Shipping big items like suitcases and carry-ons seem like it could be tricky. But you might be surprised how easy and affordable it can be. Here’s how to pack and ship a suitcase step-by-step and the cheapest way to ship it.
How To Ship A Suitcase
Step 1. Measure Your Suitcase
The trickiest part to ship anything large, including suitcases, is finding the right box. To get the right size of the box, you will want to measure the suitcase that you’re trying to ship. The suitcase we have here as an example is a carry-on suitcase with dimensions of 23.5″L x 15″W x 9.5″H. Ideally, you will want to find a box that is 1.5 inches to 2 inches larger in every dimension.
Step 2. Find A Box
Once you have the dimensions of your suitcase, you can shop for the right box. For our suitcase, a large moving box like this one would be a good size. But since we had to ship our suitcase quickly, we used a Medium size U-haul moving box.
Step 3. Score Your Box
If your box is already to the dimensions that will fit your suitcase, skip this step. This is only if you need to adjust your box to fit your suitcase. Because our Medium U-haul box is 18.125″L x 18″W x 16″H, we will need to adjust 2 dimensions so that the length is longer while the width is narrower. Lay your box flat. Then, measure the new length that you want and take a box cutter to score the box.
Scoring the box means you will create a notch line on the box surface without cutting the material up completely. This will allow you to bend the box into a new shape and dimension that you need. Our box now has dimensions 25″L x 11.125″W x 16″H. We will turn our suitcase sideways so its dimensions of 23.5″L x 9.5″ W x 15″ H will fit in the box.
Step 4. Pad Your Box
You will have to cut the top portion of your box where it will fold so that the box can be closed. If your suitcase is made of leather, is expensive, or you’re shipping a gift, you may want to add padding to fill in the space between your suitcase and the box. Kraft paper works best to fill space without adding much weight to prevent the movement of your suitcase in the box during transport.
But if your suitcase is made of a soft shell material like nylon or other hard-wearing material and your suitcase is not shifting in the box, you may be able to skip this step. Suitcases are normally thrown at the airports during transport so they are normally made to be robust. Use your best discretion to ship your suitcase.
Step 5. Secure Your Box With Tape
Whether you used a box that perfectly fits your suitcase or you made a make-shift box, make sure to secure your box generously with tape.
The Cheapest Way To Ship A Suitcase
The cheapest way to ship a suitcase is to buy your postage from a shipping software that will give you commercial pricing with the biggest carriers. Commercial pricing means getting the biggest discounts available without having to ship hundreds or thousands of packages a year with a carrier.
We personally used Pirate Ship for this order. If you’re new to using Pirate Ship, we show you how to ship with them step-by-step. They are completely free to use.
If you already have an account, select a box and enter your dimensions.
Our package ended up weighing 11 pounds. With the weights and dimensions of our package, traveling from Texas to Florida, the cheapest option was to ship via UPS Ground.