The Cheapest Way to Ship to Hawaii

Learn the cheapest ways to ship to Hawaii (hint: it's not so different from the rest of the United States)
The cheapest way to ship to Hawaii
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Aloha, shippers! Along with shipping packages to Alaska, one of the most frequent questions people ask us is, “What’s the cheapest way to ship to Hawaii?” To tell you the truth, it’s not as complicated as you might think. Shipping to Hawaii sometimes gets a bad rap compared to shipping to other parts of the United States. People often run into issues such as paying higher prices for postage and dealing with long delivery times. However, that’s simply because they’re doing it all wrong! We’re here to give you some tips so you know how to ship to Hawaii like a pro. Let’s get started!

Which Carrier Should I Use to Ship to Hawaii?

When you need to ship to Hawaii, it all comes down to choosing the right shipping carrier. The carrier you use depends on what kind of package you’re shipping and how fast you want it to arrive.

USPS is the Best All Around Option

Generally speaking, shipping with USPS will give you best mix of affordable rates and quick delivery times. In fact, USPS is the ONLY shipping carrier that treats shipping to Hawaii the same as shipping to any other state in the country. Therefore, you won’t pay more than the regular domestic prices for any USPS mail class! USPS classifies Hawaii as Zone 8, no matter which state you are shipping from. For example, a Priority Mail parcel sent from Miami to Honolulu costs exactly the same as if you’re shipping the package from Miami to Los Angeles (USPS Zone 8). Like the Notorious B.I.G. famously said, “If you don’t know, now you know.”

Shipping to Hawaii with UPS and FedEx: What You Need to Know

If you use UPS or FedEx to ship to Hawaii, you should expect some pretty steep surcharges. Unlike USPS, these two carriers treat Hawaii basically like shipping to another country instead of any other US state. Therefore, UPS’ and FedEx’s rates for shipping to and from Hawaii are extremely high. In fact, Hawaiian locals all know that to be true, so they typically avoid UPS and FedEx like the plague and choose USPS.

All that being said, there are certain situations when you may need to choose UPS or FedEx for shipping to Hawaii. We’ve outlined those below.

Use UPS for Shipping a Large, Heavy Package to Hawaii

Keep in mind that USPS has a maximum weight limit of 70 pounds per package. If you need to ship something heavier than that, then your best bet is going with UPS. UPS allows for parcels weighing up to 150 pounds, and they’ll be more affordable than FedEx. In addition, UPS provides a wide variety of shipping services ranging from urgent delivery (more expensive) to slower, cost effective options. However, their cheapest service will still be way more expensive than shipping with USPS.

If Time is of the Essence, use FedEx

FedEx is widely known for overnight delivery, and they can get packages to Hawaii lickety split with services such as Emergency Next-Flight shipping. However, these speedy shipping services are EVEN MORE expensive than their already-pricey services for shipping to Hawaii. If you have no choice but to get your parcel to Hawaii on the next flight out, then FedEx can get it done. If you’re okay with waiting a day or two, you’ll save a TON of money by sticking with USPS.

Buying USPS Postage with Shipping Software Makes Shipping to Hawaii Even Cheaper

In case you didn’t know, it’s way cheaper to buy postage online with shipping software than if you buy postage directly from any of the shipping carriers. Certain shipping software options out there even let you access Commercial Pricing, which represents the best level of discounts USPS offers. Think of it like walking into a department store and buying something for 75% off. To speak frankly, if you don’t use free USPS shipping software, you’re paying way more for postage than you should be.

One more thing. Some shipping software solutions out there such as Pirate Ship lets you access a special USPS mail class called Priority Mail Cubic. Priority Mail Cubic is the cheapest and fastest way to send small, heavy parcels weighing up to 20 pounds with USPS. Like all Priority Mail services, delivery occurs between 1-3 days to all states, including Hawaii. If you’re looking to save money when shipping a package under 20 pounds to Hawaii, Priority Mail Cubic will absolutely change your life. ‘A‘ole pilikia! That’s Hawaiian for “You’re welcome.” Just don’t ask us how to pronounce it.


Post a Comment
  1. Screwed Over

    Weird how this article says one thing, but USPS here in the midwest tells me their only cheapest option to Hawaii is a flat rate padded envelope that costed $26.95!! So angry about this, but it was better than the option UPS was giving, which would have been well over $60. This is insanity.

  2. Jennifer

    Hi Rockwell,
    Excellent info and very helpful with the economical option for Scott to get his motorcycle to Hawaii. I work in shipping and am well versed in Hawaii shipping and would be happy to help out in any way I can. Great website! Thank you.

  3. scott petersen

    How do i ship a motorcycle to hawaii?

    • Rockwell Sands

      Hi Scott, you’re going to have to work with a courier that specializes in shipping motorcycles. You won’t be able to do this with USPS, UPS, or FedEx. I’ve done a bit of Googling and it looks like sending a motorcycle to Hawaii may run you anywhere from several hundred to a couple thousand dollars. This website shows the lowest rates I could find – check it out here:

    • Jennifer

      Hi Scott,
      I work in shipping and can assist you with your shipment to Hawaii.
      Please feel free to contact me and I’d be happy to help answer any questions you may have!

      [email protected]


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