Moving Lingo

Lading, binding, flight charges, PBO, consignor, what? If you’re working with a mover, you may be caught off guard a little by their seemingly strange moving-speak. Here’s a look at the most common moving lingo, deciphered, along with descriptions so you have a firm understanding of what we’re talking about, right from the start. However, in the meantime, here are terms you are most likely going to hear, and what they mean.

  • Bill of Lading: Yes, this is derived from a very old school term, but it has stuck around in our industry. Basically, lading means to load onto a cargo ship, and the term originated centuries back during the age of international maritime shipping. Currently however, it’s meaning is a little different. It is a term used to describe the agreement between the individual and the moving company, usually indicating that all items of possession will be loaded onto a moving truck, and delivered to a specific location. It also will serve as your receipt, so be sure to examine it thoroughly upon your move.
  • Binding Estimate: This is the guaranteed cost given by a moving company that is based on your home’s inventory. The binding estimate works in such a way that if the actual weight of your shipment exceeds the written estimate, you will be entitled to pay only the amount quoted on the binding estimate. Keep in mind that these are very different from non-binding estimates.
  • Dunnage: Yet another old school term that dates back to the days of shipping, Dunnage refers to the items used to protect your home’s furniture and valuables during the move.
  • Flight Charge: If your move involves flights of stairs in either location (the one you’re moving into, or out of) this is something to keep in mind, because you will probably be charged for it.
  • PBO: This stands for Packed by Owner, and literally, that’s exactly what it means; the items you have packed yourself.
  • Consignor: It translates to “shipper” in the moving industry, and it goes along with “consignee” who is the receiving party of the goods.

How was that moving-language lesson for today? Feeling better about communicating with your moving company? We hope that’s the case! Of course, when working with American Van Lines, you can feel free to ask questions, inquire, or request that we explain something at anytime because we value your communication as well as concerns, whether you speak moving lingo or not!