Have you ever seen a zone number on a package that USPS delivered to your door? Every USPS label comes with a USPS Zone marking on it…and while your address stays the same, these designations can be all over the place. For instance, you might receive a package from one retailer and see the words “Zone 3” on your label, while you may receive a box from another online store and see “Zone 8.” Before you go calculating which zone you belong to, you should know that you’re technically not living in one!
USPS Doesn’t Mark Zones as Specific Spots on the Map
Here’s a quick spoiler: you’ll never find out which USPS Zone you’re in by looking at a map. They’re not specifically designated spots, like state lines; rather, USPS Zones are measured in distance from a specific origin point. That means the USPS Zone you’re in depends on where you’re receiving a package from (or how far it’s traveling).
Want to learn more about the different USPS Zones? Check out this article.
How to Calculate Zones
One more time for the people in the back: USPS measures zones in increments of distance, not location. The shorter the distance a package travels to its final destination, the lower the zone. For example, a package traveling from Los Angeles to New York needs to travel about 2,800 miles. Therefore, USPS designates this distance as Zone 8. A package traveling from Los Angeles to San Francisco, on the other hand, only needs to travel about 380 miles, which falls into the Zone 4 designation.
We’ve listed out the different increments of distance that make up the different USPS zones below:
- 1-50 miles: Zone 1
- 51-150 miles: Zone 2
- 151-300 miles: Zone 3
- 301-600 miles: Zone 4
- 601-1000 miles: Zone 5
- 1001-1400 miles: Zone 6
- 1401-1800 miles: Zone 7
- 1801+ miles: Zone 8
- Shipping to certain US Territories such as Guam and Palau: Zone 9
If you’d like a visual representation of the different zones, this interactive map is a great way to check it out!