Two of the most commonly used carriers are UPS and USPS. Both offer a wide range of shipping services and can be an excellent choice, depending on your specific needs.
In this article, we'll provide you with an in-depth comparison of UPS vs. USPS, examining their services, pricing, delivery times, and other factors that can help you make an informed decision about which carrier to choose.
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UPS vs. USPS: An Overview
UPS, a US-based logistics and package delivery company, is a giant in the industry. With a presence in over 220 countries, it operates a vast fleet of trucks, planes, and facilities.
UPS provides a range of services, including ground, air, and freight shipping, and also offers e-commerce fulfillment services tailored to help businesses manage their online orders and deliver to their customers.
On the other hand, USPS is the national postal service of the United States, which has been around for over two centuries.
It is responsible for delivering mail and packages to every address in the country, and it operates one of the largest vehicle fleets in the world.
Over time, USPS recognized the growing demand for shipping services related to e-commerce and has created partnerships and initiatives to cater to the needs of business owners and offers a range of services that are particularly beneficial for ecommerce businesses, such as priority mail, first-class mail, and media mail.
Related Reading: Why and How China Post and USPS are Killing Your Private Labeling Business
Delivery Services: UPS vs. USPS
UPS has a bunch of services for both domestic and international shipping:
|Shipping Service||Description||Approximate Price Range||Approximate Delivery Time|
|UPS Ground||Affordable ground shipping service within the same country||$10-$50||1-7 business days|
|UPS Next Day Air||Next-day delivery service within the same country||$30-150||Next business day|
|UPS 2nd Day Air||Two-day delivery within the same country||$20-$100||2 business days|
|UPS 3-Day Select||Three-day delivery within the same country||$15-$80||3 business days|
|UPS Worldwide Express||Fast international shipping service||$50-$500||1-3 business days|
|UPS Worldwide Saver||International shipping service is a bit more affordable but slower than the service above||$40-$400||1-3 business days|
|UPS Standard||Cheap option but with longer delivery times||$15-$80||Depends on the country|
Delivery times can vary, depending on the service you choose. But the faster you want your package, the more you'll have to pay for it.
USPS also offers various services, including:
|Shipping Service||Approximate Price Range||Approximate Delivery Time||Description|
|Priority Mail||$7-25||1-3 business days||Fast shipping service within the US|
|Priority Mail Express||$25-$50||1-2 business days||Shipping within the US for urgent shipments|
|‘First-Class Mail||$0.55-$5||1-3 business days||Cheap shipping option for lightweight packages and non-urgent deliveries.|
|Parcel Select||Depends on the weight||2-9 business days||Groud services for large packages.|
|Media Mail||$2-$10||2-10 business days||Cheap shipping service for books or other stuff but win log delivery times|
|USPS Retail Ground||Depends on the weight||2-8 business days||Ground service for large and heavy packages|
|First-Class Package||$4-$6||6-10 business days||For packages under 16 ounces|
|USPS Priority Mail International||Depends on the country of destination||Depends on the country of destination||Fast international shipping service|
|USPS First-Class Package International||Depends on the country of destination||Depends on the country of destination||Affordable for lightweight packages or letters and for non-urgent deliveries|
Both UPS and USPS offer a range of shipping services that cater to different needs. UPS provides services like UPS Next Day Air and UPS Worldwide Express, offering fast and reliable delivery options both domestically and internationally.
USPS, on the other hand, offers services such as Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express, suitable for ecommerce businesses with varying delivery times and affordable pricing options.
Which Is Cheaper: UPS vs. USPS?
We've compiled the data on how much it costs to ship a 10kg package with UPS vs. USPS, both within the US and overseas.
The following examples are approximate rates for shipping a 10kg (22 lbs) package and the value declared to get the prices presented in the table was the minimum.
