How to Send Large Packages

How to Send Large Packages

If you need to ship large, heavy, or bulky items, it can be difficult to keep the items safe and find the cheapest service. Luckily, there are things you can do to ensure you get the best rates and your package arrives safely. Shipping rates are typically calculated from the size and weight of your package, but the prices they charge will vary between companies. Once you find one that’s within your budget, you can take your package in or schedule a pick-up to send it!

Method 1 of 3:
Packing the Box

1
Choose the smallest box possible for your shipment. You can either buy a new box or reuse one that you already have at home. Look for one that doesn’t have any tears or damage to ensure your shipment stays safe. Choose a box that’s just large enough to contain all of the items you’re sending since it will save you more money than using a larger box. [1] X Research source If you’re reusing a box, remove any old shipping labels or black them out completely with a marker. If you’re sending items that are over 70 pounds (32 kg), then look for a box that has stapled or stitched seams since it will be more durable.[2] X Research source
2
Wrap the package contents in bubble wrap to protect them. Cut or tear off a piece of bubble wrap that’s large enough to wrap around the entire item. Pull the bubble wrap tightly around the outside of the object. Tape the bubble wrap down so it doesn’t come loose during shipment. Fold the top and bottom edges over so the item doesn’t slide out and tape the ends. [3] X Research source You can buy bubble wrap from your local hardware or big box store.

Tip: If the items are hollow or have openings, stuff the insides with bubble wrap as well so the items are less likely to break.

3
Fill the box’s empty space with cushioning material. If you have a package that weighs less than 70 pounds (32 kg), use packing peanuts, crumpled paper, or more bubble wrap. If you have a heavier package, opt for rigid foam or corrugated board since it will be sturdier. Place a layer of cushioning on the bottom of the box before setting your items inside. Add more of the cushioning material up to the top edge of the box so your items don’t move around. [4] X Research source You can buy cushioning products, like packing peanuts and rigid foam, online or at shipping supply stores.
4
Tape the box along each seam with heavy-duty packaging tape. Close the smallest flaps of the box first before folding over the longer ones. Place a long strip of tape along the top seam and press it down firmly. Then apply tape to the 2 short edges on top of the package so they don’t come undone while your package is in transit. [5] X Research source Avoid using masking tape or tape that has twine since it’s not as secure.
5
Shake the box to make sure the items don’t move around. If you’re able to, lift the box up and lightly shake it. Listen carefully to see if you hear the items shifting around or hitting the edges of the box. If you do, open the box and pack in more cushioning material. Otherwise, you’re ready to move on. [6] X Research source If you’re unable to pick up the box because it’s too heavy, ask someone to help you lift it or be sure to pack in extra cushioning before taping the box.
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Method 2 of 3:
Measuring the Package

1
Measure the length, height, and width of the package. Use a tape measure to find the length of the package’s longest side and round it to the nearest inch. Then measure the package’s height and width. Write down all of your measurements so you don’t forget them. [7] X Research source You may find the box’s dimensions listed on the bottom flaps. If you’re sending a non-rectangular package, take your measurements from the longest point in each dimension.
2
Find the package’s girth by measuring around the thickest part. If you’re measuring a rectangular box, use the formula 2W + 2H, where W is the width and H is the height. Otherwise, locate the thickest point of the package and wrap a flexible tape measure around it. Write down your measurement in inches. [8] X Research source For example, if you have a rectangular box and the width is 24 inches (61 cm) and the height is 10 inches (25 cm), then your formula would be: 2(24) + 2(10). After you simplify the equation, the girth of your package is 68 inches (170 cm).
3
Weigh the package on a scale to find the actual weight. Tare the scale to 0 before putting anything on it so you get an accurate measurement. Set your package on top of the scale and record the measurement so you know how much it weighs. Write down the weight so you don’t forget it. [9] X Research source

Variation: If you don’t have a scale at home, you can weigh your package at the post office or at a delivery service.

4
Calculate the dimensional weight by dividing the volume by 139. Round your measurements to the nearest inch so you have easier numbers to work with. Multiply the length, width, and height together to get the volume of the box in cubic inches. Then divide the volume by 139, which is the standard divisor used by shipping companies to measure the dimensional weight. Write down your answer so you don’t forget it. [10] X Research source For example, if you’re shipping a package that’s 26 × 24 × 10 in (66 × 61 × 25 cm), first find the volume: 26 x 24 x 10 = 6,240 cu in (102,300 cm3). Divide the volume by 139 to get the dimensional weight: 6240 / 139 = 45 pounds (20 kg). The dimensional weight is how heavy the package is relative to how much space it takes up, which may affect shipping charges. Smaller boxes will have a lower dimensional weight while larger boxes will have one that's greater.
5
Use the dimensional weight if it’s higher than the actual weight. Compare the actual weight of the package to the dimensional weight of the box. If the dimensional weight is higher, that means it takes up more space in the truck and you may get charged additional fees. If the actual weight is greater, then use that instead. [11] X Research source
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Method 3 of 3:
Choosing a Delivery Service

