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Moving Terms You Should Know [Moving Glossary]

September 18, 2019

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For those of us that don't work on moves every day, some of the terms associated with the process can be unfamiliar. We created a moving glossary to help clarify some common terms in the moving industry and make your move easier.

The ABCs of Moving


Accessorial charges: charges for additional services such as packing or unpacking. Charges for these services are in addition to the transportation costs.

Agent: a local moving company authorized to act on behalf of a larger, national company.


Bill of lading: a contract between the moving company and the mover containing important information about the move. (This blog explains the bill of lading in greater detail.)


Carrier: the mover who is actually transporting your items.

C.O.D. (cash on delivery): when payment is owed to the moving company upon delivery.



Estimate, binding: a written agreement with a moving company guaranteeing that the total cost of the move will not exceed (or be less than) the initial estimate.

Estimate, non-binding: an estimate from a moving company that is not guaranteed; final charges may be more or less based on factors such as final weight or additional services provided.


Full service mover: a mover who picks up items from each room of your current house and delivers them to your new home.



High value articles: items valued at more than $100 per pound.


Interstate: A move across state lines.

Intrastate: A move within the state you currently reside in.

Inventory: a detailed list of all the items you are moving with details noted such as condition and who packed them (you are the moving company).




License: every moving company is required by federal law to be licensed with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Linehaul charges: charges calculated by mileage and weight of your shipment for long distance moves.

Long carry charge: a charge for when movers need to carry your items an excessive distance to their truck.



Non-allowable list (prohibited items): a list of items movers will not transport, such as items that are dangerous or will potentially cause damage (chemicals, propane tanks, etc.).


Order for service: the document authorizing a moving company to move your items (this is part of the bill of lading).


Packing service: movers will pack your items before the move and unpack them after delivery.

PBO: packed by owner.

ProMovera moving company certified by AMSA (American Moving & Storage Association) as reputable and professional.


Quote: a price estimate provided by a moving company based on your specific moving needs.



Self-service mover: a company that provides you with a truck or trailer for you to load and unload yourself.

Stair-carry charge (or flight charge): an extra charge for movers carrying your items up or down flights of stairs.

Standard coverage: the minimum amount of valuation coverage a moving company will provide for your possessions as required by law (see also valuation).


Tariff: a comprehensive list of a moving company's rates, rules, and regulations. Tariffs vary based on type of move (i.e. long distance vs. short distance).



Valuation: before shipment, you will be asked to declare the total monetary value of all of your items. This is the maximum amount that the moving company will be liable for.





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AAA Movers is your certified and trustworthy Minneapolis-based moving company. We're ready to answer any questions about your move or moving paperwork. Contact our moving professionals to get a free quote on your next move.

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