As an eCommerce merchant, it’s important to understand how flat rate shipping works, particularly with two of the most popular options: USPS flat rate shipping, called USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate, and FedEx flat rate shipping, known as FedEx One Rate.
Both shipping solutions offer their own unique advantages and disadvantages - but which is one best for your business? Here’s a closer look at both shipping services, including their pros and cons!
What is FedEx One Rate?
FedEx One Rate is a shipping service from FedEx that offers users a flat rate shipping price, especially for large volume shippers. Introduced by the courier in 2013, FedEx One Rate is available to those customers using FedEx Express packaging and is a great alternative to the courier’s other shipping solutions, especially if your business ships out packages that are generally the same weight frequently and wants to avoid any surprise surcharges.
The FedEx flat rate shipping cost is calculated based on shipments less than 10 lbs. and 50 lbs. weight. This means that as long as your parcel weighs less than 10 lbs. or 50 lbs. respectively, you’re only required to pay a specific, flat rate. With this, you can actually add to your parcel without incurring any additional costs, as long as it stays under the stipulated weight limit. The price you pay covers the entire price of your shipment box.
The FedEx One Rate option offers users 12 different types of packaging, including tubes, boxes and envelopes. For the envelopes, the weight limit is 10 lbs. and as long as your shipment does not exceed this limit, you’re only charged a flat rate shipping price, based on the destination and specified speed of delivery.
The rates usually start at $7.65 for a padded reusable envelope of 9 1/2” x 12 1/2” and increases based on the particular zone of delivery, as longer journeys tend to cost more. The rate for a Small Box measuring 8 3/4" x 2 5/8” x 11 1/4" starts at $8.65 while the Medium Box measuring 8 3/4" x 4 3/8” x 11 1/4" starts at a rate of $11.20 and increases based on destination. The Large Box rate starts at $17.30 while the Extra Large Box rate starts at $28.05, the same of which goes for Tube option, which also starts at $28.05 and increases based on distance to destination.
FedEx One Rate pricing is available on the following FedEx services:
What is USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate?
With USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate, no weighing is required as long as the parcel weighs below 70 lbs. The shipping rate is static and applies to any U.S. state the shipment is being sent to. However, for international shipments, the price varies based on the distance, from Zone One to Zone Three. The farther the shipment destination, the higher you’ll pay. Envelopes measuring 9 1/2” x 12 1/2” usually start at a rate of $6.95 for commercial base and $7.35 for retail at the post office.
The shipping rates for a Small Box measuring 8 5/8” x 5 3/8” x 11 5/8” starts at $7.50 while a Medium Box measuring 11” x 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" starts at $12.80. For a Large Box measuring 12” x 12” x 5 1/2", the rate starts at $17.60. Remember that the price will change once the parcel weighs above the limit of 70 lbs.
Advantages and Disadvantages of FedEx One Rate
Whether you’re shipping your products with flat rate shipping boxes or envelopes using FedEx One Rate, it’s important to understand the unique pros and cons of the shipping solution. Here’s a quick look at just that!
Advantages of FedEx One Rate:
- Free packaging for certain services
- Multiple package sizes available
- Better tracking
- Online access 24/7
- Free declared value of up to $100
- End-to-end visibility
- Money-back guarantee
- Up to 45,000 drop-off locations
Disadvantages of FedEx One Rate:
- Weight limits of up to 10 lbs. for envelopes and 50 lbs. for parcels
- Charges are based on the three zones of travel, making you pay more for every zone crossed
- Restrictions on quantity package supply
- The contents of the package must fit in a predetermined package size or box
- No option for return labels
Advantages and Disadvantages of USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate
The USPS option, just like FedEx, also comes with its own distinct advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a quick look at some of them!
Advantages of USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate:
- Free boxes
- Fixed rates
- Priority delivery
- Zero surcharges
- More addresses are delivered to including PO boxes, APO, FPO and DPO
- Law enforcement protection
Disadvantages of USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate:
- Limited weight of 70 lbs. for parcels
- Limited tracking capabilities
- Longer transit periods for packages
FedEx One Rate vs. USPS Flat Rate: Choose Which Works for You
When it comes to shipping solutions that offer flat rate shipping prices, both FedEx One Rate and USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate are great choices. Choosing one over another mainly comes down to your specific business needs, specifically factors such as your budget, desired delivery speed and frequent shipping destinations.
If your business needs flexibility when it comes to box sizes and prioritizes tracking and delivery speed, FedEx One Rate is probably your best bet. However, if you’re generally shipping larger, heavier parcels and want to save money by using free shipping boxes, USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate will likely work better.
Fortunately, Easyship partners with both FedEx and USPS, offering access to a wide array of shipping solutions with discounted rates. Be sure to sign up for free today to see which option works best for you!
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