- UPS® Simple Rate carries a max weight of 50 lbs, as does FedEx
- USPS Flat Rate offers a maximum weight of 70 lbs
- UPS lets you ship in your own boxes, meaning you can use branded packaging
Flat rate shipping is a popular option with eCommerce merchants.
UPS now offers a flat rate shipping option: UPS® Simple Rate. Previously, flat rate shipping was only available from USPS Flat Rate or FedEx One Rate.
The benefit of flat rate shipping is being able to ship 50+ lb. packages to any domestic US location for a fixed price. This combination of weight and cost predictability makes flat rates an appealing way to ship heavier packages over greater distances.
Use this article to learn all about UPS® Simple Rate, what it costs, and UPS flat rate box sizes. At Easyship, we're here to help you simplify and save on shipping at once. This post also offers a free tool for helping you compare all available courier prices in just seconds.
Table of Contents
What is UPS® Simple Rate?
UPS® Simple Rate is UPS’s version of flat rate shipping and is via UPS.COM only.
This courier service lets you ship to anywhere in the US for a flat fee based on package size. The maximum weight for UPS® Simple Rate packages is 50 lbs. You can also use your own packaging for UPS® Simple Rate, unlike USPS Flat Rate and FedEx One Rate.
Currently, UPS flat rate shipping is only available in the US.
How Much Does UPS® Simple Rate Cost?
Pricing for UPS® Simple Rate corresponds to five box sizes, from extra small to extra large.
The chart below shows the base prices for UPS® Simple Rate shipping within the contiguous (lower) 48 States.
Prices start at $8.80 for an extra small package and $22.85 for an extra-large package. Prices for UPS® Simple Rate also depend on your choice of delivery speed, including:
It’s important to note that UPS® Simple Rate prices are different in Alaska and Hawaii. Prices also differ depending on whether you’re shipping to a metropolitan area in Alaska or Hawaii.
In fact, UPS® Simple Rate via UPS® Ground to metro Hawaii and metro Alaska costs almost $20 more than in the lower 48.
Prices jump about another $10 per shipment if we’re shipping to remote locations in Hawaii or Alaska, as seen below. Prices for UPS® Simple Rate are based on box sizes and whether you’re shipping within the contiguous US. Remote deliveries in Alaska and Hawaii cost more.
*Note these prices are not included in the UPS® Digital Access Program. With Easyship, you'll save up to 86% off UPS Daily Rates.
What Are UPS Flat Rate Box Sizes?
UPS® Simple Rate uses boxes of five sizes, from extra small to extra large. You can also use your own boxes or packaging if you prefer.
Below we explain UPS® Simple Rate box sizes in terms of total inches. We've provided examples of what these boxes can comfortably hold for context.
Extra Small – From $9.45
Maximum size: 1-100 cubic inches.
Example: a pair of sunglasses or a ceramic mug.
Small – From $12.40
Maximum size: 101-250 cubic inches.
Example: a hardcover book or a tissue box.
Medium – From $14.95
Maximum size: 251-650 cubic inches.
Example: a shoebox or a hoodie.
Large – From $19.60
Maximum size: 651-1050 cubic inches.
Example: a basketball or a medium laptop.
Extra Large – From $24.30
Maximum size: 1051-1728 cubic inches.
Example: a tennis racket or a small microwave.
Here are a handful of common box dimensions you could use for UPS® Simple Rate shipment:
How is UPS® Simple Rate Different From FedEx and USPS Flat Rate?
Subtle differences exist between UPS® Simple Rate and other flat rate shipping options.
- Lower maximum weight than USPS: UPS® Simple Rate carries a max weight of 50 lbs, as does FedEx. USPS Flat Rate, though, offers a higher maximum weight of 70 lbs.
- More volume: UPS® Simple Rate offers more space, up to 1728 cubic inches for an extra-large package. This exceeds the 1452 cubic inches available from FedEx, and the 900 cubic inches in USPS Flat Rate boxes.
- More delivery options: UPS lets you pick from four delivery speeds: UPS® Ground, UPS 3 Day Select®, UPS 2nd Day Air®, and UPS Next Day Air Saver®. FedEx OneRate only offers express services (no ground), while USPS Flat Rate only travels via Priority Mail (1-3 business days).
