Key Points:

  • USPS has an annual operating revenue of more than $71 billion and delivers 48% of the world's mail
  • USPS offers varying mailing and shipping services and each service differs based on the shipping costs, maximum weight, and delivery period
  • Easyship offers up to 91% off discounted shipping rates for USPS

As an eCommerce business owner, shipping is essential for your operations. This factor means that choosing the most cost-effective and best way to ship a package is vital for your business.

Luckily, finding a suitable courier for your eCommerce business doesn’t have to be challenging. The United States Postal Service (USPS) processes and delivers 429.9 million mail pieces each day.

Plus, USPS has an annual operating revenue of more than $71 billion and delivers 48% of the world's mail. So, it’s no surprise that merchants worldwide use USPS to ship a package.

We’ll give you the full scoop on how to ship a package USPS, so you know the best and cheapest way to ship packages for your eCommerce business.

Table of Contents

Basics of How to Ship a Package USPS

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent agency of the United States government that offers mail processing and delivery services to businesses and individuals in the US.

USPS offers varying mailing and shipping services. Each service differs based on the shipping costs, maximum weight, and delivery period.

Here are the available courier services offered by USPS for cost-effective shipping so you know how to ship a package USPS.

  • First-Class Package Service: Delivery in 1-3 business days. This courier service is best for small packages that weigh 13 oz or less
  • Priority Mail: Delivery in 1-3 business days. This courier service offers flat-rate options for items weighing below 70 pounds
  • Priority Mail Express: Delivery in the next day to 2 business days. This option is best for time-sensitive shipments that need faster delivery
  • Retail Ground: Delivery in 2-8 business days. This ground delivery service is an economical option for merchants who want to ship larger packages that exceed the weight restrictions of Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express
  • Media Mail: Delivery in 2-8 business days. USPS Media Mail is a cost-effective means of sending media and other educational materials for packages up to 70 pounds. Some of the items that can be shipped include video/audio recordings, books, printed test materials, printed music, printed educational charts, medical loose-leaf pages/binders, or computer-readable media

USPS also provides flat rate envelopes, free packing materials, tracking, shipping insurance, and package pickup. As a result, USPS is one of the most suitable shipping options for merchants searching for the cheapest way to ship.

However, its services are not restricted to the US. USPS offers international shipping services such as Priority Mail Express International, Priority Mail International, and Global Express Guaranteed. We’ll go over how to ship a package USPS in this blog, so you know the different shipping costs for domestic and international shipping.

How to Package a Shipment With USPS

Before you start shipping away, it’s essential to know how to package a shipment so that you minimize the risk of damage during transit. Here, we’ll give you the rundown on how to ship a package USPS and how to package your item correctly.

1. Choose the correct box

Before shipping your package, you need to find the perfect box to hold your stuff securely. You don't want the receiver to receive a damaged package.

You should make sure that the item fits nicely into the box and leave room for padding materials such as bubble wrap, newspapers, etc. Then, secure the flaps with tape to prevent the package from opening. Finally, you must get rid of old shipping labels on boxes that you are reusing and cross out other logos or stickers beside the USPS logo with markers.

2. Package your item

You need to package your item well to guarantee a safe delivery. Sadly, people going to handle the delivery will never be as careful as you are. This isn't their fault, as they will be attending to millions of packages, and it will be pretty hard to provide preferential treatment to each package.

Depending on the fragility of the goods, you need to provide a large box that can accommodate a lot of cushioning materials like foam, peanuts, etc. If you are unsure of the best way to pack your item, you can always ask the officials at your local post office; they can help proffer a solution.

3. Address the package

There are several ways to address your package's addressing, one being DIY labeling. Here, you need a permanent marker that you can use to write the address (with zip codes) boldly on the box. With this approach, you should ensure that your writings are legible to avoid confusion or errors during the delivery.

Also, you can log on to the USPS website instead, fill in the delivery information and have them print out a shipping label for you. Lastly, the third method is to fill in your delivery information in the form online and print out the label yourself.

4. Bring your package to a post office location to weigh it

The next step in the packaging process is to measure your package's accurate size and weight. Before you can pay for the correct postage, the size and weight of your package are required. This step can be done by an official at the local post office. They will also inspect the package to ensure that they are correctly packed.

5. Select a courier service

Before you select your courier service, you should consider certain factors. The faster you want your items to get delivered, the more expensive the shipping is.

So, you shouldn't consider just the shipping costs, especially when you need your package delivered in time. The size and weight of the box are other determinants. If you ship a heavy package via air, you should be expecting a hefty bill.

6. Apply postage to the package

Ensure that you place the postage on a visible area of the box. The label will be required during the journey, as it contains a barcode scanned often. Thus, the postage label must be located in an area that can be seen easily.

Often, the label is applied to the box by the worker at the post office if you got it from them. If you printed it yourself, you should ensure that you cover the paper entirely with transparent tape in case of liquid spillage.

