Moving Terms Defined


When using a moving company to help assist you on your move, there are several terms you may hear during the process. These terms are normally used between the movers and their management. However, you want to make sure you understand what is being said so you are not sitting there lost in conversation. Below are some common moving terms and their definitions.

COI – A COI, or a certificate of insurance, is used to give proof of insurance to commercial and residential buildings in the off chance any damage occurs during the move. When choosing a  moving company, make sure they are properly insured to protect yourself and personal belongings.

Access – Access refers to how the crews will be entering/exiting the property for both ends of the move. Long walks, narrow stairs, and parking are all things to include when you explain your move to the moving company so they can give you the most accurate estimate.

Shuttle – A shuttle might be used to transport your belongings if the moving truck used in the move is unable to make a normal pickup or delivery because of constraints (think: low bridges, narrow roads). The shuttle is a smaller truck used to complete the move.

Binding Estimate – If your mover gives you a binding estimate, they are guaranteeing the total cost of the move based on the items described in the estimate. This type of estimate means that you will pay the agreed upon amount. This means you are paying even if there is a difference between the estimate and the actual cost of your move.

Non-Binding Estimate – Non-binding estimates are estimates that charge you based on the actual cost of your move. This means you could end up paying less or more based on the actual amount of work done throughout the process.

Bill of Lading – The bill of lading is a service agreement detailing the terms and conditions of your move, as well as the receipt for your goods. All moving jobs attach a bill of lading to ensure easier review points so everyone knows the services that were agreed upon.

PBO / PBC – PBO / PBC means that the items were packed by owner (you, the customer) or packed by crew. No sweat.

OA/DA – These are abbreviations that refer to the origin agent (the company at the origin of your move who will service the first half of the move) and destination agent (the company at the destination address responsible for completing the move). These are used for big moves that require multiple moving companies, an example would be an international move.

Class 1 Move – A Class 1 move,  also known as crate and freight, have your belongings moved from one dock to another in shipments.

Hoist – Hoists are auxiliary services offered by movers using specialized equipment, such as a hoisting crane and a moving platform.

Valuation – The amount of cash value assigned to the items in a shipment is called valuation in the moving world. This means that the customer will pay a certain amount of money for their items to be covered, at the value discussed, in the event of damage.

Full Value Protection – Full value protection is a valuation option where the moving company is liable to repair or replace any lost or damage good during the moving process.