Shipping furniture can often cost more than the furniture itself. You need to pay to prepare, move and transport the furniture while still considering the safekeeping of your goods at the same time. However, there are a number of ways to cut down the cost of shipping furniture whether you doing it as part of a move or simply shipping a couple pieces.
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Take it yourself. The cheapest way to ship a large amount of furniture a short distance is to rent a truck, pack all your furniture inside and drive it to the destination. Call around to all the major rental truck agencies to see what company would give the best rate for your specific needs. If you need help loading the furniture onto -- or off of -- the truck, hire a couple of movers from online communities such as Craigslist or Angie's List.
Ship it with economy shipping. If you are only shipping smaller pieces that can be packed into boxes, you might want to consider using one of the traditional shipping services such as UPS, DHL or FedEx. Each of these companies has a cheaper "ground" or "economy" service. Though it will take longer to get there, it will be cheaper than shipping it using one of their regular services. Make sure to get insurance, if necessary. These companies can either pack it for you at one of their stores or you can pack it yourself.
Use a furniture shipping company or low-cost moving company. There are a number of companies that specialise in moving furniture or offer low-cost moving. These include uShip, TransitSystems, Ship Smart and Xpress Movers. To make sure the mover is reliable, check with the Better Business Bureau. There is also a website called MovingScam.com that offers a feedback forum to let users post reviews of moving companies. American Moving & Storage Association is a non-profit trade group that offers a free mover referral service as well.
Be flexible and persistent in finding the best shipping price. There are a number of things you can do to find a lower price for shipping furniture. These include moving during the off season, asking for discounts and being flexible on shipping dates. The more convenient it is for the moving company to consolidate a number of shipments, the cheaper it will be for you.
Use a shipping container for overseas shipments. if you have a large amount of furniture that you need to ship overseas, consider using a shipping container. Shipping containers are generally between 20 and 40 feet in length, but different sizes of pallets and internal widths of containers are used. The website ThomasNet (see Resources) provides a list of container companies.
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