Shipping Carrier Options
For the discerning customer, there are a multitude of shipping options available to them, and it can get overwhelming trying to figure out which is the best option for your needs. In this article mini, we discuss the basics of the top 4 shipping carriers, and whether or not they might be a good fit for you.
Shipping Carrier Options
The good ‘ol United States Postal Service.
Being a government run business, it is by far the cheapest shipping carrier if your package weighs less than 2 pounds. The USPS also offers multiple box size options, which ship at a flat rate regardless of weight, so you can save money if you can fit your package inside one of these boxes.
These low prices come at the cost of efficiency. Being a government run business, it is possible for internal processes to not be as streamlined as possible, and as such, the USPS does not guarantee delivery date except for express mail. As such, your package may arrive earlier, or later than you expected or needed it. The tracking that USPS provides is also notoriously inaccurate.
FedEx is a good option, and is known for their reliability as well as their low prices. FedEx Air is the primary choice for air and international shipping, having the largest fleet of jets. FedEx Air is seen as the most reliable method of shipping, while FedEx Ground offers the most value. FedEx as a whole offers detailed tracking of your package through every step of the process, from initial sendoff to arrival. FedEx is an environmentally friendly company, having the largest fleet of hybrid vehicles for any U.S. shipper, as well as vehicles that use alternative fuels, and a few that run on electricity.
For packages exceeding 3 pounds, FedEx is the best option of the three main shipping carriers.
UPS has the best delivery on time record, and is extremely reliable. For large shippers UPS is the primary choice for ground shipping, having the largest fleet of ground vehicles. It is also an environmentally friendly company, having a multitude of hybrid vehicles, and even more that use alternative fuels.
UPS has the highest shipping costs out of all three main shipping carriers, and is usually only economical when shipping in bulk or for packages exceeding 3 pounds. If you are shipping in bulk, it is possible to negotiate a better rate with UPS.
DHL is a shipping carrier that provides international express mail services. DHL no longer provides domestic delivery within the United States, but are highly popular for international shipments, often providing some of the best prices.
Here is a list of some other, less popular options for you to consult if you wish. Note that this list is not comprehensive.
Here is a nifty, fun infographic highlighting some differences between FedEx and UPS. Infographics are cool.