Bill of Lading, high-value article, valuation—wait, what? Does reading a moving contract or talking to a moving company have you wondering, “what does all this mean?” Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with this list of moving terms.

Moving Terms from A to Z

Here’s a list of moving terms to help you learn to speak the lingo and give you confidence and understanding for your move.


Accessorial Charges. Accessorial charges are additional charges for services such as packing, unpacking, crating, or disconnecting appliances.

Actual Charges. Actual charges are the final cost of moving from start to finish. It included moving costs, warehouse fees, and accessorial charges.

Adjuster.  The adjuster is a representative who settles any claims against a moving company for loss or damage of goods during a move.

AMSA. AMSA is short for the American Moving & Storage Association. This organization of moving companies helps improve and advocate for moving companies and customers.

Appliance Service. Some moving companies offer (though their team or a third party) to prepare appliances such as washing machines, dryers, and refrigerators for transportation, excluding disconnecting plumbing or electrical supplies.


Bill of Lading. The Bill of Lading is the legally binding contract that outlines all the details of the move. It serves as the receipt of the agreement between the customer and the moving company.

Bulky Article Charge. Large items that require extra handling could incur an additional charge.


Carrier. The carrier is the moving company that transports your items.

Cargo Claim. If your items are broken or damaged during the move, you’ll need to file a cargo claim.

Cash on Delivery. Cash on delivery (aka C.O.D.) is when the customers agree to pay a moving company upon arrival at the destination.

Crating. Crating refers to building wooden boxes to protect valuables during transport.

Cube Sheet. The cube sheet lays out a list of all the household goods and the amount of space (in cubic feet) they occupy in the truck. It is then converted into a weight-load for the moving estimate.


Delivery Report. The delivery report (signed by the customer) verifies the delivery at the destination.

Delivery Window. This moving term refers to the time scheduled for delivery to the final destination and will vary upon moving distance.

Diversion. A diversion is a route change after the moving truck is already en route.

Door-to-Door Service. This service delivers items from the original destination directly to the new location without storage.


Elevator Charge. A charge for moving items in an elevator.

Estimate, Binding. The agreement between the moving company and customer guaranteeing the total cost of the move based on the weight of household items and accessorial services.


Flight Charge. Additional charge for carrying items up or down one or multiple flights of stairs.

Full-Service Moving. This term means a move that is completed from start to finish. It includes materials, packing, loading, transporting, unloading, and unpacking.

Full-Value Protection Insurance. An insurance policy covering the current market value of an item for replacement or repair costs should be damaged or lost during transit.


Gross Weight. The gross weight is the combined weight of the moving truck with household items.

Guaranteed Pickup and Delivery Service. This premium service guarantees specific pickup and delivery dates.


Hazard Insurance. Insurance protection against fire, floods, wind, and other natural events.

High-Value Articles. Items that qualify at a value of more than $100 per pound.


Impracticable Operations. Moving conditions that require special equipment or additional labor.

Inherent Vice. This moving term refers to any item whose condition prevents the moving company from moving without causing damage. An example of this is fragile antiques.

Interstate Move. Any move that crosses state lines, regardless of distance.

Intrastate Move. Moves where original and destination are located in the same state.


Line-Haul Charges. Weight of shipment and mileage charges, specifically for long-distance moves.

Local Move. Any move that 40 miles or less.

Long Carry Charge. This charge is applied when the moving service transports items an excessive distance from the home to the moving truck or vice versa.


New Weight. The shipment weight s obtained by subtracting the tare weight (weight of moving truck) from the gross weight (fully-loaded truck).

Non-Allowables. These are prohibited items that moving companies won’t move. See a list here.


Order for Service. This document authorizes a moving company to move your items.

Order Number. This number appears on the Order for Service and the Bill of Lading. It’s used to identify your move.

Overflow. Items that are left behind because of insufficient space on the primary moving truck and transported in an additional truck.


PBO. This term stands for items packed by the owner.

PAD. The PAD or preferred arrival date is the delivery date requested.


Reweigh. You can request a reweigh upon delivery of your items. If requested, the charges are calculated on the new net weight.

Released Value Insurance. An insurance policy that’s required by federal law and offered at no additional cost. It covers your belongings for $0.60 per pound per item regardless of the item’s value.


Storage-In-Transit. A request for temporary storage if the destination isn’t ready to receive the items. SIT services cannot exceed 90 days, and the customer is responsible for additional costs and warehouse handling fees.

Stretch-Wrap. A heavy-duty saran wrap for protecting furniture.


Tare Weight. The moving truck’s weight, equipment, and packing materials without customer’s items.

Tariff. A tariff is a comprehensive list of a moving service’s rates, rules, and regulations. Long-distance, short-distance, and other types of moves have different tariffs.

Transit Time. The time spent between the move of origin and the new destination.


USDOT Number. A number that serves as registration for any vehicle cargo transported across state lines, including moving trucks.


Valuation. The estimated value of the customer’s belongings. Before signing the Bill of Lading, the customer will declare the monetary cost of the items being moved.


Your Rights and Responsibilities. This government-issued document helps you understand every step of the moving process. It includes information about moving paperwork, estimates, claims, and insurance.

Don’t get overwhelmed by moving and all the lingo. Use this list of moving terms to help make the process less confusing and your next move easier.

Moving Made Easy

Moving doesn’t have to be stressful. RL Maxon Moving makes it our mission to ensure you have the stress-free move you deserve. Contact us today, and let’s get moving! 479.756.0850

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