Removals Glossary

Purdie Worldwide's
Official Removals Glossary

The removals industry can be a complicated game, with many industry specific terms and phrases that you may never have heard of! So we thought it best to create a removals glossary to help you understand some of the terms used in the removals industry.

From cubic feet to custom declarations, we’ll delve into all the important removal terms and try to explain them as best we can! If we’ve missed a removal term you’re not sure of, drop us an email and we’ll be sure to add it to our removals glossary!

removals glossary a-z

A-Z Removals Glossary

Acceptance Form

A draft letter than a outlines that contract of work for an agreed cost between a mover and client. Once signed, becomes a legal document.


One of the most important and often overlooked aspects of a move is the access, at both the origin and destination. This will determine what types of trucks can be used for your removal. Assessing the access at a property is usually done as part of a pre-removal survey.

Additional Services

As a modern removal company, we have many additional services on offer as part of a home move. From dismantling to re-assembling furniture with our sister company Purdie Property Maintenance, we also offer a fully confidential shredding service and ISO compliant digital data destruction service.


When goods are transported on an aircraft. Normally in boxes or crates. Generally the quickest, but most expensive form of goods transportation.


The United Kingdom’s largest group of Movers is called the BAR (British Association of Movers). Every member of the BAR must adhere to a strict range of rules and guidelines, so you know that any BAR registered mover is a mover you can trust!


Not just any old blankets, these are specific removal blankets designed to protect furniture from bumps and scrapes. They’re made from recycled materials that give a soft cover that doesn’t mark or scratch.



One of the most popular forms of protecting your goods when moving home is with bubblewrap. A roll of plastic with uniformed air pockets to cushion any bangs or scrapes. Available in varying sizes, it also comes in different sized bubbles for oversized items. Find out more on our shop.


A company or individual that performs the transportation of goods.

This can be done by road, rail, air or sea.


Another word for removal boxes. In days gone by, when cardboard boxes weren’t as popular or as renewable as they are today, then large older cartons were used to transport goods. Today, we just call them boxes, but you’ll still find many old school removal men calling them cartons.

Commercial Removal

A commercial removal is a move that takes place as part of a business. Whether moving to new premises, or need to relocate equipment elsewhere, then that’s when our Commercial Moving team come into play.


The person or individual that is named as the recipient of the goods being sent.


The actual shipment of goods to be sent to a consignee.


For larger more expensive items, we use plastic crates. These are generally hired for a few days of use, before being returned. Traditionally we use these types crates when moving and storing computer equipment.


Cubic Feet (ft³)

A unit of measurement used to quantify the volume of items being moved. It represents the amount of space occupied by an object in three-dimensional space. This is calculated by multiplying the width, height and depth. For example, our industry standard wooden storage container can hold a total of 250ft³ storage.


A checkpoint within each country that both goods and individuals must pass through before being allowed access to the desired country. For example, you must pass through American customs, even if just on a layover!

Declared Value

The value of goods that the customer has declared. This is not the new cost, but what it would cost as if it was being sold second hand.

Dedicated Load

In order to save time and space, we sometimes put multiple jobs into one large load. However, if someone wants a dedicated load, we’ll load up with only their goods, so it’s only one drop-off point. As such a dedicated load is the quickest, but most often the most expensive option to ship your goods.

Destination Agent

An individual or company at the destination end of a shipment that organises the arrival and collection details.


A small wheeled trolley with low ground clearance that you can place large items on top of to move around. For example a piano dolly or sled is used for moving pianos.

Domestic Removal

Another name for a private home removal.


A new way to store goods where we drop off an industry standard 250ft³ storage container to your door. You pack it at your own pace, then we collect it and put it into storage for you! Find out more about our Door-2-Store service.

One of our Door-2-Store Containers


An extra cost that is added onto your goods when entering a new country. The cost of this duty depends on the country. For example, all tobacco in the UK has to have had duty paid on it before it can be sold in the UK.


Estimated Time of Arrival. This is generally given to our customers with morning appointments, where the general ETA is 0900.


A specialist group of movers from around the world that share the same level of quality and care. Any removal company with the Euromovers badge can be trusted, so make sure your next mover is Euromover approved!


