How to Ship Tires and Rims?

In the USA, UK, and other countries Shipping tires and wheels is a task that many find daunting, yet it’s essential in the automotive parts industry. Whether you’re a small business owner, an individual seller, or just looking to send a set of wheels to a friend or buyer, understanding the nuances of shipping these bulky items is crucial.

This comprehensive guide is tailored to demystify the process, ensuring your tires and wheels arrive at their destination safely and efficiently. Let’s dive into the art of shipping tires and wheels, exploring the best practices, packaging tips, and logistics considerations to ensure your shipment rolls smoothly to its destination.

How to Ship Tires and Rims? Cost Guide 2024

how to pack tires & Rims for shipping?

When it comes to shipping tires, whether you’re a tire retailer, an auto parts dealer, or an individual sending a set of wheels to a buyer or friend, the importance of proper packing cannot be overstated. Tires are unique in their size, shape, and material, making them a bit tricky to pack and ship.

However, with the right approach, you can ensure that your tires arrive at their destination in the same condition they left.

This detailed guide will walk you through the process of packing tires for shipping, combining industry insights with practical tips to make your shipping experience as smooth as the ride on those tires.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to pack tires effectively:

  1. Clean the Tires: Start by cleaning the tires to remove any dirt and debris. This is especially important if you are shipping used tires. A clean tire is not only more presentable but also allows you to inspect it thoroughly for any damage or wear.
  2. Inspect and Document: Check the tires for any damage. If you are shipping them for sale or return, it’s a good idea to take photos from different angles. This documentation can be useful if any disputes arise about the condition of the tires upon arrival.
  3. Tire Wrapping:
    • For tires without rims, you can usually ship them as is, without a box. Wrap each tire individually in stretch wrap, ensuring the entire surface is covered. This helps to keep the tire clean and protected.
    • If you are shipping tires with rims, more care is required. Use bubble wrap or foam sheets to cover the rim, especially the face and edges, which are prone to damage. Secure the wrapping with tape, but be careful not to tape directly onto the rim as it could damage the finish.
  4. Secure the Tires:
    • If shipping more than one tire, you can stack them and bind them together using strong shipping bands or additional stretch wrap. This keeps them stable during transit.
    • If the tires are being shipped with rims, consider placing each tire in a cardboard tire box or a specially designed tire shipping container. This provides extra protection for the rims.
  5. Boxing (If Necessary):
    • If you choose to box the tires, use sturdy boxes that can support the weight. The box should fit the tires snugly to prevent excessive movement.
    • Fill any voids in the box with packing materials like packing peanuts or crumpled paper to avoid shifting.
  6. Labeling and Shipping:
    • Attach the shipping label securely to the tire or box. If attaching directly to the tire, place it in a clear shipping pouch and adhere it to a flat area.
    • Choose a reliable shipping carrier experienced in handling tire shipments. Be aware of the size and weight limitations of the carrier, as tires can be bulky and heavy.
  7. Tracking and Insurance:
    • Always opt for tracking services for your shipment. This allows you and the recipient to monitor the tire’s journey.
    • Consider purchasing shipping insurance for added protection, especially if the tires are valuable.

How to Ship Tires Without Wheels?

To ship tires without wheels, follow these steps:

Cleaning: Clean the tires thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris.
Packaging: Lay each tire flat on a large sheet of cardboard. Wrap the tire in bubble wrap or shrink wrap to secure it. Use tape to hold the wrap in place. It’s advisable to band the tires together if shipping more than one.
Labeling: Attach the shipping label securely to a flat surface on the wrapped tire.
Shipping Service: Choose a shipping service like FedEx, UPS, or USPS. Prices and services vary, so select one that meets your budget and delivery timeframe.

How to Ship Tires With Wheels?

Shipping tires that are mounted on wheels requires a bit more care:

Inspection and Cleaning: Clean both the tires and wheels. Inspect for any damage.
Protective Wrapping: Cover the entire wheel and tire with bubble wrap, ensuring the wheel’s rims are well protected. Secure the wrapping with tape.
Boxing: If possible, place the wrapped wheel and tire in a sturdy shipping box. Fill any voids in the box to prevent movement.
Labeling and Shipping: Securely attach the shipping label. Ship via a carrier that specializes in bulky items.

See also: How to Ship to Amazon Fulfillment Center?

How to Ship Rims?

Shipping rims, especially those without tires, requires careful packing:

Cleaning and Inspection: Clean the rims and inspect for any damage.
Protective Materials: Wrap the rims in bubble wrap, especially covering any protruding parts like lug nut holes and the outer edge.
Boxing: Place the wrapped rim in a box that closely fits its size. Use packing materials to fill any empty spaces and prevent movement during transit.
Shipping: Choose a reliable carrier and consider purchasing insurance, especially for high-value rims.

How to Ship Tires and Rims? Cost Guide 2024

How to Ship Tires? Shipping Logistics

Choosing a Carrier

Select a carrier experienced in shipping bulky and heavy items like tires and wheels. Consider factors like cost, delivery time, and track record. Major carriers like UPS, FedEx, and DHL have specific guidelines and services for shipping such items.

Cost Considerations

The cost of shipping tires and wheels can vary based on factors like weight, dimensions, destination, and shipping speed. It’s often more economical to ship them individually rather than as a set. Be sure to compare rates from different carriers to find the best deal.

Tracking and Insurance

Always opt for tracking and insurance for your shipment. This not only gives you peace of mind but also protects you against the financial loss in case of damage or loss during transit.

