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Moving Glossary

The Atlas® Van Lines Dictionary 
Here it is…the ultimate moving dictionary! At your fingertips are 1,000 moving terms and definitions. There’s no need to look anywhere else. 


There are plenty of relocation and moving terms out there. To make things easier, Atlas has brought nearly 1000 of those moving terms right here. Find the definitions of everything from "Abnormal Sale" to "Zoning" in this easy to use moving terms dictionary.

Find Moving Terms Alphabetically

Numeric Dictionary Terms

$1.25 Per Pound
A shipment released at Atlas' minimum liability rate of $1.25 times the actual weight (in pounds) of the shipment.
110% Collection Option
On a COD shipment, if the actual cost of the shipment exceeds the estimated cost, Atlas may collect the estimate plus 10% from the customer before delivery. The remaining balance is due within 30 days. Also called Maximum Collection Option.
120-day Letter
A letter that must be written to the customer at the end of 120 days if the claim cannot be tendered or concluded within this time period.
1st Proviso
A shipment consisting of Household Goods.
2nd Proviso
A shipment consisting of furniture, fixtures, equipment and the property of stores, offices, museums, institutions, hospitals and other establishments.
3rd Proviso
A shipment consisting of Special Products.
60 Cents Per Pound
A shipment released at Atlas' liability rate of 60 cents per pound per article.

A Dictionary Terms

A or ASG (Abbr)
Abnormal Sale
An unusual sale in a marketplace. Parents selling a property to their children for below market value may be an abnormal sale.
Absentee Owner
A property owner who does not reside on the property, but who relies on a property manager to oversee the investment.
Abstract of Title
A brief history of a property's title, including all judicial proceedings, conveyances, records, grants and wills, and a statement of all recorded liens and encumbrances.
A method of determining the value or estimated selling price of land by deducting (abstracting) the value of any site improvements from the overall selling price of the property. Also called Allocation or Extraction Method.
Accelerated Depreciation
A faster method of determining the cost write-off of personal property, used in a business or for the production of income, by applying the straight-line method. The method of depreciation assumes that the property experiences most of its depreciation in its early years.
Acceleration Clause
A provision in a document like a mortgage, promissory note, trust deed or agreement of sale stating that the remaining amount owed is due immediately upon payment default, sale of the property or other specified occurrence. Also called Call Provision or Due-on-Sale Clause.
An agreement by the seller to the terms of the sale.
Acceptance Bonus
See Mobility Premium.
  1. The right to utilize land that may be privately owned for public purposes. See Ingress, Egress and Easement.
  2. A means to a property.
The acquisition of title of a neighboring property or improvements to that property due to the placement of fixtures that lie beyond the property. For example, if a property owner builds a fence that extends into a neighbor's yard, the neighbor owns the section of the fence on his or her property and has the right to decide when the fence will be taken down or if it will remain up.
Accessorial Charges
Fees for accessorial services. Also called Additional Services Charges.
Accessorial Services
Those services (other than the transportation of household goods) like packing, custom-crating, elevator, stair and long carry, bulky articles and appliance servicing that are either necessary to complete the move or are requested by the customer.
Accessory Buildings
A structure secondary to the main building on a property, e.g., a garage, shed or pump house.
Accrued Depreciation
  1. The depreciation of a property over the course of its existence. Also called Accumulated Depreciation.
  2. The difference between the cost to reproduce a property at the time of the appraisal and a property's current value determined by its competitive condition. Also called Diminished Utility.
Accrued Interest
Interest on a mortgage that has accumulated over a specific amount of time. Interest payments cover the month prior to the due date or after it is earned.
Accumulated Depreciation
See Accrued Depreciation.
Acknowledgement Card
A postcard sent to a customer after the customer's claim form is received by Atlas' customer service department that acknowledges the claim is being processed.
A land measurement equivalent to 43,560 square feet or 4,840 square yards. A square mile is 640 acres.
ACT (Abbr)
Actual charges or weight on a shipment.
Actual Cash Value (ACV)
Money equal to the cost of replacing lost, stolen or damaged property after depreciation. A method of determining the worth of an improvement.
Actual Charges
The total cost of the move from start to finish.
Ad Spec Inc
An advertising specialties and promotional products company servicing Atlas and the general public. A subsidiary of Atlas World Group, Inc.
Ad Valorem
A Latin term meaning "according to valuation." It is generally used to refer to real estate taxes based on the accessed valuation of the property.
Revisions made and attached to a sales contract that are referenced in the contract and signed by both the buyer and seller.
Additional Services Charges
See Accessorial Charges.
Additional Services Performed at Origin/Destination Service and Delivery Report (ASPOD)
A form that serves as proof that additional services were performed at origin and/or destination. The customer's signature verifies that the service was completed as stated.
Additional Transportation Charge (ATC)
The charge services that is based on the cost of an area.
Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)
A loan with an interest rate and terms that can change as market conditions change. Because the rate is periodically adjusted, the mortgage payment either increases or decreases.
An amendment made to the market value of a comparable property if the property has, or possibly does not have, a feature that distinguishes it from the subject property.
ADV (Abbr)
Adverse Use
The unfavorable use of a property that possibly depreciates its value.
Agency Roster
A list of all Atlas Van Lines agents by state with pertinent information about each agent, including the address, contact name, warehouse space, service and quality awards. The roster also includes information on Atlas headquarters and Atlas World Group subsidiaries.
Agent (AGNT)
  1. An independent mover under agreement with Atlas that is empowered to act on Atlas' behalf in servicing the interstate (out-of-state) movement of household goods.
  2. See Real Estate Agent.
Agent Invoice
National account invoice issued by an agent.
Agreed Delivery Date (ADD)
Two or more dates mutually agreed upon between the customer and Atlas for the delivery of a shipment.
Agreement of Sale
A contract of sale. See Contract of Sale, Contract for Deed and Land Contract.
Air Ride
The suspension system used on trailers and tractors instead of conventional springs, where the vehicle is supported and rides on rubber cylinders filled with compressed air for a safer ride.
Air Waybill
A receipt for the cargo and contract for the transportation between a customer and an air carrier.
Air Weight
The difference between actual weight and constructive weight.
AK (Abbr)
Prefix on an Alaskan booking or registration.
See Abstraction.
Money for the completion of certain repairs or improvements to a home or to a transferring employee for expenses incurred during a move. See Cost-of-Living Allowance or Goods and Services Differential.
Alta Title Policy
See Title Insurance. Also see American Land Title Association.
Amendment to the Order for Service
A form used to record any changes to the shipment such as additional packing or other services, destination location, valuation or agreed pickup and delivery dates.
Tangible and intangible features of a property like scenic, social or architectural qualities that do not have monetary value, but are beneficial to the owner of that land.
American Land Title Association (ALTA)
The industry association of land title companies.
Repayment of the principal and/or interest of a debt over a specified period of time.
Amortization Schedule
The payment schedule used to reduce a financial debt that shows the remaining balance of a mortgage after each payment is made.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
The yearly charge, expressed in a percentage, for use of a lender's money.
Appliance Service
Preparation of appliances to make them safe for transportation. This does not include the disconnecting of plumbing or electrical service. See Third-Party Service.
Application Fee
A charge to start the loan process.
An estimate made by an appraiser of the value of a property.
Appraisal Fee
A charge for a statement of property value.
Appraisal Review Fee
A charge for reviewing an appraisal.
Appraisal Value
The value of a property determined by averaging additional appraisals.
An experienced professional who is licensed to estimate the value of a property.
An increase in value of an item or property. See Depreciation.
Approaches to Value
Three approaches are commonly used by an appraiser when estimating the value of a property. They are: the direct sales comparison approach, the cost approach and the income approach.
The rights and privileges to use an improvement of a property. The rights usually transfer with the sale of the property. Examples of appurtenance are easements, water rights, condominium parking stalls and improvements.
Arm's-Length Transaction
An arrangement whereby the buyer and seller voluntarily enter into a transaction with equal bargaining positions.
Arrival Notice
A notice sent by Atlas that informs the party stated on the bill of lading of the estimated arrival date of the shipment. An arrival notice on an international move normally indicates where the cargo will be available for customs clearance, pick-up or comparable handling, when free-time will expire, any applicable charges, or any other requirements that must be met prior to release.
As is Agreement
An agreement stating the property is being sold in its present condition.
The process of taking household goods apart for transportation and putting them back together at destination.
A tax, or assessed value, placed on a property for purposes like public improvement or maintenance.
The person who determines assessed values.
A useful item or something of value owned by a person. An asset can be tangible or intangible, and can include stocks, bonds and property.
Assigned Sales
See Closing Assistance.
The person who receives a transfer of property.
The transfer of a property's right, title and interest from one person to another.
Assignment Extension Bonus
A compensation paid to an expatriate for an extended assignment. Also called Reenlistment Bonus.
The person who transfers property.
Assumable Rate Mortgage
See Assumption of Mortgage.
Assumption Fee
A processing charge for an assumption of mortgage.
Assumption of Mortgage
Buying a property that has an existing mortgage and continuing payment on the remaining amount of the mortgage at the same interest rate. Also called Assumable Rate Mortgage.
Assured Price Protection (APP)
A program applying to C.O.D. and national account household goods shipments moving within the U.S. (except for Hawaii) or to or from Canada. Under this pricing option, the customer is given a binding price or a specific bottomline discount based on the actual weight and services, whichever is less. The discount excludes valuation, storage in transit and related charges, and third-party services.
Atlas Commercial Brokerage (ACB)
A supplemental service the commercial truckload division uses for transporting general commodities, new products, new furniture and fixtures, as well as household goods and second proviso traffic. The service expands the division's hauling capacity and traffic resources.
Atlas' Specialized Transportation Express Centers (ASTEC)
A network of Atlas agents that provides a scheduled pick-up and delivery service for special products shipments under 3,000 pounds.
Atlas Survey of a Shipment (AVL SRVY)
A physical surveying of goods to be shipped to determine the estimated weight of the shipment.
Atlas Terminal Company, Inc.
A well-equipped maintenance facility that provides low-price repair services and emergency road service to Atlas van operators. The Terminal Company also sells inside van equipment and offers a vehicle painting program. A subsidiary of Atlas Van Lines headquartered in Evansville, Indiana.
Atlas Van Lines (Canada), Ltd.
A subsidiary of Atlas World Group, Inc., Atlas Canada provides Atlas with moving and storage capabilities throughout Canada. Headquartered in Oakville, Ontario.
Atlas Van Lines International Corp. (AVLI)
A subsidiary of Atlas World Group, Inc., Atlas International provides international service capabilities in over 120 countries worldwide. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington.
Atlas Van Lines, Inc. (AVL)
One of the nation's largest carriers of household goods and specialty products, founded in 1948 in Chicago. Comprised of the Relocation Services Group (household goods) and the Specialized Transportation Group. Headquartered in Evansville, Indiana. A subsidiary of Atlas World Group, Inc.
Atlas World Group, Inc. (AWG)
The parent company of Atlas Van Lines, Atlas Van Lines Canada, Atlas World-Class Travel, Atlas Van Lines International, ad spec inc, Red Ball Corporation and their subsidiaries.
Atlas World-Class Travel, Inc.
A subsidiary of Atlas World Group, Inc., Atlas World-Class Travel operates as a full-service travel agency for Atlas and the general public. Headquartered in Evansville, Indiana.
A person who is authorized to act on the behalf of another person.
AUTH (Abbr)
See Operating Authority.
Auto Inventory
See Motor Vehicle Inventory.
Automated Relocation Management System
A computer system used as a management tool for monitoring costs and increasing productivity and communication.
Automobile Handling Charge
A charge to the customer, in addition to the weight, for movement of an automobile.
Auxiliary Service
A service provided when a shipment cannot be serviced, picked up or delivered by a road van, and a smaller unit must be employed for movement to or from the road van. The fee is chargeable to the customer. Also called Shuttle Service.
Average Transit Time
The average time in shipping from one point to another.

B Dictionary Terms

Balloon Mortgage
A mortgage that is paid off in one lump sum at the end of a specified term.
Balloon Payment
A lump-sum payment at the end of a balloon mortgage term that pays the loan in full.
Bargain and Sale Deed
A deed that conveys all of the owner's interest in the property. This deed does not include warranties, but that the grantor has possession or claim to the property conveyed.
Base Salary
A salary that does not include allowances or deductions.
BC (Abbr)
Binding estimate for residential customer.
BI/PD (Abbr)
Bodily Injury/Property Damage.
Bill of Lading (BL)
The original shipping contract that lists the dates, services and actual charges involved in a move and the receipt for a customer's belongings.
Bill of Sale
A document transferring personal property from one person to another.
Billable Charges
Net charges billed.
Billing Weight
The weight on which all charges are based.
An agreement between the buyer and seller for the purchase of property, stating the buyer's good faith and intentions. A deposit of earnest money is used to secure the binder. The binder is temporary until a formal agreement is prepared. See Agreement of Sale.
Binding Estimate (BE)
This program applies to residential and national account, household goods shipments moving within the U.S. (except for Hawaii) or to or from Canada. Under this pricing option, the move must occur within 60 days of the estimate. The charges are based upon the estimated weight and services noted on the estimate. Any additional destination or other charges that are not covered in the original estimate may be collected.
Bingo Sheet
A form that allows a van operator or customer to easily check off items as they are delivered. Also called a Check Off Sheet.
Biweekly Payment Loan
A mortgage that is paid every two weeks (26 half-month payments a year) instead of once a month. This type of loan has an earlier retirement date and lower total interest costs than a typical loan.
Blanket Mortgage
A single mortgage that covers more than one piece of real estate. A blanket mortgage may be used by a land developer who will sell individual lots out of one piece of land, or when a person purchases a home and the lot adjacent to it.
Blended Rate
An interest rate that is determined by the average of a low-interest rate and a high-interest rate that is often used with a wraparound mortgage.
Blighted Areas
An area with decreasing property values, usually in inner cities, because of adverse land uses, depreciating buildings or lower economic influences.
Blue Bark
A shipment belonging to a deceased member of the military.
BN (Abbr)
Binding estimate for a national account customer.
Bona Fide
Made in good faith without fraud or deceit.
  1. A written commitment to pay a debt that accompanies a mortgage. This obligation to pay a debt can be secured or unsecured.
  2. An interest-bearing document used to fund projects like community improvements. See Note.
Booker or Booking Agent (BKR)
The agent who has sold the move and registers it with Atlas.
A person who receives a loan with the expressed intention of repaying it in full.
Bottomline Discount (BLD)
This program applies to residential and national account, household goods shipments moving within the U.S. (except for Hawaii) or to or from Canada. Under this pricing option, the charges to the customer are discounted by a single percentage on both the transportation and accessorial charges.
Breach of Contract
The violation or default of a contract due to not performing a particular task.
Bridge Loan
A loan issued to the borrower on a short-term basis (usually about 30, 60 or 90 days) as a temporary advancement until major financing is received, possibly to purchase a new home before the old home is sold.
See Real Estate Broker or Customhouse Broker.
Broker Price Opinion (BPO)
A method used by a third-party company to estimate the price a property would sell for in the present market. Also called Opinion of Value.
  1. A party that arranges transportation for a customer.
  2. The bringing together of parties for completion of a real estate transaction.
Brokerage Commission
See Commission.
Building Line
A fixed line on a property marking the distance beyond which no building construction/improvement may occur.
Bulky Article Charge
A charge to the customer to move an item that takes up excessive van space. The item must specifically be listed in the tariff for the charge to apply. Such items include motorcycles, farm equipment, mowers, sheds and grandfather clocks.
Bundle of Rights
The owner's rights to a property. These rights include, but are not limited to, the right to use, sell, lease or rent, trade or exchange, and give away the property.
To provide fuel for an oceangoing vessel.
Bunker Surcharge
An extra fee by a steamship line when there is an increase in the price of fuel. It is normally assessed as a percentage of the base freight rate.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)
A federal agency that investigates and controls importations of alcohol, tobacco products, firearms and munitions.
A technique used to reduce the buyer's payments for a loan by lowering the effective interest rate. A permanent buy-down reduces payments for the entire term of the loan and a temporary buy-down reduces the payments for a period of about three-to-five years.

