Moving Glossary

Moving Glossary



It is a document issued by airlines once they accept cargo for airlifting. It is the proof of ownership to the customer. It contains the shipper, consignee, and basic description of the gods as well as the flight details


A local moving company authorized to act on behalf of a larger, national or international company.

Arrival Notice

A notice sent by the Moving company that informs the client stated on the Bill of Lading or Airwaybill of the estimated arrival date of the shipment. An arrival notice on an international move normally indicates where the cargo will be available for customs clearance, pick-up, or comparable handling, when the free time will expire, any applicable charges, or any other requirements that must be met prior to release.

Assessed Value 

The figure is used to insure the household goods involved in a professional move. The owner will pay an amount of money as a percentage of the value. The percentage varies from one country to another and from one mover to another


Booking Agent for moving services

The moving company representative who schedules the entire job is also referred to as a writing agent.

Bill of Lading

This is a certificate of ownership for goods when they are aboard a sea vessel. It is also called a Seaway Bill. It contains the consignor, consignee, origin & destination details, and a simple description of the goods.

Binding/non-binding estimate

A binding estimate is an agreement made in advance between the customer and the mover that guarantees the total cost of the move based on the number of items and services shown on the estimate. A non-binding estimate is the carrier’s approximation of the cost based on the estimated weight or volume 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 on the day of the load.



The company provides transportation of household goods. Shipping companies and airlines are also referred to as carriers when they transport cargo.


Statement of loss, damage, or delay to a household goods shipment while in the care, custody, or control of a moving company or its agents.


The person to whom the shipment is to be delivered.


The person from whom the shipment was picked up.

CP (Carrier Packed)

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


This is a quote, or estimate, made by a moving company based on the weight of the cargo. Generally, the CWT is for a set price per every hundred kgs/pounds of cargo.


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 country is to be available to assist or provide information and perform some tasks regarding the shipment to the customer.

Destination service

This service is offered when the shipment reaches its destination place/country. This includes customs clearance (for international shipments), unpacking, setting up of furniture, and removal of debris. etc


This is the term used to describe various pieces of equipment used by professional and self-service movers to relocate large or heavy objects. There are appliance dollies as well as standard dollies that operate like a handcart or trucks.

Door-to-Door (DTD) Service

This applies to exports when the service being offed by the Mover covers the entire service from packing, transport, and delivery at the destination

Door-to-Port (DTP) Service

This applies to exports when the service provided by the mover covers packing and transport up to the port of entry. The customer will need to arrange for the destination service on his own.

Double Handling

Normally, goods are offloaded from a shipping container directly into the destination house. In case for some reason, the goods have to be removed from the container and put into the warehouse temporarily before being re-loaded into a truck for final delivery, the goods go through double handling. The moving company may charge for the man-hours spent,

Difficult Access

When entry to a house where a move is been executed is not easy. This could be due to issues like small corridors or doors relative to the items being moved, partial blockage to the entrance by other things, etc



A professional assessment as to the van space requirements, weight of your household goods, and cost of the move determined by the physical visual inspection of a shipment by a representative of the carrier. Also, see Binding and Non-Binding Estimates.

Expedited Service

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

Exclusive use of vehicle

Upon request and subject to availability, the customer may request and the carrier may provide an exclusive unit for a shipment. Transportation charges are based on actual weight subject to specific minimum weights.

Expedited Service

This requires a significantly higher rate but allows the home or business owner to set the schedule for packing, loading, transporting, and final delivery of the cargo. Not all moving companies can accommodate expedited service requests.

Extra labor

Hourly labor charge (15-minute minimum) for performing any requested services for which specific fees are not published. This generally covers activities such as removing/placing items in attics/crawlspaces, packing/unpacking owner’s furnished containers, handyman service, etc.

Extra Stop (Extra Pickup or Delivery)

If a moving company 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.


Forty Feet Container (40’)

This is a shipping container that is forty feet long. It carries 60 cubic meters (CBM) of 2200 cubic feet of goods

Full-service packing & unpacking

The full-service packing rates include cartons, transport and packing labor. The full-service unpacking rates include the unpacking of carrier packed cartons and the removal of such debris.

Full Container Load (FCL)

When the customers goods are exported using a sea container without sharing the container with another person, the shipment is referred to FCL even if the container may not be 100% full


Goods Transit Insurance (GIT)

This is a supplementary policy to any standard and additional coverage, and allows for compensation should household goods or possessions be damaged or destroyed while being transported from their original location to their final destination.

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

This is the same as Transportation Agent and is the individual or company responsible for the vehicle(s) that provide the transportation of all the household goods and possessions. A hauling agent may be subcontracted by a moving company, or they may be the agent for the entire moving operation.

Handyman service

Extra services offered to customers at the houses that are not core to moving but are relevant to assisting them settle down. This could range from minor repairs, to installation of some appliances. Professional moving companies would have human resources to do this


International move

A move that goes beyond the borders of the origin country


A detailed descriptive list of the items in the shipment and their condition before the van is loaded.




Less than Container Load (LCL)

When the customers goods share a sea container with other persons’ goods during an export process. This process is referred to as consolidation.

Local move

A move within a country or state. This is also called National Move.

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.


Marine Insurance

This is an insurance policy taken to allow for compensation should household goods or possessions be damaged or destroyed while being transported internationally from their original location to their final destination.

