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Uncovering Hidden Savings With USPS Commercial Plus Cubic

Posted by Bob Makofsky on

If you ship small parcels, you need to know about Commercial Plus Cubic

USPS launched Commercial Plus Cubic rates a few years ago. Unfortunately USPS has done a limited job of marketing and educating their commercial customers about who should be using it. After reviewing countless technical specs, pricing charts, and numerous discussions with USPS reps, here’s a breakdown of who should be using this new rate, and why.

Commercial Plus Cubic – Product Summary
• Rates are based on volume in cubic feet, rather than weight. Package weight does not factor into pricing.
• Must weigh less than 20 pounds and measure no more than 0.5 cubic foot.
• Commercial Plus Cubic is a USPS Priority Mail product so you get tracking, insurance, and delivery in 1 to 3 business days.
• Customers must ship over 50,000 packages a year to qualify.

Ideal for small packages – the denser your package, the more you save
• Significant savings compared to traditional Priority Mail for customers shipping small, dense items.

How it works, simplified.
• Determine your cubic volume. Cubic Feet = Length x Width x Height / 1728
• The length, width, and height measurements should be rounded down to the nearest 0.25”.
• There are 5 tiers for cubic pricing:
—  Tier 1 – mailpieces less than .10 cubic foot
—  Tier 2 – mailpieces less than .20 cubic foot
—  Tier 3 – mailpieces less than .30 cubic foot
—  Tier 4 – mailpieces less than .40 cubic foot
—  Tier 5 – mailpieces less than .50 cubic foot

Time for the hidden savings!
• Let’s say you ship a 1 pound parcel in a typical 7″ × 9″ × 3″ carton. 7 × 9 × 3 / 1728 = 0.1094 cubic feet, which would be Tier 2.
• That same shipment packed in a 7” x 9” Small Best Mailer would yield a thickness less than 3”, allowing for Tier 1 classification.
• Shipping a 1 pound 7″ × 9″ × 3″ carton within Zone 1 costs $4.58. By comparison –
—  $4.99 for USPS Commercial Plus Cubic Tier 2
—  $6.65 for USPS Priority Mail
—  $7.64 for UPS Ground
—  $7.96 for FedEx Ground
• If we reduce the thickness of the package from a 3” box to a 1” thick Small Best Mailer, your package drops from Tier 2 down to Tier 1. So now you’ve saved $2.07 compared to traditional USPS Priority Mail. Compared to UPS and FedEx rates you are saving over $3 for a comparable level of service.

Who should be taking advantage of these rates?
Health and beauty product
Small houseware items
Garden supply
Medical supply
Small parts in claim shell packaging
Phones, tablets, phone and tablet accessories
Small automotive, industrial, and electronic parts
Video games

Rates can be found here under Priority Mail Commercial Plus—Cubic – http://pe.usps.gov/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm

USPS Priority Mail rates can be found here –

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