Whats the Cheapest Way to Ship Packages? Find Out Now [2022]

As a small business owner, one of your top priorities is finding the most affordable way to ship your packages.

However, there is more to choosing a shipping and fulfillment method than simply going for the most affordable basic option. you need to consider customer experience and other factors like shipping time, tracking and location, just to name a few.

You should also consider the size and weight of your product when making your decision. for example, the cheapest way to ship beauty products will not be the same as the cheapest way to ship home gym equipment.

In this article, we’ll outline some of the cheapest shipping options out there and show you how to make a smart decision on which one is best for your business.

cheapest way to ship packages

The cheapest way to ship through any shipping service is usually ground shipping. It’s a slower option, but you can save money by avoiding air shipping costs.

So if you want to save on shipping costs and are willing to spend a little more time shipping, these courier services can help you increase your profit margins.

In the list below, you can see an estimate of how much it would cost your business to ship a package that weighs 5 pounds. nationwide (from one point in the US to a nearby area).

  • usps retail ground – $10.60
  • ups ground – $10.46
  • fedex ground – $10.46
  • fedex home delivery – $14.81
  • dhl domestic express – $34.16
  • fulfillment by amazon (fba) – ($6.28, plus $0.99 per item or $39.99 monthly fee and inventory fee)

While this list describes the most economical way to ship for a small business, it does not take into account all of the requirements your business might have when it comes to shipping and compliance.

As you can see, fedex and ups offer the cheapest ground shipping overall. However, small businesses that take advantage of Amazon’s fulfillment program can get faster shipping times at lower costs, depending on the scale of their business and the number of products they sell each month.

The cheapest shipping option may change based on the size and weight of your packages, how you want to track your shipments, and whether you ship domestic or international.

the cheapest way to ship with tracking

Most carriers allow companies to track your packages as they go through the delivery process, but the cheapest way to track shipments is via fedex or ups.

When you ship with either carrier, you’ll be provided a unique tracking number for each package, letting you and your customers know where it is and when it arrives at its destination.

While tracking is an added convenience, multiple tracking numbers can be difficult for a business to manage, and sharing numbers with the right customers can also be a problem.

small businesses can use software like aftership to help ease this process. aftership allows you to track the progress of all your shipments in one place, even if you ship from multiple different carriers.

Aftership: Track all your shipments for 800+ carriers

Aftership: Track all your shipments for 800+ carriers

AfterShip also enables business owners to create their own branded tracking page to send their customers. This makes it easy for customers to access their order details along with the tracking number, and the transparency of letting customers know when their package is shipped, out for delivery, and delivered can promote trust in your business.

aftership software integrates with over 100 e-commerce platforms, including popular ones like shopify, magento, and woocommerce, and supports over 800 carriers around the world (including usps, ups, fedex, dhl, and amazon ).

The best part of aftership is its data collection capabilities. E-commerce companies using aftership can access data analytics to gain insight into the shipping process, which can help you figure out which carrier is best for your needs.

AfterShip shipping analytics

AfterShip shipping analytics

Cheapest Way to Ship Large Packages

When it comes to larger items, UPS and FedEx offer the cheapest form of shipping. each carrier offers flat-rate shipping for large packages at comparable prices.

ups offers the most affordable way to ship large packages with its ups simple rate shipping option. businesses can ship a package up to 1,051-1,728 cubic inches and up to 50 pounds, starting at $22.85 using the xl flat rate package option.

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fedex is the second cheapest flat-rate large package shipper. allow customers to ship a fedex extra-large box starting at a flat rate of $36.60 for fedex express saver shipping.

fedex prices increase depending on how quickly you need your package to arrive and in which zone: you’ll pay more when shipping over 150 miles or internationally. Also, please note that FedEx does not allow bulk shipping of flat rate boxes. That said, you can print labels in bulk.

cheapest way to send £50

fedex and ups flat rate shipping covers you for large packages under 50 lbs. however, if you want to send £50 or more, the options are different. The following table can give you an idea of ​​how the prices of both carriers compare when shipping a package that weighs 50 pounds.

shipping service

transit time


usps priority mail –

flat rate small box

1-3 days


usps priority mail –

average flat rate box

1-3 days


usps priority mail –

flat rate large box

1-3 days


usps package selection

2-8 days

depends on the area,

from $30.85

fedex express savings

3 days

depends on area, starts at $82.50

fedex express savings –

small flat rate box

3 days

depends on area, starts at $9.95

fedex express savings –

flat rate medium box

3 days

depends on area, starts at $12.95

fedex express savings –

big box of a fee

3 days

depends on the area, starts at $20.00

fedex express savings –

extra large box for a fee

3 days

depends on area, starts at $32.35

The weight limit for shipping large packages with ups is 150 pounds, but if you need to ship a large package, like a piece of furniture or a pallet, you can use the ups shipping option. Take care when weighing your item and make sure you choose the right service and take into account any surcharges you may incur.

