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We can all agree that moving can be stressful. And let’s face it, moving lingo can sometimes sound like a whole different language.

Having to read through a moving contract that requires you to decipher tons of acronyms can only add to your stress. Well, we think that you have enough to worry about without trying to translate moving terms that you have never heard before.

In fact:

If you need a moving company in the Maryland, DC or Virginia areas you can count on us! We are Jake’s Moving and Storage here with more great moving tips. In this post, we break down some of the most common terms used by movers and moving companies so that you don’t feel confused or overwhelmed.

Moving Lingo Glossary For A Hassle Free Move

Jake's Moving and Storage Tips - Moving terms

Moving Lingo A – E

11- Percent Rule – According to the law, the final cost of delivering your property may not go over 10% the price of a non-binding estimate.

ACV – This refers to the actual cost of an item after depreciation.

AMSA – This stand for the American Moving and Storage Association.

Bill of Lading – Describes the contract between the moving company and the shipper for any transportation services.

Binding Estimate – The final price based on the complete inventory of your possessions.

Cube – The total amount of cubic space that your belonging take up in the moving truck.

Destination Agent – The title for the person assigned to assist you when you arrive at your destination.

DOT – Acronym that stands for the Department of Transportation, note that this differs from state to state. Local departments include the Maryland Department of Transportation, District Department of Transportation (for Washington DC) and Virginia Department of Transportation. This is important to know if you are planning on using any type of auto transport or shipping services.

Moving Lingo F – O

FMCSA – This refers to a federal regulatory agency known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

FVP – Referring to the Full Value Protection, this is one sort of valuation for additional charges. This basically means that the movers will either repair, replace, or compensate the client for any items that are lost or damaged.

HVA – Stands for High-Value Article and is applied to items that are valued at more than $100 per pound.

In House – When items are moved to a different location within the same property. This can refer to residential or commercial moving services and at Jake’s we provide the best in house moving services.

Intrastate Move – When you move from one location to another and both places are located in the same state.

Interstate Move – When you move from one state to another. Don’t worry, we also offer long distance moving services from state to state.

Non-Allowable List – These refer to prohibited items that a carrier will not accept. Such items include chemicals, propane tanks, etc…

Non-Binding Estimate – This is common for interstate moving and it is the price presented to you before your move. The final cost may be higher.

Origin Agent – The title given to your moving representative at your point of origin.

Moving Terms P – Z

PBO – Stands for Packed by Owner and usually means that the moving company will not be liable for any damages. And speaking of packing, be sure to check out our post on how to prepare for professional packing services!

Physical Survey – This is when a rep from the moving company comes to your home to take inventory of your property that will be moved. This also occurs when a company moves to a new location.

Release Rate – Usually at 60 cents per pound, this refers the minimum amount of the value for your possessions.

SIT – Also, known as Storage in Transit, this is when a delay happens between the loading and unloading of your shipment. The STB regulates these interstate moving tariffs.

STBThe Surface Transportation Board is part of DOT and is associated with SIT when it comes to interstate moving.

Tariff – Annual or semiannual fees that are paid to a government agency.


The truth is, we could write an entire dictionary with all of the different terminology and moving lingo that exists. But for now, this list should be more than enough to help make your next move a bit easier.

And when you choose Jake’s Moving and Storage Services, you can rest assured that we will go over everything with you in detail. We will make sure you are ok with every aspect of your move and we are here to answer all of your questions.

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