It is not uncommon for even seasoned relocation professionals to tell you that they don’t know the meaning of each line item found in their company’s quotes or invoices for household goods moves. The reason? Much of the terminology used within the moving industry can be unclear to those not working in it, and can therefore be challenging to determine which provider is offering the better deal or if you’ve paid too much. This blog provides a brief run-down of the most common HHG terms and what they mean.
It is not uncommon for even seasoned relocation professionals to tell you that they don’t know the meaning of each line item found in their company’s quotes or invoices for household goods moves. Often the reason for this is that much of the terminology used within the moving industry can be unclear to those not working in it. As a result, it can be difficult to ascribe meaning to many of the costs and fees listed in quotes and invoices, making it challenging to determine which provider is offering the better deal or if you’ve paid too much.
Want to easily compare quotes for a move? Blueprint from northAmerican® Van Lines allows you to transparently compare prices side-by-side from multiple moving providers for the same move. To learn more, watch our video, “Blueprint: Your Guide to Pricing Transparency”.
In household goods moving, the “linehaul charge” is the main driver of cost and is based on the distance and weight of total items for a given move. Other factors such as what type of labor is required to complete a move, a move’s location, and other considerations can result in other fees and charges being applied.
Below you will find explanations for some of the most commonly seen service and transportation-related costs and fees.
Extra services that are either requested, required or incurred in order to execute the move.
Storage Fee: When movers must move items into storage at an intermediate point between origin and destination. Pricing is based on location and varies by zip code.
Pickup and Delivery Service Applicable at Third Party and Self-Storage Warehouses: When movers are requested to enter the storage space to take items out or put items in. Pricing is based on location and the weight of the items moved.
Pickup and Delivery Transportation Charges on Storage-In-Transit Shipments: Different from the storage fee which covers labor, this applies directly to the transportation cost of the residence-to-storage or storage-to-residence portion of the move. Pricing is based on location and the distance from the residence.
Extra Labor, Special Services and Waiting Time: The dis-assembling or assembling of unusual or especially challenging household furnishings, if more labor is needed to complete a move outside of the normal scope, or if the relocating employee needs extra time to receive their shipment at their destination.
Pickup or Delivery Service on Saturdays, Sundays or Holidays: For a move during a holiday or weekend.
Diversions and Stopoffs: Diversion fees apply when the location of the delivery is changed abruptly. This fee covers fuel and any additional miles that may apply to the new location. If there are two or more destinations required for a move to be completed, stopoff charges apply.
Light and Bulky Articles and Weight Additives: As mentioned, weight is a key factor in the pricing of a household goods move. You may see this charge if, as a part of your move you are transporting cars, boats, hot tubs, or other items of significant size and weight.
These apply to circumstances that make getting a shipment from Point A to Point B more expensive or challenging for the moving provider.
Shuttle Service: Applies when a shuttle is needed to get items to or from the truck in cases such as narrow roads or alleyways, HOA restrictions, and steep driveways.
Origin and Destination Service Charge: Circumstances at a given origin or destination location that make a move more challenging, such as stairs, elevators or immoderate carrying span. May also apply to the carrying of large items. Pricing is based on location and varies by zip code.
Fuel Cost Price Adjustment (Surcharge): This fee is charged when the national average cost of diesel fuel rises above a set per gallon price within the fuel pricing matrix. A percentage is applied as an adjustment to offset fuel costs.
For more information on the costs and fees of household goods moving including what insurance-related charges may apply and what you can request from providers to understand their pricing, download our guide, “Understanding the Costs and Fees of Your Household Goods Moves” today. Want to learn about more ways to save on your relocation program? Read our piece entitled, "Top 6 Ways to Save Money on Your Relocation Program in 2020”.
Are you paying too much to move your employees? For a free invoice review and cost analysis, email Bobbi.Maniglia@northamerican.com.