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Alternative Shipping Methods

Shipping methodsThere are numerous ways to send a package depending on how fragile the item, its destination and the rates your are willing to pay. The cost of shipping using these various methods will vary depending upon the size, weight and even shape of the box and how far or near the destination is.

When looking for affordable ways to ship boxes, bear in mind that some packages are going to cost quite a bit of money to ship regardless of method and you may want to consider re-packing it into a smaller boxes. Here are the most common shipping methods, as well as the not so popular means, to send items anywhere.

Delivery Companies
The most common shipping methods would be using commercial parcel companies like FedEx, UPS and DHL.  However, their rates can be quite competitive. You can get more value for your money by picking the company which offers the best rate for your package. Check out these companies' websites and get an estimate of your shipping cost by using their online shipping calculators. The United States Postal Service is a great alternative to these private shipping companies. The post office offers several flat-rate options that could save you money on smaller, yet heavier items.

Shipping by Train Freight
Sending packages by train is a lesser known method of shipping. Rail companies such as Amtrak offer freight shipping of packages. The maximum allowable weight of a box is 50 pounds and you can send shipments of up to 500 pounds. Shipping rates will vary depending upon distance.  However, not every station will accept items for shipping, so it is recommended to call for rates and available stations first. Also, shipments are only delivered to stations and not to residential or business addresses.

Greyhound Package Express
Another not so popular means of sending packages is thru the Greyhound Bus Lines. It offers shipping packages of up to 100 pounds. Additionally, there are several different service levels available, depending upon the destination and how fast you need your shipment to get to its destination. Shipments can be tracked online. Just like Amtrak, delivery of packages is only to the nearest station and not to private addresses.

Moving Companies
If you have a huge quantity of packages, including bulky and heavy items, hiring a moving service would be a good idea. Many moving companies charge per weight or per square feet, and sometimes this can be a significantly cheaper alternative to traditional shipping methods, especially if you must ship larger or heavier items long distances. Another advantages from moving companies are their extra services such as packing, hauling and loading your items for you, making the entire shipping process more hassle free.

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