USPS Flate Rate Shipping: Meaning, Advantages, Shipping Charges
Shipping flat rate services can make your shipping easier. Shipping costs are taking a major point in your e-commerce business profit. When you ship your products through any post office or private shipping company, they will charge according to your shipment size and weight. It can increase your shipping cost. One way to reduce your shipping costs and ship your goods efficiently and affordably is by using flat-rate shipping. You will face high rates, overcharges, unnoticed residential charges, and billing errors in the standard shipping. But when you use the flat rate service, you will get rid of these charges.
No matter the size or weight of your shipment, your shipping cost won’t be affected. However, for lightweight packages, it won’t be that much convenient. If you are unaware of ship flat rate services, read this article carefully to get all the knowledge.
What is flat-rate shipping?
Flat rate shipping is a service where shipping charges are calculated by box size rather than its dimensional weight. It means the shipping rate is fixed for all kinds of boxes. no matter what is the size or dimension of the product, the shipping charges will be the same.
You can send any weight at the same price until you reach the maximum weight.
The actual answer to what is flat-rate shipping is it is a service that reduces your shipping charges and saves you money. However, the charges depend on the freight carriers, as each carrier has different prices.
Benefits of Using Flat rate shipping:
If you are running a small business and want to save huge shipping charges, Flat rate shipping is the best option. There are lots of benefits or advantages of using this service, such as:
Not to worry about weight:
When you ship your product through flat rate service, you don’t have to weigh and dimensions. Using this service rather than standard shipping regarding heavy-weight inventory is better. No matter the weight of your product, it costs the same.
Note: flat rate shipping is not available in all the states. It is only available in the US and Canada. But you can ship any product under 70 LBS across the United States or to approved international shipping.
You will get insurance up to $50 for every flat rate shipping in us. It is worth it and depends on shipping value and volume. However, it is more convenient for high-volume items than low-volume shipments.
When you ship your products through a flat rate service, you give
the buyers a fixed price, which clarifies the selling mechanism. As a result, they trust you and relate better towards your product. They prefer your products to other sellers as they don’t have to pay extra handling or shipping fees.
In standard shipping service, your e-commerce website needs a shipping calculator, but in flat rate shipping time, you don’t need any calculator. You don’t need to modify the shipping cost for each good based on dimensions and weight. It gives more elasticity to focus on fulfillment operations, including sourcing, packaging, etc.
Less shipping cost:
This process does not incur any additional costs for the customer. This way, they don’t have to worry about shipping and focus more on buying the product. When you choose shipping companies like Shipprocket, you can optimize your shipping costs by opting for flat-rate inter-territory shipping.
It’s hard to offer time to action other than your core business. For this reason, many companies hesitate to contact different shipping corporations and finally set the shipping charges.
Standard shipping charges take time as freight carriers calculate rates based on weight, dimensions, and time zones. The packages have already operated on dimensions and weight. This streamlines the process and accurately manages time.
Easy steps to ship your flat rate box:
Flat rate shipping meaning or means the shipping charges is not dependent on the product’s size, shape or weight; hence the word comes from “flat rate.” All major freight carriers offer this service, and each company has restrictions. Here we discussed those easy steps to ship your products through shipping flat rate services.
- Select your shipping carrier:
First, you have to choose a shipping carrier that is more convenient for you according to your needs and location.
- Ensure the box meets the size requirements:
After selecting the carrier, decide which box or envelope meets your size requirements.
- Pack your products:
Pack your products and add the address in the package to the customer.
- Ship your products:
The last step is to include a shipping label and then drop off the shipment at the shipping center, like the post office.
Flat rate shipping Charges:
Many shipping companies offer flat rates and boxes to avoid confusion regarding sizes, dimensions, and shipping. The charges of flat rate shipping depending on the box size and the shipping carriers.
