the Cheapest Way To Ship Boxes from the USA

What Is the Cheapest Way To Ship Boxes from the US (Answered)

eCommerce delivery standards are evolving in 2022, with most online buyers, like myself, expecting faster, more cost-effective shipping options. When I looked up a couple of shipping costs myself, I found them to be ridiculously high. This brought me to my mission; finding the cheapest way to ship boxes from the US. Here’s what I found:

USPS Priority Mail is often the cheapest option for shipping boxes weighing less than 7 pounds within 2-3 days. The most inexpensive options for items weighing 10 pounds or more are UPS Ground® or FedEx Ground. If you want to opt for overnight shipping, then you’ll find the cheapest solution to be UPS and FedEx.

Calculating shipping rates and selecting the most cost-effective delivery option can be tricky since you have to account for various factors such as location and weight. As a result, I’ve put up a guide to help you evaluate shipping rates and choose the most affordable option for your cargo.

Cheapest Ways To Ship Boxes (Costs Included)

If you’re like me who doesn’t want to spend a fortune on shipping costs alone, here are the cheapest ways to ship any box:

Shipping a small box

If I need to ship small boxes, I’ve found USPS to offer the best prices. While UPS, FedEx, and Fulfillment by Amazon are all great courier services, they can get quite expensive when it comes to shipping small boxes. I’ve found that the cheapest way to ship small boxes is through USPS. 

The USPS Priority Mail 3-Day Small Flat Rate Box costs $6.25 and goes up to $212 for packages weighing up to 70 pounds. If your product weighs between one to five pounds, you can also ship the box using USPS First Class mail which has the lowest shipping cost, starting at only $4 for items up to 13 ounces.

Shipping a small box with USPS Priority Mail

Shipping boxes up to 50 pounds

When it comes to large boxes, I’ve discovered that UPS and FedEx are the most cost-effective shipping options. For large items, each carrier offers flat-rate delivery at almost similar prices.

UPS’s Simple Rate shipping option takes the win as the cheapest way to transport large packages. If you run a business, you can use the XL flat-rate packing option to transport packages ranging from 1051 to 1,728 cubic inches and up to 50 pounds for as low as $22.85.

FedEx ranks second in terms of the lowest flat rate oversized package shipping. You can send a FedEx Extra Large Box for a fixed charge of $36.60 using FedEx Express Saver delivery.

Shipping boxes over 50 pounds

The most affordable option to send large boxes is determined by the actual size of the package, as well as the distance and speed it will travel for some providers. Generally, I analyzed that UPS Ground® and FedEx Ground provide the lowest shipping options for boxes weighing 50 pounds.

However, USPS has a 50-pound weight restriction for shipments, so anything more than that should be delivered using FedEx or UPS to avoid the additional fees.

Shipment serviceCost
FedEx Ground$115
UPS Ground$118
USPS Retail Ground$120

Shipping Boxes To Another State

A USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Box is the most cost-effective option to ship boxes to another state. With the USPS Priority mail option, I can ship to a different zone for as low as $9. Unlike other shipping services, USPS doesn’t even charge extra if the delivery destination is more than 150 miles away.

Shipping Boxes Internationally

DHL and USPS offer the most affordable international shipping options, again, depending on the size and dimension of your shipment and how fast you need it delivered. USPS still offers the cheapest global delivery option for small boxes and packages. However, according to my calculations, DHL becomes the most affordable choice when the item’s size increases.

Pricing is determined by size, weight, and region. For instance, international shipping for a box weighing 30 kg (66 pounds) would begin at $307 plus additional charges depending on the destination country.

USPS Priority-Mail International allows you to ship items internationally for as low as $80 for small boxes, whereas other services such as DHL charge around $250.

4 Factors To Consider Before Shipping Boxes

Depending on the item you’re shipping, it is necessary to consider the weight and size of the item, how fast you need your shipment to arrive at its destination, and your shipping zone.

#1 Time

How soon do you want your package to reach its destination? Speedy delivery undoubtedly plays a huge role in the shipping cost as your business grows. However, keep in mind that the faster you want to complete the delivery, the more you’ll have to spend on the shipping cost.

I’ve found different courier services that offer a range of time-sensitive delivery options to accommodate your desired delivery schedule. Nevertheless, if I were to name the cheapest option, that would be USPS. The courier service generally offers the lowest rates for 2-3 day shipping for packages weighing 10 pounds or less.

#2 Distance to be traveled

I’ve also found that the shipping zone from which your cargo is delivered dramatically affects the shipping cost. Shipping companies divide the United States into eight shipping zones depending on the distance your package must travel from the mailing address. The greater the distance between the mailing address and the destination address, the greater the shipping charge.

International shipping has a higher cost

International shipping, in comparison, is generally more expensive than domestic delivery due to the additional steps the package must undergo before reaching its destination. Once the items have been inspected, they are handed over to the next courier to finish the final leg of the journey.

Suppose you have a business and are looking to cut down on the international shipping expenses. In that case, it’s helpful to use a service that has distribution centers located in various parts of the United States. This will help mitigate the shipping cost and reduce the delivery time for your customers.

#3 Weight

When looking for the cheapest option to send boxes, you must consider their weight. The weight and size of your shipment will largely influence its delivery cost.

Courier options based on weight

I’ve researched that when you are delivering lightweight items weighing less than one pound, USPS First Class Mail or USPS Media Mail, USPS offers the lowest prices.

FedEx: lowest costs for heavier packages that are meant to be delivered inside the US.

When delivering boxes weighing 1-10 pounds, USPS Priority Mail is the most cost-effective choice. At the same time, FedEx and UPS Ground/Home delivery give the lowest costs for heavier packages that are meant to be delivered inside the US.

#4 Size of the box

The package dimensions have a lot to do with the amount of space it will take up in the rear of a vehicle. The larger the size of the box, the higher its transportation cost will be. Various carriers provide a variety of choices to assist you in minimizing your package size for transportation.

One such option is to use USPS Flat Rate Packages. Although this isn’t always the cheapest option to ship a box, it will help you keep the overall shipping prices constant.


Is USPS cheaper than UPS?

UPS is generally less expensive for shipping large shipments, whereas USPS is less expensive for mailing small things. If you need ground shipment in the US and your item weighs less than 66 pounds, USPS Parcel Select is cheaper than UPS Ground.

What is the heaviest package I can ship via UPS?

The maximum limit to ship packages via UPS is 150 lb. You may require freight shipping for packages larger than the maximum size and weight combination.

What is the cheapest option for overnight shipping?

Although USPS Priority Mail Express has low prices for one-day delivery, UPS and FedEx promise delivery by the following day or your money back.


Different courier services have different shipping rates based on various factors. Therefore, finding the cheapest way to ship boxes from shipping zones inside the United States is critical if you’re running a new business. To do that, you should always compare the shipping cost among various courier services and choose whichever falls within your budget.


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