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The Cheapest Way to Ship Anything

The Cheapest Way to Ship Luggage, Baggage, & Suitcases 

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 Luggage?

We've calculated shipping costs for four common shipping methods: USPS, parcel shipping, consolidated freight, and specialty luggage shippers

i. USPS shipping costs

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

iii. Consolidated freight

iv. Specialty luggage shippers

2. Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about shipping luggage.


The most common reason to ship luggage is to eliminate the stress and annoyance of traveling with multiple bags, as well as to avoid any overweight and extra baggage fees. However, some individuals may also be looking to ship luggage as part of a long-distance relocation, whether for work, school, or other reasons. In this case, the luggage will likely be packed with belongings and other household goods.

Regardless of why you’re shipping luggage, there are many special considerations to keep in mind:

  • Extra charges: Some shippers, including parcel carriers like UPS and FedEx, may add unexpected charges to luggage shipments, such as pickup fees, fuel surcharges, residential delivery fees, and additional handling charges. If you’re shipping your bags directly to a hotel, some hotels may also charge extra fees for holding your baggage.
  • Weight: The weight of your packed luggage may have a significant impact on your shipping costs. Some carriers, such as specialty luggage shippers, charge a flat rate based on bag size and distance as long as your luggage is under a certain weight. Other shippers, such as parcel shippers, will price your shipment based on weight as well as size and distance of travel. Always be aware of weight limits before you ship.
  • Dimensional Weight: Dimensional weight is a pricing technique used in freight transport. When your package is priced based on dimensional weight, the cost will be based on an estimated weight that is calculated from the length, width, and height of the package. This means that the density of your package could impact your shipping costs. Every carrier prices dimensional weight differently, so keep an eye out for something called a “dimensional weight factor” when estimating your luggage shipping costs.
  • Boxing: It’s always best to pack luggage securely into a box to protect the handles, wheels, and zips, as well as to avoid unexpected charges—some carriers will apply additional handling fees to ship luggage that is not packed into a box.
  • Shipping times: It can take upwards of five business days for your luggage to arrive, depending on your chosen shipping method. Make sure you account for this transit time and leave a day or two for a buffer so your luggage has time to arrive.

How much does it cost to ship luggage, baggage, & suitcases?

The cheapest way to ship luggage depends on the size of the bag, your chosen carrier, and the speed and distance of travel. For most standard luggage sizes, specialty luggage shippers will offer the cheapest rates.

Compare rates for shipping oversized packages using the most common shipping methods:

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

The estimated shipping costs included below will reflect the cost of shipping boxed luggage in a 28” x 20” x 14” box that weighs 50 lbs.

USPS

Luggage cannot be shipped using USPS flat-rate pricing, but it can be shipped using USPS Retail Ground, Priority Mail, and Priority Mail Express. With these services, the cost of shipping your luggage will depend on the size of the box or boxes, how much they weigh, and the speed and distance of travel.

USPS Retail Ground is the cheapest option, with delivery in 2-9 business days. Next-day delivery is also available. Regardless of shipping speed, packages can weigh up to 70 lbs and measure up to 130 inches in combined length and girth (the distance around the thickest part).

Box size and weight Philadelphia →
Miami
Philadelphia →
Los Angeles
Chicago →
Dallas
Cleveland →
San Diego
28" x 24" x 14"
50 lbs
$119.60-$399.20 $149.30-$433.70 $104.70-$385.40 $149.30-$433.70

Parcel shipping (UPS or FedEx)

Like USPS, shipping your luggage through parcel carriers like UPS and FedEx enables you to ship your bags directly to your destination, whether they’re headed for a hotel or a new home.

Flat rate shipping is not available, but UPS and FedEx both offer variably priced services for shipping luggage, with multiple delivery speeds including next-day morning delivery. For the lowest rates, ship your luggage in a box—unboxed luggage may incur additional handling fees. There may also be additional fees for residential pick-up or delivery.

Box size and weight Philadelphia →
Miami
Philadelphia →
Los Angeles
Chicago →
Dallas
Cleveland →
San Diego
28" x 24" x 14"
50 lbs
UPS:
$163.46-$545.20

FedEx: $56.39-$674.56
UPS:
$128.48-$650.72

FedEx:
$91.60-$787.06
UPS:
$163.46-$545.20

FedEx: $59.92-$679.36
UPS:
$128.48-$650.72

FedEx:
$91.60-$767.66

Consolidated freight (TSI)

Consolidated freight shipping like TSI’s less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping is best for shipping luggage as part of a household move when you also have other boxes and items to ship. With LTL shipping, your belongings and household goods can easily be packed into a suitcase and the suitcase packed into a box for shipping to your new home. However, consolidated freight is not ideal for shipping luggage for travel, or when you need them to arrive at their destination quickly.

