It may seem straightforward, but the process of shipping clothes involves several considerations to ensure your items arrive safely, on time, and without incurring unnecessary costs.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the best practices for packing and shipping clothes, compare the costs of different shipping methods, and answer frequently asked questions.


Table of Contents


Why People Ship Clothes

People ship clothes for various reasons:

  • Personal moves, when they need to transport a large amount of clothing to a new home or to college.
  • Retailers sending clothing items to customers, often packed into small envelopes or boxes.
  • Businesses dispatching large quantities of clothing to distribution centers or other points in their network.


Factors to Consider when Shipping Clothes

Before shipping your clothes, you should consider the following factors:

  • Quantity of items: The number of clothes significantly influences packing methods and shipping costs. For single items or small quantities, padded envelopes suffice. For larger quantities, you might need one large or several smaller boxes.
  • Type of clothes: Everyday clothes can be packed in boxes or envelopes. However, delicate items such as wedding dresses require special care and should be shipped in boxes. Hanging items or high-end clothing might be better-suited to a wardrobe box, but be aware these boxes are considered oversized and may be expensive to ship with parcel services.
  • Packing method: Since clothing generally lacks sharp edges and isn’t fragile, breakage isn’t a major concern. However, moisture can damage clothes, so sealing them in plastic bags is recommended. Always choose a correctly sized box or envelope to avoid overpacking.
  • Packing materials: Boxes are suitable for large quantities going to the same destination, while envelopes are ideal for single, small pieces. Use quality packing tape and avoid unnecessary cushioning to keep shipping costs low.
  • Package weight: Some clothes are heavier than others. Your boxes might end up being heavier than you expected, so try to use smaller boxes where possible to avoid exceeding weight limits and incurring high shipping costs.
  • Unboxing experience: If you’re a business shipping clothes to customers, a neat and appealing presentation can help retain customers. Always fold items neatly and pack them into plastic bags before placing them in your packing material.
  • Delicate items: Clothes made from delicate materials like leather, fur, silk, cashmere, chiffon, and lace should be shipped with extra care. Make sure they are properly sealed to prevent insects from infiltrating.


Packing Clothes for Shipping

Packing your clothes properly ensures they arrive safely and in good condition. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Choose the correct box size: The length of a box is critical for efficient packing. A 30 x 30 cardboard box, for instance, is a common choice for packing clothes.
  • Use the right packing materials: Depending on the type and quantity of clothes, you might need different packing materials. For instance, a cardboard crate box is suitable for bulk shipping, while a poly bag for packing is perfect for individual items.
  • Tape the box securely: Use brown paper tape for boxes to secure your package. This ensures the box stays closed during transit.
  • Label the box: If you’re shipping multiple boxes, labeling them can help with organization. You can use a printer for boxes for this purpose.
  • Protect delicate items: For delicate clothes, such as wedding dresses or fur coats, consider using a corrugated cardboard box for added protection.


Shipping Cost Analysis

The cost of shipping clothes depends on several factors, including the number of items, speed of delivery, and distance covered. We’ll compare the costs of three common shipping methods: USPS, parcel shipping, and consolidated freight.



USPS offers various options for shipping clothes, including First Class Mail for packages up to 13 ounces, Priority Mail flat rate shipping, and variable pricing for time-sensitive shipments.

For single items weighing 13 ounces or less, First Class Mail is the cheapest option, starting at $3.80. For heavier packages, Priority Mail flat rate shipping is the most cost-effective. The cost depends on the size of the box, and it doesn’t consider package weight or distance.

Variable pricing rates depend on the shipment size and weight, distance travelled, and are generally higher than Priority Mail flat rates. This plan is suitable for time-sensitive or overnight deliveries.


Parcel Shipping (UPS or FedEx)

Major parcel shippers like UPS and FedEx offer both flat rate and variable pricing options. If you’re shipping several boxes and don’t need them to arrive quickly, flat rate shipping is typically much cheaper. If you need fast or overnight delivery, variable pricing is your best option.

