A Moving Terms Dictionary

Confused by the language that movers use? This handy moving terms dictionary helps explain the lingo that you’re bound to encounter when you hire pros movers.

Accessorial charges: “Accessorial” simply means “additional” as it applies to working with companies. Additional charges are services you request above and beyond the present transportation of your goods. Common accessorial charges include charges for packing and unpacking, and fees for making an extra stop.

Assessed value: amount of cash value, which assigned to your belongings. When you buy moving insurance, you’ll pay a certain amount of money per $1000 of assessed value to cover the cost of any damaged goods.

Bill of lading: A bill of lading is both a receipt and a contract. You’ll sign the bill of lading to allow your belongings to be loaded onto the moving truck. This valuable document also serves as a contract, releasing your goods into the moving company’s care.

Binding estimate: A quote given to you by moving company. It’s like a flat rate: no matter how long your move takes, the company cannot charge you more than the rate they quoted in their binding estimate.

Booking agent/Writing agent: When you first look into hiring movers, you’ll speak with booking agents. These agents confirm your order for a move with a van line.

Carrier: Carrier is another word for moving company.

Consignee/Consignor: The consignor is the person who releases goods for transport at the origin. The consignee is the person who accepts your goods at the destination.

Destination agent: A destination agent is a moving company representative based out of your final destination who can assist you regarding information about moving van’s arrival.

Flight charges: Movers may assess flight charges if they have to carry your belongings up several flights of stairs.

Non-binding estimate: Unlike a binding, a non-binding estimate is just a ballpark figure. Non-binding estimates are quotes that mover give out based on their experience with past jobs. This type of estimate is usually given without conducting a survey of your home. The finaly price may change once the job is completed.

Shuttle service: When movers are unable to access your new home due to a small driveway or some other obstacle, they may use shuttle service. Shuttle service involves using a smaller vehicle to make trips from a larger moving truck to your new home.

Standard coverage: The law dictates that a Carrier must provide a minimum amount of insurance coverage for your things. Standard coverage only covers part of the value of your items.

Storage-in-transit: This moving term refers to temporary storage of your items pending their final move to your new home. You may need storage-in-transit if, for example, your new home is not ready yet.

Survey: A survey is an estimate performed by a Carrier agent to determine the cost of your move.

Tariff: A tariff is a document that explains a moving company’s rates, procedures, and rules as they apply to move.

Warehouse handling: Moving companies typically charge warehouse handling fees for storage-in-transit. The charge covers the cost of moving items on and off a moving truck into a storage area.

Still not sure about the ins and outs of hiring movers? Check out our guide to hiring professional moving companies.

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