In a world where eCommerce rules, there’s no limit to what you can deliver these days. Big or small, your next purchase can show up on your doorstep in no time, and that includes furniture.
While the methods vary based on the specific piece, shipping a piece of furniture is a totally doable task, and one nearly every customer expects and many retailers promise nowadays. As a retailer or manufacturer, finding the best way to ship furniture and deliver it in pristine condition can do a great deal to increase reputation, and thus it’s something to spend a little extra time exploring.
Our team at Cowtown Express knows a thing or two about safely delivering furniture, reducing the chance of damage or loss for a smooth freight delivery that matches your business’s commitment to quality. To help ensure the safe and efficient delivery of your furniture, we are sharing all the tips on how to ship furniture, the costs, and the must-know knowledge to boost your delivery success.
Shipping Furniture for eCommerce Companies
When figuring out what is the best way to ship furniture as an eCommerce business, the answer largely relies on the weight and dimensions of the furniture you’re looking to transport.
As expected, shipping large furniture items can be a more cumbersome task. The heavier and bulkier the furniture, the more likely it will increase the cost or create more logistical issues. With this in mind, the product dimensions signify the policy a shipping company has about a product. Take UPS and FedEx, for example. These companies will accept packages up to 150 pounds. Additionally, both companies require that the longest part of the package is no longer than 9 feet. This is a big consideration when looking at the best method for shipping furniture, mainly when shipping large items or furniture.
USPS has even tighter regulations on the size of shipments. So, when considering how to ship large furniture items, if you’re looking at USPS, your package cannot weigh more than 70 pounds and can not be longer than 108 inches.
Additionally, the way in which furniture is packaged and transported will differ based on the provider and the contract you have with them. In some cases, you’ll have to “flat-pack” unassembled pieces, avoiding the restrictions around bulky items.
With all this in mind, the weight limit of furniture is typically concrete. For this reason, when considering how to ship big furniture, it may be best to look into freight shipping, avoiding the smaller weight and dimension limits standard shipping through UPS, FedEx, and USPS may impose.
Furniture Shipping Options
There are a few options to ship furniture cross country. There are furniture movers, which can be rather expensive, parcel shipping, and shipping furniture with LTL freight.
One option for shipping furniture is utilizing a moving company. There are upsides and downsides to choosing a moving company over freight shipments. One pro is that moving companies charge by how much space the furniture takes up rather than weight, which can be helpful with small but heavy furniture.
On the other hand, moving companies are known to be more expensive because they often include extra charges and even hourly rates. Moving companies are especially not ideal for long distance moves, as they're not equipped for shipping furniture long distances and it can cost much more to move your furniture across the country.
Parcel Shipping Your Furniture
Another option for furniture shipping is to use parcel shipping. This shipping solution is really only a good choice for small amounts of furniture, as they tend to charge for item weight and dimensions, which can get rather expensive. On top of this, you should expect longer delivery times with this service, as well as an added price of delivering furniture to the store itself.
Utilizing a service like UPS is fraught with added costs, logistic nightmares, and general stress. Trusting furniture shipping experts from freight companies to ship freight like this will benefit you in the long run.
Shipping Furniture with LTL Freight
When looking at how to have furniture shipped with freight shipping, it’s important to understand the two basic types of freight shipping methods. This includes less than truckload (LTL) and full truckload (FTL). One of the most budget-friendly ways to ship is LTL - perfect for modern businesses looking to ship smaller loads.
With LTL shipping, you can ship both pallets and packages that would be considered too heavy or bulky for other carriers. This is great for everything from couches to dining tables and recliners. In choosing LTL, instead of needing enough goods to fill up an entire truckload or paying for a whole truck to use just a portion, you only pay for the amount of truck space you use. This is what makes it such a budget-friendly choice.
While there are great perks to LTL freight shipping, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. First, since not all the goods on the truck are headed to the same place, deliveries can take a bit longer and are often transferred between trucks along the way. This can also increase the chance of damage to goods. However, LTL shippers have a great deal of experience, and with the proper packaging and shipment details, you can make delivering your furniture easier (and cheaper) than ever.
How Much Does It Cost to Ship Furniture?
As an eCommerce business, we know just what you're thinking - how much does it cost to ship furniture? There are a few factors that determine the cost when shipping a piece of furniture, but knowing these elements will help you keep your freight rates within range.
- Shipping Class: A large determiner of cost is the furniture shipping class. This is decided based on the weight and volume, or density, of the package you're shipping. Additionally, the unique characteristics your item has can impact the class your shipment falls under.
- Different Providers: As expected, different providers have various restrictions, costs, and offers when it comes to shipping larger items. White glove services might be beneficial depending on your needs.
- Distance: Another consideration is how far your shipment is going and whether it is a domestic or international shipment. This can impact both cost and arrival date.
- Booking Timing and Method: Finally, some providers will reduce costs if you book your shipment earlier, or if you do so online - a key insight to save a little money.
- Time of the Year/Season: There's a season for moving, and it is not the cold one. Most freight carriers will tell you that for a successful shipment, it's best to stick with summer when shipping rates will be lower.
How to Pack Furniture - Cowtown Express’s Tips
The biggest tip when shipping a piece of furniture? Proper packing. At Cowtown Express, we have extensive experience shipping both LTL and FTL freight, and over the years, we’ve learned that many logistical problems are due to how goods are packaged, especially when it comes to bulky items.
One of the most important things to consider is the DIM weight. This is the dimensional weight of your box and it means that you want to use the smallest box possible to ship your goods and avoid damage. DIM weight is also the formula that a carrier will use to consider size when calculating shipping costs. In the case the DIM weight is higher than the actual weight, you will be charged for the DIM weight, and we certainly want to avoid that.
To avoid damage when shipping large furniture items, here are the best practices for how to ship furniture, including steps and tips to follow to ensure the safe delivery of your goods.
- Always provide the bill of lading and unpacking instructions.
- Use a sturdy box to protect oversized freight shipping items.
- If possible, ship your furniture unassembled in a flat box. If this isn’t an option, remove any detachable pieces, like the legs and arms of chairs to fit the item into a smaller, more secure box.
- Be sure to wrap the furniture in plastic film to avoid any scratches or stains in the shipment process.
- Always include extra protection! Everything from styrofoam to cardboard guards on the corners of items can help ensure ample protection.
- When needed, use molded cardboard or styrofoam as infill.
- If your item is especially heavy, reinforce it with straps to help carriers lift it safely.
With the ever-growing eCommerce industry, in order to stay on top, you have to ensure safe, fast delivery. This may be a challenge when it comes to figuring out how to ship furniture, but by keeping the best practices in mind and finding the proper shipment method, you can ensure quality delivery of your furniture pieces.
For help shipping large furniture items, our DFW trucking company team is here to assist. To find the cost for the safe and secure delivery of your next shipment, get a freight transportation quote online today.