How to Ship 5 Gallon Buckets: Everything You Have to Know When Not Sure

How to ship 5 gallon buckets is a challenge because, given its voluminous profile, packaging can be difficult. Packing it by the book is essential – cardboard, tape, and cushioning. You can also reduce shipping costs should you print your labels.

Classic 5 gallon buckets have plenty of uses. If you want to learn how to ship 5 gallon buckets, you will most likely run a business.

Random people are less likely to ask friends to ship 5 gallon buckets over because you can find such things in most local stores.

However, there are plenty of considerations to keep in mind before contacting a courier. This guide will give you all the required details.

Table of Contents

What You Need to Prepare

  • The 5 gallon bucket you want to ship – or more
  • Cardboard box big enough to take the product, but without leaving too much room
  • Tape to secure the buckets if you send more than one, but also to seal the box
  • Packing peanuts to prevent the bucket from moving around the box
  • Old newspaper for extra cushioning
  • Shipping labels
  • Money for the shipping costs

How to Pack 5 Gallon Buckets

What You Need to Do

Prepare the Bucket Before Packing

Not too much preparation is involved if you only ship one 5 gallon bucket.

Get the handle stuck on one side, on the inside.

Keep it down and in place with a bit of tape. You do not want it moving around during transportation.
Sending more buckets?

Put them one inside the other.

Again, you may need to stick handles in place.

Also, run some tape around the buckets to ensure they stick together.

Run tape around the whole setup a few times – nothing more.

Get a Box in the Correct Size

Measure the size of the setup.

A single 5 gallon bucket varies in size based on the manufacturer.

Most buckets will be about 12 to 15 inches in height and about 10 to 12 inches in diameter.

Whether you send one or more buckets, measure everything first.
The box should be large enough to accommodate the setup or bucket and tight enough to avoid waste.

Unsurprisingly, since the shape is not very common, many people choose to design boxes themselves in the perfect size.

Prepare the Packaging

Put plenty of packing peanuts at the bottom of the box.

Mix in some old newspaper; you do not want the bucket to move freely in the box.

Put the bucket in, but ensure it is not sitting directly on the box.
Add more newspaper and packing peanuts around the box and on top before sealing the box.

Close the box and shake it a little for packing peanuts to sit better. Open it and put some more.

Finally, you can seal the box with some tape.
Write fragile on it.

It is not guaranteed that courier workers will be more careful with it, but play it safe, just in case.

While you could normally send buckets covered in nothing but wrap, a box will keep it in better condition, but it will also be cheaper.

Get the Shipping Labels

Finally, get a shipping label for your package and choose a courier for the operation.

Most couriers will give you quotes based on the size and weight – the weight is your priority in the process.

Luckily, such buckets are not too heavy.

How Much Does it Cost to 5 Gallon Buckets?

Shipping costs for a large bucket vary between $40 and can easily exceed $80.

Costs are quite high compared to other items because most couriers have high rates for voluminous items.

Typically, they charge per weight.

A 5 gallon bucket is not super heavy, but its voluminous profile brings in extra fees, and the bad news is most couriers dislike large items, hence the additional charges.

Rates vary from one courier to another. Since a bucket is also difficult to store due to its shape, most couriers recommend putting it in a box.

Now, if you run a business and you ship such buckets regularly, it might pay off trying to get a deal with a courier for regular shipping, mainly if your business is mostly based on buckets.

Otherwise, most buyers will find it a bit expensive.

The Cheapest Way to Ship 5 Gallon Buckets

You can look around for the best quotes, but chances are USPS offers the best rates for shipping buckets.

Compared to some couriers, USPS can charge two times less. It is because the threshold for USPS shipping is higher than for other couriers.

Now, apart from the shipping rate, USPS will also charge you for the shipping labels.

Here comes the good news – you do not necessarily need shipping labels from USPS. Instead, you can use third-party software and print your labels.

There are more options out there, with Pirate Ship being one of the most reputable pieces of software. Weigh your parcel and print the label, stick it on, reach USPS, and drop it off.

Pirate Ship allows printing your shipping labels for free.

If you find the shipping costs for 5 gallon buckets a bit too high, the good news is that printing your labels will save you some money.

Indeed, you will need your scale to weigh parcels, but if you run a business, it makes a good side investment.

Final Thoughts

In a short conclusion, figuring out how to ship 5 gallon buckets can raise some question marks.

Most people know that couriers tend to charge based on weight, but they fail to understand that voluminous parcels add to the fees and extra expenses.

With these thoughts in mind, despite being lightweight, 5 gallon buckets tend to take up a lot of space, so they usually incur more fees.

There are ways to reduce the costs, but overall, do not expect this shipment to go cheap.

Most people will have an unpleasant surprise, but prices could be kept low with a few tricks. If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with others in the same situation.