DHL vs Purolator: Which Carrier Is Better in 2024?

DHL and Purolator are two super popular shipping companies, and they both have unique advantages depending on what you need.

In this article, we'll compare DHL vs. Purolator, checking out their shipping services, prices, delivery times, and other stuff to help you decide which one to go with.

Related Reading: Canada Post vs. Purolator vs. UPS vs. FedEx: 2023 Comparison

DHL vs Purolator: An Overview

DHL is a global shipping company that provides express mail and logistics services. 

With a strong presence in over 220 countries and territories, DHL offers a wide range of shipping solutions, including international express deliveries, freight transportation, and e-commerce services. 

DHL vs Purolator
DHL delivery van parked on a city street.

Meanwhile, Purolator is a Canadian carrier that focuses more on serving the Canadian market that provides various domestic and international shipping options. 

Purolator is great for shipping within Canada, and they also offer special services like same-day delivery and cater to specific industries like healthcare and retail.

Purolator has built a strong network within Canada. This means they know their way around the logistics landscape in the country, resulting in efficient delivery services for domestic shipments.

UPS vs. Purolator
A Purolator truck driving to deliver a package.

DHL vs Purolator: Delivery Services

DHL offers a wide range of services, both domestic and international. Here are all the services that DHL provides:

Shipping Service Description Approximate Price Range Approximate Delivery Time
DHL Express International express delivery Starts at $20 1-5 business days
DHL Express 12:00 Time-definitive delivery at 12:00 Starts at $30 Next business day
DHL Express 9:00 Time-definitive delivery at 9:00 Starts at $20 Next business day
DHL Economy Select Affordable international shipping option Starts at $40 4-8 business days
DHL Parcel Connect Domestic and international parcel delivery service Starts at $10 Varies by destination
DHL Freight Freight transportation and logistics  Starts at $100 Varies by destination
DHL Supply Chain Supply chain management Customized price Varies by project
DHL Ecommerce Options for ecommerce business Varies Varies by destination

Delivery times can vary, depending on the service you choose. Keep in mind, though, that if you want your package to arrive faster, you'll have to shell out a bit more money.

Purolator also offers various shipping services, including:

Shipping Services Approximate Prices Delivery Times Description
Purolator Express Starts at $15 Next business day Fast delivery for time-sensitive shipments within Canada
Purolator Ground Starts at $10 1 to 3 business days Affordable option for non-urgent shipments within Canada
Purolator Express US Starts at $15 1 to 3 business days Fast delivery for time-sensitive shipments to the US
Purolator Ground US Starts at $10 2 to 7 business days Affordable option for non-urgent shipments to the US
Purolator Express Intenational Varies by destination Varies by destination Shipping service for sending packages outside of Canada.

Besides these, Purolator also offers specialized services for industries like healthcare and retail.

UPS and Purolator provide a variety of shipping services to accommodate diverse needs. UPS offers services like UPS Next Day Air and UPS Worldwide Express, ensuring quick and dependable deliveries for both domestic and international shipments.

On the other hand, Purolator provides services such as Purolator Ground and Purolator Express, specifically tailored for shipments within Canada. 

Which Is Cheaper: DHL vs Purolator?

By comparing the rates for each carrier and service, you can choose which shipping option is the most cost-effective for your needs.

The following examples are approximate rates for shipping a 5kg and 30x46x9in package and the value declared to get the prices presented in the table was the minimum.

DHL vs Purolator: Shipping to the US

Here's a table comparing DHL and Purolator rates for shipping a 5 kg package from Canada to the USA:

Case Study: 5 kg package from Canada to the US
Carrier Shipping Sevice Price Delivery Time
DHL DHL Express $161.37 2 business days by the end of the day
DHL Express 12:00 $164.85 2 business days by 12:00
DHL Express 9:00 $170.60 2 business days by 9:00
Purolator Purolator Ground US $75.30 5 business days
Purolator Express US Guaranteed $317.63 Next business day by the end of the day
Purolator Express US 10:30 AM $334.58 Next business day by 10:30 AM
Purolator Express U.S. 9 AM Guaranteed $465.05 Next business day

Based on the provided prices and delivery times, Purolator Ground US ($75.30) is cheaper compared to DHL Express ($161.37). Although DHL Express offers a delivery time of 2 business days and Purolator Ground US takes just 5 business days, Purolator is still worth it.

DHL vs Purolator: International Shipping

Here's a comparison table of shipping services between UPS and Purolator for sending a 5kg package from Canada to the UK. 

Case Study: 5 kg package from Canada to the UK
Carrier Shipping Service Price Shipping Days


DHL Express  $331.41 3 business days by the end of the day
DHL Express 12:00 $334.89 3 business days by 12:00
DHL Express 9:00 $354.59 3 business days by 9:00


Purolator Express International Guaranteed $426.05 2 business days
Purolator Express International 12 PM Guaranteed $448.24 2 Business days

Based on the table above, for international shipping, DHL tends to have more competitive rates compared to Purolator.

Taking into account the analysis made above, it appears that DHL offers cheaper shipping options for international shipments compared to Purolator for the specific services mentioned, and Purolator offers cheaper options for US shipments.

However, pricing can vary, depending on factors such as package weight, dimensions, and any additional services required.

Which Is Faster: DHL vs Purolator?

DHL is known for its efficient international express deliveries and typically offers faster transit times for international shipments. Their strong global network allows them to provide expedited delivery options, making them an excellent choice for time-sensitive international shipments.

Purolator, on the other hand, is primarily focused on domestic shipping within Canada. Purolator can often provide fast and reliable delivery services for domestic shipments within Canada, especially for regional and national destinations.

For domestic shipments within the United States, DHL Express offers fast delivery options similar to its international services. However, in the United States, Purolator does not have the same level of presence as it does in Canada, so it might not be a direct contender for domestic shipments within the US.

DHL vs Purolator
DHL Airbus A300-600F airplane.

So if you need your package to arrive quickly, DHL is the best option in most cases. However, if you ship within Canada, Purlorator is the best choice.

Which Is Better: DHL vs Purolator?

Based on the comparison provided earlier, DHL and Purolator each have their strengths in different areas:

DHL is better for:

  • Quick international shipments
  • Reliable and efficient deliveries to various destinations worldwide
  • Extensive global network and experience in international express services

Purolator is better for:

  • Swift and dependable domestic shipments within Canada
  • Cost-effective options for shipping within the country

Therefore, the better option between DHL and Purolator depends on your specific shipping requirements. If you frequently ship internationally and prioritize fast service, DHL is likely the better choice. On the other hand, if your shipments are primarily within Canada, Purolator would be the preferable option.

Ultimately, the “best” carrier depends on your individual needs and priorities. 

Final Thoughts: DHL vs Purolator

In conclusion, both DHL and Purolator are reputable shipping carriers with distinct advantages tailored to specific shipping needs. 

If speed and efficiency in international shipments are important, DHL is the best choice, boasting a strong global network and expertise in international express deliveries. Contrarily, for quick and reliable domestic shipments within Canada, Purolator stands out as an excellent option, offering cost-effective solutions.

When deciding between the two carriers, it's essential to evaluate your specific shipping requirements, including destinations, delivery timeframes, package sizes, and overall shipping volume. By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and select the carrier that best suits your shipping needs.

Helena Fernandez Morano

I'm proud to be part of an amazing group of talented political scientists who never shy away from blazing new trails, especially in uncertain times. Outside of my work in this field, I delve into the fascinating world of eCommerce. I'm always eager to join projects with scope, where I can team up with people who inspire me.

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