July 11, 2022

5 Important Moving Terms to Understand When Hiring Movers

Planning a move often involves a flurry of activity, some of which can be confusing. Here are five critical moving terms you should know as you prepare to work with your residential mover.

1. Bill of Lading

The Bill of Lading is essentially the contract between mover and customer. Always read it carefully and ask the mover if you have any questions. This document is probably the most important term to understand because it:

  • Establishes terms and conditions of the move
  • Provides as a customer receipt for goods
  • Serves as a contract for transportation

Once signed, the customer acknowledges they permit their household items to be loaded on the truck, releasing them to the carrier.

2. Virtual Survey

A virtual survey is an online tool that is steadily becoming popular. Instead of setting up an appointment with a moving agent to physically come to the home to provide an estimate, everything can be done online through video chat—even from a smartphone or tablet.

Many customers prefer this option because they can complete the entire quote process remotely, so scheduling a move can now be done easier and faster than ever.

3. Binding Estimate

A binding estimate is drawn up before the move that itemizes the total cost of the relocation. This type of estimate guarantees the quote provided is the final quote, regardless of how long the job takes to complete. 

4. Non-Binding Estimate

Unlike a binding estimate, a non-binding estimate isn’t a guaranteed rate. However, it gives the customer a generalized idea of how much their move will cost. The mover provides a quote based on the estimated weight of the items to be transported and any additional services the customer may have requested. The final price is determined by the actual weight of the freight and other circumstances occurring on moving day.

5. Full-Service Move

Aside from transporting items from one location to another, most moving companies offer additional services. A typical service people contract for is full-service packing and unpacking. In a full-service move, the mover handles:

  • Packing up items to be moved
  • Loading and unloading the moving truck
  • Unpacking goods upon arrival

It’s a good idea to ask the moving company what their full-service move entails. Many movers perform the above services, providing the packing materials and removing them at the end of the move, all-inclusive of the cost. However, some movers may not include packaging material services, so always double-check if purchasing a full-service move.

Ready to Plan Your Next Move?

These terms are essential, but you may come across many other industry terms. Contact us today if you have any questions or want a free quote!



    Yes, I want a virtual survey.

    Trudy Fingal was my move consultant for the second time and she was nothing short of outstanding both times! She genuinely has passion for making the move as easy for the customer as possible and routinely goes above and beyond!

    - Jill L.

    Message About Covid 19
    We are open for business as usual while we prioritize the health of our customers and employees above all else. We also offer virtual surveys for all of our customers so you can receive a quote while staying at home and practicing social distancing. Read more about our COVID-19 safety precautions..