What is the Cheapest Way to Ship Heavy Equipment/Items?

CitizenShipper CitizenShipper · Updated January 17, 2024

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Whether it’s a musical instrument, furniture, or even heavy construction equipment-heavy items need special attention when transported. For this reason, shipping heavy and large items can be very pricey because many providers need to have both specialized equipment as well as larger numbers of workers per moving job. This makes finding an affordable way for sending your special items challenging! Not only is moving heavy items expensive there can be a jungle of extra fees and special requirements for labeling and packaging. But don’t worry! Read on to discover the cheapest ways to ship large packages, so your possessions are arriving in a safe and affordable way!

First, like all kinds of moving, preparation is key and before you decide on a moving company or method begin with these initial tasks.

Proper packaging

First, pack your shipment in a robust package and make sure you are protecting your item with materials that will shield it from bumps and wobbles such as paper or bubble wrap. If your item is shaped in a way, which makes it impossible to put it into a box, use thicker packing materials, such as moving felt, blankets, or foam sheets to wrap your item, and use strong tape or rope to secure it. Pay special attention to fragile parts, sharp corners, and the base. In either case, don’t forget to label your shipment with the transport details and your contact on all sides just in case there is an accident or your package gets lost.

Collect information about your shipment 

The size and weight of your shipment will influence the shipping rates. Obviously, the bigger and heavier your item is, the more expensive the shipping. After packing, measure the width, height, and length of your shipment. Then, weigh your package – usually, shipping companies in the U.S calculate in pounds (lbs).

How big is a big item?

Conventional mails services can send packages up to 70 lbs. If your package exceeds this weight you should consider working with alternative providers. Here a few affordable providers with information about the weight and size they can transport, to give you an overview.

USPS Parcel Select

USPS is a good option for items up to 70lbs. The average shipping time is between three to seven days. USPS also sells boxes for large flat items, such as artworks. This provider has a size restriction of 108 inches in combined length and width.

FedEx Ground

FedEx is an affordable provider for objects up to 70lbs, 119 inches in length, and 165 inches in thickness. Deliveries are made between 3 to 5 business days.

UPS Ground

UPS Ground ships package up to 150lbs in 3 to 5 working days with fair prices. The items can be maximum of 165 inches in length and girth combined.

What to do if your item is heavier?

If the object you want to ship is heavier than 150lbs and bigger than 108 inches in length and 165 inches in girth, transporters will probably classify it as freight shipment. Even though some conventional package providers offer freight shipment, it’s usually cheaper to cooperate with providers with specialized freight carriers.

To find the cheapest way to ship an oversized package, let’s look at the different shipping options available.


Sea freight is a popular method of transport for customers who want to transport a bigger quantity of items and for whom rail and road shipping is not an option – for example, the state of Alaska doesn’t have many railways outside of the metropolitan area. Ocean shipment usually takes longer, but if you want to ship a huge bulk of items overseas, it could be a cost-efficient option.


If you have to ship something in a hurry, Air delivery is the fastest way of transport. If you consider this option, it is important to note that bad weather circumstances may cause delays. Air shipping is usually the most expensive option for larger packages but if you want to transport an especially dense and heavy item, it can still be worth it, because air shipping costs are calculated by size and weight, while sea shipping costs are calculated by size.


Rail shipping can be an affordable option for transporting a heavy object. After air transport, it is also the fastest and the most reliable, because it is rarely influenced by the weather. While it has customized carriages that can load up all kinds of goods, it is usually reserved for large volume shipments. 


Road shipment is one of the most budget-friendly options for shipping heavy items and is a great possibility for business owners, but also individuals. There is a huge market around road shipments, which leads to a variety of possibilities and prices.

Besides conventional road shipment services introduced to you in the article, a marketplace-based provider such as CitizenShipper has several advantages. It is not restricted by the size and weight of your shipment, but offers flexible transportation possibilities for all kinds of heavy and bulky items, until and above 150lbs. You simply have to post the information about your shipment on the company’s website and negotiate the details of its transport in communication with the professional driver of your choice. 

Whether you want to make this choice by the lowest price or the best driver testimonials, or both – it’s your choice! With the site’s intuitive layout, you can easily and quickly find a solution for your shipping needs. The inbuilt communication function also makes it easy to keep in touch with your driver while they are on the road. An option you definitely don’t get from UPS! 


In summary, as with all moving and shipment projects, preparation and research are key. Know what you need to send and when – prepare your package well and look for the best solution for your individual needs either through a shipment company or by using a marketplace service such as CitizenShipper.