How to Ship Pots and Pans

Learn how to properly package pots and pans for shipment, what surcharges you may face from USPS, and how to save money with online shipping software
ship pots and pans
Written on:

Williams Sonoma. West Elm. Sur La Table. Target. These are a few of the big-name retailers who sell pots and pans and ship them to customers all across the United States. However, the market isn’t entirely cornered, and a lot of small eCommerce businesses thrive by selling pots and pans, whether they’re custom-made or simply run-of-the-mill cookware. This guide is all about how to ship pots and pans, how to package them properly, and how to save the most money on your shipping label when you’re ready to send off your box. Let’s get cooking!

Table of Contents

USPS is the Cheapest Carrier for Shipping Pots and Pans

Out of all three major carriers in the U.S. (USPS, UPS, and FedEx), USPS is the most affordable carrier for sending pots and pans. The U.S. Postal Service specializes in smaller, handheld packages, and therefore, it offers the most competitive rates for these types of shipments.

When it comes to USPS services, shippers won’t find a more affordable service for sending cookware than USPS Ground AdvantageUSPS Ground Advantage is the Postal Service’s ground-based service and most affordable option. It’s also the slowest USPS service, with delivery timeframes estimated to be between 2-5 business days. However, pots and pans don’t require time-sensitive delivery, so the slower delivery timeframe likely won’t be an issue for most people.

USPS allows shippers to send up to 70 pounds per package with Ground Advantage, and each label includes $100 of built-in insurance.

Read more about how USPS Ground Advantage compares to UPS Ground.

USPS May Impose Surcharges on Your Packages

While USPS offers the most affordable services for sending pots and pans, shippers should be aware that they may face additional surcharges. These surcharges from USPS are called non-standard fees, and they affect packages that fall above certain size thresholds.

We’ve listed the USPS non-standard fees that packages may be subject to below.

For Ground Advantage Shipments
  • $4 if any dimension of your box exceeds 22 inches but is less than 30 inches
  • $8.40 if any dimension of your box exceeds 30 inches
  • $18 for boxes greater than 2 cubic feet in volume
  • $1.50 for missing or incorrect dimensions that lead to any of the above fees (this $1.50 is a bit like an “overdraft” fee that USPS charges for incurring any of these non-standard surcharges)
For Priority Mail & Priority Mail Express Shipments
  • $4 if any dimension of your box exceeds 22 inches but is less than 30 inches
  • $18 if any dimension of your box exceeds 30 inches
  • $30 for boxes greater than 2 cubic feet in volume
  • $1.50 for missing or incorrect dimensions that lead to any of the above fees

To avoid these USPS non-standard fees for larger packages, shippers may want to consider using UPS Ground as an alternative service to USPS Ground Advantage with similarly affordable rates.

Properly Packaging Cookware: Cover Your Bases

The first step to packaging your pots and pans properly is to use a sturdy, corrugated cardboard box. The box you use should be big enough to fit your cookware inside, but small enough that your items stay in place as much as possible when you move the box around.

This said, sending pots and pans isn’t as simple as stuffing them in the box and calling it a day. Many pieces of cookware are made with non-stick material, and if yours falls into this category, you’ll need to take the proper steps to protect it. To help prevent damage to non-stick surfaces such as scratching or denting, we suggest wrapping the base of the pan with several layers of thick bubble wrap or another type of protective packing material. You don’t need to worry about the handles as much, but of course, you can wrap these with bubble wrap, as well.

You can find bubble wraps of all sizes on Amazon or the ULINE website. A good test to see if you’ve wrapped your pans and pots well enough is to put them inside the shipping box and shake it. If you hear a bunch of clanging and feel a bunch of movement, you need to use more layers of wrapping.

Consider Purchasing Extra Shipping Insurance

As we said in the above section, pots and pans are highly sturdy items that can withstand extremely high heat elements (we use them for cooking, after all!). Since this is the case, they aren’t fragile items to ship, by any means. However, just because these items aren’t fragile doesn’t mean that individuals and businesses shouldn’t take precautions to protect their shipments. One such precaution we suggest is purchasing added shipping insurance for the full value of the pots and pans you’re sending.

Purchasing shipping insurance allows you to file a claim for the full value you declare in case your shipment goes missing, or if the contents arrive damaged. It only costs a few extra dollars to declare hundreds of dollars worth of value. In our experience, being able to claim insurance is highly worth it.

Just think: even one scratch on a pot or a pan’s base can render it less usable due to potential safety issues from the non-stick material. You’ll be glad to be able to file a claim if your pans and pots incur scratches at any point during their journey!

Save Money on Sending Pots and Pans with Online Shipping Software

Once you’ve prepared your box, don’t go to your local Post Office or UPS Store! Instead, purchase discounted postage with free online shipping software solutions.

When you use shipping software, you get access to special discounts that carriers like USPS and UPS typically only reserve for huge shippers. This discount tier for USPS is known as Commercial Pricing, and UPS offers pre-negotiated discounts through shipping software, as well. In some cases, the discounts you get with shipping software will save you up to 89% off what you’d pay to ship the same box at the Post Office! These savings can go a long way, especially if your package is subject to USPS non-standard due to its size.

On top of saving money, you’ll also save time by avoiding the lines at your local Post Office and UPS Store. Shipping software allows you to buy and print postage from your own home or office, and you can even schedule times for USPS and UPS workers to pick up your packages. This way, you won’t need to worry about taking time out of your day to drop them off!

Last Updated:
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share via Email

No Comments

Be the first to comment!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Shipping Guides