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Best Way To Ship Heavy Items: The Ultimate Guide

Published in Shipping

Shipping overweight items, which are also sometimes oversized, can end up being extremely difficult and pricey. Though there is a clear dilatation between oversized items and freight shipping, deciding where the line is drawn for an overweight item can be a little tricky. As a company that’s been in the shipping and fulfillment business for 60+ years, we’ll walk you through what you need to know about the best way to ship heavy items. 

How Shipping Large Items Work

Shipping large items can be something you need to do as a consumer for your personal life or as a business when you have palletized shipments or oversized equipment. There’s a laundry list of things to consider with your shipment, but the first thing you need to consider is the dimensional weight of your shipment. For sake of argument, we’ll go with a package that will need freight shipping.

What Is the Cheapest Way to Ship Large Items

There are two specific choices for the cheapest way to ship heavy items. Though consolidated freight or volume services are great options for saving money, they do have their pitfalls.

When using consolidated freight multiple shippers are able to combine their LTL shipments together which provides savings to all of the shippers. The problem with consolidated freight is that shipping times can be high, freight handling can be spotty because of the multiple stops., and the process is overly complex. If you have a far less time-sensitive delivery, volume services may be the perfect tool for you to ship heavy items. The problem with volume services is the same as consolidated shipping, except because of the lower price the shipment time can be 2 times as long as consolidated freight. Outside of the timing difficulty of consolidated freight, there are still weight limitations capped at 4,000 lbs.

How to Ship Large Items

Once you know that you’re shipping a large item with freight shipping here are the steps you need to take when shipping large items.

  • Pack Your Shipment: Using heavy-duty packing materials, pack your shipment.
  • Confirm Your LTL Freight Class: Use the National Motor Freight Classification ( NMFC) system to figure out your freight class.
  • Get Quotes from Carriers: Using your shipping class and packed shipment
  • Figure Out the Speed of Service You Need: Because of the timely nature of some deliveries, or the freight requirements, knowing your speed of service allows you to pick the right carrier for your heavy shipment.
  • Figure Out if You Need Liftgate Truck for Pickup or Delivery: Some shipments are humanly impossible to lift, alone or safely without groups of people, knowing this ahead of time will help you have a smooth pickup or drop when you ship a heavy item.
  • Create Shipping Label: Most major carriers will have their own internet portal to simplify this for you, 
  • Schedule Pickup or Drop Off: Just as you would with any shipment, scheduling your freights pickup or dropoff once the rest of your logistics have to be handled to make sure it’s a smooth handoff is key.
  • Track Your Shipping: Sit back and relax while you let the professionals deal with your heavy item shipping.

Below we’ll get into some specifics of this process.

Choosing a Carrier

Every carrier has its own pricing methodology that varies according to its company policies. Even though carriers compete with each other as closely as possible, every carrier has an overweight surcharge, and they all start at different weights.

  • FedEx: Packages exceeding 150lbs are considered overweight FedEx
  • DHL: Packages exceeding 154lbs (or 70kgs)  are considered overweight DHL
  • UPS: Packages exceeding 70lbs are considered overweight for UPS

Though you may want to start your process by getting quotes for your shipment, knowing your shipment’s exact weight, class and specifics will greatly help you when figuring out the best way to ship heavy items.

Select Heavy-Duty Packaging

The safety of your shipment starts with your packaging. Using heavy-duty packaging materials, insulation and other packaging keep your items in place. When choosing what type of boxes you’re using, even if corrugated board, try to get reinforced boxes. FedEx recommends only using new boxes, and if necessary using a box within a box and adding cushioning between the two. Once your shipment is securely inside your box, use heavy-duty tape and staples to seal your package. If your shipment is paletted, make sure the palette is secure and wrapped.

Purchase Insurance 

Even with all of the guarantees in the world, if your shipment isn’t protected by the buffer of insurance, you can lose valuable products or valuables. The benefits of insuring a shipment far outweigh the cost of losing something to damage or theft. 

Factors to Consider When Shipping Heavy Items

The final factors you should consider when shipping large items across the country have to deal with the handling part of the needs of your shipping.


The way shipping for large items is calculated is by their dimensional weight. Dimensional weight, or Dim weight, is calculated by looking at the space a shipment takes up and the weight of the package overall. Used to improve a carrier’s fuel economy, dim pricing can make shipping a heavy item more cost-effective if packed correctly..


As with any LTL shipment, the shipping process a company uses can put your objects in danger, especially if they aren’t labeled correctly with sizing, weight, or even the packaging inside. Though insurance may cover your loss, some things are irreplaceable.

Shipping Time Frame

As stated before, though volume services and consolidated freight may be the cheapest way to ship heavy items, they also have the longest shipping time frame. If you need an overweight item shipped quickly and safely, Print Bind Ship can ship packages within 24 hours of processing.

H2: Don’t Make Shipping Weigh Heavy on You, Leave it to the Pros

Overweight and oversized items can be a daunting task to ship, so choosing the right servicer for shipping a heavy item is key. Working with a reliable shipping partner to make sure your heavy item gets where it needs to go when it needs to get there can only happen with an experienced shipper. Print Bind Ship has 60+ years of 3PL and shipping experience, with most orders being shipped within 24 hours of processing. The best way to ship heavy items is to know how to ship safely and on time, and we know how to do that.


Is it cheaper to ship heavy items via UPS or USPS?

Though UPS is generally more expensive to ship items than USPS. However, in the overweight market, UPS wins.

How do you package large items for shipping?

Using new heavy-duty boxes, typically those that are insulated with other cushioning inside and secured with staples, heavy-duty tape, or wraps.

What is the best way to ship a heavy package?

Print Bind Ship can tailor offers to your needs for heavy shipments, and will have them shipped within 24 hours of processing.

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