There have been many competitive analyses of various shipping carriers and the United States Postal Service jacked up rates every 6 months of which shipping method is the most economical for shippers in the USA. Three of the most reliable and popular carriers are USPS, FedEx and UPS. There are many shipping variables to choose from and it’s difficult to pick a good comparison without the lock down of basic parameters.
Shipping 2Lbs or Heavier with 5-Day Delivery Window
UPS Ground or FedEx Ground are almost cheaper than USPS Priority Mail. Between UPS and FedEx, FedEx is cheaper because they are providing instant 15% off to all shipments by just creating an account online. However, discount levels vary but they always have a discount program.
As of 2016, both FedEx and UPS are already charging for “dimensional weight”. It means that if package is oversized or large, shipping charges increase. The UPS dimensional weight calculation is L*W*H/166. Packages that are below 5184 cu ft. are cheaper than USPS here.
Only exception is that, USPS is offering 3 Flat Rate Box shipping options which are small, medium and large. Make sure that your large flat rate is heavier than 7lbs. Otherwise, UPS or FedEx Ground will be cheaper.
Shipping Items less than 2Lbs
USPS is cheaper than UPS or FedEx hands down. But if weight gets close to 2lbs, USPS reaches price parity with FedEx Ground and UPS Ground. USPS is really a best option if package is weighing less than 13 Oz to be mailed through First Class mail. USPS is the cheapest option for shipping light items.
If you need Next Day Service
The cheapest option is again the USPS Express which is guaranteed but the only issue is that the delivery window is sometimes 2 days. They don’t offer morning delivery. USPS Express Mail is also not that reliable than the Next Day Service of UPS or FedEx. Guarantee means they will refund the money you paid for late delivery.
If you need 2-3 Day Delivery Window
The USPS Priority Mail could be faster or slower depending on different unknown factors. However, FedEx and UPS always guarantee that their delivery times are fast but significantly more costly. Sometimes, double the USPS cost.
Final Take on the 3 Carriers
USPS is almost the cheapest among the 3 shipping carriers but in terms of reliability, it falls behind the 2 carriers. If you’re sending packages to middle of a town, or some Podunk, it’s likely to be delayed. But with FedEx Ground and UPS Ground shipping options, your delivery is not likely to be lost or delayed.
In general, if you’re searching for the best shipping option you can use, it depends mainly on your package and your preference. After all, all these carriers do their job to keep your package safe and delivered.
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