Everyone knows that a good piano keyboard can be a fair bit expensive (although there are definitely some good inexpensive ones). You don’t want to damage such a valuable piece of equipment just because it wasn’t handled well enough during shipping. Here is everything you need to know about shipping a piano keyboard:
Table of Contents
- How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Piano Keyboard?
- What is the Cheapest Way to Ship a Piano Keyboard?
- What are the Shipping Policies of the Major Shipping Companies Regarding Piano Keyboards/Digital Pianos?
- What is the Best Way to Pack a Piano Keyboard for Shipping?
- Shipping the Package
- Video Tutorials on Packing Your Piano
- Other Packaging and Shipping Options
- Moving a Larger Instrument
- Moving an Acoustic Piano
- Wrapping Up
How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Piano Keyboard?
On average, the cost of shipping a keyboard is around USD5/mile for a distance of less than 100 miles. For distances up to a thousand miles, the rate is around USD1/ mile. The rate will depend on the size and dimensions of the package. The fee for declared value is extra.
What is the Cheapest Way to Ship a Piano Keyboard?
Different shipping companies have different shipping rates. The standard rate for shipping a keyboard piano through UPS for a 300 mile distance is around USD50-60. (Assuming a 26 lb. keyboard with dimensions 54″ x 13″ x 8″ – similar to the Yamaha P45B). Fedex rates are similar.
Most users find FedEx to be more reliable, along with providing affordable service. Apparently UPS has a 20-foot drop policy listed in their conditions, which is not great for a fragile keyboard.
If you have a heavy-weight instrument, it is better to use a freight service since your instrument may suffer damage through regular ground services like FedEx and UPS. Freight services are able to handle larger items with more care. If the packaged weight is more than 150 lb, then you will have to use a freight service. If you are moving an acoustic piano, see the section on piano moving below.
Keep in mind that businesses nearly always have reduced shipping rates compared to the published rates that a consumer pays. It costs the factory much less to ship the piano keyboard to you than the published prices. Additionally, it costs more to ship to a residence than to a business.
What are the Shipping Policies of the Major Shipping Companies Regarding Piano Keyboards/Digital Pianos?
The first step is to select the item you’re shipping (musical instrument), along with its dimensions and weight. UPS provides guidelines on the best way to pack your piano and label it. Make sure that your label has all the necessary info, such as the complete return address, full street address, postal code and the recipient’s phone number.
There are size and weight limitations when using ground services. To ship UPS ground, a package can weigh no more than 150 lb, and up to 108 inches long. Fedex rules are similar.
UPS does not have any policies prohibiting shipping any type of musical instruments on local and international flights.
FedEx has a maximum weight limit of around 150 lbs. Since most keyboards don’t hit triple digits in weight, you’re good to go. In fact, if you do have an unbelievably heavy piano, you can make use of their freight services that deliver items weighing 150lbs or more.
FedEx also requires you to loosen any strings in musical instruments to avoid stretching and damaging them. If you have a weighted keyboard with a spring or hammer system, ensure that it is packaged properly so that your instrument remains intact.
All major shipping companies provide packaging materials in case you’ve lost the original box. Simply provide the dimensions of your instrument with the weight and you’ll be given the packaging material needed, as well as your keyboard shipping box. The keyboard shipping box provided by your carrier is likely to be much more appropriate for shipping your keyboard than the retail box that came with it.
What is the Best Way to Pack a Piano Keyboard for Shipping?
Start off by placing bubble wrap under the keys of the keyboard. Use more bubble wrap to cover the keyboard (or synthesizer). Use plenty of bubble wrap (don’t worry about wasting too much) to ensure that nothing happens to your keyboard during the journey. Ideally, wrap the instrument twice for maximum safety.
You need to spend extra time and effort on wrapping the ends of the keys since they’re the most sensitive part of your keyboard and the most likely to suffer damage during shipping. One way to do this is to roll up strips of bubble wrap and then attaching them to the end of the keys to hold them in place.
It is important that the piano keyboard is packaged well. If there is damage during shipment, the carrier may not be liable if the piano wasn’t packaged properly.
Shipping the Package
In order to determine the cost of the shipment, you must include all the information about your packaged piano keyboard: the weight, height, length and width. You can even choose to add insurance to your shipment to ensure that you don’t have to deal with any losses if it gets damaged.
Report the dimensions accurately and round up to the nearest inch. Shipping companies regularly audit packages, and the dimensions and the shipping costs will be adjusted if they do not match what was stated at the time of shipment.
Once you pay the shipment charges, print the labels the shipping company provides and attach them to the package. Make sure none of the barcodes, addresses or other important info get covered. Then, either wait for the parcel to be picked up by the courier service or take it to a designated drop-off point.
Video Tutorials on Packing Your Piano
If you need a visual guide to help you pack your keyboard, you can check out the following videos:
How to Pack Your Instrument:
How to Ship Your Larger Piano Keyboard:
Other Packaging and Shipping Options
Of course, you could always take the piano to a shipping store, such as a Fedex store, a UPS store, or an independent shipping store. There will be an additional cost for the employees at the store to package the piano keyboard, but the stores will have all the packaging supplies on hand and will guarantee the soundness of the package. Some larger stores may even have a special piano keyboard shipping box.
Moving a Larger Instrument
If your instrument weighs over 150 lb, then you will need a freight service. The instrument will need to be packaged securely, preferably strapped to a pallet. Shipping via freight is challenging if you are not a business. Once option you can use is freightcenter.com for reasonable rates.
Moving an Acoustic Piano
If you are moving an acoustic piano, we suggest you contact piano moving companies, who specialize exclusively in moving pianos.
If you ever need to ship your piano, whether you’re moving to a new location or you’re sending it to someone you know, you need to be very careful. Keep an eye on a number of factors:
- Packing your instrument properly
- Applying all labels so that they won’t come off and are clearly visible (such as a fragile label, delivery address, etc.)
- Choosing the right courier service- one that is not too expensive, is known for its good service and lets you track your order until it is at its final destination.
Remember, shipping a keyboard will be somewhat expensive, but as long as you take the right measures, your instrument will reach its location unscathed. If you can, it might be more feasible to sell your instrument and buy a new one if you’re moving across the globe. The cost will be more or less the same, but without the added risk of damaging your piano during transit.