The simple answer is by truck, and since Missouri Table & Chair is very familiar with shipping, we will handle the fastest, most cost effective way for you, but as you can imagine it’s more complicated than just calling a trucking company. There is paperwork that needs to be signed, furniture boxed and packed properly for shipment, and all kinds of rules to follow. There are major differences between small package delivery companies such as UPS or FedEx, and freight lines with long haul or over the road trucks that are commonly used for larger orders of restaurant tables, chairs and barstools. Keep reading for more detail of what happens with your furniture delivery to help make receiving your products run smoothly.
Is the cost of freight included in the items I want?
Many companies that cater to homeowners and the retail industry offer free shipping, especially for smaller items that can ship USP, FedEx or UPS. In the hospitality food service business, most customers like freight broken out as a separate line item on the invoice with the freight typically being shipped by common carrier or dedicated truck. It is very difficult to include freight into the product due to the many variables such as the weight, type of items, distance to travel and carriers charge different rates. Each order is unique which creates different costs for each shipment and is another reason why freight is not included in the cost of the item, and is most commonly a separate line item. Quoting the shipping separately also ensures that each customer gets the best discounted shipping through our freight line partners.
Why is freight so expensive?
Over the road trucks have always been relatively expensive because of all the costs they have, like the drivers, trucks, fuel, terminals, dock employees, etc. Many truck companies, have a minimum freight charge whether you order 1 restaurant chair or 20. This means a shipping cost may be similar for 20 chairs as it is for only 10 chairs, for example. This is because exceeding the minimum freight charge by a few chairs does not increase the cost very much. Also, trucking companies have their own rates and depending on their routes, the freight rate will vary. We select the truck lines that are the most cost and time efficient to your area. Occasionally, we cannot pick the lowest price carriers, as they may have a reputation of handling freight badly or not carry enough insurance if they damage the freight, costing customers more in the long run.
Can I pick the time and date of my shipment?
It may work out that your shipment arrives exactly when you requested it, but that is not something we can promise. We cannot control freight lines or the number of variables that go into a perfectly timed delivery. Traffic, weather, dispatchers, and the amount of freight a truck line is handling are all things that can delay shipments. Sometimes freight arrives earlier than expected which can cause a problem just like if it were late, if your restaurant isn’t ready for deliver or you don’t have the manpower to unload your furniture.
If you can arrange to receive your shipment 1 day before or 1 to 2 days after your estimated date, you can save on expedited or guaranteed delivery fees. However, if an exact window of time is needed to accept your order, then we would suggest ‘guaranteed delivery’ which means the carrier will handle you freight with a high priority to get it to you on an agreed time frame. There is an extra fee for this service from the carrier.
Will the truck driver put the freight where I want it located?
Truck drivers are only responsible to get the freight off the end of the truck. They are not paid to take it inside, unless you order inside delivery which is an additional cost. You will find some drivers with a great customer service that will help you as much as they have time and other drivers not as generous. Assume the driver will not take boxes past the end of his truck. Depending on the size of your shipment have the appropriate number of people to assist moving boxes. Note that drivers will not assemble any items, even if you pay for inside delivery.
Are there papers to sign when freight is delivered?
Yes, the most important paper you will be asked to sign is the Bill of Lading, which is a legal document. The Bill of Lading is very important as title to the goods will transfer to you with your signature. The Bill of Lading will indicate several important items. One of those is the quantity, so it is very important to carefully count the boxes and make sure that number matches the amount on the bill of lading.
The driver will be asking for you signature, but you should wait on signing until the count is correct and inspection for damages is made. Check immediately for damage, and note on the Bill of Lading if there is any damage, because if you sign your name without writing the damages you see, then it is very unlikely the carrier will provide any insurance payments. If you are unsure of how to handle incorrect amounts or damages, call Missouri Table & Chair while the driver is still there and we will help. If there are damages or incorrect quantities, we will file the proper paperwork for you.
Can you help the delivery process go smooth as possible?
Yes, you absolutely can help, first by having a responsible and knowledgeable person accept the freight for proper quantity and noting any damages. Have a camera on hand, or take pictures with your cellphone of any damage. Take pictures up close and at a distance so another person can understand the extent of damage without actually being there. If there is damage, keep all the boxes and packing materials because claims will not be honored if the original packing is not kept.
If you feel the damage is too extensive to accept you have the right to refuse the shipment. In situations of overages, shortages or damages, you may want to call Missouri Table & Chair for advice while the driver is still at your location, so we can provide assistance. Finally, time is of the essence because if you do not report damages to Missouri Table & Chair immediately then it becomes more difficult to make a claim. Acting immediately means within an hour. Take the damage pictures and contact Missouri Table & Chair with details while all is fresh in your mind.
Are there other special conditions?
Yes, there are many special freight circumstances, like inside delivery, guaranteed delivery, dedicated trucks for large loads, how billing is done, liftgates, concealed damage and all are handled with respect to the specific shipment. There are too many to detail in this article. If you have any questions or have a special request, please just call us and ask.
What should I expect from my delivery?
Most shipments go very smoothly, and that is what should be expected. The remote possibility exists that something could go awry, but you are now aware of how to handle most situations. And finally, you can rely on Missouri Table & Chair for a satisfying experience with your shipping.