Shipping to Alaska can be a very expensive process, especially if you start getting up into the heavier packages. But there is always hope and due to so many options available to us it's definitely possible to save money when shipping to Alaska.
This applies to any package really, but even more so when the package will be traveling a long distance since the price will go up exponentially for every extra ounce. If you've read any of my other shipping tips articles you've probably heard me say this before and that's because it's so important. Be sure to use light packing material and never use newspaper or newsprint as it adds unnecessary weight. There's always the option of packing peanuts or bubble wrap, I've even heard of people filling zip-loc baggies with air and taping them shut. Anything you can use that will securely hold the package but add as little weight as possible is what you're looking for. Also be sure to tape the package up real well as it has a long trip ahead it if you're shipping to Alaska.
Ship in Advance
When shipping to a place as far away as Alaska you want to be sure that you ship well in advance of when the package needs to arrive. Shipping to Alaska can not only be susceptible to things like snow storms and other natural disasters but it's an extremely long drive and therefore time of delivery will vary widely. So if you want the cheapest shipping possible, be sure to know exactly when your package needs to arrive and ship it accordingly so you aren't stuck paying for overnight charges to a very expensive location.
Know Your Options
Another tip that applies to all shipping but is even more important when shipping to Alaska is to know all the options available to you. Each shipping company has a wide variety of different ways to ship a package and different add-ons you can pay for such as return receipt, delivery confirmation or insurance. Well with any package, regardless of destination it's always a good idea to consider insurance and whether or not the package is valuable enough to put insurance on it. However, I'm going to focus mainly on the different methods of shipping. The further away a destination is the more expensive it is going to be to ship there and consequentially you may have to choose slower methods of transport to save you money. Another method is to see if your item will fit in a USPS Flat Rate box which cost the same amount to any destination as long as it fits and is less than 20 pounds; plus it's being sent Priority Mail so it's going to get there faster. Flat Rate boxes and envelopes seem to be the cheapest and most time effective way when shipping to Alaska, but when the package is over 20 pounds you'll need to look to other options leading me to my next point.
Always Compare Rates
You've read this a thousand times if you've looked at my articles but that's because it is THE most important piece of advice I can give you. Different companies charge different prices for different destinations at different times of the year. There are far too many variables involved in getting a shipping quote to rely on one service to always be the cheapest. Different services having different coverage in certain areas can make a very large price difference when shipping to Alaska. Using services like Shipping Sidekick will help you compare rates side by side and determine which carrier will be the best for you for each individual package.
So even though shipping to Alaska is considered a domestic shipment you have to remember where it's located and that it is quite a long ways away which translates to higher shipping costs. So always be sure to make the package as light as possible, ship well in advance so you can use the best option for your specific situation and always compare the rates of the major competitors to guarantee you always get the best price.