USPS vs UPS vs FedEx: Which is the best

Check out how to choose the best option for your eCommerce.
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Last update:

May 3, 2023

Shipping is an integral part of an online business. For an online store owner to be in business, he needs a shipping company that will help him convey all his order fast and effectively to their various destinations. Unfortunately, a lot of shipping companies are slow at fulfilling orders and have poor customer support. This leaves the business owner with the question of how do I find a shipping company that fulfills their orders in a timely fashion?

To be on the safer side, it is advisable to choose a shipping carrier that has a great reputation and has been used and trusted by other merchants. When it comes to reputable shipping carriers, there are three major names which come up: FedEx, USPS, and UPS. However, each of these companies has its strengths and weaknesses. This article will review the strengths and weaknesses of each aforementioned shipping company. Also, it will compare each company's shipping rate and fulfillment time.

We believe after reading this article you will have a better insight into each of these shipping carriers which will, in turn, help you to better choose the one that will be the right fit for your business.


USPS is a shipping company owned and managed by a section of the United States Government. It was created in 1792 under the Benjamin Franklin administration. 

USPS is the no 1. shipping carrier for individuals who want to convey letters or gifts to their loved ones. It is also preferred and used by a lot of merchants. This is because it is affordable and has a decent delivery time. 

Although USPS service is affordable. It is most advisable for those who have lightweight packages to deliver.

Pros of USPS

It is affordable—When it comes to lightweight products, USPS is the most affordable of all the three shipping carriers. It is suitable for shipping products that weigh one to two pounds.  Also, USPS has different affordable packages that you can consider. One of these packages is the Priority Mail package. Priority Mail allows you to ship goods irrespective of its sizes at a uniform price. However, before you can use this feature, your goods must fit into the USPS’s flat-rate boxes. 

It is reputable and reliable—USPS has improved its service over time. Before now, USPS was known for late deliveries and misplaced goods. However, their services seem to have improved over time. There are fewer occurrences of misplaced goods or late deliveries. To deliver inventory in time, USPS ships at midnight. They will also take responsibility and issue refunds for any missing inventories. 

It delivers directly to mailboxes—Unlike other shipping companies, USPS will deliver to your customers' mailboxes instead of their doorsteps. However, they can also deliver to your customers’ doorsteps if you insist.

Cons of USPS

Poor Customer Service—USPS has an epileptic customers support system which makes it difficult to reach them when anything goes wrong with your shipment. Also, there have been different instances where USPS customers claimed that their customer service put them on hold for a long time before attending to them.

USPS’s customer care is not helpful when it comes to making refunds to their customers for their missing goods. Instead, the make replacing missing goods

There have been instances of USPS customer service putting their customers on hold for a long time. Also, although they claim that they will refund missing goods, it subjects its customers to a rigorous procedure that makes getting a refund almost impossible.

Poor Tracking System—Although there are claims that USPS has improved its service, there are instances of shipments going missing. To worsen the case, USPS has a poor racking system that makes it difficult for your customer to track your shipment.


The origin of UPS can be traced as far back as 1907. However, the company did not become UPS until 1919. 

UPS is known for fulfilling its shipment in a timely fashion. It also keeps shipment safe. There are hardly any cases of inventory misplacement or damage. 

One thing that sets UPS apart from USPS is its effective tracking system that allows you or your customers to keep tabs on your goods. UPS, however, charges more than other shipping carriers for their services.  Before you consider UPS here are its pros and cons:

Pros of using UPS

It is affordable for heavy goods—One major advantage of UPS is that it is affordable to move inventories that are over two pounds. With UPS, you can move heavy inventories to your customers with ease.

It guarantees fast and efficient shipping—UPS is known to fulfill their shipments in time. This makes it a shipping company to count on when you want to send goods to your customers urgently.  For urgent deliveries, you can opt-in for their express delivery. Express delivery will get goods delivered to your customers on the same day.

It has an effective tracking system—Unlike USPS, UPS has an effective tracking system that allows merchants and customers to track their goods.  UPS tracking system is detailed and gives you the notification of exactly where your goods are.

Cons of UPS

It is a bit costly—One major disadvantage of UPS is that it is costlier than other shipping companies. It adds other extra charges to your bill apart from your basic shipping fee. 

No Free Pickup—Unlike USPS that offers pickup service for free. UPS will charge you a flat rate for pickup.

No Free Saturday Delivery—UPS does not process deliveries on Saturdays. This implies that any orders that you get during the weekend will need to wait until the next working day. However, for if you need to send inventories on Saturdays, you will need to add the feature as a value-added service. This will cost you more than the basic fee for shipping.


FedEx is another shipping company that merchants who want effective and efficient service should consider. FedEx model is similar to that of USPS and most times they are compared together.

Pros of using FedEx

Saturday Delivery—FedEx offers Saturday delivery as a part of their delivery plan. This, in turn, allows you to satisfy your customers by delivering on time even on weekends.

An Effective Tracking System—In addition to Saturday delivery, FedEx also has an effective tracking system that allows you to track your shipment. This tracking system is detailed and comprehensive.

Negotiations—FedEx allows you to negotiate your shipping cost if you are shipping a large volume of inventory. For you to qualify for this offer, your inventory should weigh at least 50 pounds.

Cons of FedEx

High shipping rates: FedEx is generally more expensive than other carriers, especially for small businesses and individuals.

Limited delivery options: Some FedEx services, such as FedEx Ground, do not offer weekend delivery, which can be a drawback for some customers.

Delivery delays: Like all carriers, FedEx is subject to delivery delays due to weather, traffic, and other unforeseen circumstances, which can lead to dissatisfied customers.

Complex pricing structure: FedEx pricing can be confusing and difficult to understand, with a multitude of fees and surcharges that can be difficult to predict.

Poor customer service: Some customers have reported negative experiences with FedEx customer service, including long wait times and unhelpful representatives.

Limited international reach: While FedEx has a large international network, there are some areas of the world where they do not offer service or have limited coverage.

Environmental concerns: As a company that relies heavily on transportation, FedEx's carbon footprint can be a concern for environmentally conscious customers.

Final Words

Choosing the best carrier among USPS, UPS, and FedEx ultimately depends on individual needs and preferences. Each carrier has its strengths and weaknesses, and customers should consider factors such as pricing, delivery options, reliability, and customer service when making a decision.

USPS is a great option for customers looking for affordable shipping options and those who frequently ship to military addresses or P.O. boxes. They also offer a range of delivery options, including Priority Mail Express, which guarantees overnight delivery.

UPS offers reliable and fast shipping, especially for packages over 2 pounds. They also have a robust international network and offer a range of delivery options, including same-day and weekend delivery.

FedEx is known for their speed and reliability, making them a great choice for time-sensitive packages. They also offer a range of delivery options, including FedEx Ground for residential and commercial deliveries.

Ultimately, the best carrier for you will depend on your specific needs and priorities. Consider factors such as pricing, delivery options, reliability, and customer service when making a decision. It may be helpful to try out different carriers to see which one works best for you.

Written on:

April 8, 2021
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