OptimalShip's Helpful Shipping Tips

DHL Express: How Long Does it Take to Ship Heavy Items?

Posted by K. Sterrett on Nov 5, 2021 9:04:07 AM

If you have to ship large, heavy items, we're here to help! In this article, we'll cover everything from weight limits to the cheapest way to ship heavy items and even provide you with a checklist of everything you need to keep in mind when shipping.

The Best Way to Ship Heavy Items

Finding an excellent way to ship heavy items requires patience and research. These items are bulky, awkward to move, and sometimes difficult to handle. The best way to ship your heavy item will depend a lot on the exact weight of your package. A heavy package may even face a weight limit when shipping with DHL, UPS and FedEx, or another carrier.

So, how should you ship these difficult items without costing yourself or your business an arm and a leg? Plus, what steps should you take to make sure your package arrives safely? Let's take a look.


Packaging Heavy Items

Heavy package DHL express

When shipping heavy items, remember that quality packaging is very important! For example, try using boxes that are stapled instead of glued. Also, remember to check the quality and thickness of the cardboard to ensure it will withstand the weight.


The Best Way to Ship Large, Heavy Items

What if you need to ship a package that is not only heavy but also large? Shipping large packages comes with its own challenges that are only complicated by weight. For example, some pieces of furniture can be both large and very heavy.

Despite the complicated logistics of larger packages and heavy items, many carriers offer to ship anything from gym equipment to grand pianos! There is indeed a way to ship oversized or large items if you're determined to find the way.

Keep in mind that shipping large items may require you to purchase special wrapping or packing materials such as blankets, wrapping foam, wrapping plastic, and strong packing tape.


Shipping Heavy Items with DHL Express

There are many shipping options to consider, but one way to ship large or heavy packages is to use DHL Express. This reputable company offers excellent shipping services for a wide variety of needs, including large packages.

You can ship pieces up to 660 lbs and 118 inches in length via DHL Express. They have a handy packaging guide to help you with how to pack these heavyweight pieces. 

In addition, if your shipment weighs over 300 lbs, we may be able to obtain a special heavyweight spot quote. If you are interested, please email dhlspotquote@optimalship.com 


Weight Limits for Shipping

Heavy package scale

Specifically, you can ship heavier and/or larger shipments via DHL Express as long as the total weight of the shipment is less than 2,200 pounds or 1000 kilograms and as long as no single piece is heavier than 660 pounds or 300 kilograms.

There is also a restriction that a package may not be longer than 118 inches or 300 centimeters. From DHL's website, here are the shipping specifics in graphic form.




If your package is over the DHL weight restrictions, we have other freight carriers that transport heavyweight shipments. We can quote both Air and Ocean FCL and LCL. If you have large shipment you would like quoted please email quotedesk@optimalship.com 


How Long it Takes to Ship Heavy Items

Heavy package shipping times

Shipping large items can take a while due to the difficulty of maneuvering the package or packages. However, you can also have some control over how quickly a parcel is delivered.


Factors Contributing to Delivery Speed

The main determining factor for how long your delivery will take is the destination. In other words, how far does your package need to go?

If your oversized shipping needs to go overseas, this adds to the transit time. Another complication that affects transit times is remote destinations. Other factors such as bad weather, political unrest, and security concerns can also affect delivery times.


How to Speed Up a Delivery

Heavy Items Air Freight

Business sometimes requires quick parcel delivery. If delivery time is important for you or your business, opt for an air express service. Priority mail is another service that expedites the shipping process.

Delivery time via air, even for oversized items, can be as quick as a few days or a week. This is because, for 95% of Express packages, customs clearance is completed while the packages are in the air so that they are delivered the day they arrive at the destination.


Less Time Sensitive Large and Heavy Packages

If you have heavyweight or large items that are not time-sensitive or are larger than 2200 pounds or longer than 118 inches, you may wish to receive an Air Freight quote, or even an Ocean Freight quote, rather than Air Express.

By using ground shipping, or freight services, you can usually lower your shipping costs significantly. Shipping heavy items in this way may take longer but is more cost-effective.


The Cheapest Way to Ship Heavy Items

Cheapest way to ship heavy items

When you have heavy items to ship, shipping costs can quickly skyrocket. Shipping rates are almost always tied to the weight of the package, with heavier packages costing more to ship. In addition, surcharges begin for packages that weigh 150 lbs or more.  Processing heavy packages that weigh 70 lbs or more is challenging for carriers, resulting in higher costs.

