Shipping is an integral part of life, not just for businesses but for consumers also. It is vital to pick a shipping carrier assessed based on the different reasons companies use them for. However, it is just as vital to understand what your business needs are. Is cost a major driver in choosing a shipping service for your business? Or is it the quality of service that is more vital? Do you ship heavy packages to customers or lighter but maybe higher-value goods? Is the speed of delivery more important to your business?
Whatever the business needs maybe drive that decision-making, we look at the major drivers of choosing a shipping service. We also explore some of the unique differences between the top three options, USPS vs UPs vs FedEx. Based on the review of the entities and their unique offerings, business owners can decide regarding one shipper or a combination of them.
- An Overview Of USPS Services
- An Overview Of UPS Services
- An Overview Of FedEx Services
- USPS vs. UPS vs. FedEx: Key Aspects Compared
- USPS vs. UPS vs. FedEx: A Comprehensive Look At The Services
- USPS vs UPS vs FedEx: Comparing The Costs
- Frequently Asked Questions
An Overview Of USPS Services
Established in 1775, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is a government-owned entity that manages an impressive volume of 23.8 million packages daily. Surprisingly, they continue to employ horseback deliveries in certain locations!
USPS is a service designed for the American public, enjoying the unique status of being the sole carrier with legal access to every mailbox in the USA. This distinctive privilege allows for sending packages from any origin to any destination within the country.
While USPS shipping is open to any business type, it is particularly well-suited for low-volume sellers and retailers with a domestic focus or non-urgent delivery requirements. The carrier’s appeal lies in its simplicity, affordability, flat-rate shipping options, free pickup services, and diverse shipping solutions.
- Affordable: USPS tops the charts in cost-effective shipping packages. Offering the most competitive prices for one-to-two-pound goods. USPS provides multiple affordable package choices; a notable choice is the Priority Mail package. It lets you ship various-sized goods at a set rate. Yet, to benefit from this, your items must fit into USPS’s flat-rate boxes. Hence, USPS is a great pick for companies or people aiming to cut shipping costs while delivering their goods safely.
- Flat-Rate Delivery: USPS’s Flat Rate Options are handy and pocket-friendly for sending varied items anywhere. No need to fret about your package’s weight or where it’s going. It’s one price to ship, no matter what. You throw out the stress of figuring out shipping costs. This makes life easier for both you and the person getting the package. With Flat Rate Options, anyone from individuals to businesses saves time and money and ensures safe, speedy deliveries.
- Direct Delivery to Mailboxes: Unlike other shipping companies, the USPS oversees PO boxes and mailboxes. This government service has full access to these critical drop-off points, putting it ahead of its rivals. While other couriers leave parcels at clients’ homes, USPS drops items into mailboxes or PO boxes. This process keeps important data and precious goods safe till they’re picked up. A secure pick-up point for parcels can’t be beaten by inconvenience, making the USPS a daily necessity for many folks and businesses.
- Reliable Services: Known for its reliability, USPS has improved its service over time. What once had them grapple with late and lost items, they’ve made progress to avert such problems. Today, they capitalize on midnight shipping while ensuring that the orders are delivered on time. They assure their customers of their quality, sometimes even replacing lost items. This demonstrates that even though technology has advanced, USPS is still committed to finding solutions to the old problems while improving the overall satisfaction of its customers.
- Package Delivery in Remote Areas: USPS specializes in delivering packages to less accessible areas. This helps people living in secluded locations where other delivery services may not reach easily. With excellent knowledge of rural paths and the distinct issues of non-urban deliveries, postal workers are dependable. Their goal is to offer stable service to all customers, regardless of where they live, ensuring everyone receives their packages on time. USPS’s promise to cater to every community makes it a reliable and vital resource for rural America’s inhabitants.
- Horrible Customer Support: USPS struggles with delivering effective customer service, as seen in many complaints. Their shaky support system can be tough to navigate, creating problems for those with shipping queries. People often find themselves on hold long before talking to a helper, adding stress. Moreover, the refund procedure for lost items is quite complex and lengthy. It discourages customers from even asking for their money back. Although USPS promises refunds, their policy mostly focuses on replacing lost goods instead of giving back cash. This strategy isn’t transparent and ignores customer worries.
- Bad Shipment Tracking: It seems shipment tracking has improved. However, it is bad enough that the USPS tracking isn’t easy to use, as per customers’ experience. Not knowing where their parcel is increases stress for businesses and customers. With internet shopping on the rise and on-time delivery vital, a good tracking system is necessary. It keeps customers happy. If customers can’t find out about their order, then there is no means a business can achieve the level of customer satisfaction they want to earn.
