Bulk Parcel Rates and Requirements

Scott HochbergScott Hochberg



Need to send the same light weight parcel to many different recipients? You can save hundreds or thousands of dollars in shipping costs by using USPS' bulk rate parcel services.

Postage Saver software makes postal bulk mailing easy Here's what this page covers:

red dotHow many pieces do I need?

red dotWhat are the size and weight limits?

red dotHow much will I save?

red dotCan I get tracking or insurance?

red dotHow much are permits?

red dotWhat do I need to get started?

This page covers four of the most commonly used USPS bulk parcel services. All of these services are for parcels weighing less than 16 ounces (one pound): There are also very economical bulk rates for parcels containing bound printed materials weighing up to 15 pounds per carton. If you are shipping books, catalogs, or other bound printed materials, please see our Bound Printed Matter bulk rates guide.

Bulk parcel rates are available for domestic mail only (including military addresses, Puerto Rice and U.S. possessions). Parcels sent to military addresses and U.S. possessions must include customs documentation even though they are considered to be domestic addresses. There are no bulk parcel rates for international mail.

Learn about other
bulk mail categories:
Marketing Mail
Presorted First Class
Periodical Class
Bound Printer Matter

Postage Saver for Parcels makes preparing bulk parcels easy

How many pieces in each zip code do I need for bulk parcel rates?

For Marketing Mail Marketing Parcels, Marketing Mail Nonprofit Parcels, and Parcel Select Lightweight: For First Class Package Service: There are no minimums per zip code. And, there are no monthly or yearly minimums.

What are the size and weight limits for bulk parcel rates?

For First Class Package Service:
For Marketing Mail Marketing Parcels:
For Parcel Select Lightweight and Marketing Mail Nonprofit Parcels:
All parcels in these categories must weigh less than 16 ounces (1 pound).

How much will I save by using USPS bulk parcels?

Bulk Parcel Postage Rate Calculator


Rates updated for latest USPS changes effective January 24, 2021.
For Bound Printed Matter parcels, please see our Bound Printed Matter guide.

Make the selections below to find the rates available for your parcels.

Mailer is:
commercial nonprofit

Parcel Shape:
rectangular box
other (soft packs, tubes, triangles, etc.)

Weight in ounces (must be less than 16):

Mailed At: What are these?


Can I add services like tracking and insurance?

Yes! Here are some of the extra services you can add to bulk parcel shipments:

Tracking: Insurance: Available for all services except Marketing Mail Marketing Parcels;

Signature Confirmation: Available for all services except Marketing Mail Marketing Parcels;

Restricted Delivery: Available for all services except Marketing Mail Marketing Parcels;

Registered Mail: Available for First Class Package Service only;

Certified Mail: Available for First Class Package Service only.

These are just some of the additional services available. Please ask us or check with USPS if you need a service that is not listed here.

How much do bulk parcel permits cost, and how do I get one?

Before you can mail using bulk parcel rates, you need to have a permit. Your permit must be issued by USPS. A vendor cannot issue a mailing permit.

The good news is that there are no fees for First Class Package Services or for Parcel Select Lightweight. Just apply for the permit, and for a permit imprint authorization, which allows you to print the "postage paid" box on the tracking label. Skip down to "How to Apply" for instructions.

For Marketing Mail Marketing Parcels and Marketing Mail Nonprofit Parcels, it's more complicated, and sometimes more expensive. There are two fees that might apply.

Annual mailing fee:
(Marketing Mail Marketing Parcels and Marketing Mail Nonprofit Parcels only)

For Marketing Mail Marketing Parcels and Marketing Mail Nonprofit Parcels, the annual mailing fee is $245. But it's a little more complicated, because the annual mailing fee for Marketing Mail covers letters and flats in addition to parcels, and is waived for many mailers.

If you are using Marketing Mail for parcels only (not for letters or flats), then USPS should waive the $245 annual fee.

If you are using Marketing Mail for letters or flats in addition to parcels, then USPS should waive the $245 annual fee if all of your letters and flats mailings are prepared using full-service barcoding. Parcels do not use full-service barcodes, so that requirement doesn't apply to Marketing Mail parcel shipments.

If you use Marketing Mail for letters and flats, and you don't always use full-service barcoding for those mailings, then you will be charged the annual mailing fee, whether or not you are also mailing Marketing Mail parcels.

Unfortunately, the fee waiver rules are not clearly stated as they relate to parcel shipments. So you might run into resistance when you ask that the fee be waived. If you run into problems with this, let us know and we can send you communications from USPS that clarifies that the fee should be waived.

Permit Imprint Authorization fee:
(Marketing Mail Marketing Parcels and Marketing Mail Nonprofit Parcels only)

This lets you print a "postage paid" box (called a "permit imprint" or an "indicia") on your mail, instead of putting a stamp or meter imprint on each piece.

For Marketing Mail Marketing Parcels and Marketing Mail Nonprofit Parcels, you are not required to use a permit imprint. You can use a postage meter or stamps instead, with two exceptions: EVS users may only use a permit imprint; and stamps may not be used on containers that could be reused, such as boxes, cases, or bags.

If you want to use a permit imprint for Marketing Mail Marketing Parcels or Marketing Mail Nonprofit Parcels, there is a one-time $245 fee for the permit imprint authorization. There is waived for EVS users.

If you already have paid for a permit imprint authorization for mailing letters or flats, you do not need to pay for another authorization for parcels.

How to apply: You can apply online for a bulk parcel permit and for a permit imprint authorization. You can also apply for your permit in person, using USPS form 3615.

Where to apply: It's best that you apply for your permit at the post office where you expect to take your mail. You'll probably want to take your mail to the closest post office that accepts bulk mail, just for convenience. If you apply online, you will still need to designate the post office where your permit will be issued.

In suburban and rural areas, many post offices accept bulk mail. But in urban areas, bulk mail is generally accepted only at a major facility, and sometimes a few smaller post offices.

To find out whether bulk mail is accepted at a specific post office, find it using the post office locator on USPS.com, and look at the services it offers. To find all of the post offices in your area that accept bulk mail, call the USPS District Business Mail Entry office for your area, which you can find using this USPS locator screen.

If you're not far from the USPS sorting center for your area, and much of your mail is going to addresses processed by that sorting center, you'll get better postage rates by sending your mail from the sorting center. You can see your possible savings by using the rate calculator above. If you are going to be mailing from the sorting center, you will want to get your permit at that center rather than at your neighborhood post office.

Note, however, that sorting center discounts do not apply to First Class Package Service, so if all of your shipments are going to use that service, it doesn't matter whether you mail from a sorting center or from the nearest post office that accepts bulk shipments.
Postage Saver for Parcels makes shipping bulk parcels easy Postage Saver for Parcels makes shipping bulk parcels easy
Postage Saver for Parcels makes preparing bulk parcels easy

What software and other supplies do I need to prepare Presorted First Class?