We hope this tool will help you with some of the meanings commonly used during a move.

Space at and around the property for removal vehicles, and whether lifts are available for apartments. This is usually assessed by the consultant to ascertain any difficulties the vehicle may encounter.

Accessorial Services
Additional services other than the actual packing at origin, the ocean/air transportation and destination services specifically stated in your written estimate. Examples Include but not limited to: Extra pick-up or Extra stop at destination, hoisting, shuttles, parking permits, flights, elevators, etc.; these services would be additional cost if not already included in your estimate.

This is another moving company that has been commissioned / appointed to act as a partner in the move.

Air Ride Suspension
Feature on removal vehicle, to allow a smoother transit.

All Water Service
Transportation service by ship from a foreign port to the U.S. Port or from a U.S. Port to a foreign port.

Arrival Notice
A notice furnished to the consignee from the shipline of the arrival of the shipment.

Auxiliary Service / Shuttle
Used if the assigned moving van is unable to make a normal pickup or delivery because of physical constraints (extremely narrow road, inadequate parking area for the truck, weak bridge, etc.) An auxiliary service is the use of a secondary, smaller vehicle to complete the pickup or delivery. Charges for this service are based either on the weight of the shipment or an hourly charge depending on the area of the country where the service is performed.

Bill of Lading
A document issued by the transportation service provider. The terms and condition of the move are detailed on the document, as well as the essential information that identifies the freight, including type, quantity, markings, the shippers information, who is to receive it and the place of delivery. It is the receipt of your goods and contract for the transportation of them. Your signature releases your goods to the carrier.

Blanket Wrapping
Method of packing furniture to prevent damage while in transit.

Bonded Warehouse
Warehouse that has been approved by the Treasury Department and under bond or guarantee for the strict observance of the revenue laws. Allows for storage of items that have not yet cleared customs.

Booking Agent
The relocation company you have chosen to manage your move.

A temporary sturdy barrier made of boards or cardboard which extend across the interior from side to side and from floor to ceiling of a overseas shipping container.

Bulky Articles
Items such as Baby Grand Pianos, motorcycles, golf carts, boats, ect… These “bulky” items usually carry an extra charge to compensate for the difficulty of loading/unloading as well as for their unusual bulk.

The mover who is providing transportation of your goods.

Packing boxes especially made for moving your household goods and personal effects. These will very in cube size depending on articles being packed.

Container Freight Station where small shipments are consolidated to make up a full container or where a consolidated container from another country arrives at a US port and is unloaded for customs clearance and distribution.

Chargeable Weight
The weight used by a vessel or airline to determine freight charge.

The rectangular steel frame supported on springs and attached to wheels for transporting ship’s containers.

A statement of loss or damage to any household goods while in the care, custody or control of the carrier or its affiliated agent.

Commercial Invoice
A bill of sale required on export and import general commodity shipments.

Common Carrier
A federally licensed company which offers to the general public, under published tariffs, to engage in interstate or foreign transportation of commodities of various types.

Concealed Damage
Damage to the contents of a package which is in good order externally.

Congestion Charge
A charge assessed at ports where cargo arrives in mass, thus causing additional expenses on overtime for labor in order to clear up the congestion.

The person to whom the shipment will be delivered.

The person by whom the goods are shipped.

Combining shipments into one consignment for ocean transportation thus reducing cost all shippers.

Person who will call at your property to discuss your particular move requirements usually making a note of items to be moved.

Steel containers are owned and provided by the steamship companies. They may be loaded onto chassis for trucking, rail cars and vessels. Standard sizes are 20′ and 40′.

Container Shipping
Vessels which carry only containers (20′, 40′, etc) and cargo which can be easily containerized.

Container Storage
Large wooden containers that are used for long term storage of your goods.

Corporate Account
When your employer is responsible for all charges pertaining to your relocation process.

Cost Per Cubic Meter or Feet
A rate given on the estimated space your belongings will fill on a truck, container, vessel or airline.

Cost Per 100 lbs
A rate given on the estimated weight of your belongings.

Cost Per Hour
A rate given per hour based on the number of men and the size of the truck.

