Our moving glossary gives your move greater definition.

Moving jargon? Take the confusion out of industry terms and terminology with this convenient, easy-to-access moving glossary from Molloy Bros./Mayflower.

Select a letter: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Accessorial (additional) services

These are services beyond transportation – such as packing, unpacking, an extra stop or shuttle – that incur extra charges.


The agent is an affiliated moving company that is authorized to act on behalf of the van line. The agent may handle the booking, origin, hauling and/or destination services. For example, Molloy is an agent of Mayflower.

Bill of lading

This is your receipt for goods and contract for transportation. When you sign this, you’re acknowledging that the household goods can be loaded on the van and released to the carrier.

Binding/nonbinding estimate

A binding estimate is an agreement between the customer and the mover that guarantees the total cost of the move based on the quantity of items and services shown on the estimate. A nonbinding estimate does not come with such a guarantee; it is the carrier’s approximation of the cost based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. In this case, the final charges are based on the actual weight and tariff provisions in effect on the day of the load.

Booking agent

The agent that accepts the order for the customer’s move and registers it with the van line. The booking agent may or may not be the origin or destination agent.

Bulky article

Some articles – such as a big screen TVs, motorcycles, hot tubs – require extra handling to ensure their safe shipment. Mayflower’s tariff provides a schedule of extra charges for such articles.


The moving company providing interstate transportation of household goods under whose Department of Transportation registration the shipment is moved.


When a household item is lost, damaged or delayed while in the care, custody or control of the carrier or its affiliated agent.

COD (cash on delivery)

Shipments where the customer pays the moving charges at the time of delivery. Payment for these shipments must be made in cash or by traveler’s check, money order or cashier’s check. A credit card may be used with prior authorization; personal checks are not accepted.

Department of Transportation (DOT)

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

Destination agent

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


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.

Exclusive use of vehicle

Upon request and subject to availability, the customer may request and the carrier may provide an exclusive unit for a shipment. Transportation charges are based on actual weight subject to specific minimum weights.

Extra labor

This charge generally covers activities for which specific fees are not published, such as removing/placing items in attics/crawlspaces, packing/unpacking owner’s furnished containers, etc.

Extra pickup or delivery

Additional charges assessed for each stop requiring an additional pickup or delivery to or from more than one address.


Molloy’ inventory control system that replaces hard-to-read handwritten inventories. Using an advanced barcode system, each item being shipped is scanned and electronically inventoried at loading. At delivery, pieces are scanned a second time, identifying any missing items immediately.

Fuel surcharge

The carrier’s tariff provides for a percentage adjustment to the transportation charge (and SIT 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 & unpacking

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.

High-value article inventory form

This form lists items included in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound to ensure they are protected accordingly.

Insurance-related general increase (IRR surcharge)

The carrier’s tariff provides for a percentage adjustment to the transportation charge (and SIT pickup and delivery) to aid in the recovery of the increased cost of carrier’s and van operator’s liability insurance expenses.


A detailed list of the items in your shipment and their condition before the moving vehicle is loaded.


State-of-the-art satellite location and communication system that allows us to immediately contact our van operators as they travel to your new location.


Mayflower’s online shipment tracking system that provides the security of knowing the location and status of your shipment. Using your order number you can track your shipment, any time of the day or night.

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 preapproved prior to loading. Personal checks are not accepted.

Non-allowable list (prohibited items)

Those items a carrier will not accept because they may contaminate or damage the carrier’s property or that of other customers. The carrier also will not remove items that would damage the article or the premises (i.e., furniture that will not fit through doorways). Further, the carrier will not accept liability for items of a perishable nature (food, wine collections, plants, etc.).

Order for service

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

Order number

This number is used to identify your shipment. It appears on the upper right corner of the order for service and the bill of lading and should be used whenever the carrier is contacted.

Origin & destination service charge

A hundredweight rate that applies based on the weight of the shipment plus any weight additives and location where the shipment is picked up and delivered. The charges compensate the carrier for basic handling and servicing of the shipment; includes services such as elevator, stair and excessive distance carries, piano and organ flight carries, additional transportation charge (ATC), basic appliance servicing (preparation of appliances to make them safe to ship), and on shipments moving transborder between the United States and Canada, the import and export service charge.

Origin agent

The agent designated in the origin area to be available for preliminary readying of the shipment before the move and to provide information.


When articles to be shipped are left behind due to insufficient space on the primary van. Additional van(s) are then utilized for transportation and delivery.

Overtime loading & unloading service

If you request loading or unloading on a weekend, holiday or after normal working hours on a weekday (i.e., between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m.), an overtime charge is assessed based on the weight of your shipment. This also applies when prevailing laws ordinances or landlord requirements will not allow loading/unloading during normal working hours on weekdays.

PBO (packed by owner)

When articles are packed by the customer for moving.


Dependable, nationwide transportation for all your LTL shipments that provides efficient “hub and spoke” operation.


Before the movers begin the unloading of your shipment, you may request a reweigh of the shipment. The actual charges will be based upon the reweigh weight, whether it is higher or lower than the first weight of the shipment. If you request a reweigh, you must waive in writing your right to witness the reweigh.

Shuttle service

Used if the assigned over-the-road van is unable to make a normal pickup or delivery because of physical constraints (extremely narrow road, inadequate parking area for the truck, weak bridge, etc.). A shuttle service is the use of a secondary, smaller vehicle to complete the pickup or delivery. Charges for this service are based on the weight of the shipment and the location where the service is performed.

Storage-in-Transit (SIT)

The temporary storage of your household goods in the carrier agent’s warehouse until it can be shipped at a later date. The SIT may not exceed 180 calendar days. After 180 days, the interstate nature of the shipment ends and is converted to the rules of the local warehouseman.


This examination of a customer’s belongings by an agent is used to develop an estimate of move charges.


A publication containing the carrier’s rates, rules and regulations for services performed, applicable to the customer’s move.

Third-party services

Performed by someone other than the carrier or its agents at your request or required by federal, state or local law (e.g., appliance servicing, crating).


This service includes removing the customer’s goods from containers and placing them on a flat surface, and disposing of the containers and packing materials. If ordered, unpacking service must be performed at the time of delivery, unless requested otherwise.


A tariff-based coverage for a customer’s household goods while they are in the care, custody and control of the carrier. Valuation is full-value replacement.

Van operator

Oversees the loading, hauling and unloading of your possessions.

Waiting time

If you are unable to accept delivery of your shipment within two hours of our vehicle’s arrival at the 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). You also may choose to have your shipment unloaded at an agent’s warehouse. You will have storage, handling and delivery from warehouse expenses, so it may be less expensive to pay for waiting time if it is not for an excessive length of time.

Weight additive

When an article is comparatively light in weight yet takes up space in the van that is not commensurate with its weight—such as a camper shell, boat or canoe—this additional tariff applies. For example, a 1,500-lb. boat may occupy the equivalent space of 4,000 lbs. of furniture and cartons. The tariff compensates for this inequity.