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Uncovering Hidden Savings With USPS Commercial Plus Cubic

If you ship small parcels, you need to know about Commercial Plus Cubic

USPS launched Commercial Plus Cubic rates a few years ago. Unfortunately USPS has done a limited job of marketing and educating their commercial customers about who should be using it. After reviewing countless technical specs, pricing charts, and numerous discussions with USPS reps, here’s a breakdown of who should be using this new rate, and why.

Commercial Plus Cubic – Product Summary

  • Rates are based on volume in cubic feet, rather than weight. Package weight does not factor into pricing.
  • Must weigh less than 20 pounds and measure no more than 0.5 cubic foot.
  • Commercial Plus Cubic is a USPS Priority Mail product so you get tracking, insurance, and delivery in 1 to 3 business days.
  • Customers must ship over 50,000 packages a year to qualify.

Ideal for small packages – the denser your package, the more you save

How it works, simplified.

  • Determine your cubic volume. Cubic Feet = Length x Width x Height / 1728
  • The length, width, and height measurements should be rounded down to the nearest 0.25”.
  • There are 5 tiers for cubic pricing:
    • Tier 1 – mailpieces less than .10 cubic foot
    • Tier 2 – mailpieces less than .20 cubic foot
    • Tier 3 – mailpieces less than .30 cubic foot
    • Tier 4 – mailpieces less than .40 cubic foot
    • Tier 5 – mailpieces less than .50 cubic foot

Time for the hidden savings!

  • Let’s say you ship a 1 pound parcel in a typical 7″ × 9″ × 3″ carton. 7 × 9 × 3 / 1728 = 0.1094 cubic feet, which would be Tier 2.
  • That same shipment packed in a 7” x 9” Small Best Mailer would yield a thickness less than 3”, allowing for Tier 1 classification.
  • Shipping a 1 pound 7″ × 9″ × 3″ carton within Zone 1 costs $4.58. By comparison:
    • $4.99 for USPS Commercial Plus Cubic Tier 2
    • $6.65 for USPS Priority Mail
    • $7.64 for UPS Ground
    • $7.96 for FedEx Ground
  • If we reduce the thickness of the package from a 3” box to a 1” thick Small Best Mailer, your package drops from Tier 2 down to Tier 1. So now you’ve saved $2.07 compared to traditional USPS Priority Mail. Compared to UPS and FedEx rates you are saving over $3 for a comparable level of service.

Who should be taking advantage of these rates?

Health & beauty products

Small houseware items

Phones, tablets and accessories

Automotive, industrial, & electronic parts

Medical supply

Toys

Books

Clothing

Garden supply

Tools

Small parts in clamshell packaging

Video Games

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