Shipping large packages used to be very costly with very few options. All that has changed for the better, with more shipping options becoming available and web access to real-time shipping rates, allow you to find the most cost effective way to ship your large packages.

When looking for the most cost effective way to ship large packages one should consider a number of things in both the packing of the shipment and the selection of a shipping company. Here are a few tips we’ve assembled to help you in the packing and shipping of large items:

The Box

· Choose a box with enough room for cushioning material around the contents. If you are reusing boxes, cover all previous labels and markings with heavy black marker or adhesive labels.

· When reusing boxes, make sure the structural integrity of the box is intact. This is extremely important. A box that is floppy or soft is not suitable for shipping.

· Do not wrap packages in paper or bind them with twine – this can cause them to get caught in conveyor belts or to be ripped during handling. UPS will not accept packages wrapped in paper or bound in twine.

· Enclose an extra address label, business card or letterhead with the shipper’s address and phone number and the recipient’s address and phone number inside the package before sealing it. If the outer packaging gets damaged the shipper will still have the return information. Also be sure to add a return address on the outside of the box in at least 2 places.

· Use an appropriate size box. This is especially important for large shipments. A box which is too small does not allow adequate space for cushioning. A box which is too large leaves too much room for an item to shift remember movement of the item is not acceptable and may be charged a surcharge.


· Put a minimum of 2″ of cushioning, such as air-cellular cushioning, loose fill peanuts, corrugated fiberboard, foam pads, crumpled paper or bead board, on all sides of the container to fill void spaces and prevent movement of goods inside the box during shipping. Recycle packing material when possible. Close and shake the box to see if you’ve used enough. If your item shakes or shifts, add more. – Place goods that might be affected by dirt, water or wet conditions inside a plastic bag.

· Consolidate small parts or spill-able granular products in a strong sealed container.

· Double-box especially fragile items with 3 inches of cushioning in and around the smaller box.

· Wrap fragile items individually with cushioning material and center them in cartons away from other items and away from the sides, corners, top and bottom of the container.

· Position bottles that contain liquids upright. Use an inner seal and perforated breakaway cap. The inner packaging must be able to contain leaks.

Customs Forms

· It’s absolutely vital that your customs forms are filled out properly and entirely if you are shipping internationally. When shipping online the carriers will direct you to the proper forms to fill out. When shipping packages internationally from a retail location ask for the proper forms. Make sure everything is filled out accurately and DO NOT attempt to falsify the value or the contents. This can result in criminal penalties and is certainly not worth saving a few dollars in tariffs. Remember, you are looking for the cheapest “legal” way to ship large packages.

Compare Rates Between Shipping Companies

You’ll be amazed at how much the rates vary between carriers, even on the same package. To find the cheapest way to ship large packages it is absolutely essential that you compare rates between shipping companies. You can do this by going to each shippers website and use the shipment calculators, just be certain to submit the correct freight classification or product category and don’t forget to insure appropriately

We hope these simple tips with save you money and headaches when you are shipping. By following these tips you are well on your way to the cheapest way to ship large packages.