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Moving Terms


Accessorial Services:

Services, other than line haul transportation, performed by an agent or the van operator (such as; packing, unpacking, an extra pickup, a long carry, an elevator carry, etc.). Accessorial services are charged in addition to line haul transportation charge.

Additional Transportation Charge (ATC):

This regionally adjusted charge compensates the carrier for services performed in areas where the labor rates are higher than the national average. It also compensates the carrier for additional costs incurred due to traffic congestion and added time traveling to a remote area for pickup or delivery.

Advanced Charges (Third Party Service):

Charges for services of others engaged by an agent or the carrier at your request. These charges are advanced to your Bill- of- Lading charges; for example, having a pool table dismantled for transport by a billiard service Companies prior to packing is a third party service.


An affiliated moving Companies authorized to act on behalf of a motor carrier (i.e.; Mayflower, North American, Allied, Paul Arpin, etc.). The affiliated moving Companies (the agent) may serve as the booking agent, the origin agent, the hauling agent and/or the destination agent.

Auxiliary Service (Shuttle):

If the assigned over-the-road van is unable to make a normal pickup/delivery because of physical constraints and a second, smaller vehicle is needed, this is considered Auxiliary Service (a shuttle). Examples of such physical constraints include situations such as a road or driveway that is too narrow, a bridge unable to support the weight of the van, and the inability to park the moving van within a reasonable distance of the pickup or the delivery residence. Charges for the second, smaller vehicle are assessed on an hourly basis, in addition to charges for the extra labor involved in making the pickup with the shuttle truck.

Bill of Lading:

The is your contract with the carrier. It is your receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation. Your signature on this document acknowledges that your goods have been loaded on the moving van and "released to the carrier".

Binding Quote:

A guaranteed price based on the inventory "no more, no less." (see non-binding)

Booking Agent ("Writing Agent"):

The agent who accepts the order for your move and registers it with the van line. The booking agent may, or may not, also act as your origin or your destination agent.

Bulky Article:

Items such as cars, boats, snowmobiles and campers usually carry a bulky article charge to compensate the carrier for the difficulty of loading and unloading such articles, and their unusual bulk or low weight density. In some cases, an additional "weight additive" rate is applicable.


The Companies providing transportation for your household goods and on whose interstate or intrastate operating authority the shipment is moved.

Carrier's Liability For Loss Or Damage:

The liability that the Carrier assumes for your possessions. This amount ranges from a low of $0.30 per pound per article (for moves within a State) or $0.60 per pound per article (for Interstate moves) to "Full Replacement Value" with no deductible. There are several different liability options available to you so be sure to ask the Carrier's Representative to explain each option, its ramifications and its cost. Carrier's Liability For Loss or Damage is often incorrectly referred to as "insurance". It's good to know the difference between Carrier's Liability For Loss or Damage and insurance, so ask your van line representative to explain the difference to you.


Shippers statement of loss or damage to any of his/her household goods while they were in the care of the carrier or its agent. Such statements are generally made on a "Claim Form". C.O.D. (Cash On Delivery) Shipments where customer pays moving charges at the time of delivery. For C.O.D. shipments, payment is required in cash, or by travelers check, money order, cashier's check or credit card (pending a prior credit card approval process). Personal checks are not accepted for payment of C.O.D. charges.


The person to whom the shipment is to be delivered. Consignor The person from whom the shipment picked up from.

CP (Carrier Packed):

Articles packed into cartons or crates by the carrier, not the shipper.


This abbreviation stands for the rate or charge per 100 pounds.


Empty (unloaded) miles traveled by a driver in order to move his or her truck to pick up a paying load.

Declared Valuation: The Shipper's indication of the value declared for the possessions being shipped, thereby establishing the carrier's maximum liability for loss or damage to the shipment. If no value is declared, the liability is then controlled by the tariff under which the shipment is moved.

Destination Agent: The agent designated in the destination area to be available to assist or provide information to you or the van operator regarding your shipment.

Distance Carry: See "Long Carry".

Elevator Carry: A charge to compensate the carrier for the additional labor required to move a shipment by way of an elevator.

