Since Hawaii is off the mainland United States, there are two ways to ship a package there--by air or by ship. Major carriers like FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) provide service to Hawaii. There are also third-party companies that ship packages to Hawaii residents using an address in the continental United States. If your package is relatively small, the most affordable option is the USPS.
If you live in one of the 48 contiguous states and your package is relatively small--meaning it can fit inside of a 12-by-12-by-5.5 box, the USPS is your most affordable option for sending a package to Hawaii. A large priority mail flat-rate box is less than $14 when postage is purchased online, as of 2010. A small flat-rate box (8 5/8-by-5 3/8-by-1 5/8) costs less than $5 to ship, regardless of weight.
Other Shipping Companies
Other companies, such as FedEx and UPS, provide shipping service to Hawaii. Figure the dimensions and weight of your package and have your destination address, including zip code, on hand. Enter your information online to get a quick or detailed quote from the companies. UPS for example, charges $33.06, as of 2010, to send a 2-lb. package to Honolulu, while FedEx provides a quick quote rate of $29.99 for the same service.
Third-Party Shipping Vendors
If you live in Hawaii and make an online purchase from a vendor that does not provide free shipping to addresses outside of the contiguous United States, you may use a third-party vendor to complete your purchase. Some companies charge higher rates to ship you the package directly or, worse, they won’t ship the package at all because they don’t provide that service. Select a third-party vendor to ship it for you. These vendors have addresses in the continental United States where you ship your online purchase free, and then they ship your package to you in Hawaii. It takes a little longer but might be preferable to paying more money or not receiving the package at all. These vendors’ rates are competitive with the other carriers mentioned. They also provide ocean freight service starting at $200 for large, freight-style shipments, as of 2010.