USPS Shipping Labels: USPS Shipping Services Explained

by
May 25, 2021

The USPS shipping services offer economical ways to ship lightweight parcels and envelopes domestically and internationally. Here, we go over which services are available and what their restrictions are. They range in price and delivery timeframe. 

USPS First Class Mail

USPS First Class Mail is an economical way to ship parcels, thick envelopes, and envelopes weighing under 16 oz. Packages must be smaller than the maximum dimensions of 22″ x 18″ x 15″. Delivery usually takes 3 business days to reach its final destination. 

USPS First Class Mail International

USPS First Class Mail International has different restrictions than its domestic counterpart. All parcels must be under 4 lbs. A package may not exceed a maximum of 24″ length, L+H+W= 36″. Additionally, the delivery time frame is not set in stone. It generally takes 7-21 days for a First Class Mail International parcel to reach its final destination. But, there are no delivery guarantees, so final delivery may take longer. 

USPS Priority Mail

USPS Priority Mail is a great option to send parcels weighing less than 70 lbs domestically. They may not exceed 108” in combined length and girth (the length of the longest side, plus the distance around the thickest part of the package). Generally, USPS Priority Mail takes 1-3 business days to reach its final destination.

USPS Priority Mail Express

USPS Priority Mail Express has the same size and weight restrictions as standard Priority Mail. However, the delivery timeframe is either next-day or 2-day between pickup and final delivery.

USPS Priority Mail International

USPS Priority Mail International follows the same 70 lb max weight limit as domestic services do. However, there are also country-specific limits that are lower than 70 lbs. There is also a maximum size limit of 79” in combined length and girth (the length of the longest side, plus the distance around the thickest part of the package).

USPS Parcel Select

USPS Parcel Select is an economical way to ship bulk parcels (generally 50 or more). Packages can weigh up to 70 lbs. and they can measure up to 130” in combined length and distance around the thickest part. These parcels have a wide range in delivery times and can take 2-8 days to reach their final destination.

USPS Media Mail

USPS Media Mail is an economical option for shipping media such as books, CDs, vinyl records, and other bound material at least 8 pages in length. The maximum weight for these parcels is 70 lbs. They have a maximum size restriction of 108” in combined length and girth. The delivery time ranges from 2-10 business days. One reason that this delivery timeframe is longer is that the USPS may inspect parcels to verify the content is allowed.

USPS Service Criteria

Service

Max. Weight

Size Limit

Delivery Timeframe

USPS Priority Mail 

70 lbs

108” in combined length and girth

1-3 days

USPS Priority Mail International 

70 lbs

79” in combined length and girth

1-3 days

USPS Priority Mail Express

70 lbs

108” in combined length and girth

1-2 days

USPS First Class

16 oz

24″ max length, L+H+W= 36″

2-5 days

USPS First Class International

4 lbs

24″ max length, L+H+W= 36″

7-21 days

USPS Parcel Select

70 lbs

130” in combined length and girth

2-8 days

USPS Media Mail

70 lbs

108” in combined length and girth

2-10 days

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USPS Packaging

USPS Priority Flat Rate

USPS Priority Flat Rate refers to a class of packages that are size-definite and can weigh up to 70 lbs. To get a rundown on the available flat rate package types, read our guide to USPS Flat Rate

USPS Thick Envelope

USPS Thick Envelope is an envelope with one side that is greater than 6.12″ high or 11.5″ long or 0.25″ thick. The USPS rates these parcels the same as they would a standard package. 

How ShipStation Helps Ship USPS Labels

ShipStation has a close partnership with Stamps.com. As a result, you can get USPS discounts that are far lower than you’ll receive at the post office on USPS shipping services. With ShipStation, many USPS services allow custom fields to be added to labels for things like label messages and logos.

ShipStation also gives you discounted rates for additional carriers such as UPS. This helps if you have larger parcels weighing over 5 lbs or so. You can also compare rates from different USPS services or other carriers to find the lowest shipping rate for any and all of your packages. With automated workflows and bulk printing options, you can save time and money on your shipping.  

To see how much you can save on shipping costs, try ShipStation free for 30 days