February 17, 2014

how to create mailing label for USPS regional boxes

UPDATE: 8/26/2017
Again a new update-- USPS has been redesigned again! But I think it's actually easier now since they list all the options including Priority Mail options in one screen. So here are the steps.

Step 1: 
Go to the USPS site (preferably on a desktop), Choose "Mail & Ship," then "Calculate a Price"
Step 2:
Enter zip codes and choose "Calculate price based on weight"
Step 3:
Make sure you enter a weight less than 15lbs for Regional A boxes or less than 20 lbs for Regional B boxes and select "Package"
Step 4:
Scroll down to the Regional choices
Ta da! Hope this helps!


UPDATE: 3/5/2016
Seems that regional boxes are an option again! Following the steps below for the calculator should give you the cost of regional boxes again. Thanks to all who read and commented on this post!
UPDATE: 3/30/2016 - I've added a (silent) video below! :)

I'm creating this post in hopes that it might help someone else. I've discovered that sometimes it's less expensive to use USPS' relatively new Priority Mail Regional boxes. They offer the same 2-day service of Priority Mail, but sometimes for less. Here's how they work. 
  • Regular flat rate Priority boxes cost a flat fee no matter how much something weighs- USPS' "if it fits, it ships" slogan. 
  • Priority Mail Regional boxes work slightly differently; they're based on weight and how far something goes. Here's a great description. A package weighing 2 lbs going from NYC to California using the regular Priority Mail Medium flat-rate box will cost $12.35 or $11.30 (if prepared online). The same package using Regional A box will cost $9.75 or so- just a few dollars savings, but it starts to add up.
There are a few caveats to using Regional boxes: 1) you have to order the Regional boxes online- you can't just pick up these boxes at your local USPS office and 2) you must print the label online.

Before we go any further, let me describe what kinds of regional boxes are available. You'll probably be choosing your box based on how much your package weighs and the size of the box you need. 
  • USPS Regional Rate Box A: Shipments of up to 15 lbs
  • USPS Regional Rate Box B: Shipments of up to 20 lbs
Regional Rate Box A1: 10" x 7" x 4-3/4" (for shipments up to 15lbs)
Priority Mail Regional Rate Box - A1
Regional Rate Box A2: 10-15/16" x 2-3/8" x 12-13/16" (for shipments up to 15lbs)
Priority Mail Regional Rate Box - A2
Regional Rate Box B1: 12" x 10-1/4" x 5" (for shipments up to 20lbs)
Priority Mail Regional Rate Box - B1
Regional Rate Box B2: 14-3/8" x 2-7/8" x 15-7/8" (for shipments up to 20lbs)
Priority Mail Regional Rate Box - B2
The second requirement to print the label online is what originally led lead me to make this post. I almost went nuts trying to figure out how to print a shipping label with regional rates. The quick and short answer is that when you get to the part when the USPS website asks whether you are using a flat-rate box, CHOOSE NO! You see, Regional boxes are kinda flat-rate boxes, but not really, so if you choose flat-rate (like I kept doing), the Regional rate will never come up as an option. But if you choose "not a flat-rate box," then the regional rate will come up.

*** Please note that I've found that the site works best if I use the full website. In other words, if you try to do this using a tablet or phone, your device might automatically pull up USPS's mobile webpage. I've always had problems with the mobile site so if you run into problems with these directions, you might want to try doing this on a desktop computer. 

A video (albeit a silent one...):



Here are some enlarged images:

Step 2: Choosing packing type
Choose Package as the shipping option; do NOT choose Large Package (regional rates it will not come up if you choose Large Package). 

Step 3: Click Continue. 

Step 4: You'll see the rates under "Priority Mail Options" 
And that should work.

48 comments:

  1. A great alternative in order to purchasing stamps or spending money on print postage at the Post Workplace is to use their own online website to determine the postage necessary to mail instructions or package and after that pay online and printing the postage directly to envelopes or even mailing labels. Thank you for this article

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  2. Thank you! This is the first time I had tried to print a label via the USPS site for these, and I was also selecting the Flat Rate option and not getting anywhere.

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  3. I searched and searched the USPS website for Regional Rates (or instructions how to ship using Regional Rate) with no success. Thanks for the "how to" directions. I tried it and it worked perfectly.

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad this has been helpful!

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    2. Dear GG,
      Thank you so much for your helpful hints, you saved me hours of frustration! :-)

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    3. You're very welcome! I'm glad it was useful! :)

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  4. Regional Box A is not coming up as an option for me, but B and C are? Any thoughts on how to fix that?

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    Replies
    1. Regional Boxes also depend on weight. Regional A Boxes are limited to 15 lbs, B boxes are 20 lbs, and C boxes are 25 lbs. Maybe you entered a weight that was more than 15 lbs? Here's a good little link for comparison: http://www.stamps.com/usps/priority-mail-regional-rate-box/

      Hope that helps!

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    2. BTW, if your package does weigh more than 15 lbs, you might find it cheaper to go with the flat-rate box-- "if it fits, it ships"

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  5. I couldn't figure out why regional rates weren't showing as an option. Thank You!

