Have you heard of USPS Regional Rate Boxes?
Wondering what they are and how to use them?
If so you’re in the right place.
Not many people know about USPS Regional Rate Boxes. They are a sort of “secret” shipping method. And one that can save you tons of money.
On this page you’ll find everything you need to know about USPS Regional Rate Boxes including:
- What Regional Rate Boxes are
- Cost of Regional Rate Boxes
- The two types and sizes of boxes available
- Where to get Regional Rate Boxes
- How to use Regional Rate Boxes
- How much it costs to ship Regional Rate Boxes
- How you can use Regional Rate Boxes to save loads of money
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Short on time?
Watch this short video explaining what Regional Rate Boxes are and how they can save you a load of money!
What Is A Regional Rate Box?
A Regional Rate Box is a little-known type of box from the United States Postal Service (USPS).
It is a type of Priority box and the postage is dependent on the regions it is shipping to and from.
Regional Rate Boxes are often much more economical to use than standard Priority mail and Flat Rate Boxes.
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How Much Do Regional Rate Boxes Cost?
Regional Rate Boxes themselves don’t cost any money. They are part of the free shipping supplies provided by USPS.
However, you will pay for postage to ship these boxes. More on that later.
(Please note that it is a violation of federal law to use these boxes for other purposes.)
Types and Sizes of Regional Rate Boxes
There are two types of Regional Rate Boxes available:
- Regional Rate Box A
- Regional Rate Box B
They also both come in top-loading as well as side-loading.
USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A (top-loading):
Top-loading USPS Regional Rate Box A’s are also referred to as Box A1.
This is the top-loading Regional Rate Box A:
5″ High, 7 1/8″ Wide, 10 1/8″ Long
USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A (side-loading):
Top-loading USPS Regional Rate Box A’s are also referred to as Box A2.
This is the side-loading Regional Rate Box A:
13 1/16″ High, 2 1/2″ Wide, 11 1/6″ Long
USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box B (top-loading):
Top-loading USPS Regional Rate Box B’s are also referred to as Box B1.
This is the top-loading Regional Rate Box B:
5 1/2″ High, 10 1/2″ Wide, 12 1/4″ Long
USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box B (side-loading):
Top-loading USPS Regional Rate Box B’s are also referred to as Box B2.
This is the side-loading Regional Rate Box B:
14 1/2″ High, 3″ Wide, 14 1/2″ Long
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Where To Get USPS Regional Rate Boxes
Unfortunately you won’t find Regional Rate Boxes at your local post office. They aren’t part of the regular stocking of the shipping supplies there.
To get Regional Rate Boxes you will need to go to the USPS Store and order them online.
Again, they are free to order. Plus, they ship to your door free of charge!
I’ve made this as easy as possible to order the boxes you need. Here are all the available types of boxes with the link straight to order them:
- Top-loading Regional Rate Box A
- Side-loading Regional Rate Box A
- Top-loading Regional Rate Box B
- Side-loading Regional Rate Box B
Note that you must order boxes in either quantities of 10 or 25.
If you want 10 boxes, select “Pack of 10” and quantity 1. That will get you 10 boxes.
How To Use Regional Rate Boxes
Once you have your regional rate boxes ordered, they are pretty simple.
There’s just a few things you need to know first:
- They can be used for both domestic as well as international shipping
- Like all Priority services, it does come with a base amount for shipping insurance.
- Tracking is included.
- It is best for heavy items
- Short distances cost the least, longer distances cost more.
Here are the weight limits for the Regional Rate Boxes:
- 10 pounds for Box A’s (international)
- 15 pounds for Box A’s (domestic
- 20 pounds for Box B’s (both domestic and international)
How Much Does It Cost To Use Regional Rate Boxes
While the boxes are free to get from USPS, you will need to pay for postage to ship your item.
How much you pay for shipping in Regional Rate Boxes is dependent on “zones.”
The weight of the box does not affect how much you will pay for shipping.
USPS Zones range from 1-9. When you ship to a lower zone (1 and 2, for example), that will cost less than shipping to, say, zone 7.
The number of your zone is based on the zip code where you are shipping from and the zip code you are shipping to.
It’s not really necessary to know the zone, but if you’d like to calculate the zone between two zip codes, you can go here:
Domestic Zone Chart (usps.com)
Just be sure you are on the tab that says “Get Zone for ZIP Code Pair.”
Regional Rate Shipping Costs
Once you know the zip code you’ll be shipping to, it’s easy to calculate how much shipping will cost using a Regional Rate Box.
Just go here and use this USPS Shipping Calculator.
Here is the current costs by zone for Regional Rate Shipping:
Saving Money With Regional Rate Boxes
As you can see, there is a big difference in postage for Regional Rate Boxes depending on the zone.
(Note that 9 is generally for shipping to U.S. Territories, so that is why Zone 9 has such a big cost difference.)
Excluding Zone 9, for Regional Rate Box A’s, all other zones are less than the cost to ship Medium Flat Rate Boxes.
And for Regional Rate Box B’s (again excluding Zone 9), the shipping cost is less than a Large Flat Rate Box.
And that’s my general rule for saving loads of money with Regional Rate Boxes:
- For items that you normally would have sent in a Medium Flat Rate Box, instead use a Regional Rate Box A.
- For items that you normally would have sent in a Large Flat Rate Box, instead use a Regional Rate Box B.
Now this won’t work for every item as the Regional Rate Boxes are just a bit smaller, but for most items you will be able to use the cheaper Regional Rate Boxes to save money.
Considering the current cost of Medium and Large Flat Rate Shipping, your cost savings could be as much as $6-$11 per package!
That can really add up, especially if you ship a lot of larger items.
Conclusion To Using USPS Regional Rate Boxes
I hope you’ve learned everything you need to know when it comes to using USPS Regional Rate Boxes!
I know that using these little-known boxes can help save you loads of money.