Small business owners that have used flat rate shipping in the past to send items to domestic customers know how much it can simplify the shipping process, save time and make shipping costs more predictable. So, naturally, when it comes to shipping a package internationally, the first question that comes to mind is, “I wonder if it’s possible to use flat rate shipping internationally?”
The answer is “yes” and “no.”
The United States Postal Service (USPS) does offer flat rate shipping for both domestic and international fulfillment.
Carriers such as FedEx and UPS that offer flat rate shipping domestically, DO NOT offer it for international packages.
How does international flat rate shipping work?
USPS flat rate international shipping works just like USPS domestic flat rate shipping i.e., the cost to ship an item isn’t based on the shape, weight, or dimensions of the package. Instead, you pay a flat, standard rate based on the size of the packaging you use to ship it in.
Can you ship USPS flat rate boxes internationally? Yes, you can, as well as envelopes, packs, and tubes.
The larger the package you use, the greater the flat rate international shipping rate will be.
The flat rate international delivery service offered by USPS is available to approximately 180 countries and takes between 6-10 business days. It also includes USPS tracking and insurance (up to $100 for documents and up to $200 for merchandise.)
How much is USPS international flat rate shipping?
The cost to send an item to an international destination using USPS flat rate shipping will depend on the size of the packaging, the shipping details, and the destination.
On the USPS website it states:
- Flat Rate option: Ship using free Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes (envelopes and small boxes up to 4 lbs, medium and large boxes up to 20 lbs), starting at $29.60.
- Or ship by weight: For packages up to 70 lbs, prices vary by destination country price group and start at $40.45.
You can review a full breakdown of the pricing for flat rate international shipping by visiting the USPS website.
To calculate what your international item will cost to ship, USPS provides this handy calculator.
How to get started with USPS international flat rate shipping
If you’ve used USPS flat rate shipping to send domestic deliveries before, the process for sending something using flat rate international shipping will feel familiar.
You can do everything at your local post office or from your business office using USPS’s Click-N-Ship service.
If you prefer doing things old school, just take your item to the post office. Here you can pick out the package you want to use, fill out your label and customs form, pay for your postage and then drop the parcel in the mail.
If stepping out to the post office isn’t convenient, and you have the packaging you’re going to use on hand, then USPS’s Click-N-Ship service is the perfect solution. From your office computer you can fill out and print your shipping label and customs form, pay for postage and schedule a parcel pickup by a USPS postal worker.
Whichever way you choose to use USPS flat rate international shipping, you’ll simplify the shipping process, save time, and make your international shipping costs more predictable.
A couple of things to note
While the USPS flat rate international shipping service doesn’t have any restrictions on the items it will allow you to ship, the destination that your item is going to could. For example, most countries don’t permit the shipment of alcohol or food onto their soil. Always check with local authorities before sending a package.
Another thing to consider is that USPS flat rate international shipping gives you, as the sender, the option of requesting a signature upon delivery. For the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your item arrived safely, the added cost may be worth it.
Fulfill your international orders with confidence
Attracting international customers is exciting. It creates new revenue streams and can drive the growth of your business. Ensure that shipping items to international customers is hassle-free and cost-effective. Take advantage of the convenience, efficiency, and affordability of flat rate international shipping.