TARIFF INSPECTION AND
Federal law requires that movers advise shippers that they may inspect the tariffs
that govern your shipment. Carriers' tariffs, by this reference, are made a part
of the contract of carriage (bill of lading) between you and the carrier and
may be inspected at carrier's facility, or, on request, carrier will furnish
a copy of any tariff provision containing carrier's rates, rules or charges
governing your shipment, the terms of which cannot be varied.
Incorporated tariff provisions include but are not limited to those: (1.)
establishing limitation of carrier's liability, the principal features of
which are described in the valuation declaration section of the bill of
lading; (2.) setting the time periods for filing claims, the principal
features of which are described in Section 6 of the bill of lading; and,
(3.) reserving the carrier's right to assess additional charges for additional
services performed and, on non-binding estimates, to base charges upon the exact
weight of the goods transported.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations protect consumers on
interstate moves and define the rights and responsibilities of consumers
and household goods carriers (movers).
The mover gives you this pamphlet to provide information about your rights
and responsibilities as a shipper of household goods. You should talk to your
mover if you have further questions. The mover will also furnish you with
a pamphlet describing its procedures for handling your questions and complaints.
The pamphlet will include a number you can call to obtain additional information
about your move.
Although movers are not required to give estimates, most movers do provide
estimates when requested. There are two types of estimates, binding and
BINDING ESTIMATES OF TOTAL COST
The mover may charge you for providing a binding estimate which must clearly
describe the shipment and all services provided.
When you receive a binding estimate, you cannot be required to pay any more
than that amount. However, if you have requested the mover to provide more
services than those included in the estimate, such as destination charges (i.e.,
long carry charges, shuttle charges, extra stair carry charges, or elevator
charges) often not known at origin, the mover may demand full payment for those
added services at time of delivery.
To be effective, a binding estimate must be in writing and a copy must be made
available to you before your move.
If you agree to a binding estimate, you are responsible for paying the charges
due by cash, certified check, traveler's check, or bank check (one drawn by a
bank on itself and signed by an officer of the bank) at time of delivery unless
the mover agrees before you move to extend credit or to accept payment by charge
card. If you are unable to pay at the time the shipment is delivered, the
mover may place your shipment in storage at your expense until the charges
NON-BINDING ESTIMATES OF APPROXIMATE COST
The mover is not permitted to charge for giving a non-binding estimate.
A non-binding estimate is not a bid or contract. It is provided by the mover
to give you a general idea of the cost of the move, but it does not bind the
mover to the estimated cost. Furthermore, it is not a guarantee that the final
cost will not be more than the estimate. The actual cost will be in accordance
with the mover's published tariffs. All movers are legally obligated to collect
no more and no less than the charges shown in their tariffs regardless of prior
rate quotations contained in non-binding estimates. The charges contained in
the tariffs are essentially the same for the same weight shipment moving the
same distance. If you obtain differing (non-binding) estimates from different
movers, you will be obligated to pay only the amount specified in the tariff.
Therefore, a non-binding estimate may have no effect on the amount you will
have to pay.
Non-binding estimates must be in writing and clearly describe the shipment and
all services provided. Any time a mover provides such an estimate the amount of
the charges estimated must be on the order for service and bill of lading
relating to your shipment. If you are given a non-binding estimate, do not sign
or accept the order for service or bill of lading unless the amount estimated
is entered on each form when prepared by the mover.
If you are given a non-binding estimate, the mover cannot require you to
pay more than the amount of the original estimate, plus 10 percent, at time of
delivery. You will then have at least 30 days after delivery to pay any
IF YOU REQUEST THE MOVER TO PROVIDE MORE SERVICES THAN THOSE INCLUDED IN THE
ESTIMATE, THE MOVER MAY DEMAND FULL PAYMENT FOR THOSE ADDED SERVICES AT TIME OF
SPACE RESERVATIONS, EXPEDITED SERVICE, EXCLUSIVE USE OF A VEHICLE AND GUARANTEED PICKUP
It is customary for movers to offer price and service options. The total cost
of your move may be increased if you want additional or special services. Before
you agree to have your shipment moved under a bill of lading providing special
service, you should have a clear understanding with the mover what the additional
cost will be. You should always consider that you may find other movers who can
provide the service you require without requiring that you pay the additional
One service option is a SPACE RESERVATION. If you agree to have your shipment
transported under a space reservation agreement, you are required to pay for a
minimum number of cubic feet of space in the moving van regardless of how much
space in the van is actually occupied by your shipment.
