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Shipping Tips & Solutions

Shipping to Alaska: What's the Cheapest Option in 2020?

Find the cheapest way to ship to Alaska using Easyship, plus some useful reminders about surcharges and regulations!
Shipping to Alaska: What's the Cheapest Option in 2020?
Jules

By Jules

 

August 7, 2020

Are you considering shipping to Alaska? As an online store owner, it’s critical you understand the different steps involved including which carriers to use, the costs, various regulations, and of course the cheapest options.

Alaska is the northernmost U.S. state, with Canada sitting between it and the mainland United States. Like many Americans, Alaskans like to shop with U.S. retailers and eCommerce merchants on the mainland. However, since it’s not a part of the contiguous United States, and sparsely populated in most parts, shipping can present unique challenges.

For eCommerce merchants, it’s important to understand the cheapest shipping rates to Alaska since many customers will seek this out due to the costs generally incurred from the shipping distance.  

In this article, we’ll cover what you need to know to enjoy the cheapest way to ship to Alaska, find couriers offering the best services, tips to save on Alaska shipping, and the possible challenges you can encounter.

Don’t forget that Easyship can help you send a parcel to Alaska by giving you access to multiple cost-effective courier solutions so you can always find the cheapest solution!

Where will the road take you? It depends which way you go. Now, this road took me to the Wrangell St. Elias National Park in Alaska. It is by far the biggest National Park we have. I would recommend going in the warmer months as this was taken at about 3 degrees. I’m on IG @bryangoffphoto Stop by and say hi!
Photo by Bryan Goff 

What You Should Know About Shipping to Alaska

Regardless of whether you are shipping small packages or shipping a car to Alaska, you’ll want to understand the nuances in order to help you find the cheapest options.

The major carriers all ship to Alaska, but because of its location, and geographic size, it can take longer, and in some cases, there will be significant surcharges if sending a package to a remote part of the state. Fortunately, nearly 50% of the population lives in the Anchorage metropolitan area, so that's most likely where parcels will be shipped.  

Be Aware of Surcharges

However, if you are shipping to the most remote parts of Alaska, then you should expect there to be significant surcharges with UPS and FedEx depending on the zip code. Alaska is the largest state with vast remote areas, some only accessible by plane or boat. So you definitely will need to check with the carriers to get specific details on the surcharges.

Look up the Local Regulations

There may also be local regulations (some due to the COVID-19 crisis) that will restrict the shipping of some packages. Among them, include alcohol, battery operated self-balancing devices, explosives, flammable solids, and liquids. For some packages, local restrictions might require you to get licenses before shipping the items.

Alaska is know for it's natural beauty and wildlife, so there are strict laws around bringing animals and plants into the state; this is done to protect the local environment from the hazards of foreign animals and plants.

It Could Take Longer to Reach Remote Locations

Besides understanding the potential surcharges in shipping to Alaska, you should also understand out how long Alaska shipping takes. Again, this will largely be dependent on whether you are shipping to the populous areas like Anchorage or Juneau as compared to the more remote parts of Alaska. If you are shipping to those remote parts, you should expect that packages could take much longer to arrive, especially if you are using a service like USPS ground.

Shipping to Alaska with UPS, USPS, and FedEx

Finding the cheapest shipping rates to Alaska is a good option for online retailers looking to get profits without sacrificing your customer's delivery experience. This is why you should find the best and cheapest way to ship to Alaska and any other destination. That said, below are the costs of shipping to Alaska with various couriers.

UPS

Online retailers with large and heavy packages should consider UPS shipping to Alaska. Shipping to Alaska using UPS has a weight limit of 150lbs for every package. As such, consider UPS if your shipments are between 70 and 150lbs.

Note that your choice of UPS shipping to Alaska option will determine the delivery times. Compared to UPS's urgent and express options, UPS ground is a cost-effective choice. It is an ideal option if you are looking for the cheapest shipping rates to Alaska.

FedEx

FedEx shipping to Alaska and other destinations is best for overnight deliveries. If you need your packages delivered by the next morning, consider FedEx shipping to Alaska, especially with their variety of fast services. You can choose from FedEx priority mail or FedEx Next Flight for convenient deliveries. For Easyship customers, you’ll need to link to your FedEx account to generate delivery rates.

USPS

The USPS offers some cheapest shipping rates to Alaska, so in most cases this will be the best option for online store owners. Just like UPS, this courier has the most affordable shipping to Alaska cost, especially if your parcel is less than 70lbs. However, if you have large packages, consider other shipping couriers.

The best way to get a quick quote is to use the Easyship Shipping Rates calculator.

Easyship Shipping Rates Calculator

What's the Cheapest Way to Ship from the Mainland to Alaska?

As an online store owner, finding the most cost-effective shipping solutions without sacrificing reliability is key to keeping your customers happy with your service. That’s why it’s important to find the most economical shipping options possible for your customers, whether you are shipping to Alaska or any other location.

To provide you with an overview, we’ve broken down the shipping solutions per carrier for a parcel weighing 5lbs and measuring 10 by 5 by 5 inches. Below are the estimates from various couriers from Los Angeles, California to Anchorage, Alaska.

Service Cost Delivery Time
UPS Next Day Air $58 1 Day
UPS 2nd Day Air $123 2 Days
UPS Ground Service $58 3 Days
FedEx Priority Overnight $149 1 Day
FedEx 2ND Day AM $79 2 Days
USPS Priority Mail $9 3 Days
USPS Parcel Select Ground $23 2-8 Days
USPS Priority Mail Express $70 1-2 Days

Based on the courier estimates above, UPS offers the cheapest shipping rates to Alaska. Similarly, other UPS courier options offer a perfect balance of cost, delivery time, and great customer service.

Find the Cheapest Shipping to Alaska with Easyship

If you are planning on shipping to Alaska, Easyship is a great partner. Our platform can help you find the cheapest rates to ship to Alaska, and provides additional benefits as well, such as:

For an idea of shipping costs to Alaska with Easyship, here are some rates for shipping a parcel weighing 5lbs and measuring 10in x 5in x 5in from Los Angeles, California to Anchorage, Alaska, with Easyship.

  • USPS Priority Mail - $9 (1-3 days in transit)
  • USPS Priority Mail Express - $60 (1-2 days in transit)

Finding the right courier with the cheapest shipping rates to Alaska is crucial for eCommerce businesses to make profits. USPS shipping to Alaska is cheaper than that of other couriers, but UPS shipping to Alaska can be useful for heavier packages.

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Looking for the cheapest shipping to other destinations? Check out the following guides: