If you don't want to use the U.S. Postal Service, mailing a package via UPS is one alternative. UPS offers both pickup and drop-off services for residential and business customers.

Ship Using the UPS Website

Mailing a package by UPS from your home or business is easy when you use the company's online portal. Go to the UPS website and select Quick Start at the top-left side of the navigation bar. A drop-down menu appears, giving you options to track, ship, find a service, get a quote, locate UPS drop-off points and view or pay your UPS bill. Choose Ship and follow the instructions to complete the form.

From the website, you can create and print a UPS shipping label, pay shipping costs and arrange for pickup. Be sure to follow the guidelines when preparing your package for shipment. Guidelines for mailing a package via UPS are listed on the website.

Create a UPS Account

If you plan to use UPS regularly, it pays to set up an account. You can sign up for a free account with an email address or social media account. When you have a login ID, you can save contacts for repeat shipping, personalize your preferences and access history, tracking and orders with ease.

You don't have to create a UPS account to use the services. Instead of creating an account, simply click Guest, and your information is not saved for future use.

Determine the Weight of the Package

Shipping costs are based on dimensions and weight, so in addition to measuring the package, you need to determine how much it weighs. Use an accurate scale and round up to the nearest pound.

Visit a UPS Store

Visit a UPS Store if you want help with weighing, labeling or shipping packages. UPS Stores sell mailing and shipping supplies. They also have copy and fax machines and shredding services. Many locations also offer computer-rental workstations, notary public services and design services. Look online for a location near you and call the store to find out what services are available.

UPS Stores offer a number of small-business services available in-store, online and through specialty partnerships. These small-business services include:

  • Accounting
  • Business mailboxes
  • Business management
  • Communications
  • Direct mail
  • Financial services
  • House accounts
  • Human resources

UPS vs. US Postal Service Pricing

One reason to use UPS rather than the U.S. Postal Service is price, although UPS is not always cheaper. In general, using UPS is more cost-effective for large, heavy parcels. For small packages, the Postal Service is usually the less expensive alternative.

UPS Size and Weight Limits

Packages can weigh up to 150 pounds and measure up to 165 inches total girth and length, with a length limit of 108 inches. UPS ships larger items, but you need to use either UPS Freight Services of UPS Worldwide Express Freight. There is no limit on the total number of packages in a shipment or the total weight of the shipment as long as each item is within shipping guidelines.

UPS Rate Changes

When fuel surcharges for U.S. Ground, Air, Import and Export services increase, UPS rates are affected. Ground fuel surcharges are based on the National U.S. Average on Highway Diesel Fuel Price and are adjusted weekly. Air, Import and Export fuel surcharges are based on the National Average U.S. Gulf Coast Jet Fuel Price and are likewise adjusted weekly.