A to Z alphabet blocks
Date Published
September 18, 2019

For those of us that don’t work on moves every day, some of the terms associated with the process can be unfamiliar. We created a moving glossary to help clarify some common terms in the moving industry and make your move easier.

The ABCs of Moving


Accessorial charges: charges for additional services such as packing or unpacking. Charges for these services are in addition to the transportation costs.

Agent: a local moving company authorized to act on behalf of a larger, national company.


Bill of lading: a contract between the moving company and the mover containing important information about the move. (This blog explains the bill of lading in greater detail.)


Carrier: the mover who is actually transporting your items.

C.O.D. (cash on delivery): when payment is owed to the moving company upon delivery.



Estimate, binding: a written agreement with a moving company guaranteeing that the total cost of the move will not exceed (or be less than) the initial estimate.

Estimate, non-binding: an estimate from a moving company that is not guaranteed; final charges may be more or less based on factors such as final weight or additional services provided.


Full service mover: a mover who picks up items from each room of your current house and delivers them to your new home.



High value articles: items valued at more than $100 per pound.


Interstate: A move across state lines.

Intrastate: A move within the state you currently reside in.

Inventory: a detailed list of all the items you are moving with details noted such as condition and who packed them (you are the moving company).




License: every moving company is required by federal law to be licensed with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Linehaul charges: charges calculated by mileage and weight of your shipment for long distance moves.

Long carry charge: a charge for when movers need to carry your items an excessive distance to their truck.



Non-allowable list (prohibited items): a list of items movers will not transport, such as items that are dangerous or will potentially cause damage (chemicals, propane tanks, etc.).


Order for service: the document authorizing a moving company to move your items (this is part of the bill of lading).


Packing service: movers will pack your items before the move and unpack them after delivery.

PBO: packed by owner.

ProMovera moving company certified by AMSA (American Moving & Storage Association) as reputable and professional.


Quote: a price estimate provided by a moving company based on your specific moving needs.



Self-service mover: a company that provides you with a truck or trailer for you to load and unload yourself.

Stair-carry charge (or flight charge): an extra charge for movers carrying your items up or down flights of stairs.

Standard coverage: the minimum amount of valuation coverage a moving company will provide for your possessions as required by law (see also valuation).


Tariff: a comprehensive list of a moving company’s rates, rules, and regulations. Tariffs vary based on type of move (i.e. long distance vs. short distance).



Valuation: before shipment, you will be asked to declare the total monetary value of all of your items. This is the maximum amount that the moving company will be liable for.





Take a Chance with AAA Movers

AAA Movers is your certified and trustworthy Minneapolis-based moving company. We’re ready to answer any questions about your move or moving paperwork. Contact our moving professionals to get a free quote on your next move.