- Delayed International Shipments: USPS international shipping may be slower at times. The cause can be pointed to global partner carriers. These carriers help to move packages across borders. But, their involvement also creates some uncertainty in shipping. USPS generally relies on these partners to help get mail and packages from one country to another.
USPS will always be the winner if you seek affordable postal services! Most of their offerings come at lower prices than UPS and FedEx, making it a favorite for Americans wishing to trim their mailing costs yet still get great service.
Apart from the amazing pricing positioning, USPS also shines with its vast network of offices and drop-off zones more than any other mail service. Their widespread operations make mailing hassle-free and easy for clients everywhere. This and their affordability make USPS a trusted choice for all mail-related tasks.
An Overview Of UPS Services
UPS, established in 1907, is a popular name in shipping. Their global reach and smooth delivery services have made them a prime option for e-commerce businesses worldwide. The UPS Store, the company’s retail branch, offers tailored support to customer’s shipping requirements. UPS is highly recommended for small enterprises seeking convenience and skilled package handling. Whether needing specialized shipping methods or just want to simplify the shipping process, the UPS stands ready.
And when handling deliveries, it is considered a giant in package delivery worldwide, successfully handling 24.3 million items daily. Their ground shipment speed surpasses other companies, making them two days faster. This speed sets UPS apart for individuals and businesses who value promptness. Even though UPS’s prices might be a bit steeper than USPS’s, their superior service and dependability justify the cost. The UPS Store is an excellent tool for clients wanting to simplify their packaging and delivery tasks, and they offer extra services like copying and printing too.
Store owners play a key part in operating these outlets, primarily serving retail stores and small businesses with simple packaging needs. This makes them an ideal fit for e-commerce shippers seeking top-tier solutions at fair prices. In short, UPS is a one-stop shipping solution for online enterprises of any size.
- Effective Tracking of the Package: UPS stands out among shipping services because of its effective tracking. This strong system lets sellers and buyers track their packages at all times. UPS gives alerts that tell you exactly where your stuff is as it’s being shipped. This assurance and precision from UPS’s tracking makes it easier for everyone involved in the shipping process.
- Guaranteed Shipping: No need to worry about quick shipping, UPS has got you. Its Guaranteed Express Shipping gives you the trust that your package will appear when it should. Whether you want delivery on the same day or the next, UPS is there for you. You can watch your package’s journey with their reliable tracking. With UPS, you’re sure that your package shows up on time and in top shape. So, if you value speed and dependability in your shipping, UPS is your best bet.
- Free Insurance: UPS, a top shipping and logistics company, offers a deal for customers with packages worth less than $100. The deal includes free insurance on all qualifying packages, giving both senders and receivers a worry-free experience. UPS is known for being dependable and prioritizing customer happiness.
- Label Printing: UPS makes label printing easy and practical for customers, offering a simple way to craft personalized shipping labels. All you need to do is go to the UPS website and use the straightforward online tool to design your label—adding your colors, logo, and anything that makes your brand stand out. Just like that, your business’s packages can be dressed to impress. What’s more, UPS’s label service delivers peace of mind, with each package labeled accurately and swiftly managed in the UPS network. This tool works wonders for your personal needs or business, making creating top-notch shipping labels simple.
- Costly: It might cost more than other delivery services like USPS. The main problem is the extra costs added to your shipping bill, over and above the basic fee. If you want to cut shipment costs, this could make UPS less attractive.
- No Free Pickup: UPS, unlike USPS, doesn’t give free pickup. They have a fixed cost. Pick up packages from your place for a fee. UPS always delivers the same quality service. Customers know the pickup charges upfront. USPS provides free service, but UPS’s clear-cut, fixed-fee model wins some people over.
- No Saturday Deliveries: As an informed consumer, it is important to know that UPS does not provide Saturday delivery as a standard service like other carriers. While companies such as USPS and FedEx include Saturday delivery in their basic offerings, UPS requires customers to pay extra for this convenience. If you are expecting a package on a Saturday using UPS, you must opt for their “value-added service” at an additional cost.
Thanks to its deep roots and vast global network, UPS reigns in the delivery sector. Its presence is spread wide, reaching even remote areas and offering premium and dependable shipping solutions. The term “larger” aptly represents its immense reach (in over 220 countries) and resources, putting it ahead of others.
