Glossary of Terms



This refers to the space at and around a shipper’s property for removal vehicles. This is usually assessed by the surveyor to ascertain any difficulties the movers or their vehicle may encounter.



This is a moving company that has been commissioned / appointed to act as a partner in a move. The agent’sservices are typically included in the quotation. For door to door moves there will be two agents involved. The Agent at origin is responsible for packing and loading the shipment, the agent at destination is responsible for clearing (international only), receiving and delivering the shipment.


Bill of Lading

A document issued by the transportation service provider when the shipper relinquishes the household goods.The terms and conditions of the move are detailed in the document, as well as the essential information about the shipper, the origin and destination addresses.


Blanket Wrapping

Method of packing furniture to prevent damage while in transit.


Bonded Warehouse

Warehouse that meets all local customs regulations, allows storage of items that have not yet cleared customs.



The agency that has awarded the door or warehouse to door portion of the move to a forwarding affiliate for handling of that particular move.



Boxes made for packing of small to medium size items. Some are made for specific items such as wardrobe cartons which has the ability to hang your clothes and in TV cartons which has special padding to protect your TV during transportation.


Chargeable Weight

The weight utilized by a steamship line or airline to determine freight charges.



This is the person/company to whom a shipment is assigned to and ultimately will be delivered to at destination.



Standard sizes are 20’ or 40’. Containers are owned and provided by the steamship companies. They may be loaded onto chassis for trucking, rail cars and vessels.


Containerized Vehicle

This is a vehicle that is placed in an overseas container for shipping.


Cost Per Cubic Meter (CBM) or Foot (CFT)

These are the costs given based on the estimated/actual volume your belongings will fill on a truck, container,vessel or airline.


Cost Per 100 lbs. (also known as cwt)

These are the rates given based on the estimated/actual weight of your belongings.


Custom Crate

A wooden crate made specifically to carry items of high importance or high value or which require special care.


Custom Clearance

A formal inspection and approval of the documents and contents of the shipment, conducted by the port authorities and customs officials, which is required before a shipment can enter any country.


Declared Value

This is the value an owner states as the value of their belongings, calculated on the costs to replace the goods at destination. This value will be used to estimate the amount of insurance coverage a transferee purchases for his/her belongings. IMPORTANT: The declared value for insurance purposes will not be used as the declared value for the shipment to clear customs.



This is the ratio between the weight and volume of a shipment. The density of any particular shipment can be found by taking the net weight and dividing it by the gross volume. The average shipment of household goods has a density of 6 lbs./ cubic foot.



The fee assessed by the steamship line for the detention of equipment beyond the amount of free time allotted at any given port of entry or departure.


Export Wrapping

Method of packing household goods and personnel effects for international shipping.


Foam Molding

Foam molded around the shape of a specific item to prevent damages, this method is usually used for items of high importance and high value.


Full Container Load (FCL)

This is a shipment exclusive to one shipper utilizing one full container regardless of the space being used inside (20’or 40’).



Your belongings are placed in a larger container along with other shippers’ goods. The cost of shipping is shared by all shippers with goods in the container. This method of transporting goods usually results in savings for all parties involved, although transit time may be longer.



Document that lists each item and its condition at the time of loading and also at the time of delivery.


Lift Vans

A wooden shipping container with average dimensions of 7’4 x 3’ 9 x 7’4 that is utilized in the event that a smaller shipment is more cost effective than a full container load.


Marine Insurance

Insurance specifically designed to cover goods in transit over long distances and or across water by ship, vehicle or aircraft.


PBO (Packed by Owner)

When a transferee chooses to pack his/her own belongings. Most insurance companies will not provide Full Valuation Protection (FVP) coverage if the shipment has been packed by the shipper. However, total loss policies are available in the event that the shipment is PBO.



The customer/company whose goods are being transported.



Vehicle provided when access at shippers residence is limited or restricted for large trucks.


Storage Extension Insurance

The extension of the original policy to cover the period the shipment is in storage. Please review policy or contact insurance provider for more details on storage extensions.


Storage in Transit (S.I.T.)

Temporary storage of your belongings, typically stored in the moving company’s warehouse, pending further transportation.


Storage Vaults

Wooden containers generally about 240cft in volume used for long term storage.



A representative assigned to come to your residence or the location of the goods to be moved and get estimated weights and dimensions on goods to be moved.


Third Party Services

Professionals in a specific arena hired by your mover to perform special services. (example) House cleaners, piano tuning, maid service etc.


Transit Time

The number of days estimated for the movement of your shipment from the pick up to the final delivery of your goods.


Under Insured

When the declared value of an item or shipment in total is less than the cost to replace that item or the shipment in total. General valuation is USD 8.00 per pound of any given shipment.


Van Line

A group of independent relocation companies who co-operate to provide moving services throughout specified territories.


Warehouse Handling

The physical unloading, loading and weighing of goods for any purpose at the warehouse.