USPS International Shipping: International Mail Services

If you want to send an international shipment, then USPS is the best option for you. It offers various international shipping services at an affordable cost. There are many international mailing classes too, and you can choose the one that suits your needs and budget.

Let’s find out almost everything about USPS International Shipping and every detail associated with it.

USPS International Shipping:

The United States Postal Service offers a variety of economy international shipping option to send your shipments to any destination you want. USPS can send your international shipment to more than 180 countries. The customers also have an option to pay for the applicable postage, and they can even print their own shipping labels too. The users can also get an integrated customs form right from the printer at their home.

How Does International Shipping Work?

International ShippingComparing the international shipping method of three top shipping companies namely FedEx, UPS, and USPS, the private carriers like FedEx and UPS do the delivery of the shipment from the mailer of the package in the U.S. to the recipient in the country it is destined to. But, the U.S. Postal Service does the delivery of the package only till the customs at the destination country. Further, the packages of the customers are handled by the host postal service of the destination country. The host postal service like Royal Mail sends the package to the final address.

Also, along with the applicable shipping rates, the companies like FedEx and UPS charges an extra fee such as fuel surcharges to deliver the packages internationally. But, USPS does not charge any such surcharges in its shipping cost. Hence, USPS becomes the best and the cheapest option to ship your packages to an international destination.

If we talk numerically,

  • The FedEx International Priority Mail Class charges $79.19 + $2.77 fuel surcharge =$81.96 as total cost while the UPS Worldwide Saver charges $78.40 + $3.72 Fuel Surcharge =$82.12. But, USPS Priority Mail Express International standard international shipping charge is only $56.81 + $0.00 Fuel Surcharge =$56.81
  • FedEx International Economy Class charges $76.55 + $2.68 fuel surcharge = $79.23, while UPS Worldwide Expedited charges $75.80 + $3.60 Fuel Surcharge = $79.40. But, USPS Priority Mail International charges just $44.50 + $0.00 Fuel Surcharge= $44.50.
  • USPS First-Class Package International Service charges only $21.63, which is the lowest cost ever.

USPS International Mail Classes:

USPS International Mail Classes

USPS provides an option of various international mail classes. The details of every international mail class and their details like delivery time and other related important information are given below:

  • First-Class Package International Service: This service is the cheapest international shipping option the customers have. You can send your packages to 180 countries with this First-Class Package International service. The maximum weight of your package should not be more than 4 lbs. if you wish to use this mail class. The packages will be delivered between 11 and 20 days.
  • First-Class Mail International: This is another mail class which can be used to send mails like postcards, letters, large envelops that are not more than 4 lbs. in weight. This mail class does not offer the tracking ability. The delivery time of your shipment sent via First-Class Mail International will depend on the destination.
  • Priority Mail International Flat Rate: This is the mail class which is best suited to send the mails that are less than 4 lbs. and the packages that are less than 20 lbs. in weight. Also, if you have time constraint, you can use this mail class because Priority Mai International Flat Rate delivers the packages between 6 to 10 working days. It also offers tracking ability, so you can track your package using the USPS.
  • Priority Mail International: You can send your shipments using this international mail shipping service if you need to send your mails and packages that are up to 70 lbs. in weight. Priority Mail International delivers the packages between 6 to 10 working days. This mail class also offers tracking ability, and you can track your package using the USPS Track and Confirm Tool.
  • Priority Mail Express International Flat Rate: If you have an urgent shipment to send and you can afford to pay a little higher cost as compared to rest of the mail classes, you can go for Priority Mail Express International Flat Rate mail class. The Priority Mail Express International Flat Rate delivers the packages between 3 to 5 working days. This mail class can send the mails that are less than 4 lbs. and the packages that are less than 20 lbs. in weight. It also offers tracking ability, so you can track your packages easily.
  • Priority Mail Express International: One of the finest international shipping mail services, Priority Mail Express International can send your shipments if your mails and packages are up to 70 lbs. in weight. Priority Mai International will also deliver your packages between 3 to 5 working days. Another good thing about this mail class is that this mail class also offers tracking ability, and hence you will be able to track your package.
  • Global Express Guaranteed (GXG): The best international mail class which will only take 1 to 3 working days to deliver your shipment, is the Global Express Guaranteed. It’s the best service for sending the mail and packages that are up to 70 lbs. in weight. The beauty of this service is that the delivery date is guaranteed if you use this service. Hence, the tracking ability is not even required.
  • Airmail M-Bags: If you want to send a huge amount of printed materials internationally, then it’s the most affordable service you can get. Price for sending items with this service is $48.40 from the post office. There is no minimum weight limit for it, but if your M-Bag is under 11 lbs., then you will be charged as per the price of 11-1b. You can send the newspapers, books, directories, promotional matter, journals, magazines, catalogs, etc. up to 66 lbs.

You can see a quick comparison of all these mail classes in the table below:

International ServicesStarting Prices (at Post Office)Shipping TimeOptions for PricingShipping MethodInsuranceTracking ServiceRegistered MailReturn RecieptMailing CertificateWhen to Use
First-Class Package International$10.00
(varies by country)
VariesVariable RateOnline
At a Post Office
N/AAvailableAvailableAvailableAvailable (for unregistered packages)For sending the small packages that are less than 4 lbs. in weight
First-Class Mail International$1.15
(varies by country)
VariesVariable RateAt a Post OfficeN/AAvailableAvailableAvailableAvailable (for unregistered mail)To send mails like postcards, letters, large envelops that are not more than 4 lbs.
Priority Mail International$24.95
(varies by country)
6-10 daysFlat Rate
Variable Rate
Online
At a Post Office
$100 included
(documents);
$200 included (merchandise)
IncludedN/AAvailableN/AFor sending mail and packages that are up to 70 lbs. in weight
Priority Mail Express International$42.50
(varies by country)
3-5 daysFlat Rate
Variable Rate
Prepaid
Online
At a Post Office
$100 included
(documents);
$200 included (merchandise)
IncludedN/AN/AN/AFor sending mail and packages that are up to 70 lbs. in weight
Global Express Guaranteed (GXG)$64.50
(varies by country)
1-3 daysFlat Rate
Variable Rate
Online
At a Post Office
$100 includedIncludedN/AN/AN/AFor sending mail and packages that are up to 70 lbs. in weight
Airmail M-Bags$48.40
(varies by country)
VariesVariable RateAt a Post OfficeN/AAvailableN/AN/AN/AFor sending large amount of printed material up to 66 lbs.

