1) Overview of USPS and UPS Carrier in eCommerce Shipping
Are both USPS and UPS looking the same to you? Confused between these two services? Well, it happens to the best of us. It's a common misconception that both these shipping providers are the same, however, that is not the case. Although UPS and USPS are both reliable shipping solutions, they each a unique range of services and have their strengths and weaknesses.
So which one of these two is most likely to fit your needs? To figure that out, you need to know the differences between the services provided by them. And that is exactly what we’re here to do. In this post, we have compared these two companies on parameters we thought were essential to consider while selecting the most suited eCommerce shipping provider for your business. Listed below is a review of both service providers to get a better understanding of your business requirements.
2) About UPS (United Parcel Service) Shipping
United Parcel Services, a.k.a UPS was established in 1907 in Seattle, Washington, and is presently one of the largest shipping providers in the United States. UPS offers supply chain management services along with its primary role as a package delivery and logistics service provider. Currently, UPS has employed over 5,43,000 employees and has got sales worth $84.4 billion.
UPS offers logistics services like transportation, contract logistics, ground freight, air freight, ocean freight, distribution, insurance, customs brokerage and financing. The company operates via the following segments: U.S International Package, Domestic Package, Freight and Supply Chain, and offers the complete package of U.S domestic guaranteed air and ground transportation services.
Additionally, the company offers an international package that includes operations in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Canada, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Africa. Likewise, the freight and supply chain segment offers transportation, international trade, distribution and brokerage services.
3) About USPS (United States Postal Services) Shipping
The United States Postal Services is an independent agency of the US federal government that is responsible for providing postal services across the country. In 2021, USPS recorded their carrier employees at 516,636 and 136,531 non-carrier employees. USPS has the responsibility of providing postal services to the citizens of the USA, regardless of rain or snow.
Although USPS may not be every merchant’s first option, it sure is a good choice for those looking for small and cost-effective shipments.
4) What is the difference between UPS and USPS?
Generally, UPS specializes in shipping large packages worldwide, whereas USPS concentrates on shipping mail and smaller packages in a cost-effective manner. It is common to get confused between UPS and USPS, however, both are two very different entities and stem from two different backgrounds.
UPS is the world’s largest delivery company and is a public traded company. Based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and founded in 1907, UPS also offers logistics and freight forwarding services. USPS, on the other hand, is not a company, but an independent agency of the U.S Federal Government. Established in 1775 and based in Washington DC, USPS specializes in delivering small packages and letters domestically and internationally.
5) UPS vs USPS: Priority
Listed below is a deeper comparison of UPS and USPS based on the priority of services they offer.
- The package tracking feature is an essential feature for international and domestic shipping, for it increases the reliability of the courier and gives more sense of security to the customer.
- UPS has got a solid reputation for its ability to track packages, whereas USPS on the other hand has not much of a stellar reputation and is still working on improving its tracking methods.
- When it comes to delivery of packages, USPS is superior, for they can deliver packages within 2-3 business days as compared to UPS ground that takes two weeks.
- The rates of USPS are comparatively more affordable in comparison to UPS, especially if the packages are less than 2lbs.
- USPS offers flat rate boxes that allow several items to be shipped at once.
6) UPS vs USPS: Prices
When the package is small and less than 2lbs, USPS offers much better rates, on the other hand, UPS offers better rates when the package is larger and of higher value. The key factor that leads to UPS being much more expensive while shipping smaller packages is the application of surcharges.
7) UPS vs USPS: Speed
Speed of delivery is a crucial aspect for any eCommerce business, which is why it’s essential to select a delivery partner that can deliver shipments according to the specified ETAs. Although UPS and USPS offer overnight delivery, USPS Priority Mail Service has an average delivery time of just 1.7 days, whereas UPS Ground has an average of 2.75 days.
