Moving Terms

General Moving Terms

Move Coordinator: Serves as the main point of contact for all communications, logistics, and planning of a customer or clients move.

Inventory: Form used by a pickup van operator and/or origin agent to record a description and number of items to be shipped. A number is assigned to each item, and all numbers are cross- referenced on the form. The inventory also contains a description of each item’s condition at the time of pickup and allows the shipper to annotate the description of items upon their delivery or receipt at destination.

Shuttle Service: If the residence is in a location where access is limited, it may not be possible to bring a conventional moving van. In these cases, a (second), smaller vehicle will be needed to act as a shuttle between the moving van/container and the residence.

High Value Inventory Form: Form given to list all items with a value greater than $100 per pound.

Third-Party Carriers: Carrier (other than United or Mayflower) hired to provide services for a UVL or MTI shipment (e.g., outside car carriers).

Domestic Terms

Accessorial Services/Charges: Services, other than transportation, outlined in a carrier’s tariff or rate schedule and performed by an agent or a van operator at a shipper’s request. These charges may include packing, appliance servicing, customs duties, storage, warehouse handling and shuttle service. “Accessorial charges” thus are in addition to transportation charges.

Bill of lading: Contract or shipping document that is signed by both the shipper and carrier at the time goods are loaded and delivered to complete the transaction. Serves as the shipper’s receipt.

Binding estimate: Contractual fixed price quotation to transport a specified amount of goods.

Non-binding estimate: Estimate of charges given by an agent to a customer to which the agent is not bound. Customer is charged for actual services rendered, not the estimated charge.

Delivery Date Spread: Range of agreed-upon delivery dates. Shipment can arrive on any of these dates and meet the contractual agreement between a shipper and carrier.

Valuation: Amount of a carrier’s liability expressed by a dollar value placed on a shipment by the shipper that specifies the carrier’s maximum liability in the event of a covered claim for losses or damages.

Full Value Coverage: Customer-requested valuation coverage provided at extra charge and offering full value or replacement coverage for a shipment up to a stated limit.

International Terms


  • Steamship: Steel containers of either 20-ft or 40-ft in length, and constructed in accordance with the international ISO standard, are normally used for shipping by sea. They are also increasingly being used as part of a modular system for moving goods.
  • Liftvan: Wooden boxes (also known as Type II containers) which are caulked and waterproofed on the inside.  Sizes vary, but a standard liftvan will be anywhere from 166 cft to 220 cft in size.
  • TriWall: Thick (3 layer) cardboard boxes or cartons used for air shipments

Container (FCL): Cargo-carrying device designed for overseas shipping and made of metal or another suitable material to afford maximum protection for household goods in transit. May be attached to a chassis.

Less than Container Load (LCL): This applies to a small shipment, which does not justify the exclusive use of its own container. In contrast to a groupage shipment, which is loose-loaded with other small household goods shipments, an LCL shipment is loaded into cases or liftvans and delivered to an Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier for co-loading into a container.

Cost per cwt: Measurement of cost per 100 pounds or “hundredweight.”

Demurrage: Charge for vehicles, vessels or containers held by or for consignor or consignee for loading or unloading.