Best Way to Ship Large Packages

Updated on December 07, 2010
J.D. asks from Allen, TX
9 answers

OK Mom's, it's that time of year again and I have large packages to ship. I always say that I am going to compare, but I don't want to drag my big boxes from one place to another. I've shipped packages via USPS, UPS and Fed Ex but I don't know which is cheaper and better. One year the USPS lost my package and it took a month to get there. It arrived on Christmas Eve but we had already shopped for everything again. We spent the end of the day returning presents before the rush would happen after Christmas - just FYI, there are no lines at the return counter on Christmas Eve. I have since used USPS more times and they have been fine. What do you Mom's think?

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answers from Pittsburgh on

If you know the weight/dimensions of the boxes, just use the on-line calculators to compare--no need to drag them around!

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answers from Chicago on

I always use usps and they will come and pick up the packages if your shipping priority. I would go with that. If you pay for the insurance which is not really expensive then you can track the box. I would go with that

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answers from Honolulu on

Well to me the main thing is, to insure and certify mail/register mail whatever you are shipping if applicable.... if with the USPS.
AND use 'express' shipping.

How large are your packages???

Cheaper shipping... will always take LONGER. Or be mishandled.
And yes, even 1 month to reach their destination.

So to me, and what I do is... I ship USPS... AND pay for insurance and ship it with either certified/registered mail applies.... AND use the "Express" shipping.
And there is usually "tracking" so you can track you package... online.

If you go online for USPS, you can see your options.
And yes, they WILL pick up your packages... per Priority/Express shipping.

With Christmas presents... I would NOT opt or choose the 'cheapest" shipping... because it WILL take a longer to reach the destination... and you can't track it.... and you will not be assure if your packages will reach their destination on time.



answers from Seattle on

I usually go the websites of each and look up the costs of what they would be by size/weight or to see if they have a flat rate for certain sized things.



answers from Detroit on

If you have a way of weighing and measuring the boxes at home, you should be able to go on the different websites to get prices and compare. They usually also have christmas shipping information on how soon they will arrive and when they need to be sent to arrive by Christmas.



answers from Tulsa on

UPS, not the post office. I have shipped furniture that nonprofessionals packed and moved across country using sturdy dishbarrel boxes from Uhaul. Even when someone put a ton of lose tools in one box and the box was splitting open, everything arrived in fine shape. I was hooked from then on.



answers from Dallas on

I used to work, at a mail center. The bigger you get in packages, the more expensive USPS is going to be. UPS ground, is usually cheaper for larger boxes. Tracking, is also a benefit. There is no true tracking, in any kind of mail shipment. (Other then overnight, which is expensive.) With USPS the "tracking numbers" are only proof that the package has been scanned and LEFT. It does not track as it;s going to the destination. I the package is lost, the number does not track to see where it is on the road. If it's lost, it's lost. I would guess what the weight is, and take the dimensions of the box. (Length width, and depth. Add 1 inch to all dimensions) You can plug all that into the websites, for an estimate. Keep in mind, if you go to a UPS store and do mail it's more expensive. If you go to a post net type of place, UPS and Fed EX will be more expensive, then if you went to a UPS store, or Fed EX store. Basically, if your mailing use the post office. If you're sending UPS, go to a UPS store...etc. UPS ground is 4 days, at the longest for shipping. (excluding Saturdays and Sundays.) If you are mailing from Texas, UPS ground will get there next day to most places in Texas and Oklahoma. (this isn't necessarily guaranteed, the further you get into December. It usually still gets there within 2 days, though.)


answers from Dallas on

We use FedEx ground a LOT. We use this routinely for shipping samples, etc with our business and it is fast.

If you go to the location on Capital Ave in Plano and get there before 4, most ground packages are delivered next day. We ship a lot to Houston and have found FedEx Ground the way to go. Many of our samples are 50# or more so Ground is best for that.

Our packages are not fragile but cannot be contaminated so they are packaged in layers, etc as to not break any seals. So far, we've never had an issue with our shipments.

We did, however, receive a sample that came from USPS and it was open and not usuable.

I still ship a lot from the USPS as well. I like the Zip Code Mail center on Custer (it is an affiliate of USPS) and you do not get the upcharge most mail places will add. We also love the pay 1 price boxes. They are always amazed at how much I can get into those and still safely seal the box. I had 1 of the medium boxes to shop at $10.95 and had 20# in it!!

The people at Allen PO are nice as well. FedEx right on Bethany/75 is another place we use routinely.

My vote is FedEx ground with a close 2nd coming in of USPS.



answers from Milwaukee on

I think you can print a fedex label at home and call them to come pick the package up. Don't quote me on that. Their number is 1 800 go fedex and the info should be on their website as well.

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