How to Ship Moving Boxes
When moving across the country, weighing all the available options to move your belongings to your new home is essential. Although hiring a cross-country moving company is the easiest way to relocate, it comes with prohibitive costs. Full-service moving companies are usually the most expensive way to move long distances. If you are moving on a tight budget, consider looking for a more affordable way to move across the country. This article discusses the benefits of shipping moving boxes and tips for finding the cheapest ways to ship boxes.
Benefits of shipping moving boxes
The following are some of the advantages of shipping your household to your new home:
- Cost benefits: Shipping your belongings during a long-distance move is an effective way to save costs, especially when shipping a couple of boxes. Most carriers offer flat rates and variable pricing depending on the size of your box and how fast you need to ship. These rates are usually much lower than using full-service moving companies due to the consolidation of shipments moving along the same route.
- Fixed scheduling: Robust scheduling ensures your package arrives at your destination on time. Shipping companies like USPS offers pre-scheduled route delivery to ensure packages arrive at the exact time and place they are intended to. This removes the worry regarding factors of your move you can’t control, such as weather.
- Speeds up your move: Trusted courier services such as US Mail and USPS guarantee your shipment arrives at its destination faster than when using DIY methods and other options. In most cases, the package you hand off to a shipping company doesn’t go through the lengthy warehouse procedures before being delivered.
- Limitless delivery options: Shipping companies provide a range of services covering the entire country. Most services allow customers to either drop and pick up their package themselves or use their pick and drop services. This means you can have the company pick up your belongings from your home and ship them directly to your new place.
How to ship moving boxes
The following are the crucial steps to ship your moving boxes from one point to another:
- Prepare the boxes: Choose strong, dry, clean boxes to ship your belongings. Take measurements of the boxes to ensure you are within the maximum size requirements required by the shipping company you are using. It is also advisable to reinforce the flaps using robust packing tape to strengthen the boxes. If you are using second-hand boxes, cover labels, logos, and addresses.
- Pack the boxes: Pack your boxes neatly while ensuring the weight is under the limit provided by the shipping company. Use small boxes to pack heavy items and vice versa. You should also avoid packing any restricted or prohibited items in your boxes. Secure the boxes using strong packing tape and label the boxes clearly with your details, including names, phone numbers, and the destination address.
- Get a quote: As discussed below, several shipping companies offer moving services at different rates. Compare the quotes from some of the providers within your locality to determine the cheapest alternative.
- Ship your boxes: The final step is to take your boxes to the carrier or have them picked up from your home. Finalize the shipping requirements, including buying additional insurance and obtaining a tracking number.
Available options to ship moving boxes
There are several ways to ship large boxes across the country, including United States Postal Service (USPS) and courier shipping services such as UPS and FedEx. Before you commit to any option, know the size and weight of your box to narrow down your options. Remember, USPS ships boxes under 70lbs, less than 108″ in length, and less than 165″ in circumference. On the other hand, courier services such as FedEx or UPS ship packages between 70-150lbs. Any box over 150lbs is better shipped by freight.
Below, we will discuss three companies to consider when you need to ship a few boxes across the country:
United States Postal Service (USPS)
Shipping a few moving boxes as domestic packages using USPS can provide cost savings benefits. USPS Retail Ground shipping service is a reliable and pocket-friendly way to ship boxes within a maximum of 8 business days. Prices usually start at $8.50, including basic insurance. You can purchase the service online and request a free package pickup during regular mail delivery. If you want your boxes picked up at a specific time, you have to pay an additional fee.
- Affordable pricing.
- Free pickups where applicable.
- Offers online quotes.
- Offers basic insurance.
- Limits the weight of the package.
Greyhound Package Express
Greyhound buses travel throughout the country each day. You can tap Greyhound Package Express services to ship your items to your new location and enjoy cheaper rates. The company charges approximately $44 to ship one box when you drop or pick up your box at a designated Greyhound station. They also offer a door-to-door pickup and delivery service costing $168 per box.
Shipping times range from two days if you are traveling 0-125 miles and four days if you are traveling 276-500 miles. The recommended box limit is five, and boxes should not be larger than 29″H x 47″W x 82″L. They must also not weigh more than 100 pounds. Remember, the luggage compartments are located at the bottom of the bus meaning your packages are subjected to bumpy rides. For this reason, ensure you are only shipping non-fragile items.
- Ships quickly.
- Competitive pricing.
- Provides pickup and delivery services.
- Not ideal for shipping fragile items.
