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UPS & FedEx shipping zones

By Last updated on: January 11, 2019

What is a shipping zone?

UPS and FedEx both use zones for each package you send. Shipping contracts are divided into zone pricing and each package is price based on the destination zone. You cannot get away from zones, so investigate what a zone really is and how to determine your zones.

Shipping zones are based on the distance a package travels from origination to the final destination. These distances are formulated in various zones. Since zones are calculated based on where your package originates, make sure you use the zone chart specific to your originating ZIP code.

The zones also change with each service. For example, Ground does not have the same zip code range as Next Day Air.

FedEx Zones

To get a list of FedEx zones from your zip code, and use the “Get FedEx Zone Locators” function. Just enter your zip code and hit the “Get zone locator.” FedEx will provide a list of all other zip codes and the zone it is located in. A popup window will open that says “Download Rates.” Click on “Download Rates” box. Your FedEx Zone Locator will appear in a PDF file, ready to print.

FedEx zone calculator screenshot Refund Retriever

FedEx SmartPost Zones

FedEx SmartPost is used to ship low-weight residential packages by utilizing the United States Postal Service® for final delivery, FedEx SmartPost can reach every U.S. address. P.O. Boxes, APO and FPO locations. SmartPost does not use assigned zip codes, but instead uses the distance in miles.

FedEx Smart Post zones and rates can be found here.

UPS Zones

To get a list of UPS zones from your zip code, go directly to UPS with this link.  Enter your zip code in the download zone charts box and hit the “Download” button. UPS will provide a list of all other zip codes and the zone it is located in.
UPS zone calculator screen shot Refund Retriever

How Distance Affects Fulfillment Costs

One of the biggest mistakes in a contract negotiation is coming to the negotiation table unprepared. Carriers know more about a shipper’s distribution than the shipper in most cases.  Know how many packages are delivered in each zone among various weight ranges before you start the process.  How many packages each year will receive greater discounts.  Contact us if you have more questions, we are happy to help with a free benchmark analysis.

Brian Gibbs

Author Brian Gibbs

More posts by Brian Gibbs

Brian Gibbs | President of Refund Retriever

Brian Gibbs founded Refund Retriever in 2006 while running his first eBay based business and seeing the shortcomings of other shipment auditing companies. Refund Retriever's primary focus is FedEx and UPS parcel invoice auditing. After graduating from Texas A&M University in 2001, he then graduated from the University of Houston in 2004 with a JD and MBA. Gibbs has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur and other publications discussing parcel auditing, shipping, e-commerce and more. Learn more at or call (800) 441-8085 for more information.

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