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Terms & Definitions

Knowing the terms and definitions used in the moving and storage industry is important to know if you’re a consumer looking for moving service. Although there may be many more terms and definitions then what are actually listed in this glossary, we have listed the most common. Please click on the desired term or definition bellow to skip directly to it.

  • Accessorial or Additional Services
  • Actual Cash Value
  • Advanced Charges
  • Agent
  • Appliance Service by Third Party
  • Bill Of Lading
  • Booking Agent
  • Broker
  • Bulky Article
  • Carrier
  • Carrier’s Liability For Loss or Damage
  • Claim
  • Cash on Delivery or COD
  • Cost Per Cubic Feet (CF)
  • Cost Per Pound (weight)
  • Commercial Shipper
  • Consignee
  • Consignor
  • Deadhead Travel
  • Declared Valuation
  • Destination Agent
  • DOT (Department Of Transportation)
  • Elevator Charge
  • Estimate, Binding
  • Estimate, Non-Binding
  • Expedited Service
  • First Available Date For Delivery
  • Flight Charge
  • Freight Forwarder
  • Full Value
  • Guaranteed Pickup & Delivery Service
  • High Value items
  • Household Goods
  • Insurance
  • Insurance For Your Move
  • Interstate Move
  • Intrastate Move
  • Inventory
  • Line Haul Charges
  • Long Carry
  • Motor Carrier
  • Net weight
  • Operating Authority
  • Order for Service
  • Order for Service Number (job #)
  • Overflow
  • PBO (Packed By Owner)
  • Reasonable Dispatch
  • Released Value (Basic Value)
  • Representative
  • Reweigh
  • Shipper
  • Shuttle Service
  • Straight Truck
  • Storage In Transit (SIT)
  • Surface Transportation Board
  • Tare Weight
  • Tariff
  • Third Party Services
  • Unpacking Service
  • Valuation
  • Warehouse Handling
  • 110% Rule

Accessorial or Additional Services          

These are services such as packing, appliance servicing, unpacking, or walk-up and excessive carries that you request to be performed or that is necessary because of Building requirements or other unique circumstances that apply to your move. Charges for these services are in addition to the bill of lading.

Actual Cash Value

Money equal to the cost of replacing a lost or damaged article after depreciation value.

Advanced Charges  

Charges for services not performed by the Forward Van Lines, but by a third party at the shipper’s request. The charges for these services arraigned and paid for by the company and added to your bill of lading charges.


A local moving company authorized by the carrier (main branch) to service its customers.

Appliance Service by Third Party

Major appliances are prepared in order to protect and secure prior to loading. Charges for these services may be in addition to the line haul charges.

Bill Of Lading          

Receipt for the customers goods and the contract for their transportation.

(It is the customer’s responsibility to comprehend the bill of lading before signing it. If customer doses not agree with something on the bill of lading, then he or she should not sign it until satisfied that it is correct. The bill of lading is an important document, so please be sure to place yours in a safe place for your records)

Booking Agent         

The agent who accepted the order for your move. The booking agent may or may not be your origin or destination agent.


A company that arranges for the truck transportation by a carrier for a shipment belonging to others, utilizing for-hire carriers to provide the actual truck, labor and transportation. A broker does not undertake accountability for the shipment and does not take possession of the shipment.

Bulky Article            

Any article of unusual volume or weight such as pianos, hut tubs, ATV, motorcycle, canoe, kayak etc.… These items are charged an additional fee per our tariff and   depending on the item to be moved.


The moving company transporting your household goods or shipment.

Carrier’s Liability For Loss or Damage  

The liability the Carrier accepts for your shipment. There are different liability options available to you so be sure to ask the your Forward Van Lines representative to explain the available option, it’s consequences and cost. Carrier’s Liability For Loss or Damage is often incorrectly referred to as insurance, which it is not.


A customer’s declaration of loss or damage to any of his or hers household goods/shipment while they were in the care of the moving company or its agent.

Cash on Delivery or COD   

Shipments where a customer pays their moving cost at the time of delivery. For C.O.D. shipments, payment is required in cash, western union/postal money order, cashier’s/certified form a well-known national bank or credit card (pending a prior credit card approval process and subject to 5% surcharge). Personal checks are not accepted for payment per company policy.

 Cost Per Cubic Feet (CF)

A rate given on the estimated space the shipment will occupy on a truck.

 Cost Per Pound (weight)

A rate given on the estimated weight of the household goods in a shipment.

 Commercial Shipper           

Any person who is named as the consignor or consignee in a bill of lading contract who is not the owner of the shipment being transported but who assumes the accountability for payment of the line hall and other tariff charges for the account of the owner of the shipment. The beneficial owner of the shipment is normally an employee/representative of the consignor and/or consignee. A freight forwarder tendering a shipment to a carrier in furtherance of freight forwarder operations is also a commercial shipper. The Federal government is a government bill of lading shipper, not a commercial shipper.