C Dictionary Terms

C (Abbr)
Call Provision
See Acceleration Clause.
Cancellation Document
A written agreement to terminate a sales contract.
A limit on the increase of an interest rate for an adjustable rate loan.
Freight being transported by air, ship or vehicle.
Cargo Claim
A claim filed for damage to household goods being transported by Atlas.
The movement of goods by a carrier. See Contract Carriage.
A company in the business of transporting goods between points for compensation.
Carrier Liability
The financial liability for loss or damage of goods based on the value placed on the goods.
Carrier Packed
Cartons packed by Atlas.
Carrier Packed on Inventory
A designation on the inventory showing cartons packed by Atlas.
Carrier's Certificate & Release Order
A document used to advise the U.S. Customs Service of the details of a shipment, including its ownership, point of origin and number of shipping cases. This document certifies that the party named on the certificate is the true owner or consignee and is, therefore, entitled to file for customs release of the cargo.
Carrying Costs
Maintenance expenses resulting from the ownership of a property (especially a residential property) like insurance, utilities and taxes.
Transporting goods to or from storage.
Someone who transports goods within the confines of a port. Also called a Drayman.
Cash Equivalency
An adjustment to a comparable property sale when the sale was financed in a manner atypical of the marketplace. If, for example, the seller backs a loan carrying no interest, the sale would be adjusted downward.
Cash on Delivery (COD)
A shipment that is paid for by the individual at the time of delivery prior to the unloading of the shipment. Also called Collect on Delivery.
Cash Settlement
Cash paid in a claims settlement for loss or damage to property.
Catastrophic Coverage
Insurance protecting against a warehouse fire and other catastrophic occurrences.
CEF (Abbr)
Company Equipment Fleet.
CERS (Abbr)
Carrier Evaluation and Rating System.
Certificate of Occupancy (CO)
A government document stating that a building is fit to be occupied and is free of violations. Also see Physical Damage Insurance.
Certificate of Origin
A document used to determine the country in which the goods were manufactured or produced. It must be signed and sealed by a recognized Chamber of Commerce as certification of the true origin and also may require legalization by a consular office of the destination country.
Certificate of Reasonable Value (CRV)
A Veterans Administration appraisal certificate that states a property's current market value.
Certificate of Title
  1. A statement prepared by a title company, abstractor or attorney confirming the title of a property is clear, marketable and insurable.
  2. A statement issued by a state government verifying ownership and acknowledging liens placed upon any automobile, truck, tractor or other conveyance.
Certificate of Weight
An authoritative statement of the weight of a shipment prepared by a weigh master.
Chain of Title
A history of ownerships, liens and encumbrances of a title.
Chattel Mortgage
A mortgage secured by personal property.
CHG (Abbr)
CK OUT (Abbr)
Check Out.
A written report a customer files with Atlas for payment for loss or damage to property that may have occurred while shipment was in possession of Atlas.
Claim File
A file containing all documents necessary for Atlas' claims administration department to process a claim.
Clean Receipt/Clean Bill of Lading
A bill of lading for goods received in apparent good condition with no damage or missing items.
Closed in Escrow
All funds are distributed and terms of the sale are met, completing the sale transaction.
Closed Mortgage
A mortgage that cannot be prepaid until maturity or during a specific period.
The delivery of the deed after the terms of the contract have been met, making the buyer the official owner of the property.
Closing Assistance
A third-party service that assists an owner in selling a home by funding equity to the owner to buy a new home based on the original home's appraised value. Also called Assigned Sales.
Closing Costs
The costs of purchasing a property in addition to the purchase price, such as fees and insurance.
Closing Statement
A statement of all amounts due in a real estate transaction.
Cloud on the Title
An outstanding claim, lien or encumbrance that affects the property's marketability.
Code Number (CODE)
A number assigned to Atlas van operators, salespeople and agents that is used for identification within the Atlas system.
Collect on Delivery (COD)
See Cash On Delivery.
Commercial Shipment
A shipment of non-household goods.
Commercial Shipper
The company that ships a commercial shipment.
Commercial Truckload Division (CTD)
The division of Atlas that handles commercial shipments, which include new furniture, fixtures, crated exhibits and general commodities. It is part of the Specialized Transportation Group.
  1. The portion of the revenue derived from a shipment payable to the origin agent, booking agent, destination agent or hauler.
  2. An amount paid to a real estate agent or broker upon completing a sale. It is usually a percentage of the sale price.
A promise to loan money to a qualified borrower.
Commitment Fee
A fee paid by a lender to an investor in exchange for the investor's promise to buy a mortgage in the future.
Commodity (COMM)
An economic good or article of commerce when delivered for shipment.
Commodity Rate
A rate applied to a commodity named in a commodity tariff.
Common Elements
Portions of a property — land and structures, including elevators, pools, roofs and floors, but not the individual units — that the owner has a right to use. Each condominium owner owns a percentage of the common elements.
A property equivalent in value to another property used to establish the latter property's value.
Competitive Market Analysis
See Direct Sales Comparison Approach.
Complete Occupancy
When a single shipment completely occupies a van, due to bulk, it is charged on actual weight or 7 pounds per cubic foot of the van, whichever is greater. This does not apply to household goods shipments.
Completion Bonus
An extra payment to an expatriate upon completion of a foreign assignment. Often part of the mobility premium.
Fulfilling the requirements on shipping documents and papers in accordance with government regulations.
Compound Interest
Interest paid on the principal of a mortgage plus the accrued interest.
Concealed Damage
Damage to the contents of a package without apparent damage to the package itself.
Conditional Commitment
A promise to insure a Veterans Administration or Federal Housing Administration loan on a property to a borrower with satisfactory credit, eventually requiring a firm commitment.
Conditional Sales Contract
An agreement in which the seller retains the title to a sold property, but the property is given to the buyer so long as he or she does not default on the conditions of the contract.
Condominium Fee
A common payment by condominium owners allocated to pay expenses.
Condominium Ownership
Individual ownership of one unit in a multiunit development and joint ownership of the common elements outside the unit. See Common Elements.
Conference, Steamship
A conference of vessel operators who provide service within a specified trade route and who agree to certain fixed rates within that route.
An item of value, possibly money or a service, given with the intent of motivating a person to enter into a contract or to discourage a certain act such as a lawsuit.
The person at destination named as the receiver of the shipment.
See Shipment.
The person at origin who arranges for the transportation of the shipment.
The combining of two or more small shipments into one unit between two given points, usually for a rate normally less than that which would have been assessed against each individual shipment within the consolidation. See Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier.
Construction Loan
A short-term loan for financing construction. As the work progresses, the lender makes periodic payments to the builder.
Consular Invoice
A special invoice required by certain countries to control and identify goods being imported into that country.
Consumption Entry
A customs entry applicable to most importation in which the value of the goods exceeds $250.00. Also called Formal Entry.
Container on Flat Car (COFC)
A term used in rail transportation of a steamship container when the container is not mounted on a chassis, requiring special equipment to transfer the container between the flat car and a chassis or flatbed truck. See Trailer On Flat Car.
The use of a standard box, carton, drum or barrel to transport freight.
A requirement or qualification stated in a contract that must be met before the contract is final.
A written agreement or legally enforceable promise between two parties.
Contract Carriage
Transportation of goods by a carrier under a contract, rather than a tariff.
Contract for Deed
A written agreement for the purchase of a property in which the payment or a portion of the selling price is deferred and the seller retains title to the property until full payment is made. The amount owed may be made in installments over a period of time with the remaining balance due at maturity.
Contract Number
The identification number assigned by Atlas to each national account contract.
Contract of Sale
A written agreement for the purchase or sale of property. The buyer agrees to purchase the property at an agreed upon price and the seller agrees to transfer the title to the property by way of a deed.
Contract Rent
The rental income in a lease agreement.
Conventional Loan
A fixed-term, fixed-rate mortgage secured by real estate and paid in monthly payments for a specified term. It is not insured by the Federal Housing Administration or guaranteed by the Veterans Administration.
  1. A deed or written instrument to transfer title or an interest in property.
  2. A means of transportation.
Cooperative Ownership
Ownership of an apartment whereby the building is owned by a corporation and the apartment owner owns stock in the corporation.
The person who sets up and supervises disposition of shipments and coordinates shipments between the origin agent, destination agent, van operator and Atlas.
Corporate Customer Access System (CCAS)
Atlas' on-line computer system that provides customers access to the status of their shipments via computer. Atlas customers receive informative E-mails when their shipments are updated.
Corporate Relocation Policy Development Manual
An Atlas publication that assists companies in developing a corporate relocation policy, including suggestions on criteria for selecting a carrier, a checklist of relocation expenses, and an international section.
Corrective Billing
An invoice correcting charges and/or rates on the original invoice.
See Reconciliation.
A person who signs a legal document and becomes jointly responsible for fulfilling the obligations under the contract.
Cost Approach
Estimating the value of a property by adding the reproduction or replacement cost of the building, less depreciation, to the estimated land value. This approach is the most useful when estimating the value of new construction and service properties like churches.
Cost-Insurance-Freight (CIF)
Used to specify the value of an article at a specific point.
Cost-of-Living Allowance (COLA)
An allowance to compensate a transferring employee for the extra expenses involved in moving to a new location with higher living costs. The new location may demand higher taxes, more expensive housing or transportation, etc. Also called Allowance or Goods and Services Differential when dealing specifically with goods and services.
A return offer made by the buyer or seller after rejecting the previous offer, in an attempt to purchase or sell a property. The counteroffer replaces the original offer.
Country of Assignment
See Host Country.
Country of Origin
See Home Country. Regarding a product, it is the country in which the product is manufactured, produced or grown rather than the country from which it is shipped.
Agreements written into deeds, leases, mortgages, etc., promising performance or nonperformance of certain uses or nonuses of a property.
Credit Rating
A rating based on a person's present financial condition and past credit history.
Credit Report
A report to determine a person's credit rating and ability to pay a loan.
Credit Report Fee
A charge for a credit report.
CRT/FRT (Abbr)
Crate and Freight.
Cube (CU)
A measurement of the capacity or cubic space of a truck or container. The industry average is 7 pounds per cubic foot.
Cube Sheet (CU)
A sheet containing written measurement of household goods items. Also called Table of Measurements.
Currency Adjustment
An extra fee assessed on ocean freight charges to compensate for currency exchange fluctuation between the U.S. dollar and a foreign currency.
A fee imposed by a country on imports and exports. The U.S. Customs Service is the agency responsible for collecting a custom.
Customer Complaint and Inquiry Procedures
A program implemented by Atlas' customer relations department and required by the government to handle complaints and inquiries.
The place or building where custom fees are collected by the U.S. Customs Service.
Customhouse Broker
A person who is licensed by the U.S. Customs Service for brokerage purposes to transact business on behalf of others.
  1. The U.S. Customs Service.
  2. Fees placed on imports and exports.
  3. The place where a physical examination of imports and exports is done.
Customs Clearance
The process of obtaining release of goods from the U.S. Custom Service, including documentation handling and processing, but not including the physical handling of the cargo for examination.
Customs Entry
The filing of all applicable documentation for the importation and release of goods, with the U.S. Customs Service having jurisdiction over the point at which the shipment is to be released.
Customs Examination
A physical inspection of a shipment by the U.S. Customs Service. The customer must provide the opening, closing and repacking of each container inspected.
Customs Registration
The registration of articles with the U.S. Customs Service prior to export of a shipment to prove that it had legally originated at some time in the U.S.
CWT (Abbr)
An abbreviation for per 100 pounds specified weight. It is always qualified as the type of weight involved, e.g., gross, net, gross chargeable, dimensional, etc.

