It’s difficult to ship large items like gym equipment, golf clubs, auto parts, and eBikes. With such massive and heavy-weight shipments, there are numerous obstacles. Complex procedures for weighing and pricing, packaging, getting the goods out of the warehouse, and the long time it takes to get to the customer’s door are all examples.
However, if you need to relocate or manage an e-commerce business that deals with heavy-weight and large parcels, this should not prevent you from delivering items on schedule or expanding your business into new markets. You need to choose the right shipping option if you want to reduce stress and keep your costs down.
What Package Is Considered “Large”?
You must first determine what is deemed a heavy item by courier firms before determining the best method for shipping heavy packages. When it comes to shipping heavy-weight items, different couriers have different criteria. We’ll give you a fast rundown of USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL in this section.
If your box is longer than 108 inches or has a combined length and girth of fewer than 130 inches, USPS will bill you a fixed, standard Parcel Select oversize fee. The majority of USPS shipping services have a 70-pound weight limit.
For parcels that are larger or heavier than the regular oversized rate, you may face very expensive fees, and you’ll have to negotiate a customized rate with USPS.
If your item exceeds 96 inches or 130 inches combined, FedEx will consider it an oversized parcel. You will also have a billable weight of at least 90 pounds. During peak annual shipping seasons, there is an extra oversize peak surcharge of $37.50 per shipment, in addition to the $90 oversize charge per parcel.
You can transport heavy and large packages with UPS. However, the minimum billing weight is 90 pounds, and large shipments with lengths exceeding 96 inches or 130 inches combined will incur an extra charge.
Any package weighing more than 150 pounds, measuring more than 108 inches in length, or measuring more than 165 inches in length and girth altogether falls under UPS’ large limits and must be transported using UPS’ freight service.
DHL is a well-known international transportation company, although it does have weight and size restrictions. If a shipment weighs more than 70 kg (154.4 lbs) and has a single dimension of more than 120 cm (47.24 inches), it is considered big and heavy.
Before shipping any large item, DHL recommends contacting them first to confirm the services and timeframes available in your area. When sending heavy-weight and bulky items through DHL, you will be charged an oversize shipment fee of $89 per parcel.
Things To Consider When Shipping Large Items
Finding the cheapest option to ship 50 pounds is difficult. You must decide how and with whom to send your bulky items. Here are some things to think about when figuring out the best options for your large items.
Dimensional weight differs from the actual weight of your item. Dimensional weight is an estimated weight that takes your package’s dimensions into account. Shipping companies embraced this technique because they were losing money on large parcels weighing less.
What does this mean to you? When the carrier calculates the shipping rates, you will be billed based on the greater of the two weights—actual or dimensional.
To find the most affordable way to send heavy items and bring down costs, you need to package your items as well as you can to keep their dimensions as compact as possible.
Fragility of the Item
Figuring out the cheapest way to ship large packages can often go beyond cost and travel time. If you’re sending something large and fragile, you may need to use a carrier that specializes in fragile shipments to make sure your package gets there without getting broken.
Even though you have to pay handling fees, it is preferable to have your items damaged.
Origin and Destination of the Package
Whether your shipment is large or small, the shipping zone will always be factored into the calculation. This means that the cost will be higher if the shipment has to go a long way to get to the destination.
How can you reduce these costs? Choose the “distributed inventory option!” Your delivery expenses can be drastically lowered by using multiple fulfillment centers in strategic places.
Your Chosen Courier
Different carriers have different criteria, procedures, and delivery charges for shipping large items. Depending on what you’re shipping, this will affect the price.
You need to choose a carrier that is more accommodating of weight, size, and fragility. It is also vital to check with your carrier and learn about their restrictions on the kinds of heavy products they can and cannot transport.
Shipping speed is all about the time it takes for your package to reach its destination. Do you prefer next-day delivery, overnight delivery, 2-day delivery, or ground delivery?
While you may have little control over other aspects that influence shipping costs, you do have full control over how quickly you want your items delivered.
You will have to buy time here. If you want your products delivered faster, you will have to pay more. If you’re sending 50 pounds or more, consider choosing a slower delivery option to save money on shipping.
