USPS Express Mail Vs. Priority Mail

Written by jessica phillips
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USPS Express Mail Vs. Priority Mail
Post Office (smallest us post office image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com)

The United States Postal Service offers a variety of services to its customers for shipping across the country, including varying options for speeds in which a package or letter is delivered. The USPS offers two popular choices for shipping: Express Mail and Priority Mail. These two shipping options vary in their pricing, speed and the allowable weight of the parcel being mailed.

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Function

Express Mail and Priority Mail are offered by the USPS to its customers as a source for mailing out parcels faster than normal delivery. The USPS offers guarantees on some of their services for time-sensitive materials that are mailed and can certify their delivery by a certain time. Often, the sooner a package is delivered, and the heavier it is, the more expensive the charge is to deliver it.

Cost

The costs for both Express Mail and Priority Mail with the USPS are higher than normal mailings because of their extra services and faster delivery. Express Mail is the most expensive choice because it has the quickest delivery time, and prices start at about £6 per package or letter. Priority Mail is lower in price in comparison to Express Mail, with prices starting at close to £3 per parcel according to the USPS website. Priority Mail is billed with a flat rate based on the envelope or box size.

Speed

Express Mail is the USPS's fastest shipping option, and is an overnight or next-day service. The USPS guarantees next-day delivery by 3 p.m. for their Express Mail shipments year-round, including weekends and holidays, with an extra charge for Sunday and holiday delivery. Priority Mail typically ships within two or three days, but does not have a time guarantee for delivery. Priority Mail can often deliver next day if the parcel is sent to the same postcode from where it was shipped.

Weight and Sizes

Priority Mail and Express Mail options with the USPS apply to both boxes and envelopes. The main differences between these two shipping options are the restrictions on the Priority Mail's weight and size. Priority Mail packages cannot weight more than 31.8 Kilogram, and are usually shipped within their specified flat-rate envelopes and boxes.

Insurance

Express Mail and Priority Mail have insurance options, and insurance can be added to any letter or package when shipping. The main difference is that Express Mail parcels are automatically insured for up to £65, and Priority Mail parcels do not come with insurance.

Extra Services

Express Mail through the USPS offers delivery confirmation, free tracking, return receipts and signature proof of delivery. Priority Mail also offers these options, but for a small additional fee, dependent on the postal zone.

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