What is USPS Cubic Pricing? [Updated with 2017 Cubic Rates]

USPS cubic shipping

With the major shipping carriers changing their prices at the start of 2017, businesses will need to re-examine their FedEx vs. UPS vs. USPS shipping mix or risk throwing money away. For online businesses or warehouse managers shipping more than 50,000 small, heavy packages a year, there’s one solution sticking around in 2017 that is worth a second look: USPS Cubic Pricing via Priority Mail®.

This option is great for high-volume shippers sending off small, heavy packages (think paperweights or hardcover dictionaries) through the U.S. Postal Service.

How do I determine if I’m eligible for USPS Cubic Pricing?

First, you’ll need to measure your boxes to see if the dimensions qualify. Cubic pricing is measured by this calculation: length x width x height / 1,728 = cubic feet.

Here’s the step-by-step process for measuring cubic feet:

  1. Measure the length, width and height, in inches, rounded down to the nearest 1/4 (or 0.25) inch (example: 6.375” or 6 3/8” rounds down to 6.25” or 6 1/4”).
  2. Multiply the length by the width and by the height, and divide that number by 1,728.

If your cubic feet value is less than 0.50, your package is eligible for one of the five cubic tier rates.

Here’s an example to determine your cubic price tier:

  1. A box measuring 11” by 8.43” by 3” has a volume of 272.25 cubic inches (11 x 8.25 x 3; rounding each number down to the nearest 1/4 inch).
  2. 272.25 cubic inches ÷ 1,728 = 0.1575 cubic feet.
  3. Because 0.1575 is greater than 0.1, it falls in the next higher cubic price tier: 0.20.

Here are the new shipping rates, which went into effect January 22, 2017:

2017 USPS Cubic Shipping Rates

(Click image to enlarge)

You may also be able to take advantage of these discounted rates using a poly or padded bag. These are known as soft-pack cubic rates. The calculation for soft-pack pricing is slightly different, so if you’re interested in learning more about this cubic option, contact an Endicia sales representative.

In addition to meeting the dimension requirements, your packages each need to weigh less than 20 pounds. Finally, you’ll need to make sure you’re sending 50,000 of these packages in one calendar year to qualify.

How do I Get USPS Cubic Pricing?

 This option is available through Commercial Plus Pricing (CPP) — the discounted rates offered to electronic postage users that ship high volumes. Your sales rep at Endicia can help you work with the Postal Service to set up cubic pricing.

If you’re an online business owner or shipper that sends a large amount of packages each year, then you know that it’s mission critical to select the most cost-effective shipping service for every product. Make a note to consider USPS Cubic Pricing for your business’ shipping mix in 2017.

About Endicia
Endicia is a leading provider of internet-based postage services that make it easier and more affordable to ship parcels through the U.S. Postal Service®. We know that shipping can be complex and our goal is to simplify your shipping operations so you can focus on doing what you do best. Visit us at www.endicia.com to learn more.

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