What is USPS First-Class Package service?

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It turns out that one of the most affordable and quickest options is the First-Class Package service from USPS. What is USPS First-Class Package? What is USPS First-Class Package delivery time? Let’s dive deeper into it.


What can you send and where?

USPS First-Class Package is one of the USPS services that allows you to ship lightweight packages that weigh up to 15.999 ounces. If you use USPS First-Class Package, you should send your items in an envelope, poly mailer, or plain or branded box. Keep in mind that using USPS-branded packaging when shipping through the service is forbidden.

You can send your packages anywhere in the United States (and the U.S. territories including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands), P.O. Boxes, and many APO/FPO/DPO destinations. When compared to Priority Mail and Parcel Select Ground, First-Class Package offers greater cost savings.

The service usually offers nationwide delivery within three days (or less in most cases) which is similar to USPS Priority Mail. Tracking is included with no extra charge. Besides First-Class Package, the following services are also considered “first-class”:

  • Priority Mail Express
  • Priority Mail

Then, after first-class mail, there are USPS marketing mail, retail ground, and media mail. First-class mail is a higher priority class than marketing mail, retail ground, and media mail.

Other first-class services available are first-class mail (an affordable and simple way to send postcards and envelopes) and first-class mail international (the most affordable way to send letters and lightweight packages globally).

Note: It is crucial to know that First-Class Package is not the same as USPS first-class mail. First-Class Package service is for shipping packages and poly mailers up to 1 pound. First-class mail is for mailing letters, large envelopes, and postcards.

If your envelope is less than 13 ounces and not more than 15 inches long (or more than 12 inches high and more than ¾ inch thick), your mail will be classified as first-class mail. Otherwise, it will be treated like the USPS First-Class Package service.

USPS First-Class Package sizes

USPS First-Class Package Service can be used by individuals and businesses who need to send lightweight packages under 1 pound. The shipment can be sent to any residential or commercial address, as well to any P.O. Box in the US and associated territories. The service allows you to ship mail items that wouldn’t normally go through the mail. You can send packages of several sizes:

  1. Letters cannot weigh more than 3 ½ ounces (they can be between 3 ½ inches to 6 1/8 inches high, between 5 inches and 11 ½ inches long, and as thick as between 0.007 inches to ¼ inch).
  2. Large envelopes cannot weigh more than 13 ounces. They cannot be more than 12 inches high by 15 inches long by ¾ inches thick.
  3. Packages cannot measure more than 108 inches in combined length and girth.

Packages are subject to a surcharge if they are irregularly shaped. The content may contain documents or personal correspondence unless it contains invoices, receipts, incidental advertising, and other documents related to merchandise contained in the parcels.

How do you send first-class packages?

Measure your package

Preparing domestic shipments is easy. However, a very important thing is how you will prepare your boxes. First, measure your package so that it will fit through automated processing equipment. If the size is OK, you will not have to pay extra fees. Don’t forget to use a box that is big enough to safely fit what you are sending.

Pack your box

Then, pack your box to protect your contents and make sure the box arrives intact. It is usually helpful to tape the box so that it closes flat on all sides. Once it’s packed, address your package. Choose a mail service and then, calculate and apply postage. Correct postage will help your package arrive on time.

Get postage prices

If you need to get postage prices for different services, you can enter your package information into the USPS Postage Calculator.

Ship your package

The final step is shipping your package. You can request free package pickups, drop small packages in a blue collection box, visit a post office station, or leave your box with an Approved Postal Provider.

How long does a First-Class Package take?

First-Class Package service takes one to three business days to deliver.

Does the First-Class Package have tracking?

First-Class Package has tracking options, and they are available at no extra fees for commercial packages and First-Class Package Retail.

Find out more about virtual mailboxes and virtual addresses from Earth Class Mail, a LegalZoom company.