We realize that many people do not understand many of the terms used by the relocation industry. That is exactly why we have taken the Universal Relocations’ knowledge of moving terminology and provided it to you.

Universal’s moving terminology is truly indispensible throughout your relocation. When going through a move, you should understand every word of the materials you are provided with to ensure you know your rights. The more educated you are with moving terminology, the better protected you’ll be.

Services such as packing, appliance servicing, unpacking or piano stair carries that you request to be performed (or are necessary because of landlord requirements or other special circumstances). Charges for these services are in addition to the transportation charges.

Charges for services not performed by the mover but instead by a professional, craftsman or other third party at your request. The charges for these services are paid for by the mover and added to your bill of lading charges.

The local moving company representing a national van line. May serve as booking, origin, destination and/or hauling agent.

An interstate carrier that transports your household goods shipment under its own operating authority, granted by the Federal Highway Administration. AMSA Certified Movers subscribe to the AMSA Code of Conduct and have pledged to conduct their business in the most efficient and professional manner possible.

Preparation of major electrical appliances to make them safe for shipment.

The receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation. It is your responsibility to understand the bill of lading before you sign it. If you do not agree with something on the bill of lading, do not sign it until you are satisfied that it is correct. The bill of lading is an important document. Don’t lose or misplace your copy.

A binding estimate is an agreement made in advance with the mover that guarantees the total cost of the move based on the quantities and services shown on the 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.

Agent or person who sells and registers your move. A booking agent does not necessarily have to be located at or near the origin or destination.

The mover providing transportation of your household goods.

A form used to amend the amount indicated on the original estimate due to the addition or deletion of items to be shipped or services requested by the customer.

Transportation for a private shipper for which payment is required at the time of delivery at the destination residence (or warehouse).

Agent located at or near your destination who provides necessary services and information at the end of your move.

A general calculation of the transportation charges, as well as costs for additional services requested by the customer. Includes an estimation of shipment weight.

An agreement with the mover to perform transportation by a set date in exchange for charges based on a higher minimum weight.

An extra charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs.

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.

Agent who owns the van assigned by the van line to transport your possessions.

Items included in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound. These items should be disclosed to the mover to ensure they are protected accordingly.

The detailed descriptive list of your household goods showing the number and condition of each item.

Charges for the vehicle transportation portion of your move. These charges apply in addition to the additional service charges.

An added charge for carrying articles excessive distances between the mover’s vehicle and your residence.

The document authorizing the mover to transport your household goods.

The number used to identify and track your shipment.

Agent at origin responsible for performing packing and preparing necessary documentation.

Higher line-haul charges that are applicable during the summer months.

Separate transportation charges applicable for transporting your shipment between the SIT warehouse and your residence.

The number assigned by the van line to identify your shipment. Found in the upper right-hand corner of the Order for Service and the bill of lading.

The agent sales representative responsible for providing the customer with an estimate of the cost of his/her move, as well as for answering any and all questions the customer might have with regard to the moving process.

Use of a smaller vehicle to provide service to residences that are not accessible to the mover’s normal line-haul equipment.

Temporary warehouse storage of your shipment pending further transportation, for example, if your new home isn’t quite ready to occupy. You must specifically request SIT service, which may not exceed a total of 90 days of storage, and you will be responsible for the added charges for SIT service, as well as the warehouse handling and final delivery charges.

The degree of “worth” of the shipment. The valuation charge compensates the mover for assuming a greater degree of liability than that provided for in the base transportation charges. This is also known as Extra Care Protection.

The van driver having overall responsibility for the loading, transport, and unloading of the customer’s belongings.

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

Now that you are familiar with moving terminology, you are better equipped to manage your next relocation. It’s important to know what all the terms mean on moving documents, especially regarding your bill of lading and valuation coverage. To best protect your assets during a move, arm yourself with Universal’s moving terminology.

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