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Cheapest Way to Ship Heavy Equipment

What's in this article?
  1. When Do Goods Fall Under The Category Of “Heavy Items”?
  2. Weight Limits Of Reputable Shipping Companies
  3. Usps Parcel Select
  4. Ups Ground
  5. Fedex Ground
  6. What Heavy Items Can I Ship?
  7. Considerations While Shipping Heavy Equipment
  8. Dimensional Weight
  9. Fragility Items
  10. Pickup And Delivery Destination Of The Heavy Items
  11. Type Of Carrier And Service You Used
  12. The Cheapest Way To Ship Bulky Items
  13. Priority Mail Express (Overnight)
  14. Priority Mail (1-3 Days)
  15. Media Mail (2-10 Days)
  16. Retail Ground (2-8 Days)
  17. Fedex
  18. Ground Shipping (1-7 Days)
  19. Fedex Freight (Priority Or Economy)
  20. Air Freight
  21. Ocean Freight
  22. Preparing To Ship Heavy Goods
  23. Things To Avoid When Shipping Heavy Equipment Package
  24. The Potential Cost Of Heavy Equipment Shipping
  25. Conclusion
Cheapest Way to Ship Heavy Equipment

Are you on the lookout for the cheapest way to ship massive equipment? Then, you landed in the right place! When you are about to move bulky goods, their shipping cost and the safety of your products is the very first thing that keeps you up at night.

You don’t want to pour all of your money on the transit. And you also can’t afford to damage the goods while shipping heavy items. Right?

So, we have prepared a breakdown to ship heavier equipment most cheaply. Moreover, we’ll discuss some additional considerations to help you make informed decisions with your MASSIVE shipments.

Let’s start!


When Do Goods Fall Under The Category of “Heavy Items”?

Before we disclose the fast and easy shipping method for heavy equipment shipment, let us throw some light on the term “Heavy” itself. Different shipping companies have different standards to categorize an item as heavy. Here we’ll discuss the weight limit of a few courier companies.

Weight Limits of Reputable Shipping Companies

USPS Parcel Select

The first shipping company on our list is USPS. They charge you a specific price for oversized parcels when:

  • The measurements of your package exceed 108 inches in length.
  • The combined length and perimeter of the package are less than 130 inches.

Mostly, the USPS services have ideal weight limits set for large and heavy packages of 70 lbs. For more than 70 lbs, you’ll have to figure out the additional shipping costs with the USPS.

UPS Ground

Transporting large and heavy items with UPS is possible. But, the minimum billable weight for the UPS packages is 90 lbs. So, you’ll have to pay more if your package:

  • Exceeds 96 inches or 130 inches combined.
  • Is above 150 lbs (108 inches in length or more than 165 inches in length and girth)

If your package meets these standards, it falls under the category of heavy equipment. Therefore, it must be shipped via UPS freight shipping services.


According to the international shipping company DHL, your package is oversized if your shipping meets the following criteria:

  • Weighs more than 70kg (154.3lbs)
  • Has a single dimension over 120cm (47.24 inches)

However, it’s always wise to contact the DHL first before you ship heavy packages to stay in the know about the status of your heavy item and how much it will cost to ship it to the desired destination. The charges for moving an oversized package with DHL are $89.

FedEx Ground

FedEx may classify your parcel as heavy if your parcel is over 96 inches or 130 inches combined. The minimum billable weight when shipping with FedEx is 90 lbs. So you might have to pay $90 for an oversized package. If you are shipping your parcel at peak annual shipping times with FedEx, you’ll have to pay a peak surcharge of $37.50 per parcel.

What Heavy Items Can I Ship?

You can ship a broad range of heavy items. For instance:

  • Gym equipment
  • Tents
  • Clothing
  • Luggage
  • Auto parts
  • Golf clubs
  • Household goods
  • Construction Equipment
  • Heavy Machinery
  • Vehicles

And anything that fits in the weight and dimensional limits of the courier companies.

Considerations While Shipping Heavy Equipment

There are multiple factors that you must consider while shipping your larger items. Mainly, it all depends on the size and weight of the package. The more an item weighs, the more it will cost heavier and larger packages to move two heavy items simultaneously. And one is small, dense, and heavy weight, while the other is awkwardly shaped, so you might have to use two different parcel shipping companies to get your delivery done.

Below are a few other factors you should consider while shipping heavy weight equipment.