TSI TIP: Freight shippers will always price your shipment using a minimum billable weight. TSI’s minimum billable weight is 120lbs, which means that a few boxes weighing a cumulative 40 lbs will be priced as if they weigh 120 lbs. This is why it makes the most sense to ship your dishes as part of a larger household move.

Number of boxes and box weight Philadelphia →
Miami
Philadelphia →
Los Angeles
Chicago →
Dallas
Cleveland →
San Diego
3 boxes weighing 50 lbs each (150 lbs total) $443 ($145 per box) $445 ($149 per box) $356 ($119 per box) $445 ($149 per box)

NOTE: Box size does not factor into freight pricing.

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 to be as proactive as possible. All members of the logistics chain are using the safety precautions 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

Specialty luggage shippers

Luggage shipping companies like ShipSticks, LuggageForward, or LugLess specialize in shipping luggage and other awkward-to-transport items like golf clubs. These providers use parcel carriers like UPS and FedEx but have access to volume discounts that will get you lower prices than if you’d shipped with the parcel carrier directly.

Each luggage shipper has its pricing structure. ShipSticks, for example, can transport three bag sizes with prices dependent on the bag size and origin, and destination. With LugLess, on the other hand, shipping costs will depend more on your shipping date.

Ground transport with delivery in four days is available, as well as air transport for next-day delivery. Simply schedule your shipment online, pack your box, and bon voyage. 

Box size & weight Philadelphia → Miami Philadelphia → Los Angeles Chicago → Dallas Cleveland → San Diego

28" x 24" x 14"
50 lbs

ShipSticks: $64.99-$204.99

LugLess: $34.99-$119.99

ShipSticks: $74.99-$214.99

LugLess: $132.99-$137.99

ShipSticks: $64.99-$204.99

LugLess: $34.99-$119.99

ShipSticks: $74.99-$214.99

LugLess: $132.99-$127.99

NOTE: Shipping cost estimates are calculated using individuals providers’ online cost estimator tools. Details, exact prices, and shipping times are not guaranteed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I mail a suitcase with USPS?

Yes, you can mail a suitcase with USPS as long as it’s properly packed and within USPS’s size and weight limits. Suitcases should be packed into a box, can weigh up to 70 lbs, and measure up to 130 inches in combined length and girth (the distance around the thickest part).

Is it cheaper to ship luggage?

It is sometimes cheaper to ship luggage than to travel with it. Ultimately, it depends on which carrier you are looking to ship with. LugLess, for example, is often cheaper than standard airline baggage fees, but other carriers such as ShipSticks, USPS, and parcel carriers will be more expensive.

It may not always be cheaper to ship luggage, but it is almost always easier to ship luggage. The convenience of not checking a bag or having to wait at baggage claim may be worth the extra cost of shipping your bag separately, assuming it can get there when you need it if you are traveling.

How do I ship an empty suitcase?

You can ship an empty suitcase the same way you’d ship a packed suitcase. It may be cheaper to ship an empty suitcase using carriers that price your shipment based on weight rather than bag size with a maximum weight limit; however, empty suitcases may be priced based on dimensional weight, which can increase your shipping costs regardless of what’s packed inside.

TSI TIP: An empty suitcase could get crushed in transit. Instead of shipping an empty suitcase, you may wish to consider packing it full of light, bulky items like pillows or bubble wrap to prevent crushing.

How much does it cost to ship luggage?

The cost of shipping luggage depends on the size of the shipment and the speed of travel. Here’s how much you can expect to pay using USPS, parcel shipping, or specialty luggage shippers:

  • USPS: $104.70-$433.70 depending on speed and distance of travel
  • Parcel shipping (eg. FedEx): $56.39-$787.06 depending on speed and distance of travel.
  • Specialty luggage shippers (eg. ShipSticks): $64.99-$214.99. Costs may be lower for shorter distances.

How do I ship a suitcase internationally?

You can ship a suitcase internationally using the same services as you would ship a suitcase domestically, but the costs will be significantly higher.

Does UPS ship suitcases?

Yes, UPS ships suitcases. The cost to ship a 50 lb suitcase with UPS ranges between $128.48 and $650.72 depending on the speed and distance of travel.

Can you ship luggage with FedEx?

Yes, you can ship luggage with FedEx. The cost to ship a 50 lb suitcase with FedEx ranges between $56.39 and $787.06 depending on the speed and distance of travel.

How do I pack a suitcase for shipping?

You can pack a suitcase for shipping as you’d normally pack it for travel.

When packing a suitcase for shipping, take extra care not to leave space inside the luggage. Fill any empty spaces with soft items, packing paper, or bubble wrap to prevent your belongings from shifting around in transit. Always wrap delicate belongings in bubble wrap and ensure everything is adequately padded before shipping a suitcase.

You should also always place a copy of the shipping tag inside the suitcase, as well as on the outside in case your bag is lost in transit.

Moving across the country?

TSI specializes in small moves and specialty shipments.

Learn more

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