U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Dec 09, 2022

§ 375.401 - Must I estimate charges?

(a) You must conduct a physical survey of the household goods to be transported and provide the prospective individual shipper with a written estimate, based on the physical survey, of the charges for the transportation and all related services. An individual shipper may elect to waive a physical survey. The waiver agreement is subject to the following requirements:

(1) It must be in writing;

(2) It must be signed by the shipper before the shipment is loaded; and

(3) You must retain a copy of the waiver agreement as an addendum to the bill of lading with the understanding that the waiver agreement will be subject to the same record retention requirements that apply to bills of lading, as provided in § 375.505(d).

(b) Before you execute a bill of lading for a shipment of household goods for an individual shipper, you must provide a written estimate of the total charges and indicate whether it is a binding or a non-binding estimate, as follows:

(1) A binding estimate is an agreement made in advance with your individual shipper. It guarantees the total cost of the move based upon the quantities and services shown on your estimate, which shall be based on the physical survey of the household goods, if required. You may impose a charge for providing a written binding estimate. The binding estimate must indicate that you and the shipper are bound by the charges.

(2) A non-binding estimate is what you believe the total cost will be for the move, based upon both the estimated weight or volume of the shipment and the accessorial services requested and the physical survey of the household goods, if required. A non-binding estimate is not binding on you. You will base the final charges upon the actual weight of the individual shipper's shipment and the tariff provisions in effect. You may not impose a charge for providing a non-binding estimate.

(c) You must specify the form of payment you and your agent will honor at delivery. Payment forms may include, but are not limited to, cash, a certified check, a money order, a cashier s check, a specific charge card such as American Express TM, a specific credit card such as Visa TM, or your credit as allowed by § 375.807.

(d) For non-binding estimates, you must provide your reasonably accurate estimate of the approximate costs the individual shipper should expect to pay for the transportation and services of such shipments. If you provide an inaccurately low estimate, you may be limiting the amount you will collect at the time of delivery as provided in § 375.407.

(e) If you provide a shipper with an estimate based on volume that will later be converted to a weight-based rate, you must provide the shipper an explanation in writing of the formula used to calculate the conversion to weight. You must specify the final charges will be based on actual weight and services subject to the 110 percent rule at delivery.

(f) You must determine charges for any accessorial services such as elevators, long carries, etc., before preparing the bill of lading for binding or non-binding estimates. If you fail to ask the shipper about such charges and fail to determine such charges before preparing the bill of lading, you must deliver the goods and bill the shipper after 30 days for the additional charges.

(g) You must include as a part of your estimate the liability election notice provided in the Surface Transportation Board's released rates order. Contact the STB for a copy of the Released Rates of Motor Carrier Shipments of Household Goods.

(h) You and the individual shipper must sign the estimate of charges. You must provide a dated copy of the estimate of charges to the individual shipper at the time you sign the estimate.

(i) Before loading a household goods shipment, and upon mutual agreement of both you and the individual shipper, you may amend an estimate of charges. You may not amend the estimate after loading the shipment.

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 72 FR 36772, July 5, 2007; 77 FR 25373, Apr. 30, 2012; 87 FR 24447, Apr. 26, 2022]

§ 375.403 - How must I provide a binding estimate?

(a) You may provide a guaranteed binding estimate of the total shipment charges to the individual shipper, so long as it is provided for in your tariff. The individual shipper must pay the amount for the services included in your estimate. You must comply with the following 11 requirements:

(1) You must base the binding estimate on the physical survey unless waived as provided in § 375.401(a).

(2) You must provide the binding estimate in writing to the individual shipper or other person responsible for payment of the freight charges.

(3) You must retain a copy of each binding estimate as an attachment to be made an integral part of the bill of lading contract.

(4) You must clearly indicate upon each binding estimate's face that the estimate is binding upon you and the individual shipper. Each binding estimate must also clearly indicate on its face that the charges shown apply only to those services specifically identified in the estimate.

(5) You must clearly describe binding-estimate shipments and all services you are providing.

(6) If it appears an individual shipper has tendered additional household goods or requires additional services not identified in the binding estimate, you are not required to honor the estimate. If an agreement cannot be reached as to the price or service requirements for the additional goods or services, you are not required to service the shipment. However, if you do service the shipment, before loading the shipment you must do one of the following three things:

(i) Reaffirm your binding estimate.

(ii) Prepare a new binding estimate prior to loading. The new estimate must be signed by the individual shipper. You should maintain a record of the date, time, and manner that the new estimate was prepared.

(iii) Agree with the individual shipper, in writing, that both of you will consider the original binding estimate as a non-binding estimate subject to § 375.405.