Our estimates are a rough guide on how much something (like a home removal) will cost. We only give these estimates of costs once we’ve got a list of goods to be moved, or we’ve completed a pre-removal survey. Again, this is just an estimate of costs, not the final value and is subject to change.

Export Wrapping

When moving items abroad, they need to have an extra layer of protection. Instead of wasting 2 layers of bubblewrap, we use export wrapping called Furnisoft. More rigid than bubblewrap, furnisoft has a layer of bubbles with a rigid front and back layer for extra strength. Order some furnisoft online.


FCL stands for Full Container Load. This could mean a 20ft or 40ft container, but it’s fully loaded, with no room for extra shipments.

Floor Protector

Floor protector, or carpet protector is a roll of recycled plastic that gets laid down onto carpet, flooring, or the stairs of a property. It offers a layer of protection against dirt and dust from the removal crews coming in and out of the house. You can even purchase some for yourself from our shop!


Goods in Transit Insurance

This is the very basic policy that ALL removal companies must have. Even if it’s just a man with a van, they should have goods in transit insurance, so thay if the worst happens, the client’s goods will be insured.

Gross Weight

The complete weight of a shipment. This includes the weight of the container, any packaging and the goods themselves.


Rather than use a more expensive direct load, we often do Groupage discounts, where we allow several different companies or clients to fill up a load. This can be combined into a groupage shipment for easier and cheaper transportation. Although not the quickest option, it’s cheaper than a direct shipment.


A Goods and Service Tax that may be levied depending on the regulations of the destination country.

Handling Charge

Some companies will enforce a handling charge for the retrieval of a container or goods. For example, here at Purdie Worldwide we have a £25 handling fee every time someone wants a container from our storage warehouses.


Generally considered to mean a truck or lorry load of goods being transported by road.

Indemnity Cover

Our indemnity cover allows you to claim the cost of an item less depreciation. For example, we would take into consideration the age, quality and wear of an item before giving you an offer.

International Removal

A removal that takes place across international borders. For an international removals quote, be sure to visit our quote page.

Inter-modal Transportation

Transportation of goods that takes places using multiple modes of transports. Either road, rail, sea or air.


A complete list of goods to be moved. Our digital inventory forms allow each item to be graded with any damages noted for future reference. For all jobs where an inventory is specified, we provide a full digital inventory as part of the package.

Job Sheet

Our removal crews get a job sheet at the start of each day that contains the address and delivery details of their moves for that day.

Key Wait

Normally always on a Friday, but there’s sometimes a delay between the money being transferred and the client getting their keys. We refer to this time as Key Wait.

Late Key Waiver

This waiver allows our men to complete the job no matter how long the keys are delayed and you won’t have to pay an extra penny.The cost of this waiver is completely unique to your move as well. It will depend on the amount of men needed, the day, and the volume of goods and a few other things.


LCL stands for Less than a Container Load and describes sea shipping for cargo loads not large enough to full a full 20ft or 40ft shipping container.


LTL stands for Less than Truck Load. Where one client’s cargo shares trailer space with that of another customer. Saving space and costs in the long run!

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance covers the business against compensation claims following fault of negligence.

Linen Box

Box designed solely for storing linen & clothing. Also known as a Layflat Box. Available to buy online at our shop.

Marine Insurance

Marine Insurance covers goods lost, damaged or unable to be legally recovered whilst in transit over sea.

Mattress Bag

Large recycled plastic bags that are used to cover mattresses before they’re transported. Comes in varying sizes to suit every size of mattress.


Move Co-ordinator

When you move with Purdie Worldwide, you’ll be assigned your own Move Co-ordinator. Tasked with looking after you every step of the way, they’ll keep you right and ensure everything is kept on track! Why not check out our operational staff?

Moving Boxes

Much stronger than your average boxes from Amazon, our moving boxes are double walled for extra strength and protection. These boxes are designed to be reused time and time again, so consider them an investment!

Our Small, Medium and Large Moving Boxes

OBL (Original Bill of Laden)

A hard copy bill that requires proper signatures before it can be a binding carriage of contract.

Origin Address

The address where the goods started their journey from.

Packing Materials

All the materials used to help pack a house. From boxes and bubblewrap, to tape and labels, our online shop has all the packing materials you’ll ever need!