Similarly, FedEx offers its FedEx Ground and FedEx Small Business home delivery services with a 150-pound limit. There is also a fedex freight option called fedex freight for ltl, or “less than truckload” shipping. This option applies when you want to ship large, heavy items that weigh more than 150 pounds but, as the name implies, wouldn’t fill an entire cargo trailer.

if the item you are shipping weighs 50 pounds or more, but is still small and can fit in one of the usps priority mail flat rate boxes, then you can ship it flat rate as long as it weighs less than 70 pounds . total. this is very important to keep in mind for companies that ship small but heavy items.

the cheapest way to ship small items

usps is the cheapest way to ship small items. The postal service is ideal for sending letters and small packages compared to the other package-oriented services mentioned in this post.

while ups, fedex, and amazon can be expensive for small, lightweight items, usps excels at shipping options for small items. USPS Priority Mail 3-Day Flat Rate Small Box can be shipped for $7.90 (and can weigh up to 70lbs, as noted above).

Cheapest way to ship small items: USPS Postal Service

Cheapest way to ship small items: USPS Postal Service

Prices for other flat-rate options such as Flat Rate Envelopes and Flat Rate Padded envelopes all hover around $8.00 as well, making them affordable options for small parcels containing books or documents or small items like clothing or jewelry.

In addition, USPS offers “forever” prices that can be purchased with postage already included. you can use packaging to ship an item at any time in the future, whether or not shipping costs increase.

For example, you can purchase several Priority Mail Flat Rate Prepaid Padded Envelopes Forever at their current price of $8.55 per piece. That way, you won’t have to pay any additional fees to use them for shipping next year, even if the price of the envelope goes up.

if your item is small and light (or won’t fit in one of usps prepaid packaging options), you may be able to ship it even cheaper with usps small package pricing, which, depending on weight and form of your package, it could cost as little as $4.00.

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cheapest way to send £2

The cheapest way to ship items 2 pounds or less varies widely depending on the dimensions of the item. If you’re shipping a very small item that only weighs a few ounces, you may even be able to get away with using USPS First Class Mail.

otherwise the usps flat rate or small package price may still be the cheapest. The multiple packaging options mentioned in the previous section will suit your business needs as long as your item meets the dimensional requirements.

for packages with larger dimensions, the cheapest way to send 2 pounds or less could be fedex or ups. Here is a list summarizing the cheapest ways to send 2 pounds based on dimensions:

  • usps first class mail envelope – $0.55 up to 1 oz
  • usps first class mail parcel – $4.00 up to 13 oz
  • mail flat rate shipping usps priority – $7.70 and up
  • ups flat rate shipping – $8.80 and up
  • fedex flat rate shipping – $8.90 and up

cheaper international shipping

The cheapest international shipping is DHL or USPS, depending on the size and shape of your package and how quickly you need it delivered. For parcels and small packages, USPS remains the cheapest international shipping option. however, as items get larger (and international customers get more impatient), dhl becomes the cheaper option.

with dhl’s worldwide express shipping service, you can send an item that weighs 70 kg (about 155 pounds) and is 120 x 80 x 80 cm (about 50 x 30 x 30 inches) or smaller to international level and that it arrives at its destination at the end of the next day.

Prices vary by size, weight and area. For example, shipping a package weighing 30 kg (about 66 pounds) internationally would start at $307 plus surcharges depending on the country it is being shipped to. the price goes up from there depending on the zone of the country of destination and the weight of the package.

for usps international shipping, small items that weigh less than 16 oz, are worth less than $400 and can fit in a small envelope can be shipped using usps first class international mail for just $1.20.

For slightly larger items, Global Express Guaranteed Shipping starts at $67.80 and guarantees delivery in one to three business days, which is an affordable option for fast international shipping. Slightly larger items that can fit in a flat-rate box can be shipped via USPS Express International Priority Mail in three to five days or International Priority Mail in six to 10 days.

