How to Save On 2-3 Day Shipping

By Rob Zaleski
Jan 8, 2020
Save on 2-3 day shipping header

The shipping rates in this blog are the 2020 USPS, UPS, and FedEx shipping rates. For the current 2023 USPS rates, visit our USPS 2023 Shipping Rate Changes: Flat Rate, Priority, First Class, w/Tables blog!

Amazon has created a precedent that gives customers the expectation of a 2-3 day delivery window, and, sometimes, even free shipping. We’ve compared the cheapest shipping rates offered by USPS, UPS, and FedEx with a similar 2-3 day delivery window, so you can put away your calculator and close out those multiple tabs you have open on your browser. 

Note: 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!

Shipping packages under a pound

Shipping packages under a pound opens the possibility to save on your shipping rates. USPS First-Class Package Service® (FCPS) is a great and cost-efficient service for shipping these smaller packages. Although the service doesn’t come with a guaranteed delivery window, your packages are likely to be delivered within a couple of days. We’ve included a quick comparison of USPS FCPS to Priority Mail, FedEx® Home Delivery, and UPS® Ground to really highlight the savings. 

If you’re shipping a 7 oz. package to Zone 5, this is what kind of shipping costs you’re looking at across the various options:

  • USPS FCPS: $3.87
  • UPS One Balance Ground: $8.08 (+ $4.21)
  • USPS Priority Mail: $8.12 (+ $4.25)
  • FedEx Home Delivery: $11.13 (+ $7.26)

With ShippingEasy, you can set shipping automation like shipping presets and shipping rules to automatically apply a service like FCPS to eligible shipments. Also, our rate calculator shows rates across your connected carriers to confirm which carrier and service are the cheapest for your business. 

Note: The rates reflected are USPS Commercial and UPS One Balance rates available to ShippingEasy users, and FedEx shipments will include additional standard home delivery fees. 

Shipping packages over a pound

Most packages you send will probably be over one pound. In most cases, your carrier will use a combination of weight and distance traveled to calculate your shipping rates. With those factors in mind, let’s consider 2-3 day shipping rates for USPS Priority Mail®, FedEx 2Day®, and UPS 2nd Day Air®

One big thing to note: If you need guaranteed delivery on the second day, we recommend using FedEx or UPS because the only guaranteed USPS service is Priority Mail Express

save on 2-3 day shipping chart

From a cost-analysis perspective, it’s tough for FedEx 2Day or UPS 2nd Day Air to beat Priority Mail. For packages up to 70 lbs sent to almost every zone, the shipping rates for Priority Mail are lower than what FedEx and UPS offer. However, as mentioned above, if you need to guarantee 2-day delivery to your customers, so you’ll need to use a service outside of Priority Mail. You’ll also need to factor in fees and surcharges for these other services because USPS doesn’t incorporate those extra charges.

You can see the USPS 2022 Surcharges here!

Shipping with USPS Flat Rate

Flat Rate packaging can also be a lifesaver for packages over a pound, especially as your packages get heavier. USPS currently offers two types of Flat Rate: Flat Rate and Regional Rate. With Regional Rate boxes and Flat Rate boxes and envelopes, USPS requires you to use specially marked boxes. Your items must fit inside and the packing must be sealed without any bulging. If your products will fit into Flat Rate envelopes or Small boxes, USPS Flat Rate will always yield a lower rate than USPS Regional Rate boxes. This is across all weights (up to 70 lbs.) and zones.

When comparing like-sized packages, each service has distinct advantages. USPS Flat Rate boxes (Medium and Large) are a better option when shipping to further destinations or zones. Regional Rate boxes (A and B) will offer a lower price for shipping between closer destinations. The key restriction of Regional Rate boxes is the shipment weight can’t exceed 20 lbs. In contrast, Flat Rate services support weight up to 70 lbs., as long as your box closes and doesn’t bulge.  

Regional Rate Box A – (10 ⅛” x 7 ⅛” x 5”) 

  • Houston to Miami: 9.55
  • New York to LA: 13.54
  • Dallas to San Antonio: 8.58

Flat Rate Medium Box – (11.25” x 8.75” x 6”) 

  • Houston to Miami: 14.25 
  • New York to LA: 14.25 
  • Dallas to San Antonio: 14.25

Dimensional weight shipping rates

Flat Rate and Regional Rate are great options if your products fit inside those packages, but what if you’re trying to ship all the products of a large order in the same box? This is where the idea of dimensional weight comes into play. Dimensional weight calculates shipping costs based on the volume (length x width x height) rather than the actual physical weight of a package. This means you pay more for the amount of space a package takes up on a truck or plane. 

Packages whose volume is greater than one cubic foot (1,728”) are able to be charged by dimensional weight instead of the actual weight. If your shipment’s weight does bypass a cubic foot, it might actually be cheaper to break your shipment down into smaller shipments. We recommend using our rate calculator to estimate your rates and explore other service options like Priority Mail.


Now, you know how to compare your rates to give your customer 2-3 day shipping. You understand how dimensional weight factors into your shipments, and your eyes have been opened to the world of USPS First Class services. You can worry less about finding which service falls within your preferred delivery timeline, and you can put more time back into your business and your orders, giving this story a happy ending for everyone.

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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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