What is Flat Rate Shipping? Importance and Advantages

What is Flat Rate Shipping?

Flat Rate Shipping, also referred to as Linear Rate. It is a fixed value given to every parcel. So the value does not vary depending on the dimensions, size, weights. And that is the reason, I had earlier stated, shipping heavy parcels are more beneficial than smaller parcels in flat rate shipping. Generally, flat rate prices may differ depending on the time zone or a weight slab, so every parcel falling under that weight slab will be charged the same flat rate.

For eg.: BigDucks needs to ship a Set of Luggage Bags weighing under 30 kgs and DanglesDown needs to ship an envelope, again, weighing under 30 kgs. In the flat rate shipping method, the shipping company has set $20 for all goods under 30 kgs. So, no matter how big the parcel or how small the parcel, under flat rate shipping, a fixed value is given for all the parcels delivered within the same time zone or under a specific weight slab.

Flat Rate Shipping

Difference between Flat Rate and Standard Shipping

As we have already discussed, Flat Rate in simple terms means shipping any kind of product, any size, at the same price. Only major consideration is the time zone. 

On the other hand, Standard Shipping is the normal or common method of shipping any parcel by calculating prices, deciding through their time zone, pincode, box dimensions, and weight. Generally this type of shipping method takes its standard delivery time, nearly 5 – 10 days of shipping time. Also, standard shipping is preferred by companies or individuals who do not have any prioritized shipments.

Importance of Flat Rate Shipping

Different types of companies have different requirements. Flat Rate shipping is best for delivering goods in the same time zone and having heavy items. In this way, the pricing gets economical for the company. It surely falls cheaper than the standard shipping as the standard shipping method determines the pricing considering time zone, pincode, delivery time, weight, and dimensions of the product.

Also, Flat Rate Shipping is a very simple and transparent method, an uncomplicated way of dealing with logistics. It is also ideal if you have a number of customers and when you are regularly delivering goods. Flat Rate shipping method may have some additional expenses included within it, in case, of less number of goods. So, always make sure to consult with your shipping management company and have a good deal of orders to dispatch on a regular basis. Moreover, if there were any unannounced or unanticipated charges that you had to bear for the delivery, you can always talk to your customer about incurring shipping costs or delivery charges. But again, make sure to be transparent with your customer. Make them aware of the situation and then it is wise to move forward with it. At the end, maintaining relationships with your customers is the utmost responsibility of the company.

Factors affecting Flat Rate Shipping Method

Generally, Flat Rate Shipping is beneficial for companies who deal in regular or constant deliveries. Before we get to the advantages of Flat Rate Shipping, let us also know how companies determine their flat rate. What all factors involved in determining the flat rate. Though, everything is self-explanatory, yet, it is wise to use a shipping calculator to understand your expenses. Now, we know that Flat Rate is best suitable for companies delivering within the same time zone and having specific weight slab. 

1. Weight

Generally, shipping companies have set a slab to simplify and uncomplicate matters. In this way, if the slab is set at 50 pounds. Then, all the boxes or parcels below that weight are eligible for flat rate shipping. Now, to talk about real-life figures. Generally most of the shipping companies have set the bar at 70 pounds. So, all the products under 70 pounds are allowed to use the flat rate shipping method.

Boxes Weight

2. Dimensions

Most of the shipping companies have set a particular dimensions for each type of box: Small, Medium, and Large. This way, even the consignments are consistent and it becomes easier for them to load, arrange, and unload. They even have containers of their specified dimensions.  Flat Rate Shipping is only possible in specified dimensions or sizes. So eCommerce companies can bring their parcels and use those containers. The best examples are sets of clothes, books, small metal objects (accessories and appliances), bedsheets, etc which can easily fit within their set dimensions boxes.


3. Time Zone

Time Zones also play an important role in determining if Flat Rate Shipping is suitable for you. Closer the time zone is to your origin point, cheaper will be the prices. Father the time zone, the shipment will be costlier. So, always make sure that you have more customers of a simple time zone and close to your vicinity. Having multiple orders and multiple customers of the same time zone is definitely an advantage to you.