A second service option is EXPEDITED SERVICE to aid shippers who must have their
shipments transported on or between specific dates which the mover could not
ordinarily agree to do in its normal operations.
Another customary service option is EXCLUSIVE USE OF A VEHICLE. If for any reason
you desire or require that your shipment be moved by itself on the mover's truck
or trailer, most movers will provide such service.
Still another service option is GUARANTEED SERVICE ON OR BETWEEN AGREED
DATES. You enter into an agreement with the mover that provides for your
shipment to be picked up, transported to destination and delivered on specific
guaranteed dates. If the mover fails to provide the service as agreed, you are
entitled to be compensated at a predetermined amount or a daily rate (per diem)
regardless of the expense you actually might have incurred as a result of the
mover's failure to perform.
Before requesting or agreeing to any of these price and service options, be sure
to ask the mover's representatives about the final costs you will be required to
TRANSPORT OF SHIPMENTS ON TWO OR MORE VEHICLES
Although all movers try to move each shipment on one truck it becomes necessary
at times to divide a shipment among two or more trucks. This may occur if the
mover has underestimated the cubic feet of space required for your shipment,
with the consequence that it will not all fit on the first truck. The remainder
or "leave behind" will be picked up by a second truck at a later time
and may arrive at the destination at a later time than the first truck. When this
occurs, your transportation charges will be determined as if the entire shipment
moved on one truck.
If it is important for you to avoid the inconvenience of a "leave
behind," be sure that your estimate includes an accurate calculation of the
cubic feet required for your shipment. Ask your estimator to use a "Table
of Measurements" form in making this calculation. Consider asking for a
binding estimate, which is more likely to be conservative with regard to cubic
feet than non-binding estimates. If the mover offers the service, consider making
a space reservation for the necessary amount of space plus some margin of error.
In any case, it is prudent to "prioritize" your goods in advance of the
move so that the more essential items will be loaded on the first truck if some
are left behind.
ORDER FOR SERVICE
Moving companies are required to prepare an order for service on every shipment
transported for an individual shipper. You are entitled to a copy of the order
for service when it is prepared.
The order for service is not a contract. Should your move be canceled or delayed
or if you decide not to use the mover, you should promptly cancel the order.
Should there be any change in the dates on which you and the mover agreed that
your shipment will be picked up and delivered, or any change in the non-binding
estimate, the mover may prepare a written change to the order for service. The
written change should be attached to the order for service. You and the mover
must sign the order for service.
BILL OF LADING
The bill of lading is the contract between you and the mover. The mover is
required by law to prepare a bill of lading for every shipment it transports. The
information on the bill of lading is required to be the same information shown
on the order for service. The driver who loads your shipment must give you a copy
of the bill of lading before loading your furniture.
IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO READ THE BILL OF LADING BEFORE YOU ACCEPT IT.
The bill of lading requires the mover to provide the service you have requested,
and you must pay the charges for the service.
THE BILL OF LADING IS AN IMPORTANT DOCUMENT. DO NOT LOSE OR MISPLACE YOUR COPY.
Have it available until your shipment is delivered, all charges are paid and all
claims, if any, are settled.
At the time the mover's driver loads your shipment, he or she, although not
required to do so, usually inventories your shipment listing any damage or
unusual wear. The purpose is to make a record of the condition of each item.
If the driver does not make an inventory, you should make one yourself.
After completing the inventory, the driver will usually sign each page and ask
you to sign each page. It is important before signing that you make sure that
the inventory lists every item in your shipment and that the entries regarding
the condition of each item are correct. You have the right to note any
disagreement. When your shipment is delivered, if an item is missing or
damaged, your ability to recover from the mover for any loss or damage may
depend on the notations made.
The driver will give you a copy of each page of the inventory. Attach the
complete inventory to your copy of the bill of lading. It is your receipt for
At the time your shipment is delivered, it is your responsibility to check the
items delivered against the items listed on your inventory. If new damage is
discovered, make a record of it on the inventory form. Call the damage to the
attention of the driver and request that a record of the damage be made on the
driver's copy of the inventory.
