Although it cost more money I would recommend one of two things. Either pay a company like Boxes etc. to pack them or go with the three day Fed Ex. Two hundred dollars more may sound like a lot now but U.P.S. ground is extremely hard on packages. Not only do they destroy a lot of packages but they are almost impossible to get to pay for claims even with insurance. Pay the extra cash for Fed Ex and sleep well knowing you will get them undamaged. If you type in UPS in the search topics you can read all the horror stories. There are several threads on it.
I agree with perfectimage, if you can send these for only $200 each, consider yourself lucky. If you take them to Mailboxes etc, they'll need to be crated, that alone will cost you $200+, then they also charge an increased shipping fee...... I had them pack and ship an Aragon amp for me, cost me $94 to do it! That was only from St Pete Fl to Atlanta!
Watkins has an 800# plus a web site you might want to look into.....The phone # is on the home page.
I have used Roadway Express with great success. They pick up at your home for about 35 more . The cost is reasonable. I have shipped Wilson Witts, Martin Logan Quests, Legacy Whispers, and Eggleston Andras this way. Legacy uses this line to ship its speakers or at least they used to. If you are shipping COD then the costs goes up this way.
There are two issues here: packing/crating + shipping. I agree with the prior comments about NEVER using UPS. They are very hard on equipment and generally unresponsive to damage claims (i.e. "it was not packed properly"). If you can indeed use FedEx Air, it is well worth it, especially in terms of avoiding aggravation. If not, consider the following: First, in the Yellow Pages, locate companies that are accustomed to packing furniture and/or antiques, and have them build crates and do the packing. Most importantly with respect to insurance coverage, have them listen to the speakers briefly before picking them up; and then have them note on the papers that the speakers were operating properly. Secondly, truckers such as BAX (Burlington Northern) have very attractive rates. I have also heard that Pilot is used by some retailers and importers, as is Consolidated Freightways. Thirdly, have the speakers palletized when packed. This will generally mean that they will be shipped standing-up (vertical) which lessens the probability of something very heavy being placed on top of them.
I used a private freight company before for something heavy. The cost was worth it. Look in the yellow pages. Door to door service.
Merlin ships their speakers by BAX GLobal (Burlington Air Express), and they highly recommend them. Their fares are reasonable, and they will pick up and deliver to your house for a fee. They have a website, but you'd get a more accurate rate if you talk to a person.
Word to the wise, Mail Boxes Etc generally charge at LEAST 2 times the amount for shipping then it would cost you to drop off the package yourself, PLUS charge for packaging.
I recommend BAX as well. They seem to understand what "Fragile" and "This End Up" means and generally treat shipments with care. Prices are very good, they offer dor-to-door service, are accustomed to handeling heavy shipments, and do so in a timely fashion. Good luck with your shipment(s).
What you may want to consider is asking the speaker mfg. who they use. I did this with Magnepan and found that the shipping company they use is used to handling fragile packages such as speakers.I shipped with them and had no problems whatsoever.
When I bought a pair of used Vandersteen 3A's from Audio Connections in New Jersey, and they had to be shipped to Seattle, WA, Audio Connections used a private trucking company. I can't remember the name of the trucking firm, but they are a national firm with an excellent reputation. If you want their name, I suggest you contact John Rutan at Audio Connections in New Jersey.
I had some large speakers(225lbs each) shipped from Seattle to Houston via Continental (or was it Delta?) air cargo. It was very reasonable ($275? for pair) AND I got them the next day. The only drawback was I had to go to the airport and pick them up.
If you live near an airport served by Delta, I have had good experience with Delta Air Freight service, and they have done well with large & heavy audio items (amplifiers, and a set of Acoustat 2+2 speakers in wooden crates-(8 ft. in length). You get much faster delivery than truck freight shipping, especially with long distance items.
After upgrading my 3As, Vandersteen Audio would not return my speakers via UPS, rather they insisted on using a private freight shipping Company, and they required that the speakers be shipped to a commercial address. It worked well for me, and Vandersteen told me that shipping their speakers UPS was a "nightmare". Craig.
I sent my old Dunlavy speakers via a private freight company. Dunlavy sent all the packing to me along with a pallet to stap it to. My new Dunlavy speakers arrived the same way.
I have also had great results with Delta Air Cargo, I have used them for more than 10 years, and have had only one small claim. I recently shipped a large speaker, measuring 7 X 4 X 2 feet, at a total expense of less than $140.00 including insurance. I recommend the three day service with Delta, my experience has been that the freight goes on the next available flight, often that same day.
I regularly ship confin sized containers of fragile upholstery on Northwest Air Cargo. Rates are reasonalble ... service is outstanding. Be careful with air services that use passenger jets to transport materials. If the box is too large for the cargo hold of the jet flying your direct route, it will either get routed on larger equipment through an alternate route or get TRUCKED to an airport that has larger jets flying the route to you destination. Asking up front is very important. Burlington Air is also an amazing service ... I've managed to get race engines delivered door to door, same day, Miami to NY!!