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Thread: Shipping a Toy Box

  1. #1
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    Shipping a Toy Box

    I am building a toy box for my first grandchild. Unfortunately, they live about 18 hours away, so I will have to ship it to him. Technically, it fits within the UPS size parameters, but we use UPS a lot at work and based on personal history with them, I simply don't trust them to safely get it to its destination. I crated some nightstands I made a few years ago and shipped it to one of my son's friend's shop with a dock, but that was very inconvenient for him. I would be prefer to have it delivered right to their home, if possible.

    I have searched for single item furniture shipping online and get hundreds of results. I'm fine with paying for a quality company to safely deliver the piece, but I'd rather not just randomly pick one from the list if there's any chance someone here has had good experiences with one or more companies.

    Thanks for any help!

    Regards,
    Scott

  2. #2
    I think it is more how you package it rather than who you ship it with. I would bubble wrap the heck out of it, with a good cardboard box and ship via UPS or Fedex Ground.

  3. #3
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    Russell,
    Ordinarily I would agree with you, but my shipping guy at work is the best I have ever worked with and we still have damage claims from mishandling. A friend worked in the local UPS center and he has regaled us with story after story about how large and/or heavy packages are tossed about or fall off conveyers. The small package companies are simply not an option for me based on personal experience.

    Thanks,
    Scott

  4. #4
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    I have heard a lot of good stories about shipping with Fastenal. But you need to be somewhat close to a store on both ends. Another non-conventional is shipping with Greyhound. http://www.shipgreyhound.com
    No personal experience though.

  5. #5
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    Richard,
    I wasn't aware that Fastenal or Greyhound ran separate freight businesses. I will check them out.

    Thanks,
    Scott

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Brader View Post
    Richard,
    I wasn't aware that Fastenal or Greyhound ran separate freight businesses. I will check them out.

    Thanks,
    Scott
    Used to use Greyhound to ship both documents, and packages. Never lost or damaged one in all the years we used them. We used to send payroll checks to DC area. Have them to the bus station before 9:00 PM, and next morning they were at bus station in DC awaiting pick up. A truck driver bringing a load of doors had alternator on truck quit. At truck place they want north of $300 for a rebuilt, while back home he could get one for less than $100. Because of a loading error, delivery for Virginia Beach was on back of trailer, with mine in front. He called his wife and had her ship me alternator from mid TN, via bus. Went Virginia Beach and unloaded and then back to Raleigh following day. By the time he got back, I had received his alternator. FYI, he was able to run truck off alternator on Thermo King unit on trailer. Lets just say I got a load of cool doors. Plus much cheaper than freight lines. Only problem is you have drop off and pick up at bus station, or arrange for a service to do this.
    Last edited by Bruce Wrenn; 05-14-2021 at 9:18 PM.

  7. #7
    Scott, I also built a toy chest for my new grand daughter, and needed to ship a similar distance. Mine was substantial, 30” long built with hard maple, so it was heavy. FedEx and UPS were both very pricey, with the problems you describe.

    After some research, I shipped though Greyhound at a much lower price. Although they also have mixed reviews, I decided they couldn’t be any worse. I used a ton of bubble wrap and cardboard packing. The toy chest arrived in perfect condition within the shipping time promised. Only caveat, the recipient needs to pick up the package from a Greyhound location, but they have a lot of them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Reading all the stories makes me wonder if there isn’t a demand for some sort of of website that would connect folks wanting to ship something with folks going that way. I just got back from a 3,000 mile trip from DC to Austin and back. My brother had a family heirloom chair that I wanted. Granted, I made a few stops along the way but if someone could have picked up the chair in Austin and driven it to me, I might have reconsidered the trip.

    The stops were fun:
    —Asheville. I met with a hand caning expert about an 1878 deck chair. He advised me about restoring the chair. I’ll go back sometime for a hand caning class
    — spent time with my brother who had just had cataracts fixed in both eyes. He wanted to put his new drill press together in the worst way. But he had to avoid dust for three weeks. So I assembled the DP and put it on a mobile base.
    — saw my cousin in St Louis
    — stopped by Keim Lumber in Charm OH and picked up wood for some upcoming projects. Lumber there was very cheap compared to the DC area. It made the detour well worth it.

  9. #9
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    Ha! It turns out that there are long distance ride sharing services. I see no functional difference between a passenger in the back seat or a toy box. Here’s an article:
    https://www.compare.com/ways-to-save...-long-distance

  10. #10
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    A lot of those links are dead but it was a good place to start. Here’s a somewhat active link.
    https://www.shareyourride.net/listing/150888

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Also, check OWWM.org for "ruckering" or "rucker". Lot of folks get Old Arn moved that way through there--i'm not one of them though. Google search using that term is not helpful--but some of the threads/stories may be helpful in sorting out an alternative.
    earl

  12. #12
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    If you're thinking of using a box that's bigger than FedEx/ UPS will handle then another way to pack it is with spray foam. It's not a spray can but a bag that you mix chemicals in and the foam expands. We use it because it protects against punctures and dropping better than bubble wrap on some items. It also secures the item from being able to move inside the box.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Earl McLain View Post
    Also, check OWWM.org for "ruckering" or "rucker". Lot of folks get Old Arn moved that way through there--i'm not one of them though. Google search using that term is not helpful--but some of the threads/stories may be helpful in sorting out an alternative.
    earl

    Belong to another forum, and they have "Pony Express" requests all the time. Not the quickest way to move something, but definitely the cheapest. Gave my old Sears RAS to fellow member in WV. Happens one of the members there has business contact to call on in WV that are about ten miles from where RAS needed to go. Went to work that morning with saw on back deck, and that night it was in it's new home in WV.

  14. #14
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    A lot of great suggestions! Thanks, All!!!

  15. #15
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    Used to drop-test packaging for heavy electronic instruments. Best results were from an internal box to fit the product, with foam (not styrofoam) corner blocks, inside a larger outer box. The foam corner blocks' size and density need to fit the weight of the item (pure physics of foam compression force and distance -- force = mass x [dec]acceleration). I'm sure the same results can be had with bubble wrap; it's just harder to compute the needed thickness. Foces on the corners and the flat sides will be OK from dropping (.ot sharp-object punctures). Search for "packaging" or "crating" to find custom boxes and foam corner blocks for the weight of your case.

    Be careful with Styrofoam (peanuts or foam-in-place). It compresses and does not recover/return -- losing cushioning/size with every bump and jostle.

    Aside: Packaging/crating shops have nice 4x8 sheets of white-one-side cardboard that is very handy for mockups and grandkids.

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