Moving Terminology Explained
Updated: January 22, 2019
The moving world has its own lingo and when preparing for a move it is important to understand the terminology. Below are common words that you may come across in the moving process: Access – Basically, how accessible is the property? The room to park a vehicle, the distance from vehicle to front door, the availability of lifts, how many floors the building has, and so on, all have an influence on access.
Agent – Usually another moving company appointed to act as a partner in your move. The most likely situation is that your mover will appoint someone at destination to receive your shipment, clear it through Customs and arrange final delivery. The agent’s services will be included in your quotation.
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 on this document acknowledges that your goods have been loaded on the moving van and “released to the carrier”.
Binding Quote – A guaranteed price based on the inventory.
Bonded Warehouse – A warehouse that meets with local Customs specifications, and allows shipments to be stored pending clearance by Customs.
Booker – The company which you have chosen to be in charge of your move.
Chargeable Weight – The weight used by an airline to determine the air freight charge.
COD (Cash On Delivery) – Shipments where customer pays moving charges at the time of delivery. For COD shipments, payment is required in cash, banker’s draft or credit card (provided prior arrangements have been made).
Consignee – The person to whom the shipment is to be delivered.
Container – A modular steel box (usually 20-ft or 40-ft) for moving goods securely. Usually used on ships but increasingly linked to road and rail transport.
Corporate Account – Your employer company, which is responsible for the removal charges.
Cost per cubic metre/cubic feet – A rate given on the estimated space your belongings will fill on a truck /container.
Cost per 100 lb. – A rate given on the estimated weight of your belongings.
Crate – A timber case for an overseas shipment (often referred to as a liftvan).
Customs Clearance – Formal inspection procedures carried out before allowing a shipment into a country.
CWT – This abbreviation stands for the rate or charge per 100 pounds.
Declared Value – Value the owner declare its goods to be for the purpose of insurance. This will form the basis of your insurance coverage and it is important that it reflects the value of your belongings.
Destination Agent – The moving company appointed to act on your behalf at destination.
Export Wrapping – Method of packing household and personal effects for transportation overseas. Usually involves heavier and more specialist materials.
Full Container Load (FCL) – A container carrying your belongings exclusively, with specified move dates as agreed with your mover.
Full Cover – Detailed insurance cover, usually includes loss, theft, fire and breakage, (breakage maybe restricted to items packed by your professional mover). May carry excess or deductible, maximum limits on total value or certain types of items, pairs and set clause, mechanical derangement clause and specific exclusions, for example money, stamp collection and jewelry. Always read details carefully.
Groupage – Where your shipment will not fill a container, you can save money by sending it groupage. This means your shipment will be loaded with others to fill a container. You should pay lower shipping charges, but delivery will take longer.
Insurance certificate – The official insurance document given to you by the insurance company. You will need this in the event of a claim.
Inventory – A list of your belongings to be moved or a list of your belongings in transit or storage.
Less than Container Load (LCL) – Where your shipment does not fill a complete shipping container.
Liftvans – A crate used in the packing of your belongings.
Linehaul – The charge to move your shipment by road from point of collection (which could be at the dockside) to its final point of destination.
Marine Insurance – Insurance specifically to cover your belongings whilst in transit over long distances and/or across water by vehicle, ship or aircraft. The policy will cover specific marine risks.
Origin Agent – The moving company appointed to handle your move at origin.
Packed By Owner (PBO) – When you choose to pack your belongings yourself, either into cartons supplied by the mover or into your own boxes. Insurance companies often refuse to insure goods packed by their owners.
Packers – Persons in charge of packing, wrapping, loading the goods at origin and unpacking, unwrapping and unloading the goods at destination.
Packing List – This document lists all the goods that are packed in a shipment and has 4 main purposes: It is used to check the goods at all stages of handling; as a receipt, therefore the importance for the customer of signing for agreement when the goods are collected and unpacked; as an attachment to the insurance certificate as it is an evidence that the goods were shipped and their conditions at the time of packing; for customs clearance as proof of the goods which are being imported.
Routing – The route the shipment will take to the eventual destination (the route itself as well as the mode of transportation and type of carrier service).
Shipper – The person (customer) whose goods are being moved.
Storage In Transit (SIT) – Temporary storage of your household goods in the warehouse of the moving company, pending further transportation.
Survey visit – To provide you with a quote the moving company will send a sales consultant to your home to assess the volume or weight of the goods to be removed.
Third Party Services – Some movers offer to arrange / co-ordinate additional professional services e.g. Plumbers, House Cleaners, Waterbed dismantling/assembling, carpenters, maid service.
Transit Time – The time indicated between collection and delivery of your belongings.