1) Overview of USPS and UPS Carrier in eCommerce Shipping
Are both USPS and UPS looking the same to you? Confused about 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 reliable shipping solutions, they each have a unique range of services and 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 their services. 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 while selecting the most suited shipping provider for your business. Listed below is a detailed UPS Vs. USPS breakdown to help you pick the best carrier for your business needs.
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 and its primary role as a package delivery and logistics service provider. UPS currently employs over 5,43,000 employees and has 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 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 is responsible for providing postal services to the citizens of the USA, regardless of rain or snow.
The USPS offers various services, including first-class mail, standard mail, package delivery, and international shipping. It also offers special services such as Express Mail and Priority Mail. In addition to its traditional mail delivery services, the USPS also operates a large network of post office locations, which offer various additional services such as passport application processing and money order sales.
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 cost-effectively. It is common to get confused between UPS and USPS. However, both are very different entities stemming from two different backgrounds.
UPS is the world’s largest and most publicly traded delivery company. Based in Sandy Springs, Georgia, and founded in 1907, UPS also offers logistics and freight forwarding services. On the other hand, USPS 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 Services
Listed below is a deeper comparison of UPS and USPS based on their priority of services.
- 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. In contrast, USPS does not have much of a stellar reputation and is still working on improving its tracking methods.
- Regarding delivery of packages, USPS is superior, for they can deliver packages within 2-3 business days compared to UPS ground, which takes two weeks.
- The rates of USPS are comparatively more affordable than UPS, especially if the packages are less than 2lbs.
- USPS offers flat-rate boxes that allow several items to be shipped simultaneously.
6) UPS vs. USPS: Which is Cheaper?
The debate between UPS and USPS has been going on for years. While both companies offer similar services, some key differences can make one or the other more ideal for certain shipping needs. Regarding cost, USPS typically offers lower prices - especially for lighter packages. However, UPS can be a better option for heavier shipments, offering discounted rates for larger items.
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.
UPS offers a discount for shipping to residential addresses, while USPS does not. And while UPS charges more for Saturday delivery, USPS offers free Saturday delivery for packages over a certain weight. So which service you choose depends on your specific shipping needs.
7) UPS vs. USPS: Which is Faster?
Speed of delivery is a crucial aspect of any eCommerce business, so 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. This 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.
8.1) UPS Domestic Shipping Services
UPS offers several shipping options for domestic e-commerce companies in terms of speed, cost, and urgency.
- UPS Ground: This is the most economical, affordable, and basic shipping service. Though 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, two other options are available - Early and Saver - the former being delivered in the afternoon and the latter being delivered 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 package's destination, and all possible shipping methods are used. However, the downside is that it is much more expensive than the rest of the options.
8.2) UPS Supply Chain Solutions
- Freight Shipping
UPS Freight shipping services come under its larger banner of supply chain solutions. Freight forwarding includes International air freight, North American air freight, Multimodal freight, Ocean freight, Ground freight, and Urgent freight services. All of these offer freight transportation to 220+ countries worldwide. the freight shipping option you choose depends on your business requirements like - heavy shipments, day-definite delivery, critical delivery, and more.
Under Logistics solutions, UPS provides Warehousing, Ecommerce fulfillment, and After Sales services. UPS operates 250+ global distribution centers and 75+ healthcare centers equipped with the latest temperature-control technology. It uses the same warehouses for fast e-commerce order fulfillment for B2B and B2C customers. Lastly, its Post-Sales service provides onsite repair and replacement. UPS uses over 125 field stocking locations for storing equipment parts for critical orders.
- Add-on Services
UPS also provides several additional services that will benefit e-commerce companies worldwide. These services include customs brokerage, shipping insurance, transportation, and supplier management.
8.3) UPS Business Solutions
UPS offers some great tailor-made services for businesses.
UPS provides a dashboard where online merchants can view orders across various sales channels and marketplaces. They can opt for warehousing for faster shipping performance and provide branded tracking to customers for a better post-purchase journey. It lets customers choose pickup and drop-off points for orders or returns. UPS orders are even delivered on weekends.
Ecommerce sellers can choose whether they want to include a pre-printed shipping label in their orders or ask customers to print it online. Returns can be tracked online in real time by customers and businesses. UPS makes 3 attempts to pick up a return order from the specified location.
9) USPS Services
USPS offers a completely different delivery option, 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 special service is 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 oversized packages. 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.
- 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 compared to UPS.
- Customer service doesn’t have a very good reputation.
12) What are the Features of the UPS API Integration and Tracking?
The UPS API integration and tracking features offer many benefits for businesses that use UPS shipping services. First, the integration allows businesses to automate their shipping processes, including order tracking and package label generation. This can save time and money by eliminating the need for manual data entry.
Second, UPS's tracking features provide real-time visibility into the status of shipments. This information can be used to keep customers informed about the expected delivery date of their orders.
Finally, the UPS API provides access to a range of shipping options, making it easy to find the most efficient way to ship packages. As a result, the UPS API integration and tracking features provide a comprehensive solution for businesses that rely on UPS for shipping needs.
13) What is the USPS API Integration and Tracking?
The USPS API integration and tracking are some of the most popular features of the USPS website. With these features, businesses can easily track their packages and determine their status. They can also get real-time updates on the shipment's progress and see where it is in transit.
This information can be displayed on their website or mobile app and fed into other systems such as customer relationship management (CRM) or enterprise resource planning (ERP). Tracking integration requires a higher level of investment than the USPS API alone. Still, it can provide a significant competitive advantage for businesses that must provide their customers with up-to-the-minute tracking information.
14) How Can ClickPost Help with USPS API Integration and UPS API Integration?
ClickPost has an existing integration with UPS and USPS, among other popular global carriers. With ClickPost, e-commerce brands don't have to integrate with UPSnor USPS separately. The integrations provide functionalities like AWB generation, shipping, order tracking updates, returns management and more.
Additionally, ClickPost ensures that all delivery operations happen within the stipulated SLA terms. It notifies sellers in cases of SLA breach. It also helps with NDR Management, where parcels are delayed in shipping due to internal or external causes.
It also helps with order tracking and pre-shipping journey like Estimated Delivery Date prediction. moreover, integrating with ClickPost means getting access not only to UPS or USPS but numerous other carriers notable for international e-commerce shipping and fulfillment like FedEx, DHL, Aramex, etc.
15) UPS vs. USPS FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions and Answers)
15.1)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 handling of heavy packages, whereas USPS is known for its PO boxes and small packages.
15.2)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.
15.3)Which has better package tracking?
Comparatively, UPS provides better package tracking services.
15.4)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.