An Intro to USPS Shipping Rates

Everything You Need to Know about USPS Shipping Rate Change in 2019





InstantShip Seen on ABC
InstantShip Featured on Fox

The Dynamic Change in the Shipping Industry: Annual Shipping Rate Increase

Divergent shipping fees, the granularity of shipments, the need for increased supply chain visibility, more demanding customers, and recent harsh economic policy are some of the major factors that have contributed to the dynamic change in the shipping industry .

However, in the wake of recent developments, the factors above still left ajar a new opportunity for shippers to minimize shipping cost.

Shippers who are equipped with the right information – particularly those armed with the right tools they need to compare shipping rates, time-in-transit and parcel delivery services – view the current state of affairs in the shipping industry as a subtle opportunity to further propel their business to a new frontier.

Today we'll be discussing USPS domestic shipping services, USPS shipping rates, USPS's recent shipping rate change, and above all how to leverage on these findings to reduce USPS shipping cost of your next shipment.

The United States Postal Service (USPS), the sole operator in the U.S. postal service industry, handles 47.0% of the world's mail and boasts the country's largest retail network. With total revenue of $67 Billion in 2019, USPS currently has a workforce of about 599,898 individuals. However, since USPS is highly regulated, it's subject to government-mandated expenses; and this has always played a crucial role in underling the need for the USPS to review its shipping rates each year. Before we look at 2019 USPS shipping rate increase, let's briefly walk you through the USPS domestic zones that made up the USPS's business model.

An Introduction to USPS Domestic Zones

Generally, shipping zones are those geographical areas where shipping/freight carriers operate in. USPS has 9 shipping zones, designated as "local" or 1 through 9. Zones 1 through 8 are in the Continental United States while Zone 9 is for outlying territories.

These zones are dynamic, based on the distance from a shipper's zip code. USPS uses a distance-based system of postal zones. This means that the area that is considered Zone 1, for example, would change depending on where you are. The farther a zone is, the higher the zone number. Distance also affects the price of postage and the farther the zone is, the higher the postage cost if you are sending the mailpieces. The farther the zone, the longer the mail will take to get there.

If looking at sending a package from Chicago, Illinois, Dallas, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina, you will find very different USPS zone maps.

USPS Zones for Chicago Illinois

USPS Zones for Chicago, Illinois

USPS Zones for Dallas Texas

USPS Zones for Dallas, Texas

USPS Zones for Charlotte North Carolina

USPS Zones for Charlotte, North Carolina

A Breakdown of USPS Shipping Services

1. USPS Priority Mail

USPS Priority Mail is the USPS's standard air service. With this shipping option, shippers can ship packages that weigh up to 70 lbs and measure up to 108 inches in combined length and girth (the length of the longest side, plus the distance around its thickest part). Packages shipped with USPS Priority Mail are expected to get to its final destination within 3-5 business days depending on how far the package has to be delivered from its origin.

More so, USPS Priority Mail is closer to UPS and FedEx air services. It is also a more economical option when compared to UPS and FedEx air services – particularly for packages weighing under 10 lbs.

There are also other great options which include several Flat Rate Envelope, Flat Rate Box and Regional Rate Box options. Curious about these flat rate options particularly? Jump to this section and find out what they are!

On the pricing, except for USPS Priority Mail flat rate packaging mentioned above, Priority Mail price calculations are still based on the Dimensional Weight (DIM) of the package and the zone it is to be delivered.

Weight Zones 1 & 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5
1 lbs $7.35 $7.70 $7.85 $8.00
2 lbs $7.85 $8.30 $9.45 $10.40
3 lbs $8.30 $9.25 $10.50 $11.95
4 lbs $8.75 $11.10 $13.40 $13.40
5 lbs $7.35 $7.70 $7.85 $13.70
6 lbs $10.55 $11.10 $12.30 $14.95
7 lbs $11.50 $12.60 $14.80 $18.05
8 lbs $11.85 $13.95 $16.45 $21.70
9 lbs $12.30 $15.05 $18.20 $24.75
10 lbs $13.10 $16.15 $19.60 $26.85
Weight Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8 Zone 9
1 lbs $8.20 $8.60 $9.30 $12.20
2 lbs $11.20 $13.00 $14.20 $19.40
3 lbs $12.60 $16.10 $19.05 $25.95
4 lbs $16.45 $19.80 $22.05 $30.05
5 lbs $18.70 $22.70 $25.45 $34.80
6 lbs $20.80 $24.65 $27.80 $39.25
7 lbs $23.05 $27.65 $31.30 $44.15
8 lbs $26.15 $30.60 $35.00 $49.40
9 lbs $28.45 $33.05 $38.95 $54.95
10 lbs $30.75 $36.35 $42.45 $59.90

2019 USPS Priority Mail Shipping Rates (Retail Pricing) for Shipments up to 10 lbs

Above all, it's essential to remember that USPS Priority Mail isn't a guaranteed service. Therefore shippers aren't at liberty to request for any refund if packages are delayed.

Okay, I'm Not Good at Geography... Is There Any USPS Shipping Calculator That Can Tell Me the Shipping Cost?