Mobile Container

Some moving companies can deliver storage containers to a client’s location which can then be filled with household goods or possessions. The container can then be loaded and transported to the new location during the moving process.


Non-allowable list (prohibited items)

The Carrier or moving company will not accept shipment property that will contaminate or damage (i.e., bug infestations, chemicals, propane tanks, etc.) the carrier’s property or the property of other customers, nor will it remove items that would damage the article or the premises (i.e., furniture that will not fit through doorways). Further, the carrier will not accept liability for items of a perishable nature (food, wine collections, plants, etc.).

Non-Binding 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.  The actual bill may be more or less than the estimate.

Normal Access

The access to the building or house where a move is being carried is smooth with no obstructions or difficulty


Origin Service

Handling of the shipment at the place of origin. This includes packing, loading, crating, export processing, transport, etc.

Origin Agent

The agent designated in the origin area to be available for preliminary readying of the shipment.


When articles to be shipped are left behind due to insufficient space on the primary van. An additional van(s) is then utilized for transportation and delivery.

Overtime loading & unloading service

If you request loading or unloading on a specific date which is a Saturday, Sunday, or a holiday, most moving companies will levy an overtime charge, based on the size of your shipment is assessed. This is also true if you request the service to be performed after normal working hours.


Packing Charges

Some moving companies itemize their bills or invoices by the individual services provided, and packing charges will be the total sum for the hourly labor, materials and fees associated with packing the household goods safely for transportation. This can also be referred to as “Carrier Packing�?.

PBO (Packed By Owner)

When items are packed personally by the customer.

Packing List

This is a document generated by the moving company during the packing process. It is numbered and contains a description of the goods packed. The client or his/her representative has to sign this document.

Peak Season Rates

Higher moving charges are applicable during the summer months. This mainly applies in Europe, the USA, and Canada.

Pickup and Delivery Charges

A separate transportation charge is applicable for transporting your shipment between the SIT warehouse and your residence.

Pre-Move Survey

Most professional moving companies would like to conduct an assessment of the items to be moved prior to committing themselves. This enables them to estimate the volume, access pathways, and prepare adequately for the job




In some countries (especially UK, Australia, and others), the moving service is sometimes called removal. In those countries, it is therefore common to hear terms like “my house removal�? or “our office removal�. which basically means a house move or office move. This term is rarely used in the United States of America


Self Move

Some people like to save money by performing the packing, loading, and unloading of their household goods and possessions, and hiring a professional moving company to provide the transport vehicle and the driver. Self-service movers will usually rent dollies and furniture blankets as well as other moving supplies from a moving company in addition to their vehicle and driving service.


The person (customer) whose goods are being moved.

Shuttle service

This is the use of a secondary, smaller vehicle to complete the pickup or delivery. 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.). Charges for this service are based on the volume of the shipment, time is taken, and the location where the service is performed.

Staircase Fee

A charge to compensate the moving company for the additional labor required to move a shipment up the staircase where there is no elevator. Most movers will charge when the carry is beyond the second floor.

Standard Coverage

In countries with legislation for the moving industry State or federal laws oblige moving companies to provide a minimal amount of coverage to their clients. This delivers a free amount of insurance against the damage or loss of household goods at the hands of the moving company. Additional coverage can be purchased and is always recommended.

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, it is converted to the rules of the local warehouseman.


Performed by an agent to examine the customer’s belongings in order to develop an estimate of move charges.  It is the same as the pre-move survey



A publication containing the carrier’s rates, rules, and regulations for services performed, applicable to the customer’s move.

Third-party services

Performed by someone other than the carrier or its agents at your request


The term mainly applies to International Relocation services. A transferee is a person who has been transferred from one country to another and his/her goods are being shipped by a moving company (mainly by his her employer).

Transport Vehicle

This generally refers to the vehicle rented by a self-service mover in order to have their possessions delivered to the final destination. Transport vehicles can range from mobile containers (see definition above) to full-size moving trucks or trailers. The costs vary widely and many additional fees apply, especially where mileage and fuel consumption are involved.

Transportation Charge

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

Twenty Feet Container (20’)

This is a shipping container that is twenty feet long. It carries 30 cubic meters (CBM) of 1100 cubic feet of goods



Removing the customer’s goods from containers and placing them on a flat surface, as well as the disposal of such containers and packing materials (debris). If ordered, unpacking service must be performed at the time of delivery unless requested otherwise.



A tariff-based coverage for a customer’s household goods while they are in the care, custody, and control of the carrier. Valuation is NOT insurance.

Valued Inventory

This is a list provided the by customer detailing the values of all the items in the move. It is used for taking the move insurance and compensation is based on it.

Volumetric weight

Also referred to as dimensional weight, it refers to the calculation used to measure the density of a package. It is used to estimate the amount of space the package will occupy on an aircraft or freight ship. The volumetric divisor used is 5000. The volumetric weight is calculated as follows:
Note: The unit of measure is either cm/kg or inches/lb


Waiting charges

If you are unable to accept delivery of your shipment within the free waiting time after notification of arrival at the destination, you may request a waiting time until delivery can be made. There is a charge for the vehicle and manpower charged per hour.

Warehouse Handling

An additional charge is applicable each time SIT service is provided. This charge compensates the mover for the physical placement and removal of items within the warehouse.