Order fulfillment is a very important part of making sure that your customers’ needs are met. Your deliveries must be affordable, reliable, and made on time. Customers are happy and satisfied when you stick to the terms and conditions you agreed to. People who bought something from you before and were happy with it often come back to buy more.

We all want our packages to arrive on time and in good shape. Whether it’s a letter or a package with something important inside, the person you’re sending it to must get it in a reasonable amount of time and in good shape.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is a great way to send packages. USPS sends your packages to their destinations at low prices and on good terms. At first, shipping with USPS might seem like a hard thing to do. But it’s easy if you use their options and make sure your packages are ready to ship before handing them over.

This article will show you how to send a package through the USPS.

How To Send A Package Through The U.S. Postal Service USPS
How To Send A Package Through The U.S. Postal Service USPS

Choosing a way to ship with USPS

USPS gives its customers many ways to ship their packages. Each has its own rates, terms, and advantages.

Retail Ground: The least expensive choice

Retail ground, which used to be called standard post, is the least expensive way to ship with the USPS. Its prices start at just $7.35. Rates go up based on where the package is going, how big it is, and how much it weighs.

Retail ground shipping is not the best way to send packages that you need quickly. Delivery can take anywhere from 2 to 8 business days. But there are times when it can take up to 14 days. Retail Ground shipping is only available for packages that weigh less than 70 pounds (32 kg).

When you ship a package this way, USPS lets you track it for free.

If any of these things happen, you’ll have to pay more for your package.

  • Measure more than 108 inches long and wide when put together.
  • Have different shapes, like rolls or tubes
  • Measure more than 84 inches long and wide together and weigh less than 20 pounds.

What’s on the Retail Ground?

  • Delivers to all U.S. addresses, including military and post office addresses
  • Offers the best value for money if you are sending goods and gifts within the United States.
  • Free tracking service is included.
  • Available at your local post office
  • Parcels can weigh up to 70 pounds and measure up to 130 inches in length and around their thickest point.
  • Deliveries to homes and on Saturdays are free.

Rates for this shipping method are set by USPS for items you can mail to zones 5 to 9. But there are some exceptions for the following packages.

  • There are times when the oversized price does not apply. These charges apply to items with a total length and width of more than 108 inches but less than or equal to 130 inches.
  • There is one case where the balloon price does not apply. Parcels that are more than 84 inches long and wider but less than 108 inches long and wider and weigh less than 20 pounds are eligible for these prices.
  • There is an exception when shipping live animals by land or valuable items that can only be sent by land. There is also an exception for dangerous items that can be moved by ground transport. In these situations, you can send your package to all the zones using USPS Retail Ground rates.
  • If limited overland routes (LOR) rates apply, this rule doesn’t always apply. This category is for Retail Ground packages that USPS delivers within Alaska from and to certain ZIP codes that are not linked by LOR.
  • Live animals, dangerous materials, and other things that USPS ships by ground are not excluded from these rates.
  • The LOR rates are not available through online or commercial platforms for paying for postage.

USPS Retail Ground rates are only available in zones 1 through 4 if at least one of these conditions is met. USPS puts items that don’t qualify for Retail Ground prices on their Priority Mail service for free, even if they don’t qualify for Retail Ground prices.

Priority Mail: All packages are charged the same flat rate.

USPS takes between 1 and 3 days to deliver packages in this category. Zones that are close together take less time to deliver to, while zones that are farther apart might take a little longer. USPS has a fixed rate for packages that fit in their standard boxes and weigh up to 70lbs.

With these flat rates, you can get more for your money. Prices for these types of boxes start at $7.35 on the web and at post offices near you. All of the envelopes and packing materials for this category are free.

What Priority Mail Has

  • Between 1 and 3 business days for delivery.
  • No extra charges for rural, residential, or Saturday deliveries
  • There are regional, prepaid, and flat-rate prices (only for retail).
  • Packages can be tracked for free.
  • Your package will be picked up for free from your office or home. Most packages will be insured for up to $50 (USPS has some limits on coverage).

