How Much Does Shipping Furniture Cost?
Planning a long-distance move and wondering if shipping furniture is worth it? Shipping furniture cost ranges from $300 to $4,500, with the national average at $2,400.
- The cost to ship furniture typically ranges from $300 to $4,500, with a national average cost of $2,400.
- The exact cost to ship furniture will depend on several factors, including shipping distance and method, furniture type and value, the number of items, and the time of year.
- Shipping furniture has numerous benefits, such as protection for antique pieces, money savings on higher-end furniture, and peace of mind for customers when moving.
- A customer may be able to ship furniture themselves, but hiring a professional has several advantages, including a decreased risk of injury, reduced stress, and less chance of damage to the items.
Planning for a long-distance move typically involves hiring a furniture delivery service. Shipping furniture over long distances can be a stressful experience for many people, but hiring one of the best long-distance moving companies, such as United Van Lines or Mayflower, can bring peace of mind during the moving experience. How much does shipping furniture cost? According to Angi, furniture shipping cost ranges from $300 to $4,500, with the national average at $2,400. The total price depends on the weight and dimensions of the furniture, the moving distance, the shipping method, the type of furniture and its value, the number of items, and the time of year.
Many professional moving companies consider any move over 400 miles a long-distance move. Cross-country shipping can cost between $300 and $800 per piece, not including shipping insurance, so it’s recommended that customers keep this in mind when obtaining shipping bids from a furniture shipping service. International shipping can cost between $1,000 and $4,500 per item for sea freight, and airfreight shipping can cost considerably more.
This guide breaks down the important factors that influence shipping furniture cost as well as additional costs and considerations that can change the final cost of shipping furniture, the different types of furniture shipping services, the benefits of shipping furniture, and some important questions for customers to ask about the cost to move furniture across the country.
Factors in Calculating Shipping Furniture Cost
While many customers spend between $300 and $4,500 to ship furniture, the overall cost can vary from the national average of $2,400 due to a few important factors. These can include shipping distance, shipping method, furniture type, furniture value, the number of items to be shipped, and the time of year.
Moving furniture across the country costs considerably more than simply moving it across town. In general, the farther the delivery distance from the pickup site, the more expensive the shipping cost. Individual factors, such as the price of gas, the amount of time the move takes, the cost of furniture pickup and delivery, as well as local labor pricing all go into determining the final cost to ship furniture.
The shipping method also influences the overall cost to ship furniture. Shipping furniture items as freight might be one of the most budget-friendly options, but the individual items will be moved with a larger load. If there aren’t enough pieces of furniture to fill an entire moving truck, the furniture will be moved as a “less-than-truckload,” or LTL. An LTL travels with other people’s belongings and may be transferred over to another moving truck, depending on the delivery location. If there are enough items to fill the moving truck, it’s considered a “full truckload,” or FTL. This works well for shipping an entire household full of furniture, although it’s a more expensive option.
The dimensions and weight of the furniture impact the shipping costs. Some shipping companies may have additional charges for extra-heavy pieces and for items that are oddly shaped. Below are the average furniture shipping costs based on the type of furniture for a move from New York to California.
|Type of Furniture||Average Price Range|
|Bookcase (medium)||$475 to $1,000|
|Buffet||$575 to $1,000|
|China cabinet||$575 to $1,000|
|Desk||$475 to $1,000|
|Dining room set||$1,300 to $1,600|
|Dresser||$475 to $1,000|
|Headboard/footboard||$475 to $850|
|Mattress/boxspring (queen)||$475 to $850|
|Rug (medium)||$475 to $850|
|Sofa||$575 to $1,000|
If the piece of furniture is a valuable antique or an otherwise expensive item, it may require extra care during packing, transport, and delivery. White-glove delivery service is available at an additional cost to customers who need assistance with packing and shipping valuable furniture.
Number of Items
The cost to ship a table or deliver a sofa will be less expensive than the cost to ship an entire household of furniture. The cost of an entire truckload (FTL) will be significantly more than the average cost of couch shipping.
Time of Year
The busiest time of the year to move cross-country is during the warm summer months. Furniture shipping prices can be more expensive during this time of the year due to high demand. Opting to ship furniture during the colder off-season may be a budget-friendly option, but snow, ice, and inclement weather can delay delivery times. The busiest months for international shipping are January, February, August, and September. These months have the most expensive shipping and packing costs as well as the highest insurance rates.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When budgeting for shipping furniture cost, customers will often find that there are additional price factors and considerations that go into calculating the overall cost. These can include domestic versus international shipping, large or fragile items, and pickup and delivery location.
