What Are USPS Zones & How Do They Affect My Shipping?

By Maria Fagerland
Aug 5, 2021
usps shipping zones

With many carriers and services, sellers have options for how they ship. Understanding each carrier’s process can help you make the right decision for your unique business needs. If you choose to use USPS as your shipping carrier, you need to understand USPS zones and how they will affect your shipping process. 

What Are USPS Zones?

USPS zones are frequently misunderstood as being defined by some geographical area. USPS zones are actually defined by the distance a package must travel from its point of origin. Therefore, USPS zones will be specific to your business and its distance from each of your customers. Zones range from Zone 1 (a destination within 50 miles) to Zone 9 (a destination far away from your business). As you ship to locations farther away from your business, in higher USPS zones, your shipping costs will increase. 

These zones are calculated using 3 digit zip codes. You can calculate specific zones based on your business address on the USPS website. 

USPS Zones Breakdown: 

For quick reference, here are the criteria for USPS zones: 

    • Local: Destinations within the same PO
    • Zone 1: Destinations within 50 miles (outside of the PO) 
    • Zone 2: Destinations within 51-150 mile radius 
    • Zone 3: Destinations within 151-300 mile radius 
    • Zone 4: Destinations within 301-600 mile radius 
    • Zone 5: Destinations within 601-1000 mile radius 
    • Zone 6: Destinations within 1001-1400 mile radius 
    • Zone 7: Destinations within 1401-1800 mile radius 
    • Zone 8: Destinations within 1801 mile radius or farther 
    • Zone 9: Destinations within freely associated states 

If you are shipping to U.S. territories such as American Samoa, Guam, or Puerto Rico, be sure to check the Zone 9 rates and restrictions for your destination address. 

How Do These Zones Affect My Business? 

If you’re looking to expand your e-commerce business and reach a wider customer base, it’s important to understand the shipping costs involved. If you choose to ship with USPS, these zones will determine your shipping rates for different shipping destinations. Shipping efficiently and affordably will help you maintain business stability and increase profits. 

Shipping rates differ widely depending on a variety of factors, including but not limited to: zone, package weight and size, and delivery speed. These rates fluctuate over time and can become complex for businesses to keep up with. Using a shipping logistics platform like ShippingEasy can help you stay on top of your shipping options. ShippingEasy allows you to compare rates among different carriers for each package you send, so you can ensure you’re choosing the best rate for every address you ship to. ShippingEasy also gives users access to discounted shipping rates so you can start saving on your fulfillment process. 

The less time and money you spend on shipping, the more you can spend developing your product and assisting your customers. Try ShippingEasy free for 30 days and see how a shipping solution can transform your fulfillment process and enhance your business. 

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Maria Fagerland

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