Many people dread having to ship large items across the country due to the headaches it can cause. However, this process doesn’t have to be difficult so long as you’re equipped with the right information. For example, you need to have accurate details about your items, such as the size and weight. You also need to know about different courier options so that you can choose the most cost-efficient option. 

Finally, you need to know how to pack your items properly so that they actually arrive at their destination on the other side of the country. This sounds like a lot, but we here at Box Genie are here to help! So read on to learn everything you need to know about shipping large items across the country. 

Different Courier Options for Large Items

Several different couriers offer shipping for large items across the country. These services vary in terms of price, timeframes offered, and weight restrictions. So how can you figure out which is the best method for your shipment? Read on to learn more about the different courier options available for shipping large items and how you can choose the best option.


The first option is USPS. This service is usually the cheapest option, but it has more restrictions and typically has longer shipping timeframes. For example, USPS does not ship items over 70 pounds in weight, more than 108 inches in length, and more than 165 inches in width. If your item does meet these qualifications, there are a few different USPS shipping options to choose from:

  • USPS Priority Mail ships packages less than 70 pounds in one to three business days. Packages shipped by USPS Priority Mail must also be under 108” in combined length and width. Perhaps the best thing about USPS Priority Mail is the flat rate shipping option. This option allows you to simply pay based on a selected box size rather than weight. The largest flat rate box offered by USPS measures about 12 inches by 12 inches by 6 inches and costs $17.60. This is likely going to be the cheapest price you can find, so if your shipment meets these qualifications, then USPS flat rate Priority Mail is probably your best bet.

  • USPS Priority Mail Express ships packages less than 70 pounds in one to two business days. The speed of this service is going to cost you a pretty penny and they only offer flat rate envelopes that likely won’t fit your large items. For this reason, unless you have a really heavy item that will fit in an envelope, you may want to consider other options.

  • USPS Retail Ground ships packages less than 70 pounds in two to eight business days, depending on the origin and destination. USPS Retail Ground can ship packages up to 130 inches in combined length and width — but you should keep in mind that large packages may be subject to oversize pricing. To calculate the price of USPS Retail Ground, you will need the origin, destination, weight, and size of the box.


The second option is FedEx. This service is going to be more expensive, but it also gives you the option to ship packages that weigh over 70 pounds. If your item does meet these qualifications, there are a couple of different FedEx shipping options to choose from:

  • FedEx Ground ships packages in one to seven business days, depending on origin and destination. FedEx Ground has a weight limit of 150 pounds and a size limit of 108 inches in length, and 165 inches in length plus width. If you have a huge item that cannot be shipped by USPS and can afford to wait up to seven days for its arrival, FedEx Ground may be the right option for you.

  • FedEx Freight ships packages over 150 pounds. There are a variety of different freight options available depending on shipping time, destination (international or domestic), weight, and size. For the most accurate information, you should use FedEx’s shipping calculator to see if this option would make sense for you. 


The third option is UPS. Like FedEx, this service is going to be more expensive than USPS, but it allows you to ship larger and heavier items in return for paying that premium price. Here are some of the different shipping options offered by UPS:

  • UPS Ground ships packages in one to five business days, depending on origin and destination. UPS Ground has a weight limit of 150 pounds and a size limit of 108 inches in length, and 165 inches in length and width combined. However, large or heavy items may warrant special pricing that will increase your shipping costs.

  • UPS Freight ships packages over 150 pounds. Like FedEx, there are various freight options available that range in method, destination, and timeframe. It’s always best to compare costs, so if you think freight might be best for you, you should definitely get quotes from both FedEx and UPS to see which one makes more sense. 

How to Pack Large Items to Ship Across the Country

If you have a large and heavy item that will take a long journey across the country, you don’t want to just throw it in a random box and call it a day. Instead, this process will require more thought and consideration to ensure that it arrives at its destination in one piece. So how can you pack large items safely and effectively? 

The first thing to consider is the box itself. You need to make sure that it’s the right size. You don’t want to have a ton of extra space in the box, but you also don’t want the item crammed into the box. Overall, it’s a good idea to have one to two inches of leeway between the items and the box for a good fit. 

You also need to consider the durability of the box. While you may think that all boxes are the same — this definitely isn’t true. Some boxes are more durable than others. Generally speaking, corrugated cardboard boxes are ideal for shipping large and heavy items as they are strong, crush-proof, and puncture-proof. Look for a corrugated cardboard box with a thick fluting to provide some extra support and protection to your items. The thickest fluting type available for corrugated cardboard boxes is the AB flute size of 7.8 millimeters. However, the BC flute at 6.4 millimeters and the A flute at 5 millimeters may also work. 

Finally, you need to consider the design of the box. While it may be easy to just send out a boring and plain cardboard box without a second thought, you should really consider some of the benefits of custom cardboard packaging. BoxGenie, for example, offers large custom box sizes up to 20 by 18 by 12 inches that you can design yourself through their handy online customization tool. Using custom packaging is a great way to promote your brand and improve the overall customer experience — so check out some of the different options offered by Box Genie to find the right fit for your items. 

Once you have the right box, you actually need to pack it properly. Depending on your items’ fragility, you may want to consider using protective packaging, especially if you have different components within the same box. Some examples of protective packaging include packing inserts, void fillers, and air pillows. The options are endless! Whatever you choose, make sure that it’s the right fit for your items and your box.

The last thing that you need to consider is packing tape. Since you have a large and possibly heavy box, you will want to really seal the box tightly with packing tape. In addition to taping the openings of the box, it may also be a good idea to reinforce the sides of the box with packing tape as well. Overall, there’s no such thing as too much tape when it comes to large and heavy shipments, so don’t be afraid to be generous when rolling it on.

Once your box is packed, you need to think about things like shipping insurance and tracking information. Depending on the service, some couriers offer these things free of charge, while others will make you pay extra for these perks. However, insurance and tracking are always worth investing in if you’re shipping a fragile, expensive, or important item across the country. 

Final Thoughts

Now you’re ready to get shipping — no matter how heavy your items are! At the end of the day, it’s always best to compare different services to ensure that you get the best price for your shipment. Additionally, you should make sure to pack and ship your items properly to avoid any damages along the way. 




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