Moving Terms

These important moving terms will help you understand your estimate and the discussions you will have while looking to hire a moving company to move your home or business.

Rates — How your fees and costs are being calculated, usually by the hour, per person, per truck or per job.

Standard coverage — Movers are required by law to provide a minimum amount of complimentary coverage. This number, typically 1 dollar ($1.00), refers to the amount of money you will receive per pound of damaged goods. This coverage is a bare minimum and should not be relied upon to cover you for any significant damage. The moving company should always suggest additional insurance especially if you have high value household goods that are being handled.

Coverage options/assessed valuation — More information on valuation coverage and commonly asked questions can be found here.

Binding verses a non-binding estimate

Binding – a price based upon a given inventory, meaning no matter how long the job takes, the flat price is always paid (it’s given only when an onsite estimate is performed). It can also be a binding hourly rate meaning that the cost per hour is firm and based on the duration of your move.

Non-Binding – estimates based upon the movers’ previous experience (these estimates are subject to change.)


Bill of Lading (BOL) — The contract between the moving company and the customer that also serves as a receipt (it’s important to understand everything on the bill of lading before you sign it).

Packing supplies – A full list of moving boxes and packing supplies can be found here.

Full-service mover — Movers will relocate all household goods from your old address to your new address. Your items are picked up from every room in your old home and delivered to the appropriate rooms in your new home. Individual pieces of furniture are wrapped. Full-service movers will also provide, at additional cost, full packing and unpacking services.

Inventory — An accurate list of all household goods that are to be moved. It is used to report the condition of goods and the contents of boxes, as well as a receipt of acceptance of the goods by the mover. It is also called the household goods descriptive inventory.

moving terminology


Interstate move — The moving of household goods across state lines. Interstate moving is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

There are typically two types of Interstate Moves, Consolidated and Exclusive

The majority of Interstate moves are consolidated. This typically involved more than one moving companies, although some the largest, franchise moving companies provide this service as one organization. A moving company will arrive at your home, wrap and pack your items, load it on their trucks and drive it to a consolidator. It is unloaded on the consolidators loading dock and then palleted and shrink wrapped. When enough freight is available for delivery on a designated route, your freight along with others are loaded into a tractor trailer and then delivered. Depending on the time of year and the area you are moving to, it may take 10 to 21 days to get your freight delivered. It is also co-mingled with other freight.

Exclusive long distance moves involves one moving company wrapping and packing your freight and delivering it. The freight is always in one company’s control and you would typically get your freight within 1 week.

For additional information contact your Home Moving Solutions estimator.

Intrastate move — Movement of goods within the boundaries of a single state.

Packing service — Many full-service movers provide customers the option of having all of their possessions packed before the move and later unpacked at the destination

Tariff — A published schedule of rules, rates, and charges for the transportation of household goods (HHG) . The most common household goods tariff is the 400 series, published through the Household Goods Carriers Bureau.

Furniture protection – Includes moving blankets and/or shrink wrap your furniture to protect furniture from damage as they are transported.

Long Carry – the distance between where you HHG are located. Typically it is 60 feet from the front door to the moving truck. If your move involves flight of stairs, elevators, long hallways or legally parking a distance from your building, long carry charges should be expected.