After the complete shipment is unloaded, the driver will request that you sign
the driver's copy of the inventory to show that you received the items listed.
Do not sign until you have assured yourself that it is accurate and that
proper notations have been entered regarding any missing or damaged items. When
you sign the inventory, you are giving the driver a receipt for your goods.
SHIPMENTS SUBJECT TO MINIMUM WEIGHT OR VOLUME CHARGES
Movers usually have a minimum weight or volume charge for transporting a
shipment. Usually the minimum is the charge for transporting a shipment of
at least 1,000 pounds (454 kilograms).
If your shipment appears to weigh less than the mover's minimum weight, the mover
is required to advise you on the order for service of the minimum cost before
agreeing to transport the shipment. Should the mover fail to advise you of the
minimum charges and your shipment is less than the minimum weight, the final
charges must be based on the actual weight instead of the minimum weight.
DETERMINING THE WEIGHT OF YOUR SHIPMENT
If charges are to be based upon the weight of the shipment, the mover is required
to weigh the shipment. Unless your shipment weighs less than 1,000 pounds (454
kilograms) and can be weighed on a warehouse platform scale, the mover is
required to determine the weight of your shipment by one of the following processes.
If your shipment is weighed in the city or area from which you
are moving, the driver is required to weigh the truck on which the shipment is to
be transported before coming to your residence. This is called the tare weight.
At the time of this first weighing the truck may already be partially loaded with
one or more other shipments. This will not affect the weight of your shipment.
The truck should also contain the pads, dollies, hand-trucks, ramps, and other
equipment normally used in the transportation of household goods shipments.
After loading, the truck will be weighed again to obtain the loaded weight,
called the gross weight. The net weight of your shipment is then obtained by
subtracting the tare weight from the gross weight.
The mover is also permitted to determine the weight of
your shipment at the destination at the time of unloading. The fact that a
shipment is weighed at the destination instead of at the origin will not affect
the accuracy of the weight of your shipment. THE MOST IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE IS
THAT THE MOVER WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DETERMINE THE EXACT CHARGES ON YOUR SHIPMENT
BEFORE IT IS UNLOADED.
Destination weighing is done in reverse of origin weighing. After arriving in
the city or area to which you are moving, the driver will weigh the truck,
with your shipment loaded on it, to obtain the gross weight before coming to
your new residence to unload. After unloading your shipment, the driver will
again weigh the truck to obtain the tare weight. The net weight of your
shipment will then be obtained by subtracting the tare weight from the
Each time a weighing is performed the driver is required to obtain a weight
ticket showing the date and place of weighing and the weight obtained. The
ticket must also have your name and shipment number entered on it, along with
the identification (I.D.) numbers of the truck. The ticket must be signed by the
person who performed the weighing. If both the empty (tare) and loaded (gross)
weighings are performed on the same scale, the record of both weighings may be
entered on one weight ticket.
At the time the mover gives you the freight bill to collect the charges, a copy
of every weight ticket relating to your shipment must accompany your copy of
the freight bill.
You have the right to observe every weighing. The mover is required to inform
you of the specific location of each scale that will be used and to allow you
a reasonable opportunity to be present. If you desire to observe either or
both of the weighings, you should tell the mover at the time the order for
service is prepared or, in any event, before the date of your move. This will
enable the mover to contact you before the weighing to advise you of the location
of the scale.
REWEIGHING OF SHIPMENTS
If your shipment is weighed at origin and you agree
with the mover that you will pay the charges at time of delivery,
the mover is required to give you written notice of the weight and charges on
your shipment before commencing to unload at your destination residence. If
you believe that the weight is not accurate, you have the right to request
that the shipment be reweighed before unloading.
The mover is not permitted to charge for the reweighing. If the weight of your
shipment at the time of the reweigh is different from the weight determined at
origin, the mover must recompute the charges based on the reweigh weight.
