This guide to some of the most common moving terms will help you navigate the quoting process, review paperwork like a pro, and easily manage your moving day.

Familiarity with some common moving industry terminology will make your move easier. We’ve compiled a list of common terms you’ll encounter when moving.


AMSA stands for The American Moving & Storage Association and it is the nationally recognized industry association that helps to protect both moving & storage companies on one side and moving & storage consumers on the other side. This association provides useful recommendations regarding your relocation day, legal advice and arbitration for whoever is planning to be using storage & moving services.

Arrival window:

The set of hours or time frame between which your movers will arrive at your pick-up location. For the morning move it is normally 1hr window and for the afternoon movers 3-4hrs window as it is harder to predict around what time moving crew is supposed to arrive at your pick-up location in order to start the process of loading the moving truck with your belongings from your old apartment. The reason why it is given as a 3-4 hour window for the afternoon is that we are trying to avoid any uncertainty that might be cause a previous move taking longer than expected. That arrival window will be on the Estimate for Service and Bill of Lading, so make sure to check those when you agree to that arrival window. Once your moving crew is on the way to you they will call you first and then text if necessary as they are on route to your pick-up address. An arrival window is normally set between a specific block of hours, that you can expect your movers within that given time-frame. The arrival window in moving refers to the time period between the estimated pickup and delivery dates on the bill of lading. This window is set by the carrier in order to allow for any delays that may occur due to unforeseen circumstances such as inclement weather, traffic, or mechanical issues. The arrival window can vary based on the distance of the move, the type of goods that has been shipped, and the carrier’s policies.

Bill of lading:

A bill of lading is known as a legal document that is used in the moving process. It is a document that acts as a receipt of goods that have been shipped and serves as proof of delivery. The bill of lading is normally issued by the carrier of the goods, such as a trucking company, and is signed by both the shipper and the recipient. The bill of lading covers important information such as the name and address of the shipper and the recipient, the quantity and type of goods being shipped, the cost of the move, and the pickup and delivery dates. The bill of lading also includes a description of the goods and any additional services that may be included in the move. A bill of lading is an important document for both the shipper and the recipient. It serves as evidence that the goods were shipped and received in the condition in which they were shipped. In addition, it can be used to settle any disputes that may arise during or after the move.

Bulky items charge:

Bulky item charges are additional costs that are incurred when moving large, heavy, or awkwardly shaped items. This can include couches, mattresses, pianos, hot tubs, and other oversized pieces of furniture. These items require extra labor and resources to move, so most moving companies will charge an additional fee for bulky items. The charge is usually based on the weight and size of the item, and may also include other factors such as the distance it has to be moved, the difficulty of the job, and the number of movers required.

Cancellation conditions:

Cancellation conditions in moving vary depending on the type of move and the company you are using. In general, most moving companies have a cancellation policy in place that allows customers to cancel their move up to a certain time before the scheduled move date. This time frame can range from 24 hours to a few weeks. After the cancellation period has passed, customers may be charged a fee for cancelling their move. Additionally, some companies may require customers to pay for the services already rendered up to the time of cancellation. It is important to read the cancellation policy of the moving company before signing any contracts or agreements. At LA Moving Star we made it as flexible as it can possibly be and we do not have any sort of reschduling or cancellation fees as your convenience is our highest priority.


A claim in moving is a legal request to a court or other legal body to resolve a dispute. In the moving process, a claim is often made by the party moving (the plaintiff) against the party being moved (the defendant). The claim can be filed for many reasons which is including but not limited to breach of contract, negligence, or violation of a statute. The moving party must present evidence in support of the claim, and the court will decide whether or not the claim should be granted.

Certificate of Insurance or also known as COI:

A Certificate of Insurance in moving is a document provided by a moving company that states the company is insured for the services it provides. It outlines the coverage the company has for any damage to items during the move, and provides proof that the company is financially responsible for any losses that occur. The certificate also outlines what types of losses are covered and what is excluded from coverage. This document is typically required by many landlords and homeowners’ associations before allowing a moving company onto the premises.

