Sending a postcard or letter within the United States is quite simple: in most cases, you can affix a single stamp in the upper left corner and send it. However, when you start sending mail beyond the boundaries of the continental United States, the postage requirements become much more complex.
One of the places that causes the most confusion is Puerto Rico. United States territory (surrounded by the ocean), Puerto Rico is a mix of domestic and international shipping policies. This article describes the best carriers for shipments to Puerto Rico, the shipping requirements for Puerto Rico mail and the necessary postage for standard postcards, envelopes and packages.
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Best Carriers for Postage / Mail to Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States that comprises 143 islands, islets, islets and atolls. It is located 2,191 miles southwest of the continental United States, which makes shipping between the two locations a little more complicated than standard domestic transportation.
The United States Post Office (USPS), Federal Express (FedEx) and United Parcel Service (UPS) ship to Puerto Rico. The USPS is the best option for most shipments to Puerto Rico because the USPS considers Puerto Rico to be a domestic shipping zone. This means that you can use domestic prices and delivery times.
FedEx and UPS use international rates for shipments to Puerto Rico. This means that packages take longer to arrive and are often more expensive. However, there are certain scenarios in which FedEx and UPS are still the best option.
The USPS allows for a maximum weight of 70 pounds per package. If you are shipping something that weighs more than 70 pounds, UPS will be the cheapest option. Likewise, if you need your package to arrive as quickly as possible, FedEx is the best option for overnight emergency deliveries.
Since the USPS is the best option for most shipments to Puerto Rico, the postage fees in this article reflect the prices of the USPS.
Post to send postcards to Puerto Rico
Postcards can be sent via USPS using national postage rates. To send a postcard to Puerto Rico, you will need $ 0.35 for postage. You can use a postage stamp ($ 0.35) or a First Class Forever stamp ($ 0.55).
The USPS defines postcards as rectangular cards with dimensions between 3.5x5x0.007 inches and 4.24x6x0.016 inches. Cards that are outside these dimensions (or are not rectangular) require additional postage.
Post to send standard envelopes to Puerto Rico
Envelopes can be shipped to Puerto Rico using USPS domestic postage rates. To send an envelope weighing less than 30 grams to Puerto Rico, you will need $ 0.55 for postage. You can also use a First Class Forever ($ 0.55) seal.
If your envelope weighs more than 30 grams, you will need an additional $ 0.15 on postage for each extra gram.
The USPS defines standard envelopes as envelopes with dimensions between 3.5x5x0.25 inches and 6.125 × 11.5 × 0.25 inches. If your envelope is not rectangular or does not fold, it will be considered non-machinable, which means that it will need to be separated by hand. Non-machinable envelopes require an additional $ 0.21 for postage.
Post to send large envelopes to Puerto Rico
Large envelopes can be shipped to Puerto Rico using USPS domestic postage rates. The USPS considers large envelopes to have dimensions between 6.125 × 11.5 × 0.75 inches and 12x15x 0.75 inches.
The postage required to send large envelopes depends on the weight of your envelope:
|Weight||Postage Required||Stamps Required|
|1.0 ounce||$1.00||1 Global Forever Stamp ($1.20) or 2 First Class Forever Stamps ($1.10)|
|2.0 ounces||$1.20||1 Global Forever Stamp ($1.20) or 3 First Class Forever Stamps ($1.65)|
|3.0 ounces||$1.40||2 Global Forever Stamp ($2.40) or 3 First Class Forever Stamps ($1.65)|
|4.0 ounces||$1.60||2 Global Forever Stamp ($2.40) or 3 First Class Forever Stamps ($1.65)|
|5.0 ounces||$1.80||2 Global Forever Stamp ($2.40) or 4 First Class Forever Stamps ($2.20)|
|6.0 ounces||$2.00||2 Global Forever Stamp ($2.40) or 4 First Class Forever Stamps ($2.20)|
|7.0 ounces||$2.20||2 Global Forever Stamp ($2.40) or 4 First Class Forever Stamps ($2.20)|
|8.0 ounces||$2.40||2 Global Forever Stamp ($2.40) or 5 First Class Forever Stamps ($2.75)|
|9.0 ounces||$2.60||3 Global Forever Stamp ($3.60) or 5 First Class Forever Stamps ($2.75)|
|10.0 ounces||$2.80||3 Global Forever Stamp ($3.60) or 6 First Class Forever Stamps ($3.30)|
|11.0 ounces||$3.00||3 Global Forever Stamp ($3.60) or 6 First Class Forever Stamps ($3.30)|
|12.0 ounces||$3.20||3 Global Forever Stamp ($3.60) or 6 First Class Forever Stamps ($3.30)|
|13.0 ounces||$3.40||3 Global Forever Stamp ($3.60) or 7 First Class Forever Stamps ($3.85)|
Large envelopes weighing more than 13 ounces are considered packages by the USPS and therefore reflect the price in the next section.
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Postage to Send Packages to Puerto Rico
The postage required to send packages to Puerto Rico is based on the size and weight of the package. You can calculate the cost of posting your order using the USPS Franchise Price Calculator.
To use the USPS postage price calculator, follow these steps:
- Follow the link to the USPS Posting Price Calculator.
- From the “Which country is the destination country” drop-down menu, select “Puerto Rico”.
- Enter the postal codes of your shipping location and destination.
- Enter the date and time for when you plan to ship your order.
- Select the type of package you want to send.
- A new page will appear with the price of several shipping options in your area.
You can choose the shipping method of your choice based on the desired delivery date. After determining the shipping method you want to use, you can print a label using USPS Click-N-Ship.
Delivery times for Puerto Rico
The average delivery time for first rate postcards and envelopes shipped with the USPS is 1-3 days. The average delivery time for postcards and envelopes sent by FedEx and UPS is usually around 3-7 days.
The delivery times of the packages depend on the carrier and the selected shipping method. It should be noted that while most USPS parcel deliveries to Puerto Rico reflect domestic prices and schedules, certain delivery services will require additional postage to maintain domestic schedules. These delivery services include Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, USPS Retail Ground and Bound Printed Matter.
Customs forms for shipments to Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, so customs forms are not required.
Addressing correspondence to Puerto Rico
The addresses in Puerto Rico are similar to those in the continental United States. The addresses must be filled out as follows:
Urbanization (if necessary)
City (*): State (*) Postal code
URB Maple Valley
111 Calle 123
Bayamon, Puerto Rico 00959
Additional information about each line of the address is discussed below:
Line 1: Name
This line should reflect the name of the person or company you are sending to.
Line 2: Urbanization (if necessary)
In Puerto Rico, it is possible to have duplicates of street names and addresses within the same zip code. To differentiate these addresses, Puerto Rico uses urbanizations. The urbanizations are written with the identifier “URB”, followed by the name of the urbanization.
Line 3: Address
When writing the street address, pay close attention to the order of the elements within the address. In many addresses in Puerto Rico, the street type or suffix will come before the street name. For example, instead of writing 111 Rua 123, you will write 111 Rua 123.
In addition, most street names use Spanish street suffixes. For example, you will see “Calle” instead of “Rua” or “Avenida” instead of Avenida. It is essential to use the appropriate language for these suffixes. If you translate the suffix into another language, your email may not be delivered.
Line 4: City, state zip code
The city, state and postal code will follow the same format as addresses in the continental United States. When completing this line, you will want to list “Puerto Rico” as your state.
For additional information on shipments within the United States and internationally, check the shipping and shipping information at stampguider.com