This edge enables UPS to deliver packages worldwide, so businesses and individuals opt for it for global deliveries. UPS surpasses others with unmatched size and ability, demonstrating its strong leadership position with exceptional logistics expertise.
An Overview Of FedEx Services
FedEx is a robust player among United States-based shipping companies, prioritizing swift deliveries. Businesses often turn to FedEx for expedited shipping, making it a preferred choice for those seeking rapid package transportation, even though the rates might not be the most economical. One of FedEx’s key strengths lies in its unwavering commitment to time-sensitive express services. In 2022, FedEx Ground handled an average daily package volume of 9.9 million, while FedEx Express managed 6.21 million.
Like UPS, FedEx has its stores throughout the USA. On the other hand, FedEx branches are usually present in larger locations, adding to higher-cost premium services, such as image scanning, laser printing, small-scale shrink-wrapping and graphic designing. Whether you need digital prints for your business or custom labels to boost consumer loyalty, FedEx can provide the variety you need.
FedEx Ground services exhibit slightly faster speeds than USPS, though the cost difference is only marginally more economical than UPS for regional shipments. Unless you can leverage a local FedEx fulfillment center, it might not be the optimal choice for e-commerce shipments unless you operate on a large scale and require favorable deals on international express shipping. While international express shipping can be pricey, FedEx is renowned for its reliable and timely delivery services.
- Vast Network: FedEx leads the shipping world with its wide global presence. Their huge system links up more than 220 countries, connecting businesses and people effortlessly worldwide. They smartly scatter hubs, sorting places and transporting groundwork at crucial spots. It means parcels go through smoothly and get to nearly all places. FedEx offers a service standard that rivals can’t match, so it’s a favorite for global shipping.
- Accurate Tracking: FedEx impresses its customers with its reliable and practical services, including the tracking system that helps customers track their shipments throughout the process. They are aware of where their posted packages are, from the time of pick-up to delivery moment. This gives a clear visual of each shipment’s status from which you can sense security. Going further ahead, FedEx utilizes the delivery manager tool, giving customers more leverage to control their packages. This tool keeps the package at an appropriate place or allows scheduling a preferred delivery service.
- Pool of Services: FedEx Express offers a wide range of shipping services. It also helps to serve diverse customer demands and look for perfect services. Services like FedEx International Economy, FedEx International Priority, or FedEx SameDay give varied features according to your shipping speeds. FedEx has you covered if you are in a hurry or looking for a low-cost option. By the way, they offer First Overnight service as well. It is tailored to individual needs regarding certain package sizes or budgets.
- FedEx Safety Steps: FedEx takes the security of each package seriously, keeping shipments safe from start to finish. They use assertive methods to stop anyone from entering your package without permission. FedEx’s smart tech watches and follows packages to keep them secure, giving customers a worry-free experience. Their security helps FedEx lead in safe goods transportation without any tampering. They offer protection that goes far beyond what’s normal in this industry, which is also the very same reason for the popularity of their services.
- Higher Charges: Just like UPS, FedEx’s shipping prices are higher than others. However, shippers can negotiate lower rates using their shipping volume or partnering with carriers. Every business should examine its shipping needs closely. It is so that you can find the best rates that fit their budget. Yet, USPS often beats FedEx when saving money is key, particularly for small businesses and people.
- Delay in Shipping: FedEx is committed to offering swift and dependable shipping as a top-tier courier service provider. Yet, there are times when obstacles like traffic, accidents, or weather cause a hiccup in delivery. These hitches can irk customers and affect companies needing prompt deliveries. FedEx and its patrons must realize these happenings are generally out of anyone’s hands and can crop up without warning.
- Complex Pricing Structure: Understanding FedEx’s pricing setup is confusing, even for experienced shippers. There are many fees and extra charges, and these seem to multiply with every shipment. Many customers get frustrated. The big issue is “transparency” – or the lack of it. Even though FedEx tries to give a clear breakdown of costs, it’s hard to figure out how these charges are added to each parcel. It feels like trying to solve a jigsaw without any reference picture. With so many things impacting the price, like fuel surcharges or home delivery fees, it’s almost impossible for customers to guess their final shipping costs.
- Fewer Locations: There’s a big difference in office count when comparing FedEx with UPS. FedEx has around 2,500 offices, but UPS has around 6,500 worldwide. This can be a drawback affecting small businesses — they need shipping centers nearby for their everyday work. With fewer FedEx offices, it might be hard for them to find services like packaging and shipping quickly. This problem might slow down their work, which makes UPS look like a better alternative.
