2022 USPS Flat Rate Box Sizes, Prices, and How it Works (2022)

2022 USPS Flat Rate Box Sizes, Prices, and How it Works (1)

2022 USPS Flat Rate Box Sizes, Prices, and How it Works (2)

USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes are an easy-to-use,cost-effective shipping option. You can easily ship like the experts; just know the USPS Flat Rate box sizes, prices, and how it works before you buy.

How Does USPS Flat Rate Shipping Work?

The USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate service will ship your package anywhere in the U.S. in 1-3 business days for a flat fee. To ship with this service, follow these easy steps:

(Video) How to use USPS Regional Rate A & B Boxes!

  1. Order free Flat Rate boxes from the USPS. You have to use the branded Flat Rate boxes to get the Flat Rate shipping price, and you can order them online or pick them up at your local Post Office.
  2. Sign up for a free Shippo account to access the best rates on USPS Flat Rate shipping and print your labels from the comfort of your office or home.
  3. Bonus! Determine if a USPS Flat Rate box is the cheapest option for the items you’re looking to ship, since it’s not always the most affordable choice.

What are the 2022 USPS Flat Rate Box Sizes and Prices?

As you’ll see below, Shippo offers discounted shipping rates when compared to what you’d find at your local Post Office. No volume or coding requirements. On top of this, Shippo merchants get access to special pricing on Priority Mail Flate Rate services during peak season. Sign up for a free Shippo account, to see live discounted rates and print USPS labels for Flat Rate Boxes.

2022 USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate
Shippo vs. Retail Rates
ProductsDimensionsShippo Rate Retail RateSavings Using Shippo vs. Retail

% Savings with Shippo

Flat Rate Envelope12 ½” x 9 ½”$7.75$8.95$1.2013.41%
Legal Flat Rate Envelope15” x 9 ½”$8.05$9.25$1.2012.97%
Padded Flat Rate Envelope12 ½” x 9 ½”$8.45$9.65$1.2012.44%
Small Flat Rate BoxOutside:

8 11/16” x 5 7/16” x 1 ¾”

Inside:
8 ⅝” x 5 ⅜” x 1 ⅝”

$8.25$9.45$1.2012.70%
Medium Flat Rate Box – 1 (Top-Loading)Outside:

11 ¼” x 8 ¾” x 6”

Inside:
11” x 8 ½” x 5 ½”

$14.25$16.10$1.8511.49%
Medium Flat Rate Box – 2 (Side-Loading) Outside:

14” x 12” x 3 ½”

Inside:
13 ⅝” x 11 ⅞” x 3 ⅜”

$14.25$16.10$1.8511.49%
Large Flat Rate BoxesOutside:

12 ¼” x 12 ¼” x 6”

Inside:
12” x 12” x 5 ½”

$19.20$21.50$2.3010.70%

Is Priority Mail the Same as Flat Rate?

USPS Priority Mail is one of the most popular service levels the Postal Service offers, and for good reason. It’s cost-effective and encompasses three widely-used shipping options: Priority Mail Flat Rate (which we discussed above), Priority Mail weight-based, and Priority Mail Cubic.

To ship via Flat Rate, you need to use the Flat Rate branded boxes. To use Cubic and weight-based options, you must use your own packaging or USPS Priority Mail boxes.

Which is Cheaper: Flat Rate or Priority Mail?

Generally speaking, the USPS Flat Rate boxes are a great option for heavy items that are traveling long distances.We ran the numbers to find out exactly when you should use a Flat Rate box and when you should use your own packaging and ship via USPS Priority Mail weight-based or Cubic instead.

When to Use USPS Flat Rate Envelopes

  • USPS Flat Rate Envelopes are almost ALWAYS the cheapest option.
  • However, use your own envelope for packages weighing exactly 1 lb. and traveling locally.
  • And if your package weighs less than 1 lb., use your own envelope and ship via USPS First-Class Package Service.

Use your own envelope (NOT a Flat Rate envelope) for the following scenarios:

(Video) Understanding Flat Rate Shipping: How To Increase Profit With Flat Rate Shipping Boxes And Envelopes

Flat Rate Envelope (12 1/2″ x 9 1/2″) – $7.40
Qualifications for Using Own PackagingCost to ShipSavings
Weighs 0.5-1 lb. and traveling less than 50 miles (Zone 0,1,2)$7.16$0.24
Legal Flat Rate Envelope (15″ x 9 1/2″) – $7.70
Qualifications for Using Own PackagingCost to ShipSavings
Weighs 0.5-1 lb. and traveling less than 600 miles (Zone 0-4)$7.16 – $7.67Up To $0.54
Padded Flat Rate Envelope (12 1/2″ x 9 1/2″) – $8.00
Qualifications for Using Own PackagingCost to ShipSavings
Weighs 0.5-1 lb. and traveling less than 600 miles (Zone 0-5)$7.16 – $7.88Up to $0.84
Weighs 2 lbs. and traveling less than 50 miles (Zone 0,1,2)$7.79$0.21

