Illustration for article titled Use This Site to Find the Cheapest and Fastest Way to Send a Package

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Unless your job involves a lot of shipping, it can be hard to know which service best suits your needs—and your budget. Maybe UPS is cheaper in some parts of the country than others for the type of package you need to send. Or perhaps FedEx has better rates on overnight shipping to your destination.

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The problem with all the shopping around is that it takes a lot of time. And it’s not a case where you can look something up once, and then have all the shipping information you need moving forward. That’s where the Online Shipping Calculator comes in. Here’s what it does, and how to use the website.

What is the Online Shipping Calculator?

The Online Shipping Calculator website first landed on our radar via the Recomendo newsletter, where contributor Claudia Dawson shared her secret for getting the best shipping rates and/or fastest shipping options. It works like most price comparison websites, providing users with a quick estimate of shipping costs from multiple carriers. And it’s free to use.

Part of what makes the Online Shipping Calculator particularly handy is that it also provides information on different discounts for each carrier, and includes them in their price quotes. These include:

How to use the Online Shipping Calculator

The process is pretty self-explanatory, and similar to other price comparison websites, but here are the directions listed on the Online Shipping Calculator:

  • Start typing your origin ZIP code or city name in the “From City” field. Select from the autocomplete options.
  • Do the same for the “To City” field. This field is for the destination city of the parcel.
  • After filling out the cities, enter in the length, height, width, and weight of your package. The default units can be changed with the dropdown menus.
  • Click the “Get Rates” button.
  • The button will only be active when you fill out all the fields. It can take about 10 seconds or more to calculate and retrieve the shipping rates.

New more information? The site also has this comprehensive (and actually helpful) FAQ page for reference.