring that the commercial account will pay for the move if no purchase order or order for service is used.
Liability Insurance
Insurance that covers property damage and/or bodily injury to someone else.
Limited Partnership
A partnership where one party is fully liable and the other is liable only for the amount they have invested.
Linehaul Charges
The transportation revenues on a shipment, applicable in addition to additional service charges.
Load Date
The date when a shipment is actually picked up.
Load Spread
Agreed pick-up dates.
Local Move
A move within a more limited geographical area like a town or district instead of a state or country.
Local Rates
Varying rates charged by a carrier based within a local area.
Log Book
A daily record used by a van operator to log hours worked and the route traveled.
Long Carry
Carrying goods an excessive distance between moving van to the origin or destination residence, typically resulting in extra labor charges.
Long Distance
A shipment with a distance such that cannot be serviced in one day.
A person hired by the van operator or agent to assist in the loading and unloading of goods. Also called a Laborer.


Mechanical Damage
Damage to a shipment or item caused by mechanical malfunctions, not mishandling by the van operator.
Mileage Guide
An official guide used by carriers to determine mileage from one city to another, regardless of the route actually driven.
Minimum Charge
The minimum fee for which a shipment may be legally handled.
Minimum Weight
The designated weight level at which a particular rate must be assessed. Typically, weights below this minimum result in a higher rate and weights above result in a lower rate.
Motor Vehicle Inventory
A form used when transporting an automobile, boat, or motorcycle listing the vehicle’s miles and condition at both origin and destination.


National Account
A company that uses professional moving services to transport household goods for its employees, products, general commodities, exhibits or new products.
National Account Shipment
A shipment paid for by a company, rather than the householder.
Net Weight
The actual weight of a shipment calculated by subtracting tare weight from gross weight.
Non-Binding Estimate
Represents the carrier’s approximation of the cost based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. Costs are liable to change based upon the actual weight and tariff provisions in effect.
Normal Destination Service
Delivery to and unpacking of household goods at a single-family residence (single ground floor), with such residence readily accessible from a public thoroughfare. Unpacking and removal of any packing materials, debris, etc., must be performed at the time of the initial delivery.
Normal Origin Service
Preparation and containerization of household goods at the origin residence (which is readily accessible from a public thoroughfare) or at the warehouse of the origin agent.
Notification Address
Destination address of customer provided for contact purposes.
Notification of Delay
Advisory to the customer that the shipment will be late, along with the reason for delay, the last known location and the new delivery dates. Also called Extensions.


Operating Authority
A government permit that defines the scope of a carrier’s operation by area and commodity.
Oral Contract
A verbal agreement.
Order for Service
A written agreement between the individual shipper and the moving agent authorizing the agent to move the customer’s goods.
Order (Bill of Lading) Number
The number used to identify and track your shipment.
Location from which a shipment begins transportation.
Origin Agent
Person who handles the estimating, scheduling, documenting, packing and loading of a shipment at the origin.
Origin Dispatch
Area dispatch office servicing the region from which a shipment originates.
Origin Service
A service provided by the origin agent at the shipment origin, like packing, appliance servicing, or maid service.
Accidental delivery of goods to a customer or warehouse when the items actually belong to someone else.
Overcharge Claim
A claim filed by a customer to dispute transportation charges, packing or other services, excluding property damage.
The portion of a shipment that cannot be loaded on one van due to lack of available space, resulting in another van being assigned to load the overflow.
The driver, operator, or the legal owner of a moving van.


Packed by Carrier
Goods packed by the agent at origin.
Packed by Owner
Goods packed by the shipper at origin.
Either the services or the material used to prepare a shipment for safe handling and transport.
Packing Date
A date set aside for packing household goods. Most often, it occurs one day prior to loading the van.
Packing List
A detailed list of all packed items in a shipment.
Packing Service Report
A document providing a record of special services performed during a move like packing and appliance service.
Blanket-like cushioned material used for covering articles of furniture during a shipment.
A portable platform onto which goods are stacked to allow for more efficient storage or transportation. Also called skid.
A term denoting that storage containers are stacked on pallets.
An article, container, or object wrapped or packed up for shipment.
Peak Season Rates
Higher linehaul charges only applicable during the summer months.
Per Diem
  1. Charges paid by one carrier to another for use of its freight cars, trailers, or containers.
  2. A daily allowance given to a transferred employee for temporary living expenses.
Performance Report
A term for additional services performed at origin/destination.
Perishable Articles
Items like foods or plants that are subject to spoilage and cannot be transported by the moving agent according to Department of Transportation rules.
Permanent Storage
The indefinite warehousing of a shipment.
Authorization granted to a van operator by the federal government to use a commercial vehicle.
Physical Damage Insurance
Insurance to cover a truck, trailer, van, etc., for fire, theft, and collision.
Piano Board
A device used to move pianos up or down stairs.
Pickup and Delivery Charges
Separate transportation charges applicable for transporting your shipment between the storage-in-transit warehouse and your residence.
Pre-Existing Damage
Damage on an item that was already present before being shipped.
Preferred Arrival Date
The date requested by the customer for delivery of goods.
Prepaid Shipment
A shipment on which all or part of the transportation charges have been paid prior to its arrival at the destination.
Principal Agent
A mover who performs a range of services (selling, packing, and hauling) in the name of a household goods van line on a consistent and ongoing basis.
Pro Number
A number used to identify individual bills of lading or freight bills.
Property Damage Claim
A claim filed for damage to a home, driveway, lawn, etc., caused by the van operator due to an accident or during the loading or unloading of a shipment.
Property Damage Insurance
Insurance to cover property damage.
An old term for the classification of articles of a shipment.
Purchase Order
A written authorization to bill a company for a move sometimes used in place of the order for service form.



