Inexpensive way to ship boxes cross country?
November 10, 2005 8:14 AM   Subscribe

I have a bunch of boxes I need to ship to my brother-in-law in Virginia and I want to do it as cost-effective as possible. I need advice on cost and methods. Details inside...

We have a bunch of my brother-in-law's items stored in our garage in Colorado that we want to be rid of, so we want to ship it to him in Virginia. The items are papers, books, and other personal items currently in cardboard boxes. We probably have 15-20 boxes.

The items don't have to get there overnight or even this week, so I was thinking of shipping the stuff as "cargo". Some of the research I've done talks about Less Than Load shipping, but it's targeted to businesses. Is there a company that can drop a container box off at our house, let us load it with the smaller boxes, then pick it up and send it on its way? Or are there other options?
posted by jazon to Travel & Transportation around Virginia (6 answers total)
PUt all the books and papers together in the same boxes and sent them using USPS media mail.
posted by duck at 8:28 AM on November 10, 2005

You can get a pod The smaller box might be too big... I have no idea how much it might cost, surely not outlandish, but he's guaranteed they'll all arrive together.
posted by AllesKlar at 9:37 AM on November 10, 2005

There are certainly moving companies that will drop off a container, leave it for loading and then pick it up and move it, but I'm not sure that it would be suitable in your case. I'm using U Pack to move the things in my small apartment from Virginia to Florida, but the door to door move in a small container (6'x 7'x 8') is going to cost about $850 (hundreds less than the quote I received from PODS). They also do terminal to terminal moving, where you would get the boxes to a local U Pack facility, and they would deliver it to a facility in Virginia, where your brother-in-law could pick them up - that service runs a few hundred less than door to door.

You might want to price out the USPS and compare it to what you'd pay a container moving company. Good luck!
posted by mewithoutyou at 9:42 AM on November 10, 2005

When friends of mine moved from Arizona to NY, they used Greyhound shipping, (as in the bus company), they said it was much cheaper than anything else. Looking at their site,, it seems to be about $1 per pound. I assume though that it isnt door to door, but greyhound terminal to greyhound terminal.
posted by Boobus Tuber at 10:03 AM on November 10, 2005 [1 favorite]

Media mail is obnoxiously cheap. I'm sure in the long run we run up higher pension costs for mail carriers with it but you can't beat 70lb for $23. Pack judiciously, however - it's gonna get the gorilla treatment.

I used it to move a LOT of professional manuals and texts when I came to VA from Miami.
posted by phearlez at 10:55 AM on November 10, 2005

I think I'll look into Media Mail and see if we can repack the stuff down tighter and get it out. Thanks y'all!
posted by jazon at 12:23 PM on November 10, 2005

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