Of course! Let InstantShip's free USPS shipping calculator does the heavy lifting for you. If looking at sending a 2 lbs package, at 5''x5''x5'' in size, from Chicago, Illinois to Dallas, Texas, you'll be able to find a USPS Priority Mail shipping rate of $14.14.

From Chicago Illinois to Dallas Texas USPS Priority Mail Shipping Rate for 2 Pounds

USPS Priority Mail Shipping Rate; Source USPS shipping calculator from instantship.me

The Benefits of USPS Priority Mail

Free package pickup straight at your doorstep (either at the office or home)

Price includes USPS Tracking® at no additional charge

Price includes up to $50 of insurance with most shipments (restrictions apply)

No surcharges for fuel or residential, rural, and regular Saturday delivery

USPS Flat Rate Envelope, Flat Rate Box and Regional Rate Box are available

2. USPS Priority Mail Express

USPS Priority Mail Express is currently the fastest USPS domestic shipping service. Unlike USPS Priority Mail, USPS Priority Mail Express provides guaranteed a 1-3 business day expedited service by 3pm for any mailable matter.

Besides a more prompt delivery, USPS Priority Mail Express also supports overnight scheduled delivery of packages by 10:30am to U.S address including P.O. boxes address with an extra $5.00 per parcel as of 2019. It's also a guaranteed service which comes with a $0.00 charge for signature confirmation.

Weight Zones 1 & 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5
1 lbs $25.60 $26.80 $32.25 $36.60
2 lbs $25.70 $28.65 $35.25 $39.95
3 lbs $25.80 $30.10 $39.80 $47.10
4 lbs $25.85 $32.25 $42.55 $53.45
5 lbs $27.05 $36.20 $45.40 $57.20
6 lbs $30.95 $41.40 $52.65 $65.00
7 lbs $33.90 $45.35 $60.35 $71.05
8 lbs $37.25 $49.75 $65.35 $76.50
9 lbs $38.70 $51.75 $67.80 $81.75
10 lbs $40.75 $53.95 $70.35 $85.40
Weight Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8 Zone 9
1 lbs $37.85 $40.20 $41.45 $56.10
2 lbs $41.65 $44.05 $45.55 $61.80
3 lbs $49.10 $52.05 $53.50 $72.55
4 lbs $55.55 $58.80 $60.40 $81.90
5 lbs $62.45 $65.40 $67.15 $91.00
6 lbs $68.40 $71.95 $74.10 $100.45
7 lbs $74.25 $78.55 $81.35 $110.25
8 lbs $80.65 $85.25 $87.55 $118.70
9 lbs $86.90 $91.85 $94.30 $127.80
10 lbs $91.35 $96.55 $99.00 $134.20

2019 USPS Priority Mail Express Shipping Rates (Retail Pricing) for Shipments up to 10 lbs

Like USPS Priority Mail, this service requires no weighing or calculating needed up to 70 lbs or 108 inches in combined length and girth; Unlike USPS Priority Mail, this service is a guaranteed service. So you have the liberty to apply for a refund if your package isn't delivered after the guaranteed delivery time. Refunds claims must be filed at the US post office where you dropped off the package.

Features USPS Priority Mail USPS Priority Mail Express
Destinations domestic and international domestic and international
Delivery Time 3-5 business days (domestic) 1-3 business days (domestic); Overnight by 10:30am ($5.00 per parcel)
Support Flat Rate Envelop Yes Yes
Support Flat Rate Box Yes No
Support Regional Box (A & B) Yes No
Guaranteed On-Time Delivery No Yes
Included Shipping Insurance Up to $50 (domestic) Up to $100 (domestic)
Delivery Confirmation Included at no cost Included at no cost
Signature Confirmation Additional cost Included at no cost
Adult Signature Confirmation Additional cost Additional cost
Maximum Weight 108 inches in combined length and girth 108 inches in combined length and girth
Maximum Dimensions 70 lbs 70 lbs

A Quick Comparison of USPS Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express

Okay, I'm Not Good at Geography... Is There Any USPS Shipping Calculator That Can Tell Me the Shipping Cost?

Gotcha! Try InstantShip's free USPS shipping calculator. If looking at sending a 2 lbs package, at 5''x5''x5'' in size, from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Charlotte, North Carolina, you'll be able to find a USPS Priority Mail Express shipping rate of $59.91.

From Albuquerque New Mexico to Charlotte North Carolina USPS Priority Mail Express for 2 Pounds

USPS Priority Mail Express Shipping Rate; Source USPS shipping calculator from instantship.me

The Benefits of USPS Priority Mail Express

Free package pickup straight at your doorstep (either at the office or home)

Price includes proof of delivery signature and tracking information with USPS Tracking® at no additional charge

Price includes up to $100 of insurance with most shipments

Overnight scheduled delivery by 10:30am, or on a Sunday or holiday available in many major markets for an additional fee

3. USPS First-Class Mail

USPS First-Class Mail is the most popular and pocket-friendly shipping option to send lightweight packages like standard postcards, thin documents, large envelopes, small documents, and other small packages weighing up to 15.99 ounces.

