Guide to Shipping with Buildlane

Part of Buildlane’s goal to make custom easy includes shipping. We have a shipping department that manages the shipping for 95% of the orders we receive.

Our shipping team has the collective knowledge gained from shipping designer quality furniture all over the country (and even out of the country). We’ve spent years narrowing our shipping vendor list and perfecting our pick up policies.

Here is a peek behind the curtain to see how we make it all work.

Obtaining Shipping Quotes

First, it is important to know you can request a shipping quote at any point in the Buildlane process. This can be especially useful in the quoting phase.

Shipping costs have really gone through the roof in the last few years. Not all of your clients are prepared for this fact. Many of our designers will move some of the shipping cost onto the furniture price to save a hard conversation with their client. Your client won’t question the furniture quality, but often will wonder why it costs $800 to ship a sofa when Amazon does everything for free.

Requesting a shipping quote is done using the Message box on

That request will ping our shipping team and shipping quotes are usually delivered the same day or the next day.

Note that if you haven’t added your install details to the Project Page our shipping team is going to immediately ask for an address and other details. You can be prepared by visiting the Project Page by clicking the project name at the top.

Now that you are on the Project Page you can see on the right there are three sections.

Project Team

These are all the people at your company who will get email notifications about this project. Don’t forget you can add people for free to your Buildlane account on this page:

Installation Date

Let us know the install date. This date triggers a lot of internal checks. So if a project is dragging and in danger of not meeting this deadline alarm bells go off here at Buildlane so we can help to get it on track.

Delivery Info

Here is where you can add the delivery location. This can be either a receiver or the actual install location. If you add this address our shipping team will love you and be able to fetch shipping quotes faster and more accurately.

Buildlane’s Network of Shippers

Buildlane has spent many years working with tons of shippers. We keep careful track of damage rates, service complaints, and pricing. The following carrier map is by no means complete and will continue to evolve over time. But at this moment these are the carriers we trust to blanket wrap your furniture and take it from Souther California to its final destination.

We’ve spent many years testing shippers and this is our current map of “preferred” shippers for each location. Note that many of these shippers have a wider service area, but these are just the places where their pricing and quality aligns. For example, LaSea goes to Texas, but as you can tell from their name (Los Angeles / Seattle) the PNW is where their rates are the best. And Rigo’s has a truck heading to Texas weekly so their rates are better there.

We watch all of these shippers very closely for damage. No one would be on this list if they had any persistent damage issues.

Note most of our shops are in Southern California so when looking at the following map consider these are all leaving SoCal and this map is showing destinations.


What is not on this list is our crating program. For many casegoods (and some upholstered pieces) we recommend crating. We work with a company that does the crating onsite at our workshops. This does often add some expense to the shipping, but the piece will be 100% secure.

Once an item is crated you no longer have to rely on specialized blanket-wrap carriers as well. So crated items ship using major LTL carriers (which is much less expensive).

How To Ensure Your Shipment Is Booked

Our shipping department provides a high level of service with a high level of volume. As such, they rely on reports to know where their attention is needed.

The biggest help you can do to ensure there are no delays in your orders shipping is to approve your finished photos.

The life cycle of a Buildlane order is as follows:

Once an order is completed the workshop will take finished photos and the piece will switch to “Completed At Factory.” Anyone on the project team will get a lovely email saying you can now review your finished photos.

When you open the page you will see all the beautiful (albeit amatuerly photographed) photos of your new furniture. However, you’re stuck in purgatory until you click the ‘Approve This Piece’ button to let us know everything looks good.

Note that if you see anything on the photos you’d like clarification on use the Message Box in the bottom right to request additional photos.

Approving the piece alerts our shipping team that they can now schedule a pick up.

If you’ve already requested and approved a shipping quote at this point our team will book a pick up. If not, you will now be presented with shipping quotes (assuming you have added the delivery address to the Project Page).

Once you have selected a shipping quote we will add this cost to your Buildlane invoice. You won’t have an additional shipping bill to pay.

It is worth noting that you can also book your own shipping. If you’d prefer that simply ask in the Message Box for weights, dims, and the pick up location and we’re happy to provide.

Workshop Pick Up Procedures

At this point nothing is required of you. Buildlane will take care of the paperwork and the workshop will mark the piece as Shipped once it leaves the shop.

Blanket Wrap Procedures

If the shipment is going with one of the carriers on the map above that means it will be blanket wrapped onsite. Yes, every shipper on that map shows up to the shop with blankets. The process works like this:

  1. Workshop cleans / steams / touches up the furniture so that it is perfect.
  2. Shipper inspects the furniture to make sure it is indeed perfect.
  3. Shipper wraps the piece in blankets and plastic.
  4. Shipper loads up the piece.

I’m going to do a follow up showing exactly how these shippers blanket wrap, but it really is a work of art sometimes. I’ve seen them spend an hour on a single sofa.

Crating Procedures

These procedures are similar but done by our crating company (AA Packing out of Inglewood for the record).

  1. Workshop cleans / steams / touches up the furniture so that it is perfect.
  2. Crater inspects the furniture to make sure it is indeed perfect.
  3. Crater crates the piece with foam, wood, and stamps it with an official certification.
  4. Shipper shows up the next day and loads the crates onto their longhaul truck.

Receiving Tips

I assume you are a pro at receiving furniture, but here are some good tips to keep in mind.

Inspect the furniture thoroughly before you sign that BOL.
Delivery people are always pushing for that John Hancock so they can get onto their next gig. But take your time, do a thorough job looking everything over. And even if you see something minor that doesn’t even need repaired, make a note of it on the BOL – you never know.

Any assembly we will have provided a PDF guide or video.
This goes especially for beds. If there is assembly required we will have sent in the Message Box an assembly PDF or for more complicated builds we’ll have taken a video at the shop showing how it works.

Velvet and mohair requires prep.
If you’re working with delicate fabric make sure to bring a brush and steamer to the install. You can always expect some of the pile to be crushed, but 99% of the time brushing or a light steaming will fix the issue in minutes.

Be proactive in scheduling if you’ve got a tight window.
We will also provide the contact info for the delivery company, specifically their dispatch or the driver. If you haven’t heard anything or want to double check on a delivery time give them a call. Even our best shippers can have communication issues but the moment they hear your human voice you are now on their radar.


I hope this helps ease your mind in shipping with Buildlane. I have to give credit to Danielle “Dani” Johnson who runs our shipping department. For the past few years she has woken up every day thinking of ways to make shipping better for interior designers. All our shippers know to treat Buildlane orders with the most respect because Dani has conditioned them that way.

If you have any questions or a hot tip on an amazing shipping company you can always email us at [email protected].

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