What’s The Cheapest Way To Ship Very Heavy Things?

Shipping heavy stuff can really dent your wallet. Many people find the shipping cost for heavy stuff to be outrageous, especially if they are shipping internationally. Sports Overnight has prepared some tips on how you can save money when shipping heavy items.

Know your data

Before you even begin searching for the shipping company with the best rates, you should first know the specifics of what you are shipping. Look for a way to weigh your packed item. You should also measure the dimensions of the package. This is the most important data when shipping, and it will allow you to gauge the price you are bound to pay as you scroll through various price packages.

You should also factor in whether your item is fragile or hazardous. Most of the shipping companies will charge extra for items with special specifications.

Freight options

When shipping, you have the option for ground or air. The option you choose is mainly influenced by the urgency with which you want the package delivered. Air deliveries are usually faster.

It is always cheaper to ship through ground freight than it is to ship through air cargo. Ground shipping includes shipping through road, rail, and water. Shipping through these modes is economical but slow.

Ground and air shipping often don’t differ a lot when dealing with small light items. Air shipping is still more expensive, but the charges are reasonable. However, when dealing with very heavy items, the price difference can be staggering. This is because aircraft operation is more sensitive to weight than trucks and ships. The aircraft also tend to have weight restrictions for the amount of weight they can carry. Therefore, unless your shipment is extremely urgent, it is better to ship heavy items through ground freight.

When shipping internationally, you should keep in mind that the item might take a month or longer to arrive at its destination depending on the location. Shipping to a faraway continent to a landlocked country is especially lengthy when using ground freight. This is due to all the logistical process such as loading and unloading, customs clearances in various border checkpoints and among other issues.

Therefore, if you are looking for the cheaper option, then time should not be a priority.


Most of the very heavy items are usually sturdy. Some of the items, such as furniture, do not require to be packed in a box. However, if you are shipping a heavy item that can be packed in a box, ensure that it is well packed.

Most people might consider cutting costs by packing the item lightly. However, by doing this, they risk incurring the greater cost of repairing the item in case of breakage.

It might appear ironical, but one of the ways to save money on the heavy items is to spend on quality packing. Ensure that you don’t cheap out on the packing material such as the air pillows and bubble wrap. Heavy materials are more prone to accidental breakage in transit since maneuverability is an issue. Therefore, you should ensure that your items are properly cushioned in case of a mishap.

Flat rate boxes

Flat rate boxes are really the cheapest option for those who can manage to cram their items inside the box. Flat rate boxes are usually standard boxes that are offered by shipping companies. The shipping companies then charge a flat rate on shipping the box regardless of the packed weight.
While some shipping companies have limits on how much your flat rate package can weigh, these limits are usually in the range of around 70lbs and above. This is still a lot of weight to ship at a flat rate.

One disadvantage with the flat rate boxes is that they are usually small in size. For instance, the largest flat rate box offered by USPS measures 12 by 12 by 5½ inches. Not many heavy items can fit in this box unless you are shipping lead.

Choosing a shipping company

Although USPS is fairly cheaper than FedEx and UPS, the price difference when dealing with heavy and large items is usually not that big.


The Priority Mail option offered by USPS is the best choice when shipping heavy items. It is also in this option that you find the flat rate boxes that have a maximum capacity of 70lbs. When shipping within the United States and to Canada, USPS offers better prices than its other competitors.

• FedEx and UPS

FedEx SmartPost is a service that lets you ship your items affordably. The option has a weight restriction of 70lbs, and the shipment takes 2 to 7 days.

FedEx Ground and UPS Ground are also reliable and affordable ways to ship heavy items. The shipment can take anywhere between 1 to 7 business days. These companies also have a selection of international shipping options that are more reliable than USPS.