USPS – Detailing the “Economy” Shipping Options



In addition to the two premium services previously discussed, USPS also offers slower delivery services with somewhat reduced rates and less stringent sizing constraints.  These services are almost identical but are priced differently to reflect USPS personnel involvement in the purchase of the postage.

Let’s look at the unique characteristics of the two services

USPS Standard Post (Formerly Parcel Post)

  •  Purchase at the Post Office at retail.

 Parcel Select

Purchase online at non-USPS sites at a discount.  Not available at the Post Office.  This may be called “Standard Mail” on the websites you purchase this from, but it actually is the Parcel Select service.

Here are the common characteristics for these two services:

  •  For shipments up to 70 pounds
  • Price based on weight and distance traveled
  • No “Flat Rate Box” options
  • Tracking is free
  • Insurance available for a fee – starting at $1.95 for $1-$50 of coverage.  For $51-$100 of insurance it’s $2.45.
  • Service quoted at 2-9 days.  Delivery date is not guaranteed
  • Delivers to PO’s, FPO’s, APO’s and every valid address in the US
  • Delivers Mon-Sat (as of this post)
  • Drop off at USPS locations
  • Signature Confirmation, and COD are available for a fee.
  • Boxes with over 84”  to 108” length + girth** charged a minimum of 20 pounds
  • Boxes with over 108” to 130” length + girth charged and “oversize” charge which is slightly more than the 70 pound rate
  • Maximum box size accepted is 130″ length + girth

Next up – the commercial carrier options.

**  “Girth” is the total inches around the smallest two dimensions of a box.. Example:  If a box is 28” x 16” x 14” the total length + girth is 28+16+16+14+14=88.  In this case, the shipment would be priced at the larger of actual weight or 20 pounds.


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