In the planning and execution of your move you may run across words, terms or acronyms that have specific meanings and definitions that are used within our industry. This glossary will help define and clarify those items.
Listed in alphabetical order:
Access - On occasion customers must get into their storage lot. This requires pulling the storage lot to access the shipment. Charges for this service are hourly.
Accessorial Services - Services that are outside the actual transportation of the shipment. They include packing, extra labor, shuttle services and the like. Accessorial charges have their own charges which are broken out and shown separately on the estimated cost of services.
Addendum - Form that shows changes in the original order. It is used when the customer adds items and/ or services to the original agreement. It is a "change" in the order.
Agent - An authorized company representing a national van line. It is typical that national van lines have agents around the country providing packing, moving and storage services on their behalf.
Appliance Servicing - Some major household appliances require servicing before they can be moved.
Assured Price Protection (APP) - An estimate provided by Atlas Van Lines that guarantees that the price will not exceed the dollar figure shown on the APP quote. Actual charges are computed and compared to the APP price; the customer is charged the lower of the two charges. Also referred to as a "Not to Exceed" price estimate.
Bill of Lading - Document that is the carrier's contract. It's signed at the time of loading and upon delivery. At delivery it serves at the customer's receipt and also shows the funds received by the carrier from the customer.
Binding Estimate - Guaranteed price quotation to provide transportation and other accessorial services. The binding estimate must clearly show the items to be shipped and the specific services to be provided.
Bingo Sheet - Slang term used for the "Customer Check-off Sheet."
Blanket-Wrap - A service provided by moving companies where furniture and other items not in a carton or crate are covered and protected with padded, furniture blankets. Moving vans come equipped with hundreds of moving pads; this service separates household carriers from other modes of transportation.
Bonded Warehouse - Warehouse that meets local custom's requirements to allow shipments to be held temporarily until they are routed to another international destination.
Booking Agent - Van line agent who accepts an order for transportation from the shipper and registers the order with the carrier.
Bulky Article - An item that is specifically identified in the carrier's tariff and incurs an additional charge because of the unusual and difficult nature in the loading and delivery of such items. Bulky articles are typically cars, motorcycles, pianos, hot tubs and the like. Some bulky articles because of its size have a Weight Additive charge, boats and boat trailers are items that come with a Weight Additive charge.
Carrier - Company that is providing the transportation services for the shipper.
COD (Collect on Delivery) - Shipment where the customer is required to pay the moving charges at the time of delivery. Payment must be in the form of a bank cashier's check made payable to the carrier, cash, traveler's checks, pre-approved personal check or credit card.
Commodity - The items being shipped i.e., used household goods.
Concealed Damage - Damage that is not apparent by the external condition of the article.
Consign - To transfer or deliver a shipment to another person or party.
Consignee - The person shown on the carrier's bill of lading who is to receive the shipment.
Consolidation - Combining individual shipments to reduce overall transportation costs.
Containerization - The act of placing shipments into individually sealed containers. This may be an overseas container, which is typically a 20' or 40' metal container or also a storage container(s).
Corporate Account - Company that is responsible for the payment of an employee's relocation, also referred to as a National Account.
Crate - Custom made wooden container used to pack unusually large, bulky, heavy or valuable items i.e., large glass tops, marble tops, very large pictures, chandeliers, sculpture, etc. Crates are typically charged by their size.
Cube Sheet - Form used by an estimator to determine the amount of space or volume a shipment will take up in a moving van. The form shows a listing of articles normally found in a home along with the cubic footage of the item. This form is also known as a "Table of Measurements."
Cubic Foot - Method of measurement that describes the volume of space being used. Specifically, a unit of measurement that is 12" high, 12" wide and 12" deep. Generally, household goods trailers have between 3,600 to 4,200 cubic feet of available van space.
Customer Check-Off Sheet - Form that shows the number of articles loaded in a shipment. A colored, numbered inventory sticker is placed on each piece of furniture, box and article that is loaded. An inventory describing the piece count and a description of the articles is made. Upon delivery the customer is asked to check-off the shipment using this form in order to confirm that all items are received. The form also allows the customer to make notations about damage or loss at the time of delivery.
