Now that November (and winter weather) is here, the holidays are coming up just around the corner. Around this time of year, shippers always ask us what the best way to ship wreaths is with the US Postal Service. While the best way to ship anything is to typically access USPS discounts with shipping software, boxes containing wreaths and other large, lightweight items always get hit with high dimensional weight charges. Get ready to deck the halls and get into the nitty gritty details with us…but stay alert! Due to dimensional weight, your shipping costs may be a lot higher than you expect.
Table of Contents
- Understanding Dimensional Weight and How it Applies to Wreath Shipments
- Properly Packaging Wreaths for Shipment
- USPS Ground Advantage is the Cheapest Way to Ship Wreaths
- Use Online Shipping Software to Save the Most Money on Labels
- Don’t Forget the Insurance
Understanding Dimensional Weight and How it Applies to Wreath Shipments
Paying based on your package’s dimensional weight means paying for the space the box takes up, rather than how much it weighs. In essence, if you’ve got a big, lightweight box, carriers calculate the shipping costs based on its dimensional weight.
For example, let’s say you’re shipping a 3-pound box with a wreath that measures 25×2522″. In this case, carriers will treat your box as if it weighs 83 pounds instead of 3 pounds, due to its dimensional weight. Here’s how to calculate the dimensional weight, or DIM, of a box:
(Length x Width x Height)/166 = DIM
So, the dimensional weight of your box comes out to: (25 x 25 x 22)/166 = 82.83 (83 pounds rounded up)
No matter if you use shipping software to buy discounted labels or go to the Post Office, dimensional weight will come into play for larger, lightweight shipments. Therefore, you may as well still buy your postage with online shipping software and skip the line at the Post Office…which we’ll get to in a couple of sections!
Properly Packaging Wreaths for Shipment
Wreaths aren’t exactly the most fragile items, but you also don’t want them to receive damage during transit. Therefore, it’s important to use a strong corrugated box instead of a large envelope or poly mailer. You can also protect the wreaths by using different kinds of packing material such as wrapping them in foam paper, and using air pillows to fill the space inside the package. Styrofoam packing peanuts are also great for filling voids inside packages, though smaller bits of them might get stuck to your wreath and become a pain to remove.
Whichever you decide, don’t worry about making your box heavier by adding a lot of packing materials. As we said before, you’ll likely face dimensional weight charges when sending wreaths, anyway. So, you might as well take as many precautions as possible by adding ample protective packing material!
USPS Ground Advantage is the Cheapest Way to Ship Wreaths
Bar none, the most affordable service for sending wreaths is USPS Ground Advantage. Ground Advantage is the only ground-based shipping service that USPS offers and features an estimated delivery timeframe of 2-5 business days. USPS provides Ground Advantage service to all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, and shippers can also use it for sending packages to U.S. territories and U.S. military bases located overseas.
Since other USPS services such as Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express are sent via air transportation, they are always more expensive than Ground Advantage.
Use Online Shipping Software to Save the Most Money on Labels
Dimensional weight charges are to be expected when sending large, lightweight items such as holiday wreaths. That’s why it’s crucial to keep your shipping costs as low as possible, in any way you can. The best way to do this is to purchase discounted USPS labels through online shipping software solutions.
When you use shipping software, you get access to special levels of discounts that USPS typically only extends to huge shippers sending more than 50,000 packages per year. This pricing tier is known as USPS Commercial Pricing…and if you look hard enough, you’ll find that some shipping software companies even offer rates below Commercial Pricing! In the case of some Ground Advantage shipments, you can save up to 86% off of what you’d pay to ship the same package at your local Post Office. Considering that dimensional weight charges will jack up the cost of postage by default, this level of savings can end up keeping a whole lot more money in your pocket when sending larger items such as wreaths.
Don’t Forget the Insurance
If you ship with USPS Ground Advantage, your label automatically comes with $100 of built-in USPS insurance. So, if your wreath costs less than $100, USPS will reimburse you for the total cost if your wreath arrives damaged or gets lost during transit! However, if your wreath costs more than $100, you may find yourself in the hole if you need to send a replacement.
Generally speaking, it’s always a good idea to protect your packages with shipping insurance, especially when they’ll be traveling via ground transportation. USPS Ground Advantage packages can get damaged the same way as air-based shipments sent with other USPS mail classes, since they’re right alongside heavier, bulky packages that move around a lot during transit.
Purchasing shipping insurance is 100% worth it to protect your packages against damages of any kind during transit. As we always like to say around here, “Protect yourself before you wreck yourself!”