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Glossary of International Moving

Term or acronym Definition
Relocation company Company that is specialized in taking care of the transferees and
provide one or several services like: moving, destination
services, school search, home search. Area of activities and
services are much broader than just the moving aspect.
International Move A Move across national borders.
Planning the Move Action to find the ideal routing for shipping household goods
considering time and costs constraints.
Agent overseas Usually another moving company appointed to act as a partner in your move. The most likely situation is that your mover will appoint someone at destination to receive your shipment, clear it through Customs and arrange final delivery.
AWB The Air Way Bill is the most important document in airfreight
transportation. It serves as a contract for carriage and shows all
relevant information about the shipment, the shipper and the
BAF Abbreviation that stands for “Bunker Adjustment Factor”.
Bill of Lading This is your contract with the carrier. It is your receipt for your
goods and the contract for their transportation. Your signature
on this document acknowledges that your goods have been
loaded on the moving van and “released to the carrier”.
Bonded Warehouse A warehouse that meets with local Customs specifications, and
allows shipments to be stored pending clearance by Customs.
Booker or Booking
The company which you have chosen to be in charge of your
CAF Abbreviation that stands for “Currency Adjustment Factor”.
Chargeable Weight The weight used by an airline to determine the air freight charge.
COD Cash-On-Delivery, where the payment is made upon the
delivery of the goods.
Contract Document that specifies liability between booker, client and
third parties involved in a move.
Consignee The person/ the company to whom the shipment is to be
Consolidation Freight Shipment booked with an airfreight forwarder or consolidator.
Consignment is carried on a House Airwaybill (HAWB) issued
by the consolidator.
Carrier issues one Master Airwaybill (MAWB) to the
consolidator for the whole consolidation.
Consolidator A company or person that will collect less than container load
(LCL) shipments from moving companies and ship them to
destination once a full container load (FCL) has been obtained.
Container A modular steel box that is designed to hold goods during
transport on sea and land.
Corporate account The organization or company that finally pays for the whole
move, usually the employer of the transferee.
Crate A timber, wooden case for an overseas shipment (often referred
to as a liftvan).
Customs Legal body in charge of formal inspection of goods before
allowing a shipment into a country.
Customs Clearance Formal inspection procedures carried out before allowing a
shipment into a country.
W/M Abbreviation that stands for “weight” or “measurement”.
CWT Abbreviation that stands for the rate or charge per 100 pounds.
Declared Value Value the owner declares its goods to be for the purpose of
insurance. This will form the basis of your insurance cover and
it is important that it reflects the value of your belongings.
Deconsolidator A company or person that will receive the consolidated shipment at destination port and break up the consolidated shipment back into individual shipments.
Demurrage charges Demurrage charges are those which are charged by the customs
ware house stations when the goods are stored and not cleared
within the specified time i.e., these are the charges for excess
period of storage of goods.
Density Factor Density is the ratio between weight and volume.
The cost of a shipment (by air or sea) is affected by the volume
AND the weight of the shipment.
The density factor is used to calculate air and sea shipment
freight costs.
Household goods (hhg) density is : 100 kgs = 1 cbm
1 cbm = 100 kgs = 220 lbs
1 cft = 6,5 lbs or 2,95 kgs
Airfreight density is: 100 kgs = 0,6 cbm
1 cbm = 167 Kgs = 367,4 lbs
1 cft = 10,4 lbs = 4,72 kgs
Destination agent The moving company appointed to act on your behalf at
Detention charges Alternative term for demurrage charges.
Door-to-Door shipment Transporting the shipper’s goods from their residence at origin
to their residence at destination. This type of move will increase
the degree of control you have over the move and subsequently
minimize claims.   
Door-to-Port shipment Transporting the shipper’s goods from their residence at origin
until the port at destination. This tends to happen if the shipper
has decided to arrange transport with a destination agent of their
choice from the destination port, and tends to be done by a
shipper when they want to save money.
