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What You Need to Know Before You Ship Your Loved Ones Cremated Remains

Shipping Grandma to Uncle Paul’s house or to a burial at sea company? Here are the things you need to know.

Your first thought might be to use Fex Ex or UPS, but did you know the only legal way to ship human cremated remains is via the United States Post Office?

How to Ship Cremated Remains:

FedEx, UPS abd DHL, will not knowingly accept  human cremated remains. What this means for you is that you can ship via the USPS Priority Mail Express service,  provided the "ashes" are packaged "in a strong and durable container" and are sent domestically.

When a family member assumes the responsibility of shipping a loved one’s cremated remains to someone at another location, by following these requirements, you can be confident that you have done everything you can to insure that your loved one’s remains will arrive at the intended destination safely.  Cremated remains are organic matter and therefore pose no threat to health and safety when transported.  The average weight of adult cremated remains weigh between 6 and 10 pounds.


You will need to have padding and two containers — an inner container and an outer container.  The standard is to use the “Temporary Container” provided by the crematory, which is a plastic box with the “ashes” in a plastic bag. (The bag doesn’t count as a container). The inner container must be strong and durable and be constructed to protect and securely contain the contents inside, which must be properly sealed so that it is sift proof. A sift proof container is any vessel that does not allow loose powder to leak or sift out during transit. The container should then be placed in box for shipping.  The Post Office offers the boxes free to customers who use Priority Mail Express Service.


The cost to mail cremated remains is determined by the cost for Priority Mail Express Service and the weight of the consignment. A package containing cremated remains generally costs between $15.00 and $50.00 

​​Clearly identify and mark the contents to make sure the Postal Service can identify your loved one’s cremated remains during processing and transportation. This assures that your loved one is handled with dignity and respect. Use the Postal Service Cremated Remains label (Label 139), which is available at your local Post Office.  Verify the address and legibly write or type it, and RECHECK it to help ensure delivery to the correct address. I can’t stress enough the importance of verifying the ship to address. Just recently I directed a family to ship their loved ones cremated remains to one of my captains in Florida. He knew the package was scheduled for delivery within a day however, he found the box on the side of the road, just a short distance from his home.  Apparently the client didn’t verify the address and shipped to the wrong address. Now most of us would have the common courtesy to deliver the package to the correct party or at the very least, notify the mail carrier, however we can’t account for the moral standard of some individuals.

If you would like more information about a Sea Memorial Ceremony, feel free to call or write - | 720-772-6492.

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