Moving Company Acronyms: CTN Meaning

Moving Company Acronyms: CTN Meaning

Moving Company Acronyms: CTN Meaning

MOVING COMPANY ACRONYMS CTN MEANINGIn any line of work, there are always terms and phrases unique to that industry that may be foreign to those not in-the-know. Here are some (at least plenty like CTN meaning) of the terms you will hear when dealing with a moving company or specifically, our products and services here at Ralph’s Moving & Storage.

Acronyms are popular. We have a lot to do and little time to get it all done. We abbreviate. So, what does all this mean? That you should always be sure your mover is using proper trade terminology when they communicate with you. You shouldn’t have to guess nor worry that you’re getting what you paid for. All the same, you’ll want to make sure you understand what is expected of you when it comes to terms for services rendered.

While we can appreciate that the CTN acronym has some pretty awesome expansion options, (often used for “can’t talk now”), the CTN meaning when moving has yet another definition. Here, we break it down in our super easy-to-follow dictionary of moving acronyms, terms, and phrases.

Here is a list of our most commonly used moving company acronyms.

• C.D. – Carrier Disassembled
• C.O.D. – Cash On Delivery
• C.P. – Carrier Packed (cartons packed for customer by agent)
• CTN – Cargo Tracking Note or Carton (clarify with moving company)
• Cwt. – this abbreviation stands for the rate or charge per 100 pounds.
• D.A. – Destination Agent
• D.S.I.T. – Destination Storage In Transit
• D.B.O. – Disassembled By Owner
• H.A. – Hauling Agent
• H.H.G. – HouseHold Goods
• P.B.O. – Packed By Owner
• O.A. – Origin Agent
• O.S.I.T. – Origin Storage In Transit
• O.T.R. – Over the Road
• S.I.T. – Storage in Transit

Oftentimes, the above abbreviations can mean different things, depending on the company. Always confirm with your mover what those abbreviations mean to them. As an Atlas agent, we have nationally standardized practices and terminology. Coupled oftentimes with the following terms, you’ll be speaking ‘moving professional’ in no time!

Moving Company Terminology


wrapping material used for rough items (i.e. garden tools).

Burning A Pad

term used to describe the action of placing a folded or rolled up pad securely into an open space to prevent movement.


empty (unloaded) miles traveled by a driver in order to move his or her truck to pick up a paying load.


refers to a method of placing a furniture pad around a piece of furniture. Typically used on straight back chairs.


refers to a method of placing a furniture pad around a piece of furniture. Typically used on flat items.

Line Haul

the charges for the vehicle transportation portion of your move.

Long Carry

charge for carrying articles excessive distances between the mover’s vehicle and your residence.

Long Haul

a move that takes place over 450 miles. Long hauls are (generally) performed with tractor-trailers.


articles that are left behind due to insufficient space on a van, to be loaded on a second van for transportation and delivery.


second weighing of shipment performed at destination at the shipper’s or the carrier’s request.


use of a smaller vehicle to provide service to residences that are not accessible to the mover’s normal line haul equipment (large moving vans). A lot more self-explanatory than CTN meaning!

Space Saver (skin)

a type of furniture pad. Typically burlap on the outside and moleskin on the inside.

Straight Truck

a truck, generally one half the size and capacity of a tractor-trailer. Straight trucks are single cab and body vehicles (as opposed to a tractor-trailer on which the cab can be separated from the trailer).


a group of household goods (HHG) stacked in a moving van to fill the space stacked from wall to wall, floor to ceiling.

Additional Moving Company Phraseology

Finally, you’ll likely some self-explanatory phrases as well during your moving process, unlike CTN meaning and the more confusing phraseology listed above. Still, we break them down by definition so you know what each means.

Bill of Landing

the receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation.

Binding Estimate

an agreement made in advance with your mover, which guarantees the total cost of the move based upon the quantities and services shown on the estimate.

Booking Agent

the agent who accepts the order for your move. The booking agent may or may not be your origin or destination agent.


The mover transporting your household goods (HHG).


shipper’s statement of loss or damage to any of his or her household goods while they were in the care of the carrier or its agent. Such a statement is generally made on a “Claim Form”.

Declared Valuation

the shipper’s indication of the value declared for the possessions being shipped, thereby establishing the carrier’s maximum liability for loss or damage to the shipment. If no value is declared, the liability is then controlled by the tariff under which the shipment is moved.

Destination Agent

the agent designated in the destination area to be available to assist or provide information to you or the van operator regarding your shipment.


detailed and descriptive list of your household goods (HHG) showing the number and condition of each item.

Non-Binding Estimate

This is what your mover believes the cost will be, based upon the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. A non-binding estimate is not binding on the mover. The final charges will be based upon the actual weight of your shipment, the services provided, and the tariff provisions in effect. You must be prepared to pay 10 percent more than the estimated charges at delivery (110 percent rule).

Order for Service

the document authorizing the carrier to transport your household goods.

Origin Agent

the agent designated in the origin area to be available for preliminary readying of the shipment before movement (such as packing boxes for moving), or to provide information to you regarding your move.


the booking or origin agent examines (i.e.: surveys, or visually inspects) the shipper’s goods to develop a cost estimate.


an issuance (in whole or in part) containing rates, rules, regulations, classifications or other provisions related to a motor carrier’s transportation services. The Surface Transportation Board requires that a tariff contain three specific items. First, an accurate description of the services the mover offers to the public. Second, the specific applicable rates and service terms for services offered to the public. Third, the mover’s tariff must be arranged in a way that allows you to determine the exact rate(s) and service terms applicable to your shipment.


The degree of “worth” of the shipment. The valuation charge compensates the mover for assuming a greater degree of liability than is provided for in its base transportation charges.

packing boxes for moving is easier with ralphs

We hope that this list of moving industry acronyms and phrases has been helpful, and will help to clarify many of the terms that are related to the moving industry, like CTN meaning. If you have any questions about this list or other related subjects please feel free to contact our office via email at or call at 520-622-6461

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