A metal, wooden or fiberglass slope used to bridge an incline.
Charges for services rendered on a shipment, such as packing and appliance services.
Reasonable Dispatch
The period of time agreed upon by the customer and moving agent to pick up and deliver a shipment.
A change to the final consignee on the bill of lading prior to delivery.
The act of transferring real property from buyer back to original owner.
A slang term for a refrigerated trailer.
Return of excess charges.
To provide the van line with all necessary information so arrangements can be made to handle a shipment from start to finish.
Registration Number
A reference number assigned by the van line to identify a shipment, and which appears on all documentation and correspondence.
Registration Year
The year in which a registration is issued.
Released Value
The declared value that establishes the carrier’s liability for loss or damage of a shipment.
Relocation Assistance
A service provided to an employee for help moving to a new location.
Relocation Center
A facility that provides clients with information about a new city or area to which they are moving.
Relocation Consultant
A sales representative responsible for providing an estimated cost of a move, as well as for answering any questions regarding to the moving process.
Relocation Expenses
Any financial costs as the result of a relocation.
Relocation Kit
A packet of information sent to a mover containing important information about their new location.
Relocation Management Company
A third-party business that manages a company’s relocation services, including, among many other services, making fair market value offers to purchase the homes of transferees, providing counseling, and aiding in the home search.
Relocation Policy
Benefits and services provided by a company during the relocation of an employee.
Money or action used as compensation for a wrongful condition.
Fixing an item damaged during transit.
Replacement Cost
The cost of replacing property damaged, lost, or stolen.
Replacement Value Protection
Valuation for repair or replacement of damaged property without deduction for depreciation.
Capable of being changed, canceled or recalled.
When there is doubt regarding the weigh of a shipment from the origin, the customer may request a free reweigh at the destination; however, charges are calculated on the new weight.
Route Cards
A card upon which is recorded the control number or pro number assigned to the individual shipments on a bill of lading.
The route selected by a customer when more than one route between origin and destination exists because of interchanging or interlining between one carrier and another, normally adhered to by carriers provided the rate charges do not change due to the new route.