Contactless move:

Contactless move in moving is a type of service that allows any client to relocate into their new home without having to physically interact with movers. This type of service typically includes the delivery of boxes, furniture, and other belongings to the new location, with the movers taking the necessary safety precautions to limit physical contact. The movers may also provide loading and unloading services, as well as packing and unpacking services. Contactless move in moving services may also include virtual consultations, which allow customers to consult with movers without having to meet in person. You can always ask LA Moving Star relocation specialist regarding the measures we are taking for in terms of contactless moves since COVID-19 was first discovered in 2020.

Coverage options:

When moving, there are a variety of coverage options available to protect your items from damage or loss. These include:

  1. Full Value Protection – This coverage is the most comprehensive type of protection and will cover the replacement cost of any item that is lost or damaged during the move.
  2. Released Value Protection – This type of coverage is included in most moving contracts and provides a minimal level of protection. It will only reimburse a certain amount (usually 60 cents per pound) for any lost or damaged items.
  3. Self-Insurance – This option allows you to assume the risk of your own items and not purchase any additional coverage.
  4. Third-Party Insurance – This type of insurance is provided by an outside company and can offer more comprehensive coverage than released value protection. It is usually more expensive, but can give you peace of mind. No matter which type of coverage you decide to purchase, at LA Moving Star we always encourage to read the fine print of the policy and make sure you understand exactly what is covered.

Delivery window:

A delivery window in moving is the estimated time frame that a delivery is expected to arrive at its destination. This window can vary depending on the type of move and the delivery location. For example, if a move is taking place across the country, the delivery window might be longer than if the move is taking place within the same city. The delivery window typically allows for any unexpected delays that may occur during the move.

Double drive time:

According to CPUC also known as California Public Utilities Commission moving companies are required to charge DOUBLE DRIVE TIME if the distance between the pick-up and drop-off addresses is more than 10 miles. For example, if it’s a 15 minute drive – we charge you for 30 minutes, if it’s a 30 minute drive – we charge for 60 minutes. However, if it’s less than 10 miles, there will be no commute charges. Drive time rates prorated.

Extra Heavy Item Charge:

For all items over 200lbs such as large safe, fridge or anything that could be considered excessively heavy additional charges may apply.

Item over 200lbs – $80 fee with 2 movers and Item over 300lbs – $120 fee with 3 movers

Flat fee:

Flat fee in moving is a type of pricing structure used by moving companies. It usually includes all the services that the moving company offers in one package, such as packing, transporting and unpacking of items, as well as any insurance or taxes that may be applicable. The flat fee is based on the size of the move, the distance it will cover, detailed information collected from the client when booking the move, list of inventory items and any other special moving requirements. The customer pays the same fee regardless of how much they are moving, which makes it a convenient and cost-effective way to move. At LA Moving Star our team has a 98% accuracy rate on our estimates, which means whichever estimate you were given before the move began the same cost will be charged at the end of the move.

Full-service mover:

A full-service mover is a company that provides comprehensive services for all aspects of the moving process. This includes packing and unpacking, loading and unloading, transportation, storage, and debris removal. Full-service movers typically provide a free estimate for the cost of the job and can handle moves of any distance. They also provide services for international moves, such as customs clearance and document preparation. Full-service movers can also provide specialty services like auto or pet transport.

Furniture protection:

Furniture protection in moving is a vital part of the relocation process. It is important to protect your furniture from the potential damages that can occur during the move. Furniture protection can include padding, wrapping, and packing supplies.

Padding: Furniture padding is used to protect the furniture from scratches and dents. Padding is available in different types of materials, such as foam, bubble wrap, and quilted blankets.

Wrapping: Furniture wrapping is used to protect furniture from dirt and dust. Furniture wrapping is typically done with blankets and plastic stretch wrap.

Packing Supplies: Packing supplies are used to protect furniture from any potential breakage or damage during the move.

These supplies can include boxes, bubble wrap, foam, and packing paper. In addition to the above, it is important to consider the type of furniture that is being moved.