Before requesting a reweigh, you may find it to your advantage to estimate the
weight of your shipment using the following method:
Count the number of items in your shipment. Usually there will be either 30 or
40 items listed on each page of the inventory. For example, if there are 30
items per page and your inventory consists of four complete pages and a fifth
page with 15 items listed, the total number of items will be 135. If an
automobile is listed on the inventory do not include that item in the count of
the total items.
Subtract the weight of any automobile included in your shipment from the total
weight of the shipment. If the automobile was not weighed separately, its weight
can be found on its title or license receipt. Divide the number of items in
your shipment into the weight. If the average weight resulting from this exercise
ranges between 35 and 45 pounds (16 and 20 kilograms) per article, it is
unlikely that a reweigh will prove beneficial to you and could result in your
paying higher charges.
Experience has shown that the average shipment of household goods will weigh
about 40 pounds (18 kilograms) Per item. If a shipment contains a large number
of heavy items, such as cartons of books, boxes of tools or heavier than average
furniture, the average weight per item may be 45 pounds (20 kilograms) or more.
PICKING UP AND DELIVERING SHIPMENTS ON THE AGREED DATES
You and your mover must reach agreement as to when your shipment is to be picked
up and delivered. It is your responsibility to determine on what date, or between
what dates, you need to have the shipment picked up and on what date or between
what dates, you require delivery. It is the mover's responsibility to tell you
if the service can be provided on or between those dates or, if not, on what
other dates the service can be provided.
In the process of reaching an agreement with a mover, it may be necessary for
you to alter your moving and travel plans if no mover can provide service on
the specific dates you desire. Do not agree to have your shipment picked up or
delivered as soon as possible. The dates or periods of time you and the mover
agree on should be definite.
Once an agreement is reached, the mover is required to enter those dates on the
order for service and the bill of lading.
Once your goods are loaded, the mover is contractually bound to provide the
service described in the bill of lading. The only defense for not providing
the service on the dates called for is the "defense of force majeure."
This is a legal term which means that if circumstances which could not have been
foreseen and which are beyond the control of the mover prevent the performance
of the service as agreed to in the bill of lading, the mover is not responsible
for damages resulting from the nonperformance.
If, after an order for service is prepared, the mover is unable to make pickup
or delivery on the agreed dates, the mover is required to notify you by telephone,
telegram or in person. The mover must at that time tell you when your shipment
can be picked up or delivered. If for any reason you are unable or unwilling
to accept pickup or delivery on the dates named by the mover, you should attempt
to reach agreement on an alternate date.
The establishment of a delayed pickup or delivery date does not relieve the
mover from liability for damages resulting from the failure to provide service
as agreed. However, when you are notified of alternate delivery dates it is
your responsibility to be available to accept delivery on the dates specified.
If you are not available and willing to accept delivery, the mover has the
right to place your shipment in storage at your expense or hold the shipment on
its truck and assess additional charges.
If, after the pickup of your shipment, you request the mover to change the
delivery date, most movers will agree to do so providing your request will
not result in unreasonable delay to their equipment or interfere with another
customer's move. However, the mover is not required to consent to amended
delivery dates and has the right to place your shipment in storage at your
expense if you are unwilling or unable to accept delivery on the date agreed
to in the bill of lading.
If the mover fails to pick up and deliver your shipment on the dates entered on
the bill of lading and you have expenses you otherwise would not have had, you
may be able to recover those expenses from the mover. This is what is called an
inconvenience or delay claim. Should a mover refuse to honor such a claim and
you continue to believe that you are entitled to be paid damages, you may sue
the mover. The FHWA has no authority to order the mover to pay such claims.
While it is hoped that your shipment will not be delayed, you should consider
this possibility and find out before you agree for a mover to transport your
shipment what payment you can expect if the service is delayed through the
fault of the mover.
NOTIFICATION OF CHARGES
You must advise the mover at the time you make the arrangements for the move
if you wish to be notified of the weight and charges. You are required to give
the mover a telephone number or address at which the notification will be
The mover must notify you of the charges at least one 24-hour weekday prior to
the delivery, unless the shipment is to be delivered the day after pickup. The
24-hour requirement does not apply when you obtain an estimate of the costs
prior to the move or when the shipment is to be weighed at the destination.
RECEIPT FOR DELIVERY OF THE SHIPMENT
At the time of delivery, the mover expects you to sign a receipt for your
shipment. This is usually accomplished by having you sign each page of the
mover's copy of the inventory.
