How Much Does It Cost to Ship Furniture Cross Country or Internationally?

Dawn M. Smith
Written by Dawn M. Smith
Updated January 20, 2022
couple settle in new home decorating
Photo: fizkes / Adobe Stock

The cost to ship furniture cross country ranges between $300 and $800 per piece, and internationally, it ranges from $1,000 to $4,500

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Traditionally, most people use furniture shippers because they’re relocating, and this is still true. Still, online furniture store shopping continues to boom, and buyers and sellers ship furniture across the country and internationally more than ever before, paying between $300 and $4,500 per item

When you find the perfect piece of furniture you’ve looked for for ages or have to plan your move quickly, it’s helpful to know about the shipping process ahead of you. This cost guide sheds some light on what furniture shipping fees to expect and the differences between transportation methods.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship Furniture?

Planning a furniture shipping budget can be tricky, but if you know the exact details of the move, you’ll enjoy movie nights on your sectional sofa in no time. To start, you’ll need to know three key things: pick-up address, delivery address (international details included), and the weight and dimensions of the furniture. 

As you plan, you’ll come across add-on choices, like white-glove service, specialized packing, and disassembly and assembly services. They all add together for your final price. So it makes sense that large, heavy items (like shipping a refrigerator) picked up and delivered with white-glove service costs more than a furniture crate delivered to the curb.

Cross-country Shipping

After about 400 miles, professional movers consider your move a long-distance trip. Keep this in mind when you contact a shipping company for quotes on your furniture items. For cross-country shipping, the costs range from $300 to $800 per piece. This doesn’t include the shipping insurance you’ll need. Adequate coverage typically adds about 1% more to the total shipping costs.

International Shipping

Give yourself plenty of time to plan international shipping, including vetting multiple shipping companies with extensive experience with customs and specialized packing specific to the way you choose to ship your furniture, by sea-freight or air. 

With so many variables, including the going rates for the receiving country’s labor, it’s challenging to nail down exact international shipping costs. But a range of $1,000 to $4,500 is the ballpark you should budget for. This estimate is for sea-freight with port-to-port transportation. Airfreight service adds thousands more to the estimate.

Cost Breakdown for Furniture Shipping

There are differences and similarities between a long-distance and an international move. Both need accurate measurements and exact addresses, but international shipping adds more levels of intricacy like duty fees and customs paperwork.

Cross Country Furniture Shipping Costs

If you're curious about how cross-country moving shipping costs break down, take a look at these New York to California examples.

Type of FurniturePrice Range
Dining room set$1,300–$1,600
Mattress/box spring (Queen size)$475–$850
China cabinet$575–$1,000
Bookcase (medium)$475–$1,000
Rug (medium)$475–$850

International Shipping Costs

International shipping fees vary so much that professional shippers recommend talking with a rep to fine-tune the details for the move. Remember, the general cost range is between $1,000 and $4,500 per item. They’ll talk to you about the various moving options like:

  • Air and sea freight choice

  • Furniture pickup and delivery options

  • Specialized packing materials 

  • Tracking information

  • Customs documents

  • Insurance

  • Taxes, fees, and duty payments

What Factors Influence the Cost to Ship Furniture?

Moving boxes and furniture in new home
Photo: moodboard / Adobe Stock

You already know that the distance of the move, size of the furniture, and additional moving services add together for your final shipping prices, but there are other factors, like how you ship the furniture and when you ship the furniture, that affect the costs.

Shipping Furniture as Freight (Less-Than-Truckload)

Shipping furniture as freight is usually the most affordable way to go and might be your only international option, but you’ll have an above-average chance for a less-than-perfect experience. 

If you choose freight shipping, your furniture will be part of a bigger shipment (because it's too small to fill an entire truck) known as Less-Than-Truckload (LTL). LTL shipments often switch from truck to truck during the journey, increasing the chance for damage. You’re also looking at service stopping at the curb. The rest of the delivery is up to you to figure out. For example, how to get the shipped bedroom furniture up the stairs and into place.

International Freight Shipping

For an international move, sea-freight shipping is most likely your only choice for your furniture but confirm with your moving company if there’s an affordable air freight option. Remember too that you’ll probably need to crate your furniture to withstand the rolls and lifts of the ocean voyage. 

Depending on the furniture, you might also need a packing re-do once it hits land. For example, the furniture could need different packaging, like additional bubble wrap to absorb the bumps and tumbles of street traffic, or it may need un-crating and repackaging to fit onto a delivery truck.

Independent Furniture Shipping Carriers

With an independent carrier, your items have less opportunity for multiple truck transfers because your furniture isn’t mixed with other deliveries. In addition, independent carriers can be cost-effective options and often go out of their way to provide excellent customer service.

White-Glove or In-Home Furniture Delivery

White-glove furniture delivery is the way to go when you want to mitigate risk as much as possible. It’s personalized care and protection, so it's a good option for your great-grandmother’s china cabinet. This service offers point-to-point pickup and delivery, extra packing materials like blanket wrapping, and movers for unloading and furniture placement inside.

Peak Season and Furniture Shipping Rates

Most people think about work, vacation, and school schedules when they’re planning to move.  That's why there’s often peak season pricing for moving during the summer months in the U.S. The international peak season for moving is August, September, January, and February. As a result, rates are higher during these months, as are additional services like packing, unpacking, and insurance.

FAQs About Cross Country and International Furniture Shipping

Should I pay for furniture shipping?

It's a tough call deciding if you should pay for furniture shipping or buy new if you’re moving cross country or overseas. First, research a couple of reputable shipping companies to find the average shipping costs you’ll pay. Then, you’ll have to think about if the estimates equal the furniture’s value in your eyes. If it's a sentimental piece or a rare find you’ve stumbled upon online, it’s hard to decide. But, the decision is easier if your well-loved sofa isn’t worth the shipping and handling costs.

How do I find a reputable furniture shipper?

To find a reputable furniture shipper, it's a good idea to reach out to your social circle to see if anyone has a recommendation, but if you need more information, search for “long-distance” or “international” furniture movers. From there, you’ll want to read online reviews, understand the types of services they provide, and if they can meet your budget. You can also search the Better Business Bureau to check their business history.

What should I consider when I ship furniture?

You should consider the prep work involved with shipping your furniture. After talking with your shipper about the specifics, you’ll want to start cleaning it for packaging. Vacuuming and steam cleaning are possibilities; just make sure it’s completely dry before moving day. You should also take plenty of pictures from different angles to document the furniture’s condition before departure if you need to start a claim after delivery. And, finally, if there’s the option to disassemble the furniture, go ahead because it prevents damage during transit.

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