Olympia Moving

Moving Glossary

It’s important to understand common terminology associated with the moving process. Olympia Moving and Storage wants to alleviate any confusion that you might have as you prepare for your residential or commercial move. Below is a list of the most common terms you may hear. Feel free to contact Olympia Moving and Storage online or call 800.222.4744 if you have any questions.


Accessorial (Additional) Services – services such as packing, appliance servicing, unpacking or stair carries that you request to be performed (or are necessary because of landlord requirements or other special circumstances). Charges for these services are in addition to the transportation charges.

Advanced Charges – charges for services performed by someone other the mover. A professional, craftsman or other third party may perform these services at your request. The mover pays for these services and adds the charges to your bill of lading charges.

Agent – a local moving company authorized to act on behalf of a national van line. The agent may handle the booking, origin, hauling and/or destination services. Click here to find the Wheaton agent nearest you.

AMSA Certified Mover – an interstate carrier that transports your household goods shipment under its own operating authority, granted by the Federal Highway Administration. AMSA Certified Movers subscribe to the AMSA Code of Conduct and have pledged to conduct their business in the most efficient and professional manner possible.

AMSA Certified Van Line – an interstate carrier that transports your household goods shipment under its own authority, granted by the Federal Highway Administration, on a national basis. Van Lines use a network of agents throughout the country to provide the origin, destination and hauling services needed to accomplish your move. Like Certified Movers, AMSA Certified Van Lines subscribe to the AMSA Code of Conduct. They have pledged to conduct their business in the most efficient and professional manner possible and are responsible for the acts of their agents.

Appliance Service by Third Party – the preparation of major electrical appliances to make them safe for shipment. Charges for these services may be in addition to the line haul charges.

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Bill of Lading – the receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation. It is your responsibility to understand the bill of lading before you sign it. If you do not agree with something on the bill of lading, do not sign it until you are satisfied that it is correct. The bill of lading is an important document. Don’t lose or misplace your copy.

Booking Agent – the agent who sells and registers your move. The booking agent does not necessarily have to be located at or near the origin or destination.

Bulky Article – to ensure safe transportation, some articles included in a shipment (i.e. big screen TVs. Motorcycles, hot tubs, etc.) require extra handling and/or blocking. There is an extra charge for such items.

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Carrier – the mover providing transportation of your household goods.

Cash on Delivery (C.O.D.) – transportation for an individual shipper for which payment is required at the time of delivery at the destination residence (or warehouse).

Certified Scale – any scale designed for weighing motor vehicles, including trailers or semitrailers not attached to a tractor, and certified by an authorized scale inspector and licensing authority. A certified scale may also be a platform or warehouse type scale that is properly inspected and certified.

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Department of Transportation (DOT) – the federal agency through the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) within the DOT, which governs the interstate transportation industry, including movers of household goods.

Destination Agent – the agent located at or near your destination who provides necessary services and information at the end of your move.

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Estimate, Binding – this is a written agreement made in advance with the moving company. It guarantees the total cost of the move based upon the quantities and services shown on the estimate.

Estimate, Non-binding – this is the carrier’s approximation of the cost, based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. A non-binding estimate is not binding on the mover. The final charges will be based upon the actual weight of your shipment, the services provided and the tariff provisions in effect.

Expedited Service – an agreement with the mover to perform transportation by a set date in exchange for charges based on a higher minimum weight.

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Flight Charge – an extra charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs.

Fuel Surcharge – the carrier’s tariff provides for a percentage adjustment to the transportation charge (and SIT Pickup and Delivery) to aid in recovery of the increased cost of fuel. The surcharge, which can change monthly, is based upon the national average cost of diesel, as reported by the U.S. Department of Energy.

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Guaranteed Pickup and Delivery Service – an additional level of service whereby dates of service are guaranteed, with the mover providing reimbursement for delays. This premium service is often subject to minimum weight requirements.

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Hauling Agent – the agent who owns the van assigned by the van line to transport your household goods from origin to destination.

High Value Article – items included in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound. These items should be disclosed with the mover to ensure they are protected accordingly.

Household Goods (HHG) – Personal goods or property used or to be used in a home.

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Inventory – the detailed descriptive list of your household goods showing the number and condition of each item.

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Line Haul Charges – charges for the vehicle transportation portion of your move. These charges apply in addition to the additional service charges.

Long Carry – an added charge for carrying articles excessive distances between the mover’s vehicle and the residence. Charges for these services may be in addition to the line haul charges.

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Order for Service – the document authorizing the mover to transport your household goods.

Order (Bill of Lading) Number – the number used to identify and track your shipment.

Origin Agent – the agent responsible for performing packing and preparing necessary documentation for the move.

Overflow – when articles to be shipped are left behind due to insufficient space on the primary van. An additional van(s) is then utilized for transportation and delivery.

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PBO (packed by owner) – when articles are packed by the customer for moving.

Peak Season Rates – higher line haul charges that are applicable during the summer months.

Pickup and Delivery Charges – separate transportation charges applicable for transporting your shipment between the SIT warehouse and your residence.

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Shuttle Service – use of a smaller vehicle to provide service to residences that are not accessible to the mover’s normal, larger line haul equipment. Charges for this service are based on the weight of the shipment and the location where the service is performed.

Storage-In-Transit (SIT) – temporary warehouse storage of your shipment pending further transportation, for example, if your new home isn’t quite ready to occupy. You must specifically request SIT service, which may not exceed a total of 90 days of storage, and you will be responsible for the added charges for SIT service, as well as the warehouse handling and final delivery charges.

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Tariff – the mover’s required, published price list of rules, regulations, rates and charges for the performance of interstate moving services.

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Valuation – the degree of “worth” of the shipment. The valuation charge compensates the mover for assuming a greater degree of liability than that provided for in the base transportation charges. Click here to learn about Wheaton’s valuation options.

Van Operator – the individual who oversees the loading, hauling and unloading of your household goods.

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Warehouse Handling – an additional charge applicable each time SIT service is provided. This charge compensates the mover for the physical placement and removal of items within the warehouse.

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Olympia Moving & Storage is an agent for Wheaton Interstate Moving

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