Although advancements in logistics and transportation have made it possible to ship items of virtually any size, furniture shipping is still far from uncomplicated. Learn how to safely navigate the process, irrespective of the weight or size of the pieces involved.
Inside the World of E-commerce Furniture Shipping
In theory, furniture shipping may seem pretty straightforward–but the reality is anything but. Given that furniture pieces come in a wide variety of weights, sizes, and shapes, managing the shipping process can be exhausting and time-consuming.
The primary concern when shipping furniture is the protection of the shipment’s integrity and ensuring that it reaches its final destination in perfect condition. A ruined product can negatively impact a brand’s reputation and cost the business thousands of dollars. Therefore, shipping furniture pieces in protective packaging and handling them with utmost care is crucial as it helps minimize damage or loss.
What are my shipping options?
There are a few options for shipping furniture across the US. They include:
- Moving companies: These companies specialize in moving furniture of all sizes. The major advantage of hiring these companies is their charges depend on how much space the products take instead weight. This makes them an ideal option for shipping small but heavy furniture pieces. However, on average, they are more expensive than other furniture shipping options and are unsuitable for long-distance shipping.
- Parcel shipping: This involves employing the ground shipping services of carriers like UPS, FedEx, and USPS. It is only suitable for shipping smaller, lightweight pieces as parcel carriers have maximum weight and dimension limits. For example, UPS and FedEx accept packages that weigh as much as 150 pounds and are as long as 108 inches (9 feet) on one side. The combined length and girth dimension are also limited to 130 inches for FedEx and 165 inches for UPS. On the other hand, USPS has a maximum weight limit of 70 pounds and accepts packages as long as 108 inches with a maximum combined length and girth of 130 inches.
Another furniture shipping option is via less-than-truckload (LTL) freight carriers. LTL shipping is the sweet spot between parcel shipping and full truckload (FTL) shipping. It provides an excellent way to ship items that are too heavy or large for standard carriers but too small to fill a whole truck. With LTL shipping, you’re only required to pay for the space your shipment occupies in the truck. This allows a cost-effective approach to shipping furniture that other delivery services will charge an arm and a leg for. Examples of items best suited for LTL shipping include sofas, dining furniture, ready-to-assemble (RTA) furniture, bedroom sets, mattresses, recliners, cribs, etc. When using LTL carriers, ensure that your pieces are firmly attached to a pallet to keep them stable during transport.
Quick Tips on How to Ship Furniture
Shipping furniture can be pretty complicated. Here are a few quick tips on how to successfully manage the process:
- Disassemble and flat-pack furniture, if possible. This helps you save on shipping costs as disassembled furniture takes up less space than assembled ones. If dismantling isn’t an option, you can remove any detachable pieces like the legs and arms of a couch and pack them into a separate, smaller box.
- Remove all remove screws, bolts, and knobs: Put all screws, bolts, and knobs in a Ziploc bag or a small box before packing the furniture. When left in place, they often stick out and can damage the furniture during shipping.
- Use protective packaging: When it comes to packaging furniture, the more protective materials you use, the better. Wrapping the furniture in plastic film protects it against scratches and stains while in transit. You should also use other forms of protection, such as cardboard corner guards, Styrofoam or molded cardboard infills, strap reinforcements, etc.
- Always pack furniture in sturdy boxes: Using a sturdy box for packaging protects the furniture from impact and abrasion during transport.
- Always include the bill of lading and unpacking instructions in the package.
How to Choose the Right Carrier
Choosing the right carrier to ship your furniture can make all the difference between a perfect and a botched delivery. You should look for reliable carriers with a track record of offering excellent furniture shipping services at affordable rates. GoShip can connect you with over 42,000 carriers guaranteed to deliver your furniture pieces quickly and in impeccable condition. Our platform provides you with everything required for a smooth shipping process. From access to instant quotes to price comparison, online shipment booking, transparent fee structure, real-time tracking, and a competent customer team. Visit our website and enter your shipment details in our online quote tool to get the best rates from carriers around you.