When to Use USPS Flat Rate Boxes

  • For 1 – 20 lb. packages, choose Flat Rate for long distances and your own box for short distances.
  • For <1 lb. packages, use your own box and ship via USPS First-Class Package Service.
  • For >20 lb. packages, use a Flat Rate box.

Use your own box (NOT a Flat Rate box) for the following scenarios:

Sm. Flat Rate Box (8 5/8″ x 5 3/8″ x 1 5/8″) – $7.90
Qualifications for Using Own PackagingCost to ShipSavings
Weighs 0.5-20 lbs. and traveling less than 600 miles (Zone 0-4)$7.16 – $7.81Up to $0.74
Med. Flat Rate Box (11 1/4″ x 8 3/4″ x 6″) – $13.75
Qualifications for Using Own PackagingCost to ShipSavings
Weighs 0.5-2 lbs. and traveling anywhere except U.S. Territories (Zone 0-8)$7.16 – $11.69Up to $6.59
Weighs 3-20 lbs. and traveling less than 1400 miles (Zone 0-6)$8.00 – $13.58Up to $5.75
Lg. Flat Rate Box (12 1/4″ x 12 1/4″ x 6″) – $19.30
Qualifications for Using Own PackagingCost to ShipSavings
Weighs 0.5-1 lb. and traveling to any U.S. State including Hawaii and Alaska$7.16 – $11.69Up to $12.14
Weighs 2-4 lbs. and traveling anywhere except U.S. Territories (Zone 0-8)$7.79 – $18.96Up to $11.51
Weighs 5-20 lbs. and traveling less than 1800 miles (Zone 0-7)$8.20 – $18.08Up to $11.10

Keep in mind that the maximum weight is 70 pounds. And, when sealing a Flat Rate envelope or box, the container flaps must be able to close within the normal folds.

Is Priority Mail (Weight-based) or Flat Rate Faster?

Technically speaking, they are all part of the Priority Mail mail stream, so they all ship within 1-3 business days.

Are There Any Other Restrictions?

There are specific regulations and standards for mailing restricted, prohibited, and hazardous materials, including cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. You also can’t ship airbags, ammunition, explosives, or gasoline. For more details, visit the USPS Shipping Restrictions page.

How Do I Get a USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Label?

Setting up a free Shippo account takes just a few minutes, and then you can print the label from your office or warehouse. (Feel free to check out our USPS shipping calculator to get a clearer picture of how you can save on USPS shipping rates by using Shippo.) Affix the label to the USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate box. Then, put it in your mailbox or schedule a pick-up with your local mail carrier in the Shippo dashboard.

(Video) Should USPS Accept This? - Flat Rate Bulletin 22435 Breakdown

Make sure the label you’re using matches the packaging. For example, if you use a Priority Mail Express Flat Rate box, you need to use a Priority Mail Express Flat Rate label.

If you liked this post, you may also be interested in a video that our co-founder Laura Behrens Wu did with the co-founder of packaging solution company Lumi on shipping with the USPS.

Shippo is a multi-carrier API and web app that helps retailers, marketplaces, and platforms connect to a global network of carriers. Businesses use Shippo to get real-time rates, print labels, automate international paperwork, track packages and facilitate returns. Shippo provides the tools to help businesses succeed through e-commerce shipping.

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Michelle McNamara is a Senior Marketing Manager at Shippo

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FAQs

Does it matter how much a Flat Rate box weighs? ›

Weight restrictions for domestic Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Envelopes, and Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes and Boxes are 70 pounds. Weight restrictions for Priority Mail Express International Flat Rate Envelopes are 4 pounds.

Is it cheaper to use a Flat Rate box or your own box USPS? ›

As we mentioned above, combining your own custom packaging with the right USPS service is often more cost-effective than using flat-rate boxes. One such option is taking advantage of cubic pricing. Priority Mail cubic pricing is a more efficient USPS service for shipping small packages that weigh up to 20 pounds.

How do USPS Flat Rate boxes work? ›

Flat rate shipping means the price of shipping is not connected to the weight, shape, or size of the shipped item, hence the term “flat rate.” It's based on how much you can stuff into the USPS-issued box. Ecommerce businesses ship products at a flat rate by following these steps.

