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Shipping Tips & Solutions

What is the Cheapest Way to Ship Heavy Items in 2021?

Shipping heavy packages for your online store? In this article, we cover the best courier options and the cheapest ways to ship 50 lbs packages and above.
What is the Cheapest Way to Ship Heavy Items in 2021?
Marine Levert

By Marine Levert

 

January 26, 2021

Table of Contents

Shipping heavy items such as gym equipment, golf clubs, auto parts, and eBikes is a complex process. There is no shortage of challenges that come with such large and heavy-weight shipping. Complex weighing and cost estimate procedures, packaging, the physical removal of the product from the warehouse, and the long transit time to the customers' doorstep are just a few.

But if your eCommerce business deals with heavy-weight and oversized packages, that should not deter you from getting items to your customers on time or even scaling your business to other markets. You need to figure out the best shipping solution for your business to ease the pain without breaking the bank.

The good news is that you can always find the cheapest way to ship 50lbs and above, and there are plenty of carriers that offer fast and easy shipping for heavy-weight shipping.

When shipping bulky items, it is always good to get a shipping quote early. The best way to do this is to use the Easyship shipping rates calculator to compare shipping rates and transit times from different courier services and choose the one that fits your needs and budget.

Prepare to Ship Heavy Items
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

What is Considered a Heavy Item?

Before you find the best way to ship heavy items, you need to know what is considered a heavy item by the courier companies. Different couriers have their own standards for heavy-weight shipments. Here, we will give you a quick overview for UPS, USPS, DHL, and FedEx.

USPS

USPS will charge you a specific, standard Parcel Select oversize price if your box exceeds 108 inches in length or when the combined length and girth is less than 130 inches. Most of the USPS services have a weight limit of 70 lbs.
You could face very high costs for items that are heavier or larger than the standard oversized rate, and you'll have to work out a specific rate with USPS.

UPS

You can ship large and heavy items with UPS, but the minimum billable weight is 90 pounds and you will face an additional charge for large packages whose length exceeds 96 inches or 130 inches combined.
Any package above 150 lbs, 108 inches in length, or more than 165 inches in length and girth combined enters into the oversized limits for UPS and must be shipped via UPS' freight service.

FedEx


If your package is over 96 inches or 130 inches combined, then you are looking at an oversized package with FedEx. You will also face a minimum of 90lbs billable weight. The oversize charge per package is $90, and there is an additional oversize peak surcharge of $37.50 per package during peak annual shipping times.

DHL

DHL is a reputed international shipping carrier, but it has its weight and size limitations, too. You are looking at an oversize and heavy package if it weighs more than 70kg(154.3 lbs), and has a single dimension over 120 cm (47.24 inches)

DHL advises that you should contact them first before shipping any oversized packages to check on the services and timeframe available in your location.

You will face an oversize package cost of $89 per parcel when shipping heavy-weight and large items with DHL.

Related: The Cheapest Ways to Ship Small Package in 2021

What to Consider When Shipping Heavy Items

A lot goes into finding the cheapest way to ship 50lbs. You have to decide how to ship them, and who to ship your heavy items with. To help you make an informed decision in this regard, here are some factors to consider.

  • Dimensional weight

Dimensional weights come to play when you have large and awkwardly shaped packages. These are usually light items, but their shape and size make them occupy large space on delivery trucks.

Your shipping rate will be calculated based on how much volumetric space your package occupies per the dimensions of your package. You will be charged whichever is greater, the actual weight or the dimensional weight.

To find the cheapest way to ship heavy items and keep the cost down,  package your items in the best way possible to keep its dimensions smaller.

  • The fragility of your package

Sometimes, finding the cheapest way to ship heavy items goes beyond the price and transit time. When shipping heavy, fragile items, you may have to choose a carrier that can handle fragile shipments so that your packages arrive in pristine conditions.

You may be charged extra surcharges, which is better than having your valuables damaged.

  • Package destination

Besides the weight and dimensions of your shipments, carriers use the origin and the destination address of your package to calculate the shipping rate. That means the destination of your package will impact your ability to find the cheapest way to ship  50lbs and above.

The further the shipping zone, the more you will have to pay to have your heavy items delivered.

  • Shipping courier

Different carriers have their own standards, rules, and shipping rates for mailing heavy items. These will influence the cost based on what you are shipping.

Here, you need to work with a carrier that is more friendly and flexible with weight, size, and fragility. Using a courier comparison tool is an excellent way to compare different couriers side by side and see the services offered by each one of them for shipping heavy items.

