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Does USPS charge a different rate for oversized packages?

Created:   |   Updated:

Yes. When shipping over-sized packages via USPS Priority Mail, you may pay a higher rate. USPS uses an over-sized price to accommodate lighter packages that take up extra space cargo space. These rates take into account the overall size of the package rather than the weight. Flat Rate envelopes and boxes, as well as Regional Rate boxes, are excluded from this fluctuation.

Balloon Price

The balloon price applies to parcels that meet specific parameters:

  • Addressed to Zones 1-4
  • Weights less than 20 lbs
  • Exceeds exceeds 84-104" in girth

Packages fitting this description will be assessed the 20 lb rate, per applicable zone.

Dimensional Price for other Low-Density Parcels

A dimensional price applies to other low-density parcels that meet these parameters:

  • Addressed to Zones 5-9
  • Exceeds 1 cubic foot (1,728 cubic inches)

Packages fitting this description will be assessed the higher of these two rates:

  • Actual Weight rate
  • Dimensional Weight rate

To make this determination, USPS assigns a "dimensional weight" to each package. For these low-density shipments, USPS will determine if the actual-weight rate or if the dimensional-weight rate is higher. The higher of the two will be the postage price.

The dimensional weight is computed using one of two formulas:

For rectangular parcels:
  1. Measure the length, width, and height in inches. Round off each measurement to the nearest whole inch.
  2. Multiply the length by the width by the height: L x W x H = Volume in Cubic Inches
  3. If the result exceeds 1,728 cubic inches, divide the result by 194 and round up to the next whole number to determine the dimensional weight in pounds: (Volume in Cubic Inches)/194 = Dimensional Weight
For non-rectangular parcels:
  1. Measure the length, width, and height in inches at their extreme dimensions. Round off each measurement to the nearest whole inch.
  2. Multiply the length by the width by the height: L x W = Area
  3. Multiply the result by an adjustment factor of 0.785: Area x 0.785 = Volume in Cubic Inches
  4. If the final result exceeds 1,728 cubic inches, divide the result by 194 and round up to the next whole number to determine the dimensional weight in pounds: (Volume in Cubic Inches)/194 = Dimensional Weight
  5. If the dimensional weight exceeds 70 pounds, the mailer pays the 70-pound price.

 


Related articles:

Priority Mail-Commercial Base (Rate Table)
Priority Mail-Commercial Plus (Rate Table)
What is Priority Mail?
Know How: Free supplies + custom packages

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