Moving Terms You Should Know

Do you know your moving terms? Every industry has its own unique vocabulary that’s completely foreign to those outside of that specific industry. For example, the financial field is filled terms that many people may not be familiar with, such as “Fiduciary,” “Quadrix” and “Sacrifice Ratio.”

The moving and storage industry is no different. We have a set of moving terms we use on a daily basis that you may not be familiar with. With that in mind, I’d like to share with you some of our industry’s most commonly used moving terms. You may find that understanding them will help make your move a bit less stress filled.

  • Bill of Lading: The term first appeared at the birth of international trade, when both the shipper and the receiver needed an itemized list of all goods being transported. Lading literally means “to put cargo on a ship,” but today movers use a bill of lading as an agreement as to what is being put on a moving truck and where it is being transported.
  • Binding Estimate: In a nutshell, a binding estimate is the guaranteed price supplied by a moving company based on the inventory of your home. In other words, if the actual weight of your shipment is more than the written estimate, you still pay the quoted amount. Be aware, binding estimates are subject to change if the parameters of the job change after the estimate is received. Some people may not understand that a guaranteed price can change based on the need for any additional services. This sometimes leads to a misunderstanding when not clarified up front.
  • Non-binding Estimate: This is a commitment that the mover makes to provide services and charge customers for what they actually do. Movers working under non-binding estimates must release a customer’s items for the estimated charge plus up to 10% more and the customer is still obligated to pay the remaining balance within 30 days.
  • Dunnage: Is a strange sound word that has its origins in classical literature. Dunnage describes all the materials a mover uses to protect your valuables such as blankets, pads, packing peanuts, etc.
  • PBO: This is an acronym for the words “packed by owner.” This is an important term to understand, because PBO items may or may not be insured.
  • Consignor/Consignee: The consignor is the moving company and the consignee is the recipient.

If you are unsure of the moving terms a company agent uses when talking to you, be sure to ask him or her to explain it to you. It’s much better to be informed and understand all aspects of the moving process than to be stuck in the dark wondering what you just agreed to.

Moving terms truck