Movers are prohibited from having you sign a receipt which relieves the mover
from all liability for loss or damage to the shipment. Do not sign any receipt
which does not provide that you are signing for your shipment in apparent good
condition except as noted on the shipping documents.
THE MOVER'S LIABILITY FOR LOSS AND DAMAGE
All moving companies are required to assume liability for the value of the
goods which they transport. However, there are different levels of liability,
and consumers should be aware of the amount of protection provided and the
charges for each option.
Basically, most movers offer four different levels of liability under the terms
of their tariffs and pursuant to the Surface Transportation Board's Released
Rates Orders which govern the moving industry.
OPTION 1: RELEASED VALUE
This is the most economical protection option available. This no additional-cost
option provides minimal protection. Under this option, the mover assumes
liability for no more than 60 cents per pound ($1.32 per kilogram), per article.
Loss or damage claims are settled based on the pound weight of the article
multiplied by 60 cents (or the kilogram weight multiplied by $1.32). For example,
if a 10-pound (4.54 kilogram) stereo component, valued at $1,000 were lost or
destroyed, the mover would be liable for no more than $6.00. Obviously, the
shipper should think carefully before agreeing to such an arrangement. There is
no extra charge for this minimal protection, but you must sign a specific
statement on the bill of lading agreeing to it.
OPTION 2: DECLARED VALUE
Under this option, the valuation of your shipment is based on the total weight
of the shipment times $1.25 per pound ($2.75 per kilogram). For example, a
4,000-pound shipment (1814.4 kilogram) would have a maximum liability value
of $5,000.00. Any loss or damage claim under this option is settled based
on the depreciated value of the lost or damaged item(s) up to the maximum
liability value based on the weight of the entire shipment. Under this option, if
you shipped a 10-pound (4.54 kilogram) stereo component that originally
cost $1,000, the mover would be liable for up to $1,000, based on the depreciated
value of the item.
Unless you specifically agree to other arrangements, the mover is required to
assume liability for the entire shipment based on this option. Also, the mover
is entitled to charge you $7.00 for each $1,000 (or fraction thereof) of liability
assumed for shipments transported under this option. In the example above, the
valuation charge for a shipment valued at $5,000 would be $35.00. Under this
option, your shipment is protected based on its depreciated value, and the mover
is entitled to charge you a fee for this extra protection.
OPTION 3: LUMP SUM VALUE
Under this option, which is similar to Option 2, if the value of your shipment
exceeds $1.25 per pound ($2.75 per kilogram) times the weight of the shipment,
you may obtain additional liability protection from the mover. You do this
by declaring a specific dollar value for your shipment. The amount you declare
must exceed $1.25 per pound ($2.75 per kilogram) times the weight of the
shipment. The amount of value that you declare is subject to the same valuation
charge ($7.00 per $1,000) as described in OPTION 2. For example, if you declare
that your 4,000-pound (1814.4 kilogram) shipment is worth $10,000 (instead of
the $5,000 under OPTION 2), the mover will charge you $7.00 for each $1,000 of
declared value, or $70.00, for this increased level of liability. If you ship
articles that are unusually expensive, you may wish to declare this extra
value. You must make this declaration in writing on the bill of lading.
