How to Calculate the Shipping Cost for a Package

 How to Calculate the Shipping Cost for a Package

The shipping cost of a package varies depending on the weight, size and shape of the container. The contents affect the shipping cost if valuables, fragile or dangerous materials, or perishables are enclosed. The cost also changes depending on the company with which you choose to ship the package and how quickly you want it delivered. Shipping companies often offer additional services for a fee such as package tracking, insurance and delivery confirmation. Use the website of the company you choose to simplify calculating the shipping cost.

How to Calculate the Shipping Cost for a Package

Things You'll Need

Measuring tape


United States Postal Service - Shipping

 1 - Navigate to the website for the United States Postal Service. 

2 - Click "Calculate Postage" from the red bar, then select the appropriate option for your shipping requirements. These include "Calculate Domestic Postage," "Calculate International Postage" and "Calculate Business Postage." Click "Go" to move on to the next form.

3 - Enter the required information into the form. Domestic and International both ask for the destination country (drop-down menu), from and to zip codes, mailing date and package type. When you select the package type, a new field appears to enter the weight of the package, then click "Continue." If you select "Large Package," the next page asks for the dimensions; otherwise, you are shown the shipping rates for the choices you selected.

UPS Shipping

1 - Go to the UPS website. 

2 - Hover your mouse pointer over "Shipping" on the navigation bar and select "Calculate Time and Cost" from the drop-down menu.

3 - Select the type of quote you wish to receive, then enter the country, city, zip code, date and weight information into the form and click "Next" to see a page that lists the rates. If you select "Detailed Time and Cost" as the type of quote, you also enter the dimensions -- length, width and height -- of the package into the form.

Federal Express Shipping

1 - Navigate to the Federal Express website. 

2 - Hover the mouse pointer over the "Ship" option in the top navigation bar, and click on the "Get Rates & Transit Times" option.

3 - Enter the country, zip code, package weight, package pickup and dropoff information, and ship date into the form then click "Get Detailed Quote."

4 - Click the drop-down menu box for the Package Type and select the type of packaging you are using. If you select "Your Packaging," three fields appear to enter the length, width and height of the package.

5 - Enter a declared value for the contents of the package and click "Continue." The next page shows you the rates and delivery times.

How to Ship a Crate

Consider hiring a freight hauler or broker to ship a crate. During the holidays sending gifts can be frustrating. Many times there's an item needs to sent to a destination that's a locale not regularly served by parcel services and the cost to ship is exorbitant. Here's a few suggestions to tackle the task and ship a crate.


1 - Measure the crate; determine its weight and list the special services needed. A single crate is usually shipped as Less than Truck Load (LTL). Freight pick up, lift gates and residential deliveries cost extra.


2 - Talk to several freight carriers. Find out the on time delivery percentages. Ask about transfers and transit time. A lot of transfers or a long transit time increase possible damage or loss of the crate.


3  -Scrutinize prospective carriers. Haulers must have Department of Transportation authorization to haul freight or act as a broker; look up company credentials. Review transaction histories.


4 - Know a company's reputation in the industry and among their customers. Make sure the carrier has the required cargo insurance and ask about their claims-to-damage rate; it should be less than 1.5 percent.


5  -Insure the crate. The carrier's loss/damage liability is usually limited to 10 cents a pound. Determine the shipment's value and purchase a private policy to cover it.


6 - Prepare the crate for shipment. Follow all the carrier's packaging and labeling instructions. Freight carriers deny damage claims because of improper packing.

Tips & Warnings

Business, homeowner's or credit card insurance may cover the crate. Check policy terms to be sure.

Over and under packed crates are more easily damaged; protect contents with 2 inches or more of padding all around.

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