Customer Responsibilities Guide - Atlas Van Lines form that is given at the time of the estimate. The form explains customer's responsibilities prior to and at packing, loading, transport and at the time of delivery.
Custom Pack - Packing service where charges for packing are on a per box basis.
Customs - Government agency whose job it is to inspect and impose duties or tolls on imports or exports as directed by the laws of that country.
Customs Clearance - The action where a shipment is cleared for entrance into a country and any duties, taxes or tolls are imposed and collected.
CWT - An abbreviation for per hundred weight, per 100 pounds.
Declared Value - Shipper's declaration of the value of the items being shipped. The declared value will determine the mover's maximum liability for the shipment while in their care.
Delivery Date Spread - This is the agreed upon date or range of dates agreed upon between the customer and the carrier as to when the shipment is to be delivered. The van line must deliver within this window of time in order to fulfill its contractual obligation, and the shipper must be able to receive the shipment within this agreed window of time.
Demurrage - The detention of an overseas container beyond the agreed upon date resulting in a daily detention charge.
Destination Agent - Van lines' agent at the destination location. Destination agents provide services that may be required at the delivery end of a shipment i.e. storage, shuttle service, unpacking and debris removal.
Destination Service - Services that may be required on the delivery end of a shipment. They include storage, shuttle service, unpacking and debris removal.
Dish Pack - Packing container used for the packing of dishes, glassware or other fragile breakables. This carton is also called the china carton or barrel.
Door-to-Door Service - Term usually used on international relocations and denotes a service where items are loaded at the origin address, and offloaded at the destination delivery address, rather than just to the port or airport.
Elevator Carry - Charge that may be applicable when a shipment must be handled up or down an elevator.
Excessive Distance - See "Long Carry" in this Glossary.
Export Wrapping - Corrugated and paper pad wrapping of furniture bound for export.
Full Pack- Packing service where the charge for packing the entire shipment is on a weight basis, charges are per 100 pounds.
Full Value Protection (FVP) - Valuation coverage offered to the customer at an additional fee offering full or replacement value coverage for the shipment while in the van lines' care. This coverage is offered with zero deductible, $250 and $500 deductible options.
Gross Weight - Weight of the truck after the shipment has been loaded.
Groupage - Consolidation of international shipments in order to reduce the overall transportation cost.
Hauling Agent - Van Line agent who provides the actual transportation service.
High Value Inventory Form - Form given to the shipper at the time of the estimate. Items that have a value in excess of $1,000 must be listed on the form. The completed form is given to the carrier before the move takes place.
Independent Contractor- Typically, a van operator for the van line who is retained on a contractual basis to perform services for the van line. Independent contractors are not employees.
Insurance, Certificate of - Certificate showing proof of general liability and workman's compensation insurance coverage. Often, commercial buildings, condominiums and apartment buildings require that contractors working on the premises show proof of coverage by means of this certificate.
Interstate - From State-to-State.
Interstate Shipment - Shipment moving from one State to another State.
Intrastate Shipment - Shipment moving within the boundaries of a State.
Inventory - Form that shows the piece count and a descriptive record of the articles loaded in a shipment. The inventory describes the piece and its condition before it's loaded and allows the customer to make notations or exceptions of the condition of the shipment when it's delivered.
Inventory Stickers - Colored, numbered stickers that are used when making an inventory of the shipment. The van operator places the sticker on each piece of furniture or box, writes the number on the inventory form and describes what the article is. Upon delivery the number is called out and the customer is asked to check off the item on the "Customer Check-Off Sheet." In this manner the customer can confirm that all items loaded were in fact received.
Less than Container Load (LCL) - Shipment that does not fill out the entire container and when other shipments might be on board.
Liability - The maximum amount for which a carrier is responsible with regards to any loss or damage to shipment while it is in their care, in transit or in storage.
Lift Gate - A power platform mounted on the rear of a trailer or straight truck used to move heavy objects to or from ground level to the trailer's floor.
Lift Van - A large container made out of wood that is typically used to pack household goods for international moves. Lift vans are often used on smaller shipments or on moves where large metal overseas containers are restricted.