Retrieval of damaged items from the customer for which the moving agent paid full value in a settlement.
Scale Ticket
A voucher providing the weigh scale reading for tare and/or gross weight of a van.
A special metal lock inserted on the doors of a truck that is used to identify if any contents tampering has occurred because it must be broken to be opened.
Second Proviso
An old term for a shipment of furniture, fixtures, equipment, and property of stores, offices, museums, institutions, hospitals, and other establishments.
When a booking agent chooses to perform all services using its own personnel and equipment.
A trailer with one or more axles and constructed so that its front end rests on the back of and receives power from a truck tractor.
The temporary holding of a shipment between origin and destination.
The complete assembly of a piece of furniture or property.
Goods and property a customer has prepared or made available for transport by a moving agent.
The person paying for the move, or person actually moving (if paid for by their company or the government).
Shipper Load & Count
When the customer counts the shipment, places protective pads, loads and unloads the van.
Shipping Order
Instructions given to the moving agent regarding how a shipment should be transported.
Short Haul
Shipments moving less than 400 miles.
Short-Term Contract
An agreement with a customer for a short period of time.
Shuttle Service
Use of a smaller vehicle to provide service to residences not accessible to normal large road vans.
Single Factor
A type of contract giving an all-inclusive shipment rate for basic tariff charges.
A small, thin paper pad used during transit to protect a shipment.
Special Products
Items that are unusual or of a value that requires specialized handling or equipment, like electronic microscopes, biomedical devices, radio and radar equipment, computers, exhibits, etc.
Specific Commodity Rate
Economy shipping rates custom tailored based on quantity, frequency of shipping or physical nature of a particular item or goods.
Spot Load
A shipment loaded on a commercial truckload trailer.
Spread Date
Period of time agreed to as the earliest and latest delivery dates a shipment will arrive at the destination. Also called Delivery Spread.
Stair Carry
Moving goods up or down a flight of stairs (additional charges sometimes apply).
Stair Mobile
A piece of power equipment used in to move goods up or down stairs.
Stopover Allowance
Compensation to an employee for expenses incurred if a travel route is extremely long.
Safekeeping of goods in a warehouse.
Temporarily placing a shipment in a warehouse, often because the customer does not have a residence at which to accept delivery. Must be specifically requested and may not exceed 90 days.
The plan as to how shipments are placed or positioned within truck.
Straight Bill of Lading/Straight Consignment
A non-negotiable bill of lading that only identifies the individual receiving the goods and the terms of the contract.
Used to secure tiers of a shipment by locking into tracking on the sides of the van operator’s trailer.
A material used to secure boxes together on top of a pallet or to protect overstuffed furniture (except leather and suede) from damage.
Substituted Service
The use of a different mode of transportation to fulfill a bill of lading obligation.
Supplemental Billing
An invoice containing additional charges not included on the original invoice.
A charge above the usual or customary freight charges.
Surface Transportation Board
Government body that regulates and monitors railroads and rates for the household goods industry.
The examination of a property to determine its exact location and loss line, which is also used to determine easements and rights of way.
Survey of a Shipment
A physical inspection of a shipment to determine its estimated weight.
A person hired by the van operator to assist in the loading and unloading of goods. Also called a Laborer or a Lumper.


Tare Weight
The weight of a truck, including all essential loading equipment and packing materials, prior to the shipment being loaded.
A published schedule of charges, rates, and rules for the transportation of goods.
Tariff Item
Individual sections filed within the tariff that list the rules and application of the charges for each specific service.
Third Proviso
An old term for Special Products.
Third-Party Service
Services performed by someone other than the moving agent or van operator.
Thru-Bill of Lading
A special bill of lading assuring one carrier assumes liability even though handling, transport, carriage, etc., may be performed by multiple carriers and modes of transport.
A single rate applied by one carrier from origin to destination, even though the services may include interlining, transloading, transshipping, or other additional modes of transport.
The shipment is loaded onto and unloaded from the same van, with no transloading, transshipping, or interlining.
A row of household goods stacked across a van operator’s trailer.
A request to locate a shipment for the purposes of either speeding it up, confirm delivery date, or find lost items.
Tracer Letter
A letter sent to all customers whose shipments were on the same truck that lists missing items reported by one or more customers.
Unloading a shipment from one vehicle to another, typically only occurring between the equipment of only one carrier.
Transportation Charge
Using a tariff rate per hundred pounds for the actual weight and number of miles traveling, the cost of a single loading, transporting and unloading of a shipment.
An extra sturdy carton constructed with a triple thickness of corrugated cardboard, often used in air freight.


A service wherein the moving agent removes or undoes the packing of goods at the destination.
Charging an interest rate in excess of what is allowable by law.


The estimated worth of a shipment, which is used to compensate the moving agent for assuming a greater liability on high value shipments. Also known as Extra Care Protection.
The truck used for carrying household goods.
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.
Shipment that is moved from one van to another while en route for a number of reasons.
Verbal Commitment
A verbal acceptance of a contract through a third-party.


Waiting Time
When no one is at destination residence to accept delivery, the van operator has the option to wait for a period of time (subject to additional charges).
A portion of a contract to voluntarily give up, often included to protect against breach of the contract.
Walk Board
A ramp used to eliminate lifting heavy objects from the ground into the van.
A building in which equipment, good, and merchandise are stored.
Warehouse Handling Charge
An additional charge applied to compensate the carrier each time storage in transit is provided for the physical placement and removal of items within the warehouse.
Weighing Procedure
The process whereby the weight of a shipment is determined.
Weight Additives
A weight added to the net weight to pay for the use of excessive van space.
Weight Break
A rate discount applied when a shipment increases above a certain weight threshold, encouraging better utilization of space in the operator van.
Weight Guide
A list of the average weights of household goods used that is used in shipment liability claims.
Weight Ticket
A certificate needed to show the certified weight of a shipment. It also is used when ordering permits. Also called Scale Ticket.
Will Advise
The term used when a shipment is moving, but dates for pickup or delivery have not yet been determined.



Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move
A government-required publication given to all COD customers by the moving agent. Also called OCE-100.



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