A wooden crate made specifically to carry items of high importance or high value or which require special care.

Cubic Foot
1,728 cubic inches, L (Inches), W (Inches), H (Inches) ÷1728= Cubic Feet

Cubic Meter
A metric measurement for volume; one cubic meter equals 35.314 cubic feet

The Government Department collecting the duties imposed by law on imported or, less commonly, exported goods.

Customs Approved Warehouse
Warehouse that meets with local Customs specifications, allows the storage of items that have not yet gained customs cleared status.

Customs Bond
A bond or guarantee for the strict observance of customs law utilized for bonding goods until released by customs authorities.

Customs Broker
A person holding a license to engage in clearing goods through customs.

Custom Clearance
A formal inspection of the documents and contents of the shipment, conducted by the port authorities, which is required before a shipment can enter a country. Rates quoted include only normal customs clearance, i.e. preparation of customs entry and clearance. If Vacis Exam (X-Ray) or full customs inspection is required, an additional charge will be assessed for this service. It is impossible to pre-determine these charges.

Customs Duties
Charges assessed by various countries for entry of different items into that country. These vary widely and, again, these charges are the customer’s responsibility.

Customs Form 3299A
United States Customs form required for used household goods and personal effects imported into the United States.

Declared Value
This is the value you the owner states on an insurance document for the value of their belongings, calculated on the value to replace the goods at destination. This value will be used to estimate the amount of insurance coverage a transferee purchases for his/her belongings. IMPORTANT: The declared value for insurance purposes will not be used as the declared value for the shipment to clear customs.

A fee assessed by the steamship line for not removing a container from the port beyond the free time stipulated.

The ratio between the weight and volume of the shipment. A typical shipment of household goods has a density of 6 to 7 lbs/cubic feet. (Weight divided by cubic measurement equals pounds per cubic foot).

Destination Agent
Agent responsible for arranging customs clearance and delivery of your shipment.

A penalty for keeping the steamship line’s equipment (Container & Chassis) beyond the specified free time.

Dimensional Weight
Basis of weight figured on cubic dimension of cargo as set forth by carrier on which rate applies.

Dock Receipt
A receipt given for a shipment received or delivered at a pier or warehouse dock. When delivery of a foreign shipment is completed, the dock receipt is surrendered to the transportation line and a bill of lading is issued.

Move within same country, state, county.

From residence at origin to residence at destination.

From residence at origin to port of entry overseas.

Any materials used to block or brace cargo to prevent its motion, chafing or damage and to facilitate its handling.

A tax levied by a government on the importation, exportation or use and consumption of goods.

Entry Requirements
Procedures set forth by overseas governments to allow importation of goods into their country.

A general calculation of what the charges will be.

Estimated Time of Arrival

Estimated Time of Departure

Export Declaration
The declaration of the goods being exported

Export Wrapping
Method of packing household goods and personnel effects for international shipping.

Full container load carrying your belongings exclusively.

Vehicle provided when access at shippers residence is limited or restricted for large trucks. The ferry vehicle goes between the house and large removal truck with your possessions.

Flight Charge
A charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs. Charges for these services maybe in addition to your original quote if conditions were unknown or not advised when estimate was performed.

Foam Molding
Foam molded around the shape of a specific item to prevent damages, this method is usually used for items of high importance and high value.

Freight Forwarder
An international freight forwarder is an agent for the exporter in moving cargo to an overseas destination. These agents are familiar with the import rules and regulations of foreign countries, the export regulations of the U.S. government, the methods of shipping and the documents related to foreign trade. Freight Forwarders are licensed through the Federal Maritime Commission in Washington, D.C. to handle ocean freight.

Container Load (FCL)
A container that has been specifically assigned to one shipper.

Full Coverage
Detailed Insurance coverage usually includes loss, theft, fire and breakage (breakage maybe restricted to items packed by a professional mover). May carry excess or deductible, maximum limits on total value or certain types of items, pairs and set clauses, mechanical derangement clause and specific exclusions, for example, money, stamp collections and jewelry.

