How Can You Calculate Shipping Costs with the USPS Shipping Calculator?
The world of eCommerce is competitive. So much so, that leading businesses in the arena always have to stay on their toes to get everything right, or else they lose out to their adversaries within clicks. From offering an exciting range of products and services to ensuring timely and smooth delivery, they need to take care of absolutely everything. And that’s where they often have to partner with reliable logistics and shipping companies to ensure their products reach the intended customers on time and in a good condition. The United States Postal Service (USPS) is one such shipping company.
Now although finding generic information about a logistics and shipping provider is easy, often, eCommerce business owners get stuck with one basic aspect of shipping - checking shipping rates. Usually, people aren’t aware that instead of contacting the company’s contact center to enquire, they can calculate the shipping rates themselves through online shipping calculators that are often provided on shipping company websites. USPS too offers this facility through the USPS shipping calculator.
If you are planning to ship with USPS and would like to know how much cost you will have to bear, you should use the USPS shipping calculator to prepare your estimates beforehand. In this post we’ll be assisting you with how to use this shipping calculator.
1) Overview of USPS
USPS, aka United States Postal Service, is owned by the US federal government, and its sole purpose is to provide postal services throughout the country. This independent agency is present in 34,000 locations, employing over 630,000 employees and reaching up to 160 million homes. Regardless of rain or snow, USPS fulfills its responsibilities and provides postal service to all citizens of the United States.
48% of the world’s mail is delivered by USPS, for the company provides exceptional customer service and has one of the largest computer networks. Further, it provides a wide range of shipping services for you to pick the one that suits you the most. Shipping with USPS is quite a popular choice for various reasons, the most important being its reasonable shipping rates. If you are a frequent shipper, this is one quality you should generally keep an eye out for. The hassle-free services provided by the company have won several hearts over the years.
2) Popular services offered by USPS
Priority Mail Express, one of USPS’s most used services, provides deliveries the next day to most residences in the U.S. This service is available 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and the prices for it start at just $26.60. It is a cost-effective option for shipments weighing more than a pound.
Under Priority Mail, you get a few reasonable shipment options:
* Weight Based: Just like the name suggests, the rate of shipping is based on the weight of the parcel and the location of delivery.
* USPS Flat Rate Boxes: It ships if it fits. If the package fits in a certain box or envelope that has a specific flat rate, then it will be shipped with that pre-assigned rate.
* Cubic: This is one of the best options because the shipping rates are based on the size and the destination of the shipment, instead of the weight of the package.
Now let’s move to the discussion about USPS shipping rates calculation.
3) What is the USPS Shipping calculator?
The USPS shipping calculator is a simple and useful tool available online that calculates your shipping charges. All that is required are the details of your package, such as volume, dimensions, origin, and destination. This tool eliminates the need for guesswork and provides room for the comparison of prices with other shipping companies.
4) How to use the USPS shipping calculator?
Here are the easy to follow steps:
4.1) Go to USPS’s website
USPS provides a shipping calculator to calculate the shipping rates for your packages which are available on their website. You can also find USPS shipping rates by weight chart on their website.
4.2) Enter all the details of your package
Enter all the required details for your shipment. The contents of your package, the destination of the shipment, the zip code, and the date of mailing.
4.3) Select the type of shipment
In addition to telling the calculator where the package is going, you will have to specify how it is going to get there. The calculator will then ask you to choose between a flat rate option or a shape like a large package, envelope or postcard.
* If you select the flat rate option, you will further have to select between Priority Mail Medium or USPS Flat Rate Boxes. Additionally, along with the prices, the date of delivery will also be shown.
* If you select the latter option of a shape of a package, you will be required to enter the weight of the shipment.
Then out of the given options, you will need to select the box that looks most similar to your package. On clicking the “Next” button you will be able to see the rates and expected date of delivery.
4.4) Compare the rates
After figuring out the estimated date of delivery and rates, you can compare it with other shipping options. This can be done by selecting the “Display All Options”, that is available on the top of the page.
4.5) Add extra services if required
Now you will need to select your mode of shipping. After that you can go ahead and add any extra services you may require, such as insurance, certificate of mailing etc. You will get the charges for each additional service from the USPS shipping rates by weight chart.
