How Freight Delivery Works
While we ship smaller items via UPS or FedEx, many of the items we sell at Elite Patio Direct are too big and/or too heavy to deliver in a normal postal carrier vehicle.
Heavy and bulky items must be shipped via a Less Than Truckload (LTL) freight carrier. LTL Freight shipping is more complicated than traditional shipping - so we've created this guide to set expectations and help facilitate a smooth delivery.
Please note, we partner with third party Freight Carriers to make deliveries. Once a shipment has been picked up by a freight carrier, the shipment is entirely under their control and delays in shipping are possible that are out of our control.
With that said, we are happy to help follow up with freight carriers to track down a shipment - so don't be afraid to reach out via phone or email.
Important note: We strongly advise you not to schedule contractors until your order is fully delivered and all items inspected.
Please read the below 5 key points of freight deliveries followed by the top do's and don'ts of freight deliveries.
1. Delivery Windows
Some of our freight carriers will schedule a delivery appointment with you while others will only notify you of your delivery window. Either way, the freight carrier should reach out to you before delivery to schedule a delivery window or notify you of the delivery window.
Most delivery windows are 4 hours, so be prepared to be at the delivery address for the entire window. You must be present to accept delivery of a freight shipment.
2. Curbside Delivery
Your item will arrive on a pallet. The truck driver will drop the pallet off at your curb. The driver is NOT expected to take your items inside, to the backyard, etc. - even if it's raining outside!
Be sure to have helpers present to help move your items from your curb.
3. Inspect The Exterior Of Your Shipment For Damage & Sign The Delivery Receipt
When your order arrives, please ensure that you inspect the shipment. Count the number of boxes and items you receive and make sure this matches the delivery receipt BEFORE signing for the delivery.
Inspect the exterior of the box(es) in your shipment when the driver drops your pallet off at your curb.
- If there is major visible damage to the boxes, please mark "DAMAGED" on the delivery receipt and refuse delivery.
- If the damage is minor (small tears to shrink wrap or boxes), we ask that you accept delivery of the shipment and mark "DAMAGED" on the delivery receipt.
In either event, contact us right away to report the damage to your shipment.
Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Unpack Your Boxes & Inspect Your Items
Unpack your boxes and inspect your items. Make sure everything you ordered is present. Sometimes, accessories and smaller items will be packed inside of a larger item.
Check your items for damage. It is your responsibility to unpack your delivery and inspect your items for concealed damage. Damage must be reported to us within 5 business days of receipt of your delivery.
5. Contact Us About Issues
You must report damage or missing items to us within 5 business days of receiving your shipment. We cannot do anything to help you if you do not inspect your items and report damage to us within this time window.
Please contact us as soon as possible to report a refused delivery, damage, and/or missing items.
Via email: email@example.com
Do's And Don'ts of Freight Delivery
Do #1 - Inspect The Exterior Of Your Shipment Before Signing The Delivery Receipt
Before signing the delivery receipt, perform a quick inspection of the exterior of your shipment. If you notice major damage to boxes, you may refuse delivery.
If you accept the delivery despite major or minor damage, be sure to write "DAMAGED" on the delivery receipt before you sign.
Do #2 - Unpack And Inspect Your Shipment's Contents Within 5 Business Days Of Delivery
On rare occasion, an item in your shipment may have concealed damage or your shipment might be missing items. Because of this, it is imperative that you unpack and inspect the contents of your shipment as soon as possible.
Damage or missing items must be reported to us within 5 business days of delivery to be eligible for free replacement items. We require this because this is the time window we have to file a claim with the manufacturer or freight carrier for missing items or damage.
Do #3 - Have Helpers On Hand
Your items will arrive on a pallet and will be quite heavy and bulky. Some of the shipments we complete weigh 1,000+ pounds!
As such, plan ahead and have helpers on hand if you need assistance moving your items from the curb to your desired location.
Don't #1 - Don't Schedule A Contractor Before Your Shipment Arrives
We strongly advise you to not schedule contractors until AFTER your items have been delivered and inspected.
We are not responsible for any costs associated with your contractor.
Don't #2 - Don't Leave Your Items In Storage Without Inspecting Them
If you are purchasing items well in advance of your project date, you still need to unpack and inspect each item in your shipment for damage and missing parts.
Don't place your items in storage without inspecting! We won't be able to provide free replacements for damage or missing items if you do not inspect your shipment in a timely manner and report damage/missing items within 5 business days.
Don't #3 - Don't Ask The Driver To Bring Your Items Inside Or To The Backyard
The free LTL shipping service we offer is curbside delivery. The driver is NOT expected to bring your items inside or to the backyard, so please do not ask them to do so.
If you need an inside or backyard delivery for your shipment, contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will provide a quote for indoor delivery.
Our goal with this guide isn't to scare you - it's to be transparent about the freight delivery process to help facilitate as smooth of a delivery as possible.
Questions about the freight delivery process? Reach out to us and we will be happy to help.