FedEx stands tall as a leading carrier in the US despite a handful of negative feedback and steep costs with some shipping methods. Their reputation comes from their speedy overnight shipping and seven-day service.
Additionally, FedEx boasts an accurate tracking system. This tool gives customers real-time updates on their packages, promoting trust. This openness uplifts FedEx over its rivals and assures customers of safe package handling. Therefore, many companies and people count on FedEx for delivering their parcels.
USPS vs. UPS vs. FedEx: Key Aspects Compared
Before we move further to see the services and costs associated with each, let’s have a rundown on the key things, comparing key metrics:
1. Tracking Of The Package
Tracking is a great tool that businesses have used to allay a lot of anxiety among customers around tight delivery deadlines. While USPS has struggled over the years with its tracking given its overall reliability around delivery. Tracking isn’t of much help when the package is delayed or is lost en route. This has also led to a lot of issues around customer service at USPS. Merchants have complained about not clearly understanding whether a late delivery is simply a delay or a package lost. This has also resulted in lower customer satisfaction with USPS shipping.
On the other hand, FedEx has a great tracking system showing delivery progress throughout the shipment. The company’s delivery manager option lets customers schedule a delivery during a specific hour of the day for an additional fee. Customers can also request a package to be held at the facility for pickup.
But ultimately, the tracking service crown goes to UPS. The company offers the traditional tracking service where customers can track their packages in real time, change delivery destinations mid-route, and schedule deliveries at specific times or request a pickup.
UPS also offers a specially curated service called Quantum View for businesses to track large volumes of shipments. The services give visibility on all international and domestic ground and air shipments, allowing companies to incorporate shipping and tracking data within merchants’ own information systems via dashboards and additional customization functionality.
2. Accessibility Of The Package
Accessibility via store locations and drop-off facilities is a big determinant of how often clients use a particular carrier. While FedEx offers nearly 2,500 offices and service centers worldwide, UPS has nearly 6,500 UPS Stores and Customer centers. USPS has over 31,000 locations and offices throughout the US.
Having more locations accessible for a specific courier helps as customers prefer to ensure that they are using the right packaging, delivery options, and, surprisingly, packaging. UPS can help merchants professionally pack fragile goods to arrive safely at their destination.
3. Operational efficiency
This is a culmination of all the other points highlighted above, where each shipping carrier brings together all of the other major factors of customer service, pickup, and drop-off options, the ability to track shipments in real-time, and the overall internal operations to execute on the shipping of a package.
UPS has a worldwide logistics network that utilizes ground and air delivery operations, which the company has worked to perfect for nearly four decades. Unlike FedEx, which only announced in early 2020 that it would start bringing the company’s air and ground operations closer together, UPS has always used ground operations interchangeably with its air operations. The company has been efficiently handing off some of the Air shipping packages to the Ground operations for both the last mile or the full delivery journey, depending on the distance.
This is a toss-up between USPS and UPS. Both have a great logistic network that can deliver anywhere in the US and worldwide. However, UPS can offer delivery within two days, the next day, or even the same day. Even for 3-day shipping, UPS is much more reliable for timely delivery than USPS.
USPS vs. UPS vs. FedEx: A Comprehensive Look At The Services
In this section, we will take a closer look at the various services each of the mail providers offers:
The USPS provides lots of amazing services. These are meant for customers who want to send mail either inside the country or abroad. Let’s look at some of the most used services by USPS:
- First-Class Mail:
It is popular for shipping lightweight items among e-commerce businesses. It’s fast, taking only 1-3 days. This service ensures items reach customers promptly. It also provides forward and return services. This makes buying and selling easier. Plus, it provides add-on services like Certified Mail or Registered Mail for a fee.
The beauty of First-Class Mail lies in its simplicity – no need for special payment or mail permits. Add a stamp, and drop your package at the Post Office or USPS mailbox. For those starting to mail items, this is an excellent method to maintain quality while simplifying the shipping process.
- Ground Advantage:
USPS Ground Advantage provides a reliable and cost-effective solution for shipping packages weighing up to 70 lbs within the United States. Packages weighing up to 15.999 oz are priced by the ounce, rounded up to 15.999 oz, 12 oz, 8 oz, and 4 oz.
This service covers shipments to all 50 states. It is the primary option for transporting HAZMAT-category materials that cannot be transported by air. USPS Ground Advantage includes $100 insurance, and customers can purchase additional coverage of up to $5,000.
