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Removals Glossary: 200+ Moving Terms Used in the UK and Around the World

posted: 28/02/2023

definition labelHouse removals are stressful enough, and the wide range of unfamiliar jargon used by your movers can only add fuel to the situation and make you feel even more confused. Your relocation will be smoother and easier if you are familiar with the most common terms, as it will assist you in comprehending all moving-related documents that you will be given and asked to sign. Our comprehensive removals glossary will shed some light on the specific terminology used in the moving industry and help you be better prepared.


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Acceptance Form
The acceptance form is a document confirming the homeowner agrees with the terms and conditions of the moving company. Once it is signed and returned to the agency, the client will receive a detailed estimate outlining the specifics and cost of the removal service.

The term refers to how easily the moving company can load or unload the homeowner’s belongings from the residence. Two of the many variables that affect accessibility level are the distance from the house or apartment to the parked moving vehicle and adequate lifts on the property.

Accessorial (Additional) Services
In addition to the actual transportation of household items, other services could be needed to complete the job or could be requested by the client. Some examples include packing, unpacking, appliance maintenance, handling large items, and so on. Together with the price of transportation, there are extra charges for these additional services.

Actual Charges
The full cost of the relocation

Advanced Charges
These are the costs associated with customer-requested services that were supplied by a third party, not the removal firm. The company then pays for these extra services, which are later added to the house mover’s Bill of Lading.

A moving firm (often a small, local one) that has been given the go-ahead to act on behalf of a much larger, and typically nationwide, removals company. All communications between the client and the business might be handled by the agent, whose services ought to be covered by the moving estimate.

Agreed Delivery Date
The agreed day of cargo delivery. The agent and the client must both agree on this timeframe.

Air Ride Suspension
A type of vehicle suspension that lifts the chassis away from the axle on trailers and tractors using pressurised air. Compared to cars with traditional spring suspension, air-ride vehicles offer a safer and more comfortable ride.

Air Waybill
A transportation agreement for products between a customer and an air carrier. This air waybill also functions as a receipt.

Appliance Service
Customers will be charged extra for this so-called appliance service if they ask to have one or more of their home appliances (washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, etc.) disconnected at their previous house and reconnected at the new place.

Arrival Notice
A note sent by a carrier, alerting the agency of the anticipated arrival date of a shipment of cargo.

Automobile Handling Charge
An extra fee customers need to pay for the transportation of their car.

Average Transit Time
It is the standard transit time needed to get cargo from one location to another.


Bill of Lading
The official, legally-binding agreement between a customer and a moving company. It serves as a receipt and provides information about the exact terms of a move.

Billable Charges
Everything that the client must pay for during the relocation. The invoice will list each billable expense in detail.

Billing Weight
The fees for the overall weight of the cargo.

Binding/Non-Binding Estimate

  • Binding – The agreement reached before the relocation between the customer and the moving business that ensures the final cost of a move. This kind of quote cannot be changed once the shipment has been loaded and can only be given following an onsite assessment of the complete inventory.
  • Non-Binding – A forecast of the mover’s anticipated final cost based on their prior knowledge. The ultimate weight of the shipment and the additional services offered have an impact on these figures, which are subject to change.

Blanket Wrap
The practice of wrapping furniture in a blanket before loading it into the moving van, as a means of safeguarding it during a domestic move.

Breach Of Contract
The act of violating or failing to comply with the conditions outlined in a contract.

packing materialsBuble Wrap (Bubble Cushioning Roll)
Bubble wrap is a flexible, translucent plastic film covered in equally spaced air-filled “bubbles” that help protect delicate items from breaking. It is usually sold by the roll. There are different types of wrap depending on the thickness of the plastic, the dimensions of the “air balloons,” the type of the used material, and so on.

Bulky Item
It can be anything from a piece of furniture (such as a king-size bed or large dresser) and kitchen equipment (such as a refrigerator or washing machine) to a vehicle. Bulky objects involve special handling and packing, which always results in additional fees or the so-called bulky articles charges.


Cancellation Charges (Cancellation fee)
The fee paid by the house moving company if the removal service is cancelled after being confirmed within a given time range.

Any goods moved by ship, aeroplane, or automobile.

Cargo Claim (Freight Claim)
A formal request for cashback when a specific cargo was lost or damaged.

The movement of cargo from one place to another by a carrier.

