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Posted on 06-14-2012

Moving Term Glossary

You should be familiar with some of the moving lingo before you deal with moving companies, so when moving day comes you finding a mover, you can drop some of these terms and let the moving company, whether they be long distance or local movers, know you are in-the-know.

Accessorial charges - This term is used to describe any charges for additional services the movers might do, such supplying moving boxes, packing books and other high-volume inventory, unpacking and extra pick-ups. This charge could also include additional fees for long hauls. If you have any questions or issues with these charges, you should call the moving company’s main office before signing the bill of lading.

Booking/Origin Agent — a local moving company authorized to act on behalf of a larger, national company. They will be the ones who will assisting you with the paperwork and providing the packing services.

Bill of lading/BOL - This is the actual contract between you and the moving company for moving truck transportation of household or business goods. Make sure you understand and agree with all statements before you sign it as it is a binding contract.

Bulky article – to ensure safe transportation, some articles included in a shipment (i.e., big screen TVs, motorcycles, hot tubs, etc.) require extra handling and/or blocking. Our tariff provides a schedule of extra charges for such articles.

Claim  - This is a statement that indicates the damage or loss of your household goods that occurred during the move. It’s important to submit your claim as soon as possible to ensure that the missing goods or damage is covered.

C.O.D. – transportation for an individual shipper for which payment is required at the time of delivery at the destination residence (or warehouse).

Consignee/consignor - The consignee is the person receiving the shipment of goods. The consignor is the person at the pick up point where the move originates. In most cases, the person moving is both the consignor and the consignee.

Designation agent - This is the moving company located at the final destination who will provide labor to the driver and if needed storage.

Fuel surcharge – the carrier's tariff provides for a percentage adjustment to the transportation charge (and SIT Pickup and Delivery) to aid in the recovery of the increased cost of fuel. The surcharge, which can change monthly, is based upon the national average cost of diesel as reported by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Full-replacement value coverage —insurance to get a new replacement for a damaged item regardless of the age of the item (Most valuation policies require the entire load be covered -- not just specific items. Ask your carrier for terms.)

High-value article inventory form – the driver will have you fill out a high-value inventory form to list items included in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound to ensure they are protected accordingly.

Inventory — the detailed descriptive list of your household goods showing the quantity and condition of each item

Line haul charges - These are the basic charges for long distance moves, calculated by mileage and weight of your shipment.

Limited Liability Valuation Coverage - This refers to the free coverage a customer will receive for damaged goods, which is not much, typical amount is 60 cents per pound. This coverage is a bare minimum and should not be relied upon to cover you for any significant damage. When moving expensive furniture or electronics, it is wise to buy the additional insurance. Remember, your LED TV might weigh 10 pounds, but it costs much more than $6 to replace. Valuation is NOT insurance.

Shuttle service – used if the assigned over-the-road van is unable to make a normal pickup or delivery because of physical constraints (extremely narrow road, inadequate parking area for the truck, weak bridge, etc.). A shuttle service is the use of a secondary, smaller vehicle to complete the pickup or delivery. Charges for this service are based on the weight of the shipment and the location where the service is performed.

Storage-in-Transit (SIT) – the temporary storage of your household goods in the warehouse of the carrier's agent, pending further transportation at a later date. SIT service may not exceed a total of 180 calendar days. After 180 days, the interstate nature of the shipment ends and is converted to the rules of the local warehouseman.

Valuation — the degree of "worth" in a shipment; the valuation charge compensates the mover for assuming a greater degree of liability than is provided for in its base transportation charges. (All movers are required to assume liability for the value of goods they transport. Most movers offer two levels of liability — basic and full value. Basic value is also referred to as released value.)

Weight additive – some articles included in a shipment (i.e., camper shells, boats, canoes, boat trailers, etc.) are comparatively light and occupy space in the van that is not commensurate with their weight. For instance, one might load 4,000 pounds of furniture and cartons in the space taken by a 1,500-pound boat. To compensate for this inequity, the tariff provides a schedule of additional weights for such articles. 

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