Government Bill of Lading
Any person whose property is transported under the terms and conditions of a government bill of lading issued by any department or agency of the Federal Government to the carrier responsible for the transportation of the shipment.

Gross Volume Weight (GVW)
Terminology used in air freight industry. Airlines assess freight charges based on space utilized, subject to a minimum of 10.4 pounds per cubic foot.

Gross Weight
That of the container and its contents after goods are loaded.

Your belongings are placed in a larger container along with other shippers’ goods. The cost of shipping is shared by all shippers with goods in container. This method of transporting goods usually results in savings for all parties involved, although transit time may be longer.

High Value Inventory
Used for items of extraordinary value such as antiques, coin collections and jewelry included in the shipment. Items worth more than $100.00 per pound per article are considered articles of extraordinary value.

Home Port
The port city which is the home base of a vessel or from which it is documented.

Household Goods
The personal effects or property used, or to be used, in a dwelling when part of the equipment or supplies of the dwelling. Transportation of the household goods must be arranged and paid for by the individual shipper or by another individual on behalf of the shipper. Household goods include property moving from a factory or store if purchased with the intent to use in a dwelling and transported at the request of the householder, who also pays the transportation charges.

International Air Transportation Association

Interstate Commerce Commission

Inward Foreign Manifest; the manifest prepared for U.S. Customs without which cargo cannot be landed or surrendered to consignees.

Indemnity Cover
The value of your belongings after depreciation and ware (second hand value).

Individual Shipper
Any person who is the consignor or consignee of a household goods shipment identified as such on the bill of lading contract. The individual shipper owns the goods being transported and pays the transportation charges.

Inland Move
Move within same country, state, county.

To cover your belongings whilst in transit or storage.

Insurance Certificate
A certificate is sometimes given to you or held in your files by your mover. It is in accordance with the details you provide on the Valued Inventory and confirms insurance has been arranged on your behalf.

International Bill of Lading
Document utilized to outline service being offered, origin/destination of shipment, responsible billing party, insurance requirements/limitations, etc.

Interstate Move
The transportation of goods in the United States from a place in one State to a place in a different State.

Intrastate Move
The transportation of goods within one State that never crosses State lines or includes a segment outside of that same State.

The document that is a detailed descriptive list of your goods showing the number and their condition before they are loaded. You will receive a copy of this document. At destination you will check off the items as they are unloaded from the overseas container. Your signature on the inventory acknowledges that the goods have been delivered.

A metric measurement for weight; 2.2046 pounds = 1Kg

Land Bridge
A service offered by ocean carriers from one port to another over land.

Less than container load

Lift Vans
A wooden shipping container specifically designed for the transportation of less than container load shipments.

Lift Van Dimensions
Length 7′ 3″ X Width 3′ 9″ X Height 7′ 3″
Capacity of 190 to 200 cubic feet and 1000 to 1500 net lbs.

Long Carry
Charge for carrying articles excessive distance between the mover’s vehicle and your residence. Charges for these services may be in addition to your original quote.

Long Term Storage

A document describing a shipment or the contents of a vehicle or ship.

Marine Insurance
Insurance specifically designed to cover goods in transit over long distances and/or across water by ship, vehicle or aircraft.

Microbridge Service
A service between a foreign and U.S. port by ship utilizing substituted rail service between US coastal ports (West, East and Gulf Coast)

Motor Carrier
A company that provides truck transportation. There are two types of motor carriers: private and for-hire carriers.

Nautical Mile
A unit of length used in sea navigation equal to 1,852 meters or approximately 6,076 feet.

Net Weight
The Gross weight minus the Tare weight

Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier. A Freight Forwarder not holding a “FMC” license, offering consolidation services to LCL shippers.

Ocean Bill of Lading. A document used by ocean carriers by which they acknowledge receipt of freight and contracts for its movement.

Order For Service
The document that authorizes the moving company to transport an individual shipper’s household goods.

Origin Agent
The agent located at or near your origin that will perform the packing, wrapping and loading of your shipment.

