The driver will generally inventory your shipment as he or she loads it (although it is not required by law). When completed, the inventory provides a detailed, descriptive listing of your household goods, along with the condition of each item when received by the mover.
Be sure that everything listed on the inventory is correct. This is not always the easiest task, as you will find things written on the inventory such as “PBO,” which means “packed by owner.” The contents of this carton cannot be listed, as the driver is simply not able to see inside each box. You will also sometimes find “CP” on a line item in the inventory, which means “carrier packed” container.
You may also notice, in the middle column on your inventory form, a line that has many seemingly random letters and numbers associated with a specific item. This is where a driver uses inventory code to make note of the condition of an item. To understand this code, you can refer to the top of the inventory sheet for a legend that will explain what each code means. For example, SC means scratched; C means chipped; the number 3 refers to the right side of piece; and 8 refers to the top of the piece. This is a simple (and consistent) way for the driver to make note of any irregularities or existing damage.
Remember, this inventory is for you to keep track of what is loaded, and the condition of each item. If damage occurs on a certain piece during the loading process, make a note of the inventory tag number on that item and indicate it in the far-right hand column on the line that corresponds with that piece. This is the document that will be scrutinized when the claims process is initiated, so it is important to have the damage clearly noted.
This inventory should also be used at-destination when your shipment is delivered. Use the inventory to verify the articles that are delivered and, again, note an exception to the condition of any items as they are brought into your home. Point out the damage to the driver.
What often occurs is that a piece of furniture has been in your home for many years and you grow accustomed to looking at it in a certain place and in a certain light. When you bring that same piece into your new home, you may notice damage that may have been there for a long time. The driver will have noted the scratch or chip at your origin residence. If you are not sure if it was existing damage or new damage, ask your driver to explain the condition of the piece as he noted it on the inventory during the loading process. This is the quickest way to distinguish new damage from what was there all along.
Our drivers are incredibly careful about the way they handle your items, and the inventory is their safeguard against potentially fraudulent damage claims. Use this inventory to your advantage in making sure that you are protected, just as the driver uses it to protect himself or herself.