UPS vs. USPS: Domestic Shipping
Here's a table comparing the approximate rates for shipping a 10kg (22 lbs) package from California to New York using the various shipping services offered by UPS vs. USPS.
|Carrier||Shipping Service||Price||Shipping Days|
|UPS||UPS Ground||$22.64||Next day|
|UPS 3-Day Select||$56.62||3 business days|
|UPS 2nd Day Air||$70.60||2 business days|
|UPS Next Day Air Saver||$133.50||Next day|
|UPS Next Day Air Early||$167.48||Next day early|
|USPS||Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box||$10.20||2 business days|
|Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box||$17.10||2 business days|
|Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box||$22.80||2 business days|
|Priority Mail||$91.90||2 business days|
|Priority Mail Express 1-Day||$184.95||Next day|
If you're trying to save some bucks on ground shipping, USPS Priority Mail may be your best option. It's a bit cheaper than UPS Ground, but you gotta make sure your item fits in their small, medium, or flat-rate box.
However, if delivery time is a consideration and you need the package to arrive the next day, you should go with UPS Ground, as it offers faster delivery.
For delivery on the next business day, UPS Ground is significantly cheaper than USPS Priority Mail Express 1-Day.
UPS vs. USPS: International Shipping
Here's a table comparing UPS vs. USPS rates for shipping a 10kg (22lbs) package from the US to the UK:
|Carrier||Shipping Service||Price||Shipping Days|
|UPS||UPS Worldwide Saver||$313.18||2 business days|
|UPS Worldwide Express||$325.30||2 business days|
|UPS Worldwide Express Plus||$371.40||2 business days|
|USPS||Priority Mail International||$164.60||6-10 business days|
|Priority Mail Express International||$179.20||3-5 business days|
|USPS GXG Envelopes||$268.25||1-3 business days|
If you're not in a rush to get your package and want to save some money, USPS Priority Mail International is the cheapest option and less expensive than UPS shipping options.
But, if you need your package to get to its destination quickly and within 2 business days, you should consider UPS Worldwide Saver. It's faster than USPS, although to get the cheapest rate you should opt for their UPS 10K box (which measures 17'x13'x11′).
Which Is Faster: UPS vs. USPS?
While UPS usually charges more than USPS for shipping packages, they offer quicker delivery times for some shipping services, especially for international shipping.
USPS also has expedited options for domestic shipments such as Priority Mail Express, but their delivery times are generally not as fast as UPS.
If delivery time is an essential aspect of time-sensitive shipments, then UPS is definitely worth considering.
So, if you prioritize speed over cost, UPS might be your better option.
Which Is Better: UPS vs. USPS?
Deciding whether UPS vs. USPS is better will depend on the shipping needs.
As shown in the table above, UPS is generally faster and more reliable for time-sensitive shipments and they can guarantee delivery within a specific timeframe. However, their shipping services are more expensive than USPS.
USPS, on the other hand, offers more affordable rates and is often the better option for shipping small, lightweight packages. However, their delivery times can be less predictable, and they may not offer as many expedited services as UPS.
Summary: UPS vs. USPS
|Price||More expensive||More affordable|
|Shipping||Express delivery for emergency shipments with same-day or next-day delivery||Offers more affordable rates for small, lightweight packages, especially for domestic shipments|
|Delivery Time||Generally faster and more reliable for time-sensitive shipments||Delivery times can be less predictable|
|Pick-up Services||You can schedule a pick-up from your location||Limited pick-up only available for certain shipping services|
|Tracking Services||Offers an accurate tracking system||USPS offers tracking information but is typically updated less frequently than UPS|
|Locations||UPS has a much smaller network of about 4,800 UPS locations, however, UPS has a larger global network and operates on a larger scale in terms of package delivery and logistics.||USPS is significantly larger than UPS in the United States. USPS operates over 31,000 post offices and retail locations across the country, however, UPS has a larger global presence than USPS.|
When choosing between UPS vs. USPS, it's important to take into account all relevant aspects such as the delivery timeframe, shipping costs, package weight, destination, and level of urgency.
Both carriers provide various shipping services with different features to meet your shipping requirements, so the best option for you will depend on your preferences.
What's your choice when it comes to carriers – UPS vs. USPS? What considerations led you to that choice? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.