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Couple Packing

Glossary of Moving Terms

A successful move starts with a solid planning and selecting the right movers. In a typical year, some 36 million people will relocate to a new home in a new city or town; many may even go out of state or across the country. It's not a quick process - typical lead times are anywhere from 90 to 120 days.

Planning and organization play key roles in a successful move, as does your mover. EDC-Mover/Atlas moving, we believe that you will find moving with us to be a well-organized, efficient experience and we've created this site to help you along. You'll find many of the answers to your questions about what needs to be done to prepare yourself and your family; a packing guide; tips for a smooth moving day, and detailed information about the many services Atlas Van Lines offers to ensure that you're satisfied and relatively stress-free. We believe that by arming you with the necessary information, you and your family will be able to make sound decisions about your move and your movers.

We're confident that the more you know about moving, the more you'll want EDC-Mover/Atlas moving.

Accessorial services include services other than the transportation of your goods. Services including packing, unpacking, and extra pickup are performed by the carrier at your request. Charges for these services are in addition to the transportation costs.

The agent is an affiliated moving company authorized to act on behalf of the van line. The agent may handle the booking, origin, hauling and/or destination services.

Auxiliary service (shuttle) is used if the assigned over-the-road van is unable to make a normal pickup or delivery because of physical constraints (extremely narrow road, inadequate parking area for the truck, weak bridge, etc.). An auxiliary service is the use of a secondary, smaller vehicle to complete the pickup and delivery. Charges for this service are based on the vehicle used and additional labor involved.

The Bill of Lading is your receipt for your goods and a contract for their transportation. Your signature acknowledges that your household goods can be loaded on the van and "released to the carrier."

The booking agent accepts the order for your move and registers it with the van line. The booking agent may or may not be your origin or destination agent.

Bulky articles include such items as boats, snowmobiles, golf carts, and campers. These "bulky" items usually carry an extra charge to compensate the hauler for the difficulty of loading and unloading, as well as for their unusual bulk or low-weight density.

The carrier is the moving company providing transportation for your household goods under whose Department of Transportation registration the shipment is moved.

A claim is a statement of loss or damage to any of your household goods while in the charge of the carrier or its affiliated agent.

C.O.D. (cash on delivery) shipments are those where the customer pays the moving charges at the time of delivery. For C.O.D. shipments, payment is required in cash or by traveler's check, money order, cashier's check, or credit card. If you use a credit card, you must arrange this with your origin agent because authorization is required before loading commences.

Consignee: The person to whom the shipment is to be delivered.

Consignor: The person from whom the shipment picked up from.

CP (Carrier Packed): Articles packed into cartons or crates by the carrier, not the shipper.

Cwt.: This abbreviation stands for the rate or charge per 100 pounds.

Deadhead: Empty (unloaded) miles traveled by a driver in order to move his or her truck to pickup a paying load.

Declared valuation is the shipper's indication of the value declared for the possessions being shipped, thereby establishing the carrier's maximum liability for loss or damage to the shipment. If no value is declared, the liability is then controlled by the tariff under which the shipment is being handled.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is the federal agency, which, through the Surface Transportation Board within the DOT, governs the interstate transportation industry, including movers of household goods.

The destination agent is the agent designated in the destination area to be available to assist or provide information to you or the van operator regarding your shipment.

An estimate is an approximation of the probable cost of your move, based on factors such as the van space required and the weight of your household goods. The two basic types of estimates are binding and non-binding.

With a binding estimate, you will know in advance what your move will cost, regardless of variances in the actual weight (as long as the inventory of the items actually moved is the same as the estimated inventory and additional services are not requested).

A non-binding estimate is based on an inventory of the customer's merchandise and provides the customer with a pricing guideline. There is no contractual commitment to this estimate, and the final charges the customer must pay could be higher or lower than the estimated cost, depending on the actual weight of the shipment.

Elevator Carry: A charge to compensate the carrier for the additional labor required to move a shipment by way of an elevator.

Estimate: A professional assessment as to the van space requirements, weight of your household goods, and cost of the move determined by the physical visual inspection of a shipment by a representative of the carrier.

Expedited Service: A program which, for an additional charge, allows a specific delivery date to be requested. If the date is not met, only standard charges apply.

Extra Stop-Second or Third Extra Pickup or Delivery: If a van operator is required to make an extra stop at either origin or destination (other than the main pickup or delivery points) an extra charge is assessed - the charge is determined by the tariff.

Flight Charge (Stair Carry): An extra charge for carrying items such as pianos to a higher or lower floor.

Full Replacement Value Protection: A valuation program which does not incorporate depreciation as a factor in settling claims for loss or damage.

Gross weight is that of the van and its contents after your goods are loaded.

A high-value inventory is used for items of "extraordinary value" such as antiques, coin collections, and jewelry included in the shipment. Items worth more than $100.00 per pound are considered articles of extraordinary value.

The inventory is the list itemizing the goods and their condition that you have released to the carrier.

Line-haul: The tariff transportation charge to move your shipment from point of origin to it's final point of destination.

Long-Carry the Distance of Carry: A charge assessed when a shipment must be moved more than 75 feet from the rear of the moving van to the entrance of the residence.

Long Haul: A move that takes place over 450 miles. Long hauls are performed with tractor-trailers. Net weight is the gross weight minus the tare weight.

Non-Allowables are items that should not be included in your household goods shipment, including hazardous materials such as poisons, corrosives, explosives, and flammables. Unless special arrangements are made, perishables such as refrigerated and frozen foods are not allowed. All non-allowables are prohibited by law.

Operating Authority: Certification issued by a state or federal governmental entity authorizing a carrier to move household goods between designated geographical areas. A van line's agent may also have its own separate "operating authority" issued by a state or federal governmental entity, to move shipments within a certain geographical area.

The Order for Service is a document authorizing the moving company to transport your household goods.

An order number is used to identify your shipment and appears in the upper right corner of the Order for Service and the Bill of Lading. This number should be used whenever you contact the carrier.

An origin agent is the agent designated in the origin area to be available for preliminary readying of the shipment before movement or to provide information to you regarding your move.

Overflow happens when articles to be shipped are left behind due to insufficient space on the primary van. A second van is then utilized for transportation and delivery.

PBO (packed by owner) occurs when articles are packed by you, the shipper, for moving.

Road Van: A long haul tractor-trailer that moves shipments long distance (which is generally considered over 450 miles).

The shipper is the person (customer) whose household goods are being moved.

Storage-in-transit is the temporary storage of your household goods in the warehouse of the carrier's agent, pending further transportation at a later date.

Straight Truck: A truck, generally one half the size and capacity of a tractor-trailer. Straight trucks are single cab and body vehicles (as opposed to a tractor-trailer on which the cab can be separated from the trailer).

A survey is performed by the booking agent to examine your goods in order to develop an estimate of move charges.

Tare weight is that of the van and its contents before your goods are loaded.

A tariff is the carrier's provisions, including rates, for services performed, applicable to your move.

Third-party services are performed by someone other than the carrier at your request or required by federal, state, or local law (e.g., appliance servicing).

Unpacking: The removal of your goods from containers (boxes) and crates, and the disposal of such containers and packing materials.

Van: Movers call all types and kinds of trucks used for moving "vans". A van can be as small as a small Econoline pack van or as large as an 80 foot long tractor-trailer.

Van Operator: The driver of the vehicle carrying your items.

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