Finding the best shipping rate isn't 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, remember to 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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'll need to have a contract with UPS to use this service.
- Packages that weigh less than 10 lbs: FedEx SmartPost is an efficient and cost-effective way that FedEx provides for shipping light-weight packages to nearly the entirety of the United States territories. Keep in mind that delivery will be relatively slow, and you'll need to have a contract with FedEx to use this service.