The Ultimate Guide for Shipping Large Items: From Oversized to Heavy and Hard-to-Handle Inventory

In the fast-paced world of retail, the pressure is always on to deliver – literally. Brands of oversized items, in particular, face a unique challenge. Shipping large items, like heavy, hard-to-handle and oversized inventory (think appliances, furniture, and exercise equipment), demand more than just a standard logistics solution. It requires expertise, precision, and a 3PL provider who understands the intricacies of handling oversized cargo. 

And as global shipping rates continue to climb, brands everywhere are looking to perfect the tricky balance of providing fast and accurate shipping that is also cost-effective. And the cost of shipping oversized items is definitely no exception to these soaring rates.

When it comes to navigating the maze of shipping large items, having a reliable, and experienced, third-party logistics partner can make all the difference. 

In this guide, we’ll explore how 3PL services can transform your shipping processes, providing efficiency, reliability, and cost-effectiveness when shipping large and heavy items. 

Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide to shipping large items:

Let’s dive in.

Reliability: Why a Trusted 3PL is Essential for Shipping Large Items

When it comes to shipping heavy items, trust and reliability are critical. Large and heavy inventory is often expensive and fragile, such as appliances, furniture, and exercise equipment. This requires special care and attention throughout the shipping process. 

The Importance of Reputation When it Comes to Shipping Oversized Items

When it comes to shipping large items, shoppers want to know that their purchases are in safe hands. They expect timely and secure delivery without damages or complications.

Here are a few examples of why reputation matters:

Protecting Your Shoppers’ Investments: Large items are often expensive and may represent significant investments for your shoppers. They need assurance that their purchases will arrive safely and undamaged.

Respect for Shoppers’ Property: Delivering oversized items into a shopper’s home requires a high level of care and respect for their property. Shoppers expect delivery teams to handle their items with care and professionalism, ensuring no damage is caused to their home or belongings.

GoBolt – Trusted by Thousands: 

At GoBolt, we understand the importance of reliability. With over 12,000 Google reviews and an impressive overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, we have earned the trust of shoppers and over 350 retailers. 

In addition, the experienced delivery drivers are well equipped to handle large, heavy, and fragile items with the utmost care and attention to detail. 

Reduce Costs & Optimize Efficiency for Large, Heavy & Oversized Items 

Partnering with a 3PL that utilizes a distributed fulfillment center network offers a strategic advantage, especially when it comes to handling oversized items.

Utilize a Distributed Fulfillment Network for Shipping Large Items

Here’s why a distributed fulfillment center network helps to optimize costs and efficiency when it comes to shipping large items.

1. Reduced Shipping Times: 

By storing inventory closer to your shoppers, a distributed network significantly reduces shipping times and shipping costs. This means your bulky items like sofas, treadmills, and refrigerators, reach your shoppers faster, and more cost-effectively.

2. Cross-Docking Opportunities: 

A distributed network allows for seamless cross-docking with your own fulfillment center locations. This ensures swift and efficient movement of inventory through the system, reducing processing times and handling costs. For instance, a couch can move from the manufacturer to a fulfillment center and then directly to the shopper, streamlining the process and cutting down on unnecessary handling.

3. Cross-Border Shipping and Injection: 

Working with a 3PL that operates fulfillment centers strategically located across Canada and the U.S., cross-border shipping becomes easier and more efficient. Whether you need to ship inventory across the border or inject inventory into the system from another country, a distributed network has you covered. For example, shipping a treadmill from Canada to the United States or vice versa becomes hassle-free, thanks to the strategic placement of fulfillment centers and the expertise of the 3PL that operates in both countries..

Reduce Costs with Last Mile Accuracy & Transparency 

Ensuring that large, heavy and hard-to-handle items are delivered accurately and on time is essential for customer satisfaction. Consumer behavior has shifted. Expectations have changed. Today’s shoppers expect their household furniture to be delivered with the same tracking and transparency as their Uber Eats orders. 

Here’s how you can meet shoppers expectations of fast-paced service and up-to-the-minute tracking:

1. Appointment Booking for Large & Heavy Items

When it comes to delivering large items, providing customers with the flexibility to choose a delivery time that works for them is essential. Shoppers have busy schedules and may not be available for delivery during standard hours. Allowing them to select a convenient delivery window ensures a positive delivery experience and increases customer satisfaction.

GoBolt’s Appointment Booking System 

At GoBolt, we understand the importance of flexibility when it comes to delivery. That’s why we offer an easy-to-use appointment booking system for shoppers. Our system allows customers to choose a delivery time that fits their schedule, ensuring a smooth and convenient delivery experience.