USPS shipping rate:
|Flat rate boxes||Post office price||Commercial price||dimensions|
|One rate envelope||$7.35||$6.95||12 1/2″ x 9 1/2″|
|Small box||$7.90||$7.50||8 11/16″ x 5 7/16″ x 1 3/4″|
|Medium box – 1||$14.35||$12.80||11 1/4″ x 8 3/4″ x 6″|
|Medium box- 2||$14.35||$12.80||14″ x 12″ x 3 1/2″|
|Large box||$19.95||$17.60||12 1/4″ x 12 1/4″ x 6″|
UPS shipping rate:
|Flat rate boxes||Shipping price||Dimensions (cubic inch)|
|Extra small box||$8.80||1-100|
|Extra Large box||$22.85||1051-1728|
FedEx shipping rate:
|Flat rate boxes||Shipping price||Dimensions|
|One rate envelope||$8.50||9-1/2″ x 12-1/2″|
|Small box||$9.50||10-7/8″ x 1-1/2″ x 12-3/8″|
|Medium box||$12.35||11-1/2″ x 2-3/8″ x 13-1/4″|
|Large box||$19.05||12-3/8″ x 3″ x 17-1/2″|
|Extra Large box||$30.85||11-7/8″ x 10-3/4″ x 11″|
Restrictions you should maintain while shipping:
When you ship your products through a flat rate service carrier, you should maintain a guideline such as:
Prescription medications, guns and alcohol are prohibited and shipped by only manufacturers and dealers following superior rules. You generally can’t ship tobacco products. However, you can ship cigarettes with few exceptions.
Priority mail restrictions:
You cannot send anything; there are some restrictions. When it comes to usps flat rate boxes, you cannot include
· Firearm ammunition
· Alcohol and more
· Weight of products more than 70 pounds
Express mail shipments:
Express mail shipments are best for overnight delivery and sensitive documents or items. You cannot ship products over 70 pounds. You can send your products everywhere in the US, including military addresses and post offices.
When you deliver an international shipment, it takes 3 to 10 days. You have to maintain one of the boxes. Due to international restrictions and prohibitions, you cannot deliver more than 20 pounds of products.
Contents need to fit:
The package contents must fit inside the envelope or mailing box you select.
Best freight carriers who offer flat rate services:
Three shipping carriers offer flat rates, such as USPS, UPS and FedEx.
USPS Flat Rate:
The US postal service (USPS) offers flat rate shipping service with their priority mail express and priority mail services. USPS sets some restrictions on shipping your products. They fix their rates based on package size. Shipping and weight do not matter in pricing. You cannot ship products of more than 70 pounds.
UPS Flat Rate:
UPS offers you to utilize your mailing envelope or box and still gain the advantages of a flat shipping rate. Your shipment should be under 50 pounds. Shipping size should not be more than 1728 cubic inches. In UPS flat rate, you will use your packaging. Thus it would be best if you did some math to calculate the rate category. The rate differs for several states in the US, it has one rate, and for Hawaii and Alaska, the rate is a little bit higher.
FedEx Flat Rate:
FedEx is one of the best Flat Rate shipping services with different rates. The charges depend on the service and size of the package. You can use their packaging to obtain an advantage of their one-rate program. FedEx charges according to distance; if the distance is high, the charges will also be high. You can ship envelopes not more than 10 pounds and tubes and boxes not more than 50 pounds.
Disadvantages of using Flat rate shipping:
Everything has its advantages as well as disadvantages. Such as;
Spend money on unnecessary things:
Shipping flat rate is more useful when your shipment size is large and you will deliver the shipment to a longer distance. It won’t be that beneficial if you want to deliver your products over a shorter distance.
Lost brand value:
They promote their own company when you deliver your shipment through a big shipping company. Thus your branding value will not be considered.
Unable to create the best customer satisfaction:
Flat-rate shipping may be more beneficial for merchants, but that does not mean it will also benefit customers. Sometimes it takes longer to deliver products which is not a good sign for customer satisfaction.
Difference between Standard rate and flat rate shipping:
Standard rate and flat rate services are pricing policies for shipping orders. You can offer buyers a flat shipping rate for each specific region or specific weight or a premium shipping rate that can differ even within a region and is determined by various factors. With the flat rate, you can send every item for the same rate, typically within zones. In most situations, this rate is calculated by the
e-commerce site itself, according to their delivery partner. The flat-rate service is based on different shipping locations.
For example, a flat shipping rate may vary depending on the zone and location to which the item will be delivered.
Best time to consider a flat rate shipping service:
Let’s check when you should consider a flat-rate service;
If you are dealing with small and heavy items: Flat rate service saves you the additional cost of shipping packages with a large DIM weight
If you are utilizing your self-fulfilment service: Brands that practice self-fulfilment is aided by ship flat rate because company-supplied packaging and consistent pricing lower handling costs and streamline the packaging process.
If you are using centralized fulfilment strategies: If you take a nationwide warehouse that delivers your orders, flat rate shipping saves you the additional cost of crossing multiple shipping zones.
Factors affecting shipping flat rate services:
Flat rate service is only beneficial when you have constant or regular deliveries. Some factors determine your shipping rate.
So if the shipment is set to 50 pounds. So any box or package under this weight is qualified for the flat rate. Normally most shipping carriers set the range at 70 pounds. Therefore, all items under this are eligible for a one-rate shipping service.
