USPS Zones - Shipment Distance | Overview

USPS uses the term "zones" to describe the 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" zipcode 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.

Finding the Zone for a USPS Shipment

The first 3 digits of your destination ZIP Code determine the zone. If you are shipping local (Zone 1) the package is not traveling very far. If you are shipping non-local (Zones 2-9), the zone is determined by how many zones a package crosses to arrive at the destination. You can look up the zone for your shipment using the USPS Zone lookup tool.


I am shipping a 4lb. package from New Orleans, 70117, to Nashville, 37202.

Using the USPS Zone lookup tool, I enter in the first 3-digits of my zip code and then Select.

On the results chart, I locate the first 3-digits of the destination zip code to find the zone (4).

Now, I can look at the rate table to locate my price by finding there the weight and the zone marry. For this example, I am using the Priority Mail - USPS Commercial | Rate Table.

My cost is $9.47.

Zone-Based USPS Services

Zones only apply to USPS domestic services. If a service is selected that relies on weight or dimensions to determine the rate, then the zone will also factor into the postage cost.

USPS Services Exempt from Zones

Some USPS domestic services are exempt from zone-based pricing.

If you wish to inquire further on purchasing a zone chart, contact USPS by:
  • Email at
  • Telephone at 1-800-238-3150. Select “Option 6” followed by “Option 2” to speak with a customer service representative between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm CT (between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm ET).


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