D Dictionary Terms

When a piece of property arrives at the destination in a condition different from pick-up.
Data Sheet
See Fly Sheet.
Date of Entry
The date on which proper documentation is presented by the consignee to the U.S. Customs Service for release of cargo.
Date of Importation
The date on which cargo is available to the consignee for the purposes of filing entry for release with the U.S. Customs Service.
Date of Origination
The beginning date of a loan process.
DC (Abbr)
Prefix for Canadian booking or registration.
DD 1840/1840R
A Department of Defense form used on military moves to advise Atlas of any loss or damage. It is completed jointly at the time of delivery.
DD 619
A Department of Defense form prepared to support packing and accessorial services. It must be signed by the customer or the traffic management officer.
Declared Value Protection
A valuation option that allows the customer to declare a specific amount of value on a shipment, using $1.25 per pound minimum or lump sum value, for an additional charge. This coverage protects goods at today's market price less depreciation.
Decreasing Returns, Law of
When property improvements no longer bring a coinciding increase in property value.
A document that transfers the title of a property from the seller to the buyer upon sale of the property.
Deed in Trust
The transfer of a title to a third-party, who holds the title until the mortgage is paid. Upon payment, the title is transferred to the borrower. If no payment, the third-party may sell the property to pay the debt. Also called Trust Deed.
Deed of Release
The release of a parcel of land from the lien of a mortgage covering several parcels resulting from payment and satisfaction of the mortgage. Also called Release of Lien.
Deed Restrictions
Statements listed in a deed that limit and control the use of a property. These restrictions may involve the actual use of the property or the types of structures allowed on it.
The failure to meet the terms of a contract.
Defect of Record
A burden on a title listed in public record. Defects can be easements, judgments and mortgages.
The difference between the mortgage meant to be paid and the amount at foreclosure.
Delay Claim
A claim filed for expenses incurred as a result of a late pick-up or delivery, usually for motel and meal expenses.
Delinquent Payment
A past-due payment of a financial obligation.
Delivery Date (DD or DEL)
The actual date on which the goods were released to the customer or consignee.
Delivery Order
Permission issued by the consignee to the ocean/air carrier for release of cargo to an inland carrier. It should include all data necessary for identification of the cargo.
Delivery Report
The customer signs this report to verify delivery of goods. A part of the additional services performed at origin/destination and delivery report.
Delivery Spread
See Spread Date.
A charge to the customer for keeping a container, trailer or railcar beyond a specific length of time. Demurrage is mostly used relative to railroads, as opposed to detention, which is more commonly utilized relative to the trucking industry. See Detention and Free-Time.
The ratio of an item's weight to its volume.
Department of Defense (DOD)
The traffic manager for all military moves, and the largest customer in the household goods industry.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
A federal agency responsible for the implementation and administration of government housing and urban development programs.
Department of Transportation (DOT)
The government agency that regulates the transportation industry.
Money paid by the buyer to the seller that secures the contract and protects the seller from breach of contract. This often is called a security deposit with regards to landlords and tenants. See Earnest Money.
Depreciated Cost
The reproduction or replacement cost of a building, less depreciation to the time of appraisal.
A decrease in value of a property. See Appreciation.
Depreciation Guide
A guide showing the average life span of an item and its estimated depreciation each year.
Destination (DEST)
The final point of delivery of the goods as specified by the customer.
Destination Agent (DA)
The destination contact for the customer. This also is the agent who, if shipment is going into storage, is the authorized receiving agent.
Destination Service
Services performed upon arrival of shipment at destination.
A charge to the customer for keeping a container beyond a certain time limit. See Demurrage and Free-Time.
Diminished Utility
See Accrued Depreciation.
Direct Reduction Loan
The principal of this mortgage decreases through monthly payments that, in turn, increase to pay taxes, interest and insurance when due.
Direct Sales Comparison Approach
Estimating the value of a property through a comparison of recent sale prices of similar properties, after an adjustment of time, financing, seller concessions and differences in the properties. This appraisal approach is mostly used by real estate brokers. Also called Competitive Market Analysis or Market Data Approach.
Directed Offer
A company's offer through a third-party relocation firm to purchase an employee's home. The offer may or may not reflect the home's fair market value. It often is more than the selling price of the home and is used to encourage an employee to transfer.
Disassembled by Owner (DBO)
Items are disassembled by owner rather than by Atlas. Atlas is not responsible for the reassembly of these items.
Disclosure Note
A report required to be given to consumers by creditors under the Truth-in-Lending Law. Also called Disclosure Statement.
Disclosure Statement
See Disclosure Note.
Discount Fee/Points
A fee to raise the yield on a lower-than-market interest Veterans Administration loan or Federal Housing Administration loan to make it competitive with a conventional loan. See Point.
Dispatch (DISP)
Coordinates the movement of shipments from origin to destination.
Assumes the task of communicating the route of a shipment to van operators and agents, making sure that instructions are carried out accordingly.
Disposable Income
See Spendable Income.
Disposition of Present Home
The activities and expenses experienced in making the necessary arrangements to sell a house or to break a lease agreement.
Dispute Settlement Program
See Household Goods Dispute Settlement Program.
A change in the destination of a shipment while it is en route and prior to arrival at the original destination on the bill of lading.
An elevated section of a building that is level with a van for ease of loading and unloading.
Dock Receipt
Receipt issued by an ocean carrier or its agent for merchandise delivered at a dock or warehouse awaiting shipment.
Document Fee
A charge for preparation of legal documents such as a mortgage or deed.
Documentary Tax Stamp
A tax in the form of a stamp that is placed on a deed when a title is passed. Also called Transfer Tax or Revenue Stamp.
A small platform on rollers or wheels used to handle freight.
Domestic Shipment
A shipment moving within the continental U.S.
Door-to-Door Service
The service from origin residence to destination residence, exclusive of any storage in transit, customs duties, taxes, warehouse handling, etc.
Door-to-Port Service
The service from origin residence to free arrival of the vessel/aircraft at the destination city, exclusive of any storage in transit, customs duties, taxes, warehouse handling, any charges incurred once the vessel/aircraft has arrived, etc.
Double Contracting
A strategy used to get a higher loan whereby the buyer and seller have a second contract between them at a lesser amount than the original contract. This usually occurs if the buyer does not have enough money for a proper down payment.
Double Maintenance Allowance
See Duplicate Housing Protection.
Down Payment
An amount paid toward the purchase of property.
Moving freight within a city.
The person who performs drayage. Also called Cartman.
Driver (DR)
See Owner-Operator.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
A federal agency empowered to investigate and control entry into the U.S. and the use of illegal drugs and substances within the U.S., often in cooperation with foreign governments. The U.S. Customs Service is mandated to assist the DEA in the policing of cargo entering the U.S. that might warrant the scrutiny of the DEA.
DT (Abbr)
Due-on-Sale Clause
See Acceleration Clause.
Material other than packaging used to prevent damage to freight or to support it in shipment.
A single structure designed to accommodate two families.
Duplicate Carrying Charges
The costs a buyer incurs after purchasing a new home before the present home is sold.
Duplicate Housing Protection
Protection against excess housing costs an expatriate may experience while completing a foreign assignment if the U.S. residency is not rented or occupied. Also called Home Country Housing Protection or Property Management Assistance.
A tax imposed on the importation or exportation of goods by the federal, state or local government.

E Dictionary Terms

Early Possession
The buyer occupies a property prior to closing.
Earnest Money
A deposit that represents a buyer's good-faith intention. Earnest money protects the seller if the buyer breaks the contract, and is usually part of the down payment.
The right to someone else's property for limited use such as placing of electrical and cable wires or installing sewers. See Access, Egress and Ingress.
Economic Life
The total useful life expectancy of a building.
Economic Obsolescence
The loss in value of a property due to economic forces like land use or restrictions of property rights.
Economic Rent
The estimated rent potential of a property that is commanded by the open, competitive market. Rent increases with supply and demand. Compare to Contract Rent.
Education Allowance
A sum provided for an expatriate's children if the new foreign location does not provide adequate schooling. Also called Schooling Allowance.
Effective Age
The age of a building determined by its observed condition rather than its actual chronological age. The effective age can be influenced by depreciation, maintenance and remodeling/additions.
Effective Bottomline Discount (EBLD)
Overall discount of contract shipments taking into effect all free charges and split discounts using the effective date of the contract as the base for the gross distributable charges. Total billable charges divided by total gross charges.
The right to leave a tract of land. See Ingress, Access and Easement.
Elevator, Stair Carry and Long Carry Charge
A tariff charge assessed to the customer whenever any one or more of these services are necessary to accomplish pickup or delivery. This is a per hundred weight charge, based on the actual weight carried.
En Route (ENRT)
On the way.
A claim, lien or charge on a property that lessens its value, or an obstruction that affects the physical condition of a property.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
A federal agency empowered to investigate and control entry into the U.S. of any motor vehicle not meeting federal emission control standards.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)
A federal law requiring lenders to loan without discrimination.
The interest an owner has in a property that increases as payments increase.
Equity Bridge Loan
A loan borrowed against the worth of the borrower and the remaining amount owed. See Bridge Loan.
Escalator Clause
A contract statement granting the adjustment of certain payments to cover contingencies required in the contract like interest rates, maintenance and insurance.
The delivery of funds and/or documents to a third-party to be held by the third-party until satisfaction of certain conditions. Escrow is usually used to close real estate transactions.
Escrow Account
An account into which escrow funds are disbursed. Also called Impound Account.
Escrow Closing
See Closed in Escrow.
Escrow Fees
Fees charged by a third-party responsible for holding escrow funds in an account for the buyer and seller.
Escrow Payment
The designated portion of a mortgagor's monthly payment to be held by the third-party to pay for taxes, insurance, etc.
Established Value
See Appraisal Value.
Estimate (EST)
An approximate calculation of the size, value, cost and, especially, weight of a shipment or the cost of transportation and services.
Estimate/Order for Service
A computation estimating the services and charges required to handle the transportation of goods, and an order to proceed with the transportation.
Estimated Cost of Service (EST)
A written document used by the origin agent as a preliminary inventory of a shipment to determine approximate charges for weight, special services, mileage, rate, charges, etc.
Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA)
The estimated time the shipment will arrive at destination.
Estimated Time of Departure (ETD)
The estimated time the van operator will leave the origin with the shipment or estimated date on which a vessel is to depart from a seaport.
Estimated Weight
An approximate weight of a shipment determined by multiplying the estimated cubes by 7 pounds.
Exception Report
A report itemizing additions or changes to the original inventory.
Excess Tax Reimbursement Procedure
See Tax Equalization.
Exchange Agreement
See Interchange Agreement.
Excise Tax
A government tax imposed on the consumption, manufacturing or sale of commodities, but not on property.
Exclusion Clause
See Waiver Clause.
Exclusive Agency
The real estate agency designated the sole agency for the sale of a property that can collect commission on the sale of the property if the property is sold by anyone other than the seller.
Exclusive Booking Letter
An Atlas term pertaining to corporate account shipments where the account has given Atlas specific written instructions as to which Atlas agent is preferred to serve as the booking agent for its shipments.
Exclusive Right to Sell Listing
An agreement between the owner and real estate agent that gives the agent the right to sell and collect commission on a property if sold by anyone except the seller.
Exclusive Use
When a customer requests that a shipment travel alone on a van, the customer will be charged actual weight, 9800 pounds or minimum of 7 pounds per cubic foot of the vehicle.
Exempt Commodities
Commodities that are exempt from government rules and regulations for carriers.
A tax discount given to eligible taxpayers by the government.
An advertising vehicle whereby an company demonstrates a product or service to prospective customers at a trade show.
Exhibit Shipment Control Information Form
A form to provide clear, complete and uniform information about each exhibit shipment to all participants involved in handling the shipment.
An Atlas all-risk policy to cover the exhibit properties and products during all phases of a trade show.
A U.S. citizen employed and living in a foreign country.
Expatriate Premium
See Foreign Service Premium.
Expedited Service
A special request for delivery of a less than 5000-pound shipment on a specified date. The customer pays for a 5000-pound shipment, more weight than the actual weight of the shipment, so better service can be provided.
Export Declaration
A federal joint Bureau of the Census/International Trade Administration form used for compiling official U.S. export statistics and for enforcing U.S. export control laws and regulations. A form must be filed for all shipments, including household goods shipments, having a value of $500.00 or more.
Export License
A license issued to a customer by the Office of Export Administration authorizing export of a specified technology, product or manufacture of the U.S. to a specified country, in a specified quantity and for a specified time period.
Extended Liability
A valuation extension on a shipment in storage in transit.
See Notification of Delay.
Extra Delivery
A portion of a shipment unloaded at a location other than the destination address indicated on the bill of lading.
Extra Pickup
A portion of a shipment loaded at a location other than the origin address indicated on the bill of lading. Also called Extra Stop.
Extra Stop
See Extra Pickup.
Extraction Method
See Abstraction.

