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The ultimate breakdown on moving terminology


Moving terminology is a difficult thing to grasp sometimes. It is an industry with a lot of rules and common expressions that are not well understudied or explained. It is not uncommon for people to simply nod in agreement upon statements they do not understand fully.

After all, can you blame them? After weeks of reading reviews, hiring crews, picking apartments and storage, learning how to pack, preparing car or valuables for transport, saying goodbye to friends and neighbors… Does anybody have any room left inside their thoughts to give for learning moving-only terminology? You might simply say: they know what they are doing.

And you would be right. But, you won’t know what they are doing, and from that many misunderstandings can arise. No matter how honest and well-meaning the movers are, misunderstandings will spoil any agreement and leave a bad taste in your mouth after all is said and done. So, let us get on to it, what are some of the most important expressions of the moving terminology?

The 101 of moving terminology – or 110 really

Here, we are of course talking about the 110% rule. This one is really important. As you may or may not know, movers will give you a non-binding estimate before the move. This means that they will, after receiving information on what they ought to transport and weighing it (or not), put to you an approximate cost of your relocation. This one is non-binding, as the name implies, and can go up.

Hundred + ten percent rule.

For example, you might hire Brooklyn moving and they make an estimate that is 200$ under what they thought it will be because of various factors (traffic, distance, etc). However! As of 2003 movers legally cannot charge you more than 110% of the initial estimate, thanks to FMCSA.

All kind of Charges

There are three to consider. These are:

  • Accessorial (also known as additional) Services – this expression of the moving terminology refers to all those special requests that you ask of your services. These translate to charges that come in addition to transportation charges. These can include setting up of home appliances, packing, etc.
  • Advanced Charges – Are all the charges that are not actually connected to the services your movers provide. These are third-party services that are essential in a move. Professionals that will do these services will be paid by the company itself, and those costs will then be represented on your final bill.
  • Transportation charges – regular charge for the actual moving of your stuff. This will be the main part of the bill, so keep that in mind while you try to find quality cheap storage in NYC, as well as movers.

Now, you see the bill is being mentioned quite a lot. Moving has its own kind, call a bill of lading. To elaborate upon this, we go to the next part of our breakdown of moving terminology.

Bill of lading

Ok, so this is a really important one. It comes from naval tradition (but so does the word “shipping”, and it now refers to all application of transportation).  But don’t let that scare you, it is important – but pretty straight forward.

Bill of lading is actually a receipt that confirmes that a moving company is in possession of your valuables. It contains information such as where and how your company will transport your household goods.

As we previously stated, it is important to be sure to read it carefully and make sure that all the information offered by it is factual.  Is truly storage NYC that you are using? That it really takes it over the agreed upon highway? Check all of it there and then and the sign. Oh, and quite important: keep on to them. You will need it at the end of the move.

Now, who presents the bill? Most of the time it will be an agent? And no, it’s not the cool FBI kind, we have something else in mind.


No 007s here we are afraid. However, they do carry a license to speak in the name of … well, many organizations. The moving world is one of cooperation and middlemen. This means a lot of people are involved in one move, be it local, interstate or international.

moving terminology agent
An agent is a dealmaker. Here to represent the interests of all.

Think about it this way. Some local companies perform services on behalf of larger moving companies. There is also numerous organization that helps the original company (see advanced charges)… all of these have their interest and, therefore, all of these ought to be represented.

And, of course, there are origins agents. These are the one you will have the most communication, and the one that will be there to answer. There are also the ones presenting to you the bill of lading.

Moving quotes

This one is fairly easy. Go back to the 110% rule. The estimate, the un-binding one? That is a moving quote. That is a thing from moving quotes in LA to moving quotes Brooklyn. Oh, and do remember that they are only of value if written down. Or, to be more precise, they are always of some value, but they are only binding to the 110% rule if they are written down.

By the way, a general rule of thumb – everything is only valuable if written down – honesty is the best policy, but the paper is a guarantee.

Inventory sheet

There are two kinds of inventory sheets, but they both do the same thing, essentially. In their most basic form, they are a checklist. It is used for you to know what is being moved. How does it work? Your moving professionals will tag things around the house you plan on moving. Tagged things will be put on the list – and consequently in the truck.

moving terminology items list
Check it!

However, there is a separate list as well, or at least there is if your mover will move valuable stuff. It is, obviously, a list for your most precious or expensive (or both) items. Be sure to move your most valuable items on such a  list, so movers know to give them.

Conclusion of our breakdown

We picked up and defined the most important parts of moving terminology. We hope that it will help you in your moving process!

These guys are TRUE PROFESSIONALS! We've now moved with them twice (once in 2017 and then again this week) and we really can't say enough good things about them. Simi is incredibly easy to work with for scheduling and quotes, and the crews - John, Super Mario, and everyone - are just awesome. They're quick, incredibly careful and conscientious, and super friendly. If we ever move again (and god I hope we don't have to) we're absolutely calling them.

Allison "Elnoods" N.

From Brooklyn, NY

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Frequently Asked Questions

At U.Santini Moving & Storage Brooklyn, we've earned our reputation through honesty and transparency. We're here to address all your questions and provide peace of mind as you choose our moving services in Brooklyn.

What are your working hours?

We are open from Monday to Friday, 7:30 AM–5 PM, but feel free to contact us through our contact form anytime. We'll get back to you ASAP.

Does U.Santini Moving & Storage offer insurance?

Absolutely! We offer various types of insurance to protect your belongings, including a full replacement option. The cost depends on how much your things are worth and the deductible you choose.

How soon should I schedule my move?

It's a good idea to book your moving company at least 8 weeks before your move. If you're moving during the holidays or in the summer, it's best to schedule it 12 weeks ahead. But if your move is between September and May, you can often book movers with just 2 weeks' notice. The key is to secure your moving crew as soon as you have all the details about your move.

Do you provide packing supplies?

Yes, we do. Along with the necessary boxes and packing materials for your move, we offer various 'Saver' packages tailored to the size of your home. If you don't use all the boxes you purchased, you can return them to our team after the move, and we'll refund the unused portion.

What type of storage do you offer?

At U. Santini Moving & Storage Brooklyn, we offer complete storage solutions in climate-controlled units. Our units are monitored 24/7 to keep your belongings safe, whether you need short-term or long-term storage. We even provide storage options for very short durations, including as little as 24 hours.

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