Keep in mind that there are no guaranteed delivery times for USPS First-Class Mail, however most of the mail and packages should be delivered within 3-8 business days.

USPS First-Class Mail is also one of the most economical USPS shipping options. Using USPS First-Class Mail to send small packages will greatly save you more on USPS shipping cost than using other USPS services like Priority Mail.

If sending packages often, you can try to apply for a USPS First-Class Mail Commercial Plus pricing which allows you to send a package that weighs as much as 16 ounces, but you're looking at more than 5,000 pieces each year to be eligible to use it...

Maximum weight for First-Class Mail letters is 3.5 oz; for large flat envelopes and small packages, the maximum weight is 13 oz and 15.99 oz respectively. All postcards and envelopes must be rectangular; otherwise, an additional charge may apply. Additional size restrictions apply depending on the type of mail piece that'll be sent.

Item Weight Width Length
Postcard Up to 1 oz Up to 4.5'' Up to 6.0''
Letter Up to 3.5 oz Up to 6.125'' Up to 11.5''
Large Flat Envelope (USPS also calls it a Flat) Up to 13 oz Up to 12.00'' Up to 15.00''
Small Package Up to 15.99 oz Up to 18.00'' Up to 22.00''

USPS First-Class Weighing and Sizing Requirements

USPS First-Class Mail shipping rates for small packages are now calculated based on zones too. This means the distance a First Class package travels will now dictate the shipping rate.

Weight Zones 1 & 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5
1 oz $2.66 $2.68 $2.70 $2.76
2 oz $2.66 $2.68 $2.70 $2.76
3 oz $2.66 $2.68 $2.70 $2.76
4 oz $2.66 $2.68 $2.70 $2.76
5 oz $3.18 $3.20 $3.22 $3.28
6 oz $3.18 $3.20 $3.22 $3.28
7 oz $3.18 $3.20 $3.22 $3.28
8 oz $3.18 $3.20 $3.22 $3.28
9 oz $3.82 $3.85 $3.88 $3.96
10 oz $3.82 $3.85 $3.88 $3.96
11 oz $3.82 $3.85 $3.88 $3.96
12 oz $3.82 $3.85 $3.88 $3.96
13 oz $4.94 $4.98 $5.02 $5.12
14 oz $4.94 $4.98 $5.02 $5.12
15 oz $4.94 $4.98 $5.02 $5.12
15.99 oz $4.94 $4.98 $5.02 $5.12
Weight Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8 Zone 9
1 oz $2.84 $2.96 $3.09 $3.09
2 oz $2.84 $2.96 $3.09 $3.09
3 oz $2.84 $2.96 $3.09 $3.09
4 oz $2.84 $2.96 $3.09 $3.09
5 oz $3.36 $3.49 $3.63 $3.63
6 oz $3.36 $3.49 $3.63 $3.63
7 oz $3.36 $3.49 $3.63 $3.63
8 oz $3.36 $3.49 $3.63 $3.63
9 oz $4.06 $4.19 $4.33 $4.33
10 oz $4.06 $4.19 $4.33 $4.33
11 oz $4.06 $4.19 $4.33 $4.33
12 oz $4.06 $4.19 $4.33 $4.33
13 oz $5.24 $5.38 $5.53 $5.53
14 oz $5.24 $5.38 $5.53 $5.53
15 oz $5.24 $5.38 $5.53 $5.53
15.99 oz $5.24 $5.38 $5.53 $5.53

2019 USPS First-Class Mail Shipping Rates (Retail Pricing) for Shipments up to 15.99 oz

Okay, I'm Not Good at Geography... Is There Any USPS Shipping Calculator That Can Tell Me the Shipping Cost?

No problem! InstantShip's free USPS shipping calculator can make your life easier. If looking at sending a 15 oz package, at 5''x5''x5'' in size, from Phoenix, Arizona to Kansas City, Missouri, you'll be able to find a USPS First-Mail shipping rate of $9.34.

From Phoenix Arizona to Kansas City Missouri USPS First Class Mail for 15 Ounces

USPS First-Class Mail Shipping Rate; Source USPS shipping calculator from instantship.me

The Benefits of USPS First-Class Mail

Best priced service for mail up to 13 oz

Can combine with extra services to confirm delivery

4. USPS Retail Ground (Formerly Standard Post) and Parcel Select Ground (Formerly Select Post or Parcel Select)

First of all, USPS is pretty good at naming their services that confuse the hell of you. USPS Retail Ground and USPS Parcel Select Ground are basically the same thing and the only difference is: Retail Ground is for shipments sent thourgh the post office and Parcel Select Ground is the online version of Retail Ground, which allows you to book the same shipments online. To avoid the confusion, we'll simply call it Retail Ground. USPS Retail Ground is a more economical ground shipping option that's most suitable for shipping non-urgent, heavy and oversized packages, thick envelopes and tubes; with all packages capped at a maximum weight of 70 lbs.