Time zones play a vital role in deciding whether flat-rate shipping is right for you.
The closer it’s to your starting point, the lower the prices. Shipping will be more expensive if you ship out of the time zone. That’s why you should have clarity that you have several customers from one time zone. Having more orders and customers in a similar time zone is an advantage for you.
Most shipping carriers have specific sizes for each package type: large, medium and small.
This also makes shipments consistent to load, stack and unload. They even have bins with specific dimensions. Flat-rate shipping is only possible in certain sizes or dimensions. This allows e-commerce businesses to bring their packages and use these containers. For example, sets of books, clothes, tiny metal objects, papers, etc., that easily fit in boxes of a certain size.
How AMZ Prep helps you to ship your products:
Optimizing shipping is another way to reduce costs and increase margins if you face difficulties shipping your products and investing lots of money in shipping. AMZPrep is a 3PL that ships your products to several fulfilment centres. Here is how AMZPrep helps you to ship your products;
Monitor the whole fulfilment process:
With AMZPrep, your shipping will get easier as they monitor the entire fulfilment process from labelling to delivering the product to the customer. That means you can manage inventory as well as monitor the entire fulfillment procedure from start to last.
You can also store your inventory in their warehouses, bringing your items closer to customers to reduce transit times and shipping costs.
Automatic fulfilled orders:
After placing an order, it automatically updated to the fulfilment centre. After that, it was picked, labelled and shipped.
Provide tracking info to the customers:
After shipping the products, customers will get tracking information for their orders to check their products’ status.
Flat-rate shipping is one of the most simplified and uncomplicated ways of shipping. Here, you will get fixed rates for every type of weight and box. Unlike other shipping methods, shipping rates are determined by the type of item, size, time zone and dimensions. Also, it’s one of the most beneficial options for merchants with multiple orders and constant deliveries.
Frequently Asked Questions?
Q. Does Flat rate services value money?
Ans: If you are shipping a high dimension and heavy product, then a Flat rate shipping service will be beneficial for you. But if you are shipping a lighter and big size product, it will be better to ship with a regular shipping service.
Q. How much is USPS shipping?
Ans: USPS charges $6.95 to $17.60 for several boxes and envelopes, depending on the size and dimensions.
Q. Is shipping flat rate cheaper?
Ans: Yes, it is cheaper than the regular shipping methods, as you can determine what is suitable for the box. However, the best part is it makes it easier to budget the shipping costs.
Q. How long does flat-rate shipping take?
Ans:It usually takes 2 to 3 business days to deliver the products during non-peak season.
Q. Can I offer flat rate shipping for international orders?
Ans:Flat rate shipping is only available for the US and Canadian people. And in this service you can ship any products up to 70 lbs within the preferred dimension. however, you can ship any small size product to any large international shipping.
Q. Can I choose different flat rate options for different products?
Ans:Yes, you can charge separately for every different product. The charge is multiplied by the amount of items in your cart.
Q. How does flat rate shipping affect my profit margins?
Ans:When you choose flat rate shipping over standard shipping, your overall shipping cost reduces. so you will gain more profit margins.
Q. Is flat rate shipping faster than other shipping methods?
Ans:Both standard shipping and flat rate shipping have their own benefits. However, it takes 2-5 days to ship your products through flat rate service and 3-7 days through other shipping methods.
Q. How do I implement flat rate shipping on my website?
Q. Are there any drawbacks to using flat rate shipping?
Ans:There are few drawbacks to using flat rate service such as you will lose your branding value, spend too much money on large shipments, and be unable to provide best customer satisfaction.
Q. How do I calculate the cost of flat rate shipping for my business?
Ans:While calculating flat rate charges, you have to calculate your average shipping cost first. You can use any system calculator to calculate your shipping cost.
Q. Can I offer flat rate shipping for oversized or heavy items?
Ans:Flat rate shipping is best for small sized heavy products. If your shipments are large, it is better to switch to Standard shipping.
Q. Can I offer different flat rate options for different shipping destinations?
Ans:Yes, you can offerent flat rate options for several shipping destinations but you have to maintain some rules and regulations.
Q. How do I ensure accurate shipping charges for flat rate shipping?
Ans:Shipping carriers are using pricing methods to calculate shipping charges based on dimensions. you can get accurate shipping charges by calculating the weight, size and dimensions.
Q. How does flat rate shipping impact customer experience?
Ans: Flat-rate shipping may be more beneficial for merchants, but that does not mean it will also benefit customers. Sometimes it takes longer to deliver products which is not a good sign for customer satisfaction.