Different types of furniture may require different types of protection. For example, antique furniture should be handled with extra care and should be wrapped with blankets and bubble wrap. Upholstered furniture should be wrapped with plastic stretch wrap and furniture with drawers should be taped shut. When moving furniture, it is important to use the right furniture protection to ensure that

High value inventory form:

A high value inventory form is a document in the moving industry that is used to help keep track of the value of items that are being moved. The form usually includes the item’s name, quantity, condition, estimated value, and any other pertinent information. This document is used in order to ensure that all items are accounted for and that they are properly valued in the event of loss or damage. It also helps to ensure that the correct insurance coverage is in place.

If any item that has been transported has a value more than $100 USD per pound then that item is described as articles of high or Extraordinary value.

Interstate move:

An interstate move is a move that goes from one state to another. This type of move is typically more complicated than a local move due to the additional regulations, paperwork, and transportation requirements associated with crossing state lines. An interstate move requires the services of a professional moving company that is licensed to operate in multiple states. The moving company will work with customers to ensure that all regulations and paperwork are completed correctly. Additionally, they will provide services such as packing, loading, transporting, and unloading the customer’s belongings.

Intrastate move:

An intrastate move is a move that has been handled from start to finish within the same state, and it is subject to different rules and regulations than an interstate move. The most important difference is that an intrastate move is typically much less expensive than an interstate move. Intrastate moves are also subject to more regulations than an interstate move as they are regulated by each individual state. Regulations can include how much a moving company can charge, how they can package and move items, and any other safety or legal requirements that should be met so that the move can be completed. Additionally, some states require a special license or certification in order to legally perform intrastate moves.


Inventory in moving is a list of items that are being moved from one location to another. This list includes all of the items that are being moved, such as furniture, appliances, boxes, and other belongings. It is important to have an inventory in order to keep track of what is being moved and to ensure that nothing is forgotten or left behind. Additionally, an inventory is also useful for insurance purposes in case any of the items are damaged or lost during the move.

Line haul:

Line haul is a term used in the moving industry to refer to the movement of goods from one place to another, typically from a warehouse to a retail store or from a factory to a distribution center. This is the part of the move that involves the actual transportation of the goods. Line haul typically involves long-distance trips and is often done by truck or train. Line haul services are commonly used in freight and freight forwarding businesses.

Long Distance Move:

A long-distance move is a move that is greater than 150 miles from the origin location. This type of move typically requires extra planning and preparation and is more expensive than a local move.

Local Move:

A local move is a move that is less than 150 miles from the origin location. This type of move is typically cheaper and less complicated than long-distance moves.

Minimum carrier liability:

In the moving industry, carrier liability is the legal obligation of the moving company to compensate the customer for any damage or loss of property that occurs during the course of a move. Carrier liability is regulated by federal law, and the minimum amount of liability for which a moving company is liable is based on the weight of the goods being shipped. The minimum carrier liability for interstate moves is $0.60 per pound, per article. For example, if a customer has an item that weighs 10 pounds and it is damaged during the move, the customer would be entitled to receive $6 (10 pounds x $0.60) in compensation from the moving company.

Moving crew:

A moving crew is a team of professionals who are responsible for executing a successful move. Moving crews typically consist of trained professionals, such as professional movers, packers, and truck drivers, who use specialized equipment to move your belongings safely and securely. Moving crews are responsible for packing, loading, unloading, and transporting your belongings to and from your new home. Additionally, they can provide additional assistance with organizing, packing, and unpacking your belongings. Moving crews typically work together in teams of three or more, ensuring that your move is as efficient and stress-free as possible.

Non allowable list:

When moving, you should be aware of what items your moving company does not allow you to transport. Non-allowable items are items that movers are not allowed to transport due to safety and legal reasons. Some commonly prohibited items include:

  • Hazardous materials such as explosives, flammable liquids, aerosol cans, and compressed gases
  • Perishables, plants, and food
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Valuables such as cash, jewelry, and artwork
  • Any liquids
  • Any type of hazardous waste
  • Chemicals, such as paint, bleach, or gasoline
  • Propane tanks
  • Mattresses, box springs, and upholstered furniture
  • Any type of combustible material
  • Any item that is illegal to transport in the state you are moving to

Order for service:

Order for service in moving is a document that serves as a contract between a moving company and its client. It outlines the services to be provided, the cost of the services, the date and time of the move, the location of the move, and any other details relevant to the move. The order for service also includes any special instructions or requests the client may have. The order for service should be reviewed carefully before signing to ensure that all services agreed upon are included in the order.