2. Real-Time Delivery Tracking

Offering real-time delivery tracking for large items such as furniture and exercise equipment gives shoppers visibility into the status of their delivery, allowing them to track their shipment from our fulfillment center right to their doorstep.

And for brands, real-time tracking helps reduce customer inquiries and complaints by providing accurate and up-to-date information on the status of each delivery.

GoBolt’s Real-Time Tracking and Delivery Notifications

Our real-time delivery tracking allows shoppers to pinpoint exactly when their order will arrive. We also provide details on how they can prepare for their delivery. Our tech leverages delivery notifications to notify shoppers of their upcoming delivery, including sms and email notifications. These notifications improve communication and untether shoppers from large delivery windows. Now, customers can go about their days and receive order updates when: 1) Their order is out for delivery, 2) When their order is one stop away, and 3) When their order arrives

3. Route Optimization for Improved Accuracy & Sustainability

Route optimization is crucial for ensuring accurate and timely deliveries, especially when it comes to the shipping of large, heavy, and hard-to-handle items. Shoppers are waiting and any unexpected delays can leave them feeling frustrated. By optimizing delivery routes, you can minimize delivery exceptions and delays. 

GoBolt’s Route Optimization Software

At GoBolt, we understand the importance of efficient route planning. That’s why we utilize advanced route optimization software to ensure that deliveries are made with maximum efficiency and accuracy. 

Our software takes into account various factors such as traffic patterns, delivery windows, on-site estimates, and vehicle capacity to create the most optimal delivery routes. 

And as an incredible bonus, our route optimization also reduces fuel consumption and lowers our delivery carbon footprint, making our shipping operations more sustainable and lowering scope 3 emissions for brands.

Last Mile Flexibility: White Glove, Threshold & Curbside When Shipping Large Items

When it comes to shipping large items like household furniture and appliances, flexibility in delivery options is key. Whether your shoppers are moving to a new home or simply upgrading their living space, having your large items delivered safely and efficiently is a top priority. That’s where last mile delivery options like white glove, threshold, and curbside delivery come into play.

GoBolt’s Flexible Delivery Options

At GoBolt, we understand the importance of providing flexible delivery options for our brands and their shoppers. That’s why we offer a range of delivery services:

Threshold Delivery: With threshold delivery, your large items are delivered to the threshold of your home. This is the first dry place inside your home, or into your garage.

Room of Choice Delivery: With room of choice delivery, the delivery professionals will bring your large items into a specific room of the shopper’s choice, providing them (and you) with added convenience and peace of mind.

White Glove: For the ultimate convenience, GoBolt’s white-glove service takes care of everything. The delivery team will not only bring the large items into the home but will also unpack them, assemble them (if required), and remove all packaging materials, leaving your shopper’s with nothing to worry about.

Sustainable Shipping, Returns & Recycling Solutions

Simply put, the future needs to be greener and we all have a part to play in making that happen. Shoppers are increasingly aligning their purchases with brands that embrace green practices, meaning eco-conscious brands need a logistics provider that prioritizes sustainability. 

For GoBolt, sustainability is built into our DNA. We’re continuously growing our electric fleet, optimizing our operations through innovative technology and sequestering our emissions. All of this allows us to offer carbon-neutral deliveries.

And our last mile delivery service doesn’t always end at a shopper’s door – our team is also the first point of contact in the reverse supply chain, handling things like product returns and donations. This is where GoBolt’s circular logistics system comes in, providing a unique opportunity for brands to make a major impact on the sustainability of their supply chain with minimal effort or extra costs. 

Over 10 million tons of furniture waste ends up in landfills in Canada and the U.S. every year. In Ontario alone, furniture and household appliances account for some 5% of the waste stream. As furniture brands work to curb waste growth, a sustainability-focused logistics solution can be the answer to decreasing your carbon footprint and eliminating excessive waste from returns.

Final Thoughts

In a time when reputation matters, it’s crucial for brands to partner with a 3PL that they can trust to deliver large and heavy items with precision and care.

Shipping oversized items like furniture, appliances, and exercise equipment requires careful handling and specialized attention. It’s not just about getting the inventory from point A to point B; it’s about ensuring they arrive safely, on time, and without any damages.

When it comes to shipping oversized items, there’s no one better equipped for the job than GoBolt. With our experience, expertise, and dedication to shopper satisfaction, we’re the perfect partner for brands looking to deliver a seamless and stress-free delivery experience for their shoppers.

Want to learn more about partnering with GoBolt? Reach out to our team today.