The Cheapest Way to Ship to Alaska

Learn the cheapest ways to ship to Alaska (hint: it's not so different from the rest of the United States)
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Similar to shipping a package to Hawaii, people often wonder what the cheapest way to ship to Alaska is. UPS and FedEx are both notorious for charging extremely high rates when shipping to Alaska. In addition, delivery times tend to be incredibly slow for both of these carriers’ more cost-effective options. Luckily, there is one shipping carrier that’s far and away the best option for fast delivery times and affordable rates when shipping to Alaska. Care to take a guess what it is?

USPS is the Best All-Around Carrier to Ship to Alaska

You got it! USPS is the best choice when shipping packages to and from Alaska. Actually, USPS is the only shipping carrier that prices shipping to Alaska exactly the same as shipping to any other state. The Postal Service classifies Alaska as either USPS Zone 7 or Zone 8, depending on where you’re shipping from. Therefore, you’ll simply pay the regular domestic prices for all USPS mail classes shipping to Zone 7 or Zone 8!

Should I Ever Use UPS or FedEx to Ship to Alaska?

That’s a good question. Hopefully you don’t have to! However, in all likelihood, you may run into a situation where you have no other option but UPS or FedEx to ship something to Alaska. Let’s talk about those scenarios for a second.

Use UPS to Ship a Package Too Heavy for USPS

Unfortunately, USPS only allows a maximum weight up to 70 pounds per package. Therefore, if your package weighs more than that, you’ll need to explore your various shipping carrier options. UPS will be the best choice for shipping heavy packages up to 150 pounds, with rates cheaper than FedEx. However, you’ll still end up paying WAY more for UPS’ cheapest service than you would with USPS.

Use FedEx for an Overnight or Emergency Delivery

Sometimes you might need a parcel delivered to Alaska overnight or on the next flight out. FedEx is the only carrier that offers emergency delivery services like that, so they will be your best bet if you ever find yourself in that situation. However, be prepared to shell out a TON of money. FedEx’s overnight and emergency shipping services don’t come cheap—especially not to Alaska.

Shipping Software Will Save You the Most Money on Shipping to Alaska

Whether you’re shipping to Alaska or the rest of the world, you should always use shipping software to buy postage. When you buy postage online, you’ll end up saving way more money than if you bought it directly from any of the shipping carriers. Some shipping software solutions even offer a special USPS mail class called Priority Mail Cubic, which is a total money saver.

What’s Priority Mail Cubic, you ask? Simply put, it is hands down the cheapest and fastest way to ship parcels up to 20 pounds with USPS. Similar to all other Priority Mail services, delivery only takes 1-3 days to all 50 states in the US—including Alaska. If you are shipping packages to Alaska that are over 16 ounces but under 20 pounds, you’ll always save the most money by shipping them Priority Mail Cubic!

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  1. Monica Thornton

    I agree on small shipments – but for large shipments that are considered LTL or “freight” you will always get the best price by going directly to one of the Freight Consolidators that service the offshore US destinations. Most freight carriers hand off to the consolidators – and the consolidators will give better pricing than the handful of LTL carriers that actually load containers to AK.

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