Over Short and Damage. Discrepancies between on-hand and freight shown on the bill. Freight not covered by billing is “over”. If some is missing, it is “Short”. Freight received in bad condition is “damaged”. Freight agents file an OS&D report showing these discrepancies.

Happens when items cannot be loaded into a lift van or in the overseas container due to insufficient space.

PBO (Packed by Owner)
When a transferee chooses to pack his/her own belongings. Most insurance companies will refuse to cover goods that have been packed by the owners, as most owners are not experienced in packing shipments properly for international transport.

Peak Season Rates
Higher charges applicable during the summer months.

Trailer-on-flatcar operation of railroads.

Port of Debarkation; port in which a shipment enters a country.

Private Carrier
A company that provides truck transportation of its own cargo, usually as part of a business that produces, uses, sells and/or buys the cargo being hauled.

Private Shipper
Individual shipper moving household goods and personal effects responsible for paying all charges.

Professional Packing
Packing staff and materials provided by your mover to carry out packing of goods that meets international shipping standards.

Released Value
This is the most economical protection option available. This no-additional-cost option provides minimal protection. Under this option, the mover assumes liability for no more than 10 cents per pound per article. Loss or damage claims are settled based upon the weight of the article multiplied by 10 cents per pound.

Roll on – Roll off; Also a vessel designed to transport vehicles which they can roll on or roll off.

Sundays and Holidays excluded from time counting.

Sundays and Holidays included in time counting

The person/customer whose goods are being moved.

Shipper’s Export Declaration
A form required by the Treasury Department and filled out by a shipper showing the value, weight, consignee, destination, etc., of shipments to be exported.

Shuttle Service
Use of a smaller vehicle to provide service to residences that are not accessible to the mover’s normal equipment.

Storage Extension Insurance
The extension of the original policy to cover the period the shipment is in storage. Please review policy or contact insurance provider for more details on storage extensions.

Storage in Transit (S.I.T.)
Temporary storage of your belongings, typically stored in the moving company’s warehouse, pending further transportation.

Storage Modules
Wooden containers used for long term storage.

A critical examination or inspection of a vessel, cargo or marine structure for the purpose of ascertaining desired facts and conclusions when necessary.

Survey Condition
Determines the specific condition of a vessel or of cargo; usually performed at the commencement or termination of charters or voyages for the agreed mutual benefit of various parties.

Survey Damage
Determines the exact extent of damages incurred and specific repair requirements.

Survey Valuation
Determines the current market value and my also express replacement value.

A person assigned to you by your mover to come to your residence or the location of the goods to be moved and get estimated weights and dimensions on goods to be moved.

Tare Weight
The weight of the overseas container before any goods is loaded into it.

An issuance (in whole or in part) containing rates, rules, regulations, classifications or other provisions related to a motor carrier’s transportation services. A Tariff contains three specific items. First, an accurate description of the services the mover offers to the public. Second, the specific applicable rates (or the basis for calculating the specific applicable rates) and service terms for services offered to the public. Third, the mover’s tariff must be arranged in a way that allows you to determine the exact rate(s) and service terms applicable to your shipment.

Through Bill of Lading. A bill of lading which covers transportation from inland point to origin to port of destination; port of origin to port of destination; port of origin to inland point at destination. Rates on a TBL may either be a joint through rate or a combination of local rates to cover the through transportation.

Third-Country Shipments
Shipments being transported from one foreign country to another, or within the same country.

Third Party Services
Professionals in a specific arena hired by your mover to perform special services. (Example) House cleaners, piano tuning, maid service etc.

A container loaded at origin and unloaded at destination without disturbing the contents while in transit.

Transit Time
The estimated number of days for the movement of your shipment from the pick up to the final delivery of your goods.

Under Insured
When the declared value of an item is less than the replacement cost. Insurance compensation will be restricted to the value declared on the inventory.

United States Coast Guard

Valuation is not insurance. It is tariff based coverage for customers’ goods while they are in the care of the carrier

Warehouse Handling
The physical unloading, loading and weighing of goods at the warehouse.

Warehouse Receipt
A receipt for goods placed in a warehouse. This may be issued as a negotiable or non-negotiable document.