The person who will be receiving the shipment or to whom the shipment going to be delivered to.


The person from whom the shipment has been picked up from.

 CP (Carrier Packed)           

Articles packed into cartons or crates by the carrier and not the shipper

Deadhead Travel    

Empty (unloaded) miles traveled by a driver in order to move a truck to pick up a paying load.

 Declared Valuation

The shipper’s choice of coverage of the value declared for the goods 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 cargo is moved.

 Destination Agent   

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

 DOT (Department Of Transportation)

The federal agency, which governs the interstate transportation industry, including movers of household goods.

Elevator Charge      

A charge to compensate the carrier for the additional labor and time required for moving a shipment by elevator.

 Estimate, Binding   

An agreement made prior to loading with your moving company, which guarantees the total cost of the move based upon the volume/weight and services shown on the estimate.

 Estimate, Non-Binding       

What the moving company believes may be the cost, which will be, based on the estimated weight/volume of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. A non-binding estimate is not binding on the moving company. The final charges will be based upon the actual weight/volume of your shipment, the services provided, and the tariff charges in effect. You must be prepared to pay 10 percent more than the estimated charges at delivery (110 Percent Rule).

 Expedited Service    

An agreement with the mover to perform transportation by a specific date or window, in exchange for an additional charge.

First Available Date For Delivery

When booking your job you as the shipper will provide the moving company a date of when you will be able to receive your shipment at your new destination. This date will represent your first available date for delivery. Your delivery spread will begin from your first available date for delivery. For example if you are moving form Florida to New York the moving company may provide you with a delivery window of ten business days. This means that if your first available date for delivery is May 1st it could take up to 10 business days from the 1st of May for you to receive your shipment at your new destination.  

 Flight Charge

A charge for carrying items up or down of stairs. Charges for these services are in addition to the line haul charges. These charges are to compensate the moving company for the additional time and labor associated with stair carry or walk up service. Forward Van Lines will only charge after 10 steps.

 Freight Forwarder  

A company that arranges for the truck transportation by a carrier for a shipment belonging to others, utilizing for-hire carriers to provide the actual truck transportation. Freight forwarder assumes responsibility for the cargo from origin to destination and usually takes possession of the cargo at some point during the transportation. Freight forwarders usually assemble and consolidate less than truckload shipments into full truckloads at origin, and disassemble and deliver shipments at destination.

 Full Value     

Under this option, the mover is liable for the replacement value of lost or damaged goods (as long as it doesn’t exceed the total declared value of the shipment). If shipper elects to purchase full value protection (FVP), and moving company loses, damages or destroys items of the shipment, the mover must repair, replace with like items, or settle in cash at the current market replacement value, regardless of the age of the lost or damaged item.

Guaranteed Pickup & Delivery Service   

An additional level of service featuring guaranteed dates of service. Your mover will provide reimbursement to you for delays. This premium service is often subject to minimum weight requirements.     

High Value items    

Items included in a shipment valued at more than $100 per pound.

The moving company should be notified of high value items and will provide a written inventory for theses items separate from the rest of the shipment. (what this means is that there will be one inventory for ordinary items and a separate inventory for high value items)

 Household Goods

The personal effects or property used, or to be used, in a home/dwelling. Transportation of the household goods must be arranged and paid for by the individual shipper/customer or by another individual on behalf of the shipper/customer (representative).


All moving companies are required to maintain minimum insurance levels per DOT regulations

 Insurance For Your Move

Forward Van Lines can only provide you with valuation for an additional charge, however if you would like you can purchase a separate insurance policy for your shipment through Baker Int. Please note that you must secure this 3rd party insurance police 48 hours prior to your move.


Transportation of a shipment from an origin in one country to a destination in another country. For example, when a shipper/customer moves from the USA to Italy. For US based companies engaged in international service the regulatory agency is the Federal Maritime Commission. For more information, see www.fmc.gov.

 Interstate Move       

The transportation of goods in the United States from a place in one State to a place in a different State, for example a mover originating in New Jersey with the final destination is Florida. Interstate moving companies transporting household goods are regulated and licensed by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). More information about the regulatory and licensing requirements may be found at www.fmcsa.dot.gov.

 Intrastate Move

A move beginning and ending within the same State, for example a mover from Miami, Florida to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The state authority regulates intrastate movers within the state the moving company is located.


A detailed and descriptive list of the contents of a shipment, showing the number and condition of each article of that shipment.

 Line Haul Charges  

These are charges for the transportation portion of a shipment. These charges, if stated separately, apply in addition to the accessorial or additional service charges of said shipment.

 Long Carry   

Charge for carrying articles excessive distances between the moving truck and the front door of the customer’s final destination. Charges for these services are in addition to the line haul charges. Forward van lines only apply this charge after 100 feet of carry.

