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!

Table of Contents

USPS is the Best Carrier Option to Ship to Hawaii

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 let 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.


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25 Comments

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  1. Steve

    Clear & concise – Thanks for the help!

    Reply  
  2. Alan

    Can you ship luggage with 40 lbs in it and if so how do you find out the cost

    Reply  
  3. Greg

    I want to ship a Tacoma bumper to Honolulu, what would the postage be thanks.

    Reply  
  4. Oscar

    How much will coast to shop 4truck tires from taxes to Maui

    Reply  
    • larry Johnson

      How much will it cost to ship a 60 lb. box that is 72″long, 42″ wide and 6″ high to Hawaii?

      Reply  
  5. Debbie

    How much will it take to ship a Christmas Lantern (32inches, 3kilograms) to Kapolei, Hawaii from Phils.

    Reply  
    • Blown away

      Do you guys seriously expect someone to give you a quote because you posted a comment on this site? Either you’re lazier than Mexican house cat, or you are not very resourceful at all…

      Reply  
  6. Jonna

    Want to send small care package…10x10x7d ups was $95 yikes. So scaling down size..should i send usps instead. Its snacks for college kid, so dont want to break the bank mailing it

    Reply  
  7. Michael R Smith

    Looking to ship a larger box 25″ x 16″ x 29″ (LxWxH) and weighing 28 lbs from Wisconsin to the Big Island. Can you tell me the most affordable way to ship this?

    Reply  
  8. wesley m sektor

    what is the best way way to send 10 storage bins to big island from minnesota?

    Reply  
    • Rockwell Sands

      Hi Wesley – how big are the storage bins? The cost to ship them will depend on their dimensions, and how much they weigh. These sound like they may be too big for USPS, so I would try to get a quote on the UPS website here: https://wwwapps.ups.com/ctc/request?loc=en_US. I hope this helps!

      Reply  
    • Carol

      I am moving to Maui and checking if any carrier will take heavy plastic /rubber maid storage boxes instead of cardboard.

      Reply  
      • Rockwell Sands

        Hi Carol – this is a good question. You can technically use these storage bins as packaging, and a carrier should accept them as long as you pay for the right postage…but they might strongly suggest you at least line the inside with some sort of newspaper or something to keep people from looking into it. These boxes may be too big for USPS, so UPS or FedEx will be the best option…but it will cost a ton of money, since they treat Hawaii like shipping to another country altogether. Good luck, and I hope this helps!

        Reply  
  9. Beth

    I’m trying to ship to Hawaii from Spain and I’m being told the border is closed and I can’t ship my box. Is this true?

    Reply  
    • Rockwell Sands

      Hi Beth – I haven’t heard anything about packages coming from Spain going to the United States being refused. I would try again this week, if you haven’t already.

      Reply  
  10. Sherrie Acerson

    Living in Hawaii might help you to understand the shipping. I am an interior designer and so I use shipping all the time if you have to use UPS use UPS ground it comes by air anyway same with fedex ground and it’s only a couple days longer than if you did the regular UPS and is about a 3rd the price

    Reply  
  11. 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.

    Reply  
    • Sherrie Acerson

      Your post office doesn’t know what they are talking about! Priority mail using their boxes vary in price and the most expensive is what they quoted and it is a box that would fit 3-4 pairs of adult shoes!!!

      Reply  
  12. 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.

    Reply  
  13. scott petersen

    How do i ship a motorcycle to hawaii?

    Reply  
    • 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: https://www.hawaiicartransport.com/get-quote.php

      Reply  
    • 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!

      Jennifer
      [email protected]

      Reply  
      • Jennifer

        Here is my updated email if you’d like further assistance regarding shipping to/from Hawaii.

        Jennifer
        [email protected]

        Reply  
        • Shelly

          How much to send a 20 pound chair priority mail cubic to hawaii

          Reply  
    • Sue

      I know UPS can ship a motorcycle but you have to meet their safety standard because its considered hazardous material because of the gas tank. You’ll have to drain the gas. I uses to work for UPS and I’ve seen them ship motorcycles to and from Hawaii in their Supply Chain department.

      Reply  

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