Mail & Shipping Services | USPS (2024)

Mail & Shipping Services | USPS (1)

USPS has express and standard mail services to fit your needs. Depending on what items you’re sending (and when you want them delivered), choose based on:

  • Fastest delivery speed
  • Most affordable price
  • Shipping online vs. at a Post Office location

Mail & Shipping Services | USPS (2)

Compare Mail Services

Compare USPS mail services by starting retail prices, delivery speed, and more. Most services automatically include USPS Tracking® (except First-Class Mail® service), and you can add insurance and extra services.

Save on Shipping: If you're using Priority Mail Express®, Priority Mail®, or USPS Ground Advantage® service, you can ship online with enhanced Click-N-Ship® service and get lower Commercial Rates. Businesses can get additional savings by opting in to the Business Rate Card.

Description

Price

Delivery Speed

Max Weight

Tracking

Insurance

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Fastest Delivery Speed

Fast air delivery for your most important mail and packages (with some Flat Rate options).

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Priority Mail Express®

You're sending something urgent that must arrive next-day or 2-day.1 You need date-certain delivery with money-back guarantee.2

From $30.45

Next-Day to 2-Day1

70 lbs

Included

Up to $100 insurance included3; you can buy additional insurance coverage up to $5,000

Ship Now

Priority Mail®

You're sending important items that need to arrive in 1-3 business days.4

Flat Rate Envelope: From $9.85

USPS Mailing Box (Flat Rate): From $10.40

Your Own Box By Weight/Zone: From $9.25

1-3 business days4

70 lbs

Included

Up to $100 insurance included3; you can buy additional insurance coverage up to $5,000.

Ship Now

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Simple, Affordable, Reliable

Save money shipping packages by ground.

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USPS Ground Advantage®

Low rates for packages with expected delivery in 2-5 business days5 (also the primary option for HAZMAT items that can't travel by air).

From $5.00

2–5 business days5

70 lbs

Included

Up to $100 insurance included3; you can buy additional insurance coverage up to $5,000.

Ship Now

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Postcards & Envelopes

Mail, like postcards, letters in small envelopes (up to 3.5 oz), and large envelopes (up to 13 oz).

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First-Class Mail®

You're sending a letter envelope (under 3.5 oz) or large envelope (under 13 oz) that's flat and bends easily.

From $0.53 (postcards)

From $0.68 (letters)

From $1.39 (large envelopes)

1-5 Business Days

Letters: 3.5 oz

Large Envelopes: 13 oz

No. (Delivery confirmation available if you add a service such as Certified Mail)

No for letters (unless you buy certain other add-on services.)

Buy Now

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Expand All Compared Features

Mail & Shipping Services | USPS (3)

Priority Mail Express

Next-Day to 2-Day Guarantee by 6 PM2

Our fastest domestic shipping service, Priority Mail Express® delivers 7 days a week, 365 days a year (with limited exceptions). Next-day delivery is available to most U.S. addresses and PO Box1 addresses with a money-back guarantee2. With our free Flat Rate Envelopes, you don’t need to weigh shipments 70 lbs and under. Purchase Priority Mail Express postage and shipping labels at a Post Office location or online. Prices start at $30.45 at a Post Office. (Ship online with enhanced Click-N-Ship service and get lower Commercial Rates.)

Ship Online with Priority Mail Express .Learn More about Priority Mail Express

Mail & Shipping Services | USPS (4)

Mail & Shipping Services | USPS (5)

Priority Mail

Shipping in 1–3 Business Days4

Priority Mail® is our bestselling mail service. Domestic deliveries arrive in 1-3 business days4 depending on where your package starts and where it’s going. Tracking and insurance are included, shipping boxes and envelopes are free, and with Priority Mail Flat Rate®, you don't need to weigh shipments 70 lbs and under. Purchase Priority Mail postage and shipping labels at a Post Office or online. Prices start at $9.25 at a Post Office. (Ship online with enhanced Click-N-Ship service and get lower Commercial Rates. Businesses can get additional savings by opting in to the Business Rate Card.)

Ship Online with Priority Mail.Learn More about Priority Mail

Mail & Shipping Services | USPS (6)

Mail & Shipping Services | USPS (7)

USPS Ground Advantage

Shipping in 2-5 Business Days5

USPS Ground Advantage® is an affordable and reliable way to send packages up to 70 lbs inside the U.S. Packages up to 15.999 oz are priced by the ounce, rounded up to 4 oz, 8 oz, 12 oz, and 15.999 oz. Packages heavier than 15.999 oz are charged by the pound (rounded up). Prices start at just $5.00 at a Post Office. (Ship online with enhanced Click-N-Ship service and get lower Commercial Rates. Businesses can get additional savings by opting in to the Business Rate Card.)

