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USPS Priority Mail: Weight Rates vs Regional Rates

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Welcome to the USPS Priority Mail guide to domestic service and package rates series. Learn how to use this guide.

In this guide, we compare specific USPS Priority Mail services: Regional Rate boxes and weight-based rates. Learn more about USPS Priority Mail.

Overview of service comparison:

Both USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate and weight-based services use the same network within USPS to move your packages. Delivery times will be the same, when comparing similar destinations.

Weight-based services offer the most flexibility. Shippers use their own packages with the only restriction that package girth not exceed 108" inches and weigh in below 70 lbs. As the name indicates, weight is a factor in determining postage costs.

In the case of Regional Rate boxes, the USPS requires using specially marked boxes. Contents must fit comfortably and packaging must be sealed without any bulging. Also, parcels must weigh less than 20 lbs (depending on box). Learn more about USPS Regional Rate packaging.

Both Regional Rate and weight-based services use zone based pricing, meaning that rates increase as the distance (zone) increases. Learn more about USPS zones.
 
In general, you'll see the greatest advantage with weight-based rates for very-light or very-heavy packages.
 

Detailed service comparison:

The tables below provide a visual summary of when it's best to use a Regional Rate box or a custom package with weight-based service, based on weight and zone:

TIP: to simplify the data, we use a color and letter code to indicate the best packaging. Please keep in mind that services listed are only the best value when your products will fit into the defined package dimensions. Use the legend below to read the following charts.
Legend for comparison tables
Priority Mail Service Code Packaging
Regional Rate A Box A
B Box A or Box B
Weight-based W Any package
less than 108" girth

 

Regional Rate Box A versus Weight-based rates:

Regional Rate Box A vs Weight-based rates

Prices by Zone: Commercial Plus
Weight
Not Over
(Lbs)
Zones 1 & 2
Local
Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5 Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8 Zone 9
0.5 W W W W W W W W
1 W W W W W W W W
2 W W W W W W W W
3 W A A A A A A A
4 A A A A A A A A
5 A A A A A A A A
6 A A A A A A A A
7 A A A A A A A A
8 A A A A A A A A
9 A A A A A A A A
10 A A A A A A A A
11 A A A A A A A A
12 A A A A A A A A
13 A A A A A A A A
14 A A A A A A A A
15 A A A A A A A A
Take away:

When shipping packages weighing between 2 lbs and 15 lbs, use the Regional Rate Box A if your contents fit. 

Use your own packaging for weight-based rates when shipments weigh less than 2 lbs or more than 15 lbs.

Learn how to assign a carrier service to shipments containing specific products.

 

Regional Rate Box B versus Weight-based rates:

Regional Rate Box B vs Weight-based rates

Prices by Zone: Commercial Plus
Weight
Not Over
(Lbs)
Zones 1 & 2
Local
Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5 Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8 Zone 9
0.5 W W W W W W W W
1 W W W W W W W W
2 W W W W W W W W
3 W W W W W W W W
4 W W W W W W W W
5 B W W B B B B B
6 B W B B B B B B
7 B W B B B B B B
8 B B B B B B B B
9 B B B B B B B B
10 B B B B B B B B
11 B B B B B B B B
12 B B B B B B B B
13 B B B B B B B B
14 B B B B B B B B
15 B B B B B B B B
16 B B B B B B B B
17 B B B B B B B B
18 B B B B B B B B
19 B B B B B B B B
20 B B B B B B B B
Take away:

When shipping packages weighing between 5 lbs and 20 lbs, use the Regional Rate Box B if your contents fit. 

Use your own packaging for weight-based rates when shipments weigh less than 5 lbs or more than 20 lbs.

Learn how to assign a carrier service to shipments containing specific products.

 

Continue comparing services:

Consider the conclusions that you've drawn about your shipments and whether or not Regional Rate or Weight-based rates are the better value. Then use this information to continuing comparing the best of the two with your other Priority Mail service options:

Regional Rate:

Is Regional Rate a good fit for your shipments? If so, take a look at these other rate comparison guides:

Weight-based rates:

Is weight-based a good fit for your shipments? If so, take a look at these other rate comparison guides:

 


Related articles:

Best of Rules: Assign a carrier service to shipments containing specific products
What is Priority Mail Regional Rate shipping?
USPS Priority Mail: Guide to domestic service and package rates
Package Sizes and Dimensions: USPS Domestic
ShippingEasy's USPS Rate Tables

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