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Priority Mail

Minimum Weight: None

Maximum Weight: 70 pounds.

Required Marking: "Priority Mail."

All matter that is mailable by air transportation can be mailed as Priority Mail. Some things MUST be mailed as Priority Mail (or First-Class Mail), including:

  • Handwritten or typewritten material.
  • Bills, statements of account or invoices, credit cards.
  • Personal correspondence (a letter to Grandma), personalized business correspondence (a handwritten letter to your customer).
  • All matter sealed or otherwise closed against inspection.

If getting your mail there fast is your top priority, Priority Mail offers the best value. Priority Mail postage includes forwarding and return service. You can enhance the service, security, and convenience of Priority Mail by adding extra services[1] such as USPS Tracking and Registered Mail. Registered Mail service is available at retail Post Offices and online for a fee. USPS Tracking is free of charge on Priority Mail.

Priority Mail postage is determined by how far the mailpiece must travel to get to its destination: the farther it travels the more you pay in postage. The actual distance is measured by "zones." Zones range from zone 1 (local, close to you) to zone 8 (very far away from you). The farther the mail travels, the more zones it crosses, and the more postage you pay. You can access zone charts[2] online. For some large, lightweight Priority Mail packages you will use dimensional weighting for postage if the package is going to zones 5-8.

The Postal Service offers special prices for Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes or Boxes. Regardless of weight (up to 70 lbs.) or domestic destination, any amount of material that fits into a USPS-provided Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope or Box can be mailed for one low price (the container flaps must be able to close within the normal folds). Many Priority Mail envelopes, boxes, and tubes are available for free from your local Post Office. All packaging can be ordered on-line at www.usps.com/store[3].

Priority Mail parcels that weigh less than 20 pounds and measure more than 84 inches in combined length and girth are charged a "balloon price" (the price for a 20-pound parcel to that zone addressed for delivery to zones 1-4).

Parcels addressed for delivery to zones 5-8 that exceed 1 cubic foot (1,728 cubic inches) are charged postage based on the actual weight or the "dimensional weight" whichever is greater.

Discounts are available for Priority Mail customers using specific postage payment methods (called Commercial Base prices) and for customers meeting specific volume requirements (called Commercial Plus prices). Items are required to meet eligibility standards and must contain an Intelligent Mail barcode or you could be charged a non-compliance fee.


TIPS
--First-Class Mail items weighing more than 13 ounces is called Priority Mail.
--If you use your own envelope or box for Priority Mail, identify it with the marking, "Priority Mail."
-- Priority Mail packaging provided by the USPS must be used only for Priority Mail. Regardless of how the packaging is reconfigured or how markings may be obliterated, any matter mailed in USPS-produced Priority Mail packaging is charged the appropriate Priority Mail price.
--Many mailers use a service called "Priority Mail Open and Distribute" to speed up the delivery of their Standard Mail. After a postal employee formally accepts your Standard Mail, you mail your trays or sacks of Standard Mail via Priority Mail to the postal facility nearest the final destination of your mail. This is a very cost effective way to get your message to your customer sooner.

Price List - Notice 123[4]

Business Calculator – Compute prices for all commercial mail[5]

Order Priority Mail supplies[6]

Download Adobe Acrobat Reader[7]


Table of Links
  1. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/misc/specialServices.htm
  2. http://postcalc.usps.gov/Zonecharts/
  3. https://store.usps.com/store/
  4. http://pe.usps.com/cpim/ftp/manuals/dmm300/Notice123.pdf
  5. http://dbcalc.usps.gov/
  6. https://shop.usps.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/TopCategoriesDisplay?storeId=10052&catalogId=10001
  7. http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html&title=Download Adobe Acrobat Reader