Domestic vs. International Shipping
The cost to move is expensive and can include multiple hidden costs; it can also elicit concerns about whether to tip for furniture delivery. Hiring one of the best moving companies, such as United Van Lines, or paying for shipping container costs can take the stress out of moving furniture on one’s own. Domestic long-distance shipping can cost from $300 to $800 or more per piece of furniture, and international shipping is considerably more, with costs ranging from $1,000 to $4,500 per piece of furniture via sea freight. An international move takes time and a lot of planning. It’s recommended that customers research multiple shipping companies that have experience with shipping internationally and going through customs. Using a shipping service with sea freight and port-to-port transportation is less expensive than using airfreight, which can add thousands of dollars to the overall shipping estimate. Shipping companies that ship internationally have information regarding specific international concerns, such as customs documents, furniture pickup and delivery options, insurance, airfreight and sea freight choices, tracking information, specialized packing materials, and taxes, fees, and duty payments.
Large or Fragile Items
If some furniture items are oversize or fragile, some shipping services will charge an extra fee. The additional charge is due to the extra protection and wrapping the items will receive during the packing process. Customers should double-check with the shipping company regarding large or fragile furniture to avoid any unexpected charges.
Pickup and Delivery Location
Densely populated urban areas typically have many furniture shipping service options and can offer a more competitive shipping rate. Pickup and delivery areas in more rural or remote locations can be more expensive, since the moving truck will need to travel longer distances to pick up and drop off the furniture items.
Types of Shipping Furniture Services
When planning for a long-distance move that requires shipping furniture, customers will need to choose the type of shipping service that will work the best for their needs and budget. Below are the types of furniture shipping services that are available for long-distance moves.
For shipping one or two items of furniture, a less-than-truckload (LTL) move is the best option. The individual pieces of furniture are loaded onto a freight truck with items being delivered to other people. Typically, this type of shipping option doesn’t guarantee a precise delivery date, since other items will need to be delivered along the way. There is also the possibility that the pieces of furniture will need to be offloaded and reloaded onto another truck, which can increase the risk of damage during transport. It’s recommended that customers check with the shipping company to see if the furniture will be changed to a different truck mid-move. LTL shipments may also be dropped curbside at the delivery location, and the customer will then need to figure out how to move the items inside the home to their final destination.
International furniture shipping can involve sea freight and airfreight options. Usually sea freight shipping is the most budget-friendly option, but it’s always a good idea to check with the shipping service to ask if there are affordable airfreight alternatives. Many shipping companies will provide shipping boxes for furniture transportation, but international shipping may require the use of crates for extra protection. Customers should keep in mind that the furniture may need to be unpacked after it’s off the ship and repacked to fit into a moving truck to its final destination. This would involve extra fees tacked on to the overall shipping price.
Independent carriers usually avoid truck transfers that can damage furniture items. On many occasions, these smaller shipping businesses don’t want to drive an empty truck after they make their final delivery and will offer agreeable rates paired with excellent customer service.
White-glove furniture delivery provides customized care when furniture items are being moved. For valuable antiques or fragile items, this type of delivery involves additional packing protection and movers to unload and carry the furniture into its new home. White-glove delivery services provide expert care and specialized knowledge regarding shipping furniture safely.
Benefits of Shipping Furniture
The cost of hiring movers and shipping furniture can be expensive, but for many customers, the benefits of hiring professionals are worth the price. Shipping furniture can provide extra protection for heirlooms or antiques, offer money savings on certain items, and supply peace of mind for customers.
Protection for Heirlooms and Antiques
Reputable furniture shipping companies have the experience and knowledge to safely move heirlooms and antique pieces of furniture. While some shipping services may require that the piece of furniture be wrapped and packed for transport in advance of pickup, others may provide extra protection for each individual item of furniture. Opting for white-glove delivery can provide additional safeguarding to the transportation and delivery service.
Money Savings on Certain Items
If a customer has mostly inexpensive furniture items, it may be more cost-effective for them to buy new furniture when they move. However, if their home has multiple high-end or expensive furniture items, shipping it to a new home will save them money over buying new high-end furniture once they’ve moved.
Peace of Mind When Moving
Hiring furniture shipping services when customers are moving can bring peace of mind. Knowing that professionals are in charge of disassembling, wrapping, and transporting furniture items takes the worry out of relocating or moving single pieces of furniture.
