If you’re a small business or seller online, you may want to know what is the cheapest way to ship to Alaska. Being able to offer shipping or free shipping beyond the contiguous 48 states opens up more potential customers. So we will go over what your shipping options are and the cheapest way to ship to Alaska.
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The Cheapest Way To Ship To Alaska
To get started, you will first and foremost need to know where to buy your postage. This makes a huge difference because there is a price difference between a retail postage rate and a commercial postage rate. Commercial rates are normally reserved for businesses shipping more than 50,000 packages a year.
However, you can access commercial rates for FREE using shipping software. Shipping software like Pirate Ship and GoShippo is completely free to use. For USPS and UPS, we use pirateship.com. For FedEx and DHL Express, in addition to USPS and UPS, we use GoShippo.com. Pirate ship is very easy and intuitive to use. GoShippo.com has paid and free plans available but we go over any question we may have about GoShippo.com below.
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Which Carrier Is The Cheapest To Ship To Alaska?
USPS will give you the cheapest shipping options when it comes to shipping to Alaska.
Which Shipping Service Should I Use To Get The Cheapest Rate?
To know which USPS service is the cheapest will depend on the size of the item that you’re shipping. If your item weighs less than 1 pound, USPS First Class Package will be the cheapest. Once your items weigh more than 1 pound, the size of your package will determine which will be the cheapest option.
In addition to the discounted shipping rate, you will be able to activate USPS Priority Cubic Rate using a shipping software mentioned earlier. Priority Cubic uses the outer dimensions of your package and the package destination to determine the postage rate, instead of weight. This is a great option if you have small but heavier packages under 20 pounds that do not qualify for USPS First Class Mail.
While shipping using USPS Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes will cost the same as the contiguous 48 states and it is a great option for up to 70 pounds, you may get a cheaper rate with Priority Mail Cubic. You can see all of the USPS Flat Rate boxes’ dimensions below.
|Dimensions||Commercial Rate Price*|
|USPS Flat Rate Box Small||8 11/16″ x 5 7/16″ x 1 3/4″||$8.65|
|USPS Flat Rate Box Medium – Top Loading||11 1/4″ x 8 3/4″ x 6″||$14.50|
|USPS Flat Rate Box Medium – Side Loading||14″ x 12″ x 3 1/2″||$14.50|
|USPS Flat Rate Box – Large||12 1/4″ x 12 1/4″ x 6″||$20.05|
If you can get your package in a more compact box than a certain size of a USPS Flat Rate box and your package weighs less than 20 pounds, USPS Priority Cubic may be cheaper. For example, say you need to send a package that weighs 8 pounds from Dallas, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska.
If you’re able to instead get your items in an 11″ x 8″ x 5″, which is only slightly smaller than the USPS Flat Rate Medium Box, it would cost $14.00 to ship with Priority Mail Cubic.
If you can use a poly mailer instead of a box, you will save even more money using the same Priority Mail Cubic rate.
It will only be $10.27 instead!
The Cheapest Way To Ship Large Packages To Alaska
If your package happens to be larger than any of the USPS Flat Rate boxes and the dimensions are too big for Cubic Rate, your next best option will be with USPS Parcel Ground. UPS Ground or FedEx Ground will not usually be cheaper as it may be on the mainland.
Using a shipping software is a no-brainer when it comes to getting the cheapest shipping rate. You will also save long lines at the post office when you buy and print your postage at home. Make sure you have a shipping scale and measuring tape to get the correct weight and dimensions. You can then drop off your package at the self-service kiosk at your local post office.