OPTION 4: FULL VALUE PROTECTION
Many movers offer a fourth level of added-value protection, often referred to
as "full value protection" or "full replacement value." If
you elect to purchase full value protection, articles that are lost, damaged or
destroyed will be either repaired, replaced with like items, or a cash settlement
will be made for the current market replacement value regardless of the age of
the lost or damaged item. Unlike the other options, depreciation of the lost or
damaged item is not a factor in determining replacement value when the shipment
is moved under full value protection. The cost for full value protection is
approximately $8.50 per $1,000 of declared value; however, the minimum value
declared must be equal to the weight of the shipment multiplied by $3.50 per
pound ($7.70 per kilogram), which is further subject to a minimum declaration
For example, if your shipment weighs 5,000 pounds (2,268 kilograms), the minimum
declared value must be at least $21,000. The exact cost for full value protection
may vary by mover and may be further subject to various deductible levels of
liability which may reduce your cost. Ask your mover for the details of its
Under these four options, movers are permitted to limit their liability for loss
or damage to articles of extraordinary value, unless you specifically list these
articles on the shipping documents. An article of extraordinary value is any
item whose value exceeds $100 per pound ($220 per kilogram). Ask your mover for
a complete explanation of this limitation before you move. It is your
responsibility to study this provision carefully and to make the necessary
These optional levels of liability are not insurance agreements which are
governed by State insurance laws, but instead are authorized under Released
Rates Orders of the Surface Transportation Board of the U.S. Department
of Transportation. In addition to these options, some carriers may also offer
to sell, or procure for you, separate liability insurance from a third-party
insurance company when you release your shipment for transportation at the minimum
released valuation of 60 cents per pound ($1.32 per kilogram) per article (Option
1). This is not valuation coverage governed by Federal law, but optional
insurance that is regulated under State law. If you purchase this separate
coverage, in the event of loss or damage which is the responsibility of the
mover, the mover is liable only for an amount not exceeding 60 cents per
pound ($1.32 per kilogram) per article, and the balance of the loss is recoverable
from the insurance company up to the amount of insurance purchased. The mover's
representative can advise you of the availability of such liability insurance
and the cost.
If you purchase liability insurance from or through your mover, the mover is
required to issue a policy or other written record of the purchase and to
provide you with a copy of the policy or other document at the time of purchase.
If the mover fails to comply with this requirement, the mover becomes fully
liable for any claim for loss or damage attributed to its negligence.
COMPLAINTS AND INQUIRIES ABOUT THE MOVER'S SERVICE
All movers are expected to respond promptly to complaints or inquiries from
their customers. Should you have a complaint or question about your move, you
should first attempt to obtain a satisfactory response from the mover's
local agent, the sales representative who handled the arrangements for your
move, or the driver assigned to your shipment.
If for any reason you are unable to obtain a satisfactory response from one of
these persons, you should then contact the mover's principal office. When you
make such a call, be sure to have available your copies of all the documents
relating to the move. Particularly important is the number assigned to your
shipment by the mover.
Interstate movers are also required to offer neutral arbitration as a means of
resolving consumer disputes involving loss or damage on collect on delivery
(COD) shipments. Your mover is required to provide you with information regarding
its arbitration program.
All interstate moving companies are required to maintain a complaint and
inquiry procedure to assist their customers. At the time you make the
arrangements for your move, you should ask the mover's representative for a
description of the mover's procedure, the telephone number to be used to contact
the carrier and whether the mover will pay for such telephone calls.
PAYMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES
At the time for payment of transportation charges, the mover is required to give
you a freight bill identifying the service provided and the charge for each
service. It is customary for most movers to use a copy of the bill of lading
as a freight bill; however, some movers use an entirely separate document for
Except in those instances where a shipment is moving on a binding estimate,
the freight bill must specifically identify each service performed, the rate
per unit for each service, and the total charges for each service. Do not accept
or pay a freight bill which does not contain this information.
If your shipment was transported on a collect on delivery (COD) basis, you will
be expected to pay the total charges appearing on the freight bill at the time
of delivery unless the mover provided a non-binding estimate of approximate
cost and the total charges for the services included in the estimate exceed
110 percent of the estimated charges.
It is customary for movers to provide in their tariffs that freight charges
must be paid in cash, by certified check, traveler's check, or bank check
(one drawn by a bank on itself and signed by an officer of the bank). When this
requirement exists, the mover will not accept personal checks. At the time you
make arrangements for your move, you should ask the mover about the form of
payment that is acceptable.
Some movers permit payment of freight charges by use of a charge card. However,
do not assume that because you have a nationally recognized charge or credit
card that it will be acceptable for payment. Ask the mover at the time the
arrangements are made.
If you do not pay the transportation charges at the time of delivery the mover
has the right under the bill of lading to refuse to deliver your goods. The
mover may place them in storage at your expense until the charges are paid.
If, before payment of the transportation charges, you discover an error in the
charges, you should attempt to correct the error with the driver, the mover's
local agent, or by contacting the mover's main office. If an error is discovered
after payment, you should write the mover (the address will be on the freight
bill) explaining the error and request a refund.
