Home » Shopping » Cheapest Way To Ship A Package in The US

Cheapest Way To Ship A Package in The US

cheapest way to ship a package in the us

When it comes to shipping a package in the United States, there are a variety of options available to consumers and businesses. From major transport companies like UPS, FedEx, and the USPS, to smaller regional carriers and shipping brokers – the choices can be overwhelming.

But what’s the cheapest way to ship a package in the US?

Whether you’re sending a small package or a large one, there are lots of different options available for shipping in the US. So, I decided to explore the different options and provide a comparison of the rates, services, and benefits of each carrier. Plus, I’ll look at tips for saving money on shipping!

Comparison of Major Shipping Carriers and Their Rates

Comparison of Major Shipping Carriers and Their Rates

When comparing major shipping carriers in the US, it’s important to consider the rates, services, and delivery times offered by each. The United States Postal Service (USPS) is often the cheapest option for small packages, with rates starting at $3.80 for a standard letter. 

However, for larger packages or expedited shipping, other carriers may be more cost-effective. UPS and FedEx both offer a range of services, including overnight delivery, and have rates that vary based on the package size and destination. For example, a 5-pound package shipped overnight from New York to Los Angeles with UPS would cost around $50, while the same package shipped with FedEx would cost around $60.

Are you an Amazon Prime member?

If so, Amazon also has a delivery service called Amazon Logistics, which can be cheaper than other carrier services, especially for their prime members.

However, when comparing rates, it’s also important to consider the additional services offered by each carrier, such as package tracking, insurance, and delivery confirmation. While the cheapest option may seem like the best choice, it’s important to weigh the cost against the value of these additional services. Ultimately, the best carrier for your shipment will depend on your specific needs and budget.

How to Save Money on Shipping by Choosing the Right Carrier?

When shipping a package, choosing the right carrier can make a big difference in terms of cost. Here are a few ways to save money on shipping by choosing the right carrier:

How to Save Money on Shipping by Choosing the Right Carrier

Compare rates

Before selecting a carrier, it’s important to compare rates from multiple carriers. This can be done online through the carrier’s website or by using a cost comparison tool. When comparing rates, be sure to take into account the size, weight, and destination of your package, as these factors will affect the cost.

Choose the right service

Different carriers offer different services at different rates. For example, the USPS is often the cheapest option for small packages, while FedEx and UPS may be more cost-effective for larger packages. So first consider the type of service you need, and choose the carrier that offers the best rate for that service.

Take advantage of discounts

Many carriers offer discounts for frequent shippers, large-volume shipments, or specific types of packages. So be sure to inquire about any discounts that may apply to your shipment.

Use shipping software

Shipping software can help you find the cheapest rates from multiple postal carriers by automatically comparing prices and services. This will save you a lot of time rather than having to visit multiple carrier websites yourself and manually compare their rates!

Use a shipping broker

A shipping broker can negotiate lower rates with carriers on your behalf. They can also help you find the best carrier for your specific needs based on their experience and connections in the industry.

Packaging can make a difference

Did you know that using the right packaging and properly packaging your item can help you save money on shipping? This is because carriers often charge based on the size and weight of a package, so using smaller or lighter packaging can lower your shipping costs.

And there you have it!

By considering these factors, you can find the best carrier and service for your needs, and save money on your shipping in the process.

Once again, it’s important to note that the cheapest carrier is not always the best option. Always consider the delivery times, package tracking, insurance, and other services offered by each carrier to make the best decision for your specific needs and avoid hidden shipping costs later!

The Pros and Cons of USPS, FedEx, and DHL



  • Typically offers the most affordable rates for small packages
  • Offers a wide range of services
  • Priority Mail service offers delivery within two to three business days for a reasonable cost. 
  • Media Mail service is a cost-effective option for shipping books and other media
  • Has a vast network of post offices and drop-off locations
  • Easy to send and receive packages


  • May not be the best option for larger or heavy packages
  • Tracking and delivery confirmation can be less reliable than other carriers
  • Some rural areas may have limited service options or longer delivery times


Why does FedEx say my package is in transit


  • Offers a wide range of services, including express delivery and freight shipping
  • Have a reputation for reliable tracking and delivery confirmation 
  • Offers a variety of options for pickup and drop-off, including FedEx locations and FedEx Authorized ShipCenter