Linehaul - An industry term that is used to describe the basic cost of transportation services separate from packing or other accessorial charges.
Load Date Spread - The period of time that the carrier and customer have agreed upon as to when the shipment will load.
Local - Moves that generally take place within the metropolitan area or a distance of approximately (75) miles. Local moves are typically charged on an hourly basis for men and equipment.
Long Carry - Charge that may be applicable when the distance between the carrier's trailer to the shipper residence exceeds 75 feet. When high rises are involved the distance is from the trailer to the elevator and from the elevator to the apartment on the upper floor.
Minimum Carrier Liability - Valuation coverage provided by the carrier in the absence of Full Value Protection. This coverage is limited and is based upon weight rather than value. Minimum Carrier Liability is limited to $0.60 per pound per article.
Minimum Weight- Long distance moves have a minimum weight charge of 1,000 pounds. If the customer tenders a shipment that weighs less than 1,000 pounds, transportation charges will be based on the minimum 1,000 pound charge.
Mini Warehouse - Privately owned or leased storage area that typically provides rooms for storage.
National Account - Company that normally has a transportation agreement set up with the carrier. The carrier bills the company according to the agreed upon contract rates.
Net Weight - Actual weight of the shipment. The net weight is determined by subtracting the tare weight from the gross weight.
Non-Binding Estimate - Estimate where the customer pays for the actual services rendered. The carrier is not bound to the price on a non-binding estimate, the price can go up or down depending on the actual weight shipped and the actual services performed, also called a Standard Estimate.Not to Exceed Estimate - Estimate provided by Atlas Van Lines that guarantees that the price will not exceed the price given on the Not to Exceed quote. Actual charges are computed and compared to theNot to Exceed price and the customer pays the lower of the two. Also called an Assured Price Protection (APP) estimate.
OMB NO.2126-0025 - Department of Transportation booklet titled "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move." This booklet is to be given to customers moving interstate, and provides important information about the rules governing interstate transportation of household goods.
Order for Service - Form signed by the customer requesting moving services by a carrier before any services take place. The Order for Service provides addresses, contacts, agreed upon dates, valuation declarations, along with estimate type and costs.
Order Number - A number assigned by the carrier to identify the shipment, also called a Registration Number.
Origin Agent - Carrier's agent who performs origin services including the pre-move survey, packing and in some instances storage services.
Overflow - Household items tendered to a carrier to be moved, but not loaded because the van ran out of space. Overflows are picked up promptly and loaded on the next van going to customer's destination address.
Overtime - Charges that apply for services rendered outside of normal working hours. Overtime charges can apply to loading, unloading, packing and unpacking services.
Owner Operator - Van operator who operates as an independent contractor rather than an employee of a van line or agent. Owner Operators typically own the tractor but lease the trailer from the van line or agent and agree to provide service according to DOT regulations and the policies and procedures set forth by the carrier.
Packed by Owner (PBO) - Box tendered to carrier for shipping that has been packed by the owner.
Packed by Carrier (PBC) - Box or crate that has been packed by the carrier.
Packing - Wrapping and packaging of fragile household items into cartons and in some cases, crates before the move takes place. Packing includes the boxing of glassware, linens, books, mirrors, pictures and the like. Customers may elect to handle some or all of this packing themselves or can hire the carrier to provide professional packing services. Charges for packing are generally on a per box basis.
Pad - Heavy padded cloth quilt used to protect furniture and other fragile items.
Padded Van - A van equipped with pads and other equipment designed for household goods moving.
Pad Wrap - Services provided by household goods carriers where items are carefully wrapped in pads and loaded into the trailer for transport. Household Goods Carriers are also referred to as pad wrap carriers, and the services they provide differentiate them from common carriers.
Pallet - Portable platform typically constructed from wood used to secure items in storage or while in transit. Pallets allow items to be easily moved by forklifts and/or pallet jacks.
Peak Season - Time from June 1 to September 5 that coincide with children being out of school and where the volume of moves increases dramatically.
Permanent Storage - Storage services provided by the carrier's agent. In Permanent Storage the carrier's agent determines the storage and valuation rates.
