How to Calculate UPS Shipping Cost


USP shipping costs are based on three things: weight of the package, distance the package is traveling, and the type of service needed. In general, the faster the delivery, the more expensive the cost. Calculating rates on the UPS website can sometimes require consulting their fee and zone maps.

Things You'll Need

  • Weight of your package Zip codes of the origination and destination points
  • Determine which type of service you need based on how fast you want the package to reach its destination. For most packages beginning and ending in the United States there are four levels of service. UPS Ground gets the package to its destination in one to five days, depending on how far the package is traveling. Ground is generally the least expensive shipping method. UPS also offers one, two, and three day guaranteed service.

  • Determine the weight of your package. If the package is small enough, you can use kitchen scales to find the weight. If it is larger, you can use digital bathroom scales to weigh yourself while holding the package and then subtract your own weight.. The precise weight of the package will be determined at the UPS office. Most packages can be quoted with just the weight, but over-sized packages will be subject to additional charges.

  • Use the UPS calculator on their website to calculate the cost of your package based on the service desired and the package's weight. Enter your zip code and the zip code of the destination to find out the total shipping charges on the package.

  • Print out a shipping label if you have a UPS account or take the package to the local UPS office to process the shipping. You may add additional services at this time, such as insurance or delivery receipt. You will receive a tracking number that you can use on the UPS website to keep track of where your package is while it is in transit.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the smallest box you can for your package that still allows you to wrap and cushion the contents properly.
  • Don't add unnecessary weight to your package with heavy packing materials.

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