- Media Mail:
Media Mail Service is a handy, low-cost way to ship educational items. It’s designed for specific media types. This includes CDs, DVDs, Play manuscripts, books, and publication drafts.
Other items that fit the bill are computer media with accompanying manuals or predefined data, printed sheet music, objective exam materials, and slim film reels, among other things that come in the category of “Media.”
- Priority Mail:
From USPS’ service lineup, Priority Mail tops the list when you need fast, budget-friendly shipping. It suits both online businesses and folks who need quick delivery of packages. This trusted option gets your parcels there in 1-3 days.
- Priority Mail Express:
For faster delivery options, there is Priority Mail Express. After sending a package, it can reach in 1-2 days. Plus, they guarantee delivery by 3 PM, keeping everything timely. Moreover, they give $100 insurance coverage, so your precious items are safe.
Running all year round in many US places, they’ll even deliver on Sundays or holidays for extra costs. If sending things quickly is top of your list, Priority Mail Express is your answer.
- Global Express Guaranteed:
As USPS’s highly sought-after service, it stands out as the fastest international shipping option, ensuring packages reach their destination within 1-3 days. What sets this service apart is its guarantee, offering the assurance of a money-back guarantee.
Notably, it also provides overnight international shipping to various locations in Canada, enhancing its appeal as a swift and reliable choice.
- Priority Mail Express International:
It specializes in international shipments. Balancing cost-effectiveness with prompt delivery, it ranks among the more economical shipping services, albeit not as expedited as Global Express Guaranteed. Typically, parcels using this service arrive within a reasonable timeframe of 3-5 days, still ensuring efficiency.
It is supported by a money-back guarantee, as is the Priority Mail Express and other suites of services provided by USPS, and the pricing model includes Flat Rate delivery along with complimentary shipping supplies.
- Priority Mail International:
Also recognized as Priority Mail Overseas, it stands out as a dedicated service within the “Priority” category, exclusively catering to international shipments. Its popularity is attributed to its reliability and affordability, making it a preferred choice over other services for many senders.
Both businesses and individuals utilize this service for the delivery of mail and goods. Typically, it takes 6-11 days for items to reach their global destinations, aligning with standard or average delivery times. Employing the Flat Shipping Rate billing model and offering complimentary shipment supplies, Priority Mail International shares similarities with Priority Mail Express International.
- First-Class Mail International:
For those keen on cost-effective shipping solutions, First-Class Mail International emerges as the optimal choice. Recognized as USPS’s most budget-friendly international shipping option, it is specifically designed for small packages such as postcards, envelopes, and flats.
Given its limitations on size, First-Class Mail International is suitable for sending non-prohibited mailable communications or non-dutiable items weighing up to 4 lbs. Additionally, the total value of packages must not exceed $400.
- First-Class Package International Service:
This service proves to be the optimal choice when shipping small items in compact packages. This cost-effective service is well-suited for shipping products weighing up to 4 pounds, with a value not exceeding $400. While certain governments have imposed restrictions on this service, it is conveniently available both online and in USPS Post Offices.
- Airmail M-Bags:
This is another notable option, a relatively new service that stands out as an economical means of distributing substantial quantities of printed content internationally. It’s important to note that this service is exclusively accessible through USPS post offices.
- Add-on Services:
Apart from simple shipping, USPS provides many services to make mail easy and handy. They give out free packing supplies for Mail Express and Priority Mail at no extra cost. They also do home pick-ups, so you don’t need to go to the post office. They ship to military addresses (FPO, APO, and DPO). They offer free insurance on some mail services, just in case something gets lost or broken in transit. They have a package tracking service for easier tracking.
They also offer return receipts, money order purchases, and certified mail. They even let you customize your mail with your envelopes and stamps. All these services help make USPS a great choice for all your postal needs.
A myriad of UPS delivery options translates to increased flexibility for your business. When you choose UPS for shipping, you can access over a dozen delivery options tailored to meet your specific requirements. Depending on the nature of your UPS shipment, its destination, and the urgency of delivery, various delivery types are available to ensure a seamless process. With all the services provided by UPS, it offers $100 free liability coverage, and the package requirements include that the package must not exceed the weight of 150 lbs and should be under 108 inches in size.
Here are some of the options for your consideration:
- Next Day Air Early:
UPS Next Day Air Early is your dependable choice for immediate shipping needs. It guarantees your parcel’s arrival by the next morning across the 48 states and in Anchorage, AK. It’s the quickest overnight shipping choice you have. Major cities in the U.S. will get their packages by 8:00 in the morning.