Proviso - Term used to describe the commodity being shipped. First Proviso is defined as used household goods, Second Proviso is office, plant or factory moves, Third Proviso includes computers, electronics, medical equipment, art, trade shows and the like.
Registration Number - Number assigned by the carrier to identify the shipment, also called an Order Number.
Released Liability - Term used releasing the carrier from liability above a specified amount in a transportation agreement.
Re-Weigh - Shipping being weighed a second time at either the shipper's or carrier's request.
Scale - Typically an outside platform mechanical device used to weigh vehicles and trucks.
Self Haul- Shipment booked and hauled by the carrier's agent.
Shipment - Term used to describe the articles being moved.
Shipper - Party who owns the goods and is arranging for their transport. Also, the party who is ultimately responsible for the payment of the transportation and related services.
Shuttle Service - Service provided when the long distance tractor-trailer is unable to access the pickup and/or delivery address. Items are loaded onto a smaller van that is able to access the address from the long distance trailer. Shuttle service charges are determined by the weight of the shipment.
Standard Estimate - Estimate where the customer pays for the actual services rendered. Carrier is not bound to the price on a Standard Estimate, the price can go up or down depending on the actual weight shipped and actual services performed, also called a Non-Binding Estimate.
Stair Carry - Charge that may be applicable when a shipment must be carried up one or more flights of stairs. A flight of stairs is typically defined as more than seven steps but less that sixteen. Stair carry charges generally are not charged when the flight of stairs is within a single family residence.
Storage-in-Transit (SIT) - Storage services provided under the provisions of the carrier's tariff. Storage-in-Transit is associated with an interstate move. Storage-in-Transit services may take place at either origin or destination. Valuation Coverage is provided through the carrier, not the carrier's agent under SIT and the term is limited to 180 days. Shipments that remain in SIT for longer than 180 days are converted to Permanent Storage. Physically nothing happens to the shipment; however, rates for Permanent Storage and Valuation Coverage are determined by the carrier's local agent, not by the carrier.
Straight Truck - Truck where the power unit and cargo box are connected as one single unit. Straight trucks are smaller than tractor-trailers and are able to access addresses that are not accessible by tractor-trailers.
Survey - On sight inspection where an estimator views the shipment, describes special services needed and looks at the accessibility of the origin address. The information obtained during the survey allows the carrier's agent to provide an estimate.
Table of Measurements - Form used by an estimator to determine the amount of space a shipment will need on a van and to determine the shipment's weight. The Table of Measurements shows a list of Articles, typically found in a home, along with its approximate cubic footage, also called a Cube Sheet.
Tare Weight - Weight of the truck before the shipment is loaded.
Tariff - List of rules, regulations and available services along with the resulting charges for handling a shipment by the carrier.
Third Party Services - Services provided by an independent company not associated with the carrier that is generally beyond the carrier's expertise of household moving. These may include disconnecting light fixtures, gas lines, appliance servicing, disassembly and reassembly of pool tables, hanging art work on walls and the like.
Tractor-Trailer - Truck where the power unit (tractor) is separate from the cargo box (trailer). Household goods carrier's trailers are equipped with multiple doors, wood floors along with the standard allotment of pads, logistic straps, ramps, dollies and hand trucks. The trailers are large and often handle multiple shipments.
Valuation - Amount of carrier's liability on a shipment as declared by the shipper/owner. Carriers often offer Full Value Coverage and Minimum Carrier Liability.
Van - General term used to describe the truck being used to transport a shipment.
Van Operator - Person who operates the truck and is responsible for the inventorying, loading, transport and delivery of the shipment.
Waiting Time - Charge for holding a shipment on board the van beyond the allotted time. Charges are by the hour and include the use of the van, the van operator and any labor the van operator may have. Waiting Time is used at the discretion of the carrier.
Walk Board - Ramp used by movers to assist in the loading or unloading of a shipment.
Weight Additive - Charge for handling extremely bulky articles i.e. boat and boat trailer. Certain articles consume large amounts of space on a van however they are not generally in themselves heavy. A weight additive takes the net weight of the item and adds an assigned amount of weight as described in the carrier's tariff. The total weight charged is the net weight plus the weight additive weight.