4.6) Pay for the shipping and print labels
Now that you have finalized your shipment and other details, you can proceed to make the payment. To do this, you will have to go to the USPS “Click n Ship” page. After this, download the labels for your package and get them printed or print them yourself.
5) How to calculate postage the right way?
5.1) Weigh the item and then round it up
During shipment, the United States Postal Service rounds up the weight of the package to the nearest ounce or pound, and charges you for that weight. For example, if your package weighs 4lbs 5 oz, then you will be charged at the rate for 5lbs. Especially for shipping items by First Class Package, if the weight is 4lbs 2 oz, you will still be charged at the 5lbs rate. This is applicable for any shipment, be it domestic or international.
5.2) Pick the suitable mail class
Ensure you have picked the mail class that works for your shipment. For instance, the First Class Mail Package can only be used for packages under 16lbs, and shipments heavier than that will have to be shipped with Priority Mail. Similarly, the Domestic Rate boxes come in two categories (A and B), each with a limit of 15lbs and 20 lbs respectively.
5.3) Get the dimensions down
Depending on the mail class you have selected, you could be charged for the dimensions of the package. Measure the length, breadth and height of your package correctly. To find out the dimensional weight of your package, you can use the following formula:
DIM = (Length X Breadth X Height) / 166
5.4) Label the package properly
USPS offers a wide range of packaging options to meet your shipping needs, and one of them is through labels. Ensure to use the correct ones for your packages. If you’re shipping with USPS Flat Rate Boxes, make sure to use a Flat Rate label as well.
Additionally, while packing, keep in mind that the label is stuck onto the longest side of the package and is not creased or stuck on the edge. All the labels and the barcodes on them should face in the same direction.
5.5) Double-check the zone
Regardless of which tool you’re using to print out the labels, double-check the address of origin and ensure it is up to date. The United States Postal Service charges by zone, and to see the rates per zone you should check out their shipping calculator and their shipping rates chart.
6) A few final words
Shipping rates form a key deciding factor when an eCommerce business chooses a shipping partner. They should be fair and budget-friendly for the weight, time duration, and distance that a package needs to be in transit for. And while most providers offer a pricing page on their websites, it’s often not enough to get an exact estimate of the cost they’ll incur.
Online shipping calculators come to the rescue in such cases, making computing accurate costs without external help possible. USPS offers the USPS shipping calculator so that you can take all the variables into account before arriving at an estimated shipping cost.
7.1) Does USPS charge according to size or weight?
The shipping rates at USPS differ for each service level. For the Flat Rate USPS Priority Mail, the volume of the package doesn’t matter, as long the item being shipped fits a corresponding envelope or box that has a pre-assigned rate. On the other hand, the shipping rates of USPS Priority Mail is based on the volume and destination of the package.
7.2) What is the cheapest method for international shipping?
USPS is by far one of the most popular and cost-effective options that are available for international shipping. They provide a wide range of services that you can select from, such as Priority Mail International for shipments weighing over 1lb, Priority Mail Express, for packages that need to be shipped urgently and International First Class Package for packages that are of a lighter weight.
7.3) How much do I have to pay for USPS shipping per pound?
The majority of the shipping rates at USPS are determined based on the weight and destination of the package. For packages weighing below 1lb, the starting rate is $2.74, if you select the First-Class Package Service offered by USPS. If the package weighs more than one pound, select the USPS Priority Mail, starting at $7.02. Packages weighing up to 70 pounds are accepted by USPS.
7.4) What is the largest size box for priority mail?
The largest box branded by USPS Priority Mail is the USPS Flat Rate Box which measures 12- ¼ (length) X 12 - ¼ (width) X 8-½ (height), all in inches, and can carry up to 70 pounds. However, if you need to ship large items, you will have to use your packaging. USPS services are available for boxes up to 108 inches in both length and width.
7.5) How big of a box can I ship with the USPS shipping carrier?
With USPS Priority Mail, you can ship in boxes with dimensions of 108 inches both length and breadth, and weighing up to 70 pounds.
7.6) How do I calculate shipping costs using the USPS shipping rate calculator?
All you have to do is enter the details of your package such as dimensions, volume, origin and the zip code of the destination in the USPS shipping calculator.