While other places can expect theirs by 9:30, 9:00, or 8:30 in the morning. If a later time works better, there are options for delivery till 2:00 in the afternoon.
- Next Day Air:
Package shipping with Next Day Air is dependable and fast. This service ensures your domestic package gets where it’s going by the next business day. This trusted overnight service promises fixed delivery times. It could be by 10:30 AM, noon, or the next work day’s end, based on your package’s destination. Even if delays happen, they’ll refund your money.
All essential shipping supplies like forms, labels, and packaging are free. There might be exceptions for Alaska or Hawaii, but you can ship to all of the 50 states confidently with this service.
UPS Standard, a service in their fleet of options, offers scheduled shipping within the nation and abroad in five days. They use road transport, assuring customers of on-time delivery. It’s fantastic for shipments that aren’t rushed but have to be efficient with a 3-7 business day window. Recipients enjoy not having to sign upon delivery. Plus, email alerts and online tracking boost customer satisfaction.
Ground shipping by UPS is a trustworthy and budget-friendly way to send packages within the country. It delivers packages all day except Sunday, assuring customers their packages will reach between 1 and 5 business days. All of the 50 states, including Puerto Rico, are covered, ensuring accurate tracking and delivery times.
- 2nd Day Air:
Businesses looking for a reliable and cost-effective shipping option to get their packages to commercial destinations in just two business days can trust UPS 2nd Day Air. This service guarantees on-time delivery at a more affordable rate compared to overnight options. With coverage across all 50 states, businesses can rely on UPS to deliver their packages swiftly and efficiently. The convenience of having forms, labels, and packaging included free of charge makes utilizing this service even more appealing.
However, it is important to note that UPS 2nd Day Air is exclusively for commercial deliveries, excluding residential addresses.
- 3-Day Select:
For affordable shipping, UPS 3-Day Select is a top choice. It’s not just businesses who find this handy; it’s great for residential clients, too. If speed isn’t your main concern, it’s ideal. Your package will arrive in 48 connected states within three business days.
- Worldwide Express:
It provides rapid and trustworthy global shipping solutions. Packages get to their destination quickly, potentially arriving at 10:30 AM, in the early afternoon, or midday. This service ensures next-day deliveries for packages from Mexico and Canada. In 1-2 business days, they reach for goods from Europe, Latin America, or Asia. UPS Worldwide Express also ensures “on-door” supply in 1-3 business days, promising parcels will get to receivers promptly. UPS offers an array of customizable options, be it next-day supply to Canada, two-day dispatch to Latin America or Europe, whether it is 2 to 3 days to Asia.
Capable of shipping to over 140 countries worldwide and providing a time-definite delivery money-back guarantee, trust in the efficiency and consistency of UPS Worldwide Express is ensured.
- Worldwide Saver:
Worldwide Saver provides competitive, effective international delivery services. You can confidently send parcels to Asia, Europe, Latin America, or any other place among the 220 locations served, knowing they’ll arrive in 1-3 business days. This reassurance comes from guaranteed EOD delivery.
Whether it’s the next day for documents to Canada and Mexico or a two-day package to Latin America and Europe, the Worldwide Saver provides speed and flexibility to meet your delivery needs. Most regions benefit from on-door delivery within one to three days—an ideal solution for anyone seeking prompt shipping.
- Worldwide Expedited:
This service stands out in quality and affordability. You can get your package by the end of the day in just two to five business days, an ideal solution for global shipments. UPS can swiftly deliver cleared, surefire packages to over 220 places. Need to ship to Canada in two days? Or Mexico in three days? UPS has it under control. Shipments to Europe take about three to four days, while Asia and Latin America take 4-5 days.
A unique perk UPS has is its fixed-rate customs clearance. No more extra struggles with global shipping rules! Plus, arranging pickup online and tracking your package is made easy, making this fast shipping choice smooth for businesses all over the globe.
- Add-on Services:
With an extra fee, UPS provides a host of handy services to improve your shipping experience. These services answer different needs and wishes. They offer Delivery confirmation for extra security. There’s Collect on delivery for safe payment on arrival. You can request Delivery changes for easy alterations to delivery dates or places. They also offer Direct delivery only for recipient privacy. Need it held for pick-up? They can do that at UPS offices.
Busy on weekdays? No worries, they have a Saturday delivery option. With their Notification services, you’re always in the loop. Moreover, they have Shipper release authorization for smooth shipping without needing a signature, and they help with Customs brokerage for fuss-free global shipments.
