Ship Large Items Internationally: Pack & Best Carrier

Today’s article offers an ultimate guide on how to ship large items internationally effectively and safely. It covers essential practices for packing, selecting optimal transportation modes, and managing costs to ship large items efficiently.

What is considered a large item?

Large or oversized items are goods that surpass the size and weight limitations established by transportation services. Depending on the different shipping carriers, various weight restrictions are in effect.

For instance, when using couriers such as USPS, your cargo cannot exceed 108 inches (274 cm) in length and should not surpass a combined length and width of 130 inches (330 cm).

Moreover, shipments weighing over 1,100 pounds (500 kg) may also be classified as oversized and require specialized logistics solutions.

Below is a list of common large items for your reference:

  • Furniture: Including sofas and beds
  • Vehicles: Like cars, motorcycles, and RVs
  • Pallets of Automotive Parts and Tires
  • Appliances: Refrigerators and washing machines
  • Industrial machinery and construction equipment

If you are unsure whether your goods are oversized for specific carriers, you can send your cargo details to our shipping experts. We can support and arrange tailored cargo carrier at competitive prices.

Oversized goods packing requirement

First, select sturdy and durable packaging materials, depending on the nature of the items and the level of protection required.

Typically, there are three main ways of packing large items for international shipping:

1. Heavy-duty cardboard boxes:

You can ship large goods without palletizing them, but they require labeling for handlers to determine if assistance is needed when handling them.

2. Pallets:

Pallets not only provide stability and protection to your goods but also help reduce shipping costs by optimizing the carrier’s available space.


3. Wooden crates:

Some products can be challenging to ship due to their size, weight, or irregular shape, which may not fit into standard boxes. In such cases, you can customize wooden crates to fit the dimensions and specifications of the goods.

wooden crates

Then, identify any weak points or vulnerable areas of the large items and reinforce them with additional padding, strapping, or bracing.

To prevent shifting, sliding, or tipping during transit, you should also use foam inserts or other air cushion materials to secure the items and minimize the risk of damage.

Cost to ship large items internationally

Larger and heavier cargo typically incur higher shipping costs due to increased handling, space requirements, and freight fees.

Below are the estimates for transporting to the USA by sea:

Currently, sea freight costs for shipping large packages internationally range from $90 to $300 per cubic meter (CBM), depending on the destination and shipping route to America.

Furthermore, as oversized cargo often requires specialized handling techniques, such as cranes or heavy-duty machinery, to load and unload onto vessels, it will incur an additional $100 to $500 in handling charges compared to general cargo.

For an accurate quote, you can contact our customer service team, who can offer preferential freight rates.

Choosing the right shipping method

When sending large parcels overseas, you can choose road, rail, ocean, or air freight. While ground freight offers a cheaper solution for heavy cargo, it may be limited by region as truck routes cannot reach all global destinations. Therefore, sea and air freight are your primary options.

Shipping bulky items via ocean freight proves to be more cost-effective. Moreover, the cost per unit will become cheaper as the cargo weight increases. However, delivery times vary from a few weeks to several months.

On the other hand, if you ship large items by air, the shipping time will be faster, but with higher shipping rates. It will be more beneficial than sea freight if the cargo’s volumetric weight is under 150kg/2CBM.

Tips for shipping large items internationally

Consider obtaining insurance

Investing in shipping insurance is relatively inexpensive compared to the potential benefits, especially if you’re shipping a high volume of products.

It provides financial protection against loss, damage, or theft of goods during transit and is essential for peace of mind during international shipping.

Split up your shipments if needed

When shipping larger and heavier cargo, one of the practical methods is split shipments.

For example, if you want to move a pallet through DHL Freight and exceed the weight threshold of 1000kg (~2,200 lbs), it will necessitate dividing the pallet into two shipments.

Partner with experienced freight forwarders

International large package shipping may appear a bit daunting. However, by leveraging Airsupply expertise and network resources, you can enjoy smooth coordination of logistics, customs clearance, and delivery.

We offer a tailored solution designed to meet your specific shipment needs. Meanwhile, we also specialize in comparing prices and services from various carrier companies, ensuring the best way to ship large items internationally.

Moreover, our ASLG warehousing service can assist you with repackaging, relabeling, and ULD-building to eliminate the risk of poor packing.

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