What’s the Difference Between Shipping and Logistics When it Comes to FF&E?

When it comes to FF&E, shipping and logistics are often mistaken for the same thing—when really they are two halves of a whole process. Learn what the difference is between shipping and logistics and why retail and hospitality need the FF&E shipping process to run smoothly at all times.

What Does FF&E Mean?

FF&E or FFE, depending on who you talk to, stands for furniture, fixtures, and equipment. It encompasses anything that’s not permanently attached to a building.

Are FF&E Shipping and Logistics the Same?

No, they’re not. You can think of shipping as the legs that get products to their destination, while logistics is the brain and arms organizing everything to make the shipping process smooth.

What is FF&E Shipping?

Shipping is everything that has to do with transporting FF&E items. Shipping includes documentation, tracking, and the handling of goods.

The 3 Types of Shipping

There are three different types of shipping:

  • Land: Using vehicles for transportation over roads, land shipment is a less expensive way of moving large pieces.
  • Air: Utilizing aircrafts for transportation, air transport is fast and reaches many places.
  • Sea: Employing ships for transportation, shipping via the ocean is good for huge inventory orders.

What is FF&E Logistics?

Logistics handles all the systems that focus on gaining items, storing them, and transporting them to the right people. Examples of logistics include:

  • Procurement of inventory
  • Supply chain management
  • Carrier partnerships
  • Individual project management
  • Storage management
  • Return and exchange management

3 Types of Shipping Logistics

There are three types of shipping logistics that affect FF&E:


Inbound shipping logistics focuses on getting products from a manufacturer or third party to a fulfillment center or warehouse. These logistics include:

  • Product sourcing
  • Production lead times
  • Inventory management
  • Warehouse receiving
  • Storage management

Outbound logistics are all about getting products to customers. It includes:

  • Order processing
  • Picking up items
  • Packing items
  • Shipping address management
  • Carrier partnerships
  • Shipment tracking management

Reverse logistics are used when a product doesn’t meet a customer’s expectations for one reason or another. Examples of reverse logistics are:

  • Inventory management
  • Handling return labels
  • Inspecting merchandise
  • Processing returns
  • Shipping and tracking new items

How Retail and Hospitality Rely Heavily on FF&E Shipping Logistics

Any disruption to the FF&E shipping process for these two industries can ruin their business. Learn why and how to optimize the shipping process for them.


The retail industry relies heavily on FF&E shipping logistics, not only for themselves as a store but for their customers. FF&E needs for an individual store can include:

  • Mannequins
  • Tables
  • Desks
  • POS (Point of sale) systems
  • Clothing racks
  • Displays
  • Shelving

If a store doesn’t receive these items in time, they won’t be able to open their doors and show their goods in an enticing way.

If a retail store is the one providing the FF&E, they must ensure they deliver on time, or their customers will have to deal with a similar situation as above.

Retail FF&E shipping logistics include:

  • Managing inventory flow
  • Warehouse receiving
  • Order fulfillment management
  • Packing management
  • Shipping address management
  • Shipping to customers
  • Shipment tracking management

How to Optimize Retail FF&E Shipping Logistics

The easiest way to optimize your shipping logistics is to go digital—if you haven’t already. Automation can help tremendously with inventory management, shipping labels, and tracking. Analytics help you predict what products will be the most popular, allowing you to order more of that specific inventory before running out.


Service and FF&E are at the hospitality industry’s core, so ensuring FF&E arrives on time is crucial. If the proper FF&E doesn’t arrive, it will affect the experience, affecting profits.

Hospitality FF&E includes:

  • Beds
  • Lamps
  • Desks
  • Chairs
  • Counters
  • Kitchen equipment
  • Tables

How to Optimize Hospitality FF&E

Needless to say, it’s important that the FF&E shipping process is accurate and running smoothly. You can streamline this process by focusing on organization and delegation of tasks.

There’s a lot of furniture and equipment involved with hospitality, so it’s crucial that everything gets to the right place. By grouping your products by category or SKUs, keeping track of inventory is easier and prevents out-of-stock issues.

A good task to delegate to an outside organization is the delivery and installation of the FF&E. Installing can take hours, maybe even days, if a client is a hotel and other pressing priorities need attention.

Keep Your Shipping Process Running Smoothly with Trivergix

There’s so much to keep track of when it comes to FF&E shipping logistics, and that doesn’t even include keeping your business running. Outsource your shipping logistics needs to Trivergix.

We handle transportation, storage, installation, and project management. We’ll ensure your products arrive safely and on time. Contact us today to discuss your specific needs.