Hauling Furniture to Baltimore
December 27, 2004 3:49 PM   Subscribe

I have the opportunity to acquire some nice furniture from my folks, stuff I'd (as a student) could never afford. I don't know how to drive, nor do I have friends who would help with this. I'm looking for people who shipped things like 45lbs office chairs and large wooden desks to recommend a freight carrier that will pick up in boston and drop off in baltimore. Or even suggest a moving company. Basically, I know what to look for, I just want anecdotes and recommendations on the best (read: cheapest, I can wait a week so long as it gets here cheap) way to do this. As far as budget goes, I'd like to not spend more than $200 and if I can do it for $100 I'll be ecstatic.
posted by Grod to Travel & Transportation around Baltimore, MD (9 answers total)
You have to be careful who you pick as a freight carrier and how you label it. For instance, Never Ever Ever label it 'household goods', because normal freight carriers cannot carry freight classified that way. You'll want to label it 'office furniture' or some such.

I'd look into FedEx freight. They used to be Viking Freight, a reliable Point-to-Point Less than Load Non Palletized carrier. And that, coincidentally, is what you want: a good LTL (Less Than Load) carrier that will pick the stuff up and drop it off and doesn't require things be on pallets (although they do require that it be boxed and protected before picking it up).

Either that, or approach one of the major moving companies and ask them. The first way, even with having to box or crate it yourself, is probably cheaper.

However, I highly doubt you could do it for less than $200, even if you rent a U-haul trailer and move it yourself.
posted by SpecialK at 4:02 PM on December 27, 2004

I'd give these folks a call.
posted by rev_crash_davis at 4:14 PM on December 27, 2004

Agreed: Your price expectation is probably low. Boston to Baltimore is an easy drive. You'll be better off, with regard to both price and safety, renting a truck and doing it yourself.
posted by cribcage at 4:20 PM on December 27, 2004

we've had six chairs shipped from OH to CA via DHL. I can't find my receipts right now, but i believe that we paid only about $200 in shipping (the chairs were boxed individually, and each chair was approx 3' x 2' x 2').

FWIW though, DHL lost one of our chairs, and it took nearly a month for our insurance claim to clear.

if you go the DHL route, def. get insurance (even though that may not cover your ass either. there's TONS of horror stories about DHL on the internet -- just check in with google). I don't know if DHL would handle something as large as a desk (also, you might note that DHL told us to suck it when we asked them to deliver to the second floor of our office, because we don't have an elevator).

We went freight when we were shipped a 4U server, and it ended up costing about $200 as well, so freight is probably going to be more expensive option.

either way, moving shit ain't cheap. i think you'll be really lucky to get it there for $200.
posted by fishfucker at 4:51 PM on December 27, 2004

Response by poster: Hmm. This will happen sometime in April, but I need a plan in the next few weeks or I won't get the stuff, and it is really nice stuff that I've needed for ages.
posted by Grod at 5:40 PM on December 27, 2004

I think your best bet to do it in the generl neighbourhood $200 is to make the drive up in a day in your car for a tank or 2 of gas, and then make the drive back down over the next two days with the stuff in a UHaul trailer. Seriously, you won't find a freight company that'll ship it for under $200, esp. if they're loading/unloading and you're facing packing and/or crating expenses so that they can maximize 'cubage' in their truck. You can't just throw a couch in a truck; it has to be crated or otherwise reinforced so that they can throw other stuff on top of it and the upholstery won't get ruined.
posted by SpecialK at 6:30 PM on December 27, 2004

I don't know how to drive, nor do I have friends who would help with this.

I know everyone is trying to be helpful and all, but this person ain't rentin' a freaking U-Haul!
posted by fixedgear at 6:48 PM on December 27, 2004

You might want to try the Boston or Baltimore "labor & moving" section of craigslist.
posted by damn yankee at 7:17 PM on December 27, 2004

This is probably a longshot, considering the headquarters is in Austin, but check out uShip. "The uShip marketplace allows people to ship anything from individual large items to their entire household at savings up to 80% by matching their shipments with feedback rated drivers. Our drivers are moving companies, van lines, freight carriers, couriers, and other individuals who are taking trips in vehicles with extra space and are interested in earning extra money by transporting your item."
posted by fourstar at 7:37 AM on December 28, 2004

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