An alternative name for a licenced moving company offering removal services.

Carrier Liability
The estimated value of the shipment determines the amount of the carrier’s financial liability for any cargo that might have been misplaced or harmed during a move.

The process of transporting goods between locations, typically by land.

A formal request for compensation under the removal company’s insurance policy if the property is lost or damaged while it is in the care of the movers.

Gathering the belongings of the clients from their old place so they can be transported to the end location.

Commercial Removal (Office Move)
The relocation of an entire business. It can include transporting heavy machinery, valuable documents, office equipment and so on. Commercial removals are different from home ones, as they require the attention of multiple specialists. We have a detailed office moving guide that explains everything you need to know.

traffic in LondonCongestion Charge
If you drive in the congestion fee zone in London between 7:00 and 18:00 on weekdays and 12:00 to 18:00 on weekends and holidays, you will be charged £15 per day. This fee is paid by the homeowner or the movers, depending on the terms and conditions of the moving quote.

Cost per Hour
The hourly rate for the removal service, calculated per person. This method is usually used to estimate the cost of smaller relocations.

Council Tax Band
Your council tax band, based on the value of your property, will determine how much council tax you pay.

Crate hire
A service often offered by moving companies that includes renting out different sizes of plastic containers to customers. The crates are used during the relocation instead of cardboard boxes and are returned to the company at the end of the process.


Declared Value
The overall weight of the home goods that make up cargo is used to determine their value. The removal company’s liability in the event of loss or damage to a specific item is based on the declared value. The entire shipment will be transported under the standard basic liability if no declared value is made.

Dedicated Load (Dedicated Truck)
The allocation of a moving truck to a single home move.

the movement and unloading of the customer’s belongings from the location of collection to the end destination.

Delivery Window
The time frame in which a moving company is supposed to transfer the client’s belongings to the new address is known as the delivery window. The delivery window can be between 2 and 4 days and is affected by a variety of variables, most notably distance.

The amount of money needed to reserve a guaranteed removal date.

Pink dollyDolly (Appliance dolly)
A dolly is a wheeled platform for moving heavy objects like large pieces of furniture and home appliances.

Domestic Removal
A domestic move that takes place within one country, not across international borders.

Door-To-Door Service
Direct delivery, without storage or warehousing, from the starting point to the final location This may apply to both home and office relocations. Such services might involve transporting household items as well as packers and unpackers.

Dormitory Removal
A dormitory move is a professional service that consists of transporting a student’s belongings to and from their campus. Sometimes it may include packing and unpacking and can be performed without the need for the physical presence of the client.


Essentials Kit
This is a box (bag) consisting of items that a person cannot survive without, often known as an open first box or a survival kit.

A preliminary, rough quote for the removal service based on limited details.

Estimated Weight
This is the weight of the client’s items, based on the estimations of the movers and the inventory list or the visual home survey.

Expedited Service
Some moving companies provide a service that ensures the delivery of items by a predetermined and much earlier date. However, this type of service is much more expensive than regular relocation.

Extra Handling Charge
An extra fee for the professional handling of specific items that require additional attention.

Extra Pick Up (Extra Delivery)
A pick-up or delivery of items that was not originally estimated.


Flight Charge
If your removal team members must climb or descend multiple flights of stairs because there are no adequate elevators at either the place of origin or the point of destination, a flight charge may be applied.

Floor Protectors
This is a plastic sheet that is put onto carpeting or a hard floor to keep it protected from any damage that may occur during the relocation.

Freight All Kinds
This is a fixed fee that is applied regardless of the type of transported goods.

Freight Bill
A form that lists the weight, charges, taxes, and how payment will be collected for a cargo.

Freight Charges
The costs associated with moving cargo from one location to another.

Full-Service move
A full-service moving company will handle each step of the relocation process, including packing, loading, transporting, unloading, and unpacking the customer’s possessions. Although this kind of relocation is typically the most expensive, it is believed to be the most preferred.

Full (Replacement) Value Protection
This is the best insurance policy for any household items that are being transported. The removal firm will either replace the item, repair it to its original condition, or cover the costs of such a replacement if an item is damaged or lost while in its care.

Furniture Blankets (Furniture Covers )
Large soft covers known as “furniture blankets” provide the best protection for household belongings during the entire removal procedure. They will help reduce potential property damage when taped over bannisters, entrances, and walls.

