Thursday, November 11, 2010

UPS vs FedEx vs USPS: Holiday Shipping Made Easy - Viewpoints

Holiday ShippingYou know that you are going to have to make at least one shipment this holiday season, and those shipping costs can add up fast! The alphabet soup of carriers can get confusing: U.P.S vs. U.S.P.S. Which is faster or most affordable? The important letters to remember are: O.P.T.I.O.N.S, and we’ve created this simple post to help you know what those are. By comparing the United States Postal Service (USPS), FedEx, and the United Parcel Service (UPS), we’ve found that you can save $28 just by choosing the right carrier. Check out all of the the recommendations below for easy holiday shipping.

Same Day Delivery

 Choose: UPS or FedEx

Why: Both offer same day delivery options. USPS does not offer this service. Same day delivery could cost hundreds of dollars. Pricing is customized for each same day delivery request so there is no real “ballpark” figure when considering same day delivery. If you desperately need something delivered by today, contact either UPS or FedEx to speak to a customer service representative.

Overnight Delivery

 Choose: USPS

Why: It’s cheaper. For typical holiday shipments like small packages and letters, USPS does the job with the least damage to your wallet. You can calculate overnight shipping costs online for all three shipping providers. Below you can see a sample price comparison for an overnight holiday gift shipment. We saved around $28, $27.83 to be exact, in this sample shipment by choosing USPS over UPS. (These calculations are based on shipping a 5 pound package from Pittsburgh, PA to San Diego, CA.) 

Price Comparison


Two-Day or More Delivery

 Choose: USPS or FedEx

Why: Again, either of these options is probably cheaper than UPS. If you do not need to deliver your package urgently it’s smart to calculate the price of your shipment online. USPS is still likely to be cheaper than other options but it’s worth it to check online before choosing which service to use.

USPS Rate Calculator:
FedEx Rate Calculator:
UPS Rate Calculator:

International & Military Shipments

It’s important to remember that international and military shipments take longer than domestic shipments. Mail can be delayed during the holiday season so if you are planning to make a shipment to a loved one overseas you need to act early. Use the holiday shipping calendar posted by USPS to find shipment cut-off dates for international and military shipping. Even if you do not use USPS for your shipment, the deadline chart is a great resource to ensure that your package gets there in time. 


Choose: USPS

Why: You can do all of your holiday shipping without ever having to leave your house! They offer an online shipment process in which you plan your shipment, order shipping supplies, and print postage at