Cheapest Way to Ship Large Packages and Boxes in 2024

The global cargo shipping industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.8% within 2021-2026. The surge in the shipment industry is due to the increasing demand for online shopping, and changing consumer behavior. 

But increasing demand also comes with high delivery costs, and as a business owner, you need to minimize or maintain steady shipping costs.  So, how to do it? What’s the cheapest way to ship large packages?

Also, it becomes challenging to find the right shipping companies as almost every company offers the same shipping options. 

So, how to find suitable courier services for large packages?  Let’s find out.

What is Freight Shipping?

The freight shipping process involves couriering or sending heavy or large goods which need to be delivered with traditional parcel posts. Different shipping and courier companies have specific weight sizes and limit restrictions to define their shipping categories.

For example, courier service providers like FedEx or UPS consider freight shipment for products measuring longer than 108 inches or weighing more than 150 pounds. At the same time, DHL caps their international shipping at 44 pounds.

Different types of freight shipping

Before you start your freight shipping, you should know the different types of freight shipping methods. Below is a list of different ways for shipping:

1. Full truckload (FTL)

A full truckload is a loaded container ship that is exclusively for your shipping. It is the most expensive method but will arrive faster and reduce the chances of freight damage. Also, this shipment was moved by railway and road. The FTL containers can transport around 24 to 26 pallets. It is a direct freight shipment.

2. Less-than-truckload (LTL)

The less-than-truckload method is for small loads and quantities of shipments. Moreover, it is known as less-than-load, because it is designed for smaller packages. However, every shipment will have different rules, and limits for carrier compounds; for instance, 150 pounds is the minimum range. 

3. Partial truckload (PTL)

The partial truckload (PTL) is a hybrid combination of FTL and LTL. It contains between 6 to 12 pallets. However, it would not be as expensive as FTL, because you do not have to pay for the entire container. Additionally, there will be less transformation of inventory during the shipment.  

4. Expedited

If you are looking for faster delivery, choose the expedited method. It ensures that it delivers faster than the usual shipping options. In expedited shipping, cargo hardly stops anywhere and moves directly from pick-up to delivery. It is a fast-track process and is used mostly for last-mile delivery.  

5. Intermodal 

Intermodal freight shipping is the last method where goods are moved multiple times and with the help of different transport modes. It could be a truck, cargo, car, or air. For international shipments, a 20 or a 53-foot 40-long container is used, and for domestic shipping, a 53-foot container is used.

What is the Cost of Shipping Large Packages?

If we talk about the basics, under 70 pounds will cost you around $20, regardless of distance and weight. However, there are different methods of large package shipping, and each method costs differently. 

We have classified the costs of large packages shipping in different ways:

  • First class: Prices start at $4.80 and $3.60  for commercial delivery in 2-5 business days.
  • Priority mail: Prices start at $11 for delivery in 1-3 business days.
  • Priority mail flat rate boxes: Prices start at $19.95 for delivery in 1-3 business days.
  • Overnight delivery express: Prices start from $22.50 for the next day delivery

Why is it so? Let’s discuss the factors responsible for the high shipping prices for large sized packages.

Factors responsible for a high freight shipping price

1. Special service 

Not all large packages are the same, and every package is taken care of in different ways. For example, a fragile item will cost you more because it needs to be taken care of more. In addition, the weight and distance factor is included in the high freight shipping. 

‌Likewise, few products, such as hazardous and perishable are durable but difficult to transport.

2. Dimensional weight

Dimensional weight is the pricing technique, calculated in freight shipment for the left physical space in the large box. It is typical for light large packages, and prices for it will be based on the length, weight, and height of the cubic box. 

You can use the below formula to calculate dimensional weight:

Dimensional weight = (L x W x H)/ divisor

Also, in some circumstances, there will be a comparison between dimensional and actual weight, and the larger one will be considered ‌billable weight. 

3. Amount of density 

As a shipping owner, you must know that the more density your box has, the chances of damage are less. But the price of density is different in lower light items and higher packages. Also, the higher the density is and the less space it takes, as a result, you have to pay less. 

It is simple to calculate large packages or heavy items on the basis of weight and dimensions. If you want to calculate the cost of large packages, you have to apply the formula:

Length + Girth = Total size of box

Length= measurement of longest side
Girth= measurement of thickest part

What is the Best Way to Ship Large Boxes?

Shipping large items cheaply will always be more complicated than shipping lightweight packages. You can use a few specific inexpensive ways to freight and achieve your desired shipment results. Have a look:

1. Associate with freight brokers

Freight brokers are the middle person or company between shippers and carriers. They are communicators and ensure that shipping operations go smoothly, freight on time, and safely.

A freight broker will help you to find the best freight company for shipment. A freight broker commission is calculated on the gross margin for shipping rates (total charged to freight shippers minus the number of shipping carriers).

2. Delivery services 

Another cheap shipping option to ship packages is associating with the freight shipment service providers. You can compare the cost to ship items via different mail types like USPS, DHL, or FedEx ground.

You can get lower prices depending on the dimensional weight and class of the product. Look at the features of top shipping service providers.

  • USPS

    The United States Postal Service (USPS) offers a wide range of shipping solutions. You can also avail the overnight shipping options offered by the freight shipping providers. 

    USPS - cheapest way to ship large packages

    They also offer different types of cargo like cargo by land, train, and airplane. For example: sending cargo via airplane can cost five times more than sending it via cargo land.