7. Hand-off package to a postal worker

Finally, hand over your package to the postal worker in charge. First, they will confirm if the box is packed correctly and apply the correct postage label. Next, they will scan the package and prepare it for shipment.

It’s important to note that you will also be given a receipt of the transaction as a confirmation once the package is handed off.

8. Track your shipment

Tracking your shipment helps you follow the package in transit and identify the package's location, whether it has been delivered or not. You might need to pay more to get your tracking information if you sent the package through First-Class Mail or Retail Ground.

However, other mailing options like Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express provide more detailed tracking information.

How Much Does It Cost To Ship With USPS

No matter what, the same factors determine the shipping cost. Below are some factors that affect shipping costs when learning how to ship a package USPS:

  • Courier service
  • Delivery speed
  • Weight of package
  • Shipping distance
  • Package dimensions

We’ll give you the specific shipping costs with USPS and compare them to Easyship’s high-volume discounts. This way, you can decide what works best for your eCommerce business and so you know how to ship a package USPS:

USPS ship a package quote

Let's assume you are shipping a 5-pound package via USPS from New York to Los Angeles. The table below highlights how much it will cost you to ship using different courier services.

Courier Service Price
USPS Priority Mail Express 1-Day $78.60
USPS Priority Mail 2-Day $27.75
USPS Mail 2-Day Small Flat Rate Boxes $9.45
USPS Retail Ground $22.80
USPS Media Mail $5.71

As you can see, you’ll pay more when choosing USPS retail shipping rates. But luckily, merchants can save more money on shipping costs with a reputable shipping platform. This way, you can focus more on scaling your eCommerce business.

The cheapest way to ship with USPS

Now, let’s say you’re shipping the same 5-pound package from New York to Los Angeles with Easyship's shipping platform. Using our Free Shipping Rates Calculator, we’ll get a high-volume shipping discount for shipping with USPS.

Courier Service Price
USPS Priority Mail Express 1-Day $66.90
USPS Priority Mail 2-Day $21.59
USPS Parcel Select $13.98
USPS Parcel Select Signature $16.68

As you can see, Easyship saves you $11.70 for shipping with the USPS Priority Mail Express. With Easyship, users can save up to 91% off discounted shipping rates for USPS – plus 250+ more couriers.

Related post: What’s the Cheapest Way to Ship with USPS?


Best Tips For How to Ship a Package USPS

Every merchant wants their package to be delivered safely and securely. So, we have provided the essential tips to help you achieve this goal for how to ship a package USPS.

Consider your eCommerce needs

Depending on the items you are shipping, you might need to choose a mailing service over the other. For example, if you are sending a time-sensitive item, Priority Mail Express is your best option, as it is the fastest delivery service that USPS provides.

Consider signature upon delivery

For time-sensitive shipments, signature upon delivery is essential. For example, if the package is delivered and there is no one to receive it immediately, it risks being stolen. Thus, adding this feature ensures the items are delivered on time and to the right person.

Utilize free shipping supplies for packaging

While shipping can be expensive, free shipping boxes and supplies can cut costs. Most major shipping companies like USPS provide their customers with shipping supplies and boxes. You can order for free on their website to shipping labels, flat rate envelopes, small flat rate boxes, and more.

Consider flat-rate shipping options

Flat-rate shipping is often more economical because the rates are not based on the weight or size of the item. Instead, the shipping costs are calculated based on the size of the box. So, this is an excellent way to reduce shipping costs for people who want to ship heavy items.

How to Ship a Package USPS with Easyship

You should now understand how to ship a package USPS and how much it costs using different courier services. Retail shipping costs can quickly add up. However, with Easyship, you can earn high-volume discounts for shipping domestically or internationally.

Besides helping users save 91% of discounted shipping rates, Easyship provides tons of premium shipping features and benefits that simplify shipping. Some of the benefits that Easyship users enjoy include:

  • Easyship Shipping Rates Calculator: Access high-volume discounts from major couriers. Plus, get instant access to delivery lead times from premium shipping couriers
  • Easyship Branding Suite: Easyship provides a delivery experience consistent with your brand. Add your logo and advertising materials to your packing slips, landing pages, and tracking emails
  • Up-to-Date Tracking: Our tracking statuses are updated at each step of the process. This way, you're always in the loop with your shipments

Ready to ship? Sign up for a FREE Easyship account and get instant access to high-volume discounts for USPS shipping.

How to Ship a Package USPS FAQ

Can USPS XRAY packages?

No, USPS does not x-ray packages for shipping domestically or internationally. USPS’s scanning equipment only read barcodes and addresses on the package boxes.

Is USPS a good service?

Yes, USPS is an excellent shipping company for merchants needing affordable and reliable shipping services.

Can I ship internationally with USPS?

Yes, you can ship internationally with USPS with courier services like USPS Priority Mail Express International with mail serviceship service.

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