Although USPS Priority Mail takes precedence over First-Class Mail and Retail Ground, you can send larger and oddly-shaped packages through Retail Ground, such as tubes, rolls, and boxes of unusual dimensions. However, you still can't use USPS Retail Ground for packages that measure more than 130 inches in combined length and girth or weigh more than 70 pounds. Cost is based on the weight, size, and the zone to which a package will be sent. Weight is charged per pound or fraction thereof.

Mailable items sent through USPS Retail Ground can only be delivered if they were sent to Zone 5 to Zone 9. Of course, this restriction comes with some few exceptions. A shipper can wade through the above limitation if and only if his shipment was sent under the following circumstances:

1. If he's shipping either mailable hazardous material, live animals eligible to be shipped by ground/surface transportation, or items required by the standard to be shipped by ground/surface transportation only. In this situation, the shipper will be allowed to send his shipment to any destination of his choice (from Zone 1 to Zone 9).

2. If his load weighs over 108 inches but not more than 130 inches in combined girth and length. This is usually the case when an Oversized Price applies.

3. If his shipment weighs less than 20 pounds but measures more than 84 inches, but less than 108 inches in combined length and girth. This is usually the case when a Balloon Price applies.

4. When Limited Overland Routes (LOR) price category applies, this price category is for USPS Retail Ground pieces delivered to or from certain ZIP Codes that are within Alaska and that are not connected by overland routes.

In summary, you can't send your shipments to Zone 1 to Zone 4 when using USPS Retail Ground if it's for a general mailing purpose; unless your shipment meets one of the above exceptions. If your item didn't match any of the above conditions that could allow you ship your item to Zone 1 to Zone 4 via USPS Retail Ground, your item will be upgraded to USPS Priority Mail service.

The shipping rates for this shipping option in a post office starts from $7.35 at the post office only. USPS can charge you an Oversized Price if the pakcage measures over 108 inches and not more than 130 inches in combined length and girth; USPS can also charge you a Balloon Price if the package measures more than 84 inches, but less than 108 inches in combined length and girth and weighs less than 20 pounds.

Weight Zones 1 & 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5
1 lbs $7.35 $7.70 $7.85 $7.95
2 lbs $7.85 $8.30 $9.45 $10.29
3 lbs $8.30 $9.25 $10.50 $11.90
4 lbs $8.75 $10.15 $11.10 $12.38
5 lbs $9.80 $10.85 $11.60 $13.14
6 lbs $10.55 $11.10 $12.30 $14.92
7 lbs $11.50 $12.60 $14.80 $16.70
8 lbs $11.85 $13.95 $16.45 $19.39
9 lbs $12.30 $15.05 $18.20 $22.09
10 lbs $13.10 $16.15 $19.60 $23.62
Weight Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8 Zone 9
1 lbs $8.15 $8.55 $8.95 $8.95
2 lbs $11.17 $12.08 $12.98 $12.98
3 lbs $12.54 $14.32 $16.17 $16.17
4 lbs $14.88 $17.32 $19.70 $19.70
5 lbs $16.44 $19.73 $23.02 $23.02
6 lbs $18.75 $22.43 $26.10 $26.10
7 lbs $20.84 $24.97 $29.11 $29.11
8 lbs $23.79 $28.19 $32.59 $32.59
9 lbs $26.86 $30.90 $36.38 $36.38
10 lbs $28.61 $33.59 $38.58 $38.58

2019 USPS Retail Ground Shipping Rates (Retail Pricing) for Shipments up to 10 lbs

You should expect packages shipped with USPS Retail Ground to get to its final destination within 9-14 business days. More so, tracking is provided without any additional charge.

The Benefits of USPS Retail Ground

Suitable for packages too large for Priority Mail

Price includes USPS Tracking at no additional charge

Can delivery to every U.S. address, including PO boxes and military addresses

Can weigh up to 70 lbs and measure up to 130 inches in combined length and girth around the thickest part

Saturday and residential delivery at no additional charge

5. USPS Media Mail

USPS Media Mail is a cost effective shipping option most suitable for sending educational materials and media contents. Materials such as books (at least eight pages), printed music and test materials, video and sound recordings, printed educational charts, medical loose-leaf pages and binders, computer-readable media and other sound recordings can be sent through Media Mail as long as they weigh less than 70 pounds.

Although you won't be spending so much to send those items through USPS Media Mail, the greater sacrifice for using this service would be the long wait before the shipped items get to its destination. USPS estimates that items will reach its final destination within 5-10 days.

Using USPS Media Mail comes with its own set of drawbacks. Not all type of media can be shipped using this service. Video games, birthday cards, advertisements, comic books, pc drives, and other digital drives are some of the items that aren't accepted. Due to this restriction, USPS reserves the right to open your package and examine its content. Therefore, mailing advertisements (except for a book announcement with a book) or other non-media material through USPS Media Mail should be avoided – because you will risk having your package sent back to you for insufficient postage. Inspection of package by USPS could lead mailing damage materials, and there's undoubtedly no insurance or compensation for any damaged goods.

