How to Package & Ship Pie

Learn how to ship your pie with USPS, and why the cheapest option may not be the best one in this case
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At the time of publishing this post, there are only four more days until Thanksgiving in the year 2020. Obviously, this year’s Thanksgiving will be different than any others before it (and hopefully after it). A massive amount of people will be spending the holidays away from their families due to rising Coronavirus cases, which means a good majority of those famous in-person feasts won’t be happening. In times like these, it’s important to stay connected to loved ones…and we thought a great way to do that would be sending a pie (French apple, anybody?). In that spirit, this guide is all about how to ship your pies for cheap, and how to package them properly so things don’t get messy. Let’s dig in!

Table of Contents

Use USPS to Ship Your Pie for the Lowest Rates

If you’re looking for the carrier that will offer you the best rates, look no further than the US Postal Service. The Postal Service’s bread and butter is handling smaller, lightweight packages, exactly like individual pie shipments. Simply put, USPS offers the best mix of affordable rates and quick delivery, making it the go-to shipping carrier for most situations!

For context, UPS offers the best rates for emergency deliveries, or large, oversized shipments too heavy for USPS. FedEx, on the other hand, specializes in niche shipments such as frozen food, and business deliveries.

For the Cheapest Option, Ship Priority Mail Cubic

If you’re looking to keep the most money in your pocket, then you’ll want to use the specially-discounted service USPS Priority Mail Cubic to send your pie. Unlike other services, Priority Mail Cubic rates are based on your package’s outer dimensions, and not the total weight. The smaller your box is, the cheaper it will be to send! Most pie shipments will fall into this category, and depending on where you’re sending it to, it’ll probably only cost anywhere from $9-$15 to ship it!

Like all other Priority Mail services, delivery typically occurs within 1-3 business days. That said, USPS is seeing delays across the board due to surging volume and changing infrastructure during 2020. So, Priority Mail might take between 2-5 business days instead of the typical 1-3 day timeframe.

Pro Tip: You’ll never find Priority Mail Cubic at your local Post Office. You can only access these special rates with online shipping software…which we’ll get to in a minute.

For the Fastest Option, Ship Priority Mail Express

Sometimes pies need to make it to the destination as quickly as possible in order to keep the contents from going bad. If this is the case for you, then your best bet is to ship your pie with USPS Priority Mail Express. Priority Mail Express is the quickest service that USPS offers, with overnight delivery for most urban destinations, and 2-day delivery for some rural areas. The only thing is, since Priority Mail Express is the fastest USPS service, it’s also the most expensive service. That said, USPS will refund 100% of the cost of postage if your package doesn’t get delivered by their guaranteed timeframe! In our opinion, that guarantee makes it worth it…especially if you’re sending a pie that needs to make it to its final destination by a certain timeframe.

Properly Packaging Your Pie for Shipment

While pies aren’t fragile like glass or ceramic items, they can easily be ruined during transit. That’s why using the right kind of packaging to protect these types of shipments from any damage is especially important.

We recommend putting your pie inside of a pie box and then putting that case inside a larger, corrugated cardboard box. Think of it like double protection. Then, around the smaller pie box, we recommend using packing material such as bubble wrap or air pillows to keep the inner box from moving around at all. The more protection you can use to keep the smaller pie box from moving, the better!

Pro Tip: If you’re in the market for some pie boxes and packing material, check out the ULINE website. You can also order your larger, secondary cardboard boxes through ULINE, as well. If you’re trying to keep expenses low, check out the USPS website to order some free Priority Mail boxes that you can use as your secondary outer packaging.

Use Shipping Software to Save the Most Money On Your Postage

No matter which service you use to ship with USPS, you’re going to want to save all the money that you can on postage. If you’re wondering how, we’ve got the answer for you in three words: online shipping software. When you use online USPS shipping software, you can get access to the deepest level of discounts that USPS offers, known as Commercial Pricing. Shipping software also gives you access to special services like Priority Mail Cubic, which we talked about a few paragraphs up. Think of using shipping software like getting an exclusive invite to a secret dinner party, where pie is the main course! Imagine that.

The best part about using shipping software to buy postage online is that you don’t even have to leave your home if you don’t want to. You can buy and print the labels right from your computer, and you can even schedule free pickups for your packages that your letter carrier makes happen at the time when they usually deliver your mail. That means that you’ll not only save tons of money, but you’ll never have to go to the Post Office again!

There are many different online shipping software options out there, and some are definitely better than others. If you’re looking for the one that’s right for you, we suggest doing some research. Checking out our Reviews page is a great place to start!

Looking for the right shipping software for you?

To get the deepest discounts on all USPS shipping labels, check out our guide:

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Post a Comment
  1. Diana

    USPS is horrible, bakery goods were packaged the correct way. Buy the time they got to the customers it looked as it was used as a soccer ball. Product and boxes they were in were completely smashed around. Labels on outside box had FRAGILE THIS SIDE UP PERISHABLE and 2 day shipping which took 4 days and missing a pkg. This happened several times. Would never recommend USPS

    • Bil Danielson

      Diana, 💯… USPS is not an option IMHO and should only be recommended as a last resort. The idea here is to get the pie to the recipient fresh, fast, and intact!

  2. Stephen Gilbert DeGloria

    Who ships pies to Colombia.

  3. Candace Ford

    Does the pie need to be frozen when shipping?

    • Rockwell Sands

      Candace – Nope! You can freeze it if you want to, but then you may want to use cooling packing material to keep it frozen. A lot of pie gets shipped at room temperature (pending the weather conditions), and it’s totally fine. Hope this helps!


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