Another convenient and pocket-friendly way to ship your belongings long distances is using Uship. Uship provides access to a marketplace where users post what they are shipping, how much they want to spend, and where they need to ship the items. Uship costs are determined mainly by the bids you get on the Uship marketplace. If you are shipping to an area with heavy traffic, you will probably get a cheap bid than when shipping to traffic-light areas.
Although Uship provides a verified vendor system to reduce the risks of scams, there is no guarantee you will get professional bus or truck drivers. It is important to carry out your own research to choose highly qualified and professional truckers to trust with your belongings. If you are shipping high-value items, consider protecting your belongings with Uship cargo insurance.
- Offers access to an extensive network of truck drivers.
- Offers insurance.
- You can ship any item provided it is legal.
- No guarantee on a bid.
Consolidated freight shipping
If you are shopping for a shipping option that doesn’t include weight or size limits, consider the consolidated freight shipping services provided by licensed shipping companies.
When you ship your moving boxes using consolidated freight, the boxes share space on the truck with other boxes heading in the same direction. Some of the specialized services offered by consolidated freight companies include temperature-controlled compartments, loading and unloading by hand, packaging services, and more.
The following are two typical services available with consolidated freight:
- LTL/Economy: With LTL/Economy, you must pack your boxes and handle curbside loading and unloading. Prices start at $360 based on the weight and number of boxes to ship. LTL service offers lower prices and faster delivery and is ideal for shipping non-fragile or valuable items. LTL/Economy is ideal for shipment of over 15 boxes. The boxes are typically packed onto a pallet to guarantee easier and cheaper shipping.
- White-Glove: This service offers indoor pickup and delivery. Because it doesn’t use heavy machinery such as forklifts to move your boxes, the White Glove service is best suited for shipping fragile or valuable items. Prices start at $650, and timeframes for delivery are longer than the LTL/Economy.
- Safety guarantee when shipping valuables.
- Convenient for long-distance moves.
- Easy to coordinate pick up and delivery.
- Includes basic insurance.
- No weight or size limits.
- Longer timelines unless you pay for expedited shipping.
- Shipping moving boxes tips.
Factors to consider when shipping moving boxes
Research the companies box and size requirements
Different shipping companies impose diverse box and size requirements. Carefully review the shipping company’s maximum size and weight requirements to ensure you don’t exceed the limits. If possible, break up what you are shipping into several boxes to reduce the weight.
Boxes that you pack yourself are typically not insured for much. If you are shipping fragile or valuable items, allow professionals to pack your box. This ensures they are insured based on their value. Consider also using a shipping company that allows you to buy additional insurance, such as USPS, FedEx, or UPS.
Packing shipping boxes takes more than just loading everything into the box and taping it. If you are packing large boxes, ensure they are full while observing the required weight limit. If possible, ensure large boxes don’t exceed 50lbs to ensure safe and seamless loading and unloading. Experts also recommend you use slightly larger boxes than what you are packing or shipping to allow space for adequate packing materials to prevent shifting and breakage. Bulky and heavy items such as books are best packed into smaller boxes. Boxes carrying valuable, fragile, or antique items are best handled by professionals.
One critical aspect of shipment is labeling. No matter your shipping option, ensure you label your moving boxes properly with legible, visible writing detailing your name, phone number, address, and other details. Afterward, securely tape and place the labels on the right side of the box to ensure the safe transportation of your items.
Consider double packing
Double packing involves packing a smaller box into a larger one. Double packing is ideal for shipping fragile or valuable items alongside your other belongings. After packing your valuables into a smaller box, place the small box inside the larger box and secure it in place using the robust packing material.
What can I ship in a box?
You can ship anything in a box, provided it is not illegal, hazardous, or food items. The general rule is to use large boxes to ship lighter and bulkier items such as clothing and smaller boxes for heavy items such as books. If you are moving with kitchen appliances, use corrugated boxes.
Can I use previously used boxes?
Yes, you can use previously used boxes to reduce the cost of packing supplies. However, ensure the boxes are undamaged, strong, dry, and insect free. You should also check the shipping company rules regarding used boxes. UPS and USPS prohibit boxes that previously contained alcohol.
Does my shipping box have to be brown?
Although most shipping boxes are brown, it is not a must that you ship with a brown one. You can use any color, provided the box meets the shipping company’s requirements.
Save money on your next move
Moving to a new home requires a reliable and cost-effective way to move your household. If you have a few boxes to relocate, you can opt to ship your belongings by mail, train, bus, or freight. Each method offers its own benefits and choosing the one that meets your specific needs and budget is best. At updater.com, we wish you a successful move.