USPS Shipping – A Basic Guide

There are several options to consider when choosing which shipping company to ship with, but one of the best is the USPS. The United States Postal Service has a reputation for affordable shipping rates and quick delivery.

Finding the right information about shipping with the USPS can be daunting, especially if you are first-timer. So whether you own an online store or intend sending a box of gift to a loved one abroad, this guide will show you what to do to have a seamless shipping experience.


Many users of USPS overlook the packing aspect of shipping; and they’ve paid heavily for it in damaged items, delays and even missing packages. Needless to say, packing your items and doing it right is crucial to quick, hassle-free shipping.

Aside from adhering to the basic packing and shipping rules, you have to ensure your box weighs 70 lbs or less. For shipping outside the US, the country of destination may have a lower weight limit. Also, there should be no bulges on the box that might hinder it from getting processed through the automated mail-processing equipment. Boxes that do not fit through the equipment cost more to ship.

Restricted Items

You probably know that you can’t ship some items such as guns. Some others have requirements you have to meet before you can send them. If you don’t know or have forgotten; you can’t send explosives, marijuana, gasoline, ammunitions and airbags. Perfumes, paint, cigarettes, matches, live animals, glues, lithium batteries, and dry ice have special rules you have to meet to send them.

Service Options

The USPS delivers mails and packages within the US and to 180 countries using various mail services. The best way to choose an option is to consider certain factors such as shape, size, destination, and time limitations. USPS promises overnight delivery if you go with Priority Mail Express. With Priority Mail, you can expect the delivery within 1 and 3 business days. Others are First-Class Mail, USPS Retail Ground and Media Mail. For international shipment, services include Global Express Guaranteed, Priority Mail Express International, Priority Mail International, and First Class Mail International.

Customs Forms

When sending any item outside the US, you have to fill the customs form. The customs form contain your address, package weight & value, contents’ value and weight so the custom agency of the country you are shipping to can allow your package in.  

Shipment Price

The amount of shipping depends on several factors, including where you are sending from, the destination of the package, the service type you chose and others. You can use the postage price calculator to get an estimate.

Package Pickup

You can contact USPS to have your package picked up from your location by using the schedule a pickup service. You’ll need to provide your name, address, email, and phone number to confirm if that service is available for your location. If you prefer, you can also find a location to which you can take your packages for shipment.


By entering your tracking number on USPS’ parcel tracking website, you can know the status of packages. The tracking number of each package is found on confirmation email, insurance sales receipt or post office shipping receipt.

TotalPackageTracker Team

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