Shipping furniture can seem tricky because furniture can be different shapes, sizes and weights. Some furniture could be a family antique that requires specialized shipping services. In addition, shipping large or heavy items can be costly. Whether you own a furniture business, an antique store, or you’re an individual who needs to ship a piece of furniture, make sure you get the most affordable way to ship furniture.
Shipping Furniture Basics
In the freight shipping and logistics world, large items refer to any cargo that:
- Weighs over 150 pounds.
- Is longer than 108 inches.
- Has a combined girth and length of more than 165 inches.
This means that parcel carriers cannot transport most furniture, which means shipping furniture is considered freight shipping.
Typically, furniture will be considered a large item. The average sofa weighs about 350lbs., so unless your carrier is The Incredible Hulk, you will need to add accessorials to your quote. Accessorials are add-on services. There are many kinds of accessorials to choose from, and some are required while others are optional. Knowing what accessorials you need will help you plan to ship your furniture more cost-effectively. Here are some common accessorials that may be needed for furniture shipping:
- Life Gate Service: If you are shipping a heavy desk but don’t have a loading dock or a fork lift, you’ll need to request lift gate services for pickup and delivery. Lift gates are required for carriers to load and unload freight weighing over 100lbs. from their trucks.
- Residential and Limited Access Location Service: If you are an individual shipper or run your business from your home, you need this accessorial because residential areas are not very freight truck friendly. Limited access location service is required when any destination restricts trucks from entering an area.
- White Glove Service: With white glove service, you are adding the highest level of service and support available. You will not be responsible for packaging, moving, loading, or unloading your furniture. Your furniture will be picked up and delivered inside your destination. This service is great for individual shippers who are moving antique or valuable furniture.
How to Ship Furniture Affordably
Whether you need to ship furniture across state lines or from one part of the state to another, you want to know your shipping options. Below we go into more detail about some common options you can choose to move your furniture the most affordable way possible:
Less-Than-Truckload Freight Shipping
Many small to medium-sized businesses as well as individual shippers can benefit from choosing less-than-truckload shipping or LTL shipping. LTL shipping is an affordable way to move heavy items like furniture that don’t require an entire truck. Think of LTL shipping as a ride share for your freight because your cargo will share trailer space with other shippers’ cargo. This helps reduce freight rates and shipping costs.
When you choose LTL freight shipping for your furniture shipment, be sure your furniture is secured to a pallet and shrink wrapped for loading to protect it from frequent moving and vibrations. LTL is a great option for factory packaged boxes, ready-to-assemble (RTA) furniture, knocked-down or disassembled furniture, crated and palletized items which are secured to the pallet, as well as beds, cribs and mattresses, and non-fragile, easy to move pieces.
Properly packaging, protecting and securing your furniture is important. For a more comprehensive look at how to package your freight, download our free Guide to Freight Packaging here.
Truckload Freight Shipping
If you own a business that does a lot of furniture shipping for large businesses, you might want to consider full truckload shipping (TL). When you choose TL shipping, your cargo requires the entire space in the truck’s trailer, is very heavy, oversized or overlength, or it has special equipment requirements. Depending on your furniture shipment needs, truckload shipping could be the most affordable option for you.
White Glove Moving Service
While this is considered an accessorial, it’s very important to note that choosing this option is best for shipping fragile, antique, breakable items or furniture that is easy to scratch. This specialty delivery service is recommended for items which require extra care. White glove moving service is also great for furniture sellers who want to provide the best end-customer experience because white glove service includes delivery and set-up by trained specialists, removal of debris/packaging materials, light assembly, and stair carries.
FreightCenter Ships Your Furniture Affordably and Easily
No matter if you are a business owner trying to ship your cargo to your customers within your budget or if you are an individual looking for the best way to ship family antiques across the country, FreightCenter has the shipping expertise you need.
As a 3PL, FreightCenter helps you find the right carrier for your furniture shipment at an affordable freight rate. Our expert shipping agents can help you decide what accessorials you need, what mode of transportation you need, and give you one-on-one attention. Don’t go it alone. Your furniture shipment is important, and we are ready to help.