Advantages of Flat Rate Shipping

Though we all have understood that flat rate shipping is ideal for the same time zone and has the same fixed prices. Let us also lay down a few advantages of Flat rate Shipping.

1. Consistency in Prices

No matter what kind of parcel you have or what dimensions or weight is the parcel, it will always be of the same price. Do check with your logistics partner the kind of slabs they have set for dimensions and weights. USPS offers flat rate shipping charges for parcels under 70 pounds. While as, standard shipping can be more expensive as it calculates the dimensions, sizes, time zones, and other factors.

Consistency in Price

2. Clarity and Transparency

With Flat Rate Shipping, the clients are always pleased with the clear self-explanatory breakdown of shipping costs. The shipping calculation is only dependent on the preset weight limit and dimensions. Thus, eCommerce companies prefer dealing with flat rate shipping companies due to the kind of transparency they provide on their shipments. Plus no additional costs or hidden costs are involved in flat rate shipping. This kind of transparency generally wins the hearts of their clients and earns trust amongst their customers.

3. Time Management

It is not an easy task to devote time to activities apart from your core work. Thus, many companies hesitate to contact various shipping companies and finalize the shipping costs. Also, standard shipping costs are time consuming as the shipping companies calculate rates by checking the weight, dimensions, and time zones. On the other hand, flat rates have already worked on weight and dimensions. Thus, the process gets simplified and time is managed accurately.

Time Management

4. Less Human Error and Quick Response

Standard Shipping is time-consuming as shipping companies have to calculate shipping costs by measuring tons and tons of boxes by dimensions and weight. There are probabilities of human error and miscalculation. Not to forget ,the amount of time it takes to calculate each and every box. These kinds of mistakes are hardly visible in flat rate shipping costs. Thus, it is quick to calculate shipping costs and hardly any companies hardly face problems related to human error.

Comparison of Flat Rate Shipping Cost

There are many companies that deal in Flat Rate Shipping. They also provide boxes to avoid any confusion regarding shipping, dimensions, and sizes. Few of the best companies that offer Flat Rate Shipping are FedEx, UPS, and USPS. Let us compare their prices and dimensions.


Packaging Dimensions Rates
Envelope 9-1/2″ x 12-1/2″

Reusable Envelope:

9-1/2″ x 15-1/2″

Padded Packet 10-1/4″ x 12-3/4″,

12″ x 15-1/2″

Padded: 11-3/4″ x 14-3/4″

Reusable Sturdy Pak: 10″ x 14‑1/2″

(expands up to 1-1/2″)

Small Box 10-7/8″ x 1-1/2″ x 12-3/8″

8-3/4″ x 2-5/8″ x 11-1/4″

Medium Box 11-1/2″ x 2-3/8″ x 13-1/4″

8-3/4″ x 4-3/8″ x 11-1/4″

Large Box 12-3/8″ x 3″ x 17-1/2″

8-3/4″ x 7-3/4″ x 11-1/4″

Extra Large Box 11-7/8″ x 10-3/4″ x 11″

15-3/4″ x 14-1/8″ x 6″


Reference: FedEx

Also, the flat rate shipping charges for UPS



Flat Rate Shipping is a very uncomplicated and simplified way of shipping products. There are fixed rates for all kinds of boxes and weights. Unlike the standard shipping method, where shipping charges are calculated on type of product, dimensions, sizes, and time zone. Also, Flat Rate Shippings are easy to understand and it is one of the best suited options for companies who have continuous order deliveries and multiple orders. Also having a huge customer base within the same time zone. Finally, it all comes down to deciding on integrating the right shipping partner and managing your orders.


Ankita Bora

Ankita Bora

I write to express and believe that words are powerful. Long drives and traveling are my weekend goals. I write poems when I am happy and enjoy a solo outing. My mind works best when I am by myself at a cafe with a tall glass of cold coffee and sandwiches. I dance in the rain and heat never bothers me. For me, winters are the worst! I laugh when I cry and bring a smile to everyone close to me. Content Writer at Orderhive, I present knowledge on technical aspects on weekdays and on weekends I write for myself.

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