How to Ship Large Boxes

by Juel Andrea; Updated September 26, 2017
Shipping large packages requires a few key steps.

You have a large box, and now you need to get it to its destination. The three main sources are UPS, FedEx and the United States Postal Service (USPS). However, there are size and weight limitations, in which case one may need to turn to a freight shipping company. No matter how large the box, there is a company that will ship it.

Items you will need

  • Shipping box
  • Measuring tape
  • Scale
  • Address labels
  • Postage fee
Step 1
Measure the length and girth of the package.

Measure and weigh the package to be shipped. Measure the largest side of the package in inches; this is the length. Next, measure the distance around the thickest part of the package in inches; now you have the girth. Add the length and girth for the total measurement. These three numbers are used by most shipping companies and are necessary in determining with which method the box will be shipped and whether the package meets the criteria for shipping.

Step 2
Shipping companies will ask you the weight of the box when determing how it is to be shipped.

Weigh your package. Shipping companies will ask you the weight of the box when determining how it is to be shipped. Once the package hits 70 pounds, restrictions begin to become applied. If your box weighs over 150 pounds, it will often need to be shipped via freight.

Step 3

The Shipping Guides on USPS.com has the following parameters. As long as the combined length (largest side of the package) plus girth (the distance around the thickest part of the package) is under 108 inches (or 130 inches for Parcel Post) the USPS can ship it. If your box is larger you will need to look to UPS, FedEx or another venue.

Step 4

FedEx home delivery has a maximum of 70 pounds per package. The length limit is 108 inches and the girth limit is 165 inches. If your box exceeds these limits, the box can still be shipped, just not to a home address. It will need to be shipped to a business or picked up at one of the FedEx locations. The FedEx Shipping Delivery Guide available at FedEx.com has specific guidelines and tips.

Step 5

UPS has the same size limits as FedEx. The length limit is 108 inches and the girth limit is 165 inches. If the package weighs more than 70 pounds, a special "heavy weight' sticker supplied by UPS must be applied. Unlike other shipping companies, your package can weigh up to 150 pounds.

Step 6

When shipping a large box that is just outside the parameters of FedEx, UPS and USPS size and weight limitations, a good place to check is Greyhound. Start by going to www.ShipGreyhound.com. Greyhound provides shipping, often same day, for heavy packages and boxes. Greyhound shipping often beats the prices of FedEx and UPS. One need only drop the box off at the station and have it picked up at the station of your destination.

Tips

  • Compare shipping rates. Consider shipping your box freight as often it is cheaper. Use a Sharpie pen for your labels and cover the label with clear masking tape.

Warnings

  • The shape of your shipment can affect price; keep your dimensions as condensed as possible. Proper packaging is essential as large boxes are handled roughly, especially if shipped freight.

About the Author

Juel Andrea graduated Phi Beta Kappa with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English from the University of California, Berkeley. She then went on to receive a master's degree in education from the University of Virginia. First professionally published in 1992, Andrea's work has appeared in "Bankers," "Conde Naste Travel" and "Today's Christian Woman."

Photo Credits

  • big present image by Lars Christensen from Fotolia.com