Moving Terms | Moving 101 | Long Distance USA Movers

Important Moving Terms You Should Know

If you’re in the process of looking for a service provider for your relocation, you might be getting overwhelmed by the sheer amount of moving terms you don’t fully understand. To make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up for, it is crucial that you learn the meaning of these terms. To make this easier, we have put together this quick guide to the most important moving terms you should know about.

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Moving-Related Terms

There is quite a bit of terminology related to corporate and household relocation services you should be aware of. Here are the most important and most common words and phrases.

Interstate and Intrastate Relocation

These two terms have to do with the starting location and the final destination of a move. If you are relocating within your state, we’re talking about an intrastate relocation. If, however, you are relocating across the state border, that is an interstate move.

Moving Inventory

An inventory is a comprehensive list of all household goods scheduled for shipment, as well as the condition and contents of boxes.

Actual Cash Value

If an object gets damaged, broken, or stolen during shipment, its ACV is calculated. This is the cost of replacing or repairing the object.

Air Freight

This is a service providing the shipment of goods via aircraft. It is usually only used for international moves.

American Moving & Storage Association

A.M.S.A. is an organization dedicated to maintaining the high quality of shipment services provided by relocation companies in the country.

Auxiliary Service

Also called the shuttle service, it is needed when a shipping truck can’t access the desired destination due to, for example, narrow roads. In such cases, a smaller vehicle is used and charges for auxiliary services are added to the overall cost.

Bill of Lading

This is a document that serves as a contract between the movers and the client, as well as a receipt for the relocation solutions.


Sometimes, moving companies call themselves carriers. Some other names you might stumble upon include moving experts, relocation companies, movers, or removal companies.

Expedited Service

If you are relocating on a tight schedule and need to do it as soon as possible, you should request expedited services. Keep in mind that they come at an additional cost.

Impracticable Operations

These are conditions that make it impossible for movers to do their job with their usual equipment. If special equipment or more staff is required, there may be additional charges.

Estimated Weight

The approximate overall weight of all the household goods being shipped.

High-Value Article

These are household goods for which the estimated value exceeds $100 per pound of weight. Such items need to be listed on a separate form.

Stair Carry Charges

Stair carry charges, also known as flight-carry charges are charges added to the overall price if the movers need to carry items up or down a flight of stairs between your home and the truck.


If your new home isn’t move-in ready, you can use the storage facilities provided by the movers. However, you may be additionally charged for storage-in-transit.


These are goods that relocation companies aren’t allowed to transport. These include items such as flammable chemicals, illegal goods, weapons, pets, plants, or perishable foods. Contact your chosen relocation company for a more detailed list of non-allowed items.

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Car Shipping Service Terminology

When it comes to auto transport, there are some terms you should familiarize yourself with as well.

Open Carriers

These auto carriers are most commonly used in car shipping. They are trucks where the vehicles loaded for shipment are exposed to weather conditions and road debris.

Enclosed Carriers

These carriers fully protect a vehicle from the elements during the shipment. They are more expensive and are usually reserved for show cars, luxury vehicles, or race cars.

Door-to-Door and Terminal-to-Terminal Delivery

Your car may be picked up from and delivered to your front door, or it may be dropped off at the nearest terminal for you to pick up. You choose the mode of delivery based on your preferences. While door-to-door delivery is more convenient, terminal-to-terminal delivery may save you some money

Delivery Network

This is a network of routes and terminals used by auto carriers for the shipment of vehicles all across the country.

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Packing Terminology

Another common service that comes with a list of obscure terms is packing. Here are some words and phrases you should know.

Specialized Boxes

These are boxes designed for certain types of items. For example, wardrobe boxes prevent your dressier outfits from wrinkling, while boxes with compartments make sure your wine glasses stay scratch-free.

Packing Peanuts

Also known as foam peanuts, these are little balls of foam used to additionally protect the contents of a moving box.

Packing Paper

This paper is used to protect your household goods in several layers during the packing process. Although you can generally use things such as old newspapers for this purpose, with specialized paper you can be sure that there will be no smudges from the print left on your items.

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Miscellaneous Terminology

Here are some additional terms in the relocation industry you are likely to stumble upon.


An agent is an affiliated removal company that is authorized to act on behalf of the one you hired. Some of the things an agent may do include booking, pickup and destination services, or pretty much anything else. Agents are usually local companies that act on behalf of national ones.


Unlike an agent, a broker is not an actual relocation company. This is a company that intermediates between movers and clients. They offer relocation services to clients and pair them to available truck drivers.

Binding and Non-Binding Estimates

Whether it’s for moving or car transport, you will likely be dealing with price estimates, also known as quotes. A quote is an approximate price of the services you would like to receive that a relocation company calculates based on the information you provide. A binding estimate is given upon an onsite survey and comes in the form of a flat price. A non-binding quote, on the other hand, may be subject to change.


A tariff is a document containing all the rules and rates of a relocation company. You could say it is the Terms of Use of the relocation industry.


Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.

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