  • Rates can be higher compared to other carriers, especially for small packages 
  • May not be the best option for shipping to certain rural areas 
  • Some services may be limited in certain areas



  • Strong international shipping capabilities
  • Service to more than 220 countries and territories
  • Offer a variety of services, including express delivery and freight shipping 
  • Reputation for reliable tracking and delivery confirmation


  • Rates can be higher than other carriers, especially for domestic shipping
  • May not be the best option for shipping to certain rural areas in the US 
  • Pickup and drop-off options may be limited in certain areas

The Cheapest Way to Ship Based on Delivery Speed

When it comes to shipping a package, cost and delivery speed are often the two main factors to consider. For those on a tight budget, the cheapest way to send a package may only sometimes be the fastest option. However, there are still ways to save money while getting your package to its destination on time.

Only shipping a small package?

Using the United States Postal Service for smaller parcels is one good choice to take into consideration. USPS typically offers the lowest rates for packages weighing less than 16 ounces, and as mentioned, their Media Mail service is a cost-effective option for shipping books and other media. Additionally, their Priority Mail service offers delivery within only two to three business days for a very reasonable cost.

Only shipping a small package

Ultimately, the cheapest way to ship a package in the US based on delivery speed will depend on the specific needs of your shipment. So consider the options available, as well as the size, weight, and location of your package, and you can find a cost-effective solution that meets your delivery speed requirements.

The Impact of Location on Shipping Costs

The location of a package’s origin and destination can have a significant impact on shipping costs. Distance, regional tariffs, and taxes can all affect the cost of shipping a package. Generally, the farther a package needs to travel, the more it will cost to ship. Additionally, shipping to certain regions or rural areas can also be far more expensive than shipping to urban areas.

And don’t forget foreign taxes…

It’s also important to note that certain countries and regions may have tariffs or taxes that will affect the final shipping cost.

Therefore, to save money on shipping, always use the location of the package’s origin and destination when comparing rates from different carriers. 

Understanding Shipping Zones and How they Affect Rates?

Shipping zones refer to the geographical areas that carriers divide the country into when determining shipping rates. The more distance a package has to travel, the higher the shipping rate. So carriers use shipping zones to determine the distance between the point of origin and the destination and then apply the corresponding rate.

The shipping zones are usually divided into a certain number, with Zone 1 being the closest to the point of origin and Zone 8 being the farthest. However, each carrier has its own set of shipping zones and rates for each zone. 

Understanding Shipping Zones and How they Affect Rates

So it goes without saying…

When shipping a package, it’s important to understand exactly which zone the package will be traveling to, as this will affect your rate. For example, if a package is traveling from Los Angeles to New York City, it will be traveling through multiple zones; therefore, the rate will be higher than if it were traveling from Los Angeles to San Diego, which is in the same zone.

It’s also worth noting that some carriers offer discounted rates for shipping within the same zone, so always check for this with your chosen carrier when shipping within one zone.

Shipping Insurance

Shipping insurance is a crucial step in protecting your packages from any potential loss, damage, or theft while in transit. Make sure the coverage you choose will cover the full value of the item in case of any unforeseen damages or loss.

What is the best shipping insurance option?

When considering the cheapest way to ship a package in the US, one must factor in if you need to ensure your package.

The good news is…

When it comes to shipping insurance, there are several options available to choose from. Each carrier offers different coverage options and rates, so it’s best to compare them to find the best option for your needs.

However, one carrier known for its affordable and comprehensive shipping insurance is the USPS. They offer a wide range of coverage options, including insurance for packages valued up to $50,000. Additionally, they have a program called “Insured Mail,” which provides coverage for packages with a declared value of up to $5,000. This can be a great option for small businesses or individuals shipping valuable items.

Shipping something particularly fragile?

Another carrier known for its comprehensive insurance options is FedEx. They offer coverage for packages valued up to $50,000 for an additional fee, and their coverage includes protection against loss, damage, or theft. They also have specialized coverage options for fragile items and high-value items.

DHL also offers insurance options for packages with coverage up to $50,000. In fact, DHL Global Forwarding offers three types of insurance coverage for air and ocean freight. This includes All Risk, Total Loss Only, and Limited Coverage.

A Full Guide to Using Shipping Software to Find the Cheapest Rates

Shipping software is probably the most useful tool for finding the cheapest rates when shipping a package. This is because it allows users to compare rates, services, and delivery times from multiple carriers with the click of a button, making it easier to find the best option for their specific needs in a jiffy!