  • Shipping speed

Shipping speed has everything to do with how long it will take to have your package delivered. Do you want to go for next day delivery, overnight shipping, 2-day shipping, or Ground shipping?

While you have less control over other factors that drive your shipping cost, you have complete control over how faster you want it delivered.

Here, you will have to pay to play. The faster you want your items delivered, the more you will have to pay. For the cheapest way to ship 50lbs and above, consider going for slower delivery options to drive the shipping cost down.

  • Restrictions

As we have already seen, carrier restrictions apply when it comes to weight and dimensions for shipping heavy items. Before you prepare your shipment, make sure you contact your carrier to enquire about their restrictions concerning the type of heavy items they can and can't ship.

Best/Cheapest Way to Ship Heavy Items

In your quest to find the cheapest way to ship heavy items, you need to know the big-name players in the heavy-weight and oversized shipping game. USPS, FedEx, and UPS lead the pack in this category in both domestic and international shipping.

Each one of them will at least have a good, cost-effective option depending on the type of package you are sending. Using the Easyship shipping rates calculator, the table below shows the cheapest way to ship a 50lbs package from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.

ServiceTransit TimeEstimated Cost
USPS Parcel Select3-7 working days$90.52
USPS Priority Mail 1-3 days working days$179.52
USPS Priority Mail Express1-2 days working$309.10
FedEx Ground5 working days$96.35
FedEx Ground5 working days$96.35
FedEx Express Saver5 working days$234.55
FedEx 2Day4 working days $333.54
FedEx Priority Overnight1 working days$423.79

Parcel Select wins out here as the cheapest way to mail a 50lbs package from brooklyn to Los Angeles at $90.52 in 3-7 days, followed closely by FedEx Ground service at $96.35 in 5 days. Expedited services can get quite expensive, and you may have to avoid those when finding the cheapest way to ship heavy packages unless you want to send an urgent package.

How to Prepare to Ship Heavy Items

There are some things you need to do to ensure a smooth shipping experience when mailing heavy items to your customers. They include:

  • Take accurate measurements and weight readings: It is costly to ship large and heavy items, and you need to avoid adding to the cost. To avoid extra surcharges, make sure that you measure and weigh your package properly to get the most accurate and affordable quote for your shipment.
  • Proper packaging: Due to their weight, size, and shape, heavy items are subjected to hard knocks, bumps, shocks, and possible drops than smaller, lightweight packages. It is good that you package your large and heavy items properly to withstand transit shocks using double-walled, corrugated cartons. Fill any empty space to restrict movements, and seal your cartons securely with tape.
  • Tracking: Slow delivery times are part and parcel of large or heavy-weight shipping. To help lower delivery anxiety, you need to make sure that you and your customer have access to tracking information so that you can monitor the progress of your shipment until it reaches its final destination. This will help you notice any delivery mishaps and take action before your customer notices any potential red flags.
  • Shipping Insurance: Large and heavy packages tend to be big-ticket items. You don't want to suffer the loss in case your package is damaged or lost. To prevent this, you need to make sure that your packages are covered with the right insurance policy. Easyship can help you secure your goods on transit with the right insurance policy. We provide insurance cover up to $5,000.
  • Courier comparison: You need to compare-shop rates from different couriers to see the ones that offer affordable, cost-effective services for shipping heavy items. The best way to do this is to use a shipping rates calculator to compare transit times and shipping rates from different couriers.

eCommerce Shops Should Consider 3PLs

Third-party logistic companies have a lot of experience when it comes to handling shipments of all sizes, weights, and shapes. They take it upon themselves to make sure that your heavy items are managed well throughout the delivery process, and partner with the best carriers.

They are, therefore, a top choice for SMEs in the eCommerce space, and can be very helpful for retailers dealing with complex shipments. Easyship is a leading eCommerce and logistics company that can help you cut costs and ensure a smooth shipping experience.

How Easyship Can Help

Shipping heavy items takes planning. That's why you shouldn't go it alone, but leave it to the experts! Easyship can help you win in the large and heavy-weight shipping game in the following ways:

  • Best rates: We can help you access discounted shipping rates up to 70% with most major couriers.
  • Multi-courier solutions: We have over 250+ courier partnerships in different countries, and we can help you ship your packages to any corner of the world.
  • A network of fulfillment centers: To help you further drive down the shipping cost and transit time, we have warehouse partners in different parts of the world to ensure that your goods are stored as close to your customers as possible.

Sign up for a free Easyship account today and let us help you supercharge your large and heavyweight shipping with affordable shipping solutions.