What Is Parcel Select Lightweight? (Meaning, Costs + More)

What Is Parcel Select Lightweight

Shipping in bulk can be expensive and time-consuming, especially for small businesses. Fortunately, services like Parcel Select Lightweight offer an affordable way to send plenty of items without breaking the bank. But what is Parcel Select Lightweight exactly? What kind of costs are involved? And how does it compare to other shipping methods? In this blog post, we’ll discuss all these questions so that you can make an informed decision regarding your shipping needs.

What Is Parcel Select?

Before we dive into what Parcel Select Lightweight is, it’s important to understand the basics of Parcel Select. 

Parcel Select is a type of mail class offered by the United States Postal Service (USPS). It enables businesses to send packages weighing up to 70 pounds in bulk for cheaper rates. Parcel Select is ideal for businesses that want to save money on large shipments since its rates are lower than those of Priority Mail.

What Is Parcel Select Lightweight?

Parcel Select Lightweight is a version of Parcel Select that has been optimized to reduce shipping costs for sending lightweight packages in bulk. It’s designed for packages weighing up to 16 ounces each. That means it’s ideal for items like documents, postcards, and small items that don’t need the same level of protection as heavier shipments.

This service is usually used by large-volume shippers since it offers the lowest prices on lightweight shipments. That said, when you use Parcel Select Lightweight, you pay per ounce rather than per pound, which is much cheaper than paying pound rates for Priority Mail or FedEx ground shipping services.

The reason for such a low rate is that almost half of the work is already done by customers. USPS requires shippers to presort their packages and transport them to a destination facility closest to the final destination. This means less work for USPS since they don’t have to sort and transport the packages themselves. The only thing they have to do is deliver the packages to their destination. Hence, the low shipping price.

What Packages Are Eligible for Parcel Select Lightweight Services?

In order to determine whether a package can be shipped via Parcel Select Lightweight, three criteria must be met. The box must weigh up to 16 ounces, have a presorted label, and be delivered to one of the three USPS destination facilities:

  • destination sectional center facility (DSCF), 
  • destination bulk mail center (DBMC), or
  • destination delivery unit (DDU).

How Much Do Parcel Select Lightweight Services Cost?

It’s impossible to give an exact quote for Parcel Select Lightweight services without considering the exact details of your packages. That said, several factors impact the cost of shipping, including the weight of your packages, what vendor you’re buying services from, and how often you ship. Note that the size of your package doesn’t matter since you’re only paying for weight and distance.

Generally speaking, the lighter your packages are, the more affordable Parcel Select Lightweight services will be. Similarly, the more often you ship, the better rates you’ll receive. And, of course, it’s important to consider different vendors to ensure you get the best deal.

Compared to other services, Parcel Select Lightweight usually ranges from $2.46 to $4.85 per ounce. This makes it significantly cheaper than using umbo flat rate boxes or meters, which start at $5 and go up depending on the weight of your packages.

What Are the Size Requirements for Parcel Select Lightweight Services?

As was mentioned before, Parcel Select Lightweight services are limited to packages weighing up to 16 ounces. As for the sizing, the combined length and girth of the package must not exceed 108 inches. Also, the packages must have enough space for shipping labels, postage, and other vital elements. 

There are no additional requirements for size or weight other than the ones mentioned previously. And remember that size doesn’t count when determining the rate you’ll be paying – only weight.

What Is the Delivery Time for Packages Sent via Parcel Select Lightweight?

You can expect your packages to arrive within 2 to 9 business days if they’re being delivered within the contiguous United States. If your package is going further, such as to Alaska, Hawaii, or a U.S. territory, delivery might take up to 10 to 14 days.

Are Parcel Select Lightweight Services Available at USPS Post Offices?

Unfortunately, USPS postal offices don’t handle this service. The only way to access this Parcel Select Lightweight services is by using an online PC postage vendor (such as Endicia.com or Stamps.com) or from another official USPS business partner. 

What Is the Best Use of Parcel Select Lightweight Services?

Parcel Select Lightweight services are ideal for businesses that ship large volumes of lightweight packages within the United States. Large volumes refer to hundreds or thousands of packages, usually more than 25 per day. It’s usually the best option if you want to save money on shipping costs without sacrificing speed and reliability.

However, exploring other USPS services is best if you’re looking for express shipping, additional tracking features, or shipping internationally. Since Parcel Select Lightweight services are focused on offering low rates for lighter packages, it’s usually not the ideal choice for heavier items or if speed is a top priority. 


Overall, Parcel Select Lightweight is ideal if you need to ship lightweight packages in bulk across the United States. This shipping service can save you up to 50% in postage costs compared to other USPS services. That is provided your packages are eligible and properly processed. And if you need to ship heavier packages in bulk, you can always consider Package Select services from USPS.

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