You may be scratching your head looking at a US map, wondering what USPS zone your package is going to. When in reality, you’d be asking the wrong question! This is because USPS zones are not calculated as fixed locations. In fact, a USPS zone is calculated using the distance a package has to travel from its origin point (in miles). This means zones are dynamic and change based on origin and destination. This along with the service you use and the size and weight of your package determines the cost of shipping with USPS.
So, if your shipment’s destination is between 1-50 miles away from where it started then it is in Zone 1. If your shipment needs to travel between 51 and 150 miles, then this is classed as Zone 2, and so on and so forth. Below is a rough breakdown of the various zone distances:
- Zone 1: 1-50 miles
- Zone 2: 51-150 miles
- Zone 3: 151-300 miles
- Zone 4: 301-600 miles
- Zone 5: 601-1000 miles
- Zone 6: 1001-1400 miles
- Zone 7: 1401-1800 miles
- Zone 8: 1801 miles or greater
- Zone 9: US territories like Guam and Palau.
Here are a few examples of the zones in action, using our US warehouses in California and Dallas as starting points. Firstly, if a package were to travel from California to New York, it would have to travel over 1801 miles and is therefore in Zone 8.
If your goods were travelling from Dallas to California, this would be classed as Zone 6.
And lastly, if your goods went from Dallas to Chicago, you’d be dealing with Zone 5.
You can work out your destination zone by using USPS’ Domestic Zone Chart. All you need to do is type in the origin zip code, the destination zip code, and the shipping date!
In summary, USPS shipping rates are based on these three factors:
- Which service you use
- The size and weight of your package (excluding Flat Rates)
- And how far away the recipient is from your fulfilment warehouse (the zone)
Have any more questions? Borderless 360 is happy to help smooth over any US shipping conundrums, one zone at a time.