How to use shipping software to find the cheapest rates:

1 Search for shipping software

There are many different shipping software options available online, both paid and free. Some popular options include Shipstation, ShippingEasy, and Stamps.com.

Search for shipping software

2 Enter package information

Once you’ve selected shipping software, you’ll need to enter information about your package, including the size, weight, and destination. The software will then use this information to generate a list of rates and delivery times from multiple carriers.

3 Compare rates

The shipping software will intelligently display rates and delivery times from various carriers, allowing you to easily compare and choose the best option for your needs. Be sure to check for any additional services offered by each carrier.

4 Choose a carrier

Once you’ve selected the best option for you, you can select the carrier and then process the shipping label.

5 Print shipping label

After choosing your carrier, you need to print the shipping label and attach it to your package.

Take note!

Some shipping software may have a limitation on the number of carriers they support, so it’s important to check if the carrier you’re looking for is supported by the software. Also, some software may have a fee for using their service, so be sure to check the pricing before using it.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Using a Shipping Broker

A Shipping broker is a third-party intermediary that helps businesses and individuals find the best carrier and service for their shipping needs. They work with a variety of carriers, including FedEx, UPS, and USPS, to negotiate rates and find the best options for their clients. Additionally, they can help with a wide range of shipping needs, including international shipping, freight shipping, and expedited shipping.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Using a Shipping Broker

Why use a shipping broker?

One of the main benefits of using a shipping broker is the ability to negotiate lower rates with carriers. This is because they have experience in the industry and connections with multiple carriers, which can help them find better rates than an individual or business could find on their own. A shipping broker can also help you find the best carrier and service for your specific needs, and advise you based on factors such as package size, weight, and delivery speed.

Another benefit of using a shipping broker is the convenience they provide. Since they handle all the logistics of shipping, including paperwork, tracking, and customs clearance, businesses and individuals can save a lot of time and effort.

How about drawbacks?

Yes, there are also drawbacks to using a shipping broker. One is that they may charge a fee for their services. This fee can vary depending on the broker and the specific services they offer, but it should be taken into consideration when comparing rates. Another drawback is that a broker may not have a direct contract with the carrier, so it’s important to check on the broker’s reputation and the carriers they work with.

Got Another Shipping Question?

We can answer all of your questions about the best shipping companies in 2023!

For example, you might be wondering Does USPS Notarize DocumentsCan I Drop a Package in a USPS MailboxDoes USPS Deliver At NightDoes USPS Deliver On SundayDoes USPS Ship to Puerto Rico, or How To Cancel A USPS Mail Hold?

Or, you may need to know What is FedEx SmartPostDoes FedEx Deliver on Saturdays or Does FedEx Deliver To PO Boxes, and exactly How Late Does DHL Deliver?

Confused by USPS terminology? We’ve got you! So, find out What Does Available for Pickup Mean USPSWhat is USPS Informed DeliveryWhat Does Shipping Label Created USPS Awaiting Item Mean, and What Does Missent Mean USPS The Ultimate Guide!

Ok, back to today’s question…

Final Thoughts

There are several ways to find the cheapest way to ship a package. Choosing the right carrier, comparing rates, understanding shipping zones, and taking advantage of seasonality, are all important factors in finding the most cost effective shipping option

Additionally, choosing the right packaging, using shipping software, and considering insurance options can also help reduce overall shipping costs. Finally, consider the shipping speed, location, and size and weight of your package. 

By carefully considering all of these factors, you can ensure that you are getting the best deal on shipping your package.

Happy shipping!

5/5 - (41 votes)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Carmen Smith

Carmen grew up in San Diago but now lives in Boston. She loves traveling, experiencing other cultures, and basically exploring the world, be country at a time.

Her other passion is helping people find the perfect career. We spend 33% of our working lives at work, so it's ridiculous that many people do jobs that they do not enjoy. Carmen wants to change this and thinks that anyone who isn't happy in their employment should keep looking until they find something that they really enjoy. 

She firmly believes that "Everyone's perfect job is out there; it's just a case of continually looking until you find it."

Carmen lives with her husband Johnny, a keen birder who also loves to travel. He finds birds while Carmen makes plans for where they will be eating next...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top