Sending heavy goods is not as simple as popping into the post office to send a letter. But arranging a large item courier can be a simple process when you know what you need to move and are able to plan ahead.

Depending on what you need to move you may need to make special preparations for transportation.

Something like fridge freezer transportation requires that you empty, drain and clean it as well as disconnecting it from the electrics and even emptying it of gas; whereas a large piece of furniture like a sofa might require minimal preparation but will need multiple people to move and install.

Before hiring a large item delivery service there are a few things to consider:

Packing: If you’re moving something fragile, make sure that you adequately protect it from external shocks, bubble wrap and boxes are all widely available (and you can sometimes get them for free from local supermarkets, which are only going to recycle old packaging).

You can also improvise packing materials from old newspapers or towels, but bear in mind that if you are using old papers that the ink could potentially stain the item.

Timeframe: Having an idea when you want your item picked up and delivered will help greatly in getting quotes from transport companies. The more complex your delivery, the nature of the item and the distance will all play a factor in the amount of time it will take to get quotes and complete the delivery.

Condition: Documenting the condition of the appliance/item prior to having it delivered can help you notice if received damage in transit when it arrives. If you’re buying an item on eBay ask the seller to do this (taking photos is a good idea too).

When you’re looking for large item delivery companies you need to take into account a couple of key things to make sure that you avoid any hassles when it comes to getting your items picked up and delivered.

Type of courier: What type of goods you’re transporting has perhaps the biggest impact on which type of courier you employ. Things like pianos require highly specialised services but general large items can generally use standard services.

Level of Service: If you’re going to need assistance with removing or installing things like appliances then you need to employ a full service specialist. Something like a boiler or washing machine needs to be disconnected from the water system and is also very heavy, so getting someone to help with the whole process is often preferable.

On the other hand, if you can handle the manual labour yourself and only need a transporter for large goods then you can simply use a man and van service to move your items from A-B. This means more effort but will save you money.

What are their credentials? While you’re looking for a good deal, what you don’t want is a cowboy! When you need a professional courier what you’re looking for are three things:

- Insurance: Do they have the right cover? Goods in transit insurance is a must when moving large items

- Experience: Is the driver well versed in the type of transport you require? Check past reviews or ask references if you’re unsure.

- Association: While not a necessity, if your courier is a member of a relevant guild or regulatory body it can indicate certain level of professionalism and service.

Where are they based? If a large item couriers hub/home is close local to you or where your bulky delivery is going then you have the chance of your item being included in a consolidated delivery or backload, which can often be cheaper than a dedicated delivery service.

Finding a large item courier can be difficult, especially if you’re unsure what type of service your delivery requires.

This is where we can assist; by listing your large item delivery request on Shiply you can receive quotes from multiple delivery companies able to move your goods.

Couriers on Shiply are searching for items to fill empty parts of their journey so you’re likely to get the best quotes from companies that are already making similar trips.

Transport providers will quote competitively in a reverse auction format to win your delivery. You will be able to compare the feedback that couriers have received based on their previous Shiply jobs.

When you’re happy with one of the quoting companies you can then choose the offer that suits you best.

Completing the delivery

Once you have accepted the transporter’s quote and your item is delivered there are a few final tasks to perform.

Check that your items are in the same condition they were in before transit. If you have any concerns about the state of your items, make sure you take it up with the driver. Although damage isn’t a common occurrence during delivery that’s the reason the drivers have transit insurance. If you took any photos of the items before transport it will make any insurance claims easier.

When your new appliance or furniture is safely in its new home your last task is to leave feedback for the courier service you used on Shiply. Let them know your feedback as this helps make Shiply a better marketplace for everyone.