Therefore, USPS is the better choice if your package is time-sensitive. But what is also true is that USPS has more rules and is much more strict about the size and volume of the parcel. Which is why sometimes, UPS emerges as a better and more hassle-free option for cost-effectively shipping large packages.
8) UPS Services
UPS offers a wide range of services to fulfill your shipping needs. Listed below is a brief rundown of some of them.
- UPS Ground: This is the most economical, affordable and basic shipping service offered. Though it is affordable, it is not time-sensitive and the delivery can be completed within two to five business days.
- UPS Next-day Air: UPS is most recognized for its next-day delivery services that allow packages to be delivered on the next business day. With this option, there are two other options available - Early and Saver - the former being delivered in the afternoon and the latter being a delivery after 4 pm local time.
- UPS 2nd-day and UPS 3rd-day Select: This service is best for those shipments that are not urgent. 2nd-day delivery means the delivery is done on the second day business day and 3rd-day Select means the delivery will be done on the third business day.
- UPS Express Critical: This is the fastest delivery option and is available 24/7. The delivery route is decided based on the destination of the package and all possible methods of shipping are used. However, the downside is that it is much more expensive than the rest of the options.
9) USPS Services
USPS offers a completely different set of delivery options, especially for businesses and individuals who wish to send out mail and small personal packages. Listed below is a brief list of the services offered by the company.
- Media Mail: This is a special service for sending out media like audio files and educational videos. Shippers need to follow specific guidelines for handling the different kinds of media, and delivery of this kind ranges from 2- 8 business days, the maximum weight is 70lbs.
- First Class Mail: This service is specifically offered to those who wish to send out small packages weighing 13lbs or less and small envelopes. The estimated delivery time is 1-3 business days.
- Priority Mail: This service delivers packages within 1- 3 business days and offers a flat rate for any package below 70lbs.
- Retail Ground: An economically effective delivery option, specifically designed for the oversized package. However, this option is not time-sensitive.
- Priority Mail Express: This is the fastest delivery option offered by USPS. The packages are delivered overnight.
10) Pros and Cons of UPS
While making comparisons and arriving at an informed decision, it is essential to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each company. Following are the pros and cons of UPS.
- Offers volume discounts if you use their services regularly.
- Best known for their secure and quick deliveries.
- Provides affordable rates for packages heavier than 2 lbs.
- Offers same-day delivery and next day delivery services.
- Provides guaranteed express shipping that has an excellent reputation for timeliness.
- Saturday delivery isn’t considered a regular delivery, it is listed as a value-added service and you will have to pay extra for it.
- The shipping costs of UPS are higher than USPS and the services can cost more due to surcharges and other fees. Especially if you’re shipping internationally, it can be a burden.
- A flat rate is charged for pickup.
11) Pros and Cons of USPS
USPS has its own unique set of pros and cons, such as :
- USPS is the only courier service that can deliver to mailboxes and P.O boxes.
- Provide free packing materials in post offices which can also be delivered to you directly.
- Has a good reputation for making deliveries on time despite harsh weather conditions.
- Through their Priority Mail service, USPS provides flat rate boxes.
- It is the most economical option for small packages, especially packages under 13lbs.
- In terms of tracking, USPS is less reliable as compared to UPS.
- Customer service doesn’t have a very good reputation.
12) UPS vs USPS FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions and Answers)
12.1)Which is the best shipping company between UPS and USPS?
That completely depends on your shipping needs. UPS is known for its reliable tracking and ability to handle heavy packages, whereas USPS is known for its PO boxes and small packages.
12.2)Which shipping company is cheaper for overnight packages
Finding the cheapest provider for overnight packages completely depends on the size and volume of your package. The best way to estimate the cheapest option is by using the rate calculators available on USPS and UPS’s websites.
12.3)Which has better package tracking?
Comparatively, UPS provides better package tracking services.
12.4)Which provider is best for international shipping?
UPS is a better option for faster delivery and larger packages, whereas USPS is a better option for smaller packages that don’t require fast delivery.