One USPS service, Priority Mail Cubic, is a little-known program the USPS has for customers to cut shipping costs on small, weighty packages. This can significantly cut costs for eligible, high-volume shipping customers.
The key factor of Priority Mail Cubic is that it prices shipping costs based on the size of your parcel instead of weight, along with the shipping distance. However, all packages aren’t eligible as it focuses on discounts for smaller parcels.
Which Packages Are Eligible?
Priority Mail Cubic is specifically for small packages that weigh more than one pound and are under 20 pounds. The service ships packages that are up to .50 cubic feet in volume. Practically, that includes any measurement that is equal to or less than .50 cubic feet.
However, the package can’t have dimensions of more than 18 inches.
How Do You Figure Cubic Feet?
You will need to measure your package before trying to ship it by Priority Mail Cubic. The formula for finding cubic feet is Length x Height x Width divided by 1728. The resulting number is cubic foot.
Can Anyone Use the Service?
Not everyone qualifies to use Priority Mail Cubic. Customers that qualify must ship large volumes with at least 50,000 packages shipped a year.
Those who have large e-commerce enterprises and some manufacturers would qualify and save a lot of money from the service.
How Much Can You Save?
Estimates are Priority Mail Cubic can reduce your shipping costs per package by 89 percent. It’s a super-saving alternative to other shippers like UPS and FedEx that base all of their shipping fees on weight and distance.
Those shipping more than 50,000 packages a year at an average of $20 a package and using other types of delivery could save as much as $110,000 a year with Priority Mail Cubic.
Priority Mail Cubic, a designer version of Priority Mail, bases its costs on cubic feet. You must understand how to figure that out versus weight before you head to the post office to save the most money.
There are five pricing tiers for this service based on the parcel’s size, so it’s advised to pack your shipment in the smallest package possible to save the most money.
Pricing Tiers of Priority Mail Cubic
The pricing tiers for Priority Mail Cubic are based on the package size It starts with .10 cubic feet and goes up to the maximum of package eligibility, which is .50 cubic feet. Tier pricing is broken up into groups of 10s, with Tier 1 maxing out at .10 cubic feet, Tier 2 maxing out at .20 cubic feet, and so on.
The tiers are placed according to one of the nine postal zones to get finalized pricing. The cheapest rate for the smallest package would be one going to Zones 1 and 2. That would cost $7.54. The most expensive package would be one in Tier 5 going to Zone 9. That would cost $51.21.
Comparing Priority Mail Cubic with Priority Mail Commercial Base gives you a better idea of savings. A package that is a Tier 3 parcel and weighing around eight pounds would cost $21.53 if shipped to Zone 6 under Priority Mail Commercial Base shipping rates.
Using Priority Mail Cubic pricing, the same package would cost $13.48.
The best rates for Priority Mail Cubic are for Zones 1 – 4. It’s Zones 7-9 that can be more expensive. However, it would still be cheaper to use Cubic for constant shipment over standard Priority delivery, commercial delivery, UPS, or FedEx.
What Are Postal Zones?
The USPS set up a system of postal zones to generate pricing for mail and package delivery. The zones aren’t specific places but are distances of the final destination from the originating place of shipment.
For instance, Zone 1 is a 50-mile radius from where the package or mail is shipped while Zone 2 is a 150-mile radius. Zone 8 is a 1,801-mile radius and Zone 9 is beyond that.
Your Priority Mail Cubic package, just like any package, costs more to ship the further away it goes from where it was originally mailed. You can estimate the cost of shipment by knowing how many miles the final destination is.
Then, you can accurately figure out the zone and combine it with the tier to estimate the cost of your Priority Mail Cubic package using a USPS pricing chart. The USPS can provide you with a chart when you qualify for the service.
How Fast Is Priority Mail Cubic?
The Cubic service is fast with most packages arriving within one to three business days. It isn’t a guaranteed service but is reliable.
Where Does Priority Mail Cubic Ship?
This service from the USPS ships to all 50 states in the United States plus all U.S. territories.
Are There Other Benefits Of Using Priority Mail Cubic?
This service has several benefits included when you use it. It has up to $100 of free insurance on each package. It also offers free package tracking so you can check up on your shipment to make sure it arrives safely.
Can I Use My Own Box In Priority Mail Cubic?
Those using Priority Mail Cubic use their own boxes for shipment as Cubic doesn’t offer special boxes. Just make sure the box has dimensions that make it eligible for the service.
Can You Use A Priority Mail Box For Cubic Mail?
Yes, you can use a Priority Mail box for sending Cubic packages as long as the package meets the eligibility requirements for the service.
However, you must buy the matching postage if your Priority Mail box or envelope says “flat rate” or “regional rate” on it. Those can’t be used for either Cubic shipping or Priority Mail shipping that’s based on weight.
What Other Envelopes Can You Use With Cubic Mail?
