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Posted 08/25/2023

Movers Terms

Moving can be a complex process, and if you're not familiar with the language used by moving professionals, it can be even more overwhelming. Movers use specific terms and phrases to describe various aspects of the moving process, from the types of services they offer to the equipment they use. In this article, we'll break down some of the key terms used by movers, providing you with a better understanding of the industry's language and helping you navigate your move more confidently.

1. Bill of Lading:

The Bill of Lading is a legal contract between you and the moving company. It serves as a receipt for your belongings and outlines the terms and conditions of the move. Make sure to read and understand the Bill of Lading before signing it.

2. Binding Estimate:

A binding estimate is a fixed price provided by the moving company based on the items you need to move and the services required. This means that the final cost of the move will not exceed the estimated amount, even if the actual weight or volume is higher.

3. Non-Binding Estimate:

In contrast to a binding estimate, a non-binding estimate is an approximation of the moving cost. The final cost may vary based on the actual weight of your belongings and any additional services requested.

4. Accessorial Services:

Accessorial services refer to additional moving services that go beyond the standard loading, transportation, and unloading. These services may include packing, unpacking, storage, appliance servicing, and more. Each service typically incurs an extra fee.

5. Inventory:

The inventory is a detailed list of all the items being moved. It usually includes descriptions, quantities, and conditions of each item, serving as a reference for both you and the moving company.

6. High-Value Inventory:

High-value inventory refers to items with a value higher than the standard liability coverage provided by the moving company. Examples include expensive artwork, antiques, and valuable electronics. You may need to declare these items separately and purchase additional insurance coverage.

7. Long Carry:

A long carry fee is applied when movers must transport your belongings over an extended distance between the moving truck and your home. This occurs when the truck cannot park close to your property, leading to more time and effort for the movers.

8. Flight Charge:

A flight charge applies when movers must carry items up or down a flight of stairs. This fee compensates for the additional labor required for moving your belongings on staircases.

9. Shuttle Service:

If a large moving truck cannot access your home due to narrow streets or other obstacles, a shuttle service may be used. This involves transferring your belongings from a smaller vehicle that can access your property to the main moving truck.

10. Warehouse Handling:

Warehouse handling fees apply when your belongings need to be temporarily stored in a moving company's warehouse. These fees cover the cost of storing and handling your items during the storage period.


Familiarizing yourself with the terms used by movers will empower you to make more informed decisions during your move. From understanding the difference between binding and non-binding estimates to being aware of accessorial services, knowing the lingo will help you communicate more effectively with your chosen moving company. Take the time to read through contracts, ask questions, and ensure you fully grasp the terms and conditions of your move. Armed with this knowledge, you can embark on a smoother and more successful moving experience.

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