USPS International postage prices have witnessed an increase in the year 2018 across all weights and zones. You can notice that the prices are higher than the last year. All mail classes are affected due to this increase.

If we only talk about the Global Express Guaranteed mail class, then you can see the price wrt. the increase in rates for the commercial base in the table below:

Weight (lbs.)Zone 1Zone 2Zone 3Zone 4Zone 5Zone 6Zone 7Zone 8Zone 9
0.5 lbs.$2.38$2.38$2.56$2.85$4.75$3.32$3.32$2.61$4.09
1 lbs.$2.75$2.75$2.81$3.04$5.56$3.85$3.90$3.09$4.56
2 lbs.$2.95$2.95$2.99$3.23$6.12$4.03$4.18$3.37$5.03
3 lbs.$3.13$3.13$3.18$3.42$6.70$4.23$4.46$3.66$5.51
4 lbs.$3.33$3.33$3.37$3.61$7.27$4.42$4.75$3.94$5.99
5 lbs.$3.42$3.42$3.57$3.80$7.84$4.61$5.04$4.23$6.46

You can see the prices difference of USPS Global Express Guaranteed below:

Service2018 Price2017 Price
Global Express Guaranteed (0.5 lb.)$64.50 and up$62.00 and up

Priority Mail Express International rates have also increased by an average of 3.9% in all 17 Country Groups in 2018. Priority Mail International rates have also increased by an average of 3.9% in 2018. The First-Class Package International Service rates have also increased by an average of 3.9% in all 17 Country Groups in 2018.

Read More: International Shipping Tracking

Cheapest International Shipping Option:

Cheapest International ShippingThe cheapest international shipping option to send your international shipment is the First-Class Package International Service. The First-Class Package International service is the most economical way of shipping your international shipment. This option is the best among all the carriers in over 180 countries. You can send a package of maximum 4 lbs. in weight, using this mail class. The packages will reach its destination between 11 and 20 days. The delivery days also depend on the destination country.

If you want to send small shipments and you can afford to spare 11 to 20 days, then this is the best shipping mail class for you. This international mail class also offers USPS tracking facility for some destinations. With this mail class, you can avoid paying $50 for shipping on the items that cost $20.

Hence, an ideal option to ship the small, inexpensive products like books, clothing, accessories, health and beauty products., is the First-Class Package International service including the cheapest international shipping from the USA. You can save money if you go with it. You can read more about this service by CLICKING HERE.

Preparing Shipment For International Delivery:

Since with USPS, the shipments are managed by the destination country’s letter carrier for the final delivery; hence you need to take extra care during the packaging. To prepare your shipment well, follow these steps:

  • Making the package ready: Firstly, you need to pick up a right box. You must use a new and corrugated box which has enough space to accommodate the content of your shipment along with enough packing material on its sides. Next, make sure that don’t reach the maximum weight limit of your package. Different countries may have different weight limits for each mail class. Use the number which is displayed on the bottom flap of the box.
  • Protect your package: This is an important step. Begin with using at least 5 cm. of protecting material like bubble wrap, packing peanuts or foam pads. If you have several merchandises, then wrap and cushion every content separately. This will avoid bumping each other in transit. Now, insulate it against the elements as the extreme temperatures and weather may damage the contents so wrap and seal your items well. Now put a tape and seal all the flaps and seams. Use a wide nylon-reinforced or pressure-sensitive plastic tape. If your package is heavier, then you will have to use more tape and many rounds of sealing. This will ensure more durability.
  • Label the package: insert a copy of the shipping label in the package before sealing it.
  • Custom form: The customs form is your USPS shipping label for an international shipment. Attach the PS Form 2976 directly to the package. Also, do include the PS Form 2976-A into the Customs Declaration Envelope or Form 2976-E. Attach the same to the package on the address side.

That’s how to ship a package internationally.

International Product Restrictions:

There are a set of restrictions for sending the international shipments. In fact, different destination countries may have their own restrictions. Make sure to know about the restrictions of your destination country before sending your package.

The restricted International items are:

  • Explosives
  • Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
  • Gasoline
  • Aerosols
  • Air Bags
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Cigars
  • Cigarettes
  • Dry Ice
  • Nail Polish
  • Ammunition
  • Perfumes (containing alcohol)
  • Poison
  • Medical devices
  • Lithium batteries

International Shipping Tips:

Some tips to follow before you send your international shipments are:

  • Do not mark your merchandise as a gift, if it is not, to avoid additional fees.
  • Do make sure to buy the international package insurance. The package Insurance will protect your shipment when it is lost or damaged. You must buy insurance if the value of your package is more than $50.
  • The uninsured Priority Mail International mail class which does not include small Flat Rate boxes automatically, comes with indemnity coverage for loss or damage. Indemnity is lesser in the value of the contents of the shipment.
  • You must tell about the possible delay to the international buyers because mail disruptions often happen due to unavoidable circumstances like natural disasters, weather, political unrest, labor issues, etc. in your buyer’s country.

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