Dimensional Weight:

The dimensional weight or volumetric weight of a package is the measurement used throughout the logistics industry to calculate how much volumetric space the package occupies in the courier network. Whether you are shipping domestically or internationally, volumetric weight still applies.

The formula to calculate the volumetric weight is: Depth x Length x Width in CM divided by 5000

If you have a lightweight item, the volumetric weight calculation might exceed the parcel’s actual weight. In that case, you’ll be charged as per the package’s dimensional weight (overall weight).

Fragility Items:

If your shipment contains any fragile items that need extra care while transporting, select a shipping company that specializes in handling fragile shipments. When the safety of the shipped items is a priority, you might have to compromise on the transit time.

Pickup and Delivery Destination of the Heavy Items:

No matter what shipping carriers you use, they all use the origin and destination of your parcel to determine the shipping zone of your package. If your shipping destination is farther than its origin, the shipping zone will be higher.

And, the higher the shipping zone, the pricier it will be to ship your heavier goods.

Type of Carrier and Service You Used:

Each heavy equipment logistics company has its own rules. They all have their own rules to support goods of a certain size, weight, and fragility status. The carrier – you choose to ship your package with – influences your parcel shipping cost. You also use the type of service that greatly influences your shipment’s cost and shipping times.

The Cheapest Way to Ship Bulky Items

So, now is the time to tell you what you are here for – the cheapest way to ship larger items. USPS, UPS, and FedEx are the biggest names in the oversized shipping game domestic and international heavy equipment shipping.


Transporting your goods through these three shipping companies is the best and the cheapest way to ship huge equipment. However, you are sure to find at least one good option for your package to ship in these services because not all of these shipment services are pocket-friendly.

You’ll have to find the proper service that will suit the nature of your package to enjoy the best services. However, many ecommerce shops suggest consolidated freight as the best way to ship heavy goods.

We’ll compare shipping rates of three pack-leaders in the shipping services for heavy items below:


USPS offers different shipping services and mail types to transport your stuff to the desired destination, including Priority Mail Express (Overnight), Priority Mail, Media Mail, and Ground.

Priority Mail Express (Overnight)

Do you need your equipment shipped as soon as possible? The Priority Mail Express by the USPS is the best possible option for you. Their charges for a package under 70lbs start at $22.50 (but that’s the price for a flat rate envelope). If your item can fit into the flat rate envelope, this shipping service is the best and not to mention the cheapest option.

Priority Mail (1-3 Days)

Priority mail is ideal if you are not in a hurry and have a large but heavy item to ship. The weight limit of this shipping service is 70 lbs for packages of all sizes, but the largest box size they offer is 1 foot by 1 foot by 6 inches—the prices for this type of delivery service range from $6.95 to $17.60.

Media Mail (2-10 days)

As the name implies, media mail is the most suitable option for shipping any media, including books, CDs, or DVDs. For large packages of shipping media, you won’t find a better service other than media mail by USPS.

Warning! If you break the norms of the media mail and try to abuse the system by shipping non-media goods through this service, USPS has the right to return your package.

Retail Ground (2-8 days)

When your product is too oversized to fit in the flat rate envelopes and is also unfit to ship through priority mail services, this retail shipping service can prove to be savvy. The maximum weight range is still 70lbs; however, as this is a ground shipping service, you can expect slower delivery.


If you feel too bound with the 70lbs weight limit of the USPS shipping service, FedEx embraces your massively heavy packages with open arms. Ideal fit for moving oversized and heavy items, FedEx offers a weight limit of a whopping 150 lbs. So take a glance at their shipping services.

Ground Shipping (1-7 days)

Do you want to ship heavier and larger packages than the dimensional limits of USPS? Worry not! FedEx got you covered. FedEx ground services allow you to send an item heavier than 150 lbs. But, they too have some dimensional limits. The sizes of your heavy package must not exceed 108 inches in length and 165 inches in length plus girth.

FedEx Freight (Priority or Economy)

You’ll find a good range of packages when you ship heavy items with FedEx freight depending on your package’s shipping zone and size. In addition, Priority Freight delivers quicker than Economy Freight. As a result, FedEx Freight becomes a cheaper way to ship heavy equipment in surplus. You can also use FedEx for auto shipping. FedEx isn't the popular auto transport optionits because of their higher price. The cost of FedEx auto transport services largely depends on what you are sending, how many, and where you are sending them to.


The above two are the cheapest shipping options for moving your items domestically. DHL is your cheaper and easy shipping option for heavier equipment internationally.

