Ten years ago you would have been hard-pressed to find companies offering free shipping. Today, however, free and low-cost shipping are the norm, and the marketplace has come to expect it. That’s great for customers, but can be difficult for online retailers. Someone has to pay for the actual shipping costs, and you can’t always find a way to include it in the price of an item and still be competitive with other retailers. So many online retailers have to bite the bullet and take the hit to their profit margins. We’d like to make that hit a bit smaller, by sharing with you the best shipping carrier available.
Each of the giant corporations spends millions of dollars to gauge your opinion and gain your trust when it comes to shipping your package, from sponsoring Nascar cars to Super Bowl and massive TV ad campaign. Lets face it, they cannot all be the best carrier for your next shipment. Some of them are better than others and have mastered their particular networks. Who should you use for shipping, US Postal Service, UPS or FedEx?
Here is our simple and short answer to the question: it depends! None of them are perfect! all have opportunities but each excel in a niche of the business, so lets start with the worst one of them based on feedback from our customers and our own experience in shipping with these carriers:
Delivering more mail to more addresses and to a larger geographic area than any other postal service in the world. No other organization gets mail delivery as correct as the US Mail does. They are not perfect but they have been delivering mail to American homes for nearly 200 years, you can not do better than that! If you have something that fits in a envelope or bubble mailer, use the US Mail for the best in class service. From recent survey, we discovered that tracking shipment is not accurate, delivery time is never what is promised mostly for international mail. The loss and claim process is worst! Often consumers will complain of lack of customer service, appreciation of the business and someone who can take ownership of the problem. So we say ship with the post office if you can afford to replace the merchandise. On time performance based on our recent survey: 23% Great for letters, small packages and low value items.
UPS has established itself as the primary package carrier in the USA. Up until the 1980’s their core business was package delivery via Ground and Air. There is simply no better package carrier in the US. So they are by far my favorite for Ground Packages. They master the freight and ground shipping, recommended for heavy and bulky packages that are not time sensitive. On Time delivery is around 63%. Also, getting a USPS PC Postage account will let you print First Class postage from your printer, offers a rate calculator to determine the least expensive USPS option for your shipment, and offers significant discounts on almost every service that the United States Postal Service offers.
Federal Express slogan “When it absolutely has to be there overnight”. They ran with that campaign and established one of the best overnight delivery services in the business. And up till now, no one can do overnight as well as FedEx can. By far, this is the best carrier that we recommend for time sensitive items that must be there on time or the world will collapse! 92% On Time delivery of the shipment, super accurate tracking and billing system. This is true for both Ground and Express services, however they are not the cheapest so you pay for quality. or smaller numbers of shipments, FedEx offers the Save Now Program. Retailers will be able to save up to 16 percent off the list price on express services, 8 percent on ground and home delivery services, and 60 percent on freight services.
1. If you are shipping small packages with low value and low budget: use the US Post Office.
2. If you are shipping bulky, heavy items, use UPS Ground and UPS Freight.
3. If You are shipping packages for overnight express delivery, use FedEx Express.
4. For packages that have low budget but must be there: Use FedEx Ground, most cases they are cheaper than the Post Office Rates mostly if they are large.