Weight Shipping Rate
1 lbs $2.75
2 lbs $3.27
3 lbs $3.79
4 lbs $4.31
5 lbs $4.83
6 lbs $5.35
7 lbs $5.87
8 lbs $6.39
9 lbs $6.91
10 lbs $7.43

2019 USPS Media Mail Shipping Rates (Retail Pricing) for Shipments up to 10 lbs

The shipping rate for this service starts from $2.75 at the post office only. The maximum weight for packages is 70lbs. More so, USPS Media Mail is based on weight and size, not the zone-based distance system that USPS Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and First-Class services use.

The Benefits of USPS Media Mail

It's ridiculously cost-effective. For example, when compared to Priority Mail, a package that cost $2.75 to send via USPS Media Mail would cost you $12.20 via USPS Priority Mail!

Retail Pricing vs. Commercial Pricing

USPS has 2 distinct tiers of pricing structures; and they are Retail and Commercial Pricing Structure. The commercial pricing is also sub categorized into three different rates.

1. Retail Price: Retail postage rates specifically apply to those customers who purchase postage and pay directly at the counter of the post office or on USPS.com. Basically, USPS retail pricing – the most expensive shipping rate pricing tier – is the standard counter price for postage at the post office or other physical retail locations.

2. Commercial Pricing: Commercial pricing refers to the shipping rates USPS offers to customers who always ship in high volume. USPS has 2 different rates in its commercial pricing and they are:

On January 27th, 2019, USPS merged Commercial Plus Pricing (CPP) and Commercial Base Pricing (CBP) into one discount level called 'Commercial Pricing'. USPS offers Commercial Pricing shipping rates to shippers using electronic postage solutions (InstantShip.com, Endicia.com, Stamps.com, etc.).

2a. Commercial Base Price (CBP): Commercial Base pricing refers to the discounted postage price for certain mail classes available to customers using the traditional software or electronic postage.

Weight Zones 1 & 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5
1 lbs $6.95 $7.28 $7.49 $7.65
2 lbs $7.42 $7.61 $7.88 $8.50
3 lbs $7.61 $7.99 $8.34 $9.26
4 lbs $7.71 $8.20 $8.81 $10.03
5 lbs $7.81 $8.25 $9.12 $10.33
6 lbs $7.91 $8.29 $9.22 $8.15
7 lbs $9.41 $9.46 $15.43 $19.86
8 lbs $8.20 $9.87 $11.16 $16.84
9 lbs $9.01 $10.25 $11.62 $18.06
10 lbs $9.38 $10.67 $11.69 $19.51
Weight Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8 Zone 9
1 lbs $7.82 $7.99 $8.25 $9.91
2 lbs $9.70 $10.23 $10.86 $15.17
3 lbs $11.80 $13.10 $15.28 $20.58
4 lbs $13.75 $15.59 $17.61 $24.78
5 lbs $15.67 $17.92 $20.40 $28.84
6 lbs $17.93 $20.83 $23.81 $33.05
7 lbs $19.86 $23.48 $26.75 $37.11
8 lbs $21.82 $25.85 $30.04 $41.66
9 lbs $23.74 $28.00 $33.40 $46.33
10 lbs $25.64 $30.79 $36.32 $50.38

2019 USPS Priority Mail Shipping Rates (Commercial Base Pricing) for Shipments up to 10 lbs

2b. Commercial Plus Price (CPP): Commercial Plus pricing refers to deeply discounted postage prices for certain mail classes available to qualified high-volume shippers.

Weight Zones 1 & 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5
1 lbs $6.95 $7.28 $7.49 $7.65
2 lbs $7.42 $7.61 $7.88 $8.50
3 lbs $7.61 $7.99 $8.34 $9.26
4 lbs $7.71 $8.20 $8.81 $10.03
5 lbs $7.81 $8.25 $9.12 $10.33
6 lbs $7.91 $8.29 $9.22 $13.77
7 lbs $8.15 $9.41 $9.46 $15.43
8 lbs $8.20 $9.87 $11.16 $16.84
9 lbs $9.01 $10.25 $11.62 $18.06
10 lbs $9.38 $10.67 $11.69 $19.51
Weight Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8 Zone 9
1 lbs $7.82 $7.99 $8.25 $9.91
2 lbs $9.70 $10.23 $10.86 $15.17
3 lbs $11.80 $13.10 $15.28 $20.58
4 lbs $13.75 $15.59 $17.61 $24.78
5 lbs $15.67 $17.92 $20.40 $28.84
6 lbs $17.93 $20.83 $23.81 $33.05
7 lbs $19.86 $23.48 $26.75 $37.11
8 lbs $21.82 $25.85 $30.04 $41.66
9 lbs $23.74 $28.00 $33.40 $46.33
10 lbs $25.64 $30.79 $36.32 $50.38

2019 USPS Priority Mail Shipping Rates (Commercial Plus Pricing) for Shipments up to 10 lbs

Let's compare USPS Retail Price, Commerical Base Price and Commerical Pluse Price for the same 1-lbs shipment and the pricing difference is pretty obvious:

Weight Zones 1 & 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5
1 lbs (Retail) $7.35 $7.70 $7.85 $7.95
1 lbs (Commerical Base) $6.95 $7.28 $7.49 $7.65
1 lbs (Commerical Plus) $6.95 $7.28 $7.49 $7.65
Weight Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8 Zone 9
1 lbs (Retail) $8.15 $8.55 $8.95 $8.95
1 lbs (Commerical Base) $7.82 $7.99 $8.25 $9.91
1 lbs (Commerical Plus) $7.82 $7.99 $8.25 $9.91

A Quick Comparison of USPS Retail Price vs. Commerical Base Price vs. Commerical Pluse Price for the Same 1-lbs Shipment

3. Commercial Base Regional Pricing (USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box): USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes are a low-cost shipping alternative for domestic shipping if you are a Commercial Base or Commercial Plus customer. USPS Regional Rate Boxes come in two sizes, which allow shipment of up to 15 pounds for Box A or 20 pounds for Box B. This is often lower than the weight-based rate for a custom-boxed package.

USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box

USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box Type A and Type B

Regional Box Type Zones 1 & 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5
A $7.65 $7.85 $8.12 $8.76
B $8.05 $8.50 $9.40 $10.65
Regional Box Type Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8 Zone 9
A $10.00 $10.55 $11.20 $15.64
B $16.15 $18.47 $21.03 $29.73

2019 USPS Priority Mail Shipping Rates (Commercial Base Regional Pricing)

4. Commercial Plus Cubic Pricing (USPS Priority Mail Cubic): Commercial Plus Cubic pricing is the cheapest way to ship small packages that weigh up to 20 lbs. It is a secret sub-service of USPS Priority Mail that's usually only offered to businesses who ship at least 50,000 packages per year.

Commercial Plus Cubic pricing is calculated based on the dimensions of the package and zones, not weight. To qualify for cubic pricing, you will have to ship over 50,000 packages a year. Cubic pricing only applies to packages up to 20 lbs with all dimensions measuring below 18 inches. USPS has five cubic levels (0.1 - 0.5) that are always rounded up when calculating cubic pricing. Cubes are calculated: (H x W x L) / 1728 = Priority Mail 'Cubic Feet'.

Cubic Feet Zones 1 & 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5
0.10 $6.95 $7.28 $7.49 $7.65
0.20 $7.34 $7.68 $7.91 $8.12
0.30 $7.79 $7.99 $8.27 $8.92
0.40 $7.95 $8.27 $8.63 $9.50
0.50 $8.07 $8.56 $9.13 $10.34
Weight Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8 Zone 9
0.10 $7.82 $7.99 $8.25 $9.91
0.20 $8.40 $8.61 $8.92 $10.92
0.30 $10.18 $10.73 $11.39 $15.90
0.40 $11.79 $12.94 $14.79 $20.09
0.50 $13.95 $15.75 $17.91 $24.96

2019 USPS Priority Mail Shipping Rates (Commercial Plus Cubic Pricing) for Shipments up to 0.5 Cubic Feet

#1 Underrated Option: USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate

Interested in shipping your valuables through USPS Priority Mail, but the fact that rates are dependent on distance and weight had always made you lost your mojo? Well, you might want to try USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate.

USPS has specially-made envelops and boxes that allow you to ship across the country for one low flat rate, regardless of the weight (up to 70 pounds) and distance. Unlike USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate, here the distance or zone isn't factored in the cost. With USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate, no weighing is required as long as the shipment weighs below 70 lbs and your item can comfortably fit inside the envelop or box, meaning that the envelop or box can be closed securely and with no bulges.

USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate mailpieces can be delivered to virtually all U.S. addresses such as military locations and PO boxes. This mail class is an excellent option for mailing and shipping business and legal documents, manuscripts, clothing, books, boxed jewelry, office supplies, etc.

When preparing to ship with Priority Mail Flat Rate, you can order the free envelopes or boxes through the USPS website or pick these up at the post office. Ensure the self-adhesive envelop flaps close and adhere to the shipment and that your item fits securely within the box.

USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate comes in various shapes and sizes to meet your shipping needs, all for one low price for items weighing up to 70 lbs and shipped to any state. The shipping rate is static and applies to any U.S. state the shipment is being sent to. Envelopes measuring 12-1/2'' x 9-1/2'' or smaller usually start at a rate of $7.35 for retail at the post office.

Priority Mail Size Price
Flat Rate Envelope 12-1/2'' x 9-1/2'' or smaller $7.35
Legal Flat Rate Envelope 15'' x 9-1/2'' $8.00
Padded Flat Rate Envelope 12-1/2'' x 9-1/2'' $8.00
Small Flat Rate Box 8-5/8'' x 5-3/8'' x 1-5/8'' Inside 8-11/16'' x 5-7/16'' x 1-3/4'' Outside $7.90
Medium Flat Rate Boxes 11'' x 8-1/2'' x 5-1/2'' Inside 11-1/4'' x 8-3/4'' x 6'' Outside or 13-5/8'' x 11-7/8'' x 3-3/8'' Inside 14'' x 12'' x 3-1/2'' Outside $14.35
Large Flat Rate Boxes 12'' x 12'' x 5-1/2'' Inside 12-1/4'' x 12-1/4'' x 6'' Outside or 23-11/16'' x 11-3/4'' x 3'' Inside 24-1/16'' x 11-7/8'' x 3-1/8'' Outside $19.95
APO/FPO/DPO Flat Rate Box 12'' x 12'' x 5-1/2'' Inside 12-1/4'' x 12-1/4'' x 6'' Outside $18.45

2019 USPS Priority Mail Flat Shipping Rates (Retail Pricing)

USPS Priority Mail Express Flat Rate is a faster version of Priority Mail Flat Rate. It's an overnight shipping service from USPS that features one low flat rate for the delivery of envelopes. Like USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate, the maximum weight for Priority Mail Express Flat Rate is also 70 pounds. Unlike USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate only supports envelops.

