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Using flat rate shipping is a great way to cut costs for your Commerce business. Fortunately, top shipping couriers lake USPS, UPS, and FedEx all offer flat rate shipping and flat rate boxes.
Flat rate shipping from FedEx is called FedEx One Rate. Prior to 2013, only USPS offered flat rate options. But the massive popularity of flat rate shipping – or shipping rates that don’t vary by package weight and are thus “flat” – are only becoming more popular with merchants.
The top benefit of flat rate shipping is being able to send packages below a set weight to any location for one fixed price. Using flat rate helps merchants to predict their shipping costs, which is a key aspect of profitability in eCommerce.
This article will help you understand FedEx One Rate, what it costs, and how it compares to flat rate shipping from USPS and UPS. You'll also learn how to use the Easyship shipping rate calculator to find the cheapest shipping rates on all shipments – including FedEx flat rate.
What is FedEx One Rate?
One Rate is the FedEx version of flat rate shipping. One Rate lets you ship packages that weigh 50 pounds or less to anywhere in the US for a fixed price.
FedEx One Rate offers 12 free packaging options such as envelopes, flat rate boxes, tubes, and more. If your item fits within a flat rate package, and doesn’t exceed the weight limit, it can be sent to anywhere in the US for a fixed price.
Currently, FedEx One Rate is only available for US domestic shipments.
The Cost of FedEx One Rate
The cost of FedEx One Rates depends on three factors:
- Delivery destination
- Packaging choice
- Speed of delivery
Since this is flat rate shipping, the weight of the package doesn’t impact the price. That said, your packaging choice could be considered as a sort of weight class, but I digress.
FedEx One Rate uses a system called delivery zones to price its services. Basically, delivery to each zone is priced differently based on distance:
- Local Zone (1-2): Shipments moving between 0-150 miles
- Regional Zone (3-4): Shipments moving between 151-600 miles
- National Zone (5-9): Shipments moving over 601 miles
The chart below shows the base prices for FedEx Flat Rate in the Local Zone, or within 150 miles of your location. Prices vary by delivery timeline and package type.
The cheapest FedEx One Rate option in the Local Zone is $8.90 for an envelope. An extra large box will cost you $32.35. Both will be delivered by the third day. Faster delivery is available, but it increases the cost. Delivery speeds for FedEx Flat Rate include:
- Express Saver: Day 3 by 4:30 PM
- 2Day: Day 2 by 4:30 PM
- Standard Overnight: Next day by 3 PM
- Priority Overnight: Next day by 10:30 AM
- First Overnight: Next Day by 8 PM or 3:30 AM
Prices for FedEx One Rate are different in the three delivery zones. This next pricing chart shows FedEx flat rate prices in the Regional Zone, or for packages moving between 150-600 miles.
Now the cheapest envelope costs $9.50 and an extra large box costs $36.60. That's a difference of about a dollar for the envelope, and about four dollars for the big box. Similar price increases can be seen at other shipping speeds and with different packaging.
Prices climb higher on FedEx One Rate shipments in the National Zone, or those being sent 600+ miles. These are cross-country shipments and include delivery to states like Hawaii and Alaska.
When shipping to Hawaii, say, you could do a lot worse than $11.55 for an envelope or $46.75 for an extra large box. Plus, FedEx has a reputation for being very reliable. If you’re a fan of USPS flat rate shipping, be sure to poke around the FedEx site to compare your current rates with FedEx.
Comparing One Rate to Standard FedEx Rates
Does FedEx One Rate actually save you money? Let’s find out.
Here’s a screenshot of the FedEx Retail rates using a FedEx medium-sized box. It seems the cheapest we can get is $32.31 for 3-day Express Saver delivery.
And below is the FedEx One Rate price for the same FedEx medium-sized box. We save about $15 with FedEx One Rate instead of Retail, and that goes for most delivery services as well.
If you’re a fan of FedEx, be sure to look for One Rate options for your next shipment.
FedEx One Rate Boxes
FedEx One Rate boxes come in four sizes, from small to extra large. You can also use a FedEx envelope, FedEx Pak, or FedEx tube. Here are the dimensions for the FedEx One Rate boxes.
The Benefits of FedEx One Rate
Price aside, FedEx flat rate carries several benefits for eCommerce merchants, including:
- Free packaging: FedEx One Rate packaging is free when you ship with FedEx Express services. Just order packaging in the sizes you need from the FedEx site, package, and ship.
- Save time: Weighing packages and picking the right boxes feels like a waste of time. With FedEx flat rate, since weight isn't a factor, you'll use on standard box size that matches your item dimensions.
- Predictable pricing: If you ship items of different sizes and weights, using FedEx One is one way to predictably reduce your shipping costs.
- Reliability: Typically, FedEx One shipments are covered by the FedEx Money-back Guarantee. If a shipment was delayed, you could file for a return on postage. FedEx has suspended this policy, however, until COVID restrictions ease up.
How to Find The Cheapest Flat Rate Prices
Flat rate shipping is available from the following top courier services:
So which company gives you the cheapest price on flat rate shipping? To compare, we’ve visited the website of each service and asked for a rate quote on sending a medium box from Brooklyn, NY to Miami, FL.
UPS Simple Rate starts at $13.90 for a medium box sent via UPS Ground. The exact rates from UPS Simple Rate site are $16.15 for Ground.
Can USPS beat the UPS price of $16.15 for a medium box? We asked USPS.com for a quote and see that $15.50 is the lowest price for a USPS Flat Rate medium box.
For FedEx, shipping from New York to Miami falls into the Regional Zone pricing tier. We’ll pay $15.60 to get our medium box to Miami in three days.
FedEx One Rate and USPS Flat Rate are roughly the same price for our example shipment. Now let’s plug our shipment into Easyship’s free shipping rate calculator to see if we can save even more.
Turns out, the cheapest way to send a medium box from New York to Miami is with USPS Priority Mail on Easyship. The yellow savings tag indicates you’ll save 40% off the retail price of USPS Priority, for a total price of just $8.87.
This is possible because Easyship has a partnership discount with all shipping couriers. For merchants, this means that using Easyship is usually cheaper than any listed prices on courier sites – flat rate or otherwise.
FedEx One Rate And Your Business
If you want speedy delivery for a flat rate, FedEx may be your best bet. But it is important to remember that UPS and USPS offer flat rate shipping, too. Be sure to compare rates to see which courier offers the best rates.
Don’t forget to price-check against Easyship's free shipping rates calculator. As we saw above, using Easyship will reliably save you between 40-70% off all shipping rates from all courier companies.
Ready to start saving with Easyship? Create a free Easyship account to save up to 70% off all your shipping costs from here on out.