Best Way to Ship Heavy and Large Items
The top carriers offer different services and prices for delivering large shipments, and one courier isn’t necessarily better than the other. You must choose the carrier that offers the most suitable deal for the items you are mailing. You can learn how to cut down prices when shipping large items like bikes in my previous article on How to Ship a Bike.
Because the United States Postal Service (USPS) is the largest carrier, it shouldn’t be surprising that they provide a wide range of shipping choices to meet various demands.
Priority Mail Express: Overnight
Priority Mail Express is the fastest shipping service offered by USPS, with orders guaranteed to arrive the next business day. If you can pack your items into a flat rate shipping envelope, Priority Mail Express is a viable alternative for packages under 70 pounds. Otherwise, the charges for larger shipments are quite costly, and you may be better off using another carrier. The average cost of using this service from Brooklyn to LA is $309.
The USPS Priority Mail service is offered for packages weighing less than 70 pounds, and the sizes range from small envelopes to large boxes measuring approximately 1 ft x 1 ft x 6 inches. The Priority Mail option is a fantastic alternative if you need to send a hefty item that is tiny or medium-sized in a fair length of time. While not the quickest choice, the shipping service ships the packages to the destination in 1-3 days, which is quite impressive. It costs $179.52 to ship from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.
Ground (Parcel Select)
If your item is too large for the Priority Mail flat rate box, choose Ground shipping instead. The weight limit is still 70 pounds, but the size restrictions are less stringent.
Ground shipment may be significantly slower than Priority Mail, but it is the cheapest way of shipping heavy items. You can ship large packages from Brooklyn to Los Angeles for $90.52 in 2–8 days.
Given that we’re talking about big carriers, it’s a no-brainer that FedEx made the list.
FedEx does not provide the same assured speed options as USPS, but they compensate by providing more flexible weight options. Unlike USPS, which restricts you to 70 lbs, FedEx is much more accommodating, allowing you to ship products up to lbs. They’re also far more lenient with package sizes, allowing you to send anything up to 108 inches long or 165 inches long, including girth.
If your things are too heavy or large for USPS, then FedEx is the way to go. It costs an average of $96.35 to ship items from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1–7 days.
Freight: Priority or Economy
If you’re transporting a significant number of heavy items, FedEx Freight is one of the most affordable options available. Prices vary greatly based on the shipping zone and size of the items, but if you’re shipping many large items, you’ll receive a great deal.
Things You Should Do before Shipping Large Items
After learning what is considered large and the most cost-effective manner to ship them, it is critical to know the basic procedures you must follow to ensure the safe delivery of your items.
1. Package Your Items Properly
Large items are more susceptible to hard bumps, knocks, shocks, and possible drops than smaller, lighter packages due to their size, weight, and shape. Use double-walled, corrugated boxes to appropriately wrap them to absorb shocks. Fill any gaps to limit movement, then tape the boxes tightly. IDL Packaging Store offers a range of corrugated larg shipping boxes on Amazon.
2. Take Correct Measurements and Weight Readings
Heavy and oversized items are expensive to ship, and you should avoid adding to the expense. To prevent additional surcharges, make sure you accurately measure and weigh your shipment to receive the most precise and affordable shipping price.
3. Calculate Your Shipping Fee
Calculate the charges you’ll have to pay based on the selections you have available. Can you afford to take the express route, or is it way above your budget? Is one carrier offering you a better cost because of the dimensions of your product?
You can call the courier directly for quotes or use the online calculator tool on their websites.
4. Book and Pay
Now that you’ve determined which shipping option is ideal for your product, book it! Print and attach shipping labels.
5. Print and Attach Shipping
Go to your chosen courier website and fill in the essential information, such as where the box is going, how much it weighs, and so on. Different carriers require different shipping labels, so fill them out accordingly. Finally, print your shipping labels and attach them to the top and sides of the box.
6. Send the Package
There are several ways you can send your package to your carrier. The common one is a home pick-up, where the carrier comes to your home to pick it up at an extra fee. You also have the option of using your courier drop-off locations around you. You can search for the nearest drop-off location on their website. Finally, you can take them to the post office by yourself.