I move freight but I do not no anything about it, I'm sure there is someone here that will steer you in some goofy direction like they have been moving freight since they day they came out of the womb, as usaual.
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If they are still around - Consolidated Freightways - used to do a great job of getting speakers to us. What can really effect your price is what "tariff" they are listed under - the freight companies don't consider it their business to help you figure this out - the same size/weight can go for way different prices to the same destination - depending on what they are listed as on the freight bill.Don't try and sneak speakers in as something else - you won't have insurance if something happens to 'em and they are inaccurately listed on the freight manifest.
I have had great luck and great prices with Pilot Air Freight. For example I shipped a pallet of about 400 pound from West to East coast for 300 bucks. I also had great service with BAX global. They send a set of Maggie 3.6s from California to Italy for 200 bucks. They won't pick up from me anymore as they say they only pick up from businesses? I would say number one rule is speakers need to go on a pallet so they can be arranged the way the should be and can't be moved. Giving a mover a speaker in a box is a recipe for disaster as they can topple the box end over end if needed to move it around. I will never ship a large speaker again not on a pallet.
I will second Pilot Air. VSA uses them to ship big speakers, which I got with no problem several years ago from Cali. I also got a tube amp using them from VAC in Fla with no problems last year. Prices are pretty reasonable and they take care of things. My advice would be to be sure to use a pallet.
On the flip side, I've had both Fedex Ground and UPS destroy things, then try to get out of responsibility for covering them.
Regardless of which service you use, I would suggest using a device that indicates damage and/or shock. Google freight damage & shock indicators to see what's available.
Using Greyhound bus like Dill suggested is a good choice but if you have to truck, palletize & make sure the trucking co. uses air ride trailers.
Also, some trucking co. use lift gates, so there's no dropping the speaker off the back of the truck.
Additional options are freight expediters (like All-Types Expediting) that use straight trucks that are set up for faster service. Some of these trucks are small like basic cargo vans Moving co. are another way to go, although a lot depends on the driver & crew and how they blanket wrap & strap loads.
I recently received four large boxes - a speaker kit - from Madisound in Wisconsin sent to Alberta, Canada by FedEx. The rate that Madisound obtained was tremendous and FedEx service was wonderful, with tracking information immediate and finely detailed (so I could actually know where the shipment was at anytime of day.) The delivery to my house was also excellent.
I Navis Pack and Ship a little over a year ago to ship out my Revel Studios. They were helpful and reasonably priced.
(By the way, you can save money if you ship terminal to terminal.)
Here is a link to their website:
Navis Pack and Ship
However, regardless of who you choose to move your speakers, make sure to do the following:
1. Get insurance. (These guys are used to moving big heavy and sturdy crates. Speakers, amps, etc, are somewhat fragile, depending on how you pack them, and these guys move freight, so don't expect miracles. Be a Boy Scout, since accidents happen, so "be prepared". Also, make sure that they realize that if one speaker is damaged, they have to pay for both. (If your speakers are out of production, what the heck are you going to do with one speaker?!)
2. Since you now realize these guys move freight for a living, pack your speakers up like freight.
A. Put the speakers on a pallet. Have the freight company strap down the speakers to a pallet. This means that they will use a fork lift to lift and move your speakers. This is both good and bad. Good from the standpoint that your speakers will always be moved with them standing upright. Bad from the standpoint that the forklifts have, well, forks, which could stick into your speaker boxes. So, you'll need to armor your boxes...
B. Have the freight company put a layer of double, or triple, strength cardboard around the speakers, (on all sides and on the top, just in case something small gets shoved onto your pallet of speakers). This will armor your boxes so that they will withstand normal wear and tear on their journey across country. (When my speakers arrived at their destination, the buyer thanked me for putting on the armoring cardboard, as he said there was a good sized dent in the side, where something, (one of the forks?), had hit the cardboard armoring. But the speaker boxes inside were safe from harm.
Well, those are my words of advice.
Good Luck shipping your speakers!
Sorry to hear about CF. If you palletize - mark the freight load X boxes on palate -do not accept if pallet load is broken.Movers are tempted to break up loads to fit more stuff into their trailer - indicating how many boxes on the pallet and telling the freight receiver to not accept it unless they are all still on the pallet will prevent this.
We once had a single speaker of a matched pair leave Baltimore -visit the midwest where it's partner was unloaded - go on to California and then finally come home to the midwest.O/O swore up and down that it wasn't in his trailer -did show up a couple of weeks latter with it.My guess is he knew he stuffed it somewhere up in the nose and just didn't want to unload the whole trailer to get to it.
A late addition to this thread. Just to add to Fin1bxn's recommendation of Old Dominion for Magnepan owners. Magnepan recommended Old Dominion to me (when I shipped 3.5Rs back to the factory for renovation). They also use Old Dominion for many of their commercial shipments. My experience with them was good (albeit not cheap).