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The Cheapest Way to Ship Anything

The Cheapest Way to Ship
Boxes to Another State

Calculating shipping costs and choosing the most economical shipping method can be confusing. Our Cheapest Way to Ship Anything guides make it easy to compare shipping costs and choose the right method for your cargo, whether you're shipping common items like boxes or difficult-to-transport goods like antiques or artwork.

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1. How Much Does it Cost to Ship Boxes to Another State?

We've calculated shipping costs for three common shipping methods: USPS, parcel shipping, and consolidated freight.

i. USPS shipping costs

ii. Parcel shipping costs (eg. UPS or FedEx)

iii. Consolidated freight

2. Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about shipping boxes to another state.


There are many reasons why you might need to ship boxes to another state, such as:

  • You’re moving long distance and are shipping boxes of your belongings to your new home, such as clothes and shoes, decor, and small household items
  • You’re moving away to college in another state or across the country and won’t have room in your luggage or personal vehicle for items you want to bring
  • You’re shipping belongings to a loved one, such as gifts, antiques, or heirlooms
  • You’re distributing an estate and are shipping heirloom items to buyers, beneficiaries or family members in another state
  • You’re a business owner shipping items to customers, the next step in your supply chain, or to another location in your business network

Whatever your reason is, boxes are typically one of the most straightforward items to ship to another state. However, to make sure your shipment arrives safely, there are a number of factors and special considerations to keep in mind throughout the process:

  • Packing materials: It’s important to use the right packing materials when shipping boxes to another state or across the country. Ensure your items are securely padded in clean packing paper or bubble wrap, and only use high-quality packing tape to seal the edges of your box. If you’re shipping fragile or valuable items, consider double boxing your belongings.
  • Box size: Post or parcel shipping services may charge extra or may not be able to carry boxes over a certain size, and you’ll need to use more packing materials to ensure your belongings are safely stowed. On the other hand, if your box is too small, you will have less room for padding and your risk of breakage increases. Your box should close easily, but it should not be so large that your cargo can shift around.
  • Box weight: Boxes that are too heavy are at greater risk of damage, and they can be prohibitively expensive to ship using post and parcel services. Check the bottom of your box for a weight limit before you start packing—moving and shipping boxes are designed to hold a certain amount of weight.
  • Number of boxes: The more boxes you have to send, the more your shipment will cost. Single boxes are typically best shipped using post or parcel services unless they’re especially large or heavy. For large or heavy boxes or for shipments of more than three boxes, consolidated freight is often the most cost-effective shipping method.
  • Insurance: Boxes you packed yourself can't be insured for much. If you’re shipping antique, fragile, or valuable items, it’s often best to let your shipping partner pack your boxes for you or purchase additional insurance coverage.
  • Unboxing experience: If you’re a retailer shipping items to buyers in another state, a positive unboxing experience can go a long way to creating satisfied loyal customers. Always use clean, new boxes and opt for plain packaging or bubble wrap over crumpled magazine pages, newspaper, or packing peanuts.
  • Proper labelling: Ensure your shipping label is affixed to the correct side of the box, that it is taped securely and can’t be torn off, and that it is legible. Clearly label any additional instructions such as “FRAGILE” or “THIS SIDE UP”.

For more information, including mistakes to avoid when shipping boxes, read our “How Do I Ship Large Boxes?” guide.

How much does it cost to ship boxes?

If you need to ship multiple boxes, the cheapest way to ship boxes to another state is consolidated freight.

Compare rates for shipping boxes to another state using the most common shipping methods:

  • USPS
  • Parcel shipping (such as FedEx or UPS)
  • Consolidated freight

USPS

When shipping a box with the United States Postal Service, the cost of your shipment will be determined by the size and weight of each box you need to ship. Flat rate and variable pricing are available depending on the size of your box and how fast you need it to arrive. If your box can’t fit through USPS’s processing equipment, it will cost more to send.

NOTE: USPS cannot ship boxes weighing more than 70 lbs or larger than 108” in combined length and girth (130” for USPS Retail Ground®). Consolidated freight is often the best way to ship particularly large or heavy boxes.

Flat Rate pricing is available for Priority Mail 2-day shipments. As long as your package weighs less than 70s lbs, you will pay the same price regardless of how far your cargo will travel. As of July 2020:

  • A Small Flat Rate box (measuring 8 11/16” x 5 7/16” x 1 ¾”) shipped using Priority Mail (1-3 business days) starts at $8.30.
  • A Large Flat Rate box (measuring 12 ¼” x 12 ¼” x 6”) shipped using Priority Mail (1-3 business days) starts at $21.10.

If you need your box to arrive the next day, variable pricing is available for Priority Mail 1-day shipments. Rates depend on the size and weight of the shipment, as well as the distance travelled.

Weight (per box) Philadelphia → Miami Philadelphia → Los Angeles Chicago → Dallas Cleveland → San Diego
30 lbs $181 per box $202 per box $181 per box $202 per box
60 lbs $340 per box $383 per box $340 per box $383 per box

USPS Retail Ground is ideal for less urgent packages that do not need to be mailed using First-Class Mail® services. Pricing starts at $7.50 per package and varies depending on the size, weight, and zone to which your box will be sent. Dimensional weight rates will apply to large, lightweight packages. 

