What is a Zone?

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The USPS uses "zones" to measure 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.

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.

Finding the zone for a shipment:

USPS provides a detailed breakdown of zones based on specific sets of zip codes. Go to USPS' look up tool

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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