Can I use any box to ship USPS? That’s the question we will answer today.
We’ll go through whether you can use your own box with USPS, reuse a box, use boxes from other carriers, and a whole lot more.
By the end of this guide, you will know exactly what boxes can be used with which services when shipping with USPS.
Let’s dive in…
SUMMARY: Can I Use Any Box To Ship USPS?
- You CAN USE MOST boxes to ship USPS. (There are some guidelines on size and appearance)
- You CAN REUSE boxes to ship USPS (same guidelines apply)
- You CAN USE YOUR OWN box to ship USPS (same guidelines apply)
- You CANNOT USE FedEx, UPS, and other carrier boxes to ship USPS
Can I Use Any Box To Ship USPS?
As with most of the large carriers, USPS has its own flat rate shipping options with boxes provided.
Although they encourage customers to choose this method, there is nothing stopping you from using your own boxes.
But can you use any box to ship with USPS? Essentially, you can use most boxes but there are guidelines that you will need to adhere to.
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Guidelines when Using a Box to Ship USPS
The Box Appearance
When using or reusing a box to ship with USPS you will need to remove previous labels, address details, etc.
If there are barcodes on the box these will need to be covered up or removed as they could cause issues with the USPS scanners.
If the box has logos or images that are associated with prohibited items, (toxic materials, firearms, etc), the box will be taken out of circulation by USPS.
Even if the contents being shipped is not on the prohibited list.
The Size of the Box
USPS has a wide scope on the sizes of the boxes that they will ship. However, there is a maximum size rule.
As of 2022, USPS will not ship a box larger than 108 inches in total length and girth, (unless you are using USPS Retail Ground or Parcel Select).
If your box exceeds these dimensions, you will not be able to use most USPS services for shipping.
The Shape of the Box
What is the shape of the box? While irregularly shaped boxes are allowed to be shipped via USPS, you may incur extra fees if extra care has to be taken by USPS due to the shape of the box.
This is due to irregularly shaped boxes potentially causing issues in the sorting and scanning machines.
This technology is designed for normal cuboid or rectangular-shaped packages.
Is the Box Strong Enough?
This is actually a factor that the shipper should be comfortable with before shipping.
The box you use needs to be sturdy enough so that the contents arrive at their destination safely.
The last issue you should want to encounter is hearing that the box split in transit and the contents are sprawled across two states.
When using your own box, make sure it is up to the shipping task.
Can I Use Any Box To Ship USPS Priority Mail?
Yes, you can use any box to ship USPS Priority Mail, (as long as the aforementioned guidelines are adhered to).
However, doing so means that you will not be able to use the Priority Mail flat rate prices.
Your shipment will be charged based on the size, weight of the box, and destination.
The best way to ship USPS Priority Mail is to use the flat rate boxes. These are free from USPS (at the post office or when ordered online) and will guarantee you the flat rate prices.
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Can I Use Any Box To Ship USPS First Class?
USPS does not provide boxes for First Class so you are expected to use your own boxes.
Following the same guidelines above, you can use any box to ship USPS first class.
However, bear in mind the service has a weight limit of 13oz. So, although you can use any box the overall weight of the shipment cannot exceed this.
Can I Use Any Box To Ship Internationally With USPS?
USPS has Priority Mail International Flat Rate boxes available. As with USPS domestic Priority Mail, it is recommended that you use these so that you can access the flat rate prices.
However, you can use any box to ship internationally with USPS. Furthermore, using your own box you can ship via USPS services such as Global Express Guaranteed, Priority Mail Express International, Priority Mail International and First-Class Package International.
The box you use definitely needs to be strong and secure to meet the demands of international shipping.
To help customers, USPS has published guidelines on the requirements here.
Can I use Any box to ship USPS? – General Questions
There are a number of common, specific questions regarding using any box to ship with USPS. We have attempted to answer some of these in the short-fire round below.
For each of the answers, the general guidelines listed above on using any box apply.
Can I reuse an Amazon box to ship USPS?
Yes, it is perfectly okay to use/reuse an Amazon box to ship USPS.
Ensure that all markings, addresses, and barcodes from the previous shipment have been covered up and removed.
Can I use a shoebox to ship USPS?
Yes, you can use a shoebox to ship USPS. The concern here however is on the strength of the box and that the lid is taped securely.
Essentially, you would need to use packing tape liberally for extra support for the box.
Because of these concerns, it is recommended that you use the USPS Priority Mail Shoebox Service.
These are boxes provided by USPS that are large enough for standard shoeboxes to slip inside. It is the best way to ship shoes in 2022.
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Can I reuse a Walmart box to ship?
Yes, you can reuse a Walmart box to ship USPS.
However, whenever you reuse a box it needs to be up to standard as far as its strength and durability. Does it remain suitable for shipping?
Also, all previous barcodes and addresses need to be removed or covered up.
Can I use a Home Depot box to ship USPS?
Yes, you can use a Home Depot box, as long as it falls within the USPS size and weight guidelines for the service you are using.
Can I use a FedEx box for USPS?
You cannot use a FedEx box to ship USPS. Any prepaid box from another carrier should not be used with USPS.
Can you ship a box with a lid USPS?
Yes, you can ship a box with a lid USPS, however, you will need to pay extra care to see that the lid is securely sealed. Lots of packing tape is the answer here.
You should also check to ensure that when the box is upside down, the lid can securely hold the contents inside.
Can you ship plastic containers with USPS?
Yes, plastic containers can be used as packaging for shipping USPS. Follow all the same guidelines on weight and stability to ensure that your shipment arrives safely.
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If you have any other questions regarding using or reusing boxes with USPS, send them across using the comments section below. We are happy to answer them for you.
Essentially, you can use any box to ship with USPS.
Just follow the guidelines and add a sprinkle of common sense and your box will be shipped without any issues.