Shipping large or bulky items can seem difficult and time consuming – but it doesn’t need to be a hassle. 

While there are lots of moving parts involved, you shouldn’t end up paying more than you need to, when you follow a few key tips (which we’ve made into a handy checklist for you, below).

You’ve worked hard to sell more, so let’s look at ways to help protect that effort and keep more of your profits.

Common Mistakes When Shipping Large Items

How you choose to package your large or bulky items makes a big difference to the end cost of shipping, so let’s break down four factors to consider.

1. Always use a box for large items

Shipping large or bulky items should always be done in a box, carton or wrapped pallet. Many carriers won’t handle items that are not correctly packaged and you don’t want to be left high and dry.

Not only does the correct packaging protect your goods, but it can save you a lot of money on your shipping costs (more on that later).

2. Packaging materials for bulky shipments

You need to consider both how effective your packaging material is, as well as how bulky it is, and find the right balance. You don’t want to overdo it, but skimping on protective packaging can cost you in returns down the track.

Choose a box that is slightly larger than your wrapped item so there is enough room for multiple layers of packaging material between the sides of the box and the wrapped item itself.

Avoid reusing old cardboard boxes that are battered and worn out as they can easily rip and expose your goods to damage during transit.

3. Packing properly with bigger items

If you pack an item too loosely, it can shift and be damaged. If you pack an item too tightly, the packaging material may wear out from rubbing against the item.

If you don’t leave enough room for the packaging material, it will compress too much and lose its ability to protect the item.

In short, you want to allow just enough space in your package for the packaging materials to do their protective job, but not so much space that your item moves around.

4. Spacing and arranging bulky items, parcels and freight

For odd-shaped items, it’s important to stabilise the contents with extra padding, cardboard squares or the like.

Protect corners and sharp edges with extra care to prevent any bumps, or worse, puncturing your packaging.

Use smaller pieces of packing material in between items to prevent them from shifting and rubbing against each other during shipping.

Always place heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on top so that they’re easier to lift and more likely to avoid damage in transit.

Weigh & Measure

The often-overlooked secret to getting the best rates on large or bulky item shipping is getting both your weight and measurements correct.

Why are measurements so important?

Each courier company charges their freight costs based on the higher amount of actual weight of the item (how heavy it is) compared to its cubic weight (how much space it takes up)

To get an accurate quote you must pack your freight first, then measure the final packaged size.

When packages are being processed, they are scanned by machine to determine the weight and dimensions you’ve booked, for a match to the actual package.

Remember to include everything when you measure, including handles or other protrusions as the machines will scan everything and charge you accordingly.

This is why it’s so important to ensure that your package doesn’t have unwanted bits sticking out, or anything loose. 

Getting your measurements wrong, or having unwanted loose items scan as a larger measurement – even by 1cm – can change the cubic weight measurement, resulting in a higher shipping charge.

Avoid such issues by keeping your external packaging as neat as possible, since any loosely packaged or bulging items will end up costing you more.

Make sure to measure accurately to the nearest 1cm at the most extreme point on each dimension, rounding up to be extra safe.

We’re here to help you make the measurement process easier. In the graphic below, we’ve outlined the dimensions that need to be accurately measured and entered into the Transdirect booking platform, so we can pass the right information onto your chosen courier.

pallet measurements

(Note: Transdirect cannot ship items more than four metres in length.)

Split up your heavy or bulky items

Having a few items in one very heavy box can often work out to be more expensive than shipping items individually.

Instead, consider if your items can be split up into smaller packages where their cubic weight works out smaller and therefore cheaper to ship.

Note that if your package is over 25kg, it will need to be packed onto a pallet or crate and moved by a forklift, so planning ahead is a must. (See what to do if your package is over 25kg here.)

Choose the best, cheapest shipping couriers

Price isn’t the beginning and end of choosing the right shipping provider, but knowing that you’re always going to get the best rate from the best couriers with Transdirect certainly makes the selection process easier.

It’s also important to narrow your selection by destinations, as some couriers that ship heavy or oversized items in Australia may not service the areas you need.

Delivery time varies with each service provider, and express shipping services can make a big difference to customer satisfaction. However, if time is on your side, you can opt for a longer delivery window, and therefore get cheaper shipping options.

Bulk Discounts for shipping heavy items and freight

One of the many benefits of becoming a Transdirect Member is having access to Multi-Pickups. If you have more than one package to ship, you can easily book bulk pick ups and save even more on your shipping costs!

Checklist: 8 Tips to Save Money Shipping Large Items

Get The Best Deal On Parcel & Freight Shipping

When you’re trying to get the best deal while shipping your bulky items, it can be difficult to know what to do — or not do — to get the best deal. Fortunately, Transdirect makes it easy to get the best deal on shipping large items every day. Sign up for a free members account and start shipping better today!