Furniture Dolly
Furniture dollies have a carpeted wood body with a tubular steel frame for strength and dependability. Even in the most demanding warehouse environments, this kind of dolly is perfect for both commercial and industrial applications. A powder-coat finish is a standard feature on all furniture dollies, which helps guard against corrosion and other damage brought on by regular use.

Furniture Lifter
The furniture lifter is a contraption that slides under the furniture and helps you lift it. There are various models, depending on what you need them to do.

Furniture Pads (Furniture Sliders)
These handy cushions may be positioned beneath bulky household items to make moving furniture and kitchen appliances around the house a breeze.


Goods in Transit Insurance
This guarantees that the property is covered by the removal business’s insurance while it is being moved by the company. It often only covers up to £40 per item; if you want insurance that covers more, speak with your moving company or home insurance provider.

Gross Weight
The weight of all the household items in the moving vehicle, including the driver and the truck.

Group Move
The coordinated, deliberate relocation of a substantial group of employees.

Guaranteed Pickup and Delivery
A moving service in which the moving company guarantees the collection and delivery dates and provides compensation for any delays. For this particular service, minimum weight requirements may be applied.


Handling Charge
An amount charged for handling a shipment at both the port of origin and the port of destination

moving with freezerHand Truck
Despite being mistakenly referred to as incline dollies, hand trucks are vastly different because they have two huge wheels and can stand upright. Hand trucks can simply slide underneath the object that has to be moved due to its L-shaped construction, eliminating the need to raise the object by hand. Once the item is in position, the hand truck can be tipped backwards so that it rests against the truck’s rear.

The employee or van driver who actually moves the stuff.

Hoist (Lift)
Lifting equipment that is used to raise and lower objects.

Hourly Rate
An hourly rate is the cost of a single mover’s labour for one hour, which is typically only applicable to local moves.

Household Goods (HHG)
The homeowner’s items.


Impracticable Operations
Services that are necessary when operational circumstances make it physically impossible for the carrier to accomplish pickup or delivery with its regularly assigned equipment; completion of services may require the use of specialised equipment and/or additional manpower. These services may be provided per the mover’s request and may be subject to additional fees as specified in the mover’s tariff.

The payout for items that were harmed or lost.

Indicative Quote
A preliminary removal service cost estimate that could change depending on the results of the pre-move survey

In-home survey
A qualified agent of the removal company performing a visual assessment of the client’s residence. This is the most effective technique to get a precise and thorough moving estimate of the expenses and services of a move.

Insurance Certificate
A legal document that details the insurance coverage offered.

Insurance Inventory
A list of the goods that the insurance policy covers.

International Relocation (International Move)
Any relocation across the international border. The international moving company takes care of all aspects of the removal from the paperwork requirements to fees and customs.

A detailed list of the goods that need to be delivered and transported.


Last Receiving
A set date and time by which cargo must be delivered to a particular location to board a specific vehicle for transportation.

Late Delivery
When a shipment arrives at its final destination after the agreed-upon delivery date.

Less-Than-Containerload (LCL)
It can mean one of two things. Containers packed with multiple different orders or cargo that is loaded into a particular ship’s hold without being enclosed in a container.

Less-Than-Truckload (LTL)
Where one client’s cargo shares trailer space with that of another customer.

Letter of Authority
A paper allowing a third party to communicate with agents on the client’s or client’s employer’s behalf.

Liability Insurance
An insurance policy type that defends against allegations of property damage or bodily injury.

Limited Partnership
A contract wherein one party is entirely liable while the other is merely accountable for the amount of their investment.

Load Date
The precise day that the carrier or agency picks up the cargo from the customer.

Load Spread
Dates that the agent gives the customer that the moving truck might show up at the destination to be loaded.

Loading Ramp
An aluminium ramp that aids in loading and unloading items into a trailer and is typically located inside the moving truck itself.

Local Move
A relocation to a neighbouring area within the same county

Local Rates
Specific prices that a carrier charges when working in its local area.

Long Carry
A significant distance that makes it difficult to load and unload objects between the removals truck parking area and the front door of the present or destination address.

Long Distance
A shipment that is too far away to be delivered in a single day. Interstate movements, national moves, and even international moves can all be considered long-distance moves.