What are the sizes and prices of USPS Flat Rate boxes? ›

USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Options
TypeSize*Retail Rate
Small Box8 1116" x 5 716" x 1 ¾"$10.40
Medium Box11 ¼" x 8 ¾" x 6" or 14" x 12" x 3 ½"$17.05
Large Box12" x 12 ¼" x 6"$22.45
APO/FPO Box12" x 12 ¼" x 6"$20.95
5 more rows
2 Oct 2022

Can I use a flat rate box but pay by weight? ›

The weight restriction for domestic Flat Rate Envelopes and Boxes is 70 lbs. If an FRE or FRB is presented at the office of mailing and the customer has manipulated or reconstructed it, the container is accepted using weight and zone — not the Flat Rate price.

Can you put liquids in a flat rate box? ›

You can use any of the following options to ship your liquid including: Flat Rate Shipping: packages under 50lbs.

Do I need to print a label for a flat rate box? ›

Print Your Labels

Once you have your boxes, you print the appropriate labels. Your labels must contain your sender and receiver as well as the envelope or box type. Because there's no need to weigh it, you'll get your flat shipping rate right away.

Can I use a regular label on a flat rate box? ›

Do I need to use a Priority Mail® box if I buy a Priority Mail® label? The only time you have to use a Priority Mail-branded box is if you're shipping a Flat Rate box or envelope. In that case, your postage has to be for the same type of Flat Rate packaging that you used.

Can I use my own box for priority mail flat rate? ›

First-Class Mail items weighing more than 13 ounces is called Priority Mail. If you use your own envelope or box for Priority Mail, identify it with the marking, "Priority Mail." Priority Mail packaging provided by the USPS must be used only for Priority Mail.

What is the difference between a flat rate box and a priority box? ›

The main difference between USPS Priority Mail and USPS Flat Rate is the way the shipping cost is calculated. USPS Priority mail uses the dimensional weight and shipping distance to calculate the shipping cost. On the other hand, USPS Flat Rate uses only the package size to calculate the shipping cost.

How do you calculate flat rate shipping? ›

Just weigh the package and use a shipping cost calculator to get a shipping price. If the parcel is small but heavy, get a shipping cost based on dimensional volume which might be cheaper. Remember that when calculating postage by weight, use the total weight of the package and not the weight of the product itself.

Does USPS charge by weight or size? ›

For First-Class Mail, shape and weight will determine the price. For Priority Mail, the price is a combination of weight, size, and how far the mailpiece is traveling. Priority Mail pieces that exceed one cubic foot, are subject to "dimensional weight pricing".

Is it cheaper to mail Flat Rate or priority? ›

Looking at the USPS pricing chart, we can see that if your shipment weighs under 2 pounds, USPS Priority Mail rates will be cheaper than the Medium Flat Rate Box. The only exception is if you are shipping something between 1 lb, 1 oz - 2 lbs to Zone 9; in this case, it's best to use the Medium Flat Rate Box.

How much does each Flat Rate box cost? ›

Priority Mail Flat Rate Products
Free Supplies8Shipping Price
Medium Flat Rate Box — 1 (top-loading)$15.00 Commercial Base $17.05 at Post Office & Online
Medium Flat Rate Box — 2 (side-loading)$15.00 Commercial Base $17.05 at Post Office & Online
Large Flat Rate Box$19.95 Commercial Base $22.45 at Post Office & Online
9 more rows

Is it cheaper to ship 3 small boxes or 1 large box? ›

If possible, it's often better to ship two smaller boxes rather than one large, heavy box. This will spread the weight of your cargo over two smaller parcels, which can significantly reduce your shipping costs especially if the large box would qualify for large or oversized pricing.

What can you not mail in a flat rate box? ›

Alcohol, prescription medications, and guns are prohibited, and they may be shipped only by dealers and manufacturers following special rules. You typically cannot ship tobacco or tobacco products, other than cigars, with some exceptions made for business or research use.

Can you use any envelope for USPS flat rate? ›

Our Express Mail ® Flat-Rate Envelope eliminates the need to weigh contents and calculate postage for anything that can fit into the Flat-Rate Envelope.
...
Domestic Priority Mail Flat-Rate Packaging Information.
PackagePriceSize
Priority Mail Flat-Rate Envelope$4.9512-1/2" x 9-1/2"
5 more rows
13 Aug 2009

Can you put bulky items in flat rate envelope? ›

With Flat Rate Envelopes, bulges and thickness may not matter. Flat Rate Envelopes are best suited for documents, but if you choose to send another type of item (up to 70 pounds), it should not reconstruct or expand the envelope in any way. As long as the envelope closes within the normal folds, bulges will not matter.