F Dictionary Terms

F (Abbr)
Forwarding (as in freight forwarding).
Fair Market Value (FMV)
See Market Value.
Fannie Mae
See Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA).
Farmer's Home Administration (FmHA)
A Department of Agriculture agency that provides financing to farmers or rural area buyers who usually cannot obtain a loan elsewhere.
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC)
A corporation, authorized by Congress, that provides secondary mortgage market support for conventional mortgages. Also called Freddie Mac.
Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
A government agency that insures first mortgages, but does not lend money and sets the conditions of homes and the financial conditions of borrowers. It is a division of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA)
A corporation, created by Congress, that provides support to the secondary mortgage market for conventional mortgages. Also called Fannie Mae.
Fee Simple
The largest possible estate, right of ownership or interest in a property a person can have without time limitation.
A person serving in a position of trust and confidence for another.
Final Value Estimate
See Reconciliation.
Finance Charge
A fee that must be paid to get a loan.
Firm Commitment
An agreement to loan or insure a loan on a property.
First Mortgage
A mortgage that is first obtained on a home and is first to be foreclosed.
First Proviso
An old designation for household goods.
Fixed Ceiling For Repairs
A clause in an offer to purchase asking the seller to pay for any repairs the purchaser sees necessary. These costs are usually negotiated in an offer.
Fixed Expenses
Annual costs, like taxes or insurance, that must be paid whether or not the property is occupied.
Fixed-Rate Loan
A mortgage loan in which the interest rate stays the same for the term of the loan.
An item that once was personal property, but became real property when it was affixed to real estate. The item, unless specifically noted by the seller, will be included in the sale of the property. Large appliances are often left behind by the seller and added to the sale.
Flat Floor
A term referring to the structure of the floor of a trailer. A freight flat floor is level from the trailer's nose to its back door. A household goods trailer floor is initially level, but drops at the front deck, then becomes level again, and is not a flat floor.
Flatbed Carrier
A carrier using flatbed trailers under the terms, rates and authorities of a household goods carrier for transport of containerized household goods between ports and/or warehouses. Charges for such carriage are normally based on net weight of the shipment, but often subject to a specified minimum density factor.
Flexible Payment Loan
A fixed-term, fixed-rate mortgage, with a reduced monthly payment, where a portion of the down payment goes into escrow and the borrower pays reduced payments that gradually increase over time. The balance of the payment comes from the escrow account until payment reaches the full amount.
Floodplain Insurance
Federal government insurance for flood damage in a floodplain area.
Fly Sheet
A document containing specific information on each real estate listing such as room descriptions. Also called Data Sheet or Information Sheet.
FMCSR (Abbr)
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Delaying foreclosure on a mortgage with an agreement to make up payments at a later date.
Procedure whereby a lender sells a property to collect payment due to default and to pay off debt.
Foreign Post
See Host Country.
Foreign Salary
See Host Country Payment.
Foreign Service Premium
A cash allowance given to an employee who agrees to transfer to a foreign location. Also called International Adjustment Allowance or International Assignment Premium.
Foreign Service Vacation
A vacation to the expatriate's home country while still assigned to a foreign location. The price of the trip is usually reimbursed or partly reimbursed by the company, but regular vacation time is used.
Foreign Trade Zone
Land set aside, normally within a port area, to which cargo can be transferred for storage, manipulation or processing without payment of duties at the time of the transfer. The cargo can leave the zone for direct export or, upon payment of duty, can be shipped or distributed within the U.S.
The loss of the right of something because of failure to meet the terms of an agreement.
Formal Entry
See Consumption Entry.
Forwarding Fee
A fee charged by a lender for information on a loan such as processing a mortgage payoff.
Freddie Mac
See Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC).
Free on Board (FOB)
Used to clarify who pays freight charges in connection with the selling price of an article by the seller to the buyer at a specified point. It must always be followed by clarification as to what point the cargo has been handled free on board, e.g., dock of warehouse at origin, and should always specify to what point the freight charges have been prepaid.
A period of time specified by a carrier during which no charge will be assessed for holding cargo at a pier, dock, warehouse facility, etc., pending pickup by a consignee, or for allowing a container, trailer or railcar to be held by a customer or consignee for loading or unloading. See Demurrage and Detention.
Goods to be shipped or transported.
Freight All Kinds (FAK)
Rates assessed regardless of the commodity being transported. It is normally used with ocean or rail carriage, and normally only when no specific commodity rate is available.
Freight Bill
A document for describing a shipment, its weight, amount of charges, the rate for charges, taxes and whether charges are collected or prepaid.
Freight Charges
The charge assessed for transporting freight.
Freight Forwarder
A licensed business that assembles and dispatches shipments on behalf of others in foreign or domestic commerce and handles the formalities involved with such shipments.
Front Footage
The measurement of the length of the property line that borders the street.
Fuel Surcharge
A mechanism for distributing needed fuel-cost recovery revenue to van operators and haulers who are responsible for purchasing fuel.
Full Value Protection (FVP)
A valuation option under which Atlas assumes liability to the customer for either the full cost of repairs or the replacement value of articles lost, missing or destroyed without deduction for depreciation, subject to the terms of Atlas tariffs. If the customer chooses an optional deductible, he or she assumes the loss up to the deductible amount.
The treatment of disinfecting goods that have been exposed to insects or bacteria. It often is requested by the customer or is required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or another government agency.
Functional Obsolescence
Defects in a structure that take away from its value, and ultimately, its marketability. Such defects usually involve physical or design features of the structure that are no longer desirable to property buyers. These defects are referred to as curable if they can be replaced and incurable if they cannot.
Furniture Allowance
See Household Furnishing Allowance.

G Dictionary Terms

General Average
A loss due to a successful voluntary sacrifice of any part of a vessel or cargo to avoid loss of the whole vessel or cargo. The value of such a loss is apportioned among all customers and the vessel itself. Until the assessment is paid, a lien lies against the whole cargo aboard the vessel.
General Commodities
Common freight, except for Class A and B explosives, bulk commodities and household goods.
General Commodity Rate
Rates assessed regardless of the goods being transported, normally applied to air carriage, and only used when no specific commodity rate is available.
General Order Drayage
Government cartage ordered by the U.S. Customs Service for transfer from a pier, dock or warehouse facility, and deposited into a specified bonded warehouse. See General Order Merchandise.
General Order Merchandise
Cargo taken into custody by the U.S. Customs Service whenever entry was not made within a period of time as specified by law. Custody is held at a general order warehouse until released by the U.S. Customs Service.
General Order Storage
Storage ordered by the U.S. Customs Service. See General Order Merchandise.
General Services Administration (GSA)
The government agency that hands out the rules for government moves. The GSA also grades all carriers on performance, and manages, leases and sells buildings belonging to the government.
Geographic Management
A third-party who works with transferees moving out of a specific geographical area, regardless of the corporate client.
Ginnie Mae
See Government National Mortgage Association.
Goods and Services Differential
An allowance to compensate a transferring employee for differences in the cost of goods and services between the old location and the new location. Also called Cost-of-Living Allowance or Allowance.
GOV (Abbr)
Government Bill of Lading (GBL)
The contract for goods being transported for any agency of the federal government.
Government Bill of Lading Shipper
A customer from any agency of the federal government whose household goods are being transported under a government bill of lading.
Government Cartage
Must be performed by a licensed customhouse cartman or drayman under contract with the U.S. Customs Office issuing the cartage or drayage order. See General Order Drayage.
Government Distribution Release (GDBR)
Computerized system to monitor settlement release of government shipments.
Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA)
A federal agency that guarantees mortgage-backed securities sold to investors.
Graduated-Payment Mortgage
A loan in which the monthly payments gradually increase as a person's income increases until the loan is paid.
Grant Deed
A warranted title to assure that the estate has not been previously conveyed to another, that the property has not been encumbered and that the grant will convey any title later acquired.
The purchaser of property. The person receiving a transfer of title.
The seller of property. The person transferring a title.
Gross Chargeable Weight
Gross chargeable is equal to one pound chargeable for 166 cubic inches of consumed space by the shipment in the air freight industry. This converts to a density factor of 10.42 pounds per cubic foot on the net weight.
Gross Income
A person's total income before taxes and expenses.
Gross Income Multiplier
A number to express the relationship of gross income to sales price. The figure is calculated by multiplying the price by the gross annual income.
Gross Lease
A lease whereby the landlord pays for all regular charges like repairs, taxes, insurance and operating expenses that normally come with ownership, and the tenant pays a fixed rent.
Gross Weight
The weight of the truck after a shipment has been loaded.
Ground Lease
A long-term lease for land only, requiring the lessee to build his or her own building as stated in the lease.
Group Move
Planning, organizing and executing every aspect of both the facility and employee relocation.
Growth Equity Mortgage
A loan, similar to the graduated-payment mortgage, where the monthly payment on a fixed-rate mortgage increases as the person's income increases.
Guaranteed Pick-Up and Delivery Service
An additional level of service whereby dates of service are guaranteed with Atlas providing reimbursement for delays. This premium service is often subject to minimum weight requirements.

H Dictionary Terms

HA (Abbr)
Prefix on Household goods registration.
Handling Charge
A charge normally applied at both the port of embarkation and port of debarkation to cover the physical handling of cargo.
Hardship Allowance
A continuing sum paid to an expatriate assigned to a location with hazardous living and/or working conditions.
The van operator or agent that actually performs the service of transporting the goods on his or her equipment.
Hauling Agent
The agent the hauling operator represents.
Hazard Insurance
Insurance protecting against fire, flood, wind, etc.
Hazardous Materials Handbook
A manual for van operators containing vital information on hazardous materials. Operators must be familiar with this manual if hauling this commodity.
Health Certificate
  1. A certified statement from a physician as to the health and physical condition of an individual, often required to substantiate the need for a specific prescription drug.
  2. A certified statement from a veterinarian as to the health, medical history, inoculation history and physical condition of a domestic pet. Normally required for entry of domestic pets into certain countries.
A person hired by the van operator or agent to assist in the loading and unloading of goods.
Hidden Defect
An imperfection or anything that limits the interest on a title that is unknown in public records. This may include forged documents, unknown heirs or marriages, etc. A hidden defect also may apply to the property itself, such as a defective electrical wiring, that may not be discovered through inspection.
Highest and Best Use
The use of a property that is most likely to produce the largest income and highest value. Opposite of Adverse Land Use.
Home Country
The homeland of an expatriate or the location from which an expatriate was transferred.
Home Country Housing Protection
See Duplicate Housing Protection.
Home Leave
A visit to the home country by an expatriate while still assigned to a host country. This cost is usually reimbursed or partly reimbursed by the company, but regular vacation time is used.
Home Leave Allowance
An allowance for the costs of a home leave. This allowance may be a portion of the costs, for a specific expense, or open-ended.
Home Location Housing Cost
The normal costs of living in a certain U.S. location with a particular income and family size.
Home Value
An estimate of the current market price at which a home is most likely to sell.
Home-Finding Assistance
Buyer assistance offered by a third-party that gives the buyer pertinent information about the new location.
Home-Finding Trip
A trip taken by a transferring employee to the new location to find a home.
Homeowner's Insurance Policy
A residential insurance policy that covers the house and its contents.
Host Country
The foreign location in which an expatriate resides until completion of an assignment. Also called Foreign Post.
Host Country Payment
The total salary paid to an expatriate in the host country. This amount is usually compared to the amount of the home salary. Also called Foreign Payment.
Hours of Service
The maximum legal hours a van operator may drive and work.
Household Furnishing Allowance
An amount given an expatriate to furnish the home, either partially or fully, in the event a household goods shipment was not permitted. Also called Furniture Allowance.
Household Goods (HHG)
Personal goods or property used or to be used in a home.
Household Goods Carriers' Bureau (HGCB)
Tariff publishers.
Household Goods Descriptive Inventory
See Inventory.
Household Goods Dispute Settlement Program
The program that provides for an alternate means of resolving disputes between Atlas and COD customers. Also called Dispute Settlement Program.
Household Goods Transportation Act
A federal law enacted to make household goods carriers responsible for the acts of their agents.
Housing Allowance
See Cost-of-Living Allowance, Allowance, and Goods and Services Differential.
Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
See Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Housing Differential
The paid difference between the housing costs of the host location and the home location when the former exceeds the latter.
To pledge personal or real property as security for a loan or obligation without giving it up.
Hypothetical Tax
An imaginary tax assessed against an expatriate to aid in determining the approximate taxes the expatriate would pay if still living in the U.S. See Tax Equalization.

I Dictionary Terms

Immediate Transportation Entry
Allows the cargo to be moved from the port or airport of entry to an inland destination via a bonded carrier. Customs clearance and payment of duty, if applicable, will be accomplished at the inland point.
To bring goods in from a foreign country.
Import Permit
A special permit or license issued by a government agency before various items can be imported into that country. May vary with product and/or country.
Impound Account
See Escrow Account.
Renovations and structures added to a home or land like a fence, driveway, curb, sidewalk and sewer that increase the use, value and marketability of the home or land. Improvements on land are usually privately owned structures. Improvements to land are usually publicly owned, but aid in the development of the land.
IN (Abbr)
Prefix for an Indiana intrastate booking or registration.
In Bond
A term referring to the status of merchandise admitted provisionally into a country without payment of duty or permanent release by the U.S. Customs Service, for placement into storage or for transport to another point where permanent release and assessment of duties will be accomplished, or where the goods will be exported from the U.S. All additional charges are assessed by the customer.
These are minor expenses like laundry or telephone calls that occur during a temporary relocation.
INCL (Abbr)
Incline Dolly
Equipment used to move goods on or off stairs. It often is used with a stairmobile. See Stairmobile.
Income Approach
Estimating income-producing property value by means of capitalization of net operating income. This appraisal approach is useful in estimating the value of apartments, offices, shopping centers and other investment properties. Also called the Income Capitalization Approach.
Income Capitalization Approach
See Income Approach.
A promise to reimburse a person for damage or loss.
Independent Contractor
See Owner-Operator.
Used to measure periodic interest rate fluctuations for an adjustable rate mortgage.
Individual Shipper
The individual requesting movement of a shipment and paying the transportation charges.
INFO (Abbr)
Info Claim File
A claim that has been received from a customer with no claimed amounts.
Informal Entry
A customs entry applicable to household goods and professional tools of the trade, relative to an individual's own transfer to the U.S., whether or not such articles are subject to duty.
Information Sheet
See Fly Sheet.
The right to enter a tract of land. See Egress, Access and Easement.
Inherent Vice
An existing condition of an article that may cause damage to that article if transported.
Inland Bill of Lading
Used to document transportation of goods between two points within the U.S., usually between an inland point and a port or airport. See Air Waybill and Bill of Lading.
INS (Abbr)
Installment Contract
A contract between the buyer and seller whereby the buyer pays for the property in installments for a period of time, but the seller holds the title until the final payment is made.
Installment Note
See Note.
Installment Sale
A shorter fixed-term, lower-than-conventional, fixed-rate mortgage offered by the seller to the buyer for a specified annual payment creating lower monthly payments and a balloon payment at the end of the term.
A legal written document such as a grant, deed or contract.
Insurance Binder
A temporary title coverage that must be replaced by a permanent policy.
The transportation of one carrier's equipment by another carrier. See Interlining.
Interchange Agreement
An agreement between two carriers allowing for the equipment of one carrier to be transported or used by the other carrier, outlining responsibilities for liability of the equipment and any per diem charges.
A charge for borrowed money. Interest is a percentage of the principal.
Interest Rate
A charge, expressed in a percentage, for use of a lender's money.
Interim Living Allowance
See Temporary Living Allowance.
The transfer of a shipment from one point to another between two different carriers. See Interchange.
Freight shifted from one mode of transportation to another (road to rail, rail to ocean, road to air), with the freight generally in shipping containers and meeting certain criteria previously agreed upon among the carriers involved.
Internal Packaging
The supporting of goods inside a package to protect against damage during transportation.
International Adjustment Allowance
See Foreign Service Premium.
International Air Transport Association (IATA)
An International Air Carrier's organization that focuses on matters of rates, handling documentation procedure, etc.
International Assignment Premium
See Foreign Service Premium.
Interstate Move
A shipment moving between two or more states.
Intrastate Move
A shipment moving within only one state.
Inventory (INV)
A listing of all goods contained in a shipment and their condition. It is used as a condition report and as a receipt of acceptance of the goods by the customer. Also called Household Goods Descriptive Inventory.
The bill presented to the customer for payment of charges.
Involuntary Lien
A lien that is imposed against a property by law without consent of the owner.
Irregular Route Carrier
Any carrier providing non-scheduled service over irregular routes.
Irrevocable Consent
An agreement incapable of being changed or revoked.
Separate provisions in a tariff.