Choices for Priority Mail

In this category, USPS has a few different options. Choose one that fits the size and weight of your package well.

  • Flat Rate Envelope Made of Cardboard. An envelope for this category should be 12.5 inches by 9.5 inches. It is the right choice for letters, manuscripts, and official documents. It costs $6.95 to send commercially, and $7.35 at the post office or online.
  • Legal Flat Rate Envelope. A package in this category is 15 inches by 9.5 inches and is a great choice for sending legal documents. Its business rate is $7.25, and you can buy it at the post office or online for $7.65.
  • Flat Rate Padded Envelope. In this category, the envelope is waterproof and measures 12.5 by 9.5 inches. It is perfect for books and jewelry in boxes. Its business rate is $7.55, and you can buy it at the post office or online for $8.00.
  • Flat Rate Small Box. In this category, the price of the box is the same no matter how heavy the items inside are. You have to use the one that USPS gives you, which is 8′′ x 5′′ x 1.75′′. It is perfect for brochures and small electronics. Its business rate is $7.50, and you can buy it at the post office or online for $7.90.
  • Medium Flat Rate Box. In this category, you can package your items in one of the two sizes of boxes that USPS offers: one that is 11.25 inches by 8.75 inches by 6 inches, and the other that is 14 inches by 12 inches by 3.5 inches. You can put shoes and office supplies in these containers. The first one can be loaded from the top, and it costs $12.80 at commercial bases and $14.35 at the post office or online. The second one is loaded from the side, and it goes for the same price as the first one.
  • Flat Rate Box, Large. This is the biggest option offered by USPS. It is 12.25 inches by 12.25 inches by 6 inches and is great for laptops and gifts. It costs $17.60 on the commercial rate, and $19.95 at the post office or online.

What you can’t do with Priority Mail

To get Priority Mail, you must meet these requirements.

  • The packages in this group should weigh no more than 70 pounds.
  • The box shouldn’t be wider than 108 inches or longer than 108 inches.
  • The flaps of the box or flat rate envelope should close in the usual way.

Priority Mail’s flat rate is good for people who want to pay the same amount no matter how heavy their packages are. Once they meet the requirements set by USPS, they can take advantage of this perk.

Express mail is the fastest way to get something.

Express Mail is a great choice if you want the package to arrive at its destination the next day. But sometimes it takes up to 2 business days for the package to get where it needs to go.

You have to make sure that the post office scans your box before 3 p.m. if you want the delivery to happen the next day. The deadline is different for each post office. It is the most expensive option from USPS, but if you want your mail to arrive the next day, it is worth the extra money.

This choice gives you flat-rate boxes for packages that weigh less than 70 pounds. You can get your money back if you don’t like Express Mail. If the package doesn’t arrive when USPS says it will, you must file a dispute with USPS within 30 days of sending it if you want a refund.

Features of Express Mail

  • The package will be picked up for free from your office or home.
  • Free tracking of mail, including the time and date of delivery or a failed delivery attempt.
  • There is an option for the recipient to sign when the package arrives, but you have to ask for it when you buy it.
  • Most packages come with insurance worth up to $100.
  • Overnight delivery (done before 10:30 a.m. the next day), holiday, and weekend deliveries cost more.

First Class Mail is a great choice for packages that weigh less than 16 ounces.

First Class Mail is the USPS’s cheapest option and the fastest way to send packages that weigh less than 13 ounces (0.0625 pounds). USPS promises that First Class Mail will be delivered within one to three business days.

The shipping company will pay up to $5,000 to replace or fix items that get lost or broken while in their care. If your package is heavier than the limit, you have to choose the Priority Mail option or pay more.

For packages that can’t be sent through the automated machines at the post office, you pay an extra $0.15. Whether or not you pay this amount will depend on how your letter looks. The rates are a little bit higher for First Class Mail, but it has more features.

Packages in this category can be tracked and signed for by the USPS. When you use this option to send a package, it will be sent via Certified Mail.

