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Glossary of Moving Industry Terms :

Terminology of Packers & Movers


Accessorial Services: Services, other than line haul transportation, performed by Movers (Such as; packing, unpacking, an extra pickup, a long carry, an elevator carry, etc.). accessorial services are charged in addition to transportation charge.

Additional Transportation Charge (ATC): This regionally adjusted charge compensates the carrier for services performed in areas where the labour rates are higher than the national average. It also compensates the carrier for additional costs incurred due to traffic congestion and added time travelling to an area for pickup or for delivery.

Agent: Packing company can authorize to act on their behalf for custom clearance or some other work.


Bill of Lading: This is your contract with the carrier. It is your receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation. Your signature acknowledges that your goods have been loaded on the moving van and "released to the carrier".


Carrier:The company providing transportation for your household goods and on whose interstate or intrastate operating authority the shipment is moved.

Claim:Shipper's statement of loss or damage to any of his or her household goods while they were in the care of the carrier or its agent. Such a statement is generally made on a "Claim Form".

C.O.D. (Cash on Delivery):Shipments where customer pays moving charges at the time of delivery. For C.O.D. shipments, payment is required in cash or by pay order or credit card (pending a prior credit card approval process). Personal checks are not accepted for payment of C.O.D. charges.

Consignee: The person to whom the shipment is to be delivered.

Consignor: The person from whom the shipment is picked up from.

CP (Carrier Packed): Articles packed into cartons or crates by the carrier, not the shipper.

Cwt.: This abbreviation stands for the rate or charge per 100 pounds.


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 area to be available to assist or provide information to you or the van operator regarding your shipment.


Estimate: An 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.


Flight Charge (Stair Carry): An extra charge for carrying items such as pianos to a higher or lower floor.

Full Replacement Value Protection: A valuation program, which does not incorporate depreciation as a factor in settling, claims for loss or damage.

FCL: stands for Full Container Load. Its a term used in shipping when goods occupy a whole container.


Inventory: The list itemizing the goods (and their condition) that you have released to the carrier.


LCL: stands for "Less Container Load" LCL is a delivery method where one cubic meter (35 cubic feet) is shipped by surface shipping methods. This service is designed to those shipments whose space is insufficient to fill a 20 ft container with total capacity of 1168CFT/33.07CBM. LCL shipments are delivered to the nearest port of customs bonded warehouse where the customer must make pick up or make arrangements for the goods to be picked up by a customs broker. When using the LCL shipping option customers are responsible for customs clearance of hiring a customs broker to do this clearance for them.

Long carry: Carrying articles a longer than usual distance between the mover's vehicle and the residence entry door is referred to as 'long carry'.

Depending on the country and agent, a normal carry distance will be between 15 and 20mtrs; additional charges may be payable for carrying further distances.


NVOCC: NVOCC is an acronym for Non-vessel-operating common carrier, this refers to a forwarder who offers consolidated services for LCL cargo from one point to another in sea-containers. Each shipment would have its own House Bill of Lading (HB/L). The container would be consigned to the NVOCC's agent at point of destination for unloading and handing over the LCL shipments to the various consignees against presentation of the appropriate HBL.


Order for Service: The document authorizing the carrier to transport your household goods.

Order For Service Number: The number used to identify your shipment. It appears in the upper right corner of the Bill of Lading and on the Order for Service.

Origin Agent: The agent designated in the origin area to be available for preliminary readying of the shipment before movement (such as packing cartons), or to provide information to you regarding your move.


PBO (Packed by Owner): Articles packed into cartons or crates by the shipper, not the carrier.


Shipper: The person (customer) whose goods are being moved.

Storage In Transit (S.I.T.): Temporary storage of your household goods in the warehouse of the carrier's agent, pending further transportation.

Survey: The booking or origin agent examines (i.e.: surveys, or visually inspects) the shipper's goods to develop a cost estimate.


Tariff: The carrier's provisions, including rates, for services performed during the course of moving a shipment.


Unpacking: The removal of your goods from containers (boxes) and crates, and the disposal of such containers and packing materials.


Valuation: Shipper's declaration 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 was moved.

Van: Movers call all types and kinds of trucks used for moving "vans". A van can be as small as a small Maruti van or as large as an 34 foot long truck

Van Operator: The driver of the vehicle carrying your household goods.