J Dictionary Terms

Joint Rate
A single rate between an origin and destination point offered by two or more connecting carriers.
Joint Tenancy
Joint ownership by two or more persons having equal rights in the property. If one owner dies, the surviving owner receives that share. Also called Tenancy by the Entirety.
Judgment Lien
A lien on a property resulting from a judicial decision.
Junior Mortgage
A mortgage second in lien to a previous mortgage. A Second Mortgage.

L Dictionary Terms

L/D (Abbr)
Loss and Damage claim.
A person hired by the van operator or agent to assist in the loading and unloading of goods.
Land Contract
A contract agreement in which the seller retains title to a sold property, but gives the property to the buyer so long as the buyer does not default on the terms of the contract.
Land Transfer Tax
A state tax on the transfer of land. It is used to determine the land's fair market value.
Landbridge, Full
Carriage from one foreign port to another foreign port, passing across the entire U.S. via rail or truck. For example, vessel carriage from a foreign country into New York, rail or truck carriage to the West Coast, and vessel again to a foreign destination port.
Landbridge, Micro
A movement on a single bill of lading between an inland point in the U.S. and a foreign port. For example, St. Louis by rail to Baltimore, then vessel carriage to a foreign port.
Landbridge, Mini
A movement on a single bill of lading between a U.S. port and a foreign port, but moving through a different U.S. port. For example, Los Angeles to Houston via rail, then vessel carriage to a foreign destination port.
Landed Value
Value of goods upon arrival at destination, including the cost or value of the goods themselves, plus all costs incurred for packaging, packing, containerization, freight charges, transportation, insurance charge and handling, through to the destination.
Last Receiving
A deadline date and time specified by a carrier by which cargo must be received at a designated location so that such cargo can be boarded on a particular vessel, aircraft, truck or railcar.
Late Charge
A fee charged to the borrower if mortgage payments are received late, or by a customer if a shipment is not picked up or delivered within the specified dates.
Late Delivery
Delivery of goods to the destination after the agreed delivery dates.
LB (Abbr)
LD (Abbr)
A contract transferring the right to occupy exclusive possession of a property for rent.
Lease Cancellation Penalty
A fee charged to a tenant if he or she breaks the lease before the end of the lease.
A personal property interest a tenant has in property during the term of a lease.
Legal Description
A property description that identifies the location of the property from government surveys and maps, not street address.
The firm lending money to a borrower in a loan transaction. Also called Mortgagee.
Lender's Inspection Fee
A charge for inspections made by the lender.
Lender's Title Insurance
A title policy protecting the lender against loss due to problems with a title. Usually written for the amount of the loan and paid by the buyer through a onetime premium.
A person who rents property under a lease. A tenant.
Lessee Interest
The interest a lessee has in a property if the agreed rent is less than the economic rent.
A person who rents property to another. A landlord.
Less-Than-Containerload (LCL)
When goods shipped by a carrier, normally a steamship, are placed into a common container with other cargo or loose into the holds of the vessel. Less-Than-Carload applies to rail transport.
Less-Than-Truckload (LTL)
When goods shipped by a carrier share a trailer with other customers' cargo. Also used applicable to rates based on such individual cargo as opposed to full utilization of a trailer.
Letter of Authority
A letter authorizing Atlas to move an employee, assuring that the commercial account will pay for the move if no purchase order or order for service is used.
Letter of Credit
An agreement by a bank guaranteeing the bank will honor a customer's drafts or payments.
Letter of Indemnity
A document used to obtain release of cargo from a steamship line without the original ocean bill of lading.
The ability to control a large amount of real estate with a little amount of money.
The process of imposing a tax upon a person or property.
See Carrier Liability.
Liability Insurance
Insurance to cover property damage and/or bodily injury to someone else.
A charge a person has on the property of another to secure a debt. For example, a lien can be placed on a property by the government if the taxes were not paid.
Lighter Aboard Ship (LASH)
A vessel that carries floating barges aboard an oceangoing vessel, normally termed the mother vessel. Cargo is loaded onto the barges at a dock or pier facility at the port and then the barges are towed on the mother vessel at anchor in the harbor.
Transports goods on a barge or other water conveyance to/from a vessel within a port or by the same means between two points within the port.
Limited Partnership
A partnership of one or more people who are fully liable and one or more people who are liable only for the amount they have invested.
Line Item
A single commodity or article classification as listed on a U.S. Customs Service entry under a single tariff schedule classification number. Each different item on the entry such as a different tariff schedule classification is termed a line item. Customhouse brokers will assess a fee for each line item required on an entry.
Linehaul (LH)
The transportation revenues on a shipment.
Linehaul Discount Program (LHD)
A program that applies to residential and national account, household goods shipments moving within the U.S. (except for Hawaii) or to or from Canada. Under this pricing option, the charges are based on actual weight and actual rates less than linehaul discount.
Linehaul Protection Program (LHP)
A program that applies to residential and national account, household goods shipments moving within the U.S. (except for Hawaii) or to or from Canada. Under this pricing option, the customer is given a binding price or a specific linehaul discount based on the actual weight and actual services, whichever is less.
A contract between a seller and a broker authorizing the agent to secure the sales of a property.
Living Allowance
See Allowance, Cost-of-Living Allowance, and Goods and Services Differential.
Load Date
The date on which the shipment is actually picked up.
Load Spread
Agreed pick-up dates.
Money borrowed to be repaid with interest.
Loan Origination Fee
A one-time charge for processing a loan, usually a percentage of the loan amount.
Loan Qualification
The criteria a borrower must meet to ensure his or her ability to make payments on the loan.
Loan Submission
Documents on a property that are used in the review and consideration of a mortgage application.
Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV)
The ratio of a mortgage's principal to the property's appraised value or sales price, expressed as a percentage.
Local Move
A move within a particular geographical area like a town or district instead of a state or country.
Local Rates
Varying rates charged by a carrier based within a local area.
System to expedite cash receipts from national account customers. All account invoices should direct payment to one of the two lockbox addresses based on the account's zip code.
Lock-In Rate
A fixed interest rate on a mortgage that is set for the buyer to take advantage of during a specified time period.
Log Book
A daily record of the hours worked and the route traveled by a van operator.
Long Carry
Carrying goods the distance from the van to the outside entrance of a home or inside entrance of an apartment in excess of 75 feet. Each 50 feet after, or fraction thereof, is chargeable. See Elevator, Stair Carry and Long Carry Charge.
Long Distance
A shipment that cannot be serviced in one day because of the distance of the move.
Loose Stow
Individual pieces or cartons loaded directly into a steamship or air container for transport, as opposed to the articles being containerized.
Lump Sum Value
Declaring a specific amount of valuation in excess of $1.25 per pound times the weight of a shipment. See Declared Value Protection.
A person hired by the van operator or agent to assist in the loading and unloading of goods.

M Dictionary Terms

Manner of Payment Verification
A form sent by the lender to the borrower's previous lender for verification of payment and manner of payment of the borrower.
Points added to the index to determine the interest rate on an adjustable rate mortgage.
Market Data Approach
See Direct Sales Comparison Approach.
Market Price
The current actual selling price of a property.
Market Value
The price that would be paid for a property based on market trends. Also called Fair Market Value.
Marketable Title
A title clear of liens and acceptable to a buyer.
Maturity Date
The end of a mortgage's term when the mortgage is paid in full or renewed.
Maximum Collection Option (MCO)
If the actual cost of a shipment exceeds the estimated cost, Atlas may collect 110% of the original estimate from the customer upon delivery and the remaining balance due within 30 days. Also called 110% Collection Option.
Mechanical Damage
Damage to an item because of mechanical malfunctions, not mishandling from the van operator.
Mechanic's Lien
A lien created for a person who has performed work or furnished materials in the improvement or building of property to secure payment of materials.
Metes and Bounds
A deed description defining the boundaries of a land by directions and distances.
MF (Abbr)
Motor Freight.
Mileage Guide
Official guide specified by tariff and used by carriers to determine mileage from one city to another, regardless of the route actually driven.
One-tenth of one cent used to compute property tax.
Minimum Charge
The minimum fee for which a shipment may be legally handled.
Minimum Density
The minimum weight-to-cube ratio of a surface shipment on which the weigh charge of the shipment will be computed. For air freight, see Gross Chargeable Weight.
Minimum Weight
The designated weight level at which a particular rate must be assessed. Below this level, higher rates may be applicable; above this level, lower rates may be considered.
Miscellaneous Carrying Costs
The costs of owning and maintaining both the old and new homes that are not covered under general maintenance.
Miscellaneous Expenses
The costs for the new home comforts like draperies, cable television installation and appliance hook-up.
A false statement of fact made with the intent of inducing action by another party.
Mobility Premium
A sum paid to an expatriate upon completion of a foreign assignment. It sometimes includes a completion bonus. Also called Acceptance Bonus.
Monthly Payments
Payments made to a mortgage on a monthly basis, including the interest on the previous month.
An instrument giving a lender a lien on property to secure payments of a loan.
Mortgage Broker
A licensed person who negotiates the mortgage contract between the borrower and the lender.
Mortgage Escrow
See Escrow Account.
Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC)
A private insurer of residential mortgage loans.
Mortgage Insurance
An insurance plan that will pay off the remaining balance of a mortgage if the mortgagor dies or becomes disabled.
Mortgage Insurance Application Fee
A processing charge for application of mortgage insurance.
Mortgage Interest
See Interest.
Mortgage Interest Differential (MID)
An amount paid by a company to an employee to offset any difference in the interest rates between the old mortgage and the new mortgage.
Mortgage Service Charge
A fee charged by a lender for the purpose of processing a mortgage loan application. Also called Origination Fee.
Mortgage Subsidy
A financing method that allows a homebuyer to reside in a home for a specified period of time before making monthly payments. Money saved is applied to the down payment or is deposited into an account to fund additional expenses.
Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS)
Investment securities whereby an investor holds undivided interest in mortgages or trust deeds and receives income from them to pay for the investment. The securities are guaranteed by many mortgages.
The lender in a mortgage transaction.
The person who borrows money for a mortgage loan.
Mother Vessel
An oceangoing vessel that carries barges under a lighter aboard ship service. See Lighter Aboard Ship.
Motor Carrier (MC)
A carrier by motor vehicle.
Motor Vehicle Inventory
A form used when transporting an automobile, motorcycle or boat that lists the vehicle's miles and condition at both origin and destination.
MRT (Abbr)
Military Rate Tender.
Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
A system real estate brokers use that consists of a list of homes for sale in a particular community, including descriptions and facts about the areas. Brokers must be members of the National Association of Realtors® to participate in the service.
Municipal Lien Fee
A charge for a document from the city in which the property is located.
Municipal Requirements
Local municipality requirements that must be met to transfer a title.

N Dictionary Terms

Narrative Appraisal Report
A report detailing the reasoning behind an appraiser's estimate of value.
National Account (NA or NAC)
A company that uses Atlas' moving services to transport household goods for its employees or other parties, products, general commodities, exhibits or new products.
National Account Management
The managing of a national account by a third-party. The third-party deals with the clients nationally without considering the geographic location of the transferring employee.
National Account Shipment
A shipment paid for by a company, rather than the householder.
National Association of Realtors (NAR)
The largest and most prestigious real estate organization, consisting of 800,000 Realtors® and Realtor-Associates® who are associated with local boards and state associations, and who must abide by a strict code of ethics. Brokers who are members of the state and local NAR may use the trademark Realtor®. Salespeople may use Realtor-Associate®.
National Mortgage Indexes
National indexes influencing variable rate mortgages. The three indexes include six-month treasury bills, three-year treasury securities and the Federal Home Loan Bank Board national mortgage contract interest rate for previously occupied homes.
Negative Amortization
A reversal of amortization whereby a loan's unpaid principal balance increases because payments made to the loan do not cover the full amount of interest due.
Net Weight
The actual weight of a shipment obtained by subtracting the tare weight from the gross weight.
New Products (NP)
Unfinished items to be transported to manufacture a completed product or finished items that do not come under the classification of the special products tariff.
Nonconforming Use
Property use that was once acceptable but now is prohibited by zoning laws.
Nonliquidity Rate
A charge for time needed to turn real estate into cash.
Nonmilitary Shipment
A U.S. government shipment that is not a Department of Defense move.
Nonpeak Season Rates
The linehaul rates that apply on all household goods shipments moving between October 1 and May 14.
Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC)
Combines or consolidates small less-than-containerload shipments or orders of one or more customers by stowing such cargo into steamship containers.
Normal Destination Service
Delivery to and unpacking at a single family residence occupying a single ground floor, with such residence readily accessible from a public thoroughfare, with unpacking performed at the time of the initial delivery to the residence and applicable removal of any packing materials, dunnage, debris, at that time. Any services not falling within this description would be considered non-standard and would necessitate additional charges to the customer for the services rendered.
Normal Origin Service
The proper preparation of a household goods shipment at the origin residence, with such residence readily accessible from a public thoroughfare; the containerization of the goods, with such containerization being performed either at the origin residence or at the warehouse of the origin agent, dependent upon applicable procedures or commitments made for the handling of a specific shipment.
A written promise and acknowledgement to pay a debt by a specified time. Also called Promissory Note or Installment Note.
Notification Address
Destination address of customer for contact.
Notification of Delay
Atlas advises the customer that the shipment will be late, along with the reason for delay, the last known location and the new dates set by Atlas. Also called Extensions.
NTF or NTR (Abbr)

