Think Big: How to Ship Large and Heavy Items with DHL

Discover Content Team
5 min read
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If you run an e-commerce business, you know that fast, reliable transport is essential to success. Shipping small items is typically straightforward, but if you distribute large or heavy items, it can be trickier, especially when you’re serving customers around the world.


Freight forwarding services are generally seen as the popular solution for large and/or heavy shipments, but that approach comes with two significant concerns.

Maritime transport challenges. Approximately 90% of global trade is moved via ocean, with maritime trade volumes set to triple by 20501. That high demand paired with supply chain disruptions due to international conflicts and the COVID-19 pandemic can create delays and complications, including the loss of cargo at sea2.

Escalating/fluctuating costs. As demand increases, the skilled workforce dwindles, fuel expenses rise, and environmental regulations tighten, the cost of traditional freight movement becomes unstable. For small business owners who don’t have much wiggle room in their operating budget, this poses a big challenge, particularly at a time when e-commerce volumes have never been greater.


Maybe you already use DHL to ship smaller items, but did you know you can also send larger, heavier shipments via our Express shipping services?

The benefits of using DHL vs. a freight forwarding service include:

Stability. Since DHL Express exclusively utilizes its own dedicated air network rather than sea transport, it’s more resilient against some of the market disruptions currently impacting freight forwarding services, making it a more reliable option for getting your orders from A to B without any delays.

Speed. With Time Definite Express Delivery, you can be confident your shipments – even the biggest ones - will arrive on time and intact.

Affordability. DHL offers a stable, transparent, pricing structure. This means you don’t have to worry about unexpected additional costs further down the line, which is something you need to consider with traditional freight forwarding services.

Customs expertise. DHL Express has extensive worldwide customs knowledge and experience. We know that a smooth, efficient customs clearance process is key to on time delivery, which is why we include this service in your standard shipping price.

End-to-end visibility. You and your customer will be able to track your shipment in real time and request notifications of its progress with On Demand Delivery. That means peace of mind and fewer inquiries about shipment status!

Customer Service. Our highly qualified Certified International Specialists are here to oversee every step of your shipment. We’ll help find solutions to your shipping challenges, whatever they may be.


Let’s unpack the details! While DHL can accommodate most shipping needs, there are a few limitations for standard bookings. Click the button below for more information on maximum weight and dimensions.

If your shipment exceeds these limitations, we may still be able to help, but special arrangements will need to be made.

To learn best practices for packing large items, including palletized shipments, download our helpful Large & Palletized Packing Guide.


If you’re a current DHL customer but new to shipping large or heavy items with us, learn more about the services we offer here or ship now with a credit card.

Completely new to DHL Express? No problem! Simply request a business account today.