Weight (per box) Philadelphia → Miami Philadelphia → Los Angeles Chicago → Dallas Cleveland → San Diego
30 lbs $51 per box $83 per box $51 per box $83 per box
60 lbs $80 per box $122 per box $80 per box $122 per box

Parcel shipping (UPS and FedEx)

Like USPS, the cost of shipping boxes to another state using parcel shipping services like UPS or FedEx will depend on the size and weight of the boxes, as well as the speed and distance travelled. Here’s how much you can expect to pay for FedEx 3-day shipping:

No. of boxes Weight
(per box)
Philadelphia →
Miami
Philadelphia →
Los Angeles
Chicago →
Dallas
Cleveland →
San Diego
5 30 lbs (150 lbs total) $483 per box $800 per box $459 per box $800 per box
5 60 lbs (300 lbs total) $950 per box $1,586 per box $950 per box $706 per box
10 30 lbs (300 lbs total) $826 per box $1,463 per box $826 per box $706 per box
10 60 lbs (600 lbs total) $1,888 per box $3,161 per box $1,888 per box $1,385 per box

Consolidated freight (TSI)

With most consolidated freight shipping providers, your shipping costs will depend on the size and weight of what’s being shipped, as well as how far it needs to travel. At TSI, consolidated freight starts at $360 for standard less-than-truckload shipping and $650 for White Glove service.

Here’s a rough idea of what you can expect to pay based on the number of boxes you’re shipping, how much they weigh, and how far they are travelling:

No. of boxes Weight
(per box)
Philadelphia →
Miami
Philadelphia →
Los Angeles
Chicago →
Dallas
Cleveland →
San Diego
5 30 lbs (150 lbs total) $395 $600 $355 $435
5 60 lbs (300 lbs total) $620 $940 $525 $695
10 30 lbs (300 lbs total) $620 $940 $525 $695
10 60 lbs (600 lbs total) $735 $1,155 $605 $850

TSI also offers flat rate box shipping starting at $367 for three boxes, with the option to ship up to 15 boxes. Empty boxes will be delivered to your door, and we’ll return to pick them up once they’re packed with delivery to anywhere in the continental United States. Our flat rate service is ideal for household goods like clothing and shoes, as well as small decor items and other lower value or non-fragile pieces.

COVID-19 Precautions

TSI is carefully monitoring all of our shipments nationwide. We have seen minimal delays thus far, and are in constant contact with transportation industry leaders in order to be as proactive as possible. All members of the logistics chain are using the safety precautieons recommended by the C.D.C.:

  • Clean your hands often (washing for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer)
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Avoid close contact
  • Stay home if sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surface

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to ship boxes to another state?

The cost of shipping boxes to another state depends on multiple factors, including the size and weight of your boxes, the shipping method you choose, how far they will be travelling, and how fast you need it to arrive. Here’s a rough idea of how much you can expect your shipment to cost using some of the most popular shipping methods:

Shipping Method Estimated Cost
USPS $51-383 per box depending on weight, distance, and speed of travel
Parcel shipping (eg. FedEx) $483-$3,161 per box for 3-day shipping, depending on weight and distance of travel
Consolidated freight (eg. TSI) $395-$1,155 for 5-10 boxes depending on distance and speed of travel

What is the best way to ship boxes to another state?

The best way to ship boxes to another state depends on how much you have to ship and what you are shipping:

  • For one or two boxes under 70 lbs, USPS or parcel shipping is often ideal.
  • For three or more boxes, large boxes, or heavy boxes, flat rate freight shipping is best.
  • For boxes containing fragile or valuable items, White Glove shipping is the safest method. Your shipping partner will create a personalized plan that is tailored to your cargo, and packing services will be provided.

How much does it cost to ship boxes across the country?

Shipping Method Estimated Cost
USPS $202 per 30 lb box or $383 per 60 lb box for 1-day shipping; $83 per 30 lb box or $122 per 60 lb box for Retail Ground
Parcel shipping (eg. FedEx) $800 per 30 lb box or $3,161 per 60 lb box for 3-day shipping
Consolidated freight (eg. TSI) $319-$1,155 depending on number and weight of boxes

What is the cheapest way to ship boxes across the country?

The cheapest way to ship multiple boxes across the country is consolidated freight.

If you are shipping a single box, USPS is the most cost effective option.

What can I ship in a box?

Boxes can be used to ship a variety of household items and consumer goods. Large boxes are ideal for light, bulky items like lampshades, pillows, clothing, linens, and shoes, while small boxes are ideal for heavier items like books. It is also safe to ship fragile items in boxes as long as they are properly packed and insured.

Food, liquids, and hazardous materials should never be packed in boxes.

Can I ship previously used boxes?

Yes, you can ship used boxes, but it is not always recommended. Used boxes may work well for less valuable or more durable items, but you should always use new boxes for new or delicate belongings or if you’re a retailer shipping items to a customer. If you’re opting for a used box, keep these tips in mind:

  • Inspect the boxes carefully for signs of damage—all boxes should be strong, dry, and damage- or infestation-free.
  • Remove all old address labels to reduce the chance of your box ending up in the wrong place.

How do I pack boxes for shipping?

When packing boxes for shipping, you’ll generally follow these steps:

  1. Assemble the box. Tape all sides using the H method.
  2. Line the box with padding. Crumpled newspaper or magazines may work for household goods, but plain packing paper or large bubble wrap is often the best choice, especially for retailers.
  3. Wrap items individually before placing them in the box, especially if you are transporting fragile items.
  4. Load heavy items in first and pack lighter items on top. Add padding around each item as you pack.
  5. Seal and label the box.

Shipping boxes to another state?

Learn more about TSI's flat rate box shipping service.

Learn more

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