Lumper (Also Called Laborer)
A person hired by the van driver or agent to assist with loading and unloading.

man and van in LondonLuton Van
Initially, it was intended to make space for low-density items. The body of this kind of van is box-shaped and extends over the driver’s cab. The kick or Luton is the part of its body that lies on top of the driver’s cabin.


Man and Van
Smaller-scale moves, typically inside the city limits, are called a man and van service. It requires using a van rather than a lorry, and fewer movers are needed to complete the job. Man and van services are different from regular domestic removals and have their specifics.

Mattress Bag
A mattress bag is a durable plastic bag made specifically to shield a mattress from the environment, dirt, dust, dampness, damage, and debris. They are available in a range of forms and sizes to accommodate various types of mattresses.

Mechanical Damage
Damage to cargo brought on by mechanical (equipment) errors as opposed to human error.

The delivery distance between the point of pickup and the final destination.

Minimum Charge
The lowest price at which freight may be handled legally.

Minimum Weight
The predetermined weight used to calculate a certain price. Typically, weights below this minimum call for a higher rate, whereas weights over the minimum call for a lower rate.

Motor Vehicle Inventory
A document that is used to record the mileage and general condition of any motor vehicle being moved during transportation.

Move Manager (Move Co-ordinator)
A staff member of the moving firm in charge of planning and overseeing every aspect of the house move. Often, this person serves as the homeowner’s point of contact inside the business.

Moving Blankets
Moving blankets can be used for two things when you move – to protect delicate goods from scratches and damage by using them as covers for furniture, or to use them to assist you in moving large objects.

Moving Box
Those are boxes made of sturdy cardboard, used for storing and transporting items during a house move. You can purchase these packing materials from your removal company. Keep in mind that there are various shapes and sizes you can choose from.

Moving Company
A business that plans and manages the movement of goods from their origin to their destination.

Moving Cost
The cost for a shipping firm to deliver a package to its destination. Accessorial services and insurance costs are not included in this price.

moving truck

Moving Process
all moving-related activities from the starting point to the ending point. The process entails various steps, such as contract signing, moving day activities, and post-relocation services.

Moving Van
The lorry that will move your furniture and other belongings to the new house.


Net Weight
The actual weight of a shipment of cargo. To determine this amount, the gross weight (the weight of the fully-packed moving truck) is subtracted from the tare weight (the weight of the moving vehicle)

Non-Allowable List (Prohibited Items)
A list of goods that professional movers won’t pack or move due to the risk of harm to people or property. Handguns, fireworks, propane tanks, and massive furniture are a few examples.

Notification Of Delay
A formal notice to a customer informing them of the delay in a shipment. The cause of the delay, the last known position of the delivery truck, and the new delivery date must all be included in this notification.


Operating Authority
A legal document that describes and authorises the range of a carrier’s operations and power.

Order for Service
A permit allowing movers to carry freight

The starting point of a shipment’s transit.

Accidental shipment delivery to the wrong recipient or address.

Overcharge Claim
A complaint submitted by a customer to contest certain costs; does not include property damage.

The portion of a shipment that cannot be put into a vehicle due to space constraints.


The employees of the moving firm who pack, wrap, and load the possessions of the client at their current address. They are also in charge of unloading, unwrapping, and unpacking the package at the destination.

Packed By Carrier (PBC)
Items that have been packed and prepared for transportation by the movers.

Packed By Owner (PBO)
Items packed and prepared by the client before the arrival of the removal company.

Packing Date
A date set aside for a moving firm to send in-house packers, typically a day before the actual move.

Packing List
A list of all items that need to be packed and their specific requirements.

packing materialsPacking Paper
It is a high-quality, unprinted, single-ply paper that is perfect for box stuffing, protecting breakable items, and wrapping objects. Since it is sold in large quantities, packing paper is often cheaper than other types of packing materials.

Packing Peanuts (Foam Peanuts; Foam Popcorn; Packing Noodles)
A type of loose-fill packaging and padding used to protect fragile items during delivery. They have a form that allows them to interlock when squeezed, and flow freely when not.

Packing Service
The professional packing of the client’s items done by experienced staff members. These services are not included in the regular home moving and need to be booked separately.

Pallet (Skid)
A transportable platform for more effective loading and arranging cargo for storage and delivery. This is frequently used for long-distance warehousing and storage, where shipments may be transferred from one truck to another during a protracted trip or transported to a facility before arriving at a destination.

