How Can I Ship a Family Antique Cross-Country?
February 10, 2004 9:05 AM   Subscribe

Any advice on shipping a single piece of rather unwieldy furniture across the country? [More inside, of course.]

A relative is giving me an antique secretary that belonged to my great-grandmother. It measures 25"x15"x~7'.

It's currently in Spartanburg SC; I'm in Chicago.
posted by me3dia to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
I'd recommend FedEx Freight.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:18 AM on February 10, 2004

"Can your locations ship my grandmother's china cabinet?"

Mailboxes, Etc. answers that very question in their FAQ, and it also appears some of their franchisees will come right to your house to pack it up for you.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:08 AM on February 10, 2004

The key is to pack it really, really well. I had a chair shipped to me by Greyhound. Not very well packed, but arrived with no (new) scratches. I wouldn't be too trusting with a family antique.
posted by theora55 at 11:14 AM on February 10, 2004

Best answer: I used to work at an MBE (Now the UPS Store).

Remember that these franchises are operated by individuals, some of whom are more enthusiastic about difficult, high-dollar projects than others. The shop I worked in (run by my mom, in Evanston) was very enthusiastic and would have handled a job like this.

There are two steps here: crating and shipping.

Crating: You need to have this thing crated, and that won't be cheap. You can do it yourself with 2x2s and chipboard, styrofoam sheeting, and a shitload of packing peanuts. Just the materials will set you back a bit. The box should probably have 2" clearance on each side, line it with 1" thick styrofoam sheeting (Home Despot and lumberyards sell it as insulation), and then completely fill the voids with peanuts.

Shipping: You can probably find a local freight company to ship this. Not cheap, but less than you might expect. I'd guess $75-100 for deferred air freight, which will take about a week.
posted by adamrice at 1:07 PM on February 10, 2004

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