USPS Flat Rate Regional Boxes

I was a bit slow to notice the regional flat rate boxes the postal service has added to their options.  At first the boxes seemed like more trouble than benefit.  Now I see real cost cutting possibilities. 

Regional shipping is different than the regular flat rate boxes that have the same rate for all zones.  It is also different than the regular postage rates that increase with each pound.  Regional A boxes cost the 2 pound rate and have a 15 pound limit.  Regional B boxes cost the 4 pound rate with a 20 pound limit. 

The destination zones are based on the zip code that you are shipping from.  I ship from Indiana, so places like California and Washington are more costly than Illinois or Michigan. 

The boxes each come in two sizes.  I don’t think these will be available at the post offices, so be sure and order yours online from the USPS.  Also, the shipping labels must be printed online.  The rates are no good at the post office counter.

If you ship small items that weigh over 2 pounds the smaller regional A boxes may save you some postage expense.  My jigsaw puzzles won’t qualify because puzzles aren’t heavy for their size.  Most of my puzzle inventory will require larger boxes or the weight will already be under 2 pounds.  However, the regional boxes will be cost effective for shipments of books when they aren’t traveling far and need to arrive quickly. 

The zone chart based on zip codes is the key to understanding how much money you can save.  I am keeping a copy at my desk, along with the regional box rate chart so I can quickly determine when a regional box will be beneficial. The rate chart is easy to understand once you know the number of the zone you are shipping to.

Boxes L 1 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5 Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8


5.44 5.84 7.48 8.19 8.90 9.88
B 6.16 7.36 8.47 11.16 13.25 14.29 16.13

You will find a much prettier chart on the postal web site.  It is listed under Priority services and it is easy to print.

Unfortunately, the regional boxes are not an option in the eBay shipping calculator yet.  I think there are plans to add the new boxes very soon.  In the mean time it will be a matter of watching for the opportunities to save my customers some postage.

I learn best from experience, so I may have some regional rate lessons to learn.  Have you had a chance to use these new boxes?

5.32 5.44 5.84 7.48 8.19 8.9 9.88
6.16 7.36 8.47 11.16 13.25 14.29 16.13

12 thoughts on “USPS Flat Rate Regional Boxes

  1. I would like a map of the 8 regions so it makes it easier to figure out where we are shipping. I could go through the listing of 3 digit beginnings of zip codes but that would be very time consuming. Any idea where I can get a map of the 8 regions?

    1. I do not know of a map. If you find one, please let me know.

      Any zone map would change depending on the origin. It is the origin zip code that determines the zone #s and rates. (My zip code is zone 1 on my chart and your zip code would be zone 1 on your chart.) The chart is only 1 page and prints in numerical order. I prefer to calculate rates using the usps site, but I keep a copy of the zone chart and pricing sheet as a backup.

        1. If you follow the link in my post and put in your zip code information the chart will come up. The regional box rates depend on the origination zip code. I use the boxes to ship from Indiana to Illinois quite often.

  2. eBAY now has these zone boxes as an option. I now understand them better after reading this page, thank you.
    I have mailed about 100 medium flat rate boxes.
    In Feb 2013 they are now $11.30 ..when I compared the zone B Box it was about $8.00. So I ordered some up for the next time. Thank you for this information. I can see savings hundreds in postage.

    1. Thank you so much for the update about the regional options being on eBay now! It’s great that these boxes will save you that much. I need to check Blackthorne for an updated version and start adding more shipping options to my listings. Though it is not possible to list the option in our listings on eBay, at least the choices are there when we go to print labels.

    2. has a rate chart for the zones. So if you use the website to determine the zone then you can cross reference with the zone chart for the price.

      1. Thanks, Tina. I don’t use for shipping, but there are many that do.
        You can also click on my calculate prices link above for the price that you will pay on I am using these regional boxes more and more. They are a great money saver!

    1. Thank you. I hope you get some use out of the regional boxes. I do!

      Unfortunately, the pricing document that you found is 64 pages long…not very user friendly. Links to all regional rate information are found on the usps site. I usually go to the usps site to calculate prices. Once I put in the two zip codes and package weight I can see whether a flat rate box would be cheaper than shipping by weight. Regional boxes can be a big savings when shipping a small heavy package to a nearby state!

  3. What boxes do you do you ship your puzzles in? I can fit some into a USPS Large Flat Rate Boardgame box. However, I have to cut down a bigger box to fit the larger puzzles. It would be great if there were an easier way.

    1. It all depends on what size the puzzles are. I buy boxes from uline, which helps. The smaller puzzles will fit in regular priority boxes. Flat rate boxes are not very helpful for a regular puzzle that ships at the 2 pound weight. I haven’t used the board game box very often. I keep some on hand just in case I need one.

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