The cheapest way to ship anything is to limit what you ship. That said, sometimes, especially in business, it's necessary to ship oversized items that weigh 70 lbs or more.


Surcharges when Shipping Large and Heavy Parcels

It's important to know what to expect when shipping a larger parcel. As a general rule, for shipments originating from the United States or U.S. territories, a fixed surcharge will apply for any piece or pallet that weighs more than 150 pounds or with any dimension (length, width, or height) exceeding 48 inches.

For shipments originating outside of the United States or a U.S. territory, a fixed surcharge will apply to any piece or pallet weighing more than 70 kilograms or measuring more than 120 centimeters.

Paying the surcharge is well worth the cost if fast delivery is required. There is not a guaranteed delivery time for overweight or oversize shipments on account of their special handling, but there is no quicker international service available than that offered by DHL. Their oversize and weight surcharges are the lowest in the industry. 


Pro Tips for Achieving the Cheapest Way to Ship an Oversized Package

Packing heavy items

Do you need a way to hack the cheapest way to ship a parcel? Use these pro tips

Go Small

Keep your boxes small and packaging light when possible to avoid additional charges and to avoid going over 150 pounds per piece or over 48 inches in length.

Split Up Your Parcel

If you can split your delivery into several different pieces that are smaller in size, you'll save yourself tons of money - and still be able to ship all of the packages together. 

Choose Ground Shipping

Opt for ground shipping, which is usually the cheapest way to ship, instead of air. Freight shipping is also cheaper.

Choose a Slower Delivery

Don't choose priority mail or express mail options. The longer you're willing to wait for delivery, the more discounted a rate you'll get.

With these tips, you'll achieve the cheapest way to ship large or oversized parcels.


Your Checklist for Shipping Heavy Items

Checklist for shipping heavy items

Achieve the lowest costs, fastest shipping times, and first-rate customer service by following this checklist for shipping heavy boxes.  This checklist will help you streamline your personal or business shipping to ensure the best delivery possible.


Use Proper Packaging

When shipping a heavy package, it's important to use high-quality packing materials that can withstand the weight. Purchase a new cardboard box and proper packaging material. For example, avoid using packing peanuts and use a roll of foam or one-piece packaging instead. This will better protect the contents of your package.


Measure Your Package

Carefully measure the length, width, and height of the box. You'll need these details when you ask for a shipping quote.


Weigh Your Package

Use a proper digital scale to determine the actual weight of your package. You'll need this information to be very accurate when you request shipping quotes from carriers.


Split Package Up When Possible

Using several boxes can help lower the cost of shipping, especially if you avoid surcharges due to oversized or high-weight items. It may be cheaper to ship several smaller boxes than one big parcel.


Choose Your Priorities

Decide whether you'd prefer speed or a low cost. To keep shipping costs down, opt for ground shipping. Although it may take longer, ground shipping is generally much cheaper. However, if cost isn't an issue for you and your delivery is time-sensitive, choose an express or priority option.


Get Several Quotes for Shipping Services

First, make sure you have the measurements (length, height, width) and exact weight of your parcel handy. Then, contact several parcel services to compare the cost of shipping your box or boxes. Once you have a few quotes, you can compare the shipping options. In addition to comparing costs, also remember to compare services.

For example, how quickly will your boxes arrive at their final destination? What do customers have to say about the carrier? Is the business reputable and experienced with shipping? Answering these questions about each business will help you compare them and decide who to work with.


Double Check the Address

Avoid shipping delays by ensuring the destination address is correct and clearly labeled.


The Bottom Line on Shipping Heavy Items

Whether you're shipping a package that weighs 50 lbs or 600 lbs, finding a parcel service that offers cost-effective shipping with reasonable fulfillment time is a must. Now, you know the steps to take to determine the best shipping option for your parcel.

Remember, play around with how you distribute your items, get a few shipping rates, and compare the various services offered. Then, choose the best carrier for your needs and give yourself a pat on the back as your parcel departs to its final destination!


Your Number One Choice in Shipping Large Packages

We are happy to help you determine your best shipment option and to help prepare your oversized shipments. We answer our phones promptly and are very eager to assist you! Contact us at 972-383-9901 or at customerservice@optimalship.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tips to Successfully Package Your Shipments HERE!