USPS Regional Rate Box A (What Are They + Other FAQs)

When you’re calculating the shipping costs on the USPS.com website, you might see all the usual suspects: Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Retail Ground, etc.

But have you ever come across Regional Rate, particularly Box A? And if you have, you might have noticed the price was way lower than Priority Mail.

So what is USPS Regional Rate Box A, and how can it save you so much money? I’ve got the answer you seek, so keep reading!

What Is USPS Regional Rate Box A in 2022?

USPS Regional Rate Box A is actually two different boxes, one thinner and taller and the other shorter and more regularly rectangular. Regional Rate shipping is offered to online and commercial customers who are shipping light-to-medium weight packages shorter distances. Regional Rate Box A has a weight limit of 15 lbs in 2022.

Let’s dive a little deeper into what Regional Rate Box A is used for, how much it costs to ship, what the exact dimensions are, and much more. Keep going!

What Is a Regional Rate A Box Used For?

The United States Postal Service offers Regional Rate shipping to its online and commercial customers (third-party postage providers included).

The USPS website states that “Regional Rate boxes combine the speed and convenience of Priority Mail shipping with zone pricing…to reduce costs.”

Regional Rate Box A is for items weighing less than 15 lbs., and that fit into the two different types of A boxes.

They are as follows:

  • 10” x 7” x 4-¾” for top-loading boxes, perfect for shoes, smaller rectangular boxes.
  • 10-15/16” x 2-⅜” x 12-13/16” for side-loading boxes, which could accommodate calendars, documents, or other slim, narrow items.

The cost to ship Box As is very affordable, with rates starting as low as $8.38, all the way up to $26.37.

Of course, all Priority Mail shipments (Regional Rate is a subset of PM) include $50-worth of Insurance, plus Tracking, and you can add on many other services like Signature Confirmation.

Now, Regional Rate Box A’s may or may not be at your local Post Office, as each location is limited in what they can order.

If your local USPS has them, great! If it doesn’t, never fear – you can order them online through the Postal Store, totally free, but there’s one caveat: you’ll have to order them in sets of 10 or 25.

If you’re a small business owner using Regional Rate shipping for things you send out daily or weekly, then no problem – you’ll use them.

However, if you’re an individual who just needs one, order the set of 10 online, and then take the rest to your local Post Office.

The staff will gladly take them, as they can then put them out for others to take.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Regional Rate A Box?

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Regional Rate A Box?

As I mentioned above, Regional Rate Box A shipping starts out very low, and compared to regular Priority Mail shipping, it ends quite affordably as well.

While Regional Rate shipping is Zoned – meaning that the further away from the destination, the more expensive – it doesn’t factor in weight, as regular Priority Mail does.

So, for Regional Rate Box A, you have $8.38 to ship to Zones 1 and 2, $8.58 to Zone 3, and $8.88 to Zone 4.

After that, it costs $9.55 to Zone 5, $11.55 to Zone 6, $12.32 to Zone 7, $13.54 to Zone 8, and $26.37 to Zone 9.

Clearly, there is a huge jump between Zones 8 and 9, but that’s not uncommon for Zoned pricing.

So, say you’re shipping a 14-lb. package to Zone 8; that would be like shipping something from New York to California.

With Regional Rate, that would only cost you $13.54. With Priority Mail, that same shipment would cost you a whopping $64.15.

Furthermore, Regional Rate shipping for Box A is cheaper overall than shipping Priority Mail, as packages that weigh up to 1 lb. still cost $8.70 to ship to Zones 1 or 2 with Priority Mail.

What Size Is a Regional Rate Box A?

Regional Rate Box A comes in two sizes:

  • 10” x 7” x 4-¾” for top-loading boxes, perfect for shoes, smaller rectangular boxes.
  • 10-15/16” x 2-⅜” x 12-13/16” for side-loading boxes, which could accommodate calendars, documents, or other slim, narrow items.

One is a thinner, taller, and narrower box, while the other is more regularly rectangular, giving you options, depending on what you’re shipping.

Is a Regional Rate Box the Same as a Flat Rate Box?

A Regional Rate box is like a Flat Rate box, but they are not exactly the same.

Regional Rate shipping is like Flat Rate shipping in that weight does not factor into the price.

However, unlike Flat Rate shipping, Regional Rate does take Zones into account.

The further the Zone, the more expensive the shipment is going to be.

However, Regional Rates are still impressively affordable, with Box A types cheaper to ship overall than any Priority Mail shipments, at any weight (even less than a pound).

What Are USPS Regional Zones?

The thing about USPS Zones is that no city or town has a fixed Zone, like New York, NY is in Zone 4.

Instead, USPS Zones are determined based on a ZIP code, and every other city or town’s distance from that ZIP.

The breakdown is as follows:

  • Zone 1: 1-50 miles
  • Zone 2:51-150 miles
  • Zone 3:151-300 miles
  • Zone 4:301-600 miles
  • Zone 5:601-1000 miles
  • Zone 6:1001-1400 miles
  • Zone 7:1401-1800 miles
  • Zone 8:1801 miles or greater
  • Zone 9:Designated for Freely Associated States, U.S. Territories

So, for example, say you’re determining the Zoned pricing for a shipment from New York City to Los Angeles, CA.

In that case, the distance is greater than 1801 miles, so Los Angeles would be in Zone 8.

But now, say you’re sending a package from Las Vegas. Well, because the distance is much shorter between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, LA is only considered Zone 3.

Overall, it’s good to play around with this map from Pirate Ship to get an even better idea (and visualization) of how Zoned shipping works.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on USPS Regional Rate Box B, USPS 1095 box, and what is USPS Regional Rate.

Conclusion

USPS Regional Rate Box A constitutes the slightly smaller, less expensive option when shipping via Regional Rate.

With two different box options, including a taller, narrower box and a shorter, more regularly rectangular box, and a 15-lb. weight maximum, Box A may be your better option than Priority Mail.

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Florence Howard

Florence Howard has been freelance writing for over a decade, and has a vocational background in retail, tech, and marketing. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to rock and metal, and playing with her dog and cat.

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