Packing supplies:

Packing supplies are essential when it comes to a successful move. Whether you’re packing up a small apartment or a large home, you need the right supplies to ensure your items arrive at their destination safely and securely. Here’s a look at some of the most important packing supplies you’ll need.

  1. Boxes: You’ll need a variety of boxes to safely pack and transport your items. For heavier items, like books, you may want to invest in sturdy double-walled boxes. For lighter items, like clothing, you may want to use smaller and lighter boxes.
  2. Packing Paper: Packing paper is an excellent way to protect fragile items during a move. It is also great for wrapping items like dishes and glassware.
  3. Packing Peanuts: Packing peanuts are great for filling in spaces in boxes to prevent items from shifting and breaking during transit.
  4. Bubble Wrap: Bubble wrap is an essential packing supply. It is excellent for protecting fragile items like electronics, dishes, and glassware.
  5. Labels and Markers: Labels and markers are essential for staying organized during a move. They will help you quickly identify what’s inside each box and where it should go.
  6. Tape: Tape is one of the most important packing supplies you’ll need. It is essential for sealing boxes and ensuring they remain secure during transit.
  7. Furniture Covers: Furniture covers are great for protecting furniture while in transit. They are usually made of heavy-duty plastic and provide an extra layer of protection against dirt and moisture.
  8. Mattress Covers: Mattress covers are essential for protecting mattresses from dirt and moisture during a move. They are typically made of heavy-duty plastic and come in a variety of sizes.
  9. Moving Blankets: Moving blankets are great for protecting furniture from scratches and dents during a move. They are usually made of thick quilted fabric and come in a variety of sizes.
  10. Dollies and Hand Trucks: Dollies and hand trucks are essential for moving heavy items like furniture and appliances. They make it much easier to transport these items and reduce the risk of injury.

(PBO) Packed by Owner:

Packing by owner in a move means that the person who is moving is responsible for packing all of their belongings. This includes all items such as furniture, clothing, kitchen items, electronics, and anything else that needs to be moved. The owner may choose to do this themselves or hire someone to do it for them. If the owner decides to do the packing themselves, they should make sure to properly pack each item, use quality packing materials, and label each box so that it is easy to identify and unpack. Hiring a professional moving company to pack the items can help to ensure that the items are packed correctly and safely.

Released Value protection:

Released Value Protection is a basic form of liability insurance that is provided at no additional cost to customers who are moving with a professional mover. It is the minimum level of protection that is required by federal law. Released Value Protection is based on the weight of the shipment, and provides coverage at 60 cents per pound per article. This means that any article that is damaged or lost will be reimbursed at a maximum of 60 cents per pound of the article’s weight. This type of coverage is not very comprehensive, and it is unlikely that the customer would be able to replace the damaged article for the amount of the reimbursement. For this reason, customers are encouraged to purchase additional coverage in order to receive greater protection for their shipment.Released Value Protection is a basic form of liability insurance that is provided at no additional cost to customers who are moving with a professional mover. It is the minimum level of protection that is required by federal law. Released Value Protection is based on the weight of the shipment, and provides coverage at 60 cents per pound per article. This means that any article that is damaged or lost will be reimbursed at a maximum of 60 cents per pound of the article’s weight. This type of coverage is not very comprehensive, and it is unlikely that the customer would be able to replace the damaged article for the amount of the reimbursement. For this reason, customers are encouraged to purchase additional coverage in order to receive greater protection for their shipment.

Quote – Binding:

In the moving industry, the term “quote” refers to an estimate of the cost associated with a move. A quote is typically provided by a moving company after it has surveyed the items to be moved and taken into account other factors such as the distance of the move and any additional services that may be required. A quote is usually an estimate, and the final cost of the move may vary from the original quote.