Peak Season Rates
A higher price applied during specific seasons of the year when moving is the most expensive.

Parking Restrictions
Rules that a city or government enforces to manage automobile parking.

Parking Suspension (Parking Exemption)
The lifting of parking restrictions at the removal company’s request to make space available for a house move.

Part Load
When one vehicle is used to transport belongings from multiple homes.

Piano Board
A specialist moving tool used to carry pianos up and down staircases

Pickup And Delivery Charges
An extra charge imposed for picking up and delivering cargo between a storage facility and its final location.

Pre-Existing Damage
Damage to an object that existed before the relocation.

Preferred Arrival Date (PAD)
The preferred delivery day that is most convenient for the customer.

Pre-Move Survey
A visit to the current residence of the client by the moving firm to estimate the amount of the load that needs to be transported. The price of the moving company, as well as the cost of the necessary tools and labour, will then be determined.


The offer made by the mover company to the customer, based on the information from the survey and following the client’s requirements.

Ratchet Straps


A mobile bridge for moving objects.

Charges for the provided services in connection with an order, such as packaging fees and other ancillary services.

Ratchet Straps (Tie Down Strap; Lashing Strap; Tie Down)
A fastener used to secure cargo or equipment during transit.


The client’s items that are transported by the moving company.

Shipping Order
Instructions from the customer to the moving company regarding how a shipment should be carried.

Shrink Wrap (Shrink Film)
A polymer plastic film that when heated wraps tightly over whatever it is covering and protects it from the elements, dust, damage and so on.

Signing Off
A confirmation, made by the homeowner that the relocation was successful and they are happy with the provided services.

Special Products
Goods that demand special handling or packaging, such as a computer or medical equipment.

Spread Date (Delivery Spread)
A range of potential arrival dates for the shipment at the end destination that the agent provides to the customer

Stair Carry
The process of carrying a load up or down the stairs. There can be additional charges.

Stair Mobile
Equipment used specifically to move cargo up or down staircases.

A type of moving equipment used to secure stacked crates or layers of a shipment within the moving truck. It is typically made of thick nylon.

Stretch Wrap
A very flexible plastic film used to keep containers on a pallet together. Stretch wrap can also be used to transport overstuffed furniture safely.


Tail Lift
A vehicle with a mechanical lift on the back to help move objects.

Tare Weight
The whole weight of a moving truck, including all tools and supplies used for packing and loading a product. Its weight is determined before the actual shipment is loaded onto the vehicle.

A statement from the carrier outlining rates and terms of service that is given to the customer.

Tariff Item
Certain portions of the tariff that describe particular services and the costs associated with them.

Transit Van
A compact removals van with a capacity of about 250 cubic feet.

Transit High Top
A long-wheelbase vehicle with about 350 cubic feet of space.

A corrugated cardboard packing material that is widely used to move products safely by air.


An additional service carried out at the client’s request after a package is delivered.


Valuation (Extra Care Protection)
The rough value of a shipment that is used to compensate the moving company for taking on liability for high-value items.

A cargo that is moved while travelling from one van to another.


Waiting Time
A period of time during which the moving company stops providing its removal services. For example, it can be caused by a delay in the delivery of the keys to the intended location.

The deliberate abandonment of a clause in a contract.

Weighing Procedure
The act of weighing the cargo using a certified scale.

Weight Additives
The additional weight added to the net weight to account for the usage of empty truck space,

Weight Break
A discount given when a cargo weighs more than a predetermined amount, maximising the use of available space in the moving truck.

Weight Guide
A manual containing the average weights of various home items and frequently cited in shipment liability lawsuits.

Weight Ticket
The paperwork that lists both the van’s empty weight and its weight once a shipment has been loaded. This document aids in calculating the freight bill’s overall cost.

Will Advise
The phrase is used when a package is on its way but pickup or delivery dates are not yet set.

What do you think? Did we miss something? Tell us in the comment section below if you want us to explain and add a specific term to Top Removals’ Glossary and we will include it in the next update.

Stephanie Cooper

Stephanie is a content marketing specialist for Top Removals for the past several years. She has extensive experience working with moving companies and knows her audience. Stephanie creates engaging and useful content helping the customers of Top Removals with their struggles and providing them with the most accurate insight.

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