How to Ship Commercial Appliances

Shipping a commercial appliance can be a bit more complex than shipping smaller items due to their size, weight and potential fragility. Here’s a step by step guide to help you ship your commercial appliances safely.

Step 1: Gather Necessary Information

  • First, find the appliance’s dimensions and weight. (Not sure what it is? Google can typically find this if you search for the make and model.)
  • Next, gather information about your destination, including any specific delivery instructions. For example: “lift-gate, inside, 3rd floor.”

Step 2: Prepare the Appliance

  • It might seem obvious, but make sure to disconnect the appliance from power and utilities before you start working with it.
  • Once disconnected, you can clean and dry the appliance, removing any food residue or other debris, depending on the type of commercial equipment.
  • Secure any moving parts or doors to prevent damage during transit.
  • If applicable, remove any detachable components like trays, shelves, or removal parts and pack them separately.

Step 3: Choose a Shipping Method

Finding the right shipping method for your appliance can seem tricky, but in reality, there are only a few options for you to choose from.

LTL Freight Carrier

LTL Freight Carriers are usually the cheapest option, but they aren’t hands on. So, if you choose LTL, just know that you’ll be in charge of packaging and prepping the unit, as they don’t offer any pads, straps, or air-ride transit. It’s also important to keep in mind that they could potentially stack other freight on or around yours, so package carefully!

Blanket Wrap Carrier

When you choose blanket wrap, you’re choosing the premium option. Blanket wrap shipping comes with pads and straps to secure your appliance on an air-ride truck. In short: it’s a super smooth, secure ride. At MoveIt, we recommend this shipping method for all of our clients with valuable, fragile, or tricky to package items.

Step 4: Package the Appliance

If you’re choosing a blanket wrap carrier, you can skip to step 5, but if you’re going with LTL, then follow these instructions for proper packaging. 1) If available, put the commercial appliance in its original packaging. If not, use sturdy cardboard boxes, crates, or custom wood palettes. 2) Then, wrap the appliance in protective materials like bubble wrap, foam, or blankets. 3) Next, secure your protective materials with another cardboard box or crate, to prevent damage during transit. 4) Secure all loose parts and accessories. 5) Seal the box with tape and band to a pallet. 6) Label the package with the recipient’s address and contact information, as well as your own information (i.e. the origin).

Step 5: Insure the Shipment

Most carriers offer insurance options. Consider purchasing shipping insurance to protect against potential damage during transit. Although it doesn’t happen often, it’s always nice to have an added layer of confidence with shipping insurance.

Step 6: Arrange for Unloading and Installation

If necessary, coordinate with the recipient to ensure they have the equipment and personnel to help unload and install the appliance safely. Blanket wrap drivers will bring your commercial appliances inside and remove debris, whereas LTL drivers generally won’t perform any additional tasks (other than bringing the unit to the loading dock or to the delivery entrance) – with a few exceptions.

Step 7: Track It

Follow the tracking system on your carrier website and keep the destination updated on the status of your shipment. Blanket wrap drivers will call 24 hours prior to delivery, but LTL freight drivers normally won’t.

Step 8: Receiving the Appliance

When the appliance arrives, make sure that it is inspected for damage before accepting the delivery. If there is any damage, document it with photos and notes on the BOL and contact the shipping company to file a claim.

Would you rather someone else handle the removal, packing, shipping, and white glove delivery of your commercial equipment? Click here to contact our team. After 44 years in business, we’re pros at shipping equipment of every shape and size, and we can tackle everything on this list (and more).

Chad graduated from Iowa State University in 1996 with a bachelor of science in Statistics and has been involved in operations management and marketing for 24 years. His current work at MoveIt is focused on customer and vendor network development. He is happily married with 3 sons who are all heavily involved in sports and music like their father.

As an industry leader, we aim to outdo ourselves (and our competition!) with every shipment. From inventory management to expert assembly, our staff is dedicated to providing you with unbeatable transportation services. MoveIt® faster, MoveIt® easier. 

Since 1979 the MoveIt® Companies have provided customers with final mile delivery, project roll-outs, reverse logistics, warehousing, blanket-wrap trucking, domestic and international air freight and packaging and crating services worldwide. Let our experience work for you.

We use our passion and our experience to take your shipping strategy to the next level. With international and regional services providing air freight, LTL and expedited shipping, we're prepared for every type of shipment. Let us show you how our logistics solutions can work for you.