UPS and FedEx both offer flat rate shipping. Here’s a comparison:


Box size UPS (starting at)* FedEx*
Extra Small $9.45 Not available
Small $12.40 $12.05-$166.55
Medium $14.95 $15.70-$181.70
Large $19.60 $24.20-$201.45
Extra Large $24.30 $39.10-$259.95


With variable pricing, shipping costs depend on the size and weight of the boxes, as well as the speed and distance of travel. Additional charges may apply for residential deliveries.

Consolidated Freight (TheBoxery)

TheBoxery provides both flat rate and variable pricing for shipping clothes. With their flat rate box-and-ship service, you can ship up to 15 boxes anywhere in the continental United States for a flat rate per box. The boxes measure 18″ x 14″ x 12″ and should not exceed 40 lbs when packed.

Variable pricing is available for shipments of more than 15 boxes qualifying for less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping. The cost depends on the weight of the shipment and the distance of travel.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is the best way to ship clothes?

The best way to ship clothes depends on the quantity, type, and urgency of your shipment.

  • For single items, plastic mailers or envelopes are ideal.
  • For small quantities of small or medium-sized boxes, flat rate shipping from USPS, UPS, FedEx, or TheBoxery is the cheapest option.
  • For larger shipments, like an entire wardrobe or wardrobe boxes, consolidated freight from TheBoxery is the most cost-effective choice.


How much does it cost to ship boxes of clothes?

The cost depends on the shipping method, size and weight of the package, and how quickly you need it to arrive. Here’s a rough estimate for 2022:

  • USPS flat rate: $9.45-$21.50
  • USPS variable pricing: Approximately $75.20-$381.75 per box
  • UPS or FedEx flat rate: $9.45-$259.95
  • UPS or FedEx variable pricing: $52.90-$642.18 per box
  • TheBoxery flat rate: Starting at $570 for up to 5 large boxes
  • TheBoxery variable pricing: $356-$445 for up to 3 boxes weighing 50 lbs each ($119-$149 per box)


What is the cheapest way to ship boxes of clothes?

Flat rate shipping is typically the cheapest option as it doesn’t consider box weight or distance. USPS, UPS, FedEx, and TheBoxery all offer flat rate shipping. For large or heavy shipments, consolidated freight from TheBoxery is the most cost-effective choice.


How should I package clothes for shipping?

The ideal packaging method depends on what you’re shipping. For single items, use plastic envelopes. For multiple items, use boxes. Always fold the clothes neatly, place them in a plastic bag to protect against moisture, and secure the box with high-quality tape.


What’s the cheapest way to ship clothes to college?

Flat rate shipping is likely the cheapest option for shipping a large quantity of clothes to college. Many flat rate shipping services, including TheBoxery, don’t consider distance in their shipping costs.


Can I ship clothes in a suitcase?

No, it’s not recommended to ship clothes in a suitcase. The handles and wheels can cause issues during transit, and the suitcase could split open if overfilled. Instead, pack your clothes in a suitcase, then place the suitcase in a box for shipping.


Shipping Clothes with TheBoxery

Are you ready to ship your clothes? TheBoxery offers a variety of packaging and shipping solutions. With their easy-to-use service, your clothes are safer in transit.

TheBoxery offers a range of box sizes to suit your needs, from small 24x6x6 boxes to large 30 x 30 cardboard boxes. Depending on the quantity and type of clothes, you can choose from padded envelopes, cardboard boxes, poly bags for packing, and more.

Remember to secure your boxes with brown paper tape and label them correctly with a printer. If you’re shipping delicate items, use a corrugated cardboard box for added protection.

For businesses shipping large quantities of clothes, TheBoxery offers wholesale reclosable plastic bags and poly bubble mailers. These packaging solutions ensure your products reach their destination safely.


COVID-19 Precautions

TheBoxery is closely monitoring all shipments nationwide. They’ve seen minimal delays so far and are in regular contact with industry leaders to remain proactive. All logistics chain members are following the safety precautions recommended by the C.D.C..

Remember to:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Maintain social distancing.
  • Stay home if you’re feeling unwell.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.


In conclusion, shipping clothes involves careful consideration of several factors, including packing methods, shipping methods, and costs. By understanding these aspects, you can ensure your clothes arrive safely, on time, and without unnecessary expenses.