There are several important guidelines to follow when shipping remains

How to Ship Cremated Remains

Losing a loved one is an emotional journey that requires careful consideration, even when it comes to shipping remains. There are several guidelines for how to ship cremated remains involving packaging, container type, cushioning material, and labeling. Whether you are shipping urns to a family member or entrusting remains to artisans like Foreverence for custom memorial creation, these guidelines are important to keep in mind.

General Guidelines

The United States Postal Service (USPS) offers the only legal services for shipping remains domestically and internationally. It’s important to follow their guidelines on how to ship cremated remains to ensure a seamless and respectful journey.


Packaging plays a crucial role in protecting the sanctity of cremated remains during transit. The packaging process involves three key components: a primary inner sift-proof container, cushioning material, and an outer shipping package. Remember that a sift-proof container prevents any leakage of the remains.

It’s important to use ample cushioning material to stabilize the inner container, no matter how far your package is traveling. This cushioning prevents shifting during transit and absorbs shock that could lead to breakage when shipping urns. Options for cushioning material include bubble wrap, foam peanuts, or air pillows. Remember to make sure that there is enough room to secure the top, bottom, and sides for ideal protection.

The outer shipping package should be strong and sturdy. The USPS offers packaging options for the Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail Express International services. In fact, there is a Priority Mail Express Cremated Remains box designed for this purpose. You can order this box online or pick it up at your local post office. If you are not using USPS-produced packaging, make sure your alternative is solid and stable enough to ensure a successful journey.

The USPS provides Cremated Remains boxes to use with their Priority Mail Express service

An important thing you need to know about how to ship cremated remains – before sealing the shipping package, be sure to include a slip of paper with the sender and recipient’s address and contact details. This extra step ensures clarity in case the shipping label becomes detached. 


Making sure that packages containing cremated remains are visible is very important. The outer shipping box—whether it’s USPS-produced or an alternative—should have Label 139, Cremated Remains, on all sides (including top and bottom). Label 139 can be found at your local post office or can be ordered through the USPS website.

Supply Kits

The USPS has introduced two shipping kits that are available for purchase on their website. The first option includes a USPS Cremated Remains Box and a small roll of Priority mail Express tape. The second includes those two items, in addition to a self-sealing plastic bag, a roll of bubble cushioning, and a How to Package and Ship Cremated Remains Guide.


The pricing options for shipping urns cremated remains are limited since the only means is through the USPS. Typically, the cost is between $25 and $30 for a domestic address, depending on the weight. You can also add on a return receipt, insurance, or a required signature for an additional cost. The primary benefit of Priority Mail Express, however, is that the package usually reaches its destination within two days.

Priority Mail Express International can cost anywhere from $50 to $300. It’s important to note that some countries don’t support this service, so be sure to do your research beforehand.

Shipping With Care

Understanding how to ship cremated remains requires careful preparation and adherence to USPS guidelines. As you begin this process, be sure to handle it with respect and care. By following the outlined steps and partnering with organizations like Foreverence, you can honor your loved one’s legacy.

Contact Foreverence to learn how to honor your loved one in a unique way.

Author Bio

Pete Saari is the founder and CEO of Foreverence, a revolutionary company that utilizes 3D printing technologies to create fully customized, one-of-a-kind urns.

His entrepreneurial background and creative spirit are the driving forces behind a reimagination of how end-of-life choices are made in the modern era. Foreverence focuses on celebrating and honoring legacies through artistic pieces that tell the story of a life well lived.

Foreverence has hand-crafted and hand-finished cremation sculptures for people (and pets) from all walks of life, honoring the lives of celebrities like Prince and family and friends.

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