Coming to an end with the services, let’s take a closer look at the services offered by FedEx:
The most popular and most reliable by users is FedEx Ground, which is popular among US businesses. It assures that all business addresses in the US receive packages within 1-5 days. Deliveries to Hawaii and Alaska take between 3-7 days. FedEx Ground is unique in its dedication to timely deliveries by the end of each day. With FedEx Ground, businesses can relax knowing all their shipping needs are secured, regardless of the distances involved.
- Express Saver:
Choose FedEx Express Saver for dependable 3-day delivery by 4:30 PM to most places. In selected neighborhoods, deliveries may not be fulfilled until 8 PM. It offers both affordability and quick shipping. If you are looking for prompt and reliable delivery in sending and receiving packages, FedEx Express Saver is an ideal choice.
This is your fastest FedEx option. With FedEx SameDay, you can get things delivered in just a few short hours — any day of the year! It’s like having a personal courier. This reliable service offers peace of mind to both individuals and businesses, knowing that their packages will be delivered swiftly and securely. With FedEx SameDay, customers can rely on the FedEx team to provide dependable delivery whenever needed.
- First Overnight:
With First Overnight, customers in most areas can expect delivery of their packages the next business day morning by 8 AM, 8:30 AM, 9 AM, or 9:30 AM. Delivery times may vary slightly for some areas. Still, it guarantees a swift and efficient transportation of important documents or time-sensitive materials. Additionally, Saturday pickup and delivery options are available for those needing weekend services, but for a fee.
- Priority Overnight:
Priority Overnight is another popular choice for individuals and businesses seeking prompt package deliveries. Offering next-business-day delivery by 10:30 AM in most areas and flexible delivery times for some locations, FedEx ensures timely solutions for time-sensitive shipments.
Moreover, the service provides 2-day delivery for shipments to and from Hawaii and Alaska, catering to those needing swift transport over long distances. Customers can also opt for Saturday pickup and delivery at a cost, adding convenience for weekend shipping needs.
- Standard Overnight:
Customers selecting FedEx Standard Overnight can anticipate next-day delivery, usually by 3 PM, for those who need to send urgent packages/mail. Even rural regions are not neglected, with packages set to arrive by 4:30 PM.
And For individuals seeking weekend convenience, Saturday pickup is an option for a fee, providing flexibility and assurance for on-time shipments.
Offering the convenience of second business day delivery by 4:30 PM, FedEx 2Day ensures dependable package arrivals for most locations. With a focus on efficiency and punctuality, FedEx delivery also commits to delivering by 8 PM if you are busy or on schedule. Additionally, specific shipments to Hawaii and Alaska are completed within three days. 2-Day service ensures prompt delivery and showcases FedEx’s capability in handling intricate logistical hurdles without any damage.
- International Ground
It is a good option for worldwide shipping as it offers fast delivery times to many places. Its reliable service and quick network assure you that your parcel will arrive on time. The different tracking options help you easily watch your shipment, giving you calm during the shipping process. A big plus of using International Ground is their skill in customs clearance. Their experts know how to handle the tricky rules of customs, making sure your package gets there without any hold-ups or problems in as early as 2-7 days.
- International First
This particular service stands as a time-definite, premium, on-door, and customs-cleared express option. This service is designed to provide an early morning delivery commitment for shipments weighing up to 68 kg for each package.
Typically, with this service, you get a swift delivery on a global scale within 1-3 business days. It extends its export service to Canada and the US as early as 8:00 am. Import shipments originating from more than 90 countries can reach select US postal areas as early as 8 a.m.
- International Next Flight
Do you have an urgent global delivery? Choose FedEx International’s Next Flight. It’s fast and dependable as your package gets to its destination on the next flight boarding. It’s a 24/7, all-year-round service – Even on holidays. Whether it’s around the world or a few hours to a big city, FedEx’s Next Flight is a reliable option for sending an urgent package.
- Add-on Services:
Like USPS and UPS, FedEx also outdoes itself with add-on shipping services, adding extras to keep their customers happy. They offer packing services that guarantee your things will be packed securely for travel. In addition, FedEx can pick up your packages on schedule. This is designed for your convenience. Paranoid about security? FedEx has you covered with their delivery requiring a signature, ensuring only the right person gets your package.
They also offer shipping insurance, just in case something goes wrong. Plus, Free Saturday delivery comes with particular services, which is handy for eleventh-hour or weekend orders. Customers can even get free FedEx Express packaging, an easy and cost-saving option. With these extra benefits, FedEx stands out as a carrier that cares about its customers and their needs.