Packing Paper

Recycled and acid free packing paper, used specifically for wrapping and packing goods with.

Packing Service

Really can’t get any motivation to pack up yourself? Use our complete packing service and let us do all the hard work so you don’t have to! Get in touch for a free quote!

Part Load

In order to save money, sometimes smaller loads are combined as a part load. Although it takes longer than a direct load, it will cost a lot less to use a part load to get your goods shipped where they need to go.

PBO/Owner Packed

If the client has opted to pack themselves, when completing the inventory the boxes must be marked as PBO (packed by owner) or Owner Packed.

Quarantine Inspection

This only applies to countries where risk of infection and cross-contamination are high. The load is held and inspected for biosecurity risks. There is normally an additional fee for this service.

Pre-Removal Survey

A survey, or Pre-Removal Survey is where a surveyor either comes to your property, or they view your property from their phone, and use the information collected to form a cost for moving.

Reefer Container

A reefer container is a standard shipping container that has temperature controls built-in. Perfect for shipping food or perishable items.

Residence Permit

An official document that allows an individual to live in a particular country that they are not a citizen of.

Road Train

A large truck with at least one trailer attached at the rear. Also called a wagon and drag or wag n’ drag.

Our very first Wagon and Drag Road Train.


A lockable space where you can store personal belongings and only pay for the amount of time you’ve stored. Check out our self-storage options.

Shipping Container

A large metal container that generally comes in either 20ft or 40ft lengths.Designed for stacking, these containers hold an impressive volume and can be at sea for many months. However, it is not recommended to use these for long term storage due to metal’s ability to sweat and cause condensation inside the container.

A fully loaded 20ft shipping container

Specialist Removals

Sometimes, the goods being moved are oversized, or the logistics require something extra special. That’s where our Specialist Removal team comes into play. With experience using cranes and hoists, there’s nothing we can’t lift and shift!

Storage Container

An industry standard storage container is made from wood and can hold 250ft³. These containers can be stacked to save space, and the door on each comes off to aid loading and unloading.

Square Feet (ft²)

A unit of measurement used to quantify the floor space used on a 2 dimensional surface. For example, our most popular self-store is a 25ft², means the length and width combine to give you your square footage.


A survey, or Pre-Removal Survey is where a surveyor either comes to your property, or they view your property from their phone, and use the information collected to form a cost for moving.

Tail Lift

Some of our vans are fitted with a lift at the rear of the vehicle which is electronically controlled and used to lift heavy items on and off the trucks.

Tare Weight

The weight of an empty shipping container.


A document that states the rules, rates and charges for shipping goods overseas. Only applies to international removals.

Terms and Conditions

A set of rules and guidelines based on a proposal of a service in exchange for payment. Check out our terms and conditions.

Transit Time

The amount of time taken for goods to travel a leg of the journey from one port to the next. For example, the transit time to China from the UK is usually about 6 weeks.


As standard we always unload all of your boxes to the room of your choosing. However, if you’d like all your goods and clothes unpacked, then this is an additional service we offer.


Value Added Tax. An additional charge that is added when goods are sold within the United Kingdom. As of 2024, the VAT rate currently sits at 20%.


The monetary value attributed to a specific item or set of items. This is required for any item(s) with a value of more than £25,000


Volume is the amount of space occupied by an object in three-dimensional space. It is calculated by multiplying the width x height x depth. It is usually represented in either metres cubed (m³), or feet cubed (ft³). For example, our wooden storage containers are 250ft³.


A voluntary withdrawal of certain rights in an agreement. For example, you would need to sign a waiver if you packed the goods yourself, as we cannot accept liability for incorrect packing.

Wardrobe Box

A wardrobe box, or garment carrier is basically a portable wardrobe. It’s an over-size box with a flap cut into the front as a door. It has cut-outs at the top to allow a plastic hanging rail to be mounted across the top and hang clothes from.


A large building used primarily to store goods in wooden storage containers. Purdie Worldwide have 5 main warehouses capable of holding over 2000 storage containers.

Our new Storage Warehouse in Bathgate ,West Lothian


A shipping document created by the mover that shows that cost, point of origin, the destination, consignee and a description of the the shipment.

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