Ways To Ship Items Across The Country Cheaply

Searching for the most affordable way to transport a package? In this guide, we will discuss how to transport items across the country cheaply and how you can cut your costs anytime you are shipping.
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Ways To Ship Items Across The Country Cheaply
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Search the keywords ‘cheapest way to move’ online and you will discover so many companies that claim to transport moving boxes across the country at a cheaper rate. However, knowing which of them to trust can be tricky.

We’ve discovered some cheap moving companies, however, that is a great choice to consider for those moving with or without furniture. It is cheaper than most other services and doesn’t need renting a moving truck or packing a pod.

Now, the number one option that might come to your mind when considering how to transport just a few moving boxes is the post office. However, the cost of USPS adds up quickly. One large box that contains household items that weigh 5 pounds will cost you around $40 – $262, based on the transport method that you select.

And you will likely spend a lot more if you transport via FedEx or UPS. There’s got to be a cheaper alternative, right?

How to Ship Items across the Country Cheaply

Below are our top choices for the most affordable ways to transport a few moving boxes:

1. Greyhound Package Express

This company offers package express, a way to benefit from extra space below their buses. Below is how it works and some fast trips when transporting with Greyhound.

  • Check alternatives for breakables and electronics. While not banned outrightly, Greyhound is likely not a great choice for transporting electronics or delicate items. Their insurance will contain these items too.
  • Package all your items in boxes or containers of dimensions 30 x 47 x 82 or less, and a maximum weight of 100lbs. All your items must be able to fit under the bus.
  • Assign a number to each moving box and note the contents of each.
  • Put a tag containing your name, phone, and address in the box.
  • Weigh your moving boxes by initially weighing yourself. Then carry your box and stand on the scale, and then subtract your weight. Ensure the boxes are below 100lbs each.
  • After inspection of the boxes by Greyhound, use packing tape to wrap the whole box. The more tape the safer.
  • For an additional fee, Greyhound offers door-to-door pickup and delivery services.

Greyhound Typical Cost

Pricing can be around $1 per pound with extra charges based on the size of the package. Door-to-door delivery will add to your costs.

Pros ✔

  • Offers pickup/delivery service
  • Fast ship lines
  • Cheap pricing
  • Larger package size than Amtrak

Cons ✖

  • Limited insurance options
  • Sometimes handle package roughly at bus shipping
  • No liability for electronics & breakables
  • No inter-location shipping to Canada or Mexico

2. Busfreighter

This company partners with Greyhound Package Express, a service that transports personal shipment on Greyhound buses. You can transport any amount of boxes with Busfreighter, but with four or more, you will get discount bulk prices. Bulk orders are transported for 70% per pound by Busfreighter, whereas shipping directly through Greyhound costs almost twice the price at around $1.19 per pound. Other companies charge even higher prices.

Things to know:

  • The size and weight requirements of Busfreighter are the same as that of Greyhound Package Express. A box cannot be more than 30 x 47 x 82 in dimension and must not weigh beyond 100 pounds.
  • Similar to Greyhound, Busfreighter doesn’t offer liability for your packages. However, you will be covered on the current declared value of belongings.
  • The most affordable option will be to drop off your moving boxes at the Greyhound station they will be transporting out from (ensure you visit the Greyhound Package Express window). If you desire to pay a bit more, you can drop your packages off at a Convenience Drop-Off center or opt for pick up at your home (around $45 for 5 boxes).
  • Busfreighter won’t be able to transport your furniture or large electronics.

Busfreighter Cost

Around $0.85 per pound, even though you will spend more for boxes of higher sizes.

Pros ✔

  • cheap pricing
  • ships any amount of boxes
  • discount for bulk orders
  • similar weight requirements

Cons ✖

  • No liability for packages
  • Doesn’t transport furniture or large electronics

3. Amtrak Shipping

Just like Greyhound and Busfreighter, Amtrak Express Shipping allows you to benefit from unused space on a vehicle that is traveling already to affordably transport a small number of boxes. And in fact, it is one of the most affordable options around for when you are transporting a few moving boxes.

Things to know:

  • You will need to follow the size and weight limit. Boxes are not allowed to be larger than 36 x 36 x 36 and cannot have weight beyond 50 pounds, and your overall shipment cannot weigh beyond 500 pounds.
  • Electronic or breakable items cannot be shipped.
  • Amtrak asks that customers drop off and pick up their boxes themselves. Understand that upon arrival you will have just two days to pick up your belongings, so it is important to arrange your timing
  • You should use cardboard boxes since plastic shipping containers are prohibited. To safeguard them from the elements as possible, wrap the whole box in packing tape.

Amtrak Shipping Cost

The first 100 pounds cost from 40 to $80 and then $0.40 to $0.80 per pound after that.

