My service provider obtained shipping for me at a price that I was not able to get by contracting myself with a large LTL company. Ernest arranged for the pickup through FedEx, with instructions that the crate not be stacked, and had FedEx provide a liftgate truck at both ends along with loading and unloading service. Perhaps our homemade crate/pallet was not a standard-enough size, because FedEx at some point in the journey placed the crate/pallet on another pallet. I surmise that the reason was so a forklift could move it more easily (it was loaded onto the liftgate truck provided using a pallet jack), but at that point the original crate/pallet was not secured in any way to the larger pallet they placed it on. Along the way, this was evidently not an issue... but on delivery, since my house is situated on a hill, the crate almost slid off the second pallet and onto the street! Fortunately, it stopped in time, and the delivery was successful. I'm grateful that it survived unscathed, but I cannot fathom why FedEx would not have strapped or otherwise secured the crate if they felt it needed to be on a larger pallet for whatever reason. If anyone is shipping a similar (heavy, top-heavy) item , I'd suggest meeting FedEx at the liftgate with supplementary strapping!
However, I did appreciate the service, good communication, and attention that Ernest gave to my shipment. Thank you!