Estimate: A professional assessment of the van space requirements, weight of household goods and cost of the move determined by the physical/visual inspection of a shipment by a representative of the carrier.

Expedited Service: A program which, for an additional charge, allows a specific delivery date to be requested. If the date is not met, only standard charges apply.

Extra Stop (Extra Pickup or Delivery): If a van operator is required to make an extra stop at either origin or destination (other than the main pickup or delivery points), an extra charge is assessed - the charge is determined by the tariff.

Flight Carry: See "Stair Carry".

Flight Charge: See "Stair Carry".

Full Replacement Value Protection: A valuation program which does not incorporate depreciation as a factor in settling claims for loss or damage.

International: Any move which crosses a country boundary, regardless of the number of miles.

Interstate: Any move which crosses a state boundary, regardless of the number of miles. Distinguished from intrastate.

Intrastate: Any move which does not cross a state boundary, typically over 40 miles. Distinguished from interstate.

Inventory: The list itemizing the goods (and their condition) that you have released to the carrier.

Leaveover: See "Overflow".

Linehaul: The tariff transportation charge to move your shipment from point of origin to its final point of destination.

Local: In the same city.

Long Carry ("Distance Carry"): A charge assessed when a shipment must be moved more than 75 feet from the rear of the moving van to the entrance of the residence.

Long Haul: A move over 450 miles from point to point. Long hauls are (generally) performed with tractor-trailers.

Lowball: An estimate of moving costs that is purposely estimated low in order to secure a sale from the customer.

Non-Binding Quote: Based on the weight of the shipment.

Operating Authority: Certification issued by a state or federal governmental entity authorizing a carrier to move household goods between designated geographical areas. A van line's agent may also have its own separate "operating authority" issued by a state or federal governmental entity, to move shipments within a certain geographical area.

Order For Service: The document authorizing the carrier to transport your household goods. Order For Service Number: The number used to identify your shipment. It appears in the upper right corner of the Bill of Lading and on the Order for Service.

Origin Agent: The agent designated in the origin area to be available for preliminary readying of the shipment before movement (such as packing cartons), or to provide information to you regarding your move.

Overflow ("Leaveover"): Articles that are left behind due to insufficient space on a van, to be loaded on a second van for transportation and delivery.

PBO (Packed By Owner): Articles packed into cartons or crates by the shipper, not the carrier.

Re-weigh: Second weighing of shipment performed at destination at the shippers or the carrier's request. Road Van: A long haul tractor-trailer that moves shipments long distance (which is generally considered over 450 miles).

Shipper: The person (customer) whose goods are being moved.

Short Haul: A move that takes place under 450 miles. Short hauls are (generally) performed with straight trucks, although tractor-trailers can, and are, often employed to complete large short haul moves.

Stair Carry: An extra charge to compensate the carrier for the additional labor and time required to move a shipment (such as pianos) up or down flights of stairs which lead to or from an origin or destination residence.

Storage In Transit (S.I.T.): Temporary storage of your household goods in the warehouse of the carrier's agent, pending further transportation.

Straight Truck: A truck, generally one half the size and capacity of a tractor-trailer. Straight trucks are single cab and body vehicles (as opposed to a tractor-trailer in which the cab can be separated from the trailer).

Survey: When the booking or origin agent examines (i.e., surveys, or visually inspects) the shipper's goods to develop an cost estimate.

Tariff: The carrier's provisions, including rates, for services performed during the course of moving a shipment.

Third Party Services: Services performed by someone other than the carrier at your request or as required by federal, state or local law.

Unpacking: The removal of your goods from containers (boxes) and crates, and the disposal of such containers and packing materials.

Valuation: Shipper's declaration of the value declared for the possessions being shipped, thereby establishing the carrier's maximum liability for loss or damage to the shipment. If no value is declared, the liability is then controlled by the tariff under which the shipment was moved.

Van: Movers call all types and kinds of trucks used for moving "vans". A van can be as small as an econoline pack van or as large as an 80 foot long tractor-trailer rig.

Van Operator: The driver of the vehicle carrying your household goods.

Writing Agent ("Booking Agent"): The agent who accepts the order for your move and registers it with the van line. The booking agent may or may not be your origin or destination agent.



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