People often ask us how to ship to Puerto Rico and what the cheapest ways are to do it. To tell you the truth, it’s a common point of confusion amongst a lot of shippers. Other than paying way too much (due to using the wrong services), the most common mistake people make when shipping to Puerto Rico is filling out addresses improperly. Fortunately, we’re here to clear all of that up! Let’s start by looking at which carrier you should use.
Table of Contents
- USPS is the Best Carrier for Shipping to Puerto Rico
- When You Should Use UPS or FedEx
- Formatting Puerto Rican Addresses
- Shipping to Puerto Rico is Even Cheaper When You Buy Postage with Shipping Software
USPS is the Best Carrier for Shipping to Puerto Rico
Similar to shipping to the rest of the US Territories, USPS is the best carrier for shipping to Puerto Rico. When you use USPS, you’ll get the best mix of quick delivery times and affordable rates. This is because USPS treats Puerto Rico the same as domestic mailing anywhere else in the United States. Depending on where in the United States you are shipping from, Puerto Rico will be classified as Zone 6 or above. As a result, you’ll simply pay the same domestic prices that it costs to ship to Zones 6, 7, or 8! Your parcels will also still be delivered within the same domestic timeframes for all the different USPS mail classes.
Do I Need to Fill out Customs Forms?
It depends! Carriers don’t require you to fill out customs forms when you send parcels to Puerto Rico that are under 1 pound (lb). For packages over 1 pound, you’ll be prompted to fill them out when creating your shipping label.
When You Should Use UPS or FedEx
There are certain situations when you may need to look outside of USPS for your shipping needs. For example, USPS only allows for a maximum weight of 70 pounds per package. You should UPS if you need to ship something heavier to Puerto Rico, since UPS allows for packages up to 150 pounds (and it’s cheaper than FedEx). On a similar token, FedEx is your best bet when you need something delivered to Puerto Rico on the emergency next flight out or overnight.
With all that being said, it’s important to note that both UPS and FedEx treat shipping to Puerto Rico basically like shipping to another country. Therefore, their fees will be extremely high, and delivery will take much longer with their cost-effective services. We simply suggest shipping with USPS if you can help it.
Formatting Puerto Rican Addresses: Don’t Forget Urbanization Codes!
Whenever you ship to Puerto Rico, you’ll need to include an urbanization code in the recipient address. These codes identify a particular area, sector, or development—kind of like a neighborhood. It’s crucial to always fill out the urbanization code, since it designates the location of a street. Always write or fill out “URB” followed by the proper name of the area.
Here’s an example of how a Puerto Rican address should look, with the urbanization code in the second line:
Ave Eleanor Roosevelt
San Juan, PR 00918
If you want more information on how to format Puerto Rican addresses, check out USPS’ addressing standards.
Shipping to Puerto Rico is Even Cheaper When You Buy Postage with Shipping Software
In case you didn’t know, it’s actually much cheaper to use shipping software to buy postage when you ship to Puerto Rico. When you use shipping software, you’ll be able to access discounts such as USPS Commercial Pricing rates, which will save you a TON of money on your postage.
In addition, some shipping software solutions even hook you up with a USPS mail class called Priority Mail Cubic. This is a “secret” mail class you won’t find at the Post Office, but it’s by far the cheapest and fastest way to send parcels up to 20 pounds with USPS. Like all other Priority Mail services, delivery only takes 1-3 days, and it automatically comes with $100 of insurance. Next time you need to ship a package to Puerto Rico, remember to use shipping software and ship it Priority Mail Cubic! You’ll save the most money that way.