Motor Carrier          

A company that provides truck transportation.

Net weight    

Gross weight of a shipment minus the tare/first weight of the shipment. A consumer of moving service is entitled to a copy of the scale ticket to verify a shipment’s actual net weight and may choose to be present to witness the weighing of his or her shipment. (Applies to jobs being charged by weight)

Operating Authority           

Certification issued by a state or federal governmental authorizing a carrier to move household goods. A van line’s agent may also have its own separate operating authority issued by a state or federal government entity.

 Order for Service     

A legal document, authorizing the carrier to transport a customers household goods per customers request.

 Order for Service Number (job #)

The number used to identify a shipment. It appears in the upper right corner of the Bill of Lading and on the Order for Service.


Articles of a shipment that are left behind due to insufficient space on a van, to be loaded on a different truck for transportation and delivery. Overflows will be considered separate jobs and will have there own order for service, bill of lading and other documentation required.

PBO (Packed By Owner)    

Articles packed into cartons or crates by the shipper and not the carrier.

Reasonable Dispatch          

The performance of transportation on dates, or during the period, agreed upon by the moving company and the shipper and shown on the Order For Service and Bill of Lading.

 Released Value (Basic Value)       

This most economical protection option available. This no additional cost choice provides minimal protection. Under this option, the mover assumes liability for no more than 60 cents per pound, per article up to $10,000. Loss or damage claims are settled based upon the pound weight of the article multiplied by 60 cents per pound.

 For example, if you’re a mover lost or destroyed a 30-pound T.V. valued at $5,000, the mover would be liable for no more than $18.00 There is no extra charge for this minimal protection, but you must sign a specific statement on the bill of lading agreeing to it.


A person whom the original shipper designates as his representative in order to surrender or receive a shipment and who will sign the bill of lading and other pertinent legal document on behalf of the original shipper.  


Second weighing of shipment performed at destination at the shipper’s request.

The shipper at his or hers own cost and means must be present for both first and second weighing of the truck.


A person, customer, consumer or shipper, whose goods are being relocated.

 Shuttle Service         

The use of a smaller truck to provide service to residences that is not accessible to the moving company’s normal interstate truck. Forward Van Lines charges this fee when our eighteen-wheeler cannot safely or legally reach a reasonable distance to provide service to shipment. Usually the maximum distance is 1000 feet. It is the shipper’s responsibility to inform the moving company of access to our trucks on delivery. Our tractor-trailers are generally 13 feet 6 inches high by 8 feet 6 inches and the complete length of both units combined is approximately 75 feet. (trailer alone 53 feet and tractor 20-25 feet)

 Straight Truck         

A truck about half the size and capacity of a tractor-trailer. Straight or box trucks are single cab and body vehicles.  

 Storage In Transit (SIT)

The temporary storage of a customer’s shipment pending further transportation, with or without notice to the shipper. If you or your representative cannot accept delivery on the agreed date or delivery window or within the agreed upon time the moving company may place your shipment into SIT without notifying you. Under those circumstances, you will be responsible for the added charges for SIT service, as well as the warehouse handling and final delivery charges.

 Surface Transportation Board     

This agency inside the Department of Transportation regulates household goods carrier tariffs.

Tare Weight 

The weight of the truck and its contents before your goods are loaded and weighed.


An issuance (in whole or in part) containing rates, rules, regulations, classifications or other provisions related to a motor carrier’s transportation services. The Surface Transportation Board requires that a tariff contain three specific items. First, an accurate description of the services the mover offers to the public. Second, the specific applicable rates (or the basis for calculating the specific applicable rates) and service terms for services offered to the public. Third, the mover’s tariff must be arranged in a way that allows you to determine the exact rate(s) and service terms applicable to your shipment.

 Third Party Services           

Services performed by someone other than the carrier at your request or as required. These cost are usually paid by the moving company while coordinating a client’s move and are charged as additional charges on the bill of lading.

Unpacking Service  

The removal by Forward Van Lines mover’s team of your items from boxes, container, crates etc.… and placed in there desired location as per customers instruction. (Note: no one can actually fix or arrange your home for you the exact way you would like and this service primarily is conducted simply by us removing your belonging from boxed and placing them elsewhere)


The amount of value of the shipment. The valuation charge is charged by the mover for assuming a greater level of liability than is provided for in the base transportation charge.

 Warehouse Handling         

A charge might be applicable each time SIT service is provided. Charges for these services may be in addition to the transportation charges. This charge compensates the mover for the physical placement and removal (labor) of items within the warehouse. Forward Van Lines will only charge for this service if a situation arises where we have had to move a shipment due to a problem or conflict on the shippers side and causes Forward Van Lines additional labor and cost.  

110% Rule

Moving companies are required by law to deliver your goods for no more than 10 percent above the price of a non-binding estimate.

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