While the US Postal Service provides low-cost shipping, this only applies to domestic shipments. So, how can you always choose the cheapest international shipping provider?
Priority Mail International
One of the most cost-effective ways to send a package worldwide is to use a flat-rate service. For example, it costs $36.45 to send a small box from Connecticut to Hong Kong that weighs no more than 4 lbs. An 8 11/16-inch by 8 11/16-inch USPS box is the ideal size.
However, the catch is that it might not always work to ship things in a small package. Fortunately, most items can probably get shipped with the medium flat rate box.
Checking Rates for a Medium Box
Let's start with the idea that anything over 2 pounds must be shipped in a medium box. The question is whether Flat Rate Boxes or Priority Mail International are the least expensive USPS shipping options.
Twenty pounds is the maximum weight allowed for a medium flat rate box; the dimensions are 14 x 12 x 3 1/2 inches, and it costs $77.50. On the other hand, international economy shipping for FedEx is either $113.69 or $118.72, depending on the day. Likewise, UPS Worldwide Saver and expedited shipping for a similar package cost $137.15 and $127.05, respectively.
After reviewing the pricing points, you can see that the breakeven weight for using the medium Priority Mail International box in this case is 8 pounds. If the package weighs between 8 and 20 pounds, the USPS's cheapest international shipping choice is the Medium Flat Rate Box.
Most of the time, USPS is the cheapest way to ship because their rates for international shipping are much lower than those of UPS and FedEx. Using UPS and FedEx to send overseas without a corporate account can be highly expensive, with charges nearly three times higher than USPS. So, to be safe, get a shipping quote from more than one service provider. You might be surprised by what you find, and you will likely find that a local courier is the cheapest way to ship a package internationally.
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