You’ve bought a kennel from Texas Custom Kennels, we’ve completed it, and now we’re sending it to you! But we aren’t sending it via USPS, FedEx, UPS, or any of the other ways you typically receive packages that you’ve ordered. We’re sending it freight shipping. Understandably, you’ve got questions, not the least of which is “What is freight shipping, exactly?” When Texas Custom Kennels decided to start shipping our custom dog crates on a national level, we had the same questions! Learning the ins and outs of freight shipping was a challenge that came with some unfortunate growing pains. However, now that we have our process refined and have a strong working relationship with a few top quality shipping companies, we want to explain the process to you so that you will know what to expect when you place your order.
What is freight shipping, exactly?
Freight shipping is the preferred method to ship large, heavy items, such as furniture pieces. The total weight of a crated Texas Custom Kennel is usually over 200lbs! And since our kennels come fully assembled and ready to use, you can well imagine that it is a large item to ship. Unlike a smaller package, freight shipping uses an 18 wheeler to pick up the dog kennel from us and also to drop it off at your house. We always include liftgate service with our deliveries, so the 18 wheeler delivering your kennel will come with a liftgate to unload your Texas Custom Kennel from the height of an 18 wheeler trailer. Freight shipping is strictly curbside delivery, meaning the delivery driver will not bring the kennel into your home or unpack the kennel for you. While you should not expect the delivery driver to do anything other than curbside delivery, every driver we’ve met has happily used his handcart to get your kennel to your garage or carport.
Why does freight shipping cost so much?
One of the first things you’ll notice is that our shipping fee is $299. We know this likely seems exorbitant. While we’ve debated building this the cost of shipping into the cost of the kennel, we’ve decided to leave it as a separate fee for the sake of transparency and fairness. If you live in Texas, you have the option of personally picking up your Texas Custom Kennel to save the shipping fee. Our shop is in Snook, Texas, which is near Bryan/College Station and is about 2 hours from Austin, 2 hours from Houston, 3 hours from Dallas, and 3 hours from San Antonio. If a Saturday road trip to pick up your kennel is preferable to paying for shipping, we would rather give you the option to save your money than build shipping fees into the cost of a kennel just so we can offer “Free Shipping.”
Additionally, when we first started using freight shipping, our cost to ship our kennels was almost double what it is now. Because we’ve grown, shipped more kennels, and created some relationships with shipping companies, we qualify for better pricing and can pass those savings directly on to you. We hope to continue growing and negotiating even better rates in the future.
How do you prepare my kennel for freight shipping? How will I know its on the way?
When your kennel is ready to ship, we will contact you to let you know that it will soon be headed your way. First, we photograph the kennel to document its condition. Next, we crate it for shipping. Finally, we schedule the shipment with our shipping company.
Once we schedule your shipment, we receive a “Bill of Lading.” A BOL is similar to a tracking number for small packages. It contains our address and phone number, your address and phone number, the size and weight of the crate, the contents of the crate (your Texas Custom Kennel), and other information. The freight shipping company calls us on the day of pick up to ensure that a person is at our shop to sign for the pickup.
Once the delivery driver picks up your kennel, it is the last we will ever see of that kennel! (Unless you send us pictures. Please send us pictures of your dogs enjoying their new Texas Custom Kennel!)
In a few days, normally three to four business days from the time your kennel is picked up from our shop, you will get a phone call from the delivery company to schedule a delivery window. Since it will be a residential delivery, usually they will schedule delivery in the afternoon. You or another adult must be present to inspect and sign for the delivery. As previously stated, freight shipping is curbside only and our crated kennels weigh around 200 lbs. You will likely need another adult or two and possibly a dolly to help you move your Texas Custom Kennel.
What do I do when the truck arrives in front of my house?
Once your crate is safely on the ground, give the crate a careful once over and note any visible damage on the BOL. This is an important step that you cannot skip. It may be helpful to take pictures of any visible damage as well. This will ensure a quick resolution should there be any damage to your kennel. Once you’ve noted any damage on the Bill of Lading, sign it to take possession of your kennel. Now you can move the crated kennel to a place convenient for uncrating.
How do I free my kennel from the crate?
Here’s a useful video we made explaining while packing a kennel. It should give you a good visual of how to unpack the crate. Begin by carefully uncrating your kennel, removing all the wood and plastic wrapping. Next, unscrew it from the pallet. Once your kennel is off the pallet, you and a helper can move it onto your home. We recommend lifting your kennel from the side panels only. The top is only held on with a few screws so you can remove it if needed, but this means it’s not the best place to lift your Texas Custom Kennel.
Oh no! My kennel arrived damaged! What do I do?
First, don’t panic! We will make it right! The shipping companies we use are the highest rated companies in their industry. We fully insure your kennel to cover any damage that may occur during shipping. (This is why you must note any damage to the crate before signing the BOL.) Texas Custom Kennels are built like a tank and we construct our crates to be very strong as well. The likelihood that your kennel arrives damaged is very small. With countless kennels shipped across the country, we’ve only had one arrived damaged. We no longer do business with that shipping company as a result (and we rebuilt this kennel and got it to the customer).
Can I leave you feedback?
Your feedback on the delivery process is crucial for improving our communication with our customers about the process, improving our packaging, and ensuring that our shipping partners do what we want. We want your experience, from purchasing your kennel to setting it up in your home, to be enjoyable and pleasant from start to finish. Without you, we don’t get to build dog kennels for a living!