O Dictionary Terms

OC (Abbr)
Prefix on Central zone registration.
See Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.
Ocean Bill of Lading
A receipt for the cargo and contract for transportation between a customer and an ocean carrier between points and/or ports as stated on the document. It can either be negotiable or non-negotiable.
OE (Abbr)
Prefix on Eastern zone registration.
A written proposal made by the potential buyer to the seller in the purchase of property.
Office of Export Administration (OEA)
A federal agency that investigates and controls exports of certain articles of U.S. manufacture or technologies, as well as limits the countries to which such articles can be exported. Numerous such articles and technologies require valid export licenses or permits issued by OEA for exportation to countries and, in some instances, exportation will be prohibited.
OPA (Abbr)
Out Per Agent.
Open Listing
Unlike the exclusive right to sell listing, this gives the opportunity of securing a purchaser to a number of real estate brokers without the disadvantage of compensating any agent except the one who secures a buyer or acceptance by the seller.
Open Mortgage
Gives the borrower the ability to make a partial or full payment of the principal at any time and without penalty.
Open-End Mortgage
An expandable mortgage allowing the mortgagor to borrow more money without rewriting the initial mortgage.
Operating Authority
The government permit that defines the scope of a carrier's operation by area and commodity.
Opinion of Value
See Broker Price Opinion.
The right to purchase a property under certain conditions, time limitations and a designated price.
Oral Contract
A verbal agreement.
Order for Service
A written agreement between the individual shipper and Atlas authorizing Atlas to move the customer's goods. This is not the contract, but is used as a supporting document to the bill of lading.
The beginning location from which a shipment is transported.
Origin Agent (OA)
The agent at origin who handles the estimating, scheduling, conducting of a survey, packing and loading of a shipment at the place of departure. The origin agent and the booking agent may or may not be one in the same.
Origin Dispatch
Area dispatch office servicing the region in which a shipment originates.
Origin Service
A service like packing, arranging for appliance servicing and maid service provided by the origin agent at the origin of a shipment.
Origination Fee
A onetime fee for the cost of a mortgage application. Also called Mortgage Service Charge.
Outside Examination
Inspection and release of a shipment by the U.S. Customs Service at a point within the confines of a port of entry other than the point or location at which the cargo was discharged into the port. Relative to household goods, it would normally refer to the destination agent's warehouse or, if possible, the customer's destination residence. See Permit to Transfer.
The accidental delivery of an item to a customer or warehouse when the item actually belongs to someone else. All overages should be reported immediately to Atlas or to its agent so that it can be returned to the rightful owner.
Overcharge Claim
A claim filed by a customer regarding transportation charges, packing or other services, rather than property damage.
Overflow (OF)
The portion of a shipment that cannot be loaded on one van or into one container due to lack of available space. Another van is assigned to load overflow portions.
An improvement made to land that is not the highest and best use because of its excess cost or size.
Overseas Premium
See Foreign Service Premium.
Overtime (OT)
A CWT charge to the customer where, because of customer convenience, laws or ordinances, the shipment is delivered after the normal business hours of Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It cannot be charged if it is at Atlas' convenience.
OW (Abbr)
Prefix on Western region.
The driver, operator or the legal owner of the tractor.
Owner's Duplicate Certificate
See Torrens System. Also called Transfer Certificate of Title.
Owner's Title Insurance
See Title Insurance.

P Dictionary Terms

P (Abbr)
Packed by Carrier (PBC or CP)
Atlas packs the goods at origin.
Packed by Owner (PBO)
The owner packs the goods at origin.
Packing (PKG)
Either the services or the material required to prepare a shipment for safe transportation and handling.
Packing Date
A date set aside for packing. It is usually one day prior to loading the goods.
Packing List
A detailed listing of all packed items in a shipment. It is often combined as one document form with the inventory.
Packing Service Report
A document that provides a record of special services performed like packing and appliance services.
Blanket-like padded material used for covering articles of furniture during a shipment.
A portable platform for holding material for storage or transportation. Also called Skid.
A term denoting that storage containers are stacked on pallets.
  1. A container, article or object wrapped or packed up.
  2. A lot or a specific portion of a larger tract of land.
Party Wall
A wall erected between two adjacent properties for use by both properties.
A deed of title to land owned by the government and transferred to an individual.
Peak Season Rates
Linehaul rates applicable on all household goods shipments moving between May 15 and September 30.
Per Diem
  1. Charges paid by one carrier for use of freight cars, trailers or containers of another carrier.
  2. A daily expense allowance to a transferred employee for temporary living expenses.
Performance Report
Another term for the additional services performed at origin/destination and delivery report or the operation excellence questionnaire.
Perishable Articles
Items like frozen foods, fruits and plants that are liable to spoil or perish and cannot be transported by Atlas according to Department of Transportation rules.
Permanent Storage
The warehousing of a shipment indefinitely.
Permit to Transfer
Containerized cargo may be moved from the place of discharge to a designated container station or such other location within the confines of the limits of the port of entry involved for the purposes of breaking bulk for customs entry and subsequent redelivery. It requires written authorization from the U.S. Customs Service. See Outside Examination.
The federal authorization granted to a van operator to use a commercial vehicle.
Personal Property
Items included in a home that will not stay in the home when sold unless they are listed in the contract. Items that are moveable.
Personal Property Tax
A tax on personal property imposed by some states.
Physical Damage Insurance
Insurance to cover a tractor, trailer, van, etc., for fire, theft, combined additional coverage and collision.
Physical Deterioration
The physical depreciation of a structure that, in return, decreases its value. Physical deterioration can be either curable, where needed repairs are worth fixing, or incurable, where such repairs would be nonbeneficial compared to the value of the structure.
Piano Board
A device used primarily to move pianos up or down stairs.
Pick Up and Delivery Rates
Separate transportation rates applicable between the storage in transit warehouse and the residence or other establishment.
Piggyback Loan
One mortgage on a property with two lenders.
The total of the principle, interest, taxes and insurance that make up the all-inclusive monthly mortgage payments.
A drawing of a piece of land including lots, streets, etc.
Plat Book
A book of maps in a particular county for public record.
Plot Plan
A diagram of improvements of an area of ground.
A one-time charge on a mortgage principal, paid when the mortgage is taken out. One point equals one percent.
Port of Debarkation
A place where the cargo is off-loaded from a conveyance like a vessel or aircraft for purposes of transhipment to another point or for making cargo available to the consignee as per the bill of lading.
Port of Discharge
See Port of Debarkation.
Port of Embarkation
A place where the cargo is loaded onto a conveyance like a vessel or aircraft to commence the voyage or flight for which the cargo has been booked.
Port of Entry
A place designated by the government at which a U.S. Customs Service officer is authorized to accept entries of goods, to collect duties, and to enforce the rules and regulations of the U.S. Customs Service. It is more commonly used to designate the place as described above at which the importing carrier makes the cargo available to the consignee as per the bill of lading, for the first time, as opposed to an intermediate port for transhipping only.
Port of Entry Rate
A rate for the handling of import shipments to the continental U.S. from free arrival of the cargo on the dock and available for customs clearance and/or pick-up at the U.S. Port of Entry through to delivery residence within the continental U.S. The rate excludes any wharfage or handling that may be assessed by the importing carrier; physical customs examination, if applicable; duties and/or taxes, if applicable; warehouse handling or storage; and any services not included within the definition of normal destination service.
Port of Exit
The point where cargo is loaded onto a conveyance like a vessel or aircraft for purpose of departing from the governmental jurisdiction of the origin country. May not necessarily be the same as the Port of Embarkation.
An option that allows a borrower to take a current mortgage with him or her to another property.
International service from arrival of the cargo at the pier of the origin port city (for surface shipments) or at the receiving dock of the origin airport city (for air shipments) through to delivery residence at the point of destination. This is exclusive of any packing, drayage, containerization or other such handling at the point of origin; any storage in transit; and any U.S. Customs Service duties, taxes, warehouse handling or other charge or services so specified on a one-time port-to-door rate quote. Destination services included within such rates will be based on normal services unless otherwise specified, and will include ocean freight and air freight between the ports involved, as opposed to rates quoted on port of entry rate basis.
International service from arrival of the cargo at the pier of the origin port city (for surface shipments) or at the receiving dock of the origin airport city (for air shipment) through to free arrival of the vessel or aircraft at the destination airport city. This is exclusive of any packing, drayage, containerization or other such handling at the point of origin; any charges whatsoever incurred once the vessel or aircraft has duly arrived at the city to which the cargo has been laden by the carrier; and any storage in transit, U.S. Customs Service duties, taxes, warehouse handling or other charges or services so excluded on a onetime port-to-port rate quote.
Possession Date
The date the buyer may take proprietorship of a property.
Power of Attorney
See Attorney-in-Fact.
PPD (Abbr)
Pre-Approved Mortgage
Qualifies a buyer before he or she begins shopping for a home, so that the buyer will know an exact price range and make an offer upon finding the right home.
A meeting used to settle outstanding issues and where documents are prepared, reviewed and signed before the formal closing.
Pre-Existing Damage
Damage that already existed on an item before being shipped.
Preferred Arrival Date (PAD)
The date the customer requests for delivery of goods.
Prepaid Expenses
Escrow items like taxes and insurance, credit reports, photographs or fees that require payment at closing.
Prepaid Shipment
A shipment on which all or part of the transportation charges have been paid to Atlas prior to its arrival at destination.
A payment on a principal before its due date.
Prepayment Penalty
A charge to the borrower if the mortgage is paid off before required.
Prepayment Privilege
A borrower's voluntary right to pay all or part of a debt before its maturity.
Pricing Terms System
System designed to store terms from all pricing programs, discounts, type discount, rate dates, etc. The rating system pulls information found in this system by use of pricing identification.
Prime Fleet (PF)
An elite fleet of van operators who drive voluntarily under the direct control of Atlas dispatch. Specific qualifications for participation in this fleet are required.
The amount remaining on a mortgage, not including interest.
Principal Agent
A mover who has a regular and ongoing agreement to act as an agent for a household goods van line and performs a range of services like selling, packing and hauling in the name of the van line.
Principal Balance
A loan's outstanding balance.
Principle of Change
A principle that no economic or physical condition remains the same.
Principle of Conformity
A principle that buildings be similar in design, construction and age with regard to other buildings in the neighborhood.
Principle of Contribution
A principle that improvements to a property are worth only what the improvements add to the property's market value, not their actual cost.
Principle of Substitution
An appraisal theory that the market value of a property is influenced by the cost of purchasing a comparable property.
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
Insurance by a private company to protect the mortgage investor against loss by default.
Pro Number
A number used to identify individual freight bills or bills of lading.
Promissory Note
See Note.
Land and chattel in which an individual may have a right or interest.
Property Damage Claim
A claim filed for damage to a home, lawn, driveway or landscaping, caused by the van operator during the loading or unloading of a shipment or damage to property due to an accident.
Property Damage Insurance
Insurance to cover property damage.
Property Management Assistance
See Duplicate Housing Protection.
Property Taxes
Taxes imposed by the city, county or state government, determined by the size and location of a property.
Proration of Taxes
The balanced division of taxes between a buyer and a seller at closing.
An old term for the classification of articles of a shipment. See First Proviso, Second Proviso and Third Proviso.
PU (Abbr)
Pick Up.
Purchase Agreement
A written agreement that states the seller's and the buyer's intentions, along with the terms of the sale. Also called Contract of Sale, Sales Contract and Agreement of Sale.
Purchase Order
A written authorization for billing a move to a company. It is sometimes used in place of the order for service form.
Purchase-Money Mortgage (PMM)
A mortgage given by the buyer to the seller for partial payment of a property.

Q Dictionary Terms

Quiet Title
A court action used to remove a cloud on the title.
Quitclaim Deed
A deed relinquishing all interest or title in a property a person might have.

