Shipping packages overseas can be really frustrating if you are not choosing the right service. You obviously do not look forward to blowing up the customer service phone number for not having your package shipped and delivered on time. Additionally, there are chances of your package getting lost or damaged. With USPS international shipping, your packages are in safe hands. If you haven’t used this service for shipping your packages internationally, then you should definitely give it a try. In this article, we will take a look at all the international shipping classes USPS offers, prices, postage, and much more.
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USPS International Shipping
When you look for a service to ship your package overseas, some of the primary characteristics that you look for are reliability, affordability, and accuracy. These features are primary characteristics that make you want to go for USPS international shipping services. By choosing international shipping through USPS, you have a variety of shipping classes with varying prices and delivery speeds. Be it regular mail or business mail, shipping globally can become overwhelming if you do not know which shipping class works in your favor. To help you find out which mailing class goes for you, we have listed all the mailing classes along with their features and prices further down this article.
Countries They Ship To
This shipping service globally ships packages all around the world to more than 180 locations in total. Some of the places include Mexico, Canada, Japan, Australia, Great Britain, etc. To find out which countries are eligible for USPS global shipping, you can check out this page.
USPS has been delivering to many countries for quite some time now. As per the reviews mentioned by many customers, USPS does guarantee global shipping. The only aspect to complain about is that the shipping timeline often exceeds. In simpler words, the package delivery is late. According to a few people, they had many issues with the tracking system as they would frequently lose sight of their packages online. Irrespective of all the major issues, the packages would reach the right destination.
USPS also had imposed some restrictions on their international delivery due to the fact that many delivery centers could not deliver packages due to the restrictions imposed by Covid-19. The postal service will not accept international delivery from certain countries starting from October 25, 2021, until a proper notice is issued. You can take a look at the suspension order for countries from here. Furthermore, the Global Express Guaranteed service is also temporarily suspending its service till January 16, 2022, for a few countries.
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USPS International Shipping Rates and Mailing Classes
USPS international delivery classes can be selected based on the following categories:
- The speed and efficiency of delivery
- The price of the postage
- Flat rate shipping options
- Extra layer of services offered with the mailing classes
All mailing and shipping services are divided into the following categories:
Fastest Delivery Speed
Global Express Guaranteed
This is one of the fastest international shipping services which also offers a money-back guarantee. The GXG is a date certain service that ships to more than 180 locations worldwide. With this service, you can ship packages that contain both lightweight and heavy packages. Features of this service are:
- The price is $67.80
- The delivery time is provided by FedEx Express which takes 1-3 days and for locations in Canada, the delivery will take 1 day
- Tracking and $100 insurance is included. You can apply for additional insurance as well
- You can opt for free Package Pickup service(if applicable)
- Customers can also get a free GXG kit with envelopes, labels and stickers
- Customers also get 10% discount when they pay the postage online through the Click-N-Ship postage
Priority Mail Express International
Send documents and merchandise through this service in no less than 3-5 days. You get a date-certain, money-back-guarantee service through this service. Its features are:
- Time taken is 3-5 days but can go up to a week depending on the recipient’s destination
- Insurance of $100 along with tracking is included. You can apply for additional insurance
- The price is $45.95
- Pay for postage online and save a little. Furthermore, you can opt for Package Pickup or have the package dropped at the local post office.
- Money back is guaranteed for Japan, Australia, China, Hong Kong, South Korea
- Valuable items like watches, jewelry, coins, etc cannot be shipped with Express International
- By visiting the official site, you can order shipping supplies for free, pay and print for labels
- 8% discount is available if the postage is purchased online via Click-N-Ship
Priority Mail International
- Send packages up to 4 lbs
- Average time taken to deliver the package is 6-10 days
- Tracking is only available for major destinations like Asia, Canada and Europe. Tracking is not available for flat rate envelopes
- Limited insurance is provided without any further costs for flat rate boxes and variable weight boxes
- 5% discount is applicable to those who purchase the postage online
- The price for shipping is $28.50
First Class Package International Service
- Weight of the package must be more than 1 lbs but less than 4 lbs
- The shipping price is $14.25
- Standard delivery time varies by the destination
- Tracking is not available
- The maximum insurance coverage can get to $43.73
Documents and Printed Material Only
First Class Mail International Service
- Best for sending documents or official papers that weight under 1 lbs
- The price is $2.60
- The time taken to deliver the package varies depending on the destination
- Cost of postage stamp is $1.30
- Use this service is you are a student and are in a need to send books and documents
- Send printed material like newspapers, journals, magazines, books, commercial advertising, etc
- The delivery time depends on the location of the recipients
- The postage price will be $51.70
- Although there isn’t any minimal weight criteria, 11 lbs is considered standard
- The maximum weight is 66 lbs
- Insurance is not available for this service
USPS International Shipping Restrictions
Sending a package through USPS allows many business and regular customers to interact with one another. However, to use these services, the customer must adhere to the rules and restrictions to ensure safe delivery. To help your package safely reach its destination, you must be aware of all the shipping restrictions imposed by USPS.
Failing to adhere to any of the following restrictions will put you in great danger as your account might be suspended or heavily fined. For business organizations that do not follow the restrictions or rules, they end up paying heavy fines along with facing a negative remark from Postal Services.
