Shipping can be an expensive, especially international shipping. One way you can keep costs low is using free shipping boxes and free shipping supplies.
So where can you get free shipping boxes and supplies? Well, all major shipping companies will give you free boxes and supplies on most shipment types. If you need custom or irregularly-sized boxes, though, you're on your own.
Read this post to learn how to get free shipping boxes and supplies to reduce your shipping costs. You'll learn how to source free boxes and supplies from all the top domestic US couriers.
How to Get Free Shipping Boxes and Supplies
Most couriers services offer shipping boxes for free, plus free shipping supplies. This includes free packaging materials and shipping labels.
To get free shipping boxes and supplies, order for free on the courier website. Alternatively, you may be able to pick up these boxes at your nearest physical store location.
UPS Offers Free Shipping Boxes and Supplies
UPS provides different boxes for different mail services – and these are always free. Order your free boxes on the UPS website.
Three types of UPS shipping boxes are available for free, depending on what type of item you want to send.
- UPS Express Box
- UPS Express Tub
- UPS Word Ease Document Box
Here are the three sizes of UPS Express Box available (all free):
UPS Express Boxes are available for Next Day Air and Second Day Air, as well as international service.
You can use a dropbox location to send medium and small boxes, though while large boxes must be shipped from a physical retail location.
For all sizes of UPS Express Boxes, you’ll need to order a minimum of 20 boxes.
UPS Express Tube is ideal for sending documents, drawings, and maps. Since these tubes exceed dropbox limitations, you’ll need to take this directly to a retail location for shipping. This item can be used for next day, second-day, and worldwide services. The tube measures 38-inch x 6-inch x 6-inch, and you must order a minimum of five.
UPS World Ease Document Box lets you send documents, receipts, and packing slips internationally. These can be dropped off at any dropbox location. The box measures 17.5 " x 12.5 " x 3 ". They are available in orders of 20.
UPS offers a range of free shipping boxes and supplies to help reduce your shipping costs.
USPS Offers Free Shipping Boxes and Supplies
The US Postal Service (USPS) offers the greatest variety of free shipping boxes and free shipping supplies.
Everything from Priority Mail Express Boxes to padded Flat Rate Envelopes are available – all free. You can even get shoeboxes, military care boxes, and DVD boxes for free.
For USPS, you’ll need to order the free box that corresponds to the mail service you'll be using. For example, if you're shipping with the very popular USPS Flat Rate, then you’ll need to order Flat Rate boxes.
Free shipping boxes are available for the following USPS services:
- USPS Priority Mail – Flat Rate
- USPS Priority Mail
- USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate
- USPS Priority Mail Express
- Global Express Guaranteed
- USPS Dual-Use Priority Mail/Priority Mail Express
Order your free boxes and shipping supplies from the USPS website.
Different sizes of free boxes are available for each mail service above. Just choose the delivery service that matches your needs, and order the corresponding boxes and supplies for free. You can also order envelopes for documents, shoeboxes, and more.
Need help finding the cheapest and best shipping options for you? Use our free shipping rate calculator.
Below are accurate rates for the cheapest, fastest shipping options for a 2 lb. package sent from New York, NY to Denver, CO.
Turns out USPS Priority Mail is the cheapest option. If you choose this shipping option with Easyship, you'll save about 40% off the retail rate because of our partnership with USPS and other couriers.
Plus, now you know exactly what type of free shipping box to use.
FedEx Offers Free Shipping Boxes and Supplies
Yep, FedEx also offers free shipping boxes and free shipping supplies. Like with UPS and USPS, you can access a range of different box shapes and sizes based on your needs from the FedEx website.
The most popular free FedEx boxes available are:
- FedEx Tube
- FedEx A4 box
- FedEx Envelope
- FedEx Box*
*FedEx Boxes come in small, medium, and large sizes for free.
If FedEx gives you the best rates on shipping, use it for free shipping supplies as well.
Save On Shipping With Used Boxes
Free shipping supplies can be found second-hand with ease. Visit grocery stores, boutiques, and furniture stores and ask for spent boxes that have yet to be recycled. These retailers will be happy to share with you. Since these boxes get recycled on certain days, call ahead to confirm the best time to pick up any free boxes.
Avoid sourcing used boxes from liquor stores because shipping restrictions prohibit couriers from sending these boxes.
Another useful way to get free boxes is through Freecycle. Freecycle is a community initiative whose sole purpose is to reuse materials so they avoid going to landfills. Ironically, the most common items at Freecycle are boxes. Members post on the forum when they have items like moving and packing boxes available. You can also place ads if you’re looking for particular items, and if any member has these they can contact you directly.
Save With Free Shipping Boxes and Free Shipping Supplies
Reducing shipping costs is key to running a successful eCommerce company. Fortunately, most couriers offer free shipping boxes to help you cut costs and raise the bottom line. Though free boxes aren't available on all services, a range of options exist from all top couriers.
Once you get your free boxes, trust Easyship for shipping and logistics. Our eCommerce services can help you with all your shipping needs. You can calculate shipping rates by using our shipping rate calculator and compare different courier services so you can find the perfect solution for your needs. Sign up for a free account today!
Will supermarkets give you cardboard boxes?
Yes, if they have them in the storeroom. Call your local grocer and ask for the produce department. Apply boxes are ideal because they're enclosed on all sides, but a range of box sizes exist.
How can I get free shipping labels?
Most major couriers offers free shipping labels via their website or physical store locations.
Are flat rate boxes free at the post office?
Yes, you can order them free online or grab them when you visit your local USPS location.