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How to Ship Tires and Rims

Geoff Whiting

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Shipping a tire, with or without the wheel or rims, isn’t hard if you have good instructions. Knowing how to ship tires and rims will help you get your items to their destination without damage and understand the shipping costs beforehand. Here’s a guide to how to ship rims and tires.

how to ship tires and rims

How to ship tires without wheels

Shipping a tire without a wheel or rims can be very simple. For example, FedEx requires no packaging; just put a tire label on the surface that meets the road and hand it over to FedEx.

You can ship tires with more packaging and protection by boxing them or wrapping them securely with plastic wrap. If you’re sending more than one tire to the same destination, run the numbers to find out if boxing them together will save you money over labeling each tire individually.

How to ship tires with wheels

Shipping a tire with the rims and wheel attached is a little more complex. You can ship with or without a box, but you must pack it carefully to protect the wheel and rims during shipping.

How to pack tires with rims for shipping:

How to ship rims
  • Place your tire on a large piece of cardboard and trace the outline. Use a round piece of cardboard for each side to prevent scratches on the wheel and during shipping.
  • You might want to add a foam layer under the cardboard for extra protection.
  • Tape the cardboard (and foam) to the tire.

Final steps if you’re shipping a tire in a box:

  • Place the tire in the box. 
  • Add infill around the edges to protect the tire and ensure it doesn’t move around during transit.
  • Tape the box securely and add your shipping label.

Final steps to ship tires without a box:

  • If you want even more protection, wrap your tire and wheel in bubble wrap.
  • Shrink-wrap the whole package. Be sure to tape down any loose tails of the shrink wrap. 
  • Place the label on the flat side of the wheel.

Pro tip: Inflating the tires on your car is an excellent way to avoid getting a flat. When you send a tire, the opposite is true. Deflate the tire slightly to reduce the chance of the tire getting damaged in transit.

How to ship rims

You can ship wheels and rims with or without a box. If you’re not using a box, the process is very similar to shipping tires and rims together: Protect the wheel with cardboard on both sides, shrink-wrap it, and secure it with tape (lots of tape!). Then place the label on the flat side.

If you’re shipping wheels and rims in a box, add infill to protect any finishes that can get scratched. A best practice is to cover the surfaces with bubble wrap or foam. Fill all the empty spaces in your box with infill so that the wheel sits snugly in the box. Remember, movement during shipping can cause damage.

Pro tip: If the rims are expensive or made of material that’s easily scratched, ship them in a box. The extra protection will ensure that the rims arrive in mint condition.

Cost to ship tires and rims

When you ship tires with wheels, the package will weigh somewhere around 50 pounds. Expect variation depending on the size of the tire and the construction and materials of the wheel and rims. 

Costs will also depend on how far you send the rims and tires. Prices can range from around $21 for Zone 2 to about $62 for Zone 8, using UPS or FedEx ground services. 

If you package wheels and tires together, this package won’t fall under dimensional weight pricing. However, you may come up against weight limits if you need to ship a tire quickly. For instance, UPS Express doesn’t handle packages over 50 pounds, and FedEx Express and Ground add a surcharge of up to $36 for a package weighing over 50 pounds.

Pro tip: Size and weight surcharges increase during the peak holiday shipping season. If you can, send tires and rims before October or after mid-January.

delivery truck

Best delivery options for shipping automotive tires

USPS rates for shipping a heavy package such as a tire or rims are higher, so a carrier like UPS or FedEx is optimal for how to ship tires. Consider DHL and, for how to ship tires short distances, local delivery companies.

If you need to ship multiple tires or larger tires and rims (such as for a truck or tractor), LTL freight may be a better option than a standard carrier. You can palletize shipments of multiple tires for secure shipping and easy loading and unloading, though rims and wheels still need extra protection during freight shipping.

Tire Shipping FAQ

How Much Does It Cost To Ship Wheels And Tires?

Some estimates are that it costs $50 to ship each wheel / tire, if in total the wheel (the inner metal part) and tire (the rubber outer part) weigh 50lb, but to get an accurate estimate, it’s advisable to check FedEx or UPS’s online calculators for a shipping quote estimate. 

In general, to ship wheels and tires, prices may range from $21 for Zone 2 to around $62 in Zone 8, using UPS or FedEx ground shipping services. It’s important to note that if you package the wheels and tires together, the package will not fall under dimensional weight pricing. This means you may run into weight limits if you need to ship a tire quickly. For example, UPS Express doesn’t handle packages over 50 pounds, and FedEx Express and Ground add a surcharge of up to $36 for a package weighing over 50 pounds.

How To Ship Wheels And Tires?

To know how to ship wheels and tires, first you’ll need to know whether you are sending tires without wheels (the inner metal part). If so, then shipping a tire without a wheel or rims is fairly straightforward and easy. For example, FedEx requires no packaging; just put a tire label on the surface that meets the road and hand it over to FedEx. You can always add protection by wrapping the tires you want to ship with plastic wrap. 

If you are shipping tires with wheels, then you can ship them with or without a box, but you must pack everything carefully to protect the wheel and rims during shipping (see the above section on packing tires with wheels (rims) for shipping). 

If you are just shipping the wheels / rims (the metal part without the outer rubber tire) then you can do it with or without a box. The easiest way to ship a wheel is without the box, but in this case you’ll still want to protect the wheel with cardboard on both sides, as well as shrink-wrapping it. Place the label on the flat side. For more expensive wheels / rims, make sure to ship them in a box. 

warehouse picker fulfilling oversized product order

Third-party fulfillment for tires and rims

If you’re wondering how to ship rims and tires on a larger scale, your best bet is a 3PL that understands how to ship heavy and bulky products, like Red Stag Fulfillment. We offer award-winning fulfillment, including safely packing and shipping heavy and high-value products like tires, rims, and other automotive parts. Visit our tire fulfillment guide for more information on order fulfillment for tires.

For help with eCommerce fulfillment for automotive tires and rims, Red Stag Fulfillment’s commitment to accuracy and speed will put your business in the fast lane.

Discover the Red Stag Fulfillment  eCommerce shipping difference!

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A team of fulfillment fanatics who care about our clients’ businesses like their own. We see things from our customers’ perspective, and have the guarantees to prove it.

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