Does UPS Offer Flat Rate Shipping?

Learn about the flat rate services UPS offers, known as UPS Simple Rate, and how you can access these labels
does UPS offer flat rate service?
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USPS is known as the major shipping carrier with the most available flat-rate service options available, such as all the different Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes and envelopes. However, USPS isn’t the only carrier for shippers seeking flat-rate options. UPS also offers flat-rate shipping service, known as UPS Simple Rate…and customers may be surprised to learn how different it is compared to the flat-rate services from USPS.

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You Can Use Branded Boxes or Provide Packaging for Flat Rate UPS Service

Perhaps the biggest difference between flat rate service from UPS and USPS is that you can either use UPS branded boxes or provide your own packaging when shipping with UPS Simple Rate. USPS, on the other hand, requires you to ship with one of their specifically marked branded flat rate boxes to use those services.

UPS Simple Rate Features Five Different Size Tiers & Four Delivery Speeds

UPS offers five different size tiers for Simple Rate service, covering packages with a total volume of up to 1,728 cubic inches. If your box exceeds this volume limit, you’ll only be able to access standard weight and dimension-based rates.

Each Simple Rate size tier comes with a different flat-rate cost. The larger the size of your box, the more expensive it will be to send it.

We’ve listed the five different size tiers for UPS Simple Rate below.

The Five Different Size Tiers for UPS Simple Rate

  • Extra Small: 1-100 cubic inches in volume
  • Small: 101-250 cubic inches in volume
  • Medium: 251-650 cubic inches in volume
  • Large: 651-1,050 cubic inches in volume
  • Extra Large: 1,051-1,728 cubic inches in volume

Note: UPS also has a maximum weight of 50 pounds to qualify for Simple Rate service. If your box weighs more than 50 pounds, you’ll only be able to access regular UPS rates based on the weight and dimensions of your box.

The Four Delivery Speeds for UPS Simple Rate

USPS flat rate services are a part of Priority Mail, and as such, they all feature the same delivery timeframe of 1-3 business days. However, UPS Simple Rate offers more flexible delivery timeframes, with four different options. We’ve listed those different delivery timeframes for Simple Rate below:

  • Within Five Days
  • Within Three Business Days
  • Second Day Delivery
  • Next-Day Delivery

Costs are Based on These Two Factors

As long as your package qualifies for Simple Rate, the cost of shipping depends on how big it is and how fast you want UPS to deliver it. Generally speaking, the smaller your box is and the slower delivery speed you want, the cheaper it will be to send it.

To see how much the starting costs are for UPS Simple Rate, visit the UPS website.

UPS Doesn’t Offer Flat Rate Shipping to Destinations Outside of the U.S.

Unlike USPS, which allows you to send flat rate boxes internationally, UPS doesn’t offer Simple Rate service to destinations outside the United States. However, customers can access flat rate service through UPS Simple Rate for shipments traveling to any of the 50 U.S. states, including Alaska and Hawaii.

Simple Rate Labels Are Only Available Online

Unfortunately, you can’t buy Simple Rate postage at any UPS Store location. According to the UPS website, UPS Stores are unable to even generate any Simple Rate labels in-store. The only way to access this flat-rate service through UPS is to create a Simple Rate label on the UPS website. Then, you can drop off your pre-labeled package at any UPS Store location. Once you’ve labeled your box with a UPS Simple Rate label, the UPS Store will accept it into the UPS network.

UPS notes that you do not need to create a UPS account to purchase Simple Rate labels online.

You can learn more about the flat rate shipping services UPS offers on the UPS Simple Rate landing page.

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