Understanding Regional Rate Boxes

570x300_Understanding Regional Rate BoxesWhen many of us think of shipping rates, we think of package weight first. But did you know that distance can play as major a role? That’s where Regional Rate Boxes come in: a lower-cost alternative to traditional pricing for packages traveling short distances.

Regional Rate Boxes were designed for small, dense packages that could otherwise be very pricey to ship. In particular, shoes and other clothing items are ideal for Regional Rate, as they can be bulkier than some shipments but not overly heavy. See the table below, for Regional Rate zone-based pricing.

Pricing Table

Why “Regional?”

These boxes are called “regional” because the rate you pay depends on the “region” (or zone) to which you’re sending your package. But you can use the Regional boxes anywhere within the United States – in fact, Regional Rate Box A happens to be the overall lowest-cost USPS option for packages between 2 and 15 pounds, whether you’re sending it to the next state over or much farther away.

Types of Regional Rate Boxes

Regional Rate Boxes are available in top- and side-loading models of different weight limits and dimensions. The largest box, C, measures 15”x12”x12” and holds up to 25 pounds.

Dimensions Table

Advantages to You

Regional Rate Boxes can be a great option if you are looking to combine the low rates of zone pricing with the speed and convenience of Priority Mail shipping. This alternative can help you and your buyers save without having to compromise on delivery timeframes.

Other benefits:

  • Up to $50 in insurance included (for mail pieces with barcodes)
  • Tracking included
  • 1-, 2- or 3-day delivery based on package origination and destination
  • Free package pickup for many locations
  • Saturday and residential delivery at no extra charge for many locations

Restrictions of Regional Rate Boxes

Regional Rate Boxes offer unmatched pricing and convenience, but there are restrictions. Before you use this service, be absolutely sure that your shipment meets the weight requirements of 15 pounds or less for Box A, 20 pounds or less for Box B and 25 pounds or less for Box C. If your items exceed these numbers, Priority Mail weight and zone pricing for the entire shipment will go into effect.

Also, keep in mind that you are limited to using only USPS-produced Regional Rate Boxes, available online from sources like Stamps.com. Just like with Priority Mail Flat-Rate shipments, shippers cannot use any other kind of packaging for Regional Rate pricing.

The Bottom Line

If you think Priority Mail is your only option, take a look at Regional Rate Boxes too. Chances are, you’ll discover an option that could deliver the same results at a lower price.