R Dictionary Terms

A metal, wooden or fiberglass slope used to bridge an incline.
Charges applicable to the transportation and services on a shipment.
Rating System
A system designed to be able to rate all shipments, pulling information from the point systems, registration file and tariff system.
Real Estate
Land and the structures on, above and below it.
Real Estate Agent
A licensed professional who has the ability to sell property and who works for a licensed real estate broker. Although the salesperson works for a broker, he or she may have already obtained an individual broker's license.
Real Estate Broker
A licensed real estate professional or company that assists others in buying and selling property. A broker can collect commission on a sale and, as a member of the National Association of Realtors®, may use the term Realtor®.
Real Estate Commission (REC)
A payment to a broker for assisting with the selling a home. It is usually a percentage of the sale price.
Real Estate Inspection Service
An inspection service used to document the condition of a home. The home is that which the transferee is selling or buying. The report will list any defects found so that they may be remedied.
Real Estate Network
A real estate network used by a company to assist its transferring employees.
Real Estate Salesperson
A person employed by a real estate broker to sell a property for compensation or valuable consideration.
Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)
A federal law that requires lenders to provide home mortgage borrowers with an estimate of closing costs within 3 business days, requires disclosure of the costs to both the buyer and seller within 24 hours prior to closing, and limits the amount a lender must have in escrow.
Real Estate Tax
A tax assessed by the local government against the ownership of land and everything on it.
Real Property
Land and everything permanent on the land. Also called Real Estate.
A real estate professional who is licensed by and is a member of the National Association of Realtors®.
Reasonable Dispatch
The dates or period of time agreed upon by the customer and Atlas to pick up and deliver a shipment, as noted on the Bill of Lading.
The final estimate of the market value of a property made by an appraiser by reconciling the estimates of the direct sales comparison approach, cost approach and income approach. Also called Final Value Estimate.
A change in the final consignee on the bill of lading prior to delivery.
The transfer of real property from the buyer back to the original owner.
The public filing of bills of sale, deeds, liens, mortgages and other documents as legal records.
Recording Charge
A charge for filing public records like deeds, liens, mortgages and bills of sale.
Redemption Period
A period during which a property owner can buy back property that has been foreclosed by paying the sales price, interest and costs.
Restricting the number of loans available in certain areas of the community.
A slang term for a refrigerated trailer.
Re-Enlistment Bonus
See Assignment Extension Bonus.
The process of rearranging finances to pay one loan with another for a better interest rate.
Return of excess charges.
REG (Abbr)
To provide the van line all pertinent information regarding a shipment so that arrangements can be made to handle the shipment from start to finish.
Registration Number
A reference number assigned to identify a shipment. The number will appear on all documentation and correspondence.
Registration Year
The year in which registration is issued.
Release of Lien
Acknowledgment that excuses a property from the lien of a mortgage after partial payment and satisfaction has been made by the mortgagee. See Deed of Release.
Released Value (REL VAL)
The value declared on a shipment that establishes the carrier's liability for loss or damage.
Released Value Rate
The term used when the Returned Value on a shipment is 60 cents per pound per article.
Relocation Allowance
See Allowance.
Relocation Assistance
A service provided to an employee for assistance in a relocation.
Relocation Center
A facility that provides clients with information about the new city or area of the new home. These centers often offer service to both individuals and corporations and are established by real estate firms or relocation specialists.
Relocation Expenses
Any financial costs resulting from a relocation.
Relocation Kit
A packet of information sent to a transferee containing pertinent information on the new location.
Relocation Management Company
A third-party business used to administer a company's relocation policy. A relocation management company makes fair market value offers to purchase the homes of transferees, provide counseling and aid in the home search. It also can coordinate shipments, write corporate relocation policies and offer lease management options.
Relocation Policy
A policy of benefits and services provided by a company to its transferring employee during a relocation.
Money or action used as compensation for a wrongful condition.
Renegotiable Rate Mortgage
A variable rate mortgage with an interest rate that automatically adjusts every 3, 4 or 5 years. The adjustment is made according to the Federal Home Loan Bank Board national average mortgage contract interest rate of existing homes. A specified percentage is set so that the adjustment will not vary greatly every year.
Renegotiation at the end of a mortgage's term for a new term.
Repairman's Book
A listing of authorized repairmen used by Atlas' customer services department for making repairs to damaged items.
  1. Any restoring or renovating to a home to better its condition prior to selling.
  2. Fixing an item damaged in transit.
Replacement Cost
The cost of replacing property damaged, lost or stolen, with a similar property.
Replacement Value Protection
Valuation for repair or replacement of damaged property without deduction for depreciation.
Required Delivery Date (RDD)
The mandatory delivery date agreed upon by the military and the agent on military shipments.
Rescission of Contract
The termination of a contract by mutual consent of all concerned parties that returns all parties to their original positions. See Right of Rescission.
Reserve Account
See Escrow Account.
Rest and Recreation Trip
A company-paid trip awarded to expatriates assigned to a foreign location, especially those locations abnormally difficult or hazardous. This trip differs from a home leave in that vacation time is not used.
Restrictions of Record
When an owner of a property is legally restricted from certain things or uses relating to the property.
Restrictive Covenants
See Zoning.
A counteroffer made by the seller after the initial offer with the intention of agreeing to a sale.
Returning Nonresident
A person immigrating to the U.S. for the first time to establish a residence or a U.S. citizen who has established a residence outside the U.S. with the intent of never returning to the U.S. and is only visiting for a short period of time.
Returning Resident
A U.S. citizen who has not established a permanent residence outside the U.S. or had not left the U.S. with probable intent of never returning, or a non-U.S. citizen who has a principal residence established in the U.S.
Revenue Stamp
See Documentary Stamp.
Reverse Annuity Mortgage (RAM)
A loan that allows elderly homeowners to borrow money against the equity of their homes and receive monthly payments to assist in meeting their living costs.
Capable of being changed, canceled or recalled.
When there is doubt about the origin weight of a shipment, a reweigh may be requested by the customer at destination. There is no charge for the reweigh; however, charges are calculated on the new weight.
RF (Abbr)
Regular Fleet.
Right of First Refusal
The right to the first opportunity to purchase a property.
Right of Redemption
The right to reclaim a property during foreclosure within a certain time period.
Right of Rescission
The right of a buyer to cancel a contract within three days after signing. Applies by law only in limited circumstances.
Right of Survivorship
The right of survivors to acquire interest once held in joint ownership by a relative who is now deceased. See Joint Tenancy and Tenancy by the Entirety.
Right of Way
An easement whereby a land owner gives someone the right of way to cross the land.
Riparian Rights
The right of a land owner to all water on, under or adjacent to the land.
A special day in September to honor all Atlas van operators. Operators are recognized by agents all across the U.S. and Canada and at Atlas headquarters in Evansville, Indiana. The "ROAD" in "ROAD Day" stands for "Recognizing Our Atlas Drivers".
Rollover Time
The time gap between the third-party's acquisition of a property and the closing date.
Ro-Ro Vessel
A "roll on/roll off" vessel with spaced decks and ramps that allow for a conventional highway trailer to be pulled onto the vessel by a tractor and then be parked and secured to a deck. This vessel is used especially for oversized cargo like construction machinery and buses, and can be thought of as a floating parking garage.
Route Cards
A card with the control number or pro number assigned to a bill of lading to identify individual shipments.
The preference of a customer when more than one route between origin and destination points may be followed by one carrier because of interchanging or interlining with another carrier. Normally adhered to by carriers, provided the rate involved would not change.

S Dictionary Terms

A seller deeds a property to a buyer, who, in return, leases the property back to the seller.
Sales Contract
A written agreement between the seller and buyer whereby the seller agrees to the terms of the sale, giving transfer of ownership to the buyer.
The retrieving of damaged items from the customer for which Atlas paid full value in the settlement.
Satisfaction of Mortgage
The complete fulfillment of a mortgage.
Scale Ticket
A voucher providing the weigh scale reading for tare weight and/or gross weight of a van.
Schedule "B" Number
The official federal government schedule of commodity classifications to be used in reporting export shipments from the U.S. and in compiling the official government statistics on exports of merchandise from the U.S.
Schooling Allowance
See Education Allowance.
A special metal closure inserted on the doors of a steamship container or a truck that must be broken to be opened, and is used to determine if any tampering with the contents may have occurred.
Second Mortgage
An additional loan, usually with a shorter term and higher interest rate, that is inferior to and is imposed upon the first mortgage.
Second Proviso
An old term for a shipment consisting of furniture, fixtures, equipment and the property of stores, offices, museums, institutions, hospitals and other establishments.
Self-Haul (SLF or SH)
The booking agent's right to perform all services using its own personnel and equipment.
Selling Price
The price a buyer actually pays for a property.
A freight-carrying, powerless truck trailer with one or more axles and constructed so that the front end rests upon a truck tractor.
Separate Property
Property owned individually that is not considered community property or is jointly owned.
The restricted zoning area of a property between the curb and an imaginary line running parallel to the curb where no structure may be built.
The temporary holding of a shipment at a point between origin and destination.
Set-Off for Furtherance
A situation whereas Atlas' household goods operations department directs a van operator to pick up a shipment and take it to a warehouse in a better traffic pattern to provide service.
See Closing.
Settlement Fee
A real estate closing cost that includes payment of all monies and the preparation of the deed.
Set-Up (SU)
A piece of furniture or property is put together to its complete state.
Shared Appreciation Mortgage
A mortgage where the lender shares in the appreciation of a property when sold. It is a fixed-rate, fixed-term, lower-than-conventional mortgage.
Shelter Differential
See Housing Differential.
Sheriff's Deed
A court-induced deed given with the sale of property to satisfy a judgment.
Shipment (SPMT or SHMT)
Property made available by a customer for transportation by Atlas.
Shipper (SHPR)
The person paying for the move, the employee moving for a national account, or the person being moved by the military or government.
Shipper Load & Count
The customer counts, pads, loads and unloads.
Shipping Order
Instructions given to Atlas for transportation of a shipment.
Short Haul
Shipments moving less than 400 miles.
Short-Term Contract
Contract with a customer for a limited period of time. Certain pricing restrictions and service parameters apply when this contract method is utilized.
Shuttle Service
A service provided when a shipment cannot be serviced, picked up or delivered by a road van, and a smaller unit must be employed for movement to or from the road van. The fee is chargeable to the customer. Also called Auxiliary Service.
Single Factor
A type of contract giving an all-inclusive rate for basic tariff charges for a shipment.
  1. Land that, with the addition of utilities or other services, is suitable for building purposes.
  2. A land's location.
See Pallet.
A small, thin paper pad used to protect a shipment for transportation.
Sole Ownership
One individual has ownership of a property.
Source of Down Payment Statement
A written report identifying the funding sources utilized for the down payment. These sources may be a savings account, prior home sale, etc.
Space Reservation
Customer may reserve blocks of cubic footage in 100 cubic foot units.
Special Customs Invoice
A form required by the U.S. Customs Service if the rate of duty is based upon the value of the shipment and if the value of the shipment exceeds $500.00. This document is normally prepared by the foreign exporter, who must attest to the authenticity of the data.
Special Orders
Documents issued by the military that declare an individual is authorized to move.
Special Products (SP or SA)
Commodities like electronic microscopes, radio and radar equipment, biomedical products, computers, exhibits, general commodities and new products that have an unusual nature or value requiring specialized handling or equipment.
Special Products Division (SPD)
The division of Atlas that specializes in transporting items requiring special handling. This division is part of the Specialized Transportation Group. See Special Products.
Special Purpose Property
A property that is declared for a certain use, making it inconvenient for other purposes.
Special Retirement Credit
Credit an expatriate receives while on a foreign assignment that goes toward retirement as if the credit was earned inside the U.S.
Special Warranty Deed
A deed limiting the seller's liability against title defects during his or her time of ownership and not any defects before that time.
Specialized Transportation Group (STG)
One of the two main divisions of Atlas Van Lines. This division consists of the special products division and the commercial truckload division.
Specific Commodity Rate
Custom-made economy rates based on criteria of quantity, frequency of shipping or physical nature of a particular item or goods.
Specific Performance
A court of equity decision requiring the defendant to uphold the terms of an agreement or contract.
Spendable Income
The portion of a person's salary that goes toward expenses like food, savings, investments and life insurance. The costs of housing and transportation are excluded from spendable income.
Spendable Income for Housing
See Home Location Housing Cost.
Spot Load
A shipment loaded on a commercial truckload trailer.
Spread Date
Agreed period of time stating the earliest and latest delivery dates the shipment will arrive at destination. Also called Delivery Spread.
Square Foot Method
Method for calculating the reproduction cost of a building in which the cost per square foot of a recently built comparable structure is multiplied by the number of square feet in the subject property.
Stair Carry
Moving a shipment up or down a flight of stairs. The charge for this carry is listed as the Elevator, Stair Carry and Long Carry Charge.
A piece of power equipment used in the moving of items up or down stairs.
Statement of Customer Responsibilities/Inventory of Items of High Value
A form used to assist the customer in determining total value of a shipment and to aid Atlas in determining what items need special handling and protection.
Statistical Tax
See Hypothetical Tax.
Steamship Container
A metal container either owned outright by a steamship line or leased from another source used for containerization or unitized handling of cargo with steamship lines.
Stopover Allowance
A compensation for expenses an employee incurs while traveling if the route is extremely long.
Safekeeping of goods in a warehouse.
Storage in Transit (SIT)
Placing a shipment in a warehouse temporarily, usually due to the customer not having a residence to accept delivery. SIT is limited to 180 days between pickup and delivery.
The plan as to how cargo has been placed or positioned within a container, vessel, truck, etc.
Straight Bill of Lading/Straight Consignment
A bill of lading that is non-negotiable, identifying only the individual who is to receive the goods and the terms of the contract.
A logistics control strap, used to secure tiers, that locks into tracking on the sides of a van operator's trailer.
A material used by Atlas to protect overstuffed furniture (except leather and suede) from damage.
Structural Engineer's Report
A report reflecting an engineer's inspection, stating the soundness of a structure.
Subject to Mortgage
A buyer takes over the title to a property and at the same time assumes the mortgage. Without a release of liability, the original maker of the mortgage remains responsible for the loan, but the buyer loses equity in a foreclosure.
A lease given by a lessee.
The substitution of the government or a national account's insurance carrier, which has paid a claim, for the owner of the household goods.
Substituted Service
The use of a different mode of transportation to fulfill a bill of lading obligation.
Summary of Dispute Settlement Program
An arbitration program that can be used by the individual customer in settling disputes on loss and damage claims.
Supplemental Billing
An invoice containing charges not billed on the original transportation invoice.
Supplemental Foreign Service Premium
See Hardship Premium.
Publications containing additions or revisions to the original tariff or other publications.
A charge above the usual or customary freight charges.
Surface Transportation Board
Government body responsible for the regulation and monitoring of railroads and rates for the household goods industry.
Survey (SRVY)
  1. An Atlas document filled out by the origin agent when the origin agent physically looks at the goods to determine what services are required.
  2. The examination of a property to determine its exact location and loss line, and determine easements and rights of way.
Survey of Corporate Relocation Policies
An annual Atlas-sponsored survey of relocation professionals that identifies relocation policy trends and assists companies in developing their relocation policies.
Punitive action taken by military installations against a carrier/forwarder for tender of service violations.
A person hired by the van operator to assist in the loading and unloading of goods.
Sweat Equity
Equity earned by the buyer for making necessary repairs to a property. The repairs may be needed to acquire a Federal Housing Administration insured loan. Their cost can be used toward the down payment.

