A Business Owner’s Guide to Shipping Heavy Items

The next time you step onto an airplane consider this: There could be racehorses, luxury cars, or even elephants flying in the cargo hold below you.

Unless you’re a zookeeper, you probably won’t be shipping elephants anytime soon. But for many types of businesses, shipping heavy items is a routine occurrence.

How much do you know about heavy item shipping? What’s the cheapest way to ship heavy items? Keep reading below as we discuss the best way to ship heavy items to their destination.

Cost of Shipping Heavy Items

Many factors go into the price you’ll pay to ship large items, depending on whether they’re oversized, overweight or both.

“Oversized” items have a combined length and girth above 130-165 inches (varies by shipping company). “Heavy” items are anything over 150-155 pounds. Items that fall into both categories are understandably more expensive to ship.

The cheapest way to ship heavy items is via consolidated freight. For items up to 70 pounds, you can use USPS and choose their priority mail or ground service. Expect to pay between $17-$67 for these services., depending on the delivery time you choose.

If your items weigh more than 70 pounds, you’ll need to consider one of the options below.

Heavy Item Shipping Companies

If the USPS won’t work for your items, here are the best shipping services to consider.


FedEx ground services allow a maximum weight limit of 150 pounds and a maximum size up to 108in long (or 165in for length + girth). Beyond that, you’ll need to switch to their FedEx Oversized option.

If you’re shipping pallets, check out their priority or economy freight services.


UPS Oversized follows the same weight and size restrictions as FedEx Oversized. You’ll need to pay the normal shipping rate plus the Over Maximum Limits charges to ship your items.


If you’re shipping heavy items internationally, DHL could be your best bet. They have an air freight service that can transport your goods as fast as 1-2 days. They also offer Full Container (FCL) and Less Than Container (LCL) ocean freight services for pallets and containers.

Tips for Shipping Heavy Items

No matter what you’re shipping, you want to make sure it arrives in one piece. Use the smallest box possible so the item fits securely and won’t get tossed around during shipping. Fill in any extra space with foam peanuts or cardboard dividers.

Make sure you accurately measure and weigh your item prior to requesting a shipping quote. Keep in mind that some carriers have shifted to a dimensional weight price model (rather than the actual weight). Get a few different quotes to ensure you find the best price, especially if your item is large but not overly heavy.

Finally, make sure to get insurance and detailed tracking information for everything you ship!

What’s the Best Way to Ship Heavy Items?

Shipping heavy items might seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Use our guide to research the best options and ensure your items arrive safely, on time, and without breaking the bank.

Now that we’ve talked about heavy item shipping, what’s next? Keep browsing our website for more helpful business advice.