How to Calculate Ground Shipping

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Mailing a package with ground shipping saves money.
Mailing a package with ground shipping saves money. (Image: stamps_01 image by peter hollander from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Ground shipping is a method to ship small or large packages for the most economical value. Because packages are heavy, it can be expensive to ship them by first class mail. Ground shipping costs less, but ground shipping methods typically take longer than shipping a package by first class mail. The options for ground shipping are parcel post, media mail and library mail.

Prepare the package for mailing and weigh the package using a normal postal scale. The price of shipping depends on the weight.

Determine the shipping method: media mail, parcel post or library mail. Media mail costs $2.38 for the first pound and 39 cents for each additional pound. You can only ship media content via media mail. This includes books, CDs, DVDs, manuscripts and sound recordings.

Parcel post starts at $4.90 per pound. The cost varies depending on the weight of the item and the recipient's address. Consult the U.S. Postal Service's website for parcel post rates (see Resources), or use the free online postage calculator to determine the rates (see Resources). As an alternative, bring the package to the post office, which can calculate the costs for you.

Library mail starts at $2.26 per pound and is only for shipping between schools, libraries, museums and any other qualified organizations.

Place the appropriate postage on the item, and bring it to your local post office to ship.

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