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  6. Thank you! I was going crazy trying to figure this out. So glad you took the time to help others.

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad it was useful! Sorry for such a delayed reply!

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  7. This has been driving me crazy for 19 months now!!! THANK YOU! My only question now is do you actually weigh your packages? Does it really matter what I enter for the weight? I don't have a scale, but I know that what I am shipping (crocheted scarves, hand painted mugs, handmade earrings, etc.) will not ever hit 15lb in the A box. So do I just guess high or do they really want you to have an exact? Thanks so much! :)

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you found it useful! As for the weight issue, I do have a scale (I got it for free way back when), but in your situation, it seems like guessing high/low would work (no guarantees LOL). Take care!

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  8. I must be missing something -- on the USPS postage calculator page, I see a choice of select a flat rate or select a shape. I select a large pkg (since a regional rate C box is over 12"), but then I never get an option for the regional rate -- only priority mail rates (after I enter dimensions and weight). What am I missing?

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    Replies
    1. Finally got through to USPS and found the answer! For Regional Rate C, I was told you should NOT check that it's a large pkg w/ any dimension over 12" (even though the box length is 15"). If you DON'T check this large pkg box, then you will have the option of Regional Rate C under pricing options! This works either under the Print & Ship section or Calculate a Price section.

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  9. When I go to the calculator the regional rates are not available which also shows above in your explanation. This is government at its best. What am I missing/

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  10. I cannot print the label for the regional rate box B. I've been trying since last week. Please help. I can find the correct zone and price, but cannot print the mailing label (I can print the label for the flat rate box, but the drop down menu as shown in your instructions, does not include the regional rate box.) What am I doing wrong? I've tried in Safari and Fire Fox. You would be a life saver if you could give instructions on how to do this. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. I just tried to do this and it seems like their website has changed. Sorry!

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    2. Thank you for trying. At least I know it's not me. USPS said it has to do with their price increase but I'd been trying to print the label since last week (the price went up 2 days ago). I hope if enough people let them know, they'll change it back. It made a huge difference in price if I'm sending packages a short distances. Again, thanks for your help.

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  11. Regional Rates are missing from the USPS click n' ship website. They still offer the boxes in the postal store. No idea why you can't print the labels....

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  12. I spent all day yesterday trying to find where to print off a regional rate label and I thought I was losing my mind! Been using this option for over 16 years and now it doesn't exist anywhere! What the hell? And of course the postal service doesn't have a clue as to what's happening online! But believe me there is no where to print off a regional rate shipping label.
    If there is, could someone let me know!

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    Replies
    1. Ha, I thought I was loosing my mind yesterday too. I just got off the phone and they are updating the system. They are deleting the Regional C box and are keeping Regional A & B. But of course no one knows when it will be back up online to print a label. This is frustrating! :/

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    2. Thank you for the information, everyone! I'll keep an eye out and try to post a message when things are back.

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  13. It is too appreciative to find such useful information. Here is many point that is necessary but many people should not be aware.


    shipping label

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  14. Thank you so much. I wish I would have found your page before I pulled all my hair out..lol. Thanks again.

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    Replies
    1. LOL, I pulled my hair out, too! I think it goes with the territory when dealing with USPS. LOL

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  15. somehow, it still will not let me! I get a different looking web page when trying to mail a package and the only thing it lets me do is pick priority or priority express. Can you tell me what web address you are going through??

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    Replies
    1. I'm sorry it didn't work. Are you trying to do it from a tablet? I've found that tablets and phones pull up the mobile version of the site and then I run into problems. Try it on a computer or just make sure your device is pulling up the full website rather than the mobile version of the site.

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  16. Thank you so much! I couldn't figure it out on my own. Your instructions are perfect!

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  17. Thank you - I had an A box but couldn't find the right place path to print the appropriate label. Even shipping from the Midwest to CA, I saved nearly $5 over a regular priority flat rate box.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I'm so glad it helped!

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  18. Thanks for the video and article. I was driving myself up the wall looking for this options!

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  19. Thank you for the help on Regional Boxes!

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    Replies
    1. You're so welcome. I'm glad this post was useful.

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  20. Thank you so much, I thought I was going crazy too. When I sell on eBay it is an option but couldn't find it on the USPS site. You saved me !!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Glad this was useful-- USPS really doesn't make it easy does it?

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  21. Thank You!!! Thank You!!! Thank You!!!

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  22. gg, Thank you for showing how, I was puling my hair and couldn't find how to print regional labels, you are a champ. AL

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  23. Like the author, I too, spent many frustrating hours trying to print the label. I had dinner or a few years ago, so I kept on trying.
    Thanks to You, 1 was able to send BEFORE Christmas! <3

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  24. NG again now. Screens are redesigned but able to figure it out until the last step after it gives you the total price, there's no "Print Label" button to press. Going through the (now) normal print label routine, never gives you a choice of anything but the standard Flat Rate options...BUT, if you chose Enter package weight in the upper section, when click flat rate, it'll give you the options you need to choose regional.

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