Why does the post office ask if you have liquids? ›

Employees of the United States Postal Service, or USPS, are trained to ask customers whether the package they are shipping contains anything liquid, hazardous, perishable or breakable. This determines whether additional precautions will be necessary during the mailing process.

Do you need a special box for flat rate? ›

To ship via Flat Rate, you need to use the Flat Rate branded boxes. To use Cubic and weight-based options, you must use your own packaging or USPS Priority Mail boxes.

Can I use duct tape on a flat rate box? ›

You can use whatever tape you wish to seal flat rate boxes.

What happens if you don't print a shipping label for a printer? ›

In general, if you have chosen not to print your own label at home, you will be given a QR code on your phone, and you can take this to the location. The machine will have the equipment to scan it with, and this should bring up your shipping label and the address information.

Is it cheaper to print your own USPS label? ›

Save Money in the Long Run by Printing Your Own Shipping Labels. Yes, you will have an upfront cost to rent the equipment needed to create professional shipping labels, but it will be more affordable in the long run because you will save on supplies and printer maintenance.

Can I put any label on a priority mail box? ›

Yes, so long as you're not shipping via Flat Rate. If you're shipping Priority Mail Commercial from home, you can use any box you want. Just be sure to remove any old postal barcodes or labels.

Can you get in trouble for using Priority Mail boxes? ›

If any Priority Mail Express service or Priority Mail service packaging or packaging supplies e.g., Priority Mail tape to seal a USPS Retail Ground® package, are used on any other class of mail, the applicable Priority Mail Express or Priority Mail price will be charged.. Misuse may be a violation of federal law.

What is the cheapest way to mail a package? ›

First Class Mail envelopes, flat rate envelopes, and USPS Priority Mail offer the lowest rates for small packages. Another option is to use cubic pricing. Cubic pricing is a special USPS service that offers lower shipping rates when sending small, heavy items that are under 20lbs with USPS Priority Mail.

Who has the cheapest flat rate box? ›

For single boxes, USPS is often the cheapest option. For larger boxes or shipments of multiple boxes, consolidated freight is one of the most cost-effective shipping methods. Compare rates for shipping flat rate boxes using the most common shipping methods: USPS.

How do I calculate my package? ›

Shipping Costs FAQs

To calculate dimensional (DIM) weight, multiply the length, width, and height of a package, using the longest point on each side. Then, divide the cubic size of the package in inches by the DIM divisor to calculate the dimensional weight in pounds.

How do you calculate delivery cost per item? ›

To calculate cost per order, you first need to add up all of your order expenses — everything you spend to acquire, fulfill, package, and ship orders — for a set period of time. Then, you divide your order expenses by the total number of orders you received during the same timeframe.

How much does it cost to send a 30lb box USPS? ›

To find the best delivery prices, use the shipping calculator. USPS: A package weighing between 26-30 pounds will have a delivery rate of $120.

Does USPS check every package weight? ›

Most parcels will be weighed at acceptance, but a lot of them will never get weighed again, nor will anyone even look at how much postage was paid. Sometimes, the amount isn't even on the package, just that postage was paid. If a package is refused, does USPS keep a record of that?

Do I need exact weight for package? ›

The good news is you don't have to get an exact measurement. If you're unsure, the best practice is to always round up. If your guess is under, your package may be delayed while the carrier contacts you regarding the additional shipment costs.

Does the size of the box matter when shipping USPS? ›

The maximum size for most mailpieces is 108 inches in combined length and girth. USPS Retail Ground pieces may measure up to 130 inches in combined length and girth (but will be charged oversized prices). Regardless of the size of the mailpiece, the maximum mailable weight of any mailpiece is 70 pounds.

How much is priority flat rate cost? ›

Domestic Prices
ServicePrices
Priority Mail®From $9.00 at the Post Office From $7.62 for Commercial Base From $7.62 for Commercial Plus
Priority Mail Flat Rate® Envelope$9.90 at the Post Office $8.50 for Commercial Base $8.50 for Commercial Plus
Prepaid Forever Priority Mail Flat RateSee pricing online
20 more rows

How much is a medium flat rate box 2022? ›

$15.50 $16.10

What does a flat rate include? ›

Flat rate is a pricing scheme whereby the customer pays a fixed price for a service regardless of how long the worker takes to carry out the service. Flat rate manuals are based on timed studies of the typical time taken for each type of service.

What is the least expensive way to ship large boxes? ›

One of the cheapest ways to send large packages is through freight shipping services. But it's also a good idea to check and compare prices with USPS, FedEx, and DHL. You may get a lower price depending on the weight and class of your products.