Internationally Prohibited Items
These items are completely forbidden and must not be shipped at any cost whatsoever. You cannot send the following items from the United States to any other country. Some of these items are aerosols, alcoholic beverages, air bags, cigarettes, ammunition, gasoline, explosives, dry ice, etc. Check out the USPS Restricted Items for Internation Shipping page for more information on restricted items.
Restricted items refer to those items which are allowed only if they meet the USPS international shipping requirements and the shipping requirements of the destination country. The Restricted items include cigars, cremated remains(human/pets should be shipped through Priority Mail Express International), licensed firearms from dealers, pets, or warm-blooded animals, medications or drugs, paints, glues, etc.
USPS does not deliver shipments to certain countries which are not sanctioned by the OFAC. Some of these countries are Cuba, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Lebanon, South Korea, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Russia, and a few more.
All USPS packages must meet the weight criteria of not crossing 70 lbs. In terms of the size, the length and girth should not be more than 108 inches. Weight restrictions for certain mail classes are:
- Priority Mail Express – 70 lbs
- Express Mail International Flat Rate Envelope – 4 lbs
- Express Mail International Small Flat Rate Box – 4 lbs
- Priority Mail International Medium Flat Rate Box – 20 lbs
- Priority Mail International Large Flat Rate Box – 64 oz
- First Class Package International – 20 lbs
USPS International Shipping Routes
Many people ask what are the international routes and how do they deliver the packages through these routes. Before discussing how international routing is done, you need to be aware that with this information, you cannot speed up the delivery process in any way as it is not in your control to decide which postal center your package travels to.
Once USPS has gathered all the mails and the packages, these packages are dispatched to the International Service Centers, which are then placed on board. Flights are most commonly used for this purpose. The post office chooses specific flights to dispatch the pancakes from one location to another. According to USPS, the flights they select are cost-effective yet reliable. In simpler words, the cheapest flight is selected that ships the package on time. USPS does not necessarily go for the fastest route. The priority mails are loaded onto the aircraft first. If the weight of the aircraft trunk is exceeded, then to reduce the weight, the packages with lower priority are removed first.
Fights are regularly scheduled along with alternative flights. USPS specifically books a certain amount of space in every aircraft they choose. These flights are either direct or stop at various airports to dispatch the packages. Once the packages reach the destination airport, they are dispatched, verified, and then packed for shipping.
Common Issues That People Face While They Are Shipping Packages Internationally
Shipping a package globally has never been easier. You need to select the right shipping service, select the additional services, properly pack your items and then drop it off after paying for the postage. There are many common issues that people come across while they are shipping packages through USPS. You might come across major issues because you may not have paid enough attention to the rules or any updated information before shipping the package internationally. Some common issues that are likely to occur while you are shipping internationally are:
Customs clearance is one of the most common problems that many shippers have to go through, as this process is very long and tiring. Your packages go through a lot of verification and checking, as they have to adhere to the restrictions and rules of both the source and the destination country. Businesses should follow the shipping restrictions in terms of what goods are prohibited at all costs and which goods are restricted. Failing to observe any of these restrictions might end up delaying the package or your package might be denied entry into the destination country.
Another problem that many customers complain about is the amount of money they end up spending while shipping a package globally. USPS international shipping involves both high-end and affordable options to ship your packages internationally. You might also end up paying more if you are shipping restricted items. Furthermore, international shipping is costly for businesses that are processing the packages on their own.
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Due to Covid-19, many service centers in the United States have stopped receiving international packages for shipping. Additionally, many locations across the world have also stopped providing their services on a temporary basis. Due to these restrictions, many customers cannot ship international packages through USPS. Customers are advised to not ship packages to any of these countries unless proper notice is issued by the USPS. Shipped items will be returned to the sender due to suspension of services and a refund will be provided for certain packages with a customs form.
If an internally shipped package arrives at your doorstep either damaged, broken or it’s missing some items, then you can file a claim if the package was covered under insurance. You can also file a claim if the package was lost. To file a claim, you need to:
- Go to the official USPS.com website and click on File a Claim
- Log in with your account details and the page to file a claim opens up
- Click on Create An Inquiry button
- Mention the tracking number, destination country and then the date on which the item was mailed and click on Search
- On the next page, enter the type of service and the reason for filing an inquiry
- Enter the package details such as weight, size, description, etc.
- Then enter the value of the package and also indicate if the package was lost or damaged
- Enter the postage you paid and the additional fee you paid
- Now enter the addressee’s information as it is on the mailing label
- Attach any supporting documentation and then check the box for Terms and Conditions
- You can either Review the entire summary or simply click on Submit
Hope this article, i.e., USPS Shipping service gave you a brief insight into the international shipping services and the mail classes. Before wrapping your package, you must follow all the local and international laws that apply to your package. Create a proper shipping label for your package and pay the postage before shipping. Furthermore, if your package ends up getting lost or damaged, then you can always file an international claim.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ’s)
USPS international shipping costs vary based on which mailing class you are going for. Also, if you want additional services such as insurance, certificate of mailing, etc., you need to pay an extra amount.
The service suspension will last unless and until an official statement is made by the USPS officials.
The U.S. sender can file an international claim by creating an inquiry.