Ship Online with USPS Ground AdvantageLearn More about USPS Ground Advantage

Mail & Shipping Services | USPS (8)

Mail & Shipping Services | USPS (9)

First-Class Mail

Mail in 1–5 Business Days

First-Class Mail® is an affordable mail service for standard-sized, single-piece envelopes weighing up to 3.5 oz and large envelopes weighing up to 13 oz. Prices start at $0.68 at a Post Office.

Buy Stamps for First-Class Mail.Learn More about First-Class Mail

Mail & Shipping Services | USPS (10)

Media Mail

Shipping in 2–8 Business Days6

Media Mail® is a cost-effective way to send eligible books, media, and educational materials. You can only send certain types of media: If you try to include anything that’s not allowed, you (or your recipient) will have to pay higher postage rates. All Media Mail packages are subject to opening and inspection by the Postal Service. Prices start at $4.13 at a Post Office.

Using Media Mail

Here's what you can send:

  • Books (at least 8 pages)
  • 16-millimeter or narrower width films
  • Printed music and test materials
  • Video and sound recordings (including tapes, albums, and CDs/DVDs)
  • Playscripts and manuscripts
  • Printed educational reference charts
  • Medical loose-leaf pages and binders
  • Computer-readable media

NOTE: Video games, computer drives, and digital drives do not qualify for Media Mail prices.

Weight, Size, & Shape Requirements

  • Maximum weight is 70 lbs.

See the full list of requirements and allowed items: Media Mail Eligibility Standards

(Note: Library Mail is a related service for eligible organizations, including schools, museums, nonprofits, and other groups.)

Additional Package Fees:

  • Dimensional (DIM) weight rates apply to large, lightweight packages. If your package is larger than 1 cubic foot (1,728 cubic inches):

    1. Multiply Length x Width x Height and divide by 166 to get the DIM weight in pounds.
    2. If the DIM weight is greater than the actual package weight, you’ll need to pay the DIM weight price.

    Example: You have a package that is 16” x 12” x 10” and weighs 5 lbs.

    1. Multiply length x width x height to get the volume of 1,920 cubic inches. That’s larger than 1 cubic foot (1,728 cubic inches), so you must divide by 166 to find its DIM weight: 1,920 divided by 166 equals 11.56, which rounds up to 12 lbs.
    2. The DIM weight of 12 lbs is greater than the actual package weight of 5 lbs. You must pay the postage as if the package actually weighs 12 lbs.
  • If you omit or give inaccurate dimensions and/or don’t pay the DIM weight rate (when it applies), you’ll pay a dimension-noncompliance fee of $1.50.

  • Nonstandard Fee: You’ll pay an extra fee for sending a nonstandard size:
    1. For ground shipping via USPS Ground Advantage, you’ll pay more if your package measures:
    • Between 22 and 30 inches long: add $4.00
    • More than 30 inches long: add $8.40
    • More than 2 cubic feet (3,456 cubic inches): add $18.00
  • For expedited shipping (via Priority Mail Express or Priority Mail), you’ll pay more if your package measures:
    • Between 22 and 30 inches long: add $4.00
    • More than 30 inches long: add $18.00
    • More than 2 cubic feet (3,456 cubic inches): add $30.00

For business shippers using Parcel Select® service, learn more about how to measure your package and what fees may apply.

TIP: Use the USPS® Price Calculator tool to calculate your domestic postage costs. You'll need to know your package’s weight, shape, and size measurements.

Calculate a Price

1. For many major markets. Average number of days based on origin and destination. Back ^ to legal disclaimer 1
2. Exceptions apply. For details, visit the Domestic Mail Manual. Back ^ to legal disclaimer 2
3. Insurance coverage is provided against loss, damage, or missing contents and is limited to a maximum liability of $100 when then the pieces bear an Intelligent Mail barcode (IMpb) or USPS retail tracking barcode and the mailer pays retail or commercial prices. For more details, see the Domestic Mail Manual Section 503.4. Back ^ to legal disclaimer 3
4. In most cases, the expected delivery date printed on your receipt or provided at checkout will reflect a delivery time of 1, 2, or 3 business days and is based on origin, destination, and drop-off time. The expected delivery date does not come with a money-back guarantee. Back ^ to legal disclaimer 4
5. For mailable items up to 70 lbs. Expected delivery in 2–5 business days. Packages going to certain places (including Alaska, Hawaii, and offshore destinations), or containing hazardous materials or live animals may receive slower service. Back ^ to legal disclaimer 5
6. The timeliness of service to or from destinations outside the contiguous U.S. may be affected by the limited availability of transportation. Back ^ to legal disclaimer 6

Mail & Shipping Services | USPS (2024)

FAQs

What is the cheapest service to mail a package? ›

USPS Priority Mail is generally the cheapest shipping service for 2-3 day shipping. FedEx, UPS, and other courier companies offer delivery services with similar lead time expectations, but USPS offers the lowest rates.

