USPS Shipping Estimate: What are The Top & Important Factors?

United States Postal Service is very trusted when it comes to posting letters. The department is even versatile in shipping packages too. According to the USPS website, it has all types of shipping that one needs. 

You can choose the cheapest options as well as the most premium quality ones and USPS Shipping Estimate will depend on that also. There is an option for everyone and everything.

You may also find useful: Does USPS Deliver on Saturday & Sunday?

USPS Shipping Estimate: top factors

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USPS Shipping Estimate Price wise Difference

There are multiple factors that we make our decisions on. Depending on the situation, we choose different things. Out of these various factors, one is the most common. It is the price or money that you will spend. This also applies when it comes to shipping.

USPS offers different shipping charges. For all different services, there are lists of basic pricing. The lists depend on the zones of shipping and the weight of the parcel.

These zones are coded 1 to 9, depending on the distance between the two places. Zones 1&2 are local and have the lowest prices. 9 is the farthest and the most expensive one.

Here are the different types of USPS services, along with the explanation and a brief about pricing for each of them.

USPS Shipping Estimate: Service wise Difference

Priority mail express-

Priority mail express by USPS is one of the most premium services in the world. It is also one of the most expensive ones. It guarantees overnight or 2-day delivery.

The prices start at $26.50 and go until $604.40 in terms of the basic list. This may sound high, but it is extremely professional and fast. They even provide free pickup.

There are add-ons too. In priority mail express, they are-

● Sunday/holiday delivery – $12.50

● 10:30 Am delivery – $5 (subject to availability)

Average- (to compare different services, we will lose their 5lbs, 5th zone prices for your convenience)

A 5lbs parcel for zone 5 will cost you $60.80.

Priority mail-

According to USPS, priority mail is their most popular service. It is simply the customer’s favorite.

It includes insurance for $100. They get the package delivered within the frame of 1-3 days. Even the prices are moderate compared to the Priority mail express.

They start at only $7.50 and go up to $264.60.


A 5lbs parcel sent to zone 5 with priority mail will cost you $14.40.

There are no add-ons available on this one.

Check : USPS Priority Mail Delivery Time: Rates, Hours & Tracking

First-class package service-

This is an affordable way to send out standard size single-piece envelopes or small packages.

They start at only $0.55. But the service only takes packages till the weight of 13oz.

Their service is as fast as priority mail as they deliver within 3 days.


● Large envelopes cost from $1-$3.40

● A surcharge of $0.15 is charged when the parcel has more than 2 nonmachinable characters.

● Special stamps cost additionally, too.

This service is a bit different than the others and does not ship packages of 5lbs.

USPS retail ground

This is a suitable type of service for oversized and fewer urgent packages. The standard delivery time is 2-8 days, and hence, the prices are moderate.

The starting price of USPS retail ground is the same as the priority mail at $7.50. But they are much lower for distant and heavier packages.

Therefore, it’s smart to use priority mail for smaller packages and retail ground for larger ones.


A 5lbs package to zone 5 with the retail ground will cost you $13.65.


● Packages with a size above a cubic foot (which is 1728 cubic inches) are charged on whichever is greater- their actual weight or dimensional weight.

● Dimensional weight is calculated by multiplying the height, length, and breadth of the package and dividing by 166.

● Zone 1&2 are considered local and have the price.

● People from Alaska can use USPS Retail Ground—Limited Overland Routes (LOR) for inter-state shipping.

● Media/Library Mail can be used for shipping media items like movies, books, magazines, etc.

● 13oz is the maximum weight for a first-class package service.

● Priority mail express and priority mail have a limit of 70lbs.

● You can also use these services for commercial purposes as they cost almost 10% lesser in that scenario.

● The first 4 zones of USPS retail ground only apply to hazardous packages such as live animals. (Not applicable to oversized packages)

USPS Shipping Estimate Summary

The pricing in USPS has a vivid range. You can send a parcel for $3, and you may have to pay $600 for it.

It all depends on the type of service you choose. Then, it is over to pickup and delivery location, and there is also the component of weight.

For all the services, there are lists of prices according to different weights and zones.

There is not simple order or formula for determining the different prices as per the weight and zone.

But you can add 10% of the previous weight when you progress in any direction of the table to get an estimate of the required pricing.

This will not be accurate. But it will give you a rough idea at home. So, you can go prepared for what they might ask for at the post office.

For example-

The price of a package of 1lbs for zone 1 costs $7.50 in Priority mail.

Using this, you can try to find an estimate for all the other rates for Priority Mail. You can take 3lbs and zone 3, for example.

For the weight first, you need to add 10% of 7.5 to get the price for a 2lbs package. This will become 8.25.

Now, add 10% of 8.25 to it to get the price for a 3lba package. This will become 9.08.

Similarly, you can add a further 10% of 9.08 to get the price for zone 3 as zone 1&2 are under the same row in the list. This will be around $9.99.

The actual price of a 3lbs package for zone 3 in priority mail is $9.70.

This means it works to an extent. But this will only give you an estimate of the shipping pricing at USPS.

These are all about USPS Shipping Estimate, For the exact prices, you can refer to this list.