How First Class Mail Works

  • Mail up to 13 oz. can be sent for a low price.
  • You can use this option with other services to make sure the package was delivered.
  • Delivery is between one and three business days.
  • With cards and letters that cost money, you can get 3.5 ounces for free.
  • Products can be insured for up to $5,000, which covers any damage or loss.

Conditions that must be met before you can choose First-Class Mail

  • To keep the package rates from going up, the envelope can’t be bigger than 15 inches by 12 inches.
  • At least 0.25 inches should be on the package. If a package doesn’t meet this threshold, USPS either sends it back or charges extra to upgrade it.

Media Mail is good for sending CDs, books, and other forms of media.

This is a cheap way for the USPS to send educational and media materials, like video and audio recordings on sheet music, disks, and medical binders. For parcels that qualify for Media Mail, the shipping company has a weight limit of 70 pounds.

Between 2 and 8 days are needed for delivery. In post offices, the rate for this group starts at $2.75. The USPS has strict rules about what packages can be sent by Media Mail. Before letting you ship using this method, the people at the post office make sure that your package is eligible.

With Media Mail, you can send the following:

  • Books with more than 8 pages
  • Binders and loose pages for medical records
  • Recordings of both sound and video
  • Print materials for tests and music
  • Printed charts for learning
  • Media that a computer can read

Note that you can’t ship digital drives, computer drives, or video games with USPS Media Mail.

Putting your parcel together and sending it

You can take a few steps to make sure your package is safe and ready to be sent by USPS. Among them are:

Put your things in a sealed envelope or box.

Before you seal it, you can add cushioning materials. These steps make sure that the package arrives in the best shape possible. They make sure that only the recipient can get to it and that it won’t get damaged by the shaking of the ship while it’s in transit.

You should also put tape around the sides and bottom of the mail to keep the items from falling out. Use boxes that don’t have strings, tapes, or twines hanging out of them, because the USPS’s sorting equipment can damage them if they do.

Fill in the package’s address.

You can write the address of where to send the package on the box or use label stickers. If you don’t include the address, the package might not get there, which is inconvenient for both the recipient and you, the sender.

Give a return address and correct ZIP codes so that the shipping service can send the mail back to you if it doesn’t get to the right person. You should use a permanent marker because its ink won’t smear over the address and the writing will be clear until the package is delivered.

Bring the package to the post office so it can be measured and weighed.

You must pay the right amount for shipping if you don’t want to have to pay more later or have problems that could make the delivery take longer. When figuring out the rates for your parcels, the weight and size of the package are very important.

USPS employees measure these things and tell you how much you should pay. The post office is reliable and uses the most up-to-date prices. Also, they check your mail to make sure you did everything right. Use it to avoid problems that could lengthen the time it takes to deliver or lead to extra fees.

Buy the right stamps and put them on the mail.

The postal worker will tell you how much postage you need to pay, help you buy it, and put it on your package. Make sure it is where everyone can see it. Put the label in an easy-to-find spot so that it is easy to read. The package is processed by USPS by scanning the barcode while it is in transit.

Talk to the postal worker about your options, and if you can, let them put the postage on the box or envelope because they know how to do it best. But if you want to do it yourself, the postage goes in the top right corner of the envelope. For packages, the place can be different.

Cover the printed postage on regular paper with clear tape so it doesn’t get too wet to scan or read.

Leave your package at the Post Office’s Retail Desk with a USPS worker.

Once the postal worker says your package is ready and you both put the right postage on it, you can leave it at the counter. You can be sure that they look at it and do something with it. You could also get a receipt at the end of the process.

Get a number for tracking

With this number, you can keep track of the package as it travels. Some USPS options let you do this for free, while others charge a little more. But it may be worth it because you will know where the package is at all times during the delivery period.


One Last Thing

The U.S. Postal Service has close to 157 million delivery points in the country. No other organization, especially in rural areas, has this many delivery points. USPS has some of the best shipping rates and terms on the market, which you can use to get the most for your money.

Also, USPS still provides a reliable service that is important for all online retailers. USPS shipping services are easy to use, and you have a lot of options to choose from to meet your different shipping needs.