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International Shipping

What's the Cheapest Way to Ship Internationally in 2022?

What's the cheapest international shipping option? Use this data-driven blog to find the most affordable cross-border shipping companies.
What's the Cheapest Way to Ship Internationally in 2022?
Jules

By Jules

 

January 27, 2022

Key Points:

  • USPS Priority Mail International - Flat Rate is the cheapest way to mail a package internationally
  • UPS®, FedEx, and USPS, plus other major couriers all offer international shipping
  • With Easyship you can save up to 91% off discounted shipping rates on 250+ couriers, including international shipping

If you do a Google search, you’ll see the cheapest international shipping in 2022 is available through the US Postal Service (USPS). However, what's less obvious is that this only applies if you plan to ship domestically within the US.

So where can you find the cheapest international shipping from the US to other countries? You can use our free shipping rate calculator for real-time rates from top international couriers as a shortcut. Read below to learn how to pick the cheapest international shipping company every time, plus a trade secret on getting the best rates.

Table of Contents

Comparing International Shipping Rates For 2022

To find the cheapest international shipping rates, we compared USPS shipping rates with those from leading express couriers, including:

  • FedEx
  • UPS

It’s also important to keep in mind the costs involved when calculating the cost of shipping, such as the following:

  • Package weight
  • Package dimensions
  • Courier service
  • Delivery destination

We also compared the cheapest USPS rates to one another. In this section, we’ll compare the cheapest shipping rates from shipping from various locations across the world so you can understand the cheapest shipping rates.

When shipping from the US to the UK

cheapest shipping from the US to the UK

Shipping costs from the US (or any country) largely depend on the delivery destination and the weight of the package. We’ll compare the cheapest shipping rates from shipping from the US to countries across the world for a 5-pound package (5x5x5 dimensions) so you can see which courier is the cheapest.

Courier Service Lead Time Cost
USPS Priority Mail International 6-10 business days $80.65
UPS Worldwide Expedited® 3-4 business days $241.50
FedEx International Economy 4-5 business days $241.32

Takeaway: As we can see, USPS Priority Mail International is the cheapest option when shipping from the US to London. UPS and FedEx may be more reliable and faster, but you’ll spend more money on these courier services.

When shipping from the US to Canada

cheapest shipping from the US to Canada

Below are the rates for shipping a 5-pound package (5x5x5) for shipping a package from New York to Ontario, Canada.

Courier Service Lead Time Cost
USPS Priority Mail International 6-10 business days $53.35
UPS Standard® 1-5 business days $39.90
FedEx International Ground 2-6 business days $53.98

Takeaway: UPS Standard® is the cheapest option for shipping a 5-pound package from New York to Ontario.

When shipping from the US to Italy

cheapest shipping from the US to Italy

Below are the rates for shipping a 5-pound package (5x5x5) for shipping a package from New York to Rome, Italy.

Courier Service Lead Time Cost
USPS Priority Mail International 6-10 business days $69.75
UPS Worldwide Expedited® 3-4 business days $241.50
FedEx International Economy 5-6 business days $241.32

Takeaway: USPS Priority Mail International is the cheapest option when shipping a 5-pound package from New York to Rome, Italy.

When shipping from the US to Germany

cheapest shipping from the US to Germany

Below are the rates for shipping a 5-pound package (5x5x5) for shipping a package from New York to Berlin, Germany.

Courier Service Lead Time Cost
USPS Priority Mail International 6-10 business days $69.80
UPS Worldwide Expedited® 3-4 business days $241.50
FedEx International Economy 5-6 business days $241.32

Takeaway: Again, USPS Priority Mail International is the cheapest option for shipping 5-pound package from New York to Berlin.

When shipping from the US to India

cheapest shipping from the US to India

Below are the rates for shipping a 5-pound package (5x5x5) for shipping a package from New York to New Delhi, India.

Courier Service Lead Time Cost
USPS Priority Mail International 6-10 business days $76.75
UPS Worldwide Expedited® 4-5 business days $248.82
FedEx International Economy 2-6 business days $231.07

Takeaway: For shipping to New Delhi, USPS Priority Mail International is the cheapest option for a 5-pound package.

When shipping from the US to Australia

cheapest shipping from the US to Australia

Below are the rates for shipping a 5-pound package (5x5x5) for shipping a package from New York to Melbourne, Australia.

Courier Service Lead Time Cost
USPS Priority Mail Express International 3-5 business days $101.75
UPS Worldwide Expedited® 4-5 business days $252.09
FedEx International Economy 2-6 business days $282.61

Takeaway: USPS Priority Mail Express International is the cheapest option for shipping to Melbourne for a 5-pound package.

When shipping from the US to the Philippines

cheapest shipping from the US to the Philippines

​​Below are the rates for shipping a 5-pound package (5x5x5) for shipping a package from New York to Manila, Philippines.

Courier Service Lead Time Cost
USPS Priority Mail International 6-10 business days $76.75
UPS Worldwide Expedited® 4-5 business days $247.76
FedEx International Economy 2-6 business days $282.61

Takeaway: Again, USPS Priority Mail International is the cheapest shipping option when shipping from the US to the Philippines.

Comparing USPS Flat Rates for International Shipping

Priority Mail International – Flat Rate service is one of the cheapest ways to mail a package internationally. For example, sending a small box to Hong Kong from Connecticut is priced at $36.45 with a maximum weight of 4 lbs.

Compare this rate to express couriers like FedEx or UPS, as seen in the chart below. With express couriers, the same shipment costs $113 and up!

