How to Ship Furniture

Shipping furniture can be one of the most challenging tasks of eCommerce. While setting up a website to sell furniture is relatively easy, ensuring that the furniture reaches your customers safely and cost-effectively is a complex process. This guide will provide you with all the essential and detailed information on shipping furniture, including costs, couriers, packaging, and more.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship Furniture?

The cost of shipping furniture varies based on several factors, including:

  • Item Size and Dimensions: Larger items typically cost more to ship.
  • Weight: Heavier items increase shipping costs.
  • Value: Valuable furniture may require additional insurance.
  • Distance: Longer distances generally increase shipping costs as well.
  • Courier Selection: Different couriers have different pricing rates.

It’s crucial to calculate the size and dimensions accurately when shipping furniture, as it greatly impacts the cost. Ensure to measure everything carefully to avoid overpaying. Use our handy Calculator to find the best furniture shipping options. 

The weight of the furniture is another important factor you  should consider when determining how to ship it. Heavier items can be more challenging to move. It will potentially increase shipping costs as they may need to be transported by sea freight or truck LTL. And don’t forget about the Insurance, as it may also be necessary for high-value furniture items. And of course it will add to the overall cost.

The distance of your shipment is also a significant factor in calculating furniture shipping costs. Short-distance deliveries can often be handled cheaper with truck delivery services. But for long-distance or cross-country shipments you may need alternative transportation options like less than load (LTL) freight.

And finally, shipping furniture internationally usually results in higher shipping costs due to the increased distance.

Example Costs

Here's an example of how furniture shipping costs can vary:

  • Local Shipping: $50-$200
  • National Shipping: $200-$500
  • International Shipping: $500-$2,000

Accurate measurements and weight calculations are crucial for obtaining precise shipping quotes and avoiding overpaying. Use our Calculator to find the best way to ship your furniture.

What is the Cheapest Way to Ship Furniture?

As we mentioned above, the most cost-effective way to ship furniture depends on:

  • Weight and Size: Smaller and lighter items are cheaper to ship.
  • Distance: Shorter distances reduce costs.
  • Courier Selection: Comparing rates from multiple couriers can help find the best price.

This may seem obvious, but when shipping furniture, there are some additional points to consider.

Factors Influencing Cost

  • First and Last Mile Delivery: Using local couriers for last-mile delivery can impact costs.
  • Freight Shipping: Less Than Load (LTL) freight is often cheaper for large, heavy items.

Another consideration affecting costs is the number of local and international couriers required for first and last-mile delivery, as well as order fulfillment. Thist means that, for example, when sending packages internationally from the U.S., using local couriers for final delivery can affect your overall shipping costs.

Additionally, as various factors can affect the shipping furniture costs, it's crucial to accurately measure and weigh your shipment and select a courier with the best shipping rates.

Using tools like Qwintry's shipping calculator can help you find the most affordable shipping options by comparing different couriers.

Which Courier is Best for Shipping Furniture?

Several couriers specialize in shipping furniture both domestically and internationally. Here are some reliable options:

UPS Furniture Shipping

UPS offers comprehensive packing and shipping services for furniture, including custom crates and protective wraps. They provide reliable domestic and cross-border shipping solutions.

UPS provides a range of shipping options for furniture, such as UPS Ground, UPS Freight, and UPS Worldwide Express Freight.

  • UPS Ground is considered the best way to ship small furniture items that can fit in standard-sized boxes, particularly for domestic shipments in the United States.
  • UPS Freight is a good option for larger furniture items, multiple pieces of furniture needing palletizing or crating, and heavier items that go over UPS Ground's size and weight limits.
  • UPS Worldwide Express Freight offers international shipping services for furniture globally, with quick delivery, customs clearance, and tracking available.

UPS shipping rates are determined by the distance and weight of the shipment, as well as other considerations.

FedEx Furniture Shipping

FedEx offers next-day delivery within the US and competitive rates for furniture shipping services. They also provide custom packaging solutions to ensure safe delivery.

FedEx offers comparable to UPS shipping options, such as FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, and FedEx International Freight.

  • FedEx Ground is a reliable option for smaller furniture items and domestic shipments within the U.S., offering tracking and insurance options.
  • FedEx Freight is a good option for shipping larger furniture items or shipments that need palletizing or crating.
  • FedEx International Freight offers international shipping services for furniture to other countries, including air freight with efficient transit times and customs clearance support.