Pros ✔

  • Reasonable pricing
  • Good insurance options
  • Relatively fast ship times
  • Reasonable storage rates, $3 per box per day
  • Options for bike shipping

Cons ✖

  • Shipping limit: 500 per pound per day
  • Box size restriction: 3 by 3 by 3
  • Drop-off/pick-up at Amtrak location
  • No electronics or breakables

4. UShip Marketplace

This is a marketplace that connects moving truck companies with those looking to ship things. Many people don’t know that the huge trucking industry ($700 billion in the United States alone) is filled with several thousands of standalone haulers. And you should know that these moving truck drivers are ready to transport your boxes if they have additional space on their vehicles. The tricky aspect is finding a driver traveling on your route already.

That is the cue for the U-Ship marketplace. It works by posting your move on the moving board on U-Ship. Truckers can check the details of the move and then submit a bid on the job. The truck driver can then make some additional money and you receive a great price. The only limitation here is that independent drivers are sometimes not the most professional. While uShip provides reviews as well as a verified vendor system, it is still your responsibility to select a good vendor.

Do your research. You should post your shipment needs and find out the kind of response you get. If you find a shipping company with a proven history and a nice price, uShip can be a better option for small moves.

uShip Cost

It depends on the bids that you receive. If you are transporting to a place that can see heavy traffic, you will likely be able to receive an affordable bid than if you are transporting somewhere that is a bit obscure.

Pros ✔

  • Connects you to shippers directly
  • Reviews of vendors
  • Verified vendor system
  • Access to many vendors

Cons ✖

  • You have to pick your vendor
  • The selection process can be confusing
  • Unprofessional independent drivers

5. Ship by Car: Moving in the Trunk

This option is the only ideal plan to ship a car together with your moving boxes. Otherwise, just proceed and consider another option. But if you are shipping a car, most auto shippers will let you load items in the car. Just ensure you check with the policies of the autotransporter before you load the car up with your moving boxes.

Some companies have a maximum weight policy or may not even allow transporting items inside the car at all. The majority of auto transporters let you ship 100lbs inside the car, being a part of the base cost. Extra weight may cost additional based on the auto transporter. Restrictions may also exist around the number of boxes or suitcases you can load inside the vehicle. If you are transporting a car, make sure you check our list of best car shipping companies.

Pros ✔

  • Shipping of items in the car
  • Perfect for minimalists
  • Your boxes arrive with your car

Cons ✖

  • Restriction on weight
  • Only relevant when shipping a car
  • Extra weight cost even more

FAQ

What is the most affordable way to ship items long distances?

To move long-distance, moving containers are your most affordable option. Moving containers are cheap because you take care of some work yourself. There are cases (like long-distance moves) where they are often as most affordable option since your travel-related expenses are just a few.

How do you transport heavier belongings?

You are required by UPS to paste a heavy package sticker to all your shipments that weigh beyond 70 lbs. (31.5kgs). Paste the bright yellow UPS heavy package sticker on your shipment at the appropriate address label for optimum visibility and indicate the weight of your shipment in the white space on the label

Is it cheaper to transport by rail or truck?

For those transporting large shipments over long distances, the use of moving trucks and rail is more affordable than making use of moving trucks exclusively. Not just can more containers be transported through rail, but trains offer an efficient options, which makes it more affordable for long-distance transportation.

What time duration does a long-distance relocation take?

The average duration for most long-distance relocation can be around 10 days to over 14 weeks. However, because of different unexpected factors, this time is subject to change all through the process.

Moving your items or buying new stuff, which is cheaper?

If you like your belongings and you don’t want to stress yourself in selecting and paying for new stuff, moving your belongings is a better option. In addition, local moves are much cheaper than state-to-state or long-distance moves, so it could cost lesser to just move your belongings.

What item is considered ‘heavy’?

Items that weigh 300 pounds or more are considered heavy. Shipping these items may need 3 or more movers, especially for items that need special care or if there are stairs involved

What weight is considered too heavy for movers?

Generally, each moving box should not weigh above 50 pounds. Even if movers are working for you, don’t forget that you may have to carry or move the boxes yourself, from one location of your home to another, so ensure the weight is within your strength. There are boxes, like electronic boxes or moving boxes that may come heavier.

Is selling your furniture better than it?

Selling your old furniture is highly cost-effective than disposing of it anyhow, even if you end up not getting much money from it, each penny is important when performing a big move. If this is your first time in the moving process, you may get exhausted from the task of handling your furniture during a move.

Conclusion

There is a little chance you may be able to locate a moving company who will help you. If you want to see the prices of moving companies, see our list of the best-reviewed national moving companies. If you are transporting furniture or want your items to arrive quickly, you may want to pick one of them. 

You can as well check Cheapest Way to Move Cross Country

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