What is the cheapest way to ship a medium sized box? ›

For packages weighing less than 16oz, USPS is almost always the cheapest way to ship. However UPS ground can be less expensive when packages exceed 2lbs in weight.

How much does it cost to ship a 10 lb package? ›

2021 USPS Parcel Select Ground Shipping Rates
Parcel Select (wt. not over)Zones 1 & 2Zone 3
8 lb$8.39$10.18
9 lb$9.25$10.58
10 lb$9.65$11.04
11 lb$11.65$14.04
44 more rows
15 Aug 2021

What happens if box weighs more than shipping label? ›

If your parcel weight is more than what is stated on the shipping label, most courier companies will issue a surcharge for the overweight package or send it back to the pick-up address.

Does weight matter USPS? ›

The weight of your mailpiece is an important factor in determining the postage price you pay. In general, the heavier the mailpiece, the more it costs to mail.

How much weight can you ship in a flat rate box? ›

Priority Mail Flat Rate® lets you ship packages up to 70 lbs to any state at the same price. Ship from Post Office locations or from your home or business with Click-N-Ship® service. Prices start at $9.00.

What is the maximum weight for a large flat rate box? ›

Is there a weight limit on the Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box? A. There is a 70-pound weight limit for domestic destinations. There is a 20-pound weight limit for the box addressed to international destinations.

Is it better to ship one heavy box or two lighter boxes? ›

If possible, it's often better to ship two smaller boxes rather than one large, heavy box. This will spread the weight of your cargo over two smaller parcels, which can significantly reduce your shipping costs especially if the large box would qualify for large or oversized pricing.

Does package weight have to be exact? ›

They can be rather picky but basically it's by the pound for packages. Example, weight given is 5 pounds 4.7 ounces bit actual weight is 5 pounds 6.8 ounces. In each instance because the cost rounds up to 6 pounds it's OK, just don't go over the rounded up weight. For letters on the other hand, ounces can matter.

Does USPS care about package dimensions? ›

Maximum Parcel Size

Pieces going to a domestic location may not measure more than 108 inches in length and girth combined. USPS Retail Ground® mailpieces are an exception; they may not measure more than 130 inches in length and girth combined.

Is it cheaper to mail by weight or Flat Rate? ›

Flat Rate packaging provides a better value than weight-based pricing if your products fit within the defined dimensions of the Flat Rate packages. Flat Rate Envelopes and Small Boxes have a distinct advantage when shipping shorter distances, Zones 1-4, and for parcels weighing less than 20 lbs.

What if I put the wrong weight on a package USPS? ›

The USPS does not round down weight measurements — they round them up. So, if a package weighs 1 pound 3 ozs, the package will be charged at the 2 pound rate. You still supply the actual weight, but the amount charged will be the same. If the package weighs exactly 2 pounds, the postage charge will be the same.

What happens if you put the wrong weight USPS? ›

If that happens, the package may come back to you, requiring it to be reshipped (and delaying delivery time), or the customer may be liable for paying the difference in postage. Either way, choosing the wrong mail class for a heavier package is likely to result in some unhappy customers.

Can I use my own box for priority mail Flat Rate? ›

First-Class Mail items weighing more than 13 ounces is called Priority Mail. If you use your own envelope or box for Priority Mail, identify it with the marking, "Priority Mail." Priority Mail packaging provided by the USPS must be used only for Priority Mail.

What is the most economical way to ship a box? ›

Use flat-rate shipping where possible—flat-rate shipping will almost always be the best value for money, especially for domestic delivery. Flat-rate shipping means that you can predict prices more accurately. No matter what kind of parcel you have or what dimensions or weight it is, the price will always be the same.

How do I figure out shipping costs? ›

Just weigh the package and use a shipping cost calculator to get a shipping price. If the parcel is small but heavy, get a shipping cost based on dimensional volume which might be cheaper. Remember that when calculating postage by weight, use the total weight of the package and not the weight of the product itself.

Is flat rate the cheapest way to ship? ›

For small, heavy items, flat rate shipping can be more economical because the weight of your cargo doesn't impact the shipping cost (as long as it's under your provider's weight limit), but there are also times when variable pricing may be cheaper than flat rate—very light shipments, for example.

What is the difference between flat rate and priority mail? ›

The main difference between USPS Priority Mail and USPS Flat Rate is the way the shipping cost is calculated. USPS Priority mail uses the dimensional weight and shipping distance to calculate the shipping cost. On the other hand, USPS Flat Rate uses only the package size to calculate the shipping cost.

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