Shipping costs with FedEx are determined by factors like shipping distance, weight, and dimensions, similar to UPS.

DHL Furniture Shipping

DHL is another reliable option for international furniture shipping, offering extensive global reach and custom packaging services. You can even take advantage of DHL Express for international furniture shipping. Or use a large array of DHL Domestic Freight Forwarding services. They offer such options as LTL (Less-than-Truck Load), PTL (Part-Truck Load), FTL (Full-Truck Load).


LTL stands for "less than truckload" and is a cost-effective method of shipping freight items that don't need a full truckload. It's ideal for transporting furniture that is too large for parcel carriers but doesn't require a full truck's worth of space.

LTL carriers consolidate shipments from various customers onto one truck, calculating shipping costs based on the space your items occupy. Although delivery times may be slower than UPS and FedEx, this method helps reduce expenses by sharing transportation costs.


FTL, which stands for "full truckload," is a shipping method that is ideal for transporting large quantities of furniture or oversized items that need a whole truck. This method offers quicker transit times and less handling compared to LTL shipping.

FTL carriers offer a range of services to meet specific requirements, such as dedicated trucks, expedited delivery, and specialized equipment for loading and unloading heavy or fragile furniture. Most carriers in this category offer comprehensive transportation solutions for furniture shipments, whether local or long-distance, including pack and ship services similar to professional movers.

How to Ship a Piece of Furniture

Shipping furniture involves several steps to ensure it arrives safely and in good condition. Here’s a detailed process:

Step 1: Order the Right-Sized Shipping Box

  • Cardboard Box or Wooden Crate: Depending on the item and distance, choose the appropriate packaging.
  • Custom Boxes: For large or irregularly sized items, create custom boxes using corrugated sheets.

Step 2: Disassemble Furniture

  • Remove Detachable Parts: Take apart table legs, armrests, etc., to minimize the risk of damage.
  • Bag any small parts: Securely bag small hardware, screws, and other detachable parts in labeled plastic bags to prevent them from coming loose during transit. Tape the bags to the furniture or store them in a clearly labeled box.
  • Wrap Fragile Components: Use foam or bubble wrap for extra protection of fragile items.

Step 3: Wrap the Furniture

  • Styrofoam and Packing Tape: Securely wrap the furniture in Styrofoam and tape it down.

Step 4: Place the Furniture in the Box

  • Assemble the Box Around the Furniture: Ensure the box fits snugly around the item to prevent movement during transit.
  • Tape and Strap the Box: Use polypropylene strapping for added security.

Step 5: Measure and Weigh the Package

Accurate measurements and weight are essential for determining furniture shipping costs and selecting the appropriate shipping company.

Step 6: Choose a Courier

Step 7: Label the Package

Remember to label each box with its contents, destination address, and any special handling instructions for proper delivery and unpacking.

Best Practices for Packing Furniture

  • Use Protective Wraps: Foam, bubble wrap, and Styrofoam provide cushioning.
  • Secure Packaging: Tape and strap the box to prevent it from opening during transit.
  • Label Clearly: Mark the box with handling instructions, such as “Fragile” or “This Side Up.”

By following these steps and best practices, you can ensure your furniture shipments are safe, cost-effective, and timely. Qwintry's tools and services simplify the process, making it easier for eCommerce businesses to manage furniture shipping efficiently.

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✔️ How can I ship large or heavy furniture internationally?

Use freight shipping options like LTL for cost efficiency. Qwintry provides discounted rates for international shipping.

✔️ Should eCommerce businesses offer free shipping for furniture?

Consider your profit margins. Offering free shipping can increase sales but might reduce your overall profit if not calculated correctly.

✔️ How to ship one piece of furniture?

Measure and weigh it accurately, wrap it in protective packaging, and place it in a sturdy box. Choose a reliable courier for shipping.

✔️ How to ship a chair?

Disassemble any removable parts of the chair, wrap them in bubble packaging, and place the chair in a suitable box.

✔️ How to ship a couch?

Disassemble the couch if possible, wrap each piece in protective materials, and use a sturdy box for shipping.

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