Sales tax:

The moving industry is subject to different taxation policies that vary from state to state. Generally, sales tax is applicable to all services related to the moving process, such as packing, loading, transporting and unloading of items. In some cases, sales tax may also be applicable to the sale of materials related to the move, such as moving boxes and supplies. The sales tax rate will depend on the state you are in; some states may have higher rates than others. It is important to check with your local state department of taxation to determine what the exact rate is for your area.

Special handling fee:

Special handling fees are a common charge in the moving industry for items that require extra care and attention when packing and moving. These items are typically any items that are particularly fragile, large, bulky, heavy, or valuable. Special handling fees are meant to cover the extra costs associated with the special attention and care that must be taken when packing and moving these items. This includes additional materials, such as extra padding, special boxes, and extra manpower, as well as the extra time it takes to do the job properly.

Standard coverage:

Standard coverage in the moving industry refers to the level of protection provided by the moving company for the belongings of its customers during the move. The exact coverage provided can vary from company to company, but it typically includes basic liability coverage for any damage that may occur to the customer’s items while in transit. This coverage is usually quite limited and may not cover the full replacement value of the property. It is important for customers to understand what is and is not covered before they sign a contract with a moving company. Additionally, customers can often purchase additional coverage to provide greater protection for their items.


Tariff in the moving industry refers to the cost of a moving service. It is typically based on the type of move, the distance, and the size of the shipment. Factors such as packing, storage, and insurance may also be included in the cost of the move. Tariffs for moving services vary depending on the company and the specific needs of the customer. Generally, the more services required, the higher the tariff.


Tipping in the moving industry is not expected, but is always appreciated. Although it is not required, tipping your movers may be a nice gesture to show your appreciation for their hard work. The amount you tip should depend on the quality of the service you receive, as well as other factors like the size of the move and the distance traveled. Generally, a tip between 15-20% of the total cost of the move is considered appropriate. It is important to remember that the tip should be divided among all of the movers involved.


Tolls are fees that are charged to drivers for using certain roads or bridges. In the moving industry, tolls can be charged for transporting goods across certain bridges or through certain tunnels. Tolls are used to help maintain and improve roads, bridges, and other infrastructure, and can be used to fund public transportation projects. For example, in some states, the proceeds from tolls are used to help fund public buses and other forms of transportation. In addition, tolls may be used to cover the cost of maintenance and repairs for roads and bridges. In some cases, tolls can also be used to finance new construction projects. At LA Moving Star we always include the costs for the tolls into your hourly or flat rate and there’s no extra fees for those.

Transit time:

It is the amount of time that takes to move belongings from one point to another. In the moving industry, transit time refers to the length of time it takes to move a customer’s belongings from their old home to their new home. This time frame typically includes loading, transporting, and unloading the items. Transit times can vary depending on the distance and complexity of the move. At LA Moving Star long-distance moves may take several days or even weeks to complete, while local moves can usually be completed in one day.

Terms & conditions of product & services:

All terms and conditions of your contract with LA Moving Star which regulates matters including such as: cancellation windows, significant changes to the original inventory list, severe weather conditions and other clients focused information. It is a customer’s responsibility to read those terms and become familiar with all the outlined details of the move. They will be provided by your Customer Service moving experts and are available our website.

USDOT number:

The USDOT number is a unique identifier issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to commercial motor carriers operating in interstate commerce. It is required for vehicles transporting passengers or hauling cargo in interstate commerce. The USDOT number serves as a way to track a motor carrier’s safety performance and allows the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to monitor compliance with federal safety regulations. It is also used to identify motor carriers for insurance purposes and by state motor vehicle departments for the registration of commercial motor vehicles.

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Jay LoganJay Logan
21:39 24 Oct 23
Andrew, Mike and Sergei did a fantastic job and were very careful with all the furniture and boxes.
Elvira GendlerElvira Gendler
02:22 21 Oct 23
Andrew, Mike and Sergei did an amazing job. Such a professional team. Moved me and my husband in a super friendly and smooth way. We moved 3-4 times but this is was the best experience I have ever had. Thank you guys!!!! Impressive!!!!
Zhiyuan XuZhiyuan Xu
18:57 19 Oct 23
Alex and Sergei is very responsible and helpful
Brandon ShahnianiBrandon Shahniani
18:40 18 Oct 23