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Moving terms to know



Understanding the terminology used in the moving industry can be helpful as you plan and coordinate your move.

Here are some common moving terms to familiarize yourself with:

Bill of Lading: This is the official contract between you and the moving company. It outlines all the details of the move, including costs and liability.

Binding Estimate: This is an estimate given by a moving company that guarantees the total cost of the move based on the weight of your items and the services listed in the estimate.

Non-Binding Estimate: Unlike a binding estimate, a non-binding estimate is an approximation of the moving cost. The final cost may be higher or lower depending on the actual weight of your items and the services rendered.

Inventory: A detailed list of all the items being moved.

High-Value Inventory: Items that are particularly valuable. Movers often require a list of these items to ensure they are properly accounted for.

Valuation: The degree of “worth” of the shipment. This is used to figure out the moving company’s liability in case of damage or loss.

Full-Service Move: A service where the moving company handles all aspects of the move, including packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking.

Self-Service Move: A service where the moving company only handles the transportation of your items. You are responsible for all the packing and unpacking.

Flight Charge: An additional fee charged by movers for carrying items up or down flights of stairs.

Accessorial Charges: Additional charges for extra services performed by the movers, such as packing and unpacking, appliance servicing, or long carries.

Long Carry: A charge for carrying items an excessive distance from the mover’s truck to your residence.

Shuttle Service: When a smaller vehicle is used to transport your items from your residence to the moving truck (or vice versa) when the moving truck can’t park close to your residence, this service is charged extra.

Storage-In-Transit (SIT): Temporary storage of your items in the warehouse of the moving company, pending further transportation.

Intrastate vs. Interstate Move: An intrastate move is a move within the same state, while an interstate move is when you move from one state to another.

Local Move: Typically, a move is considered local if it is within the same state and less than a specific distance (often 50 miles).

By understanding these terms, you can better navigate your moving contract and communicate effectively with your moving company.

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