FedEx, UPS, and USPS Rates for Shipping Your Beer


I’ve shipped homebrewed beer from my apartment in Los Angeles to cities as close as San Diego, and as far away as Boston. I typically use FedEx, but I always wonder which couriers have the best rates. In order to figure this out, I looked at FedEx, UPS, and USPS rates for shipping a 10lb package that is 12”x12”x8” from Los Angeles to different cities throughout the country. I chose this size package because this is approximately the weight to ship six 12oz bottles of beer, and the same box size I use to ship these bottles.

Before I share my findings, I would like to add that there are several factors that determine shipping rates. Besides weight and distance, there is dimensional weight. Dimensional weight (DW) is calculated by multiplying the height, length, and width of a package, then dividing that number by 139. If the dimensional weight is greater than the weight of the package, then you are charged for the dimensional weight. For example, if your package is 12”x12”x"8”, then your dimensional weight is 8.28lbs (FedEx and UPS round up, so the DW is really 9lbs). If that package weighs 10lbs, then the package is charged the actual weight of 10lbs. If that same 12”x12”x8” package had an actual weight of 6lbs, then it would be billed as 9lbs, because the DW is great than the actual weight. For the sake of this article, the actual weight of my package is greater than the dimensional weight.

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(Notes for the chart: 1. The FedEx rate factored in a home delivery surcharge of about $3.50. If you are shipping to a business address, then each FedEx price would be about $3.50 lower.)

Based on the chart above, if you are shipping this 10lb, 12”x12”x8” package within the city, state, or even the next state over, then USPS has the best rate, followed by UPS, then FedEx. The farther you ship that package, however, that order flips. If you were to ship this 10lb, 12”x12”x8” package from LA to St. Louis and beyond, then the best value for shipping is FedEx, then UPS and USPS.

Again, this is a brief snapshot for a specific package weight and dimension. Rates can fluctuate based on package weight, size, and distance. Plus, FedEx and UPS have home-delivery surcharges that add $3-$4 for shipments to a residence. Each courier does have their own flat rate boxes, and rates for large flat rate shipments start in the $17-$18 range throughout the country. The flat rate boxes can be useful is you have flexibility with packaging shape, and you are shipping long distances.

The takeaway from this chart would be that if you are shipping “locally”, then USPS and UPS have better prices. However, if you ship long-distance, then FedEx would be your best option.

I hope this information is useful and can help guide your homebrew shipments, and anything else you plan on shipping! I you have any questions about shipping rates, then feel free to ask me.