Courier Service Delivery Time (claim) Cost (Retail pricing)
USPS Priority Mail International - Small Flat Rate Box 6-10 days $36.45
USPS First-Class Package International 7-15 days $26.36
USPS Priority Mail International 6-10 days $51.44
USPS Priority Mail Express International 3-5 days $67.28
UPS UPS Worldwide Expedited® 2-5 days $127.05
UPS UPS Worldwide Saver® 3-5 days $137.15
FedEx International Economy 4-6 days $113.69
FedEx International Priority 1-3 days $118.72

The caveat here is that using a small box to ship goods may not work all the time. According to the experienced folks at My Wife Quit Her Job, a small USPS box with dimensions of 8 11/16" x 5 7/16" x 1 3/4" can't hold much more than 2 lbs. So you're likely running two pounds over the weight limit! It's more realistic to expect to use the medium flat rate box to ship most items.

Priority Mail International – Flat Rate is the cheapest international shipping option, especially if you don’t have a business account with express couriers.

Comparing USPS rates for a medium box

Let's start from the assumption that we need to ship anything over 2 lbs. in a medium box. Now the question is: is the cheapest option from USPS a Flat Rate Box or Priority Mail International?

For a medium Flat Rate box, the maximum weight is 20 lbs. and the dimensions are 14" x 12" x 3 1/2". The price is $77.50.

After studying the pricing charts, I found the breakeven point for using the Priority Mail International medium box, in this case, is 8 lbs. So, if the weight of the package is between 8-20 pounds, the Medium Flat Rate Box is still the cheapest international shipping option from USPS.

Now let’s compare USPS rates for our medium box with express couriers, seen below.

Rates for medium 8lb. package from Connecticut  to Hong Kong

Courier Service Delivery Time (claim) Cost (Retail pricing)
USPS Priority Mail International - Small Flat Rate Box 6-10 days $36.45
USPS First-Class Package International 7-15 days $26.36
USPS Priority Mail International 6-10 days $51.44
USPS Priority Mail Express International 3-5 days $67.28
UPS UPS Worldwide Expedited® 2-5 days $127.05
UPS UPS Worldwide Saver® 3-5 days $137.15
FedEx International Economy 4-6 days $113.69
FedEx International Priority 1-3 days $118.72

At $77.50 and $82.15, both USPS options are far cheaper than UPS and FedEx.

But… using USPS means you get what you pay for.

When you consider USPS’ not-so-stellar record of delivery times (they do not guarantee), paired with spotty tracking service, you may want to explore other ways to get the cheapest international shipping. This is especially true if you're running a business with customers who expect timely deliveries.

Comparing USPS Rates with Easyship

Alternatively, shipping with Easyship saves you high-volume discounts for all domestic and international shipments. We'll compare the rates from major couriers to our highly-discounted rates.

Biz rates for a 8-pound package from Connecticut to Hong Kong

Courier Service Delivery Time (Claim) Delivery Time 1 (Actual) Cost (Retail Pricing) Cost (Using Easyship)*
USPS Priority Mail International 6-10 days 10-15 days $82.15 $78.04*
USPS Priority Mail Express International 3-5 days 10-15 days $101.55 $96.31*
UPS UPS Worldwide Expedited® 2-5 days 2-3 days $210.05 $112.16*
UPS UPS Worldwide Saver® 2-3 days 1-2 days $222.55 $222.55*
FedEx International Economy 4-6 days 3-5 days $212.95 $129.86*
FedEx International Priority 1-3 days 1-2 days $235.27 $134.67*

*Rates are calculated from the Easyship Shipping Rate Calculator

Easyship Offers the Cheapest International Shipping Rates

Remember how express couriers are expensive if you don't have a business account with special negotiated rates? Easyship offers the cheapest international rates with discounts up to 91% off. We’ll calculate the rates for shipping to the countries above so you can see the cheapest rates we offer.

Courier Service Lead Time Destination Cost
FedEx Cross Border Tracked 12-25 business days NY to the UK $47.10
UPS Standard® 3 business days NY to Canada $20.94
UPS Worldwide Expedited® 4 business days NY to Italy $48.67
SF Express Standard Economy 9-15 business days NY to India $62.19
UPS Worldwide Expedited® 3 business days NY to Germany $48.67
UPS Worldwide Expedited® 6 business days NY to Australia $58.63
UPS Worldwide Expedited® 6 business days NY to the Philippines $58.63

Our Shipping Rates Calculator makes the international shipping process seamless for calculating rates. As seen below, all you need to do is fill out your package information, and you’re on your way to frictionless shipping.

Easyship Shipping Rate Calculator

To conclude, the cheapest international shipping options are:

Typically, it's USPS because they offer international shipping rates far cheaper than UPS and FedEx.

  • Using UPS and FedEx to ship internationally without a business account can be really costly, with rates almost being 3x higher than USPS.
  • With Easyship, you get direct access to the dark horse shipping options. You even save 91% on express courier rates when shipping internationally.
  • Getting a shipping quote on Easyship’s platform may surprise you. You're likely to find a regional courier that ends up being the cheapest international shipping choice.

If you want to learn more about shipping internationally, we suggest you start here. Or jump right into the free shipping rate calculator to find your cheapest rates on international shipping.

What's the Cheapest Way to Ship Packages in 2020?

Download The Guide

Provide your email and we'll send you a digital copy so that you can easily refer back to it later.

To learn more about the courier services used in the comparisons, check out the following links:

Also, if you're interested in more affordable international shipping rates, consider checking out our hybrid solutions. One of these is Flat Export Rate which is a great budget option for international shipments, and only has two zones, one for Canada, one for the rest of the world which really allows merchants to simplify their shipping estimations.

Still can’t believe your eyes? Try and get a quote for your international shipment. Like what you see? Sign up for Easyship - it’s free!

**Originally posted in September 2017. Updated on May 16, 2022


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