Enquiry Form Document containing all information gathered over the phone on the transferee or the corporate account.
Export Shipping of goods outside country borders.
Export Wrapping Method of packing household goods and personal effects for
transportation overseas. Usually involves heavier and more
specialist materials.
FCL FCL stands for Full Container Load.
One container contains one consignee’s cargo. A FCL shipment
has specified move dates as agreed with your mover
First Enquiry First request for information from a transferee or a corporate
account to a moving company.
Groupage Groupage means filling a container with shipments that are less
than container load (LCL). The entire container is filled by your
own shipments but can contain several transferee’s small
shipments and as such you act as a consolidator.
HHG Abbreviation for Household goods – typically transferee’s
private belongings to be moved.
HAWB Document similar to AWB but issued by a forwarder. It is used
for consolidated shipments and/or for combined transports
Inbound shipment Import of household goods.
Insurance certificate The official insurance document given to you by the insurance
company. You will need this in the event of a claim.
Inventory A list of your belongings to be moved or a list of your
belongings in transit or in storage.
LCL LCL stands for Less than Container Load.
When a shipment is not large enough to fill one full size
shipping container, it is packed in liftvans or wooden crates and
loaded in a ISO container. So, multiple shippers will share the
Liftvan A crate used in the packing of your belongings.
Marine Insurance Insurance specifically to cover your belongings whilst in transit
over long distances and/or across water by vehicle, ship or
aircraft. The policy will cover specific marine risks.
MAWB Document similar to AWB but used for a single shipment and/or for combined transports sea/air.
Multimodal shipment A shipment by means of different types of transportation.
(Sea/Air, Sea/Road, Air/Rail, etc.)
NVOCC Stands for non-vessel operating common carrier.
Origin agent The moving or shipping company appointed to handle your
move at origin.
Outbound shipment Export of household goods.
PBO Abbreviation that stands for “Packed by owner”. When you
choose to pack your belongings yourself, either into cartons
supplied by the mover or into your own boxes. Insurance
companies often refuse to insure goods packed by their owners.
Person in charge of packing, wrapping, loading the goods at
origin and unpacking, unwrapping and unloading the goods at
Packing List This document lists all the goods that are packed in a shipment
and has 4 main purposes: It is used to check the goods at all
stages of handling; as a receipt, therefore the importance for the
customer of signing for agreement when the goods are collected
and unpacked; as an attachment to the insurance certificate as it
is the evidence that the goods were shipped and their conditions
at the time of packing; for customs clearance as proof of the
goods which are being imported.
Port-to-Door shipment Transporting the shipper’s goods from a port to destination
residence. This is quite unusual; these moves are mostly taken
care of by national companies contracted for a particular
international move.
Port-to-Port shipment Transporting the shipper’s goods from the origin port to the
destination port. Generally, these types of moves are booked
directly with a forwarder.
Pre-move survey/ estimation Survey organized by the moving company at client/transferee’s
house to assess the volume or weight of the goods to be moved
in order to provide an accurate quote for the move.
Quotation A guaranteed price based on the inventory of household goods
to be moved.
Actual Cash value Value of goods after depreciation is taken into account.
Replacement Value Value of goods equal to the replacement cost at destination.
Ro-Ro Roll on, Roll off. Method of sea transportation typically for cars.
Shipper The person or the company responsible for organizing and
providing transportation of the goods.
SIT Abbreviation that stands for “Storage in Transit”. Temporary
storage of your household goods in the warehouse of the moving
company, pending further transportation.
Survey Form Standard document issued by the moving company where during the pre-move survey visit, the surveyor note down all the details that will enable the booker to make a cost estimate and later on a firm quotation.
Surveyor The employee responsible for doing the pre-move survey at
client’s house.
Transferee The person being relocated or assigned to work in another
Transit Time Time it takes to get goods from point A to point B. In the
moving industry this usually includes the packing and
Warehouse The building used to store the goods (in transit, short term
storage, long term storage).