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Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms




Accessorial Services

Services, other than linehaul transportation, performed by an agent or the van operator (such as; packing, unpacking, an extra pickup, a long carry, an elevator carry, etc.). Accessorial services are charged in addition to linehaul transportation charge.

Advanced Charges (3rd Party Service)

Charges for services of others engaged by an agent or the carrier at your request. These charges are advanced to your bill of lading charges.  For example; having a pool table dismantled by 3rd Party Service service provider is a 3rd party service.


An affiliated moving company authorized to act on behalf of a motor carrier. The affiliated moving company (the agent) may serve as the booking agent, the origin agent, the hauling agent and/or the destination agent.

Auxiliary Service (Shuttle)

If the assigned over-the-road van is unable to make a normal pickup/delivery because of physical constraints and a second, smaller, vehicle is needed, this is considered Auxiliary Service (a shuttle).  Examples of such physical constraints include situations such as a road or driveway that is too narrow, a bridge unable to support the weight of the van, and the inability to park the moving van within a reasonable distance of the pickup or the delivery residence. Charges for the second, smaller, vehicle are assessed on an hourly basis, in addition to charges for the extra labor involved in making the pickup with the shuttle truck.

Bill of Lading

The is your contract with the carrier. It is your receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation. Your signature acknowledges that your goods have been loaded on the moving van and "released to the carrier".

Binding Estimate

You will know in advance what your move will cost, regardless of variances in the actual weight (as long as the inventory of the items being moved is the same as the inventory used for making the estimate).  Without any changes from what was seen during the initial in-home survey, this amount should be within 10% of the original estimate.

Booking Agent

The agent who accepts the order for your move. The booking agent may or may not be your origin or destination agent.

Bulky Article

Items such as pianos, cars, boats, snowmobiles and campers usually carry a bulky article charge to compensate the carrier for the difficulty of loading and unloading such articles, and their unusual bulk or low weight density. In some cases, an additional "weight additive" is applicable.

C.O.D. (Cash On Delivery)

Shipments where customer pays moving charges at the time of delivery.  For C.O.D. shipments, payment is required in cash, or by traveler's check, money order, cashier's check or credit card (pending a prior credit card approval process).  Personal checks are not accepted for payment of C.O.D. charges.


The company providing transportation for your household goods and on whose interstate or intrastate operating authority the shipment is moved.

Carrier's Liability For Loss or Damage

The liability the Carrier assumes for your possessions. There are several different liability options available to you so be sure to ask the Carrier's Representative to explain each option, it's ramifications and it's cost. Carrier's Liability For Loss or Damage is often incorrectly referred to as "insurance"


Shipper's statement of loss or damage to any of his or her household goods while they were in the care of the carrier or its agent. Such a statement is generally made on a "Claim Form".


The person to whom the shipment is to be delivered.


The person from whom the shipment picked up from.

CP (Carrier Packed)

Articles packed into cartons or crates by the carrier, not the shipper.


This abbreviation stands for the rate or charge per 100 pounds.


Empty (unloaded) miles traveled by a driver in order to move his or her truck to pick up a paying load.

Declared Valuation

The shipper's indication of the value declared for the possessions being shipped, thereby establishing the carrier's maximum liability for loss or damage to the shipment. If no value is declared, the liability is then controlled by the tariff under which the shipment is moved.

Destination Agent

The agent designated in the destination area to be available to assist or provide information to you or the van operator regarding your shipment.

Elevator Carry

A charge to compensate the carrier for the additional labor required to move a shipment by way of an elevator.


An professional assessment as to the van space requirements, weight of your household goods and cost of the move determined by the physical visual inspection of a shipment by a representative of the carrier.

Expedited Service

A program which, for an additional charge, allows a specific delivery date to be requested. If the date is not met, only standard charges apply.

Extra Stop (Extra Pickup or Delivery)

If a van operator is required to make an extra stop at either origin or destination (other than the main pickup or delivery points) an extra charge is assessed - the charge is determined by the tariff.

Flight Charge (Stair Carry)

An extra charge to compensate the carrier for the additional labor and time required to move a shipment up or down flights of stairs which lead to or from an origin or destination residence.

Full Replacement Value Protection

A valuation program which does not incorporate depreciation as a factor in settling claims for loss or damage.

Gross weight

Weight of the van and its contents after your goods are loaded.


The list itemizing the goods (and their condition) that you have released to the carrier.


The tariff transportation charge to move your shipment from point of origin to it's final point of destination.

Long Carry (Distance Carry)

A charge assessed when a shipment must be moved more than 75 feet from the rear of the moving van to the entrance of the residence.

Long Haul

A move that takes place over 450 miles. Long hauls are (generally) performed with tractor-trailers.

Net weight

Gross weight minus the tare weight. You are entitled to a copy of the scale ticket to verify your shipment's actual net weight.

Operating Authority

Certification issued by a state or federal governmental entity authorizing a carrier to move household goods between designated geographical areas. A van line's agent may also have its own separate "operating authority" issued by a state or federal governmental entity, to move shipments within a certain geographical area.

Order for Service Number

The number used to identify your shipment. It appears in the upper right corner of the Bill of Lading and on the Order for Service.

Order For Service

The document authorizing the carrier to transport your household goods.

Origin Agent

The agent designated in the origin area to be available for preliminary readying of the shipment before movement (such as packing cartons), or to provide information to you regarding your move.


Articles that are left behind due to insufficient space on a van, to be loaded on a second van for transportation and delivery.

PBO (Packed By Owner)

Articles packed into cartons or crates by the shipper, not the carrier.


Second weighing of shipment performed at destination at the shipper's or the carrier's request.

Road Van

A long haul tractor-trailer that moves shipments long distance (which is generally considered over 450 miles).


The person (customer) whose goods are being moved.

Short Haul

A move that takes place under 450 miles. Short hauls are (generally) performed with straight trucks, although tractor-trailers can, and are, often employed to complete large short haul moves.

Storage In Transit (S.I.T.)

Temporary storage of your household goods in the warehouse of the carrier or carrier's agent, pending further transportation.

Straight Truck

A truck, generally one half the size and capacity of a tractor-trailer. Straight trucks are single cab and body vehicles (as opposed to a tractor-trailer on which the cab can be separated from the trailer).


The booking or origin agent examines (i.e.: surveys, or visually inspects) the shipper's goods to develop an cost estimate.

Tare Weight

Weight of the van and its contents before your goods are loaded.


The carrier's provisions, including rates, for services performed during the course of moving a shipment.

Third Party Services

Services performed by someone other than the carrier at your request or as required by federal, state or local law.


The removal of your goods from containers (boxes) and crates, and the disposal of such containers and packing materials.


Shipper's declaration of the value declared for the possessions being shipped, thereby establishing the carrier's maximum liability for loss or damage to the shipment. If no value is declared, the liability is then controlled by the tariff under which the shipment was moved.

Van Operator

The driver of the vehicle carrying your household goods.


Movers call all types and kinds of trucks used for moving "vans".  A van can be as small as a small econoline pack van or as large as a long tractor-trailer.

For more information or assistance call
(562) 865-2900 or (800) 672-1415

Updated: September 2017

California Moving & Storage Association 1998-2013
10900 E. 183rd St., Ste 300, Cerritos, CA 90703-5370
(562) 865-2900 - (800) 672-1415 - (562) 865-2944 Fax