As a small business owner, you may be perplexed about how you can effectively ship large packages to your customers. From the cost of shipping to packaging, duration of delivery, and safety during delivery, we have you covered!
Please note that for this article, large or heavy items are classified as having a maximum weight of 150 lbs, with a maximum length of 108 inches, and girth and length less than 165 inches.
Items that exceed the above weight and dimensions would be considered freight, which we will not be covering in this article.
When it comes to shipping heavy items, the first step you should take is getting a quote from a reliable shipping agency or company.
In order to get an accurate quote, it is important that you provide the shipping company with the right information. Important information you will need include:
- Weight of item
- Dimensions of the item
- Where you're shipping from, and where you're shipping to
- When you want the item to arrive
How to get a quote
Now that you know what's needed to get an accurate quote, allow us to share a hack that will allow you to see quotes from multiple couriers all at once.
Easyship's Get A Quote feature provides eCommerce sellers an overview of available solutions for their shipment, all in one place.
You can see solutions from major couriers such as DHL, FedEx, and UPS, in addition to over 100 other shipping options.
To have a taste of our Get A Quote feature, customers looking to ship bulky items can get an idea of costs from our Rate Calculator. You'll be able to see a sample of the solutions available with cost estimates. To see a more accurate quote with additional courier solutions, sign up for a free account to access the Get A Quote feature on the dashboard.
Other things to consider
First and foremost, it's important that you contact your courier of choice to confirm your items can be shipped, especially if they contain liquids, dangerous goods, or other potentially restricted items. This way, you can avoid facing serious customs issues, especially if you are shipping overseas.
Even though damage to packages is a rare occurrence, especially when you choose to ship with a reputable company, it may give you peace of mind if you insure your heavy items. Getting the items protected from damages or loss can allow you to get a refund and recoup the value of the item should anything go wrong.
But before you decide to purchase insurance, do make sure that you go through the courier's list of prohibited items that can't be insured. For example, many couriers do not insure precious stones. They may also have limits to high value items - for example, artwork, plasma screen TVs, and antiques may only be covered up to $1000.
Tips on how to pack heavy items
This is an important issue to be considered when you start to ship big items. Being bulky, you would want to make sure that your packages can withstand vibrations in transit, getting accidentally dropped, temperature changes, and compressions. Here are tips to help you properly pack your heavy items for shipping:
- Package them in strongly constructed boxes with stitched or stapled seams, instead of glued seams.
- Use new boxes instead of reusing old and previously used boxes to ensure they are strong enough to carry the weight.
- Seal the boxes with heavy-duty tapes. If possible, reinforce the taping by applying them multiple times, targeting the seams.
- Use engineered foam enclosures and customized corrugated board to cushion the contents of your heavy package. Avoid using crumpled paper as they might not be able to protect your items.
- If possible, double the box. The packed box should be slipped into a larger box, padding the empty space around the carton with adequate cushioning.
Having a clear understanding of how to ship large items means increased revenue as you no longer restrict yourself to shipping locally. With the right courier company, you can be sure of fewer damaged items and increased number of satisfied customers.