Finally, USPS First Class International Parcel Service is the most economical way to ship items too heavy or large to ship in a small envelope but weigh less than 4 pounds. As long as the package does not exceed 36 combined length, width, and height, it can be shipped internationally starting at $14.25.

cheapest way to ship a box

Unless you’re shipping something extremely large, USPS Priority Shipping is the cheapest way to ship a box. USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes start at $7.70 for a small box and can be shipped anywhere in the country for a flat rate.

if you need to ship a really big box, the cheapest way to do it is with a flat rate box from fedex express saver, which starts at $32.35 and goes up based on the zone you ship to. you can choose from two different boxes: 11-7/8″” x 10-3/4″” x 11″” or 15-3/4″” x 14-1/8″” x 6″” — whichever your article fits better.

FedEx Express Saver One-Rate XL Box

FedEx Express Saver One-Rate XL Box

USPS Parcel Select is a comparable option if you’re a business shipping a large volume of items or you want to use your own box. Prices start at $7.01 for a 1 lb package and go up based on weight and zone. You can use USPS Parcel Select to ship a box of up to 108 in girth and length — larger boxes are considered oversized and start at $80.

cheapest way to ship boxes to another state

The cheapest way to ship boxes to another state is to use a USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Box. there is no surcharge for shipping to a different zone, unlike other shipping services like fedex or ups that charge more if the destination of the package is more than 150 miles away.

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the most economical way to send boxes all over the country

usps priority mail flat rate boxes are the most economical way to ship a box nationwide because the rate is the same no matter what zone you ship to.

for example, if you were based in new york and wanted to ship two items, one to new jersey and one to california, if you used a usps priority mail flat rate box for both items, the price would be the same:

  • usps priority mail small flat rate box – $7.90
  • usps priority mail medium flat rate box – $13.75
  • usps priority mail large flat rate box – $19.30

how to ship cheap: 4 factors that affect shipping

Now that you know the cheapest ways to ship for the different needs a small business may have, you’re ready to choose which shipping service will be the most affordable for your business. Several factors will determine which is optimal.

Not only will you consider the size, weight, and destination of your packages, but you’ll also want to consider your budget, whether or not you want to offer free shipping, how you’ll track your packages, and how you’ll estimate shipping costs. price too.

1. what is your shipping budget?

The first thing to consider is your budget. Assess how much money you’re willing to spend on shipping.

please note that faster shipping, larger dimensions and weight will be higher. How much you spend on shipping will affect your profit margin on each sale, so budget wisely according to your net profit goals.

2. What size and weight are your packages?

The cost of shipping a tie compared to the cost of shipping a pallet of landscaping soil varies widely. The weight and dimensions of your shipments can make a big difference in which carrier will ship your product at the lowest cost.

3. how fast do you need to send?

Fast shipping is always a plus, and some customers even demand it, but it’s usually not the most cost-effective way to ship for a small business.

Although customers like fast shipping, they usually don’t want to pay a premium price for it. you may want to offer it as an option along with slower, cheaper, or free shipping.

You can also use Amazon Fulfillment (FBA) for your shipping needs; If you can afford the upfront costs and inventory fees, it might be your best option for fast shipping.

4. How far do you need to send?

International shipping is a whole different ball game than shipping within the US. uu. offering it to your customers could help you expand into new markets and grow your business.

however, international shipping can be too expensive, especially for larger and heavier items. Find out if you can use USPS to ship continentally or overseas and how much it would cost to ship to different areas using DHL before offering international shipping.

how can you calculate the shipping cost?

Some carriers make it easy to calculate exact shipping costs by offering price calculators on their websites.

For example, the USPS Retail Postage Price Calculator can help you determine if it’s cheaper to ship a package based on its size and shape or as a flat-rate box or envelope.

Other websites like fedex and ups have calculators that can help you estimate shipping costs based on the location and destination of the item, as well as its weight and dimensions.

Shipping rates calculator

Shipping rates calculator


There are a host of factors to consider when finding the cheapest way to ship in 2022. While shopping online is more popular than ever, shipping costs for small businesses continue to rise.

Whether you’ve been shipping for years and need to change your pricing model, or you’re new to e-commerce and looking for an address, hopefully this article gave you a basic understanding of the shipping landscape in today.

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