T Dictionary Terms

T (Abbr)
Tote, as in totem service to/from Alaska.
T/C (Abbr)
Temporary Clearance or temp/clear.
TA (Abbr)
Prefix on Commercial truckload registration.
Table of Measurements
A document used to determine the cubic feet that furniture, appliances, cartons and miscellaneous articles occupy in the van. By converting the cubic feet into pounds, an estimated weight is acquired that is used in calculating the estimated cost for a move. Also called Cube Sheet.
Takeout Commitment
A promise to make a loan at a future time, usually for construction financing and at a higher cost and shorter term.
Tare Weight
The weight of a truck before a shipment is loaded, including all essential loading equipment and packing materials.
A published schedule of rules, rates and charges for the transportation of goods. The tariff provides the schedule of rates and charges from which Atlas computes the total cost of the move for the services performed.
Tariff Item
Individual sections filed within the tariff that list the rules and application of the charges for each specific service.
Tariff System
System designed to store all tariff charges, rate schedules and sections found in each individual tariff. A rating system pulls information from the tariff system by use of a tariff number.
Asphalt paved areas of an airport not specifically used as aircraft runways, taxiways or gate areas, where cargo is held, unprotected, by a carrier when sufficient warehousing or terminal space is not available. It is an abbreviation for "Tar Macadam."
A charge assessed against a person or property by the government and used for public purposes.
Tax Allowance
See Tax Gross-Up.
Tax Balancing
See Tax Equalization.
Tax Deed
A deed for property sold at a public sale by the government for nonpayment of taxes by the owner.
Tax Equalization
The procedure whereby an expatriate's taxes are reconciled so that the expatriate will be relieved of any excess taxes resulting from foreign living and burdened only with the amount of taxes he or she would expect to pay in the U.S. Also called Tax Reconciliation or Tax Balancing.
Tax Gross-Up
A compensation to cover the income tax of allowance items. With this addition, the employee actually receives an allowance for the net income due after taxes. Also called Tax Allowance.
Tax Lien
A claim against a property for its unpaid taxes.
Tax Protection
A protective policy used to reimburse an expatriate for payment of any excess taxes resulting from foreign living, so that the expatriate is burdened only with the amount of taxes expected to be paid in the U.S., and not the combination of foreign taxes and U.S. taxes. Also called Tax Reimbursement Policy.
Tax Reconciliation
See Tax Equalization.
Tax Reimbursement Policy
See Tax Protection.
Tax Return Preparation Allowance
A reimbursement to an expatriate for the expense of preparing income tax returns.
Tax Sale
The sale of a property resulting from nonpayment of taxes.
Tax Service Fee
A charge for the processing of tax escrows, covering the cost of obtaining tax bills and disbursement.
Telex/Teletype Release
Authorization in the form of a telex, teletype, telefax or cablegram given by the steamship line agent at the port of origin to the steamship line agent at the port of discharge to release the cargo to the consignee without an original ocean bill of lading. Due to government restrictions in some countries, such releases may not always be permissible.
Temporary Authority
An authority is granted temporary authority to operate.
Temporary Living Allowance
A reimbursement to an expatriate en route to a foreign location for expenses that may occur after leaving the old home and before moving into the new home. Also called Interim Living Allowance.
An estate or interest held by a person on a property.
Tenancy at Will
An estate in which a person occupies property with the permission of the owner for an unspecified amount of time. The owner can take back the property at any time.
Tenancy by the Entirety
When two or more persons jointly own a piece of property with equal interest. If one dies, the other receives that person's share. Also called Joint Tenancy.
Tenancy in Common
When two or more persons share ownership of a property with unequal interest and no right of survivorship. When one dies, that share will go to that person's heirs.
See Lessee.
Tender of Service
Special rate quotation containing rules, regulations, special services, rates and charges for use by the U.S. Department of Defense in the transportation of shipments. Not applicable to the general public.
Time period between the commencement of the mortgage and its termination date.
Terms of Mortgage
The conditions of a mortgage, including payment schedule, interest rates and the time period a mortgage is guaranteed.
A term stating the container capacity of a container vessel and used in specifying minimum criteria within special marine rate contracts. The term stands for an equivalent of a 20-foot-long steamship container, eight feet wide and eight feet high. A 40-foot container would equal two TEUs.
Third Proviso
An old term for Special Products.
Third-Party Service
Services performed by someone other than the agent, van operator or Atlas.
Third-Party Service Contract
The contract that exists between a third-party company and a corporation.
Thru-Bill of Lading
A bill of lading covering items moving from an origin point to a final destination point, assuring one carrier liability even though applicable handling, transport, carriage, etc. May be performed by multiple service firms and modes of transportation.
A rate that applies from origin to destination. It can be offered by a single carrier, even though the applicable service may entail interlining, transloading, transhipping or other underlying means of transport or handling.
The shipment is loaded on the van at the origin residence and remains on the same unit until unloaded at the destination residence.
A row of stacked household goods across a van operator's trailer.
The legal document proving evidence of ownership of property.
Title Defect
A problem in a property's title affecting its marketability. The defect may be an outstanding claim, encumbrance, lien, unreleased judgments, questionable prior deeds or the condition of the property.
Title Fees
Charges for examining public records to ensure a clear title.
Title Insurance
A contract insuring loss due to defects in the title of a property.
Title Search
An examination of public records, laws and court decisions to gather information on past and current facts regarding the ownership of a property to make sure the title is free of defects.
TMO (Abbr)
Traffic Management Officer.
To Order of Consignment
A negotiable bill of lading bearing the clause "to order of" immediately prior to the name of the consignee. Such consignment requires that an original bill of lading, endorsed by the consignee on the bill of lading, be presented before the consignment can be released at destination. Because of the underlying reasons for use of a "to order of" bill of lading, release at destination without the bill of lading is virtually impossible.
Ton, Measurement
Applicable to ocean freight rates and carriage, a measurement ton equals 40 cubic feet of space displaced by cargo, or if specified as a metric measurement ton, equals 35.325 cubic feet, which is a cubic meter. A long ton is equal to 2,240 pounds; a metric ton is equal to 2,204.60 pounds; a short ton is equal to 2,000 pounds.
Torrens Systems
A self-insured system used by a public recorder for registering land titles.
Total Quality Assurance Program (TQAP)
The quality control program of the military to evaluate the performance of the carrier.
A request to check on the location of a shipment to either speed its movement, confirm the delivery date or seek lost items.
Tracer Letter
A letter sent to all customers with household goods on the same truck that lists the missing items reported by one or more of the customers.
Traffic Manager (TM)
An employee of the national account who arranges transfer of that company's employees and has the power to designate which moving company will handle the household goods.
Trailer on Flat Car (TOFC)
Rail carriage on a flatbed railcar when the unit being transported is either a trailer with a permanent chassis attached or a steamship container duly mounted on a chassis. See Container on Flat Car.
Transfer Allowance
See Relocation Allowance.
Transfer Charge
Fee collected when property changes hands or when a mortgage loan is made.
Transfer Tax
A state assessment on real estate that aids in determining accurate tax assessments on property.
The unloading of cargo from one vessel to another vessel at an intermediate port between the origin and destination port. Such transfer can be between vessels of the same line or with another line.
The unloading of shipments from one vehicle to another. It normally occurs when the cargo is still within the control of one carrier between its own equipment. See Tranship and Interlining.
When the booker is responsible for billing the national account, all necessary billing documents are transmitted to the booking agent.
Transportation Agreement
The long and short-term contracts that allow Atlas and a national account to agree, in writing, on the specific pricing and service parameters that will apply to the account's employee relocations or other transportation needs.
Transportation and Exportation Entry
Allowing goods from one foreign port to be entered into and transported through the U.S. for the purpose of exportation or transhipment to another foreign port. This does not allow for any manipulation of the cargo without written consent of a U.S. Customs Service officer, which would normally require the presence of the officer during the manipulation.
Transportation Charge
Based on a tariff rate per hundred pounds for the actual weight of a shipment and the number of miles it will be traveling. The cost of a single loading, transporting and unloading goods comprise the charge.
Transportation Differential
The difference between the transportation costs in an expatriate's home country and host country, including personal vehicles and public transportation.
Transportation Officer (TO)
The government official responsible for authorization of charges on government moves.
A carton constructed with a triple thickness of corrugated cardboard, affording considerable strength to the carton. Used as a shipping container for air freight shipments.
Trust Deed
See Deed in Trust.
Truth-in-Lending Law
A federal law that ensures consumers are given sufficient information regarding the cost of a loan, including fees and terms. The law gives consumers the ability to compare interest rates from different sources.

U Dictionary Terms

U.S. Customs Service
The government agency that imposes fees on imported and exported goods and is responsible for collecting such fees. Also called Customs.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Federal agency empowered to investigate and control various aspects of the agriculture industry, including controlling entry of undesirable plants and animals into and within the U.S. and plant and animal products and by-products. The U.S. Customs Service assists the USDA in the policing of cargo entering the U.S., possibly warranting an inspection and confiscation of certain foods. The USDA must be contacted when moving plants.
An improvement that is less than a property's highest and best use.
The analysis and matching of risk to an appropriate rate or term.
Underwriting Fee
A charge for underwriting a loan during the review process.
Unencumbered Property
A property with a title that is free and clear.
An apartment, condominium or piece of property used independently. Under law, each unit owner has access to a public way and holds interest in the surrounding common elements.
Unit Load Device (ULD)
A container or pallet used for air carriage to facilitate ground handling at airports as well as the loading and unloading of the aircraft.
UNLD (Abbr)
Unpacking (UNPK)
Services required to remove or undo packing of goods at the end of a shipment's transportation.
Charging an interest rate in excess of what the law allows.

V Dictionary Terms

Vacancy Allowance
See Duplicate Housing Protection.
A limit on a carrier's liability in exchange for different transportation rates. Valuation is not insurance. See Full Value Protection, Replacement Value Protection and Released Rate Value.
Valuation Principles
Factors determining the worth of a property.
Value (VAL)
An estimate of a property's worth or the price a buyer would pay for a property based on current market trends.
The truck used for carrying household goods.
Van Line
A motor carrier with local agents that coordinates the movement of Household Goods and Special Products.
Shipment is off-loaded en route from one van to another for various reasons.
Variable Rate Mortgage (VRM)
A fixed-term mortgage with an interest rate that changes with a fluctuating market.
The real estate buyer.
The real estate seller.
Vendor Take-Back Mortgage
The seller provides all or part of the mortgage financing to sell the property.
Verbal Appraisal
A verbal estimate of the market value of a property. It is followed by a written appraisal.
Verbal Commitment
The verbal acceptance of a contract made under a third-party operation.
Verification of Deposit
A form sent to a financial institution to verify the checking and savings balances of the prospective borrower. The form is then sent back to the lender.
Verification of Employment
A form sent to the prospective borrower's employer for written verification of the employee's salary and length of employment.
Veterans Administration (VA)
A federal agency that guarantees a portion of a veteran-obtained loan for eligible veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. See Veterans Administration Mortgage.
Veterans Administration Funding Fee
A fee required for Cold War veterans (post-Korean) for an additional one-half of one percent of the loan amount. It can be paid by either the buyer or the seller.
Veterans Administration Mortgage
A mortgage loan made by a private lender to honorably discharged veterans and their widows and guaranteed by the Veterans Administration. These loans are conventional, fixed-rate, low-payment, long-term loans.
Veterans Administration/Federal Housing Administration Combination
A Federal Housing Administration preferred loan where a borrower can use Veterans Administration eligibility to require a minimum down payment.
An invoice to the government agency detailing the charges incurred on a shipment and the amount due.

W Dictionary Terms

Waiting Time
The time at which no one is at the residence to accept household goods, giving the van operator the option to wait for a resident. National accounts must authorize waiting time. There is a charge for labor and unit.
  1. Authorization by a national account to ship an employee's household goods without that employee's signature on the order for service.
  2. To voluntarily give up. A waiver is often included in a contract to protect against breach of that contract.
Waiver Clause
A clause stating that no commission be due to the real estate broker listing a property if the homeowner accepts the third-party offer and directly sells the property to the third party. Also called Exclusion Clause.
Waiver of Release of Liability
A disclaimer used when a seller agrees to sell a home on a mortgage assumption basis without getting a release of liability from the mortgagee.
Walk Board
A ramp used from a van to the ground to eliminate lifting heavy objects.
A building for the storage of goods, merchandise and equipment.
Warehouse Handling Charge
An additional charge applicable each time storage in transit service is provided. This charge compensates the carrier for the physical placement and removal of items within the warehouse like stacking, unstacking, etc.
Warehouse Receipt
Receipt for warehousing services.
A line of credit given to a mortgage banker by a commercial banker to fund secondary market investors. The mortgage banker will borrow the money and use it to fund mortgages. The mortgages are used as collateral for the initial loan.
Warranty Deed
A deed whereby the seller guarantees a clear title.
An access like a street or alley that is meant for passage by persons or vehicles.
Weighing Procedure
The process for a shipment to be weighed.
Weight Additives
A weight, per linear foot, added to the net weight to compensate the operator for excessive van space used. The item must be stated in the tariff before a charge can be assessed.
Weight Break
The breaks given in a rate schedule at which the charges per specified weight decrease as the shipment increases in weight, and that allow the option of utilizing a higher weight level than the actual weight involved at a lower rate, resulting in reduced assessed charges.
Weight Guide
A listing of household goods average weights to be utilized on shipments released at a carrier's liability of 60 cents per pound per article.
Weight Ticket
A certificate needed to show the weight of a shipment. It shows the weight of each shipment weighed on certified scales and the weight of the vehicle without a load. It also is used when ordering permits. Also called Scale Ticket.
WGT or WT (Abbr)
A charge by a port authority or wharf/pier owner against a vessel for using its wharf/pier for loading and unloading.
Whole Loan
The purchase or sale of a complete loan in the secondary mortgage market instead of the purchase or sale of a participation of loans like mortgage-backed securities.
Will Advise (WA)
The term used when it is known that a shipment is moving, but dates for pickup or delivery have not yet been established.
Wraparound Mortgage
A loan that combines the seller's unpaid balance from a first mortgage with a new mortgage. The initial mortgage is refinanced for a higher dollar amount.
Writ of Attachment
Seizure of a property by a court order for holding as security for satisfaction of a judgment.

X Dictionary Terms

X or XTRA (Abbr)

Y Dictionary Terms

The annual amount of income earned on an investment. It is expressed as a percentage of the original price.
Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move
A government-required publication given to all COD customers by Atlas. Also called OCE-100.

Z Dictionary Terms

Z (Abbr)
Code for Atlas Van Lines International bookings.
Guidelines enforced by city or county authorities on how properties in an area can be used. Also called Restrictive Covenants.


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