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Get educated on the world of transport. We have compiled some common terminology used in the relocation industry to help you better understand terms that may be used during your move. 


Accessorial (Additional) Services

Services such as packing, unpacking, extra pickup, etc. performed at your request. Charges for these services are in addition to transportation costs.


Additional Transportation Charge (ATC)

This charge compensates the carrier for services performed in areas where the labor rates are higher than the national average. It also compensates the carrier for additional costs incurred due to traffic congestion and added time traveling to the area for pickup or delivery.


Advanced Charges

Charges for services of others engaged by our agent at your request, paid by our agent and added to your Bill of Lading.



An affiliated moving company authorized to act on behalf of a motor carrier. The affiliated moving company may serve as booking, origin, hauling and/or destination agent.


Annual Carrier’s Performance Report

A yearly report giving statistics on a carrier’s performance in areas such as estimating, claims settlement and on-time delivery. At the time of your estimate (household goods survey), you will be given a copy of this report, for which you must sign a receipt.


Auxiliary Service (shuttle)

If the assigned over-the-road van is unable to make a normal pickup/delivery because of physical constraints and a second, smaller vehicle is needed, this is considered Auxiliary Service. Physical constraints include situations such as a too-narrow road, a bridge unable to support the weight of the van, and the inability to park the moving van within a reasonable distance of the pickup/delivery residence. Charges for the second vehicle are assessed on an hourly basis, in addition to charges for the extra labor involved.



Bill of Lading

The receipt for your goods and contract for their transportation. Your signature acknowledges that your household goods have been loaded on the van and “released to the carrier.”


Binding Estimate

An estimate that specifies in advance the exact cost of moving, based on all serviced determined necessary at the time the estimate is prepared.


Booking Agent

The agent who accept the order for your move and registers it with United. The booking agent may or may not be your origin or destination agent.


Bulky Article

Items such as cars, boats, snowmobiles, golf cars, and campers usually carry a bulky article charge to compensate the hauler for the difficulty of loading and unloading such articles, and their unusual bulk or low weight density. In some cases, a “weight additive” is applicable.




The company proving transportation for your household goods on whose ICC operating authority the shipment is moved.



Statement of loss or damage to any of your household goods while in the charge of the carrier or its agent.


COD (Cash on Delivery)

Shipment where customer pays moving charges at time of delivery. For COD shipments, payment is required in cash, or by traveler’s check, money order, cashier’s check or credit card. Personal checks are not accepted.



The person to whom the shipment is to be delivered.



Department of Transportation (DOT)

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


Declared Valuation

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 was handled.


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.



When a customer changes the destination of their shipment after it is en route, transportation charges shall be calculated from the point of origin to the point at which the carrier is able to effect the diversion, plus the transportation charge from the diversion point to the new destination point.




An “educated guess” as to the van space requirements, weight of your household goods and cost of the move determined by an agent’s physical survey of shipment; the form on which the survey information is recorded.


Expedited Service

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


Extra Stop

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 will be assessed, the amount to be determined by the tariff.



Flight Charge (stair carry)

An extra charge for carrying items such as pianos to a higher or lower floor.


Fuel Surcharge

The carrier’s tariff provides for a percentage adjustment to the transportation charge (and storage in transit, pickup and delivery) to aid in the 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.


Full-Service Packing and Unpacking

Hundredweight rates that apply based on the weight of the shipment when the carrier is requested by shipper to pack or unpack the complete shipment. The full-service packing rates include cartons and packing labor. The full-service unpacking rates include the unpacking of carrier packed cartons and the removal of such debris.


Full-Value Protection

A valuation program which does not incorporate depreciation as a factor in the settlement of a claim for loss or damage.



High-value article inventory form

The carrier will have you fill out a High-Value Inventory Form to list items included in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound to ensure they are protected accordingly.



Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC)

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



The list and condition of your household furnishings, including the number of packed containers.



Long Carry

A charge assessed when a shipment must be moved more than 75 feet from the rear of the trailer to the entrance of the residence.



Method of payment

Payment must be in the form of cash, traveler’s checks, money order, a bank cashier’s check or a credit card. Credit card payment must be pre-approved prior to loading. Personal checks are not accepted.



Non-allowable list (prohibited items)

Chipman will not accept shipment property that will contaminate or damage (i.e., bug infestations, chemicals, propane tanks, etc.) the carrier’s property or the property of other customers, nor will it remove items that would damage the article or the premises (i.e., furniture that will not fit through doorways). Further, Chipman will not accept liability for items of a perishable nature (food, wine collections, plants, etc.).



Operating Authority

Certification issued by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) authorizing a carrier to move household goods between designated geographical areas. A United agency may also have its own separate “operating authority” issued by the ICC or other governmental entity, to move shipments within a certain geographical area.


Order for Service

The document authorizing the moving company to transport your household goods.


Order Number

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


Origin Agent

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.



Articles to be shipped that are left behind due to insufficient space on a van, to be loaded on a second van for transportation and delivery.


Overtime loading and unloading service

If you request loading or unloading on a specific date which is a Saturday, Sunday or a holiday, an overtime charge based on the weight of your shipment is assessed. This is also true if you request the service to be performed after working hours (i.e., between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m.) on any week day or when prevailing laws ordinances or landlord requirements will not allow loading/unloading during normal working hours on week days.



PBO (Packed By Owner)

Articles packed by the shipper, not the carrier, for moving.




Second weighing of shipment performed at destination at the shipper’s or United Van Lines’ request.




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


Storage in Transit (SIT)

Temporary storage of your household goods in the warehouse of the carrier’s agent, pending further transportation. SIT service may not exceed a total of 180 calendar days.



The booking agent examines (surveys) shipper’s goods to develop estimate of charges.




The carrier’s provisions, including rates, for services performed, applicable to your move.


Third-Party Services

Services performed by someone other than the carrier at your request or required by federal, state or local law.




Per your request, the removal of your goods from containers, and the disposal of such containers and packing materials. If ordered, unpacking service must be performed at the time of delivery unless requested otherwise.




A tariff-based level of carrier liability for a customer’s household goods while they are in the care, custody and control of the carrier. Valuation is NOT insurance.


Van Operator

The driver of the vehicle carrying your household goods.



Waiting time

If you are unable to accept delivery of your shipment within the free waiting time (i.e., two hours) after notification of arrival at destination, you may request waiting time until delivery can be made. There is a charge for the vehicle and manpower for each hour between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. local time (excluding Sundays or state/national holidays). The alternative is unloading your shipment at an agent’s warehouse. You will have storage, handling and delivery from warehouse expenses.


Weight additive

Some articles included in a shipment (i.e., camper shells, boats, canoes, boat trailers, etc.) are comparatively light and occupy space in the van that is not commensurate with their weight. For instance, one might load 4,000 pounds of furniture and cartons in the space taken by a 1,500-pound boat. To compensate for this inequity, our tariff provides a schedule of additional weights for such articles.

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