International Shipping

If shipping internationally, be aware of customs regulations and potential import duties. Proper documentation is key to a smooth customs process.

How much does it cost to ship rims?

The cost of shipping tires and rims is influenced by several factors, including the package’s weight, destination zones, shipping method, and the time of year. Here’s a detailed breakdown and a table illustrating the cost variations:

Factors Influencing Shipping Costs

  1. Weight of Package: The average weight of a package containing tires with rims is around 50 pounds. However, this can vary based on the tire size and the materials used in the wheel and rims.
  2. Destination Zones: Shipping costs depend on the destination. For example, shipping within the same region (Zone 2) will be cheaper compared to shipping across the country (Zone 8).
  3. Shipping Services: The choice of carrier and service type (e.g., ground or express services) impacts the cost. UPS and FedEx ground services are commonly used due to their reliability and cost-effectiveness.
  4. Dimensional Weight Pricing: Generally, wheels and tires packaged together don’t fall under dimensional weight pricing, which is a relief as this can significantly increase costs. However, weight limits can be a factor for express shipping options.
  5. Surcharges for Heavy Packages: Carriers like UPS Express and FedEx Express and Ground have specific weight limits and add surcharges for packages exceeding those limits. For instance, a package over 50 pounds might incur a surcharge of up to $36.
  6. Seasonal Variations: During peak shipping seasons, such as the holiday period, carriers may impose size and weight surcharges. Shipping outside these peak times can result in cost savings.

for Shipping Tires and Rims

Shipping ZoneApproximate Cost with UPS/FedEx Ground
Zone 2 (Local)Around $21
Zone 8 (Cross Country)Up to $62
Over 50 pounds (Surcharge)Up to $36 additional

Pro Tips for Cost-Effective Shipping

  • Timing: Ship your tires and rims outside the peak holiday season (before October or after mid-January) to avoid additional surcharges.
  • Carrier Comparison: Compare rates between carriers like UPS and FedEx, and consider ground services for better rates on heavy packages.
  • Package Weight: Keep the package weight under the carrier’s limit for express services to avoid surcharges. If the package is slightly over 50 pounds, redistributing the weight or shipping tires separately could be more economical.

Tires and Rims Shipping Cost By Shipping Companies

Below is an overview of how the cost can differ among some popular shipping companies:

1. FedEx tire shipping cost

  • FedEx is known for its reliable shipping services and offers options like Ground and Express for shipping tires and rims.
  • Cost Estimation: The cost for shipping tires and rims with FedEx typically starts from around $30 for Ground services for local shipping. This cost can increase for longer distances and expedited services. Additional weight surcharges apply for packages over 50 pounds.

2. UPS tire shipping cost

  • UPS offers similar services to FedEx, with Ground and Air options available for shipping tires and rims.
  • Cost Estimation: UPS Ground services may start at approximately $25 for local shipments, with prices increasing for cross-country shipping. Like FedEx, UPS charges extra for heavier packages, and expedited services are more expensive.

3. USPS tire shipping cost

  • The United States Postal Service (USPS) is often a more economical choice, particularly for smaller and lighter packages.
  • Cost Estimation: Shipping costs with USPS can start as low as $20 for local shipments, but may not be the best option for heavier items like tires and rims unless they are relatively light and small.

4. DHL tire shipping cost

  • DHL is another global shipping provider that caters to both domestic and international shipments.
  • Cost Estimation: DHL’s pricing can be competitive, particularly for international shipping. Domestic shipping costs for tires and rims can start from around $35 and upward, depending on distance and service speed.


Can I ship rims and tires?

Yes, you can ship both rims and tires. Most shipping companies like FedEx, UPS, and USPS handle such shipments. Ensure they are properly packed to prevent damage during transit.

What’s the cheapest way to ship tires?

The cheapest way often involves ground shipping services from carriers like USPS, UPS, or FedEx. Compare rates, as costs can vary based on the tire’s size and weight and the shipping distance.

How much does it cost to ship a set of rims?

The cost to ship a set of rims varies, starting from around $30-$60 per rim for domestic shipping, depending on size, weight, and distance. International shipping will be more expensive.

How do you transport tires and wheels?

Tires can be transported as is, secured with strong straps or shrink wrap. For wheels (rims with tires), use bubble wrap or foam sheets to protect the rims, and place them in a sturdy box with packing materials to prevent movement.

Can I ship tires through FedEx?

Yes, FedEx offers services for shipping tires. They provide options for both ground and expedited shipping. Remember to pack the tires properly and check for any additional surcharges based on weight.

How much is shipping for tires?

Shipping costs for tires can range from about $20 to $50 per tire for domestic ground shipping, varying with distance and carrier. Costs can be higher for expedited shipping or heavier tires.

What is the best way to transport tires?

The best way to transport tires is to clean them, secure them with bands or shrink wrap, and choose a reliable ground shipping service. For extra protection, especially for long distances, consider boxing them.

How do you wrap rims for shipping?

Wrap rims in bubble wrap, ensuring all edges and faces are protected. Secure the wrap with tape. For added safety, place each rim in an individual box with packing materials to fill empty spaces and prevent movement.


Shipping tires and wheels needn’t be a complicated process. With the right preparation, packaging, and carrier choice, you can ensure that your shipment arrives safely and on time. Always stay informed about the latest shipping regulations and practices to maintain a high standard of shipping efficiency.

Whether it’s for business or personal purposes, mastering the art of shipping these automotive essentials is a valuable skill in today’s interconnected world.