USPS Zones - Shipment Distance | Overview

The USPS uses the term "zones" to describe the actual distance a domestic shipment must travel.

Zones range from Zone 1 (local) to Zone 9 (very far away). A zone is determined by the "ship from" zip code as it relates to the "ship to" zip code. The farther a package must travel, the more zones it crosses, and the more it costs to ship it.

Finding the zone for a shipment:

The first 3 digits of your destination ZIP Code determine the zone, which is what is used if you are shipping locally. If you are shipping non-local, the zone is determined by how many zones a package crosses to arrive at the destination. You can look up the zone for you shipment using the USPS Zone lookup tool.

Zone-based services:

Zones only apply to USPS domestic services. If a weight- or dimensional-based service is selected, then the zone will factor into the overall cost of the service.

  • Priority Mail: See USPS rate tables to determine shipping cost between zone
  • Priority Mail Express: See USPS rate tables to determine shipping cost between zone.
  • Priority Mail Regional Rate: Zoned service that uses different packages to save you money. Learn more.
  • First-Class Package Service: Available only for packages less than 1 lb. Learn more.

Exempt services:

Some USPS domestic services are exempt from zone-based pricing.

  • Flat Rate package types: Available for packages up to 70 lbs. Learn more.


Related articles:

Which Country Price Group does my international shipment qualify for?
What is USPS Regional Rate shipping?
Best of Rules: Assign USPS Regional Rate Box to shipments with specific zones
What Canadian zone will be used for my Priority Mail International rate?
What is the most cost effective way to ship via USPS?

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