Who Has the Best Shipping Rates?
Shopping is fun, whether it is online or in a brick a mortar store. However, there comes a time when shipping is needed. Sometimes, shipping is required because purchases were made online. Other times, gifts and packages need to be shipped. While there is not always a way to choose the shipping method when shopping online, there is definitely a choice when personally shipping a gift or package. There are different options to choose from, including United States Postal Service (USPS), United Parcel Service (UPS), Federal Express (FedEx) and DHL. Each method has its own pricing structure, delivery schedule, and different options to add to the delivery service. Pricing also changes depending on how fast the package needs to get to its destination, what is being shipped, and the destination of the package. All the delivery options subject the package to the rules and procedures of the individual carrier, so it is important to know all this information before shipping.
1 - USPS
USPS is an agency of the United States federal government. It delivers mail across the country. Packages of all sizes can be shipped. Letters, packages, and even freight can be shipped with a variety of services. Services include priority mail express (next day), priority mail (1-3 business days), first class mail (1-3 business days), media mail (2-8 business days), and retail ground (2-8 business days). These shipping services might have stipulations. For instance, media mail is one of the cheaper services, but the package must include things like books and video recordings or educational materials.
Pricing varies significantly. Priority mail express starts at $24.70, priority mail starts at $6.70, first class mail starts at $.50, media mail starts at $2.66, and retail ground starts at $6.70. Of course, the prices for each service will increase based on the weight of the package. Other factors to consider are whether to the package contains hazardous material. The employees at USPS can help choose the best service based on the needs of the customer.
2 - UPS
UPS can provide many of the same services that USPS offers. They offer next day air, next day air saver (package guaranteed by the end of the day), 2-day, 3 day, and ground service. Additionally, UPS ships internationally. UPS shipping rates are generally higher than USPS. However, if the package is being shipped to an area that is relatively close, it might be cheaper to send the package with UPS. Furthermore, because UPS can ship internationally, just like USPS, but they can ship larger sized packages. UPS also works with USPS. The post office delivers the package to the customers home after receiving the package from UPS. This usually results in a lower priced service because it is generally not a next day or second day service. So, when the carrier has a longer time to deliver the package, they have alternative methods of delivery.
3 - FedEx
FedEx is another great option for shipping packages. They offer service very similar to UPS, but they are very competitive when it comes to cost. Sometimes, the choice of FedEx over UPS is a personal choice. Furthermore, FedEx can ship domestically and internationally. They have a service called Smartpost. This allows FedEx to ship the package to a local post office and have USPS deliver the package to its final destination. This allows the company to charge a lower fee on low-weight packages. Smartpost is similar to the service offered by UPS.
4 - DHL Express
DHL ships packages, but focuses mainly on international shipping. Therefore, you will see DHL trucks in the United States, but most times, they are delivering international packages. Additionally, they too use USPS to deliver packages to their final destination. So, regarding cost, DHL is probably prohibitive and reserved mainly for businesses and their international shipping needs.
When choosing the company to use for shipping letters, packages, or freight, it is advisable that comparison is done between the three main companies that provide these services. FedEx, UPS, and USPS are these three primary companies that can ship and deliver packages. Prices vary, but can sometimes be very close. Each company offers online resources to get quotes on shipping needs, so you can get USPS, FedEx, or UPS shipping rates online. Therefore, it is beneficial to compare prices and choose the one most economical for the needs of the customer. Additionally, the companies sometimes work together. For instance, FedEx and UPS have services that entail them delivering a package to the local post office, who then delivers the package.