You can use almost any envelope with Cubic mail but it will change how your package is priced and which tier it falls into. You can use poly soft packs or padded envelopes but that does affect your cubic space so just be aware of the difference.
One thing about the soft packs or padded envelopes is no dimension in any direction can be longer than 18 inches to use Cubic mail.
USPS has “soft pack Cubic rates.” The rates are based on your cubic feet and your package can weigh up to 20 pounds. The difference is in how the pricing tier is figured. However, this doesn’t apply to expandable envelopes.
You can use expandable envelopes but they are treated as a box in Priority Mail Cubic, so you won’t get the soft pack rates but rather standard Cubic rates.
The soft padding rates are figured by measuring the length and the width and adding the two together to get the tiered pricing. Just as in regular Cubic services, there are five tiers for pricing depending on the size of the envelope.
One secret to the proper measurement for soft-padding pricing is to measure your envelope before you fill it. Another pro-tip is that you can put a box into an envelope and get the soft padding rate as long as it still has the envelope shape.
In other words, you can’t tightly tape an envelope around a box. Those that have three distinguishable dimensions will be considered a box and must be shipped as the standard Priority Mail Cubic package.
The one thing you can’t ship using Priority Mail Cubic are tubes or anything as a rolled shipment.
Is Priority Mail Cubic Real?
A lot of people ask if Priority Mail Cubic is real because they typically never hear about it and because its pricing is unusual for the industry.
It is a lesser-known service of the USPS and falls under a sub-category of Priority Mail services.
Why Haven’t I Heard Of Priority Mail Cubic?
Priority Mail Cubic is a type of secret sub-service offered to eligible businesses. However, you can ask the USPS about it if you think you’re eligible.
You will need to do some research to find it because this is one service the USPS doesn’t advertise online or even in its post offices.
What’s The Difference Between Priority Mail and Priority Mail Cubic?
There are two distinctions between the services offered by the USPS. One is eligibility. Priority Mail can be used by anyone while Priority Mail Cubic is offered to businesses that ship in higher volumes.
The second difference is how shipping is calculated. Priority Mail bases its shipping price on weight and destination. Priority Mail Cubic bases its price on the size of the package and the destination.
The one you use depends on whether you tend to mail heavier packages. Those who mail frequent, smaller, heavier packages would benefit greatly from using Priority Mail Cubic over standard Priority Mail. It could save them anywhere from 30 percent to 89 percent on each package, which could total into thousands or even hundreds of thousands in yearly shipping costs.
Does Priority Mail Cubic Offer The Same Safety As Other USPS Services?
Priority Mail Cubic is run as a sub-service of Priority Mail so you’ll see the same safety and security in shipping packages through Cubic as you do with Priority Mail and other USPS services.
There is also free tracking so you will know when your package arrives at its destination.
Who Benefits The Most From Using Priority Mail Cubic?
Ideally, the businesses that will see the most benefit from Priority Mail Cubic are American-based businesses that ship mostly smaller packages within the U.S.
E-commerce businesses are a perfect fit for this service as long as they are larger companies that do a lot of shipping. Manufacturers may benefit too as long as their shipments are smaller deliveries to mostly private customers or individual packages to other businesses.
Can I Use Priority Mail Cubic Through Private Shipping Companies?
It depends on the company but a number of them offer Priority Mail Cubic or their version of it. You would have to compare rates with the USPS chart to make sure you are truly getting the official rate and service of Priority Mail Cubic.
Do The Dimensions Of My Package Matter?
The only thing that matters is the final cubic feet of your package. The maximum allowed for Priority Mail Cubic is .50 cubic feet. Your package can be a variety of lengths, widths, and depths as long as the final cubic feet is within that maximum.
Weight doesn’t matter as far as pricing goes but does affect package eligibility. Priority Mail Cubic accepts packages that are between one pound and 20 pounds.
How Convenient Is Priority Mail Cubic?
Priority Mail Cubic is just as convenient to use as Priority Mail. It is handled much the same way except in how the package is priced. You will need to make sure of package measurements before shipping to get the price you expect.
It is good to have a USPS chart of the tiered pricing structure so you can figure out pricing for multiple packages based on size and destination.
Get More Convenience
Using Priority Mail Cubic is a cheap, easy, and convenient way to save money on ongoing package shipment. Getting a Virtual Mailbox is another way to get the most convenient delivery service available.
When you get a Virtual Mailbox, we collect and secure your mail at a convenient location until you can pick it up. However, you don’t have to wait until pickup to see what was delivered.
You can go online to your account and look at all the envelope images of the mail delivered to you. Not only that, but you can also open your mail digitally to view important letters and other mail without leaving your home or office.
A Virtual Mailbox is the most convenient way to stay on top of your mail and keep it safe until you can pick it up. It’s the perfect solution for those living in apartments, heavily populated urban areas, areas where mail service isn’t the best, or rural areas where going to the mailbox or post office isn’t always practical.