Why pay hundreds of dollars to ship a box when you can do so at a fraction of the cost?
I’m poor, and I’m cheap, but I’m also resourceful. In this article, we will provide a comparison for shipping under a Greyhound bus, versus the common big shipping carriers.
A few years ago when I was moving cross country in my beat-up old Toyota Corolla, I was running out of room in the car and also wanted to keep the weight down, as to not strain the old beater. There were several items I had which I knew I wasn’t going to ship (and likely would never ship) such as my laptop, desktop computer, necessary medications, favorite clothes, important documents, and other such things. Then there were things that were pretty replaceable like: pots, pans, miscellaneous kitchen items, DVDs, common books, and stuff like that.
With the space and weight considerations in mind, I decided that I would look into shipping some boxes of items from the second list. My first inclination was to look into the usuals: FedEx, UPS and USPS. I went on each of those places’ respective websites and used their calculators for my roughly 40-50 pound boxes. What I found was that the prices were way more than I expected and way more than I could afford.
Still needing a solution, I began searching for alternatives and one of those was a third-party shipper who sold space under Greyhound buses. The prices to ship with Greyhound were a fraction of what the other places charged.
How does Greyhound do this?
Well, your guess is as good as mine. Here at Unruly Stowaway where we are shitty investigative journalists, we guess and make assumptions when we feel something is obvious.
Greyhound buses are big, and generally they have a ton of luggage space underneath them. Most people when traveling on them do not bring with them more than they can reasonably carry, so there ends up being a lot of unused cargo space.
I’d bet money they could get that in there…
For this comparison example we will be using an apples to apples, coast to coast example: zip code 10001 in Manhattan, New York, shipping to zip code 90001 in Los Angeles. The box will be 50 pounds with dimensions of 30 x 30 x 30, and $100 in declared value.
This first photo shows the shipping information that was input:
This next photo shows the prices:
Even at the cheapest rate shipping this box through FedEx will cost almost $400.00.
USPS (United States Postal Service)
Our next try is with the gov:
USPS won’t even ship a box with dimensions of 30 x 30 x 30. With that being the case I changed the numbers to 24 x 24 x 24:
The cheapest USPS price to ship this box is just about $200.
Up next is good old UPS. Just like with FedEx, expedited shipping is about $1500.00. UPS’s rate page was rather large, so below is a shot of the lower cost rates from the chart:
With UPS the price is about tree-fiddy. Relatively comparable to FedEx, but still pretty expensive.
Greyhound Third-Party Shipping Service
Here is our apples to apples comparison:
And here is our results for Bus Freighter:
In our little experiment, Bus Freighter, the third-party shipper for Greyhound, comes out way ahead of the big guys.
Greyhound Package Express
Don’t feel comfortable using a third-party shipper?
Greyhound Express is only a few bucks more than the third-party shipper, but way less than FedEx, UPS, and USPS.
And Now, Why Not…
At the beginning of this article we asked, why would you pay more when you could ship with Greyhound? One reason you may not want to ship with Greyhound is time. Shipping packages is not Greyhound’s main business, and your packages may be routed on several busses to get to you. Our New York to L.A. estimate is about two weeks. All the other shippers promise three to four days for their cheapest options.
The other reason you may not want to go with Greyhound shipping is the poor reviews. Granted, many people only leave reviews when something bad happens so much more often than not we bet everything turns out fine, but the reviews should be noted. Most of the poor reviews cite lost packages, but that is why you should probably not trust this shipping method with your irreplaceables. In my one experience shipping under a bus it was great. My packages came when they were supposed to, and nothing was lost.
While this shouldn’t be your go-to for every situation, it is definitely a tool worth knowing about.
If you would like to look more into Busfreighter click here.
If you would like to look more into Greyhound Package Express click here.
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