(7) Once you load a shipment, failure to execute a new binding estimate or a non-binding estimate signifies you have reaffirmed the original binding estimate. You may not collect more than the amount of the original binding estimate, except as provided in paragraphs (a)(8) and (9) of this section.

(8) If you believe additional services are necessary to properly service a shipment after the bill of lading has been issued, you must inform the individual shipper what the additional services are before performing those services. You must allow the shipper at least one hour to determine whether he or she wants the additional services performed. If the individual shipper agrees to pay for the additional services, you must execute a written attachment to be made an integral part of the bill of lading contract and have the individual shipper sign the written attachment. This may be done through fax transmissions; e-mail; overnight courier; or certified mail, return receipt requested. You must bill the individual shipper for the additional services after 30 days from delivery. If the individual shipper does not agree to pay the additional services, the carrier should perform only those additional services as are required to complete the delivery, and bill the individual shipper for the additional services after 30 days from delivery, except that you may collect at delivery charges for impracticable operations that do not exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery.

(9) If the individual shipper requests additional services after the bill of lading has been issued, you must inform the individual shipper of the additional charges involved. The individual shipper must agree to the new charges. You must prepare a new binding estimate and have the new binding estimate signed by the individual shipper. You may require full payment at destination for these additional services and for 100 percent of the original binding estimate. If applicable, you also may require payment at delivery of charges for impracticable operations (as defined in your carrier tariff) not to exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery. You must bill and collect from the individual shipper any applicable charges not collected at delivery in accordance with subpart H of this part.

(10) Failure to relinquish possession of a shipment upon the individual shipper's offer to pay the binding estimate amount (or, in the case of a partial delivery, a prorated percentage of the binding estimate as set forth in paragraph (a)(11) of this section) plus charges for any additional services requested by the shipper after the bill of lading has been issued and charges, if applicable, for impracticable operations (subject to a maximum amount as set forth in paragraph 9 of this section), constitutes a failure to transport a shipment with “reasonable dispatch” and subjects you to cargo delay claims pursuant to part 370 of this chapter.

(11) If you make only a partial delivery of the shipment, you may not demand upon delivery full payment of the binding estimate. You may demand only a prorated percentage of the binding estimate. The prorated percentage must be the percentage of the weight of that portion of the shipment delivered relative to the total weight of the shipment. For example, if you deliver only 2,500 pounds of a shipment weighing 5,000 pounds, you may demand payment at destination for only 50 percent of the binding estimate.

(b) In accordance with § 375.401(a), you may impose a charge for providing a written binding estimate. If you do not provide a binding estimate to an individual shipper, you must provide a non-binding estimate in accordance with § 375.405.

(c) You must retain a copy of the binding estimate for each move you perform for at least one year from the date you made the estimate and keep it as an attachment to be made an integral part of the bill of lading contract.

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 10575, Mar. 5, 2004; 69 FR 17317, May 5, 2004; 72 FR 36773, July 5, 2007; 77 FR 36934, June 20, 2012; 87 FR 24447, Apr. 26, 2022]

§ 375.405 - How must I provide a non-binding estimate?

(a) If you do not provide a binding estimate to an individual shipper in accordance with § 375.403, you must provide a non-binding written estimate to the individual shipper.

(b) If you provide a non-binding estimate to an individual shipper, you must provide your reasonably accurate estimate of the approximate costs the individual shipper should expect to pay for the transportation and services of the shipment. You must comply with the following ten requirements:

(1) You must provide reasonably accurate non-binding estimates based upon both the estimated weight or volume of the shipment and services required and the physical survey of the household goods, if required. If you provide a shipper with an estimate based on volume that will later be converted to a weight-based rate, you must provide the shipper an explanation in writing of the formula used to calculate the conversion to weight.

(2) You must explain to the individual shipper that final charges calculated for shipments moved on non-binding estimates will be those appearing in your tariffs applicable to the transportation. You must explain that these final charges may exceed the approximate costs appearing in your estimate.

(3) You must furnish non-binding estimates without charge and in writing to the individual shipper or other person responsible for payment of the freight charges.

(4) You must retain a copy of each non-binding estimate as an attachment to be made an integral part of the bill of lading contract.

(5) You must clearly indicate on the face of a non-binding estimate that the estimate is not binding upon you and the charges shown are the approximate charges to be assessed for the service identified in the estimate. The estimate must clearly state that the shipper will not be required to pay more than 110 percent of the non-binding estimate at the time of delivery.

(6) You must clearly describe on the face of a non-binding estimate the entire shipment and all services you are providing.

(7) If it appears an individual shipper has tendered additional household goods or requires additional services not identified in the non-binding estimate, you are not required to honor the estimate. If an agreement cannot be reached as to the price or service requirements for the additional goods or services, you are not required to service the shipment. However, if you do service the shipment, before loading the shipment, you must do one of the following two things:

(i) Reaffirm your non-binding estimate.