1
Use the post office if the weight is less than 70 lb (32 kg). Contact your local post office and ask them about the size and weight restrictions for packages. Typically, the post office can accept a package up to 70 pounds (32 kg), but it may vary by country or office location. [12] X Research source The post office usually cannot mail packages that have a total combined length and girth of 108 inches (270 cm) or more.
2
Select a private shipping company for packages up to 150 lb (68 kg). Companies like UPS, FedEx, and DHL all offer package delivery services domestically or internationally. Locate one of their offices in your area and ask them about their package restrictions. Usually, they’ll accept packages under 150 pounds (68 kg) as long as their combined length and girth are less than 165 inches (420 cm). [13] X Research source If you plan on shipping internationally, check the shipping weight restrictions in the destination country since they may differ from where you’re sending it.
3
Choose a freight shipping company for packages over 150 lb (68 kg). You’ll only have to use freight shipping on the heaviest packages, such as appliances, weights, or furniture. Search for freight shipping companies in your area and contact 2–3 of them to get price quotes. Choose the option that’s within your budget and offers the most reliable service. [14] X Research source
4
Print and attach the shipping labels at home. After you pick your delivery service, go to their website and look for an option to create a new shipping label. Enter the recipient and sender information in the text boxes so the company knows where to send the package. Then enter the package’s dimension and weight to find out how much it will cost you. When you finish the form, print the label and tape it onto the top side of the box. [15] X Research source If you don’t have a printer, you can also order shipping labels or take the package directly to the delivery service. Avoid creasing the label over an edge of the package since it will be more difficult to read or scan.

Tip: If your package contains fragile or perishable materials, also add labels that say “Fragile” or “Perishable” to the outside of the box next to the shipping label.

5
Schedule a pick-up if the package weighs less than 70 lb (32 kg). Contact the delivery service and tell them you have a package you’d like to send. Let them know a time and day when they can pick up the package. Make sure you’re home or you leave the package in an accessible location so the delivery service can easily pick it up. [16] X Research source You can usually have the service pick up the package within 24 hours, but you may be able to schedule it up to a year in advance if needed.
6
Take the package to the delivery service office if you can’t get it picked up. If you want to send the package on the same day or if it’s too heavy for pick-up, bring the package to the nearest office in your area. Give the package to the employee at the office so they can send it out with the next shipment. [17] X Research source You may be able to buy shipping insurance when you drop off the package if you’re worried about it getting damaged in transit.
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Method 1 of 3:
Packing the Box

1
Choose the smallest box possible for your shipment. You can either buy a new box or reuse one that you already have at home. Look for one that doesn’t have any tears or damage to ensure your shipment stays safe. Choose a box that’s just large enough to contain all of the items you’re sending since it will save you more money than using a larger box. [1] X Research source If you’re reusing a box, remove any old shipping labels or black them out completely with a marker. If you’re sending items that are over 70 pounds (32 kg), then look for a box that has stapled or stitched seams since it will be more durable.[2] X Research source
2
Wrap the package contents in bubble wrap to protect them. Cut or tear off a piece of bubble wrap that’s large enough to wrap around the entire item. Pull the bubble wrap tightly around the outside of the object. Tape the bubble wrap down so it doesn’t come loose during shipment. Fold the top and bottom edges over so the item doesn’t slide out and tape the ends. [3] X Research source You can buy bubble wrap from your local hardware or big box store.

Tip: If the items are hollow or have openings, stuff the insides with bubble wrap as well so the items are less likely to break.

3
Fill the box’s empty space with cushioning material. If you have a package that weighs less than 70 pounds (32 kg), use packing peanuts, crumpled paper, or more bubble wrap. If you have a heavier package, opt for rigid foam or corrugated board since it will be sturdier. Place a layer of cushioning on the bottom of the box before setting your items inside. Add more of the cushioning material up to the top edge of the box so your items don’t move around. [4] X Research source You can buy cushioning products, like packing peanuts and rigid foam, online or at shipping supply stores.
4
Tape the box along each seam with heavy-duty packaging tape. Close the smallest flaps of the box first before folding over the longer ones. Place a long strip of tape along the top seam and press it down firmly. Then apply tape to the 2 short edges on top of the package so they don’t come undone while your package is in transit. [5] X Research source Avoid using masking tape or tape that has twine since it’s not as secure.
5
Shake the box to make sure the items don’t move around. If you’re able to, lift the box up and lightly shake it. Listen carefully to see if you hear the items shifting around or hitting the edges of the box. If you do, open the box and pack in more cushioning material. Otherwise, you’re ready to move on. [6] X Research source If you’re unable to pick up the box because it’s too heavy, ask someone to help you lift it or be sure to pack in extra cushioning before taping the box.
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Method 2 of 3:
Measuring the Package

