How to Calculate the Cheapest Cost to Ship Small Items | Blog Banner

How to Calculate the Cheapest Cost to Ship Small Items?

Shipping cost is an additional charge that has to be paid by the customers along with the total amount of the order. All customers wish to get the products shipped at minimum cost or free of cost. As a store owner, you have to provide a reasonable shipping cost that must be agreeable to the customers using a shipping calculator tool. Since there are many shipping carrier services in the industry to choose from, you can seamlessly pick the most feasible cost for your customers.

As you know, there are many factors that determine the shipping cost such as, the distance between source and destination location, weight, height, width and length of the package, and so on. If the size and weight of the product are large, customers have to pay more shipping charges. Well, in this article we are focusing on how to calculate the cheapest cost to ship small items using a shipping calculator tool.

Before getting into the shipping calculator, let us go through the factors you need to consider before shipping small products.

Factors to be considered while shipping small items

Measure the weight and dimensions of packages

Since the weight and dimensions of small items will be comparatively less, you may only have to pay the minimum shipping cost. While shipping small items, try to choose the right package like a flat envelope or an optimal shipping box for your products. This will reduce the shipping cost as the total volume obtained by your package will be very less in the shipping vehicle.

If you choose big boxes to ship small items, it would require you to pay unnecessary additional charges.

In order to choose the right package for shipping your items, measure the dimensions of your items accurately and pick the right box to ship the items. 

When it comes to measuring the weight of your small items, we usually take the pound or ounce as units of measure. In logistics, it is often called Deadweight.


Calculating the shipping cost

After measuring the weight and dimensions of packages, enter these into a shipping calculator tool to get the available shipping services and weights. If you are shipping products with specific shipping carriers, they will consider their formula of calculating shipping cost.


Printing shipping labels and shipping the packages

The next step is to print the shipping label which is required to be posted on the package for providing the address and other information to the delivery partner to deliver the packages to the right location. After that, you can proceed with the shipment.

Are you shipping internationally?

There will be some additional shipping charges when it comes to international shipping. It also depends on the flight charge or cargo charges to ship from one country to another. And, custom duties and different taxes like import duty must be paid additionally. To know more about how to ship internationally with minimum shipping charges, refer to the article – How to Calculate the Cheapest International Shipping in 2021?

Even though you are shipping small items, you need to pay these additional charges while shipping to some other countries. But, the shipping charge can vary based on the weight and dimensions of packages, and the distance between the source and destination countries. Depending on the height, width, and length of the packages, you may have to pay a dimensional weight surcharge when you ship to certain countries internationally.

The rates will be different in various shipping carrier services for shipping the same packages with the same weight, height, length, and width.


Some cheapest options to ship your small items

Let us check a few services of 4 popular shipping carriers that are ideal to ship small packages. They are FedEx, UPS, USPS, and DHL.


As you know, USPS provides the cheapest domestic and international shipping services compared to the other 3 shipping carriers. 

Shipping documents or products that are flat, thin, and which are weighing under 13 ounces, can be sent using USPS First Class Mail. But, this service does not come with a tracking option.

Another choice is USPS Priority Mail, which comes with a tracking and insurance option. You can send products that weigh more than 1 pound using this option.



DHL Express 12 is an ideal option to ship products overseas within 1 – 2 business days. This option is comparatively cheap, yet a faster shipping service provided by DHL.

DHL eCommerce is an economic solution that helps to send small items overseas at the cheapest cost. But, this is not an ideal solution for shipping urgent items as it will take to deliver the packages around 10 – 16 days.



FedEx Overnight can be used to ship small items across the US overnight. But, it cannot be considered as the cheapest solution compared to other services. But, if you consider the overnight delivery of this option, this is a reasonable solution.

If you are not concerned about the delivery time, you can choose FedEx SmartPost, which allows you to send small packages that weigh less than 10 pounds. But, you are required to have a contract with FedEx to use this affordable service.


UPS SurePost is an affordable option to ship products that weigh less than 10 lbs. But, this service also requires a contract with UPS, and the delivery time is relatively longer.

Well, these are some shipping services you can use to ship small items at affordable costs.

But, the cost will vary depending on the source and destination, and the weight and dimensions of the packages. In order to accurately calculate the shipping cost, you can use an advanced shipping calculator tool.

Use ReachShip shipping calculator to find the cheapest cost to ship small items

ReachShip shipping calculator is a simple yet robust platform to calculate the shipping cost and delivery days based on the source and destination addresses, and weight and dimensions of the packages. This tool helps to find the shipping rates of DHL, UPS, USPS, MyPost Business, and FedEx shipping carriers as per your requirements.

Based on the data you have entered, it will list all available shipping services from which you can choose the most affordable one by checking the cost and delivery days. You can also use the Sort option in this tool to pick the cheapest cost quickly. Also, you will be able to convert the prices into specific currency as per your requirements.

Let us check an example of shipping a package that weighs 4 lbs and with a volume of 5*5*5 cm.

Visit the ReachShip shipping calculator page.

Enter the source and destination location and choose the required shipping carriers from the drop down list. You can also navigate to the right location using the map.

In this example, the source location is San Francisco, and the destination is Oakland.

How to Calculate the Cheapest Cost to Ship Small Items | entering shipping details

After feeding the details, click NEXT.

In this step, you can create the packages by entering the weight and dimension values.

How to Calculate the Cheapest Cost to Ship Small Items | Entering package details

After entering the values and choosing the units, click SUBMIT.

All available shipping services to ship the package will be listed with their cost and estimated delivery days. You can sort the prices using the ‘Low to High’ option and pick the cheapest option.

How to Calculate the Cheapest Cost to Ship Small Items | All available shipping services

As per the details, I have entered, USPS Library Mail is the best option to ship products that weigh 4 lbs with 5*5*5 cm dimensions.

To sum up

There are many services available in the industry to ship small items domestically and internationally. Using the ReachShip shipping calculator, you can seamlessly find the most affordable shipping services.

Further Reading:

No Comments

Leave a Reply