This information is of importance to you as a shipper of household goods and is being furnished pursuant to a requirement of the New Jersey State Division of Consumer Affairs. It relates to the transportation of household goods in intrastate commerce by licensed public movers. You should be sure to obtain the complete and correct name, business address, license number and telephone number of the public mover who is to transport your shipment, and keep that public mover informed as to how and where you may be reached at all times until the shipment is delivered.
Before completing arrangements for the shipment of your household goods, all of the information herein should be considered carefully by you. MOST IMPORTANTLY, BE SURE THE PUBLIC MOVER YOU SELECT IS LICENSED BY THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY. You may contact the New Jersey State Division of Consumer Affairs to determine if a mover is licensed and in good standing with them.
Telephone estimates are not permitted and the mover must make a visual survey of your goods before an estimate is prepared. This estimate must be in writing and a copy given to you. To get a reasonably accurate estimate you must show the estimator everything you intend to ship.
An estimate is not a bid nor a contract, and choosing the public mover submitting the lowest estimate will not assure you the lowest cost move.
Regardless of any estimate, the actual weight of goods and the amount of packing or other accessorial services performed by the public mover or the actual time involved will determine the final amount you must pay for your move. Some movers change additional fees, such as “travel time”, etc.
Be sure to ask for all additional costs when you are given an estimate for your move. Public movers cannot determine exactly what your move will cost until the move is completed (in the case of hourly rate moves) or until the shipment is weighed (in the case of weight-based moves).
Bill of Lading
Before your shipment leaves the point of origin, you should obtain from the public mover a bill of lading signed by you and the public mover. Be sure that this shows the public mover’s name, address, license number and telephone number at which you can reach the public mover, and an address and telephone number furnished by you to which the public mover can send messages regarding your shipment while it is in his possession, the location from and to which your goods are moving, the date of loading, date of delivery, storage instructions (if any) and the declared or released valuation of the goods.
This bill of lading will list all the actual charges you have to pay for services rendered by the mover.
If the public mover’s rates are determined by the hour, the mover will require you to sign for the start and finish time of the actual working hours (subject to the mover’s minimum number of hours).
You will note and initial on the bill of lading the time your truck arrives at your origin and again note and initial the time the men deliver the last piece into your new residence. To this time you will add the appropriate travel time, if travel time is applicable, and deduct for time spent by the movers for lunch time or time spent for any breakdown of the vehicle, and for any time spent in excess of normal for the truck being “lost” en route to your new residence. Any accessorial charges will be in addition to the hourly charges.
If the public mover’s transportation charges are determined on the basis of weight of your shipment and miles traveled, the public mover will weigh its empty vehicle prior to the loading of your goods. This weight will be called the TARE WEIGHT. After loading your goods, the vehicle will again be weighed and this weight will be called the GROSS WEIGHT. The difference between these two weights is the NET WEIGHT, and this is the weight you will pay transportation charges on.
If your shipment weighs less than 1,000 pounds, the mover may weigh it prior to loading by using a portable scale or use an estimated weight based on cubic feet. Some movers may have minimum weight requirements. The weight tickets obtained by the mover must have a seal on them showing that the truck scale used is approved by the NJ Bureau of Weights and Measures.
You are permitted to follow the loaded truck to the weigh station to view your weighing.
Payment and Delivery
The public mover will require payment in cash, money order or certified check before unloading your goods unless credit arrangements were made beforehand.
Preparing Articles for Shipment
Some articles such as stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, computers, copiers and other electronic devices, may require disconnection and usually require special servicing to protect their mechanisms during shipment.
It is your responsibility to have this done. Some public movers, upon request, will arrange to have this service done at your expense. You should arrange to take down all blinds, draperies, window cornices, mirrors and other items attached to the walls and to take up carpets which are tacked down. The charge for such service is not included in the transportation charge and may be performed by the public mover only at an extra per-hour charge.
The mover should be advised prior to your moving date that these services are needed. Under no circumstances should you pack jewelry, money, or valuable papers with your other belongings, or pack any matches, flammables, perishables, or other dangerous articles. The mover will not be responsible for these items should they be transported without his knowledge.
Many articles must be packed in dish packs, cartons or crates so that they can be handled safely. You may do your own packing.
However, the public mover is not responsible for damage resulting from any faulty packing you perform.
You may also elect to have the public mover do any or all of the packing for you, realizing that there is a charge for these services. The public mover will unpack containers it has packed, if desired, but not those you have packed. If you fail to pack items that require packing for safe handling, or pack them ins such a way as to be unsafe from damage, the mover may either refuse to transport these items or will pack them and charge his tariff rates for this service.
Movers Responsibility for Loss and Damage
The public mover offers to you as the shipper a base rate called a release rate that is printed in their tariff, Order for Service and Bill of Lading. The base rate limits the public mover’s responsibility for your goods to $0.60 per pound per article and is not to be construed as insurance.
This means that if any article is damaged or destroyed beyond repair, you will be reimbursed at $0.60 times the actual weight of the item. Depending on the mover you select, methods of insuring your cargo follow:
You may declare a total value for your shipment at an additional premium. Usually there are Actual Value and Replacement Value policies available. The rates and conditions may vary with each mover. You can declare this value on the “Order for Service” form that the mover gives to you after you book the job with them.
You may purchase your own cargo insurance through your insurance broker. It is suggested that the rate for this insurance be compared with those of the mover. Insurance obtained from your broker will be at your expense.
Some movers use what is called a full value bill of lading. Under the terms of this type of bill of lading, the shipper may declare a value on the entire shipment which must be a value equal to or greater then $1.25 times the estimated or actual weight. (Unless the shipper declares a value in writing, the shipment will be insured for a value of $1.25 times the weight automatically. There is a charge to the shipper for the mover assuming this liability. If the shipper does not wish to declare a value, the shipper must write $0.60 per pound in his own handwriting on the bill of lading. When you order additional insurance from the mover, he must provide you with a certificate of insurance that gives you full information about this insurance, the insurance company holding this policy and any deductibles involved.
Lost or Damaged Articles
Be sure to check your goods as they are delivered. Note any lost articles or damage on the bill of lading that you will sign upon completion of the delivery. If other loss or damage is discovered later, notify the mover immediately. A claim can be filed later but in no case after 90 days. The mover will honor no claim for damages or missing items until your bill is paid in full.
These are publications in printed form, containing the rates, charges and rules of the public movers.
The tariffs of all public movers are not the same, but all of them are open to public inspection and may be examined at the public mover’s office or the office of the Division of Consumer Affairs, Office of Consumer Protection, during normal business hours.
All tariffs contain rules and regulations, and those in the tariff of the public mover serving you must be applied in determining the charges on your shipment. Among the rules and regulations normally appearing in published tariffs may be special provisions such as “shipments picked up or delivered at more than one place”, packing and marking, diversion of shipments en route, additional services, etc., the charges for which are called “ACCESSORIAL CHARGES” and which include services such as packing, unpacking, the furnishing of boxes or other containers, and carrying pianos up or down steps, etc.
For more information from the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Office of Consumer Protection P.O. Box 45018,
Newark, N.J. 07101 Phone 201-504-6475
New Jersey Warehousemen and Movers Association