3 min

What is Freight? An Explanation As To Why "Shipping" Isn't "Free"


We recently shared our entire procurement process, where we actually place and manage orders for all of your furnishings. If you missed that check it out HERE.

Freight/Shipping/Receiving & Delivery

Why isn't my "shipping" FREE, like I see everywhere else? What is FREIGHT? What exactly is "Receiving & Delivery" and why do I have to pay those fees?

In the world of “Amazon Prime” and “2- day shipping” we sometimes forget that nothing is actually “FREE” and there are actually human hands doing a lot of behind the scenes work (hard work & heavy lifting). We decided to put this comprehensive guide together, to explain what the furniture delivery process looks like and what you are paying for when you see those fees for shipping, freight and receiving/delivery.

So what does this process look like? 

  • When we make a furniture purchase from a manufacturer, that furniture ships to us via FREIGHT service (a very large semi truck brings it across the country) & freight shipping is calculated at a much lower rate, than say UPS or FED Ed. For example a standard size sofa might be somewhere around $150ish (not a bad price to drive that sofa all the way across the country)
  • Freight line carriers (big semi trucks) are the only method manufacturers ship furniture...I will repeat...this is the only way your furniture leaves the factory. They do not Fed Ex a sofa to your doorstep. SIDE NOTE: Up until this point, you have probably only purchased from a “traditional” retailer and you never saw the process from start to finish because that freight charge was included in the full retail price
  • Those large semi trucks only drop their goods at a “receiving warehouse”, a place that has either a loading dock or a forklift and a team of people to unload that truck. 

It is the job of the receiving warehouse to do the following:

  • Unload the truck & “receive” all of the items (items with visible damage to packaging will be refused) 
  • All items must be checked against the manifest & logged into inventory
  • Our receiving company has an inventory management software & app that gives us live time updates when furniture arrives, photos are uploaded and anything else we need to know about the piece
  • Upon arrival, an authorization code is assigned to each piece of furniture 
  • Then the hard work starts. Every piece must be unwrapped, unboxed or uncrated & thoroughly inspected for damage, imperfections or defects within 48 hours of arrival 
  • Our receiver places every piece in a photo booth under bright lighting for inspection and photos 
  • We are notified of damage or imperfections and then LMID works on the back end to rectify any issues with the manufacturer.  SIDE NOTE: We deal with an extraordinary amount of damaged furniture, that you the client will never need to worry about! We take care of it all!
  • They will assemble anything that requires any kind of assembly 
  • Approved furniture is then re - wrapped, re - boxed or re - crated until we are ready for your install 

What comes next? Your install & Delivery of Furniture! 

  • All of your beautiful brand new furniture will be removed from storage, loaded and secured into either the box truck or trailer (or both). This will take at least 2 guys, the forklift and some serious muscle. They follow a strict process to ensure your furniture is not damaged on this last leg of the journey (although accidents do happen) 
  • Then they hit the road and once at their destination:
  • They start to unload the truck and unwrap all of the furniture
  • They wear protective booties & gloves while in your home handling your new furniture to ensure they don’t get anything dirty. 
  • They patiently place furniture & rugs (sometimes over & over while being directed by myself, the perfectionist designer, who wants everything in just the right place)

And just when you think their job is done….it’s not!

Now they go back outside and load their truck with all that cardboard and packing material and GET THIS...they take it away with them!! (Money well spent, am I right!?)

They then head back to their warehouse, where they will transfer it all to their dump trailer, tie it all down for safety and they generally make about 2 trash runs a week to the local dump with hundreds of pounds of waste and recycling. Each one taking at least 3-4 hours from start to finish. **They also have dump fees to dispose of everything. 

At Laura Mitchell Interior Design we add a 15% “freight fee” to your furnishing fee. This 15% fee covers EVERYTHING from the warehouse to your house. So when you see this freight fee (which covers everything described above) - please remember all of these things. These are real people, running a real business, with significant operating costs and it’s a service we could not operate without in our industry. 

If you’d like more info on our receiving warehouse and where your new furniture will have a temporary home, you can check them out here: 

Crown Warehouse and Delivery Service - Home (

If you haven’t booked us just yet, what are you waiting for?
  BOOK YOUR DISCOVERY CALL HERE, and let’s get to know each other. 
Choose boldly, style fearlessly, and most of all live beautifully!

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