A comprehensive moving glossary – moving terminology you should

Moving is never an easy process and it gets even more complicated if you don’t understand the common terms used within the industry. Whether it’s shorthand phrases or the very specific words used, it’s in your best interest to understand the basics. Remember, good planning and proper communication is the foundation of a successful move. So, here is a glossary of moving terminology that you should know if you wish to communicate with your movers effectively and understand what services you can get, what you are being charged for, and why. Keep in mind that nobody expects you to know as much as professionals, but you are expected to ask if you don’t know something. New York movers are more than happy to answer any questions you may have and make the moving process run smoother. 

Actual Charges

As the name implies, actual charges are the fees that you are required to pay your moving company for the entire cost of the move. It is calculated based on the move itself, warehousing or storage fees, and any additional/accessorial charges. Combining these three elements gets you the full price of the move. The cost of the move is calculated based on the distance and the weight of the items being transported. Additionally, it can vary based on the season of the move. In general, summer is the peak moving season. It will likely cost you more than if you organize the move for some other time. 

Calculator on a stack of 20 dollar bills.
Actual charges are the amount you get when all the separate fees are combined.

If you want to save money, you should contact Astoria movers well in advance and schedule the move, so that you can negotiate a lower price. Warehousing fees are based on the type of storage unit you get, the size, and the length of storage. Naturally, different storage facilities have their own policies and prices, so the fees can vary. However, a climate-controlled unit will always be more expensive than a non-climate-controlled unit of the equivalent size. Finally, you have accessorial charges. They can be a bit more difficult to calculate, as they refer to any additional cost that the move may necessitate.

Additional/Accessorial Charges 

If there’s something that will surprise you regarding the price of your move, it’ll likely be accessorial charges. It’s a part of moving terminology that is not well defined. In essence, accessorial charges are an umbrella term for any additional costs that are not related to storage or the transportation itself. Some you likely expect – like packing and unpacking – but some may surprise you. For instance, they can charge you if they need to transport the items via an elevator before they can load them into the truck. Then, there is a flight charge – it is based on how many flights of stairs they need to carry the items before loading or unloading. It’s always a wise move to ask residential movers NYC what charges they expect you to incur so that you can be prepared.

Bill of Lading

The Bill of Lading is the most important document that you will get regarding the move. It is the contract that you and your moving company sign. As with all contracts, make sure to read it thoroughly before you agree. The Bill of Lading will contain many details and two very important and similar, but still very different items – a binding and a non-binding estimate. The non-binding estimate is what your movers expect your move to cost, based on their previous experiences. However, it’s just an expectation, so the final price can change significantly. You will get the binding estimate only given after the movers have done an onsite inspection. As the words imply, a non-binding estimate may change during the move itself. The binding estimate is what you’ll pay. So, don’t mix the two up.

 A person signing a contract.
Even if you don’t care about moving terminology, you should know what a Bill of Lading is.

Packing and loading moving terminology

When moving, you have two options: packing and loading everything yourself, or getting the movers to do it for you. If you hire movers to take care of it for you, they will count the fees as accessorial charges. Moving terminology regarding packing is quite straightforward and self-explanatory, except for two key terms:

Appliance services refer to hiring movers to disconnect and connect at the new location your dryers, washers, refrigerators, and dishwashers. Some movers may charge a specific fee for these services. Others will simply charge you the additional hours. Ask your movers beforehand how they will charge you.

Labor only is a do-it-yourself type of moving. You can hire some companies to send out its workers to pack/unpack and load/unload your items. In such cases, you supply the moving truck and anything else needed. By doing this, the company will only charge you for the labor and nothing else.

Storage and Storage-in-transit

Storage refers to the fees that you have to pay to keep your items in a warehouse or storage unit. Some companies provide storage services, while others do not. Keep this in mind when you are calculating the final price. However, there is a subtype of storage you also need to think of – storage-in-transit (SIT)SIT is not long-term, so there is a set amount of time that you can keep your items there. You may need this service if you have already organized the move, but your new residence isn’t ready to receive your items for any reason. In such a case, you can rent a storage unit from storage Queens until your items are ready to go to their final destination.

A glossary of moving terminology.
There is a difference between regular storage and storage-in-transit.

Knowing moving terminology keeps you secure

If you learn the basic moving terminology that professionals use, you will also learn the basics of how the industry functions. Then, nobody will be able to scam you by bombarding you with industry terms and expecting you to simply agree. You will know what services you are being charged for and why you are paying what you are paying. If nothing else, you won’t be surprised by anything that’s happening during the move. This will make your move as stress-free as possible.

Latest Posts

Get Free Moving Estimate

    While my brother was shifting to our new apartment in the Soho area, we searched for a local moving company. We came across TikTok Moving...

    Anna M.

    Read More