What is the best mail delivery service? ›

Out of the three major carriers, USPS is typically the cheapest option. After that, UPS comes in at a close second, and FedEx ranks as the most expensive (yet arguably most reliable) carrier. Since it offers the best mix of affordability and service, USPS is the most popular small ecommerce shipping solution.

Is it cheaper to mail via UPS or USPS? ›

Which is cheaper UPS or USPS, is a crucial question when comparing any shipping carriers. UPS is often more expensive than USPS due to fees and surcharges, especially when it comes to shipping smaller packages. Generally, USPS offers much better rates when shipping smaller packages of less than two pounds.

What is shipping and mailing service? ›

Let's Break it Down: Mailing: the process of mailing a letter or envelope correspondence through the U.S. Postal System (USPS) and international postal system. Shipping: the process of sending a package or correspondence using one of three modes of transportation—land, sea, or air.

Does the USPS charge by weight or size? ›

In general, the heavier the mailpiece, the more it costs to mail. For Priority Mail Express, the weight and distance the piece travels determines the price, except for items mailed in USPS-provided Priority Mail Express Flat Rate packaging.

Does UPS charge by weight or size? ›

Rates are based on the total actual weight or the total dimensional weight of all packages in a shipment, whichever is greater. Dimensional Weight is determined by using the International Air Transport Association (IATA) volumetric standard, which is subject to change without prior notice.

What is the cheapest way to ship a 2 pound package? ›

For packages weighing under 1 lb, USPS First Class Mail is usually the cheapest shipping method. For packages weighing between 1 lb and 5 lbs, USPS Priority Mail is often the cheapest way to ship. For packages weighing between 5 lbs and 10 lbs, UPS Ground and FedEx Ground are usually the cheapest way to ship.

How much does it cost to ship a box of clothes UPS? ›

Parcel Shipping (UPS or FedEx)
Box sizeUPS (starting at)*FedEx*
Small$12.40$12.05-$166.55
Medium$14.95$15.70-$181.70
Large$19.60$24.20-$201.45
Extra Large$24.30$39.10-$259.95
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Jun 30, 2023

What is the most trusted shipping company? ›

11 best international shipping services in 2024
  • DHL. ...
  • UPS. ...
  • PostNL. ...
  • DB Schenker. ...
  • DTDC. ...
  • TNT. ...
  • YRC Freight. ...
  • Royal Mail. Royal Mail is renowned for its reliable shipping services covering over 230 countries and territories globally.
Mar 16, 2024

Does the USPS have free boxes? ›

Most USPS boxes are free, including Regional Rate boxes and Flat Rate boxes. This is also true of all packaging for all USPS Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express services. To clarify, Flat Rate and Regional Rate fall under the umbrella of Priority Mail services, so that's why they come with free USPS boxes.

How much is 2-day priority mail? ›

Next-Day to 2-Day Guarantee by 6 PM

Purchase Priority Mail Express postage and shipping labels at a Post Office location or online. Prices start at $30.45 at a Post Office.

How much is a box at USPS? ›

Priority Mail Flat Rate Products
Free Supplies8Shipping Price
Legal Flat Rate Envelope$8.80 Commercial Pricing $10.15 at Post Office
Small Flat Rate Box$9.05 Commercial Pricing $10.40 at Post Office
Medium Flat Rate Box — 1 (top-loading)$16.00 Commercial Pricing $18.40 at Post Office
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What types of mail delivery services websites are available? ›

There are many mailing services online—but most people only need to concern themselves with the Big Three: USPS®, FedEx®, and UPS®.

What are the different ways to ship mail? ›

Domestic Mail & Shipping Services
ServiceShipping TimePricing
Priority Mail Express®Next Day to 2 Days4$$$
Priority Mail®1–3 Days5$$
USPS Ground Advantage®2–5 Days6$
Media Mail®2–8 Days$
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Do people still send mail? ›

About 425.3 million letters and packages are processed and delivered each day. Snail mail can be seen as a personal and thoughtful way of communication.

What's cheaper, FedEx or USPS? ›

FedEx is more expensive than USPS, but in return, you get an advanced tracking system at a cost sometimes lower than that of UPS. You may connect your own FedEx account to Calcurates in order to start getting FedEx real-time rates with estimated delivery dates and displaying them at your store's checkout.

Is it cheaper to ship UPS or FedEx? ›

Takeaway: FedEx shipping provides cheaper rates if you are paying the retail price when sending a small package at shorter distances. If you use Easyship, UPS will have a better rate.

Is it cheaper to send books by USPS or UPS? ›

USPS MediaMail is the Cheapest and Best Service to Ship Books! USPS Media Mail offers the best and cheapest way to ship books.

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