Comparing E-commerce Shipping Rates: 3 Scenarios

By Rob Zaleski
Feb 28, 2019
comparing shipping rates

As of October 19, 2022, ShippingEasy now offers the lowest USPSⓇ shipping rates in the industry, and the rates reflected in this blog are prior to this change and may not be accurate. For more information on these new rates, check out our blog!

For the current 2023 USPS rates, visit our USPS 2023 Shipping Rate Changes: Flat Rate, Priority, First Class, w/Tables blog!

You’re trying to choose which service works best from USPS, UPS, and FedEx for three new orders. To find the best rates and delivery time frame, you need to compare your options, but where’s the best place to start? We’ve created a comparison for you between some of the most commonly used USPS, UPS, and FedEx services to give you a better idea of which services will work best for not only these specific orders but similar future orders, including how dimensional weight affects your shipping cost. 

Note: The USPS and UPS One Balance rates listed in this blog are rates given to ShippingEasy users and don’t include delivery surcharges from FedEx. 

Example 1: Baseball (2 pack)

Comparing shipping rates baseball shipping

Weight with packaging: 11.5 oz.

Shipping destination: Zone 5 (Houston to Jacksonville)

  • FedEx Ground: $12.03
  • UPS One Balance Ground: $8.08
  • USPS Priority Mail: $7.80
  • USPS First Class Package Service: $4.08 ✅

Here, USPS Priority Mail clearly wins out over FedEx and UPS; however, there’s an even cheaper way to ship this package. First Class Package Service (FCPS) is actually the most cost-effective means of shipping anything under 1 lb. Depending on the distance or zone, it’s possible FCPS can have the same general delivery date, even without it being a guaranteed service.

Example 2: Pair of 4lb. Neoprene Dumbbells

comparing shipping rates neoprene dumbbells

Weight with packaging: 10 lbs.

Shipping destination: Zone 6 (San Francisco to Albuquerque) 

  • FedEx Ground: $20.43 ✅
  • UPS Ground: $20.58
  • USPS Priority Mail: $17.74 

In this case, FedEx and UPS are cheaper than USPS Priority Mail, as it is with most 6 lb.+ shipments in Zone 6, but this leads us to another USPS shipping option: a USPS Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate box.

Priority Mail Flat Rate gives you leeway with your shipping aka “if it fits, it ships” for packages up to 70 lbs. A Medium Flat Rate box would likely work for these small dumbells, and with the Commercial shipping rates ShippingEasy users have access to, the shipping cost drops down to $13.20.

If you’re shipping products to a nearby location (Zones 1-5, for example), you’ll also want to check out Regional Rate boxes, which could save you even more; these boxes offer a flat shipping rate based on destination and regardless of weight up to 15 or 20 lbs. depending on the box you use. As you’ll see below, Regional Rate can beat a Flat Rate Medium box across the board.

Regional vs Flat Rate

Regional Rate Box A (10” x 7” x 4.75”) ✅

  • Houston to Miami – $9.55
  • New York to Los Angeles  – $13.54
  • Dallas to San Antonio  – $8.58 

Flat Rate Medium (11” x 8.5” x 5.5”) 

  • Houston to Miami – $14.25 
  • New York to Los Angeles – $14.25 
  • Dallas to San Antonio – $14.25

Example 3: Large, non-folding backpack

comparing shipping rates backpack dimensional weight

Weight with packaging: 2 lbs. 12 oz.

Shipping destination: Zone 5 (New York to Nashville) 

  • FedEx Ground: $28.67
  • UPS Ground: $24.18
  • USPS Priority Mail: $9.93 ✅

There’s only one catch with this example – This bag can’t be collapsed to fit into a smaller box, so the box required to ship this item will, more than likely, have a volume of over 1,728” or 1 cubic foot. Shipments with a volume of over 1 cubic foot qualify for Dimensional or DIM weight, which is pricing based on a shipment’s volume (length x width x height) instead of the number you see on the scale. DIM weight accounts for how much space a package takes up on a truck instead of its actual weight. 

For UPS and FedEx, you can find the DIM weight of a package by taking the volume and dividing it by 139. For USPS, you’ll take the volume and divide it by 166. When it comes to DIM weight, USPS Priority Mail is still the cheapest shipping method and gives you a better-estimated delivery window of around 1-3 days. The DIM weight does increase your shipping cost though, so be sure to optimize your packaging and leave no wasted space. 


You’ve taken the time to compare all of your shipping options to find the cheapest shipping option. You’re utilizing the Commercial USPS rates you receive from ShippingEasy give you even more discounts. You’ve even learned the difference between actual weight and DIM weight. You send your packages with the cheapest and best services for all of your items, and all of your shipments make it to their new homes, safe and sound.

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Rob Zaleski

Head of Brand at ShippingEasy
I'm a digital content and social media nerd with a passion for telling stories, helping connect people, and finding joy in the details.

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