Cheapest Shipping Services for USPS, UPS, FedEx | Overview

Finding the best shipping rate is not always the easiest task. Fortunately, there are some general guidelines that can help you get started. Generally speaking, the cheapest shipping options depends on a few factors, such as:

  • Weight of the shipment. Is it more or less than 1lb?
  • Type of package. Are you using a flat envelope or box with volume?
  • Carrier and rates. Do you have access to any discounts?

When choosing the most cost-effective service, keep all your options in mind. Many carriers offer free packaging which can help you save money on supplies. On the other hand, using your own packaging gives you the opportunity to promote your brand. Just remember to optimize the size of the boxes to avoid dimensional weight surcharges.

Check out the cheapest shipping options from USPS, UPS, and FedEx.


First-Class Mail:
  • Letters that weigh under 1oz: the cheapest option is a USPS First-Class Postage Stamp.
  • Large envelopes that weigh less than 13 ounces: USPS First-Class Mail is the cheapest option. Keep in mind, this service is designed for letters, documents, and thin-flat items. Given its low price, it does not include tracking.
First-Class Package Service:
  • Packages that weigh less than 16 ounces: if you are using an online shipping solution with access to Commercial pricing, USPS First-Class Package Service is the cheapest option that includes tracking. Keep in mind that if you bring the same package to the Post Office, it cannot weigh more than 13 ounces if you plan to use First-Class Package Service.
Priority Mail:
  • Packages that weigh more than 1 lb: if your package is too heavy for First-Class Package Service, the cheapest option will most likely be USPS Priority Mail. Flat Rate and Regional Rate packaging will get you the best rate. Even then, using properly sized custom packaging is a good value with Priority Mail's included tracking and insurance.

TIP: USPS discounted rates yield even greater savings.

If you use ShippingEasy, you can take advantage of Commercial Pricing, a discounted postage rate offered by USPS. Start a 30-Day free trial of ShippingEasy.


UPS SurePost
  • Packages that weigh less than 10 lbs: UPS SurePost is the most cost-effective service from UPS for these heavier packages, but delivery will be relatively slow. Keep in mind that you will need to have a contract with UPS to use this service.
UPS One Balance from ShippingEasy
  • If you use ShippingEasy, you can save with UPS from ShippingEasy's One Balance account. Effective April 11, 2021, customers will enjoy discounts of up to 50% off UPS® Ground shipments, up to 66% for UPS 2nd Day Air® service, up to 65% for UPS Next Day Air® service, and up to 76% off International services on eligible packages. Learn more about UPS from ShippingEasy One Balance.


FedEx SmartPost
  • Packages that weigh less than 10 lbs: FedEx SmartPost is an efficient and cost-effective way that FedEx provides for shipping lightweight packages to nearly the entirety of the United States territories. Keep in mind that delivery will be relatively slow, and you will need to have a contract with FedEx to use this service.



Both UPS SurePost and FedEx SmartPost actually use USPS for the delivery. USPS delivers to every address in the U.S. Those other guys don't.

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