With Priority Mail Flat Rate shipping, you can mail your package to the recipient for one standard price without worrying about the distance; since you pay one low rate no matter the zone.

Priority Mail Express Size Price
Flat Rate Envelope 12-1/2'' x 9-1/2'' $25.50
Legal Flat Rate Envelope 15'' x 9-1/2'' $25.70
Padded Flat Rate Envelope 12-1/2'' x 9-1/2'' $26.20

2019 USPS Priority Mail Express Flat Shipping Rates (Retail Pricing)

USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate should not be confused with USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate. As we discussed in the previous section, you will need a Commercial Base or Commercial Plus account in order to use USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate, which allows shipment of up to 15 pounds for Box A or 20 pounds for Box B and charges based on zones. While USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate, on the other end, allows shipment of up to 70 pounds and charges based on weights.

USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate vs USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate

USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate vs USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate

USPS 2019 Shipping & Mailing Rate Change

So far, USPS has made changes to their shipping rate three times in 2019. The first shipping rate change became effective since January 27th, 2019 and the second on June 23rd, 2019. The most recent shipping rate change became effective on August 1st, 2019. However, we won't be discussing the third since it's not related to USPS domestic shipping.

Generally, shipping rates increased for most USPS products, weights, and zones. We'll extensively go over the two rate changes made by USPS that's directly related to USPS domestic shipping & mailing services.

These are USPS domestic shipping rate changes that became effective on January 27th, 2019:

1. USPS Priority Mail has an average shipping rate increase by 5.9%.

2. USPS Priority Mail Express has an average shipping rate increase by 3.9%.

3. The USPS First-Class Mail letter one ounce rate for postage purchased at the post office increased by 5 cents from 50 cents to 55 cents. Each additional ounce rate for a USPS First-Class Mail letter will now cost $0.15 (a decrease from $0.21).

4. Metered Mail one ounce rate for USPS First-Class Mail letters increased by 3 from 47 cents to 50 cents. Still it is 5 cent cheaper than the retail one ounce rate of $0.55 for USPS First-Class Mail letters. Each additional ounce will cost 15 cents.

5. The USPS First-Class Mail large envelope one ounce rate didn't increase and will remain at $1.00. Each additional ounce will cost 15 cents.

6. USPS First-Class Mail shipping rates for small packages will now be calculated based on zones (like USPS Priority Mail and others). USPS First-Class Mail pricing for small packages used to be based solely on weight, regardless of destination zones. This service will experience an 11.9% rate increase on average.

8. USPS Retail Ground has an average shipping rate decrease of 1.3%.

9. USPS Media Mail has an average shipping rate increase by 2.9%.

These are USPS domestic shipping rate changes that became effective on June 23rd, 2019:

1. The Dimensional Weight (DIM) pricing has been added to USPS Priority Mail for zones 1 through 4. It formerly only applied to zones 5 through 9; it now applies to all 9 zones!

2. DIM pricing has been added to USPS Priority Mail Express for all 9 zones. Formerly, USPS Priority Mail Express did not have DIM pricing.

3. DIM pricing has been added to USPS Retail Ground for all zones. Formerly, USPS Retail Ground did not have DIM pricing. It's important to note that the DIM pricing will not affect the current Oversize Price if the pakcages measure over 108 inches and not more than 130 inches in combined length and girth, which will still apply.

4. USPS has discontinued charging a Balloon Price for light weight USPS Priority Mail and Retail Ground packages if they measure more than 84 inches, but less than 108 inches in combined length and girth and weigh less than 20 pounds.

5. DIM divisor for packages over 1 cubic foot is changing from 194 to 166. This will increase the calculated dimensional weight pricing for USPS Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and Retail Ground packages that qualify for dimensional weight pricing.

Service Name Rate Change
USPS Priority Mail • An average shipping rate increase by 5.9%.
• DIM pricing has been added to USPS Priority Mail for zones 1 through 4 and now it applies to all zones.
• USPS has discontinued charging a Balloon Price for light weight USPS Priority Mail packages.
• DIM divisor for packages over 1 cubic foot is changing from 194 to 166.
USPS Priority Mail Express • An average shipping rate increase by 3.9%.
• DIM pricing has been added to USPS Priority Mail Express for all 9 zones.
• DIM divisor for packages over 1 cubic foot is changing from 194 to 166.
USPS First-Class Mail • USPS First-Class Mail letter 1 oz rate increased from $0.50 to $0.55; additional ounce rate decreased from $0.21 to $0.15.
• USPS First-Class Mail letter (Metered Mail) 1 oz rate increased from $0.47 to $0.50.
• USPS First-Class Mail shipping rates for small packages now are calculated based on zones, which results an average shipping rate increase by 11.9%.
USPS Retial Ground Mail • An average shipping rate decrease of 1.3%.
• USPS has discontinued charging a Balloon Price for light weight USPS Retail Ground packages.
• DIM divisor for packages over 1 cubic foot is changing from 194 to 166.
USPS Media Mail • An average shipping rate increase by 2.9%.