(ii) Prepare a new non-binding estimate which must be signed by the individual shipper. You should maintain a record of the date, time, and manner that the new estimate was prepared.

(8) Once you load a shipment, failure to execute a new non-binding estimate signifies you have reaffirmed the original non-binding estimate. You may not collect more than 110 percent of the amount of the original non-binding estimate at destination, except as provided in paragraphs (b)(9) and (10) of this section.

(9) If you believe additional services are necessary to properly service a shipment after the bill of lading has been issued, you must inform the individual shipper what the additional services are before performing those services. You must allow the shipper at least one hour to determine whether he or she wants the additional services performed. If the individual shipper agrees to pay for the additional services, you must execute a written attachment to be made an integral part of the bill of lading contract and have the individual shipper sign the written attachment. This may be done through fax transmissions; e-mail; overnight courier; or certified mail, return receipt requested. You must bill the individual shipper for the additional services after 30 days from delivery. If the individual shipper does not agree to pay the additional services, the carrier should perform only those additional services as are required to complete the delivery, and bill the individual shipper for the additional services after 30 days from delivery, except that you may collect at delivery charges for impracticable operations that do not exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery.

(10) If the individual shipper requests additional services after the bill of lading has been issued, you must inform the individual shipper of the additional charges involved. You may require full payment at destination for these additional services and (unless you make only a partial delivery, in which case you must collect a prorated percentage of the original non-binding estimate as set forth in § 375.407(c) of this part) for up to 110 percent of the original non-binding estimate. If applicable, you also may require payment at delivery of charges for impracticable operations (as defined in your carrier tariff) not to exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery. You must bill and collect from the individual shipper any applicable charges not collected at delivery in accordance with subpart H of this part.

(c) If you furnish a non-binding estimate, you must enter the estimated charges upon the bill of lading.

(d) You must retain a copy of the non-binding estimate for each move you perform for at least one year from the date you made the estimate and keep it as an attachment to be made an integral part of the bill of lading contract.

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 10576, Mar. 5, 2004; 72 FR 36773, July 5, 2007; 77 FR 36935, June 20, 2012; 87 FR 24447, Apr. 26, 2022]

§ 375.407 - Under what circumstances must I relinquish possession of a collect-on-delivery shipment transported under a non-binding estimate?

(a) If an individual shipper pays you up to 110 percent of the non-binding estimate on a collect-on-delivery shipment (or, in the case of a partial delivery, a prorated percentage of the non-binding estimate as set forth in paragraph (c) of this section), you must relinquish possession of the shipment at the time of delivery. If there are either charges for any additional services requested by the shipper after the bill of lading has been issued and/or charges, if applicable, for impracticable operations (subject to a maximum amount as set forth in paragraph (d) of this section), and the shipper also pays you for such charges, you must relinquish possession of the shipment at the time of delivery. You must accept the form of payment agreed to at the time of estimate, unless the shipper agrees in writing to a change in the form of payment.

(b) Failure to relinquish possession of a shipment after the individual shipper offers to pay you up to 110 percent of the approximate costs of a non-binding estimate plus any additional charges described in paragraph (a) of this section constitutes a failure to transport a shipment with “reasonable dispatch” and subjects you to cargo delay claims pursuant to part 370 of this chapter.

(c) If you make only a partial delivery of the shipment, you may not demand full payment of the non-binding estimate. You may demand at delivery only a prorated percentage of the non-binding estimate (or a prorated percentage of an amount up to 110 percent of the non-binding estimate). The prorated percentage must be the percentage of the weight of that portion of the shipment delivered relative to the total weight of the shipment. For example, if you deliver only 2,500 pounds of a shipment weighing 5,000 pounds, you may demand payment of 50 percent of not more than 110 percent of the non-binding estimate.

(d) You may not demand payment of charges for impracticable operations, as defined in your tariff, of more than 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery. You must bill and collect from the individual shipper charges for impracticable operations not collected at delivery in accordance with subpart H of this part.

[72 FR 36774, July 5, 2007]

§ 375.409 - May household goods brokers provide estimates?

(a) Subject to the limitations in § 371.113(a) of this subchapter, household goods brokers may provide estimates to individual shippers provided there is a written agreement between the broker and you, the motor carrier, adopting the broker's estimate as your own estimate. If you, the motor carrier, make such an agreement with a household goods broker, you must ensure compliance with all requirements of this part pertaining to estimates, including the requirement that you must relinquish possession of the shipment if the shipper pays you no more than 110 percent of a non-binding estimate at the time of delivery.

(b) Your written agreement with the household goods broker(s) must include the items required in § 371.115(a) of this subchapter.

[75 FR 72998, Nov. 29, 2010]