Movers customarily check all shipment files and freight bills after a move has
been completed to make sure the charges were accurate. If an overcharge is
found, you will be notified and a refund made. If an undercharge occurred, you
will be billed for the additional charges due.
PAYMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ON SHIPMENTS TRANSPORTED ON TWO MORE
Although all movers try to move each shipment on one truck it becomes necessary
at times to divide a shipment among two or more trucks. This frequently occurs
when an automobile is included in the shipment and it is transported on a
vehicle specially designed to transport automobiles. When this occurs your
transportation charges are the same as if the entire shipment moved on one
If your shipment is divided for transportation on two or more trucks, the mover
can require payment for each portion as it is delivered.
Movers are also permitted, but not required, to delay the collection of all the
charges until the entire shipment is delivered. At the time you make the
arrangements for your move, you should ask the mover about its policies in this
PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ON SHIPMENTS LOST OR DESTROYED IN TRANSIT
Movers customarily make every effort to assure that while your shipment is in
their possession for transportation, no items are lost, damaged or destroyed.
However, despite the precautions taken, articles are sometimes lost or destroyed
during the move.
In addition to any money you may recover from the mover to compensate for lost or
destroyed articles, you are also entitled to recover the transportation charges
represented by the portion of the shipment lost or destroyed.
On shipments with partial loss or destruction of goods, the transportation
charges must be paid. The mover will then return proportional freight charges
at the time loss and damage claims are processed. Should your entire shipment
be lost or destroyed while in the mover's possession, the mover cannot require
you to pay any of the charges except the amount you have paid or agreed to pay
for added liability protection. The fact that you do not pay any transportation
charges does not affect any right you may have to recover reimbursement for
the lost or destroyed articles providing you pay the charges for added liability
FILING OF CLAIMS FOR LOSS AND DAMAGE OR DELAY AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROGRAMS
Should your move result in loss or damage to any of your property, you have the
right to file a claim with the mover to recover money for such loss or damage.
You have nine months following either the date of delivery, or the date on which
the shipment should have been delivered, to file a claim. However, you should
file a claim as soon as possible. If you fail to file a claim within 120 days
following delivery and later bring a legal action against the mover to recover
the damages, you may not be able to recover your attorney fees even though you
win the court action.
While the Federal Government maintains regulations governing the processing of
loss and damage claims, it cannot resolve those claims. If you cannot settle
a claim with the mover, you may file a civil action to recover in court. In this
connection, you may obtain the name and address of the mover's agent for service
of legal process in your State by contacting the FHWA.
In addition, interstate movers are required to participate in a Dispute
Resolution Program which provides that certain types of unresolved loss or
damage claims must be submitted to a neutral arbitrator for resolution. You
may find submitting your claim to arbitration under such a program to be a
less expensive and more convenient way to seek recovery of your claim. Movers
are required to advise all COD shippers of the existence and details of the
arbitration program before they accept a shipment to be transported. If the
mover does not provide you withinformation about a dispute resolution program
before you move, ask the mover for the details of the program.
POINTS TO REMEMBER
- Movers may give binding estimates.
- Non-binding estimates may not be accurate; actual charges may often exceed the estimate.
- Specify pickup and delivery dates in the order for service.
- The Bill of Lading is your contract with the mover... READ IT CAREFULLY...
If you have any questions ask your mover.
- Be sure that you understand the extent of your mover's liability for loss
- You have the right to be present each time your shipment is weighed.
- You may request a reweigh of your shipment.
- If you have moved on a non-binding estimate, you should have enough cash or
a certified check to pay the estimated cost of your move plus 10 percent more
at time of delivery.
- Unresolved claims for loss or damage may be submitted to arbitration; ask
your mover for details.
Should you have any questions about your move which are not answered in this
pamphlet, do not hesitate to ask the mover's representative who handled the
arrangements for your move, the driver who transports your shipment, or the
mover's main office for additional information.
For further advice or assistance, contact the Federal Highway
LICENSING & INSURANCE DIVISION (HIA-30)
OFFICE OF MOTOR CARRIER AND HIGHWAY SAFETY INFORMATION ANALYSIS
FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION
400 VIRGINIA AVENUE, SW
WASHINGTON, DC 20024