How to Pack and Ship Coffee Mugs

Learn the best way to protect coffee mugs from breaking during transit, and how to save the most money when it comes time to ship them
ship coffee mugs

Coffee mugs are some of the most popular consumer items out there; most everyone loves a good cup of joe (or tea), and mugs are a tried-and-true gift shop item to pick up wherever you might go on vacation. Whatever the case, coffee mugs travel all over the world in small and large shipments every single day. This guide is all about how to pack mugs properly so that they don’t break during transit, and how to save the most money when it comes time to ship them. Let’s get into it!

USPS is the Cheapest Option for Shipping Coffee Mugs

Far and away, the US Postal Service is the cheapest option out of any of the major carriers for shipping coffee mugs. USPS is the premier carrier for sending small, lightweight packages…like the case for a box containing a mug or two (or three!). USPS gives shippers the best mix of affordable rates and quick delivery, which is why it wins out for handheld shipments under 20 pounds every single time.

For context, UPS is the best carrier choice for larger shipments, or shipments that need time-definite, expedited delivery. FedEx specializes in sending documents and carrying out business deliveries, as well as delivering niche shipments like frozen food.

Priority Mail Cubic is the Ideal Service for Sending Coffee Mugs

If you’re looking for the right shipping. service to use, look no further than USPS Priority Mail Cubic. Priority Mail Cubic (or “Cubic,” for short) is a specially-discounted service where the cost to ship a package is based on its outer dimensions only, and not its weight. As long as your box is less than 0.5 cubic feet in volume, no single dimension exceeds 18 inches, and the total weight isn’t over 20 pounds, you’ll be able to qualify for these special rates.

Here’s the thing: what makes “Cubic” so special is how much money it will save you. In some cases, shipping at cubic rates can save you up to 89% off what you’d pay at the Post Office to ship the same package via regular, weight-based Priority Mail!

Like all Priority Mail services, Priority Mail Cubic also comes with $100 of built-in USPS insurance*. This amount of insurance should more than cover the cost of your mugs if they break during transit, or if the package goes missing.

*Note: Priority Mail services come with $50 of insurance at the Post Office, and $100 with online shipping software.

How Can I Access Priority Mail Cubic Rates?

As amazing as Priority Mail Cubic is, it’s kind of a “secret” service that you won’t find at any Post Office. In fact, a lot of USPS workers have never even heard of it! Instead, you’ll only be able to access these special cubic rates when you use online shipping software to buy discounted labels…which we’ll get into in a bit.

Find the Smallest Possible Packaging

This is the big one: when you’re preparing your shipment, it’s important that you use the smallest box you can find. It’s a simple matter of physics; the smaller the size of your box, the less room your coffee mugs have to move around during transit…and the less room they have to move around, the less chance they have of breaking on impact.

Pro Tip: the ULINE website has a ton of options for small boxes that would be perfect for packing coffee mugs inside. On the other hand, if you don’t want to pay for your own packaging, you can always order Priority Mail boxes for free on the USPS website. By the way, most of these regular Priority Mail boxes will also qualify for cubic rates! Just make sure it doesn’t say “Flat Rate” or “Regional Rate” on the boxes you order, and you’ll be good to go.

Use Enough Packing Material to Protect Your Mugs from Breaking

It’s all about protection! When you’ve got the right size box, the next step is to use the right kinds of packing material to wrap your mugs in. In this case, bubble wrap that you wrap around the mug and tape tight is the best bet. The more you can use, the better. When you’ve got your mug(s) all bubble wrapped, you can also fill in the empty space inside the box with packing peanuts, air pillows, or styrofoam lining to cushion the mug. This will prevent it from cracking or breaking if the box falls at any point during its journey.

Once your mug is packed and secure inside the box, a good test to see if you protected it well enough is to toss it up in the air and catch it, and also shake it for a few seconds. If you feel it moving around inside the box when you do this, then you may need to open the package back up and do a better job!

Save the Most Money When Shipping Coffee Mugs with Online Shipping Software

As is the case with sending any item under the sun, you’d be foolish to pay full retail price to ship it at the Post Office! When you use shipping software to buy postage online, you get to access the deepest level of discounts that USPS offers. You’ll never find these discounts at the Post Office, and USPS typically reserves them for huge commercial shippers sending 50,000 or more packages per year. However, the best shipping software options pass these savings onto you for free. All you need to do in most cases is sign up, and you can start printing your own labels at home right away!

On top of hooking you up with the deepest possible discounts, most shipping software companies let you schedule free pickups on their websites, as well. When you do, your letter carrier comes to pick up your packages whenever they usually deliver your mail, and will transport them back to USPS themselves. This way, you can skip the lines at the Post Office altogether. Pretty sweet deal, right?

There are a ton of different online shipping software companies out there, and while many of them offer the same perks, we definitely have our favorites. At the end of the day, it all comes down to which one best fits your individual needs. If you’re looking for some recommendations, check out our Reviews page!


Looking for the right shipping software for you?

To access the deepest discounts on all USPS services, check out our guide:

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