USPS First Class Package Service: What You Need to Know

Everything you need to know about USPS First Class Package Service
USPS First Class Package Service
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USPS First Class Package Service is one of the US Postal Service’s most popular shipping services, perfect for sending out lightweight items in a quick timeframe. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

USPS First Class Package Service: The Breakdown

  • Delivery occurs between 1-3 business days anywhere in the United States
  • Free door-to-door tracking included
  • Maximum weight allowed is 15.999 ounces (just under 1 pound)
  • Maximum dimensions allowed are 22 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 15 inches thick (22x18x15″)
  • USPS First Class Package doesn’t come with built-in insurance (therefore, we recommend that you purchase additional shipping insurance when using this service)
  • There are no USPS branded boxes for First Class Package
    • You’ll need to use your own packaging for this mail class. There are free USPS boxes for other mail classes, such as Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express.

The 2020 First Class Package Pricing Table (Commercial Pricing)

The following table is a complete pricing chart for First Class Package as of 2020. The table reflects USPS Commercial Pricing rates, the deepest level of discounts that you can only get with online shipping software solutions. One other thing to remember is that the Post Office will charge you for Priority Mail service if your package is over 14 oz. On the other hand, shipping software still lets you ship First Class Package for packages between 14 and 16 oz. As a result, the Retail Rate for First Class Package—what you’ll pay at the Post Office—can be up to 146% more expensive!

Up to, not over
0-150 miles
L, 1 & 2
150-300 miles
Zone 3
300-600 miles
Zone 4
600-1000 miles
Zone 5
1000-1400 miles
Zone 6
1400-1800 miles
Zone 7
1800+ miles
Zone 8
All US Territories
Zone 9
1 to 4 oz$2.74$2.76$2.78$2.84$2.93$3.05$3.18$3.18
5 to 8 oz$3.21$3.23$3.25$3.31$3.39$3.52$3.67$3.67
9 to 12 oz$3.93$3.97$4.00$4.08$4.18$4.32$4.46$4.46
13 to 15.99 oz$5.04$5.08$5.12$5.27$5.40$5.54$5.70$5.70

Maximum Weight at the Post Office is Different from Shipping Software

If you’ve stood in line at the Post Office and looked around at some of the signs, you may have noticed a discrepancy with the maximum weight allowed for First Class Package. Under Retail Rates (what you pay at the Post Office), the maximum weight for First Class Package is 13 ounces. Only when you use shipping software to buy postage online will the maximum weight increase to 15.999 ounces.

For many shipments over 13 ounces but under 1 pound, this threshold of 3 ounces or so can be the difference between shipping at First Class Package rates, or paying much more for Priority Mail. In some cases, getting to ship First Class package could save you a few dollars…and if you’re sending out a lot of packages, savings of a few dollars really adds up in the long run. That’s the biggest reason why you should always use shipping software to buy postage online, instead of paying Retail Rates at the Post Office!

Looking for the right shipping software for you?

To get the cheapest First Class Package Service rates, check out our guide:

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Post a Comment
  1. Dale

    Are these packages able to be forwarded (since they are first-class mail)?

    • Rockwell Sands

      Hi Dale – any and all USPS packages can be forwarded like mail, as long as you (or your recipient) has given USPS a valid forwarding address.

  2. CJ Clemmons

    I mailed 2 different packages not weighing over 20 ounces total.The postal clerk said” we do t have first class mailing. OnlyPriority! I spent almost $20.00.What happened to First Class mailing @ USPS?

  3. David

    What recourse does the receiver have if the package delivery time exceeds three business days for First Class Service.

    • Rockwell Sands

      David – No recourse unfortunately! First Class Package doesn’t offer any money back guarantees for late delivery. The only money back guaranteed service USPS offers is Priority Mail Express…and this can get super expensive. Wish I had better news!

  4. Derek

    Thanks, I learned that First Class can even be large packages.

    I’m wondering how do these prices change based on the size of the package?

    e.g. an 8x5x4″ vs. a 22x18x15″?



    • Rockwell Sands

      Hey Derek, good question! With Commercial Pricing rates, the price of First Class Package is only based on how much the package weighs, and how far it needs to travel. As long as the box or envelope fits within the maximum dimensions, it won’t affect the price. That said, the maximum dimensions for First Class Package are exactly what you listed: 22x18x15″. In this case, the price of 8x5x4″ box weighing 6 ounces going from LA to NY would be exactly the same for a 22x18z15″ box weighing 6 ounces going from LA to NY. Hope that makes sense!

    • Linda L Riley

      how much would it cost to mail a box size 12x6x4 that weighs 4 lbs with in the United States. Cheapest price

      • Rockwell Sands

        Hi Linda, the best way see how much this package will cost to ship is to get an instant rate quote with this USPS rate calculator. You’ll find the cheapest possible prices at that link!


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