- Use your own packaging: UPS lets you use your own packaging, unlike FedEx and USPS. Flat rate packaging is always free, but using your own branded packaging helps to improve the customer experience.
- Fixed shipping rates: UPS® Simple Rate offers a national flat rate that varies by size alone, as does USPS. By contrast, FedEx One Rate pricing varies by size and by one of three destination zones.
- Better insurance than USPS: UPS® Simple Rate automatically insures packages valued up to $100. FedEx does the same, but USPS only insurance Flat Rate shipments up to $50. Shipping fragile or valuable items? Easyship can help you ensure your shipments up to $10,000.
- Delivery guarantee: UPS offers guaranteed delivery for the date quoted or your money back. FedEx also offers a delivery guarantee though USPS does not.
|Up to 1,728 cubic inches
|Up to 1,452 cubic inches
|Up to 1,200 cubic inches
|Within 5 days, within 3 days, 2nd day, and next-day
|Express services only
|1-3 business days with Priority Mail services
|National flat rate
|National flat rate
The Benefits of UPS® Simple Rate
Flat rate shipping is a go-to for online merchants. But which service is right for you? UPS flat rate shipping may be a better choice than USPS or FedEx. Here’s what to consider when making your pick between flat rate shipping services:
- Branding opportunities: UPS lets you ship in your own boxes, meaning you can use branded packaging. Branding is vital in the crowded eCommerce space because it helps differentiate you from competitors while fostering a memorable post-purchase experience.
- More volume: UPS® Simple Rates lets you ship in larger boxes. If you’re sending packages that are lighter-weight but want extra space, this could be your best option.
- Cost predictability: It’s important for merchants to predict their shipping costs. UPS® Simple Rate offers a flatter price structure than FedEx One Rate, helping you get a clear sense of what you spend on shipping per order.
How to Find The Cheapest Flat Rate Prices
Say we want to ship a 5 lb. medium-sized box from Brooklyn, NY to Miami, FL. To do this, we’ll need to first visit UPS.com to get a UPS® Simple Rate quote. Then we visit USPS and FedEx afterward.
With UPS, the price for a medium box starts at $14.95 for UPS® Ground. Or we can pay up to $36.80 for UPS Next Day Air Saver.
At FedEx, One Rate gives us a medium box rate starting at $16.73 for ground delivery. We can rush it there for a little over $137. (Yikes).
USPS.com shows us paying $15.50 for a medium flat rate box arriving at one speed in four working days.
Seems that UPS® Simple Rate is the cheapest flat-rate option. But can we find something cheaper?
Now let's use Easyship’s free shipping calculator to look up all available rates for our medium 5 lb. box from New York to Lost Angeles.
By way of explanation, Easyship partners with all major domestic carriers to save you up to 91% on shipping rates. Plus, the shipping calculator makes it super easy to find all these rates directly.
UPS® Simple Rate: The Flat Rate Newcomer
With UPS® Simple Rate, UPS joins USPS and FedEx as a domestic flat rate shipper. Make sure you compare rates before purchasing, as there appear to be some major discrepancies in the cheapest rates.
But who wants to visit each courier site to research rates by weight and size?
With Easyship, it’s fast and easy to compare prices for all shipment types. Just hop into our free shipping rate calculator. You’ll always find the best rates – fastest, cheapest, best value – listed out and matching your specific shipment.
You can also create a free Easyship account. This allows you to use our Get A Quote feature, the more sophisticated version of the shipping rate calculator.
UPS Flat Rate FAQ
Are UPS Flat Rate boxes free?
UPS allows retailers to use their own custom packaging for UPS flat rate shipping. But you can still order UPS shipping boxes and tubes if you don't want to use your own packaging.
How much is a UPS flat rate envelope?
You can order UPS express envelopes from the UPS website for free. The minimum order quantity is one pack of 25 envelopes.
How much does it cost to overnight a UPS flat rate box?
The cost depends on the box size and the delivery service you select. For example, it will cost you $36.80 to overnight a Medium size box via UPS Next Day Air Saver.