A Summary of 2019 USPS Domestic Shipping Rate Change

A Strategy to Get Cheaper UPS Shipping Rates

Shipping costs are one of the biggest expenses for many small businesses, but resourceful entrepreneurs are finding ways to reduce the sting. To save more cost and trim your shipping cost, here are the few measures to take:

1. Optimizing Your Shipments: It pays to optimize your shipments to reduce packing materials as well using alternative box shapes to reduce the volume of shipments as much as possible.

2. Take Advantage of USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate & Regional Rate Services: Flat rate services are available in over different sizes and styles and allow you to ship any content up to 70 pounds (as long as the content fits into the box) to any zone for a single price. Regional rate services come in two sizes, which allow shipments of up to 15 pounds or 20 pounds for a zone-based rate. This is often lower than the weight-based USPS Priority Mail shipping rate for a custom-boxed package.

3. Understanding Your Shipmetns: Understanding the USPS business model and how your shipments fit into their pricing framework will provide you with the needed insights on how to effectively negotiate to shrink your shipping budget as much as possible.

4. Auditing Your Invoice, Expunging the Errors & Collecting Refunds You're Entitled to: These are some of the few ways to go about auditing your invoices for errors:

4a. Was there any agreed discount in your contract that wasn't implemented?

4b. Understand your shipping data and re-calculate every simple calculation to verify if there's a case of overcharging due to calculation error.

4c. Were zone charges applied correctly?

While prices change every year, it's not always the same increase every year. Shipping rates will depend on lots of factors. However, if increasing prices isn't in the cards, and you want to trim down on costs to help make your shipping more affordable for you and your customers, there's one big thing that's within your control – yeah, it's all about your packaging.

When thinking exclusively about cutting costs, the biggest factor you can change is your packaging. Shippers could be saving some cash by trimming down the size and weight of their packaging.

Almost all of the carriers give away free packaging. So for example, the USPS has boxes they give out for free. They're for specific mail classes, and sizes, but it's worth taking a look to see what you can get for free.







Compare Different USPS Shipping Rates

At InstantShip, we created a simple, yet powerful way for you to compare different USPS shipping rates quickly before printing up a label. We have integrated USPS shipping calculator with multiple popular USPS shipping services in a single app that lets you compare the USPS shipping rates based on the delivery time and location. So, you can look at all the shipping rates for your package across different USPS shipping services and choose the best shipping option.

It's simple, fast, and easy to understand. Plus, we do not charge you a fee or have you join a program to let you use our USPS shipping calculator. When your business has to find ways to reduce overhead costs, shipping is often the best place to start. With the help of InstantShip, you can join the many businesses spending less on the most popular USPS shipping services such as USPS Priority Mail Cubic® and USPS Priority Mail®, saving your business considerable excess.

Try Me
Compare Different USPS Shipping Rates






Save Time and Skip the Line in Post Office

The days of having to go to the post office before getting your USPS prepaid shipping label are numbered. The convenience of being at home or in your office to print USPS shipping labels and simply drop off the packages makes InstantShip the service you want to use. Simply enter the details of your package in our free USPS shipping calculator, compare all available USPS shipping options, and print up the USPS shipping label with ease.

Simple, fast, and reliable, InstantShip provides an easy to use our system with no monthly fees, so you can print USPS shipping labels in the convenience of your home or office. Whether you're looking for affordable USPS First-Class Mail® or fast USPS Priority Mail Express®, let InstantShip be the USPS shipping label printing service for your needs today!

Try Me
Save Time and Skip the Line in Post Office






Pay As You Go without Any Contract

Forget the contracts. With InstantShip, there are no contracts, no monthly payments to use our service. Along with our smart USPS shipping calculator, we've also created side-by-side comparison charts that show you how much you can save on different USPS shipping rates through us. Combined with our easy-to-use printing service, InstantShip is the right choice for your needs.

Some of similar solutions charge a monthly fee to use their services. At InstantShip, we don't believe in having our customer pay when they are not using our services. There is no monthly fee with us, and you can use our USPS shipping calculator for free any time you want. Whether you ship packages occasionally or daily, we are the small team that provides the best in free services, so you can get your USPS shipping done quickly and easily. Also don't forget to check out our blog where you can get the latest tips on how to save money on shipping!

Try Me
Pay As You Go without Any Contract

Get the cheapest prepaid shipping label
without any MONTHLY CONTRACT!

UPS Ground Shipping Label
UPS Next Day Air Shipping Label