    USPS has broadly categorized easy shipment of large packages. The larger the shipment box, the higher the price. You can use flat-rate boxes for your products that weigh less than 70 pounds. It offers medium, small, and large flat rate boxes. 

    The company takes one to three days to ship the freight and uses priority mail express to complete the delivery process. Flat-rate shipping is the cheapest option offered by the company for shipping your packages.

  • FedEx

    FedEx shipping services offer quality air, water, and ground shipping options. You can compare the shipping costs of different services the company offers, which can help you make a better decision. FedEx offers a flat-rate pricing option for less than a truckload of shipments.

    FedEx - cheapest way to ship large packages and boxes

    It offers delivery services for heavy and bulkiest items. Ground shipping has weight limits of 250 pounds and 108 inches in length. The delivery time of FedEx is one to seven days depending upon the location, quantity, and shipping method. 

    If you want to ship heavy packages or bulk items, you can check the FedEx Freight option, and the shipping cost will be calculated by the package’s overall weight and box sizes. You can create a bill of lading and get tailored quotes from the shipment provider.

  • DHL

    DHL shipping solutions are excellent for your international transportation issues. The freight company has strong tie-ups with multiple airlines globally and can help you achieve your target with finesse.

    DHL - cheapest way to ship large boxes and packages

    The air freight services offered by the company deliver same-day delivery results and other affordable shipping options. 

    The company also offers economical shipping methods that take five to seven days to complete the freight shipment process. You can also avail yourself of special cargo handling, day-definite international shipments, and temperature-controlled environmental features.

Analyze these top freight service providers and choose the most affordable shipping option these companies offer.

3. Ease your delivery process with a route planner

The last cost-effective method you can use for shipping pallets is using professional shipping software or route planner. Choose a quality route planner that helps you minimize the complexities of managing your delivery operations, boost delivery speed, and ensure that you can automate your delivery scheduling, dispatching, and monitoring processes.

In order to, you can choose Upper Route Planner as your preferred route planner that can boost your delivery operation results and increase the efficiency of your delivery business. The software can provide an extra edge to your delivery ecosystem and help you achieve your shipment targets without compromising the quality of service.

Let’s first discuss the benefits of freight shipping for your business.

Benefits of Freight Shipping

1. Easy transportation of large packages

Freight shipment offers you the opportunity to transport large shipments across the country or internationally. You can choose different types of shipping methods that can help you in the delivery process and ensure that you deliver a quality customer experience.

2. Safety and security

Freight shipments travel with a bill of lading (BOL), highlighting the details of the freight products and making the individuals aware of a specific freight shipment. It can help you resolve conflicts in case of loss or damage to cargo and ensure you increase the security and safety of the deliveries.

3. Flexibility

When you try to ship large packages using a freight shipment, you must focus on saving a few bucks. This type of shipment with a large package size offers you the option to save money by choosing different inexpensive shipment methods.

You can have the flexibility to choose a customized shipment type that can help you achieve your desired business outcome in a highly cost-effective manner.

Get Cost-effective Routes on Upper for Shipping Oversized Packages

After shipping large packages, you are just one step away from delivering the packages to their destination. Upper will help you to fulfill that step and deliver your parcel safely by offering the fastest routes.  

Following are the benefits Upper offers to achieve your desired shipping goal:

  • Multi-stop route planning 

    You don’t have to waste hours planning routes manually, as our smart automation software allows you to plan efficient and cost-effective routes in one click. Also, you don’t have to write for the entire address; just add a pin code or drag and drop to import addresses. 

    You can also plan multiple routes at once with Upper. It allows you to import more than 500 addresses and streamline numerous deliveries at the same time. 

  • Real-time delivery updates 

    Within a few clicks, you can get tracking of the delivery operations and streamline your management process. You can create a smooth communication link between your on-ground delivery workforce and management team to help unlock better business performance.

  • On-demand report generation 

    Upper Route Planner can help you create detailed reports to optimize your existing delivery business performance and ensure that your employees work on their areas of improvement. Also, you can download a PDF version of the detailed reports. 

Avail 7 days FREE trial now and ship large packages with Upper seamlessly.

Ship Large Packages & Boxes Without Any Extra Effort

Looking to reduce delivery operations costs? Get Upper, a cost-effective route planning software that plans and optimizes your routes for your deliveries within seconds.


FedEx and UPS have almost equal prices, but UPS is cheaper compared to FedEx for extra large packages. For example, FedEx charges $92.10 for a 50-pound box, whereas UPS will charge ​​$75.96 for the same.

There are no particular cheapest shipping options, as it always depends on your package weight and density. Also, the price of large packages is subject to oversizing, surcharges, and multiple box weight pricing.

Oversized items are the ones that don’t fit in a specific shipping container, parcel, or box. The oversized items can also be called heavy-weight items that cross the standard barriers of different courier companies. You might be charged extra for the oversized items, which can increase the delivery cost.


Delivering large packages at an affordable price can help you increase your profits and boost the efficiency levels of the business. You can choose self-delivery options to help you remove the dependency on different courier service providers and freight brokers.

Integrate a professional route planner like Upper Route Planner that can streamline your delivery operations. It also ensures that you can deliver large delivery products at cost-effective prices. So, what else are you waiting for? Try a 7 days FREE trial now and experience the benefits now. 

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.