Monday, August 3, 2009

USPS Flat-Rate Box 101 - Beating the Fuel Surcharge

At just one price and no matter the weight, you can save in several ways using US Postal Service flat-rate boxes. First, put in as much as will fit and pay just one price for shipping. Next, you can count on that price since there is no fuel surcharge for USPS shipping. Finally, the boxes are FREE. That's a really reasonable price!

Shipping cost is more than just how much the carrier charges to deliver a package. You also have to include the cost of the shipping box and materials. How do the carriers help? If you use the carriers' air services, each carrier provides boxes and envelopes at no cost to you. The USPS goes a step farther by providing shipping boxes for their air (Express) and their Priority Mail services. Another bonus, there is no dimensional weight to consider and no fuel surcharge to compute with USPS flat-rate boxes. For each of these services, the packaging is free - you pay only the postage. In contrast, the other carriers' air delivery boxes are subject to dimensional weight rating.

With a recent survey ( showing that 46% who abandoned carts did so because of high shipping fees, better shipping prices for your customers can mean more sales. USPS Priority Mail gives a wide choice of flat-rate envelopes and boxes. Choose from a flat-rate envelope as well as small, medium and large flat-rate boxes, each with a flat-rate price for domestic shipping and international shipping. More information about USPS supplied packaging materials is at

Will these boxes be right for every package? Maybe not, but whenever you can use them it's money you keep. Between the actual cost of the box, using flat-rate services and avoiding a fuel surcharge, smart use of these can sometimes save you up to $20 dollars per package! The important thing is to do the math and check the rates between all the carriers before you ship. Many shipping software packages like CPS do this all automatically for you.

Until next time…

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