Important Moving Company Terms You Should Know

Important Moving Company Terms You Should Know

The terms used by moving carriers and their representatives can take you by surprise when you are dealing with the many tasks that come with relocating from one address to another. Therefore, it is important to learn the jargons and know how to speak the language of the moving company. Some of the common and not so common moving terms that you need to know are mentioned below.

Bill of lading

The Bill of Lading is the contract between you and your moving carrier. The moving carrier is legally obligated to adhere to the terms of the contract; it needs to pick up, transport, and deliver your goods to your new home according to the conditions specified in this document. The bill of lading contains the name, address, and contact details of your moving company. It also contains details about your method of payment, proof of insurance, and an inventory list.

Make sure that all your belongings have arrived in perfect condition, before you go ahead and sign the bill of lading. Once you sign this document after the move, you are in effect letting the movers off the hook for any damages you might discover afterwards.


This is a complete list of items in any shipment with their pre-move conditions.

Make sure that everything has arrived intact and without any damage before you sign on the inventory sheet after delivery of your shipment.

Binding, Non-Binding, and Binding Not to Exceed Estimates

These are the three kinds of estimates that a moving company can offer.

A binding estimate is legally binding and does not change even when the shipment ends up weighing more or less than what the movers initially estimated.

A non-binding estimate is provided as an approximate cost of your move based on an opening appraisal of your goods by the moving company. It can increase or decrease during the course of the move; however, the moving companies cannot increase your final bill by more than a pre-specified percentage.

A binding-not-exceed estimate is one where the cost of the move does not go above what the movers initially estimated. However, the price is reduced when the total weight of shipment is lower than what was originally estimated.

In-house estimate

An in-house estimate is carried out by an assessor from the moving company. As part of the process, this representative from the moving company would visit your home and provide an estimate based on the size of your house, the distance to be covered, and the perceived weight of your goods. At this stage, you might also be informed about additional costs associated with disassembling furniture, packing, or stair carries.

Make sure to ask all the relevant questions during the in-home estimate about any extra charges you might have to pay so that you are on the same page with your moving carrier.

USDOT number

These numbers are given by the US Department of Transportation to interstate moving companies; without these numbers they would not be able to legally operate. The companies with US DOT numbers can be monitored for safe practices. One can easily depend on such a company for professional moving services.