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Complete Glossary of Moving Terms

Published by Chris Townsend

Speaking with a moving company or moving crew can be rather intimidating due to all the terminology used in their contracts, communications, and day to day operations. Figuring all this stuff out can be confusing, which is why we made things easier for you.

Here we have compiled a glossary of the most commonly used moving terms. Let’s jump in.

Moving Terms in Alphabetical Order


Accessorial Charges

Additional fees that may be charged by a moving firm for services such as packing, unpacking, crating, or disconnecting appliances. These charges are tacked on to the regular relocation price.

Appliance Service

Moving firms or a third-parties provide a service option to prepare appliances for transit, such as dryers, washing machines, or refrigerators. The termination of electricity or plumbing may not be included in this service.

Assembly and Disassembly

The procedure of dismantling furniture before loading it into a moving truck and putting it back together at the destination.

Actual Charges

The whole cost of a move from beginning to end, including moving costs, warehouse fees, and other fees.


Bulky Article Charge

Big objects that need extra handling, such as pool tables, are subject to a surcharge.

Bill of Lading

A legally binding document that specifies the whole move, from the shipment date to the contents placed onto the moving vehicle. This paper serves as a receipt for a moving company's agreement with a customer.



The household goods mover handling your move.

Cube Sheet

A list of standard items and the amount of room they take up in a vehicle (in cubic feet). The weight is then transformed and utilized to get the moving estimate.

Cargo Claim

A request made by a consumer for compensation for household items that were destroyed or damaged during a move.

Cash on delivery (C.O.D.)

When a consumer agrees to pay the moving firm after the items are delivered to their final destination.


Delivery Window

The amount of time a moving firm has set aside to transport a package to its final destination. The delivery window will be determined by the distance traveled.

Door-to-Door Service

A service in which home goods are transported directly from the source to the destination, without the need for storage.


After a moving truck has already started its journey, a route change to the shipment's destination or an additional stop is required.

Destination Agent

At the moving destination, the destination agent is in charge of arranging information between the customer and the moving firm.


Estimate, Non-Binding

An estimate of the cost of relocating based on the projected weight of household belongings and any additional services.

Estimate, Binding

A contract between a customer and a moving firm that guarantees the total cost of the relocation depending on the weight of the customer's belongings plus any additional services.

Elevator Charge

When a move entails transporting objects in an elevator, there is an extra price.


Full-Service Moving

A service in which a moving company handles the entire moving process for the customer. This comprises supplying materials, packing, loading, transporting, unloading, unpacking, and cleaning up once household goods have been delivered.

Flight Charge

A fee for a professional moving company to move stuff up or down one or more flights of stairs.


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, is a department of transportation entity that oversees the operation of moving businesses, trucks, and equipment.

Furniture Blankets

During the moving process, soft, robust blankets are used to protect household appliances, furniture, banisters, entrances, and walls.

Full-Value Protection Insurance

Full-Value Protection Insurance is a type of insurance that covers all of your assets.

If an item is damaged or lost by a moving company during a move, an insurance coverage covers the current market worth of the item, its replacement, or the cost of repair.

Furniture Pads

These are placed under heavy household goods and allow heavy furniture and appliances to glide across floors without causing harm.


Guaranteed Pickup and Delivery Service

A luxury moving service with guaranteed pick-up and delivery times.

Gross Weight

The total weight of the truck with all the customer’s belongings.


Impracticable Operations

A situation that makes it impossible for a moving firm to work with regular equipment and necessitates the use of special equipment or more workers. The tariff of a moving business defines these costs.

Inherent Vice

When the state of an object makes it impossible for a moving firm to move it without damaging it, this is known as an inherent vice.

Interstate Move

Moves that go past state lines, also known as a long distance move.

Intrastate Move

A motion in which both the origin and the destination are in the same state.


Local Move

A short-distance move of less than 100 miles.

Load Date

The day on which the consignment will be picked up by the moving vehicle is known as the load date.

Long-Term Storage

Storage of personal belongings in a warehouse for a significant length of time, usually one month or longer.

Line-Haul Charges

Charges based on a shipment's mileage and weight; specifically, for long-distance movements.

Long Carry Charge

A fee charged when a moving firm transports belongings from a home to a moving truck or vice versa over a long distance. The moving firm determines this distance.


Non-Allowable List (prohibited items)

Objects that moving firms would not load because they could cause damages to their own or the customer's belongings. This list includes items such as furniture that won't fit through entrances, bug-infested items, propane tanks and household chemicals.

Net Weight

The total weight of your belongings. The weight of the moving truck is subtracted from the gross weight to get the weight of a shipment.

Notification of Delay

A customer is notified that the arrival of the items will be delayed, along with an explanation of the cause, the truck's current position, and the expected delivery date.


Order for Service

Paperwork that authorizes a moving firm to transport your belongings.

Order Number

An order number is a number that is used to track a customer's move. The Bill of Lading and the Order for Service both have this number.

Origin Agent

At the moving origin, the agent is in charge of coordinating the move and providing the relevant papers for the customer and the moving firm.


When objects are not loaded into the main truck because there isn't enough room on it. The leftover things are then transported using a second vehicle.


Packing Service

An option to have your belongings packed by the moving company or a third party before the day of the move.

Packing Supplies

Stretch wrap, packing tape, cardboard boxes, packing paper, foam sheets, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and any equipment used to package or enclose household objects are known as packing materials.


PBO denotes that the item has been packed by the owner. When a customer packs their own belongings, this is referred described as "customer packing."

Pre-Existing Damage

Harm to an object that is unrelated to the relocation.

Preferred Arrival Date (PAD)

The requested date of delivery



The cost of using the services of a household goods mover. Based on a house inspection and the customer's particular moving requirements.



A service offered by movers where your items are temporarily stored within their facilities for up to 90 days, also referred to as SIT.


Stretch-wrap is a thick saran wrap that is used to protect furniture from harm.


Tare Weight

Tare weight is the weight of the truck without the customer’s belongings. This figure is used to calculate the total weight of a customer's items.


A detailed list of the rates, procedures, and policies of a mover. Varying sorts of moves, such as local and long-distance, have different rates.


USDOT Number

Vehicles that move cargo from one state to another are required to get a USDOT number. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is part of the US Department of Transportation, regulates this number. Here you can look up a moving company's USDOT number.



The valuation is the estimate of the value of the customer’s items. This needs to be declared by the customer before they sign the Bill of Lading. This value is used to determine the kind of liability faced in case of damages to an item.


Warehouse Handling Fees

When temporary storage services are provided, there are warehouse handling fees. These services include interim warehousing, the transportation of the goods to the warehouse, and the loading and unloading.


Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move

A document that the government provides which explains each step of the relocation procedure for the people that need to move.


Now you should be better prepare to discuss your move with a moving firm or their moving coordinator. The next step would be to actually contact one. Reach out to us today to get your move started the right way.

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Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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