Shipping Furniture: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
While hiring even one of the best cheap moving services is more expensive than renting a moving truck, there are some pros and cons to the DIY approach. Packing and moving furniture on your own allow a customer to have control over the moving schedule and the way the furniture is wrapped, prepared for transport, and packed into the truck. On the other hand, the packing and transportation process is time-consuming and physically demanding. If a customer doesn’t have experience moving heavy furniture, they can put themselves at risk of sustaining an injury or damaging the furniture items. Hiring professionals can free up a customer’s time to focus on other moving tasks and relieve the stress and anxiety that surround the moving and relocation process. Allowing movers to take care of the heavy lifting can prevent personal injury and damage to the furniture. Trained professionals know the best way to pack and protect the furniture while best utilizing the space inside the moving truck. The decision to hire furniture shippers is unique to a customer’s needs and the details of the move. Since long-distance moves are difficult, many people use professionals to ship their furniture.
How to Save Money on Shipping Furniture Cost
From couch delivery to shipping a large box of furniture, the cost can quickly add up. When it’s time to move, many people are interested in saving money on shipping furniture cost. Below are some helpful money-saving tips when customers are hiring a furniture shipping service.
- Measure carefully. Knowing the precise measurements and dimensions of a piece of furniture can allow for accurate quotes on shipping furniture cost and avoid overpayment or unexpected charges.
- Ship furniture as bus freight. Bus services, such as Greyhound, offer freight shipping within specific measurements and weight limits.
- Get multiple estimates. Get at least three estimates from reputable furniture shipping companies to find a rate that works with your budget.
- Ship during the off-season. If possible, ship furniture during a slow time of the year, when rates tend to be lower.
Questions to Ask About Shipping Furniture
Asking a professional the right questions can help customers save money and avoid miscommunication. If you’ve never shipped furniture before, it can seem like an intimidating task. Talking to the shipping company can help ease your anxiety and offer peace of mind. Below are some questions for customers to ask a professional about shipping furniture and the related costs.
- Are you licensed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)?
- Is your company a carrier or broker?
- How long has your company been in business?
- Will you provide references?
- What insurance coverage options do you offer?
- What individual services do you provide?
- Do you provide binding estimates?
- Are there any hidden fees when shipping furniture with your company?
- How do you calculate shipping prices?
- Do you offer price matching?
- Do your employees undergo a background check?
- Who will be loading and shipping my furniture?
- Do you offer shipment tracking?
- What happens if my furniture is damaged in transit?
- How does the company handle loss or damage claims?
- Do you guarantee delivery dates?
- What are your payment options?
- What if I need to cancel my shipment?
- Do you offer any senior, military, American Automobile Association (AAA), or seasonal discounts?
- How can I leave a review of your services?
When customers are deciding on furniture shipping companies, it’s helpful for them to have all the information available to help with the decision-making process. Below are some frequently asked questions about shipping furniture cost.
Q. How can I find a reliable furniture shipping service?
To find a reliable furniture shipping service, customers can ask friends and family if they have any recommendations, or they can search online. By reading online reviews, getting a price quote, and understanding what services they provide, a customer can find a furniture shipping service that works with their budget. It’s also recommended that customers check the company’s rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website.
Q. Is it too expensive to ship furniture overseas?
Shipping furniture internationally is more complicated than shipping within the country. Packing furniture items typically involves more sturdy packaging, and it also involves customs requirements. Shipping internationally can range from $1,000 to $4,500 per item, not including the repacking that many items need in order to withstand ground transportation after being unloaded from sea transportation.
Q. How long does it take to ship furniture across the country?
For long-distance moves, it can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks for a delivery truck to make it to the final destination.
Q. Can I get a free quote for my shipping furniture cost?
Many furniture shipping companies offer free estimates for shipping costs. Customers will want to double-check with the company regarding binding estimates and hidden charges.
Q. How can I save money on shipping furniture?
Customers can save money on shipping furniture by getting multiple estimates from reputable furniture shipping companies to find a rate that works with their budget. They’ll also want to ask about discounts and consider avoiding shipping furniture during the busy summer months.
Q. Do I get insurance when shipping furniture?
Moving companies are required to provide basic liability coverage, which is about $0.30 per pound for intrastate moves and $0.60 per pound for interstate moves, which is not enough to replace a damaged item. Full-value protection coverage protects each item for its current market value. This will cost extra, and it may not be offered by every shipping company.