What is USPS Flat Rate Shipping? Shipping Flat Rate for Ecommerce Explained


Nobody likes paying extra money for shipping. It’s not always easy to strike a balance between shipping speed and its cost. Unexpectedly high shipping prices are one of the main reasons why customers think twice before making a purchase. Exorbitantly high shipping rates are the major culprits behind the ever-increasing cart abandonment rates in the eCommerce industry. Flat rate shipping is one of the best ways to combat this issue. The type of shipping method you choose and associated expenses are critical factors in the total distribution process in eCommerce operations. The profitability and long-term growth of an eCommerce firm are directly dependent on shipping rates. 



You are wasting money and resources if you are not shipping your orders in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible. Both vendors and customers, in this case, must have a good understanding of shipping, its characteristics, and other variables to consider. When it comes to shipping methods, you’ve probably heard of flat rate shipping. Flat rate shipping with USPS is one best options for lowering shipping expenses. If flat rate shipping works well for your eCommerce business, it may be an excellent option for shipping orders. Here’s all you need to know about USPS flat rate shipping and whether it’s the right fit for your eCommerce store.



What is the definition of flat rate shipping?

What is the definition of flat rate shipping?


Shipping companies often charge varying shipping charges for various products based on a variety of factors. The general rule is the heavier the package, the higher the shipping cost. The shipping cost may be influenced by both size and weight of the shipment. However, weight is generally the most important factor. Then there’s the dimensional weight. Some shipping carriers calculate the weight of a shipment by multiplying the box’s length, breadth, and height. They make a comparison between the calculated weight and the weight that was measured. The higher amount is typically charged.



It’s possible that business owners will face difficulties assessing their shipping costs. Weight might differ across various products, or even between multiple items that are essentially the same product. Certain factors may be prioritized by different carriers, or by different delivery options within the same carrier. Distance of delivery, speed of delivery, and other variables must also be taken into account. Many of these difficulties are eliminated with flat rate shipping. With the flat rate method, no matter how heavy a shipment is, it costs just as much to send it. 



Flat rate shipping is a method of delivery in which the cost is determined by the size of the package. As long as you stay within the package’s maximum weight limit, you can ship any weight for the same shipping rate. All of the leading shipping companies have their own flat-rate shipping methods. But flat rate shipping may or may not save you money on eCommerce shipping based on the kind of products you offer.



Advantages of USPS flat rate shipping?

Here are some of the advantages of choosing USPS flat rate shipping:


No surprise charges

If you choose flat rate shipping as your default shipping method, you provide your customers with a single rate, which makes your selling process more transparent. As a result, you gain the customer’s trust and in the long run, increase brand loyalty. They also prefer to shop from you as compared to your competitors because they don’t have to pay an extra fee for shipping.


Lower shipping costs

The most obvious advantage is that flat rates will entail lower shipping costs than weight-based charges. Heavy-goods businesses will profit the most. Furniture, electronics, home goods stores are some examples of stores that will get the most out of flat rate shipping.  They’ll be able to ship more for less money, and they’ll be able to reach a wider target audience as a result.


Eliminates calculation errors

Shipping rates are significantly easier to determine when you choose a flat rate shipping method. There is less space for error when there are fewer variables to consider. You’d know precisely how much it will cost to ship the product, how much to mark up for buyers, and not end up losing out on money by accident. Flat rate services help you prevent weighing issues caused by the package’s volumetric dimensions and weight.


Drop off your package at any USPS office

You can drop off your package at any USPS office whenever it’s ready to go.


USPS tracking


Simply enter the parcel number into the USPS tracker and you may trace its journey till the time it reaches the destination address.



How does USPS handle flat-rate shipping?

How does USPS handle flat-rate shipping?


The term “flat rate shipping” refers to the fact that the cost of shipping is unrelated to the volume, size, or dimensions of the shipped product. It’s determined by what you can fit into the provided USPS flat rate box. USPS Priority Flat Rate is a shipping option offered by the United States Postal Service that offers 1-3 day shipment for a single fixed amount. Many shippers choose a flat rate service because it eradicates the need to weigh your products in order to determine shipping charges. Your package can ship with USPS Priority Flat Rate service if it weighs less than 70 pounds. USPS Priority Flat Rate prices start at $8.70.



Rather than packing products in your own package, visit your nearest USPS branch and select from a range of flat rate boxes. There are three sizes of flat rate boxes: small, medium, and large, with larger boxes costing more to send. The weight limit is 70 pounds. Fill the USPS flat rate box with your items and label the shipment. Take your flat rate box to a USPS facility and send it via Priority Mail. If you have a USPS Click-N-Ship account, you can also schedule a free pickup online.



How much does USPS flat-rate shipping cost?

How much does USPS flat-rate shipping cost?

Flat Rate Envelope


Dimensions – 12 1/2″ x 9 1/2″

Shipping Cost – $8.95


Used for – envelope size documents like passports, gift cards, greeting cards, files, manuscripts, etc.


Small Flat Rate Box

Dimensions – 8 11/16″ x 5 7/16″ x 1 3/4″

Shipping Cost – $9.45 


Used for – Newsletters, brochures, electronics that are small in size



Medium Flat Rate Box (top-loading)/Medium Flat Rate Box (side-loading)

Dimensions – 11 1/4″ x 8 3/4″ x 6″/ 14″ x 12″ x 3 1/2″

Shipping Cost – $16.10


Used for – Office supplies and equipment, footwear, clothing, etc.



Large Flat Rate Box

Dimensions – 12 1/4″ x 12 1/4″ x 6″

Shipping Cost – $21.50 


Used for – Larger electronics like laptops, computers, TVs, gifts, etc.



How does ReachShip help?


Although flat rate shipping might be highly beneficial to some businesses, it may end up costing you much more in shipping, especially if you generally ship smaller items. If the smallest flat rate box is too large for your product, you’ll wind up spending far more than you would if you shipped it based on its weight and dimensions. In that case, going ahead with a shipping solution like ReachShip would be perfect for your business. It enables you to compare shipping costs from leading shipping carriers like DHL, USPS, FedEx, and UPS.

ReachShip enables you to compare shipping costs from leading shipping carriers like DHL, USPS, FedEx, and UPS.


All you have to do is simply enter the origin and destination addresses and the package weight and size and you will be presented with a list of all the available shipping methods to choose from. Not just that, you can also purchase postage, print shipping labels, track shipments, and a lot more, right from the backend of your eCommerce store. It eliminates the need to visit a physical carrier office.

ReachShip flat rate shiping

Wrapping Up


In their own ways, both the flat rate shipping and the standard rate shipping are useful. You may conclude that flat rate shipping is a cost-effective shipping strategy for your eCommerce business after reading about its advantages. It is, in fact, for many businesses. You may ship without stressing about the size or weight of your products, giving you peace of mind. Yet, for your eCommerce shipments, USPS flat shipping service isn’t necessarily the only best option.


As a result, you must make a decision based on the needs of your business. Make sure you make an informed decision based on your company’s needs as well as considerations such as accessibility, geographical range, product type, customers, and so on. A multi-carrier shipping solution like ReachShip is always a great choice in case flat rate shipping is not working out for your business. If you have any questions regarding USPS flat rate shipping, please let us know in the comments section below.



Further Reading

4 Best Options to Ship from the US to the UK

7 Useful Points to Offer the Cheapest Overnight Shipping with Fastest Delivery Options to Your Customers

The Fundamental Difference Between Fulfillment Center & Warehouse Explained

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