USPS Shipping Estimate: The Complete Guide

USPS, the globally acclaimed mail delivery service provider, is always on the hunt to devise new techniques to ease shipping methods for its customers. One such tool is its shipping calculator, which is used to determine the USPS Shipping Estimate.

It’s the one-stop online tool to end any guesswork regarding shipping charges and get the perfect shipping cost estimation. 

Using its shipping calculator, USPS enables its customers to correct Shipping Estimates and start planning for their shipments. The customer just needs to key in the size and weight of their package and the delivery destination and zip codes for the USPS to determine their shipping costs.

So, that is something this article proposes to do. In a step-by-step process, it explains the detailed procedure of using the USPS Shipping Calculator to get an estimation of their shipping cost. It also brings to the view certain factors that go into consideration while producing the USPS Shipping Estimate.

Now, let’s explore.

Procedure to get USPS Shipping Estimate: Step-By-Step Guide

You can estimate your USPS shipping cost in just seven easy steps. To have the USPS Shipping Calculate estimate the cost of your shipment, follow the steps below.

How to get USPS shipping estimate

Step 1: Visit the USPS Website

The first step to access the USPS Shipping Calculator is to visit their official website.

Step 2: Navigate to USPS Postage Price Calculator

On the official website, you will find the option to navigate to their price calculator page that allows you to calculate costs for both international as well as domestic shipments.

Step 3: Enter the Details

The next step will be to fill in the details of your package or letter. From the dropdown menu, select the delivery destination. Then input the ZIP codes and enter the contents and mailing date of your shipment.

Step 4: Select the Shipment Type

Next, you need to select the shipment type, i.e., how the package is to be delivered to its destination. The USPS Calculator allows for two options here:

Flat Rate Option:  Once you choose a particular type of Flat Rate Option from the choice lists of flat rate boxes, you will be able to see the expected date of delivery, retail price, and postage cost.

Shape Option: For the shape options, you will have to choose one from a list of shapes like a letter, postcard, package, large envelope, or large package. Choose the one that fits the description of your shipment and then enter the parcel’s weight to view the details of your expected date of delivery, retail price, and postage cost. 

Step 5: Compare the Shipping Options

After completing all the above steps, you will view the pricing details according to the shipment type you have selected. At this point, you will have the liberty to compare the rates with the other shipping options by checking the box “Display all Options” at the top of the page.

Step 6: Add Extra Services

This is the part where you can choose to add some extra services like Registered Mail, Insurance, Certificate of Mailing, etc., and check out the rates for those as well.

Step 7: Click on “Continue”

After you have finished entering all the particulars of your shipment, click on the “Continue” button for the USPS Shipping Calculator to estimate the total shipping cost to have your package delivered to its destination.

Once you are satisfied with the price rates and the overall cost, you can start with your shipment plan and proceed to print the postage and pay the required amount.

Factors to Consider while Determining the USPS Shipping Estimate

There are some factors that the Shipping Calculator takes under consideration to determine the USPS Shipping Estimate. Let us now explore some of those factors.

Transit Time

The most important consideration to calculate the shipping cost is the transit time and the delivery speed. The time within which an item is to be delivered to a particular destination determines its speed, determining the shipping cost. So, the USPS Shipping Calculator takes the delivery time under its consideration while determining the shipping cost.

Shape and Weight

The factor of shape and weight comes next in importance while estimating the shipping cost. The shape and weight of your parcel determine how much space your shipment will occupy, which further determines its shipping cost. 

Shipping Insurance

Shipping insurance provides your shipment with additional protection during its transit against the extra charge associated with the damage or loss of your package. Hence, it is also an important factor that goes under consideration in USPS Shipping Estimate.

Delivery Surcharges

Delivery surcharges are applicable to your shipment only for remote areas which are less accessible to the USPS for its pickups or deliveries. The ZIP code determines the actual cost of providing shipping services to these hard-to-reach areas. The Shipping Calculator then includes the additional charges to estimate the shipping cost to prevent any surprises with the shipping costs in the future.

Collect on Delivery (COD)

Shipping costs take a different course when the customer decides to pay for the shipments only after receiving the delivery. So, if one opts to avail of this service with USPS, the shipping calculator determines the price accordingly.

Shipping Supplies

While calculating the shipping cost, the calculator also takes into consideration the shipping supplies that your package would need to reduce the risk of damage while in transit. Thus, the USPS Shipping Estimate is also based on the shipping supplies they use to pack your goods securely.

International Shipping Cost

For international shipments, the USPS Shipping Calculator considers the international shipping costs based on the duty rate, product type, destination country, ad valorem rate, and other such factors. 

De Minimis

The USPS Shipping Estimate is also produced based on the De Minimis—the threshold that determines whether an item can enter the market duty-free or not. It varies from country to country and is determined by the type of products shipped. Plus, De Minimis has several other aspects that the Shipping Calculator factors into its estimation.

Taxes and Additional Fees

The destination country and the product type decide whether your shipment is liable to any additional fees or taxes. There are several rules and regulations regarding the calculator factors in a while providing you with the USPS Shipping Estimate.  


Gone is the time when you walk into the post office with your package and absolutely no knowledge about the shipping price that it might cost you. With USPS Shipping Estimate, you can now determine your shipment cost in seven easy steps from the comfort of your home itself. 

With the USPS Shipping Calculator considering all the important factors into its estimation, you are left with very little to worry about your shipment costs.

You just have to key in the details of your shipment and then lay back as the calculator takes care of the rest. The introduction of the USPS Shipping Estimate once again proved the efficiency of the USPS in providing customer satisfaction.

Shipping guy at USPS, previously at Fedex.

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