Cost of shipping a press?

I know a few people have had presses shipped to them or vice versa. So my question is, how much does it cost and what is the best to do it?

I live in panama city beach, florida, and there are pretty much no local letterpresses for sale so I have found a few on here for sale but they are not within driving distance so I wanted to know the best way to go about having one shipped without it costing twice as much as the price itself.

Btw, I have been looking at a C&P, maybe 10x15 or something like that to give you an idea of size.

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In my experience if you use common carriers you are going to be looking at roughly $1000. I would recommend you place an ad on — you can often find smaller trucks or get filler rates.

Have you tried posting a want ad here and also to the Letpress listserv? I am sure someone in your neck of the woods has a 10x15 to sell…


Check out I’ve priced them out, and then waited a few days, and they emailed me an even lower number. Well under $1,000.

The odds are pretty good that there is a press around you, though. I’ve been considering posting a picture of an old press I want, with “IF YOU HAVE ONE OF THESE, CALL ME” written beneath.

What do you consider “within driving distance?” I have a stash of letterpress stuff up here in Little Rock which is a twelve hour haul. Stand by, I’m checking my sources to see if I can find you one in Alabama.

John Horn

I haven’t posted in the wanteds yet because I wasn’t sure how successful people have been considering there are more wanteds than for sale.

Within driving distance to me is about 12 hours round trip, but if the price is right… I might be able to make a weekend out of it.

Anything in Alabama would be AWESOME. We have a truck, large burly men, and any other equipment that would be needed, but haven’t been able to locate one around us (quick enough, as soon as we find the classifieds it is already sold).

so from various freight quotes it looks like $800 is the average :( anybody have any other ideas?

I have just about exhausted all my contacts in your area trying to find a C & P for you. I’m sure there’s one out there, we just gotta find it. Early in my collecting days, I would take one day a week and visit print shops in my area, asking if they had any letterpress equipment they wanted to get rid of. It wasn’t unusual to hear, “Oh, you should have been here two months ago, we dumped all that stuff.” I left lots of business cards. Eventually, I was working small towns a hundred miles away from home. And I did find bits and pieces, a pinhole perforator, some Linotype parts and matrices, composing sticks, furniture racks.
Have you asked a local history museums? Sometimes people are desperate to get rid of that “old stuff.”
At this point I’ll launch into my rant about hauling stuff yourself. I have amassed a huge collection because I’m willing to haul it. When you think about getting into letterpress, the first thing I advise buying is a pickup truck, 3/4 ton at least. With a good hitch. A one ton flat bed truck with a goose neck hitch would be even better. The next thing to buy is a good trailer, double axle, electric brakes, 16 foot, steel floor, no sides, plenty of tie down points. Then tie downs, chains, boomers, a winch, pry bars, etc. Now you’re ready to go looking for a press.
And be prepared to do some driving. Look at a map of the U.S. I’m in Little Rock. I’ve bought and hauled big loads of equipment from Phoenix, Omaha, Rochester (MN), NYC, Lexington, New Jersey, Chicago and on and on. If you want the stuff, it’s out there. You just gotta go get it.

I appreciate you trying to help me out. We have located one but it is about 1200 miles one way from us, and with the cost of gas, picking it up ourselves isn’t going to save us any money. I have recieved a quote from a different company after posting on and it was for $617. I have a local friend that has a freight account and he said if his boss lets him, he can have it shipped for $250… so that is ideal and hopefully his boss will have a heart.

I do have access to a big truck, large trailer that would definitely hold any press i wanted, and any other equipment like that (my father is in the construction/development business), so that wouldn’t be a problem, but it just isn’t economical to haul a truck 2400 miles and then pull a half ton press back with how much gas cost these days.

If I could find something closer then I would go get it no problem. As far as local printing companies, I can try that, but this town is crap for printing companies and nobody even does letterpress, but they might have some stuff hanging around. Thanks for that idea.

Shipping a press is not difficult if packaged correctly. When shipping via common carrier your rate will depend on the classifcation item 127120 sub 1 class 100 if on a skid and sub 2 class 85 if crated or boxed. Here is an example of a quote: from Chicago Il to Panama City Fl, 1 crt 1000 lbs class 85:

85.0 1000 127.05 1270.50
DISC Discount - 952.88
FSC Fuel surcharge 37.5% 119.11

1000 $436.73
This quote is with a 75% discount. Always give the correct weight and description to a trucking company or a third party logistics company. Call 626-650-6522 or send an email to [email protected] or a quote or for general information.

I had my 8 x 12 C&P OS shipped from NH to WA using USF Reddaway for $950.00. But that was last November. I am sure it would cost more now with the high gas prices. I will say however that since then I have seen 2 for free locally. So hang in there!