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FedEx vs UPS vs USPS Shipping Options: Which Carrier Should You Use?

Every eCommerce retailer will agree that bringing your A-game when it comes to fulfilling the expectation of customers can be quite complex. And with the logistics and shipping industry continuously evolving, it appears that eCommerce fulfillment won't get any easier for merchants.

That's why most new retailers always get to that stage where they have to search for the best shipping options for their business. And in doing so, they have to battle with two key problems associated with fulfilling buyer orders, which are:

  • What the cost of shipping the packages will be
  • Where to get the cheapest shipping options or most competitive rates

In the US, you’ll find many shipping carriers but three of them seem to stand out – FedEx, UPS, and USPS. Now there's no denying that these three carriers have top-notch shipping options and services. But since every merchant has its goals and needs, not every carrier will be a good fit for them. To help you decide, let's do some comparisons between FedEx, USPS, and UPS shipping options. 

UPS vs USPS vs FedEx shipping options

These major carriers operate in the same industry but that doesn't mean they offer entirely similar services. They have areas of specialization that should be of interest to your eCommerce brand. Let's talk about them briefly.

FedEx shipping options

FedEx is a shipping powerhouse in the US mostly concerned with overnight and express shipping. Although it's not necessarily an emergency shipper, it’s the carrier you pick when looking to ship fast. When compared to UPS, it has a marginally more affordable service when it has to do with standard overnight delivery. Most B2B eCommerce brands tend to use FedEx as their principal carrier.

But it doesn't end with being the go-to carrier for B2B brands. FedEx also is the leading choice for people who want to ship temperature-controlled packages and other specialty goods. With their proprietary cold packaging and other boxes, you won’t need gel packs or dry ice to make sure your package stays between 35-46°F for two to four days. So you will mostly see eCommerce food businesses using FedEx. 

USPS shipping options

Starting out in 1775, USPS has grown to become popular amongst folks. It was able to do so by promising to offer cheap rates while delivering universal services for everyone. As of now, the company has legal permission to interact with every US mailbox. This carrier has also gone on to build no ordinary network, which empowers it to reach every American household via mail delivery. One additional benefit is that its network positions it as one of the cheapest shipping options for different mail delivery types.

Speaking of its area of specialization, USPS mostly handles packages of smaller weights below twenty pounds. That means they take care of orders involving goods like cosmetics, books, clothes, etc. Its Priority Mail cubic is one of the standout aspects of the carrier’s activities because it gives customers access to special discounts. In such a case, the shipping price to be paid doesn't depend on the total weight of the package but on its outer dimensions. 

UPS shipping options

When looking to move bulky packages, the shipping carrier that comes to mind is UPS. That’s to say commodities like pre-assembled furniture, large gadgets, electronics, etc., are handled best by UPS. Its per package max weight is capped at 150 pounds, unlike what you get with USPS where the max weight doesn't exceed 70 pounds. 

This carrier also stands out because of the cheaper rates associated with its different express services. While we think they are affordable, you’ll probably end up paying just a little bit more to have UPS move your eCommerce packages than you would with USPS. You'll also find does it offers a UPS Express Critical service which is meant to handle packages that need to be delivered under strictly limited timeframes. This emergency delivery service will get your package to any destination around the world within 24 hours. 

UPS also specializes in shipping and delivering items of high value. You can ship packages worth up to $50,000, and you’re covered by insurance. That’s why many tend to turn to UPS when shipping luxury goods like rare items, collectibles, elite watches, etc. 

What’s the Best Carrier for Your eCommerce Brand?

The fact is, consumers are doing more shopping online today, with more than 75% of customers buying stuff at least once monthly. The virtual shopping culture is becoming the new norm and retailers are seeing a surge in traffic. If you want to be able to meet the shipping expectations of your customers, then you must be flexible in your choice of shipping options. That means you must find a way to integrate most of the leading carriers into your delivery strategy so you can offer shoppers more options to choose from. 

If your eCommerce brand is growing, then you need to fine-tune your shipping strategy. That’s because what you consider to be the best carrier today might no longer work tomorrow, depending on factors such as the kind of order you’re looking to ship or when the customer wants it delivered. 

So you might realize that it’s better to use UPS to send out a bulkier package rather than USPS. Staying fixed with one shipping carrier will become a limitation in similar situations. A multi-carrier approach to shipping is, therefore, the best solution to cater to different kinds of customers. 

Optimize Your Shipping Strategy with Fenix

Due to the number of orders that merchants need to cover, getting it right with shipping can be overwhelming. Now is the time to find a surefire way to fulfill customer orders in the most optimal way by offering different shipping options while keeping costs as low as possible. Consider using FenixCommerce. 

Fenix is an AI-driven software that helps retailers optimize their customers' experience by pooling data from different shipping carriers, including FedEx, UPS, and USPS, and displaying it in real-time to shoppers as they fill their carts. That allows buyers to see different shipping options with transparent costs and expected delivery dates so they can choose what carrier is best for them based on their circumstances.

By doing so, Fenix helps reduce the EDD uncertainty associated with shopping, thereby helping to reduce cart abandonment while driving up your sales. Request a demo today to see how Fenix can help you improve your conversion rate by inducing your customers towards checkout with flexible shipping options.

Akhilesh Srivastava

Author: Akhilesh Srivastava
Founder and CEO of FenixCommerce

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