1
Measure the length, height, and width of the package. Use a tape measure to find the length of the package’s longest side and round it to the nearest inch. Then measure the package’s height and width. Write down all of your measurements so you don’t forget them. [7] X Research source You may find the box’s dimensions listed on the bottom flaps. If you’re sending a non-rectangular package, take your measurements from the longest point in each dimension.
2
Find the package’s girth by measuring around the thickest part. If you’re measuring a rectangular box, use the formula 2W + 2H, where W is the width and H is the height. Otherwise, locate the thickest point of the package and wrap a flexible tape measure around it. Write down your measurement in inches. [8] X Research source For example, if you have a rectangular box and the width is 24 inches (61 cm) and the height is 10 inches (25 cm), then your formula would be: 2(24) + 2(10). After you simplify the equation, the girth of your package is 68 inches (170 cm).
3
Weigh the package on a scale to find the actual weight. Tare the scale to 0 before putting anything on it so you get an accurate measurement. Set your package on top of the scale and record the measurement so you know how much it weighs. Write down the weight so you don’t forget it. [9] X Research source

Variation: If you don’t have a scale at home, you can weigh your package at the post office or at a delivery service.

4
Calculate the dimensional weight by dividing the volume by 139. Round your measurements to the nearest inch so you have easier numbers to work with. Multiply the length, width, and height together to get the volume of the box in cubic inches. Then divide the volume by 139, which is the standard divisor used by shipping companies to measure the dimensional weight. Write down your answer so you don’t forget it. [10] X Research source For example, if you’re shipping a package that’s 26 × 24 × 10 in (66 × 61 × 25 cm), first find the volume: 26 x 24 x 10 = 6,240 cu in (102,300 cm3). Divide the volume by 139 to get the dimensional weight: 6240 / 139 = 45 pounds (20 kg). The dimensional weight is how heavy the package is relative to how much space it takes up, which may affect shipping charges. Smaller boxes will have a lower dimensional weight while larger boxes will have one that's greater.
5
Use the dimensional weight if it’s higher than the actual weight. Compare the actual weight of the package to the dimensional weight of the box. If the dimensional weight is higher, that means it takes up more space in the truck and you may get charged additional fees. If the actual weight is greater, then use that instead. [11] X Research source
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Method 3 of 3:
Choosing a Delivery Service

1
Use the post office if the weight is less than 70 lb (32 kg). Contact your local post office and ask them about the size and weight restrictions for packages. Typically, the post office can accept a package up to 70 pounds (32 kg), but it may vary by country or office location. [12] X Research source The post office usually cannot mail packages that have a total combined length and girth of 108 inches (270 cm) or more.
2
Select a private shipping company for packages up to 150 lb (68 kg). Companies like UPS, FedEx, and DHL all offer package delivery services domestically or internationally. Locate one of their offices in your area and ask them about their package restrictions. Usually, they’ll accept packages under 150 pounds (68 kg) as long as their combined length and girth are less than 165 inches (420 cm). [13] X Research source If you plan on shipping internationally, check the shipping weight restrictions in the destination country since they may differ from where you’re sending it.
3
Choose a freight shipping company for packages over 150 lb (68 kg). You’ll only have to use freight shipping on the heaviest packages, such as appliances, weights, or furniture. Search for freight shipping companies in your area and contact 2–3 of them to get price quotes. Choose the option that’s within your budget and offers the most reliable service. [14] X Research source
4
Print and attach the shipping labels at home. After you pick your delivery service, go to their website and look for an option to create a new shipping label. Enter the recipient and sender information in the text boxes so the company knows where to send the package. Then enter the package’s dimension and weight to find out how much it will cost you. When you finish the form, print the label and tape it onto the top side of the box. [15] X Research source If you don’t have a printer, you can also order shipping labels or take the package directly to the delivery service. Avoid creasing the label over an edge of the package since it will be more difficult to read or scan.

Tip: If your package contains fragile or perishable materials, also add labels that say “Fragile” or “Perishable” to the outside of the box next to the shipping label.

5
Schedule a pick-up if the package weighs less than 70 lb (32 kg). Contact the delivery service and tell them you have a package you’d like to send. Let them know a time and day when they can pick up the package. Make sure you’re home or you leave the package in an accessible location so the delivery service can easily pick it up. [16] X Research source You can usually have the service pick up the package within 24 hours, but you may be able to schedule it up to a year in advance if needed.
6
Take the package to the delivery service office if you can’t get it picked up. If you want to send the package on the same day or if it’s too heavy for pick-up, bring the package to the nearest office in your area. Give the package to the employee at the office so they can send it out with the next shipment. [17] X Research source You may be able to buy shipping insurance when you drop off the package if you’re worried about it getting damaged in transit.
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