Some of the advice here can help save a day in shipping:
You are probably here as you have questions about the ETA of your shipment and that is completely understandable, after all this is not a book that is being delivered. It is heavy and will require co-ordination. See more here on what to expect with a freight delivery here.
In shipping terms we are the Consignor (The consignor is the person or business that originates the shipment. Also, known as the shipper) and you are the Consignee (The consignee is the individual or business that receives the freight being shipped.)
You may not know it but as the Consignee you have the power of authority over the shipment and only you (I think this is back from many decades ago, when people would call expensive shipments and say things like “oh by the way, we have changed he delivery address please send the million dollars worth of whisky here of course that was not the correct location and someone was no longer thirsty”).
So the power of authority is in your hands. The shipper will not speak to us about arranging a delivery to you. We cannot unless you fill out about 20 forms and wait weeks giving us power of attorney (nightmare scenario).
You are in control. If you want the shipment quickly or just want to know about it, call them. It is your shipment. This is UPS (or R&L) they are billion dollar companies and ready to help. But they want to speak to the Consignee only (you).
You will have a tracking number, you can go online to UPS and track it (they provide an 800 number): http://ltl.upsfreight.com/shipping/tracking/index.aspx# (800-333-7400, option 2)
If your shipment is via R&L their tracking page is here: https://www.rlcarriers.com/shiptrace.asp (they provide a phone number usually to the local terminal).
Or wood look tile shipments will probably be Estes and each will have their own terminal and phone number, I prefer this as you are speaking directly with the people that have your shipment 5 mins walk from their desk! Estes tracking page.
Finally, and I say this as I do not own these businesses. These freight companies are the best we have, they have a person in a cubical (most likely no windows and little pay) that everyday has hundreds of shipment to schedule, you could be at the bottom of the pile. Not a great place to be.
If you call in, then you can go to the top. But bear in mind, yes everyone should do their job exceptional standards. But I just imagine that this is a job that require a lot of coffee, so a little finnesse maybe needed if you want to exceed the normal shipping times and get moved to the top of that pile.
Thank you for reading my post. Too candid at the end? Please let me know, Feedback is the only way to get better: firstname.lastname@example.org.