In a world where online retailers are booming, does it come as any surprise that the furniture industry performs twice as well as the overall economy? Growing at a rate of 6-7% year after year, the furniture industry is not going anywhere, anytime soon. Despite millennials delaying home ownership for longer than previous generations, they’re still the largest consumer group in the U.S. furniture and bedding market. Online giants such as Wayfair and Amazon are partly to thank, as e-commerce is the biggest source of growth for the U.S. furniture industry. Experts predict that online sales will reach $32 billion by 2018, up from $11.1 billion in 2012.
Nothing Really Mattress If Your Logistics Aren’t Optimized
If you’re in the furniture industry yourself, you might be concerned with tightening your supply chain and operations to increase your margin on profits. But furniture logistics are tricky and complex—here’s why:
- Furniture has intrinsic flaws—the more “touches” during transit, the more chance for damage to occur
- Furniture requires specialized, manual handling as mechanical equipment is more likely to damage it
- Furniture should not be treated or packaged like other goods—other products are the reason furniture gets damaged, so it should be shipped with other like furniture
With an increase in online furniture sales, this has conditioned consumers to expect faster delivery—which presents a problem for retailers who can’t meet that demand.
An Analysis: Outsourcing vs. Insourcing Transportation
Surely, you’ve weighed the options and pros and cons of outsourcing your transportation needs versus handling them in-house. You may have noticed the laundry list of issues that come with managing your own fleet:
- High driver turnover rates
- Maintenance and repair issues
- High service costs related to delivery problems
All these issues divert time, effort, and energy away from the real goal of your company: sales. Legendary business consultant, Peter Drucker, once said: Do what you do best and outsource the rest. By outsourcing your logistics with a 3PL like FreightCenter, you allow for two things to happen.
- You let experts who know about transportation coordinate all your shipments for you with just an email or phone call. This allows for lower costs, faster transit times, and happier customers. Who wouldn’t want that?
- You allow yourself the freedom and time to focus on what you know best, whether it be sales, operations, or marketing—without having transportation cloud your head.
Special Services for Furniture Shipping
Furniture shipping is a great time to add on white glove services. With this accessorial, you (or your customer receiving the furniture) will secure the highest level of service and support. When choosing standard freight service, you’ll only be receiving curbside pickup and delivery. With white glove—packaging, loading, unloading, and debris removal are all included. When using this specialty service, you’ll be receiving VIP treatment and that’s important when shipping something as fragile as furniture.
Keep in mind, when shipping furniture it’s actually cheaper to ship it packaged, rather than unpackaged. The reason being that unpackaged furniture presents a great risk for damage and with greater liability, comes greater costs. If you’re looking to get the best price possible, be sure your furniture is fully packaged and protected.
Want to optimize your furniture supply chain? Start today by getting your free, instant freight quotes.