USPS vs UPS vs FedEx: Comparing The Costs
Cost is a unique aspect of shipping where there is no clear winner in offering the best pricing. Our analysis found that small businesses may have to choose a carrier based on the size of the packages they ship. Also, many business owners may choose a combination of shipping services matching the best pricing based on package sizes; you may be shipping via USPS for small packages and UPS for heavier ones.
Although USPS is most often the cheaper option among the three carriers, there are specific segments of shipping services that each courier thrives on. The most competitive rates offered by USPS are for shipping small packages, with the sweet spot being for items weighing under 13 ounces. USPS also has flat-rate shipping for specific box sizes. These flat rate boxes do not take into account weight or distance; they just have a flat rate for that box as long as the product fits in it.
Heavier shipments are often more affordable via UPS. The company offers more peace of mind as UPS delivers packages much quicker and more securely, given their safe packing assistance. UPS also offers volume discounts, and giving your overall shipment volume may also entitle you to a more concierge-level service by assigning the business a dedicated Account Manager. To help you understand better, here is a brief look at the pricing structure of each – USPS, UPS, and FedEx:
Shipping costs with USPS can change a lot. The size of your package and the weight in the cost structure matter the most. Where it comes from and where it’s going also counts. Bigger, heavier packages cost more to send. So, to get the best deal with USPS, figure out these things carefully.
Here is a brief overview of the pricing of the USPS:
|$0.68 in Post office, and $0.507 for commercials.
|$5.00 in Post office, and $3.79 for commercials.
|$4.13 in Post office, and $2.80 for commercials.
|$9.25 in Post office, and $7.90 for commercials.
|Priority Mail Express
|$30.45 in Post office, and $26.35 for commercials.
For more detailed pricing, refer to the official USPS site here.
UPS has two pricing structures, named – daily and retail rates. The retail rates are what you would pay if you walked into a UPS Store as a normal customer would. Meanwhile, daily rates are special prices for particular clients.
To enjoy daily rates, you’ll need a regular UPS collection, a UPS contract offering these rates, and a set-up UPS payment account after mid-2016. UPS’s website hosts rate charts for both of these types of rates. UPS has shared its shipping price rise for the year 2024. Let’s go over the daily rates for UPS’s main domestic shipping options:
|Next Day Air Early
|Next Day Air
|From $25.41 (to Canada) and From $63.10 (to Mexico)
|UPS 2nd Day Air
To refer to the actual pricing based on zones and weight, you can refer to this 2024 price list by UPS.
Getting a FedEx account for either personal or business use packs lots of benefits. One main gain is allowing all users to enjoy cheaper shipping fees. But having a business account takes it a notch higher. You get more than just the FedEx rewards program by choosing a business account.
You also get cuts in cost on several FedEx Office services. These extra benefits can make your shipping tasks more efficient and save your firm cash over time. So, to boost efficiency and savings in shipping, you should consider a business account with FedEx.
For a more detailed pricing guide, here is where you can find the full pricing of 2024.
Businesses have enough arduous strategic decisions to focus on as it is. Choosing the right shipping service for their business should not be one of those strategic endeavors. We’ve reviewed the various factors that are often a pain point for businesses in deciding on a shipping carrier and advise the business to look at their business needs and the areas of strength of all: USPS, FedEx, and UPS.
There really is no reason that merchants should be reliant on a single carrier service for all their shipping needs. How much of the resources a business allocates to any specific provider should be gauged by which carrier meets those needs based on the most appropriate mix of quality and value for money.
Q: Which is a better choice: UPS, USPS, or FedEx?
Usually, FedEx and UPS offer quicker service than the USPS. If your package is not too heavy and doesn’t need express delivery, USPS may be cheaper. From P.O. boxes to shipments and military addresses, people often pick USPS.
Q: For international shipping, is FedEx or UPS better?
Due to its broader international network, UPS usually delivers goods faster than FedEx. The delivery time for international shipments with UPS is typically 1-5 business days.
Q: Between FedEx and UPS, which is larger?
FedEx and UPS stand as the largest global courier delivery services. FedEx has a net income of about $2 billion on revenues of $42 billion, while UPS is larger, with a net income of about $3 billion and revenues of $53 billion.
Q: Can USPS be relied upon?
Despite facing financial challenges in recent years, the USPS continues to innovate and adapt to changing technologies and customer needs. This commitment ensures that it remains a reliable and trusted institution for years to come.