Air Freight

DHL has a broad network of airlines that ship your deliveries globally through the flights that are scheduled along major routes. DHL also offers you different delivery options for how fast you want to ship your freight. Such as:

  • Urgent Air Freight – 1 to 2 days
  • Air Economy – 5 to 7days

You are also covered with additional beneficial options like special cargo options, a temperature-controlled environment, and day-definite international shipping with DHL air freight.

Ocean Freight

DHL ocean freight services are similar to their air freight services. The only difference is the goods are shipped overseas through the ocean and various ocean carriers. You can transport your heavy weight equipment through full container load (FCL) and less than container load (LCL) options with various special options. Temperature, cold areas, and even transportation of liquids, for instance! When you have a few pallets of freight that need to be shipped in one container, you should opt for consolidated freight because consolidated freight is not only the safest but a cost-effective way to ship heavy items.


Preparing to Ship Heavy Goods

When you are up for shipping heavy items, there are some things that you can do to prepare your shipment to reach its destination smoothly. After all, your parcel will travel with tons of other packages from the warehouses. Hence, you’ll have to prepare your package accordingly.

We have put together some tips to prepare your package before you send it on its way to the next destination.

Weigh Your Package: If you don’t want to pay surprise charges for your package, you’ll have to weigh your parcel accurately. You might be tempted to weigh your package before it’s properly packed, but this would prevent you from knowing the accurate measurements of your shipment.

Proper Packaging: When heavy equipment is shipped, they are more susceptible to heavy knocks, bumps, and damages. Therefore, you must use heavy-duty or corrugated cardboard boxes (ideally new ones). Use strong tapes around the edges of the box to prevent damage. Wrap each item in your box individually with bubble wrap to restrict the movements and keep the items snuggled inside the box.

Shipping Insurance: When you ship large items, they mostly have a high-price tag. You can’t afford to lose your valuables or get them damaged. So, the best bet for you is to secure your shipment with shipping insurance.

Tracking: Slow deliveries can be a pure headache. But when it comes to transporting oversized equipment, you should make sure that you have access to your package’s tracking number. This will help you lower the delivery anxiety.

Types of Transportation: Basically, there are four modes of transportation in logistics, i.e., Truck, ship, train, and plane. Furthermore, these days, removable gooseneck trailers and step deck trailers are also used to ship heavy items.


Things to Avoid When Shipping Heavy Equipment Package

Damaged Boxes: You shouldn’t ship heavy items in the damaged boxes as they don’t provide the level of protection a good quality box can provide.

Unsealed boxes: Ensure that your package is properly sealed so that nothing falls out of the package during shipment.

Creased boxes (Barcodes): It might have a creased surface when damaged shipping boxes. This can cause the shipping barcode to crease as well. This damage might prevent the tracking process.

Unboxed Items: Never ship any equipment without boxes. Instead, pack them suitably for transit.

Suitcases: Don’t use suitcases for shipping heavy items. Why? Because their handles and wheels can get damaged while in transit. Plus, if the suitcase gets overfilled, they can split, and the goods inside can fall out.

However, if you need to ship heavy items in the suitcases, make sure:

  • To tape down all the handles
  • There are no wheels with the suitcase
  • Fasten the labels securely
  • Insert shipping labels inside

The Potential Cost of Heavy Equipment Shipping


The cost of shipping heavy items depends on factors like the EXACT weight of your package, the shipping method you opt for, how far it will have to travel, how quickly you want to get it delivered, special permits (if your parcel requires any) and when you purchase additional insurance.

The average cost of moving bulky goods per mile ranges from $5 (for shorter distance journeys) to $1.75 (for longer distance shipments).

Here are some other factors that can affect the final quote of your heavy equipment shipping.

  • Shipment Size: The size of your item directly affects the cost of your shipment. Larger packages sometimes also mean they will have to be moved through a longer route which is more likely to raise the prices.
  • Delivery Timing: If you expect to get your delivery done in a certain timeframe, you should also expect to pay a higher price.
  • Distance between the Origin and Final Destination: When your pickup location is remote, it will take more time and charge more to ship your package than an urban location.
  • Time of the Year: Inclement weather conditions also influence your delivery charges, and even they can cause to elongate the carrier’s route. Resultantly, your shipment arrives late with enhanced shipping costs.


Shipping heavy weight goods take proper planning.

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fit-for-all type of cheapest way to ship heavy items. However, shipping heavy items is no biggie. By following these tips and tricks that we shared in this blog post and by making an actionable plan, you will be able to determine which shipping method is most appropriate for your shipment.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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