Moving Glossary | Cousins USA Moving & Storage

Moving Glossary

Moving is a specialized industry, and you are likely to come across unfamiliar terms. We are here to break down commonly used moving terms and what you need to know:

Accessorial/Additional Charge: Charges for additional services, such as packing/unpacking.

  • These charges may show up for unexpected issues during your move, such as having to use a shuttle service.

Bill of Lading: This is your receipt or contract with your mover.

  • Read the bill of lading before you accept it.
  • Ask your moving company questions if you do not understand something.
  • By signing this bill of lading, you are entrusting all your belongings to the mover for transportation.

Binding/Non-Binding Estimate: This is what is provided before the move as an estimate of how much the move will cost. The full charge amount will be given after the move is complete.

  • Binding: The mover estimates a flat price based on a given inventory. No matter how long the job takes, the flat price is always paid. It is given only when an onsite quote is performed.
  • Non-Binding: These estimates are based on the movers’ previous experience of jobs like yours. As the name suggests, these estimates are subject to change.

Carrier: The mover or company you are working with.

C.O.D.: Stands for “cash on delivery.”

  • Payment is required at time of delivery (before the move).
  • Some movers take cash, cashier’s checks, or money orders.
  • Be sure to discuss payment options with your mover before your moving date.

High Value Article: An item valued at about $100 per pound.

  • You might need to fill out an inventory form for each article valued as a high-value article.

Interstate Move: Any move that crosses state boundaries, regardless of miles.

Intrastate Move: A move within the state.

Order for Service: The document that authorizes the moving company to move your items.

Order Number: The number used to identify and track your shipment. It will be found on your order for service and the bill of lading.

Shuttle Service: When a smaller vehicle is used to transport your shipment to its destination. This usually happens when a road is too narrow or there is not enough parking to get the moving truck to its destination.

Storage in Transit (S.I.T.): Temporary storage for your belongings if your new home is not ready.

  • The time in storage may not exceed more than 180 days.
  • Note that you will be charged for storage fees.

Valuation: This is not insurance, but a specific amount a moving company agrees to pay if an item is damaged or lost by a mover.

  • Options for minimum or full coverage.
  • Federally regulated.
  • Often determined by weight of goods.

Now, you are fully armed with all the knowledge you need to make a successful move. You know what to look for in movers, what to pack and some frequently used terms to help you navigate your moving contract. You are at an advantage — you are going into this process knowing more than the average person.

Moving is stressful. But you have got this!