How to Compare International Shipping Rates


Shipping a package internationally can be confusing. Rates can vary dramatically based on weight, size and location. Before choosing a carrier, you will want to compare the different costs and travel times associated with shipping internationally.

Pack up the papers or products that you need to ship internationally. Gather information regarding the shipment including the value, the content, and the location for the custom forms that are necessary for shipping internationally.

Weigh the envelope, and measure the dimensions of the envelope or box.

Determine the value of the package you are sending and how much insurance you will need.

Contact the three major international carriers, FedEx (, UPS (, and the US Postal Service ( via their websites for online quotes. Use the weight and/or dimensions as well as the country to get an estimated shipping price including insurance costs.

All three of the major international carriers have similar online calculators. Here is a sample of what you can expect to fill in as you use the USPS online international shipping calculator:

-Destination (Country Only) -Shape of What You are Sending Based on Shape and Measurements (Postcard, Letter, Large Envelope, or Package) -Weight in Pounds and Ounces

From those three bits of information, the online calculator will be able to estimate shipping costs for all levels of USPS International Shipping Service.

Compare the costs that you receive to find the carrier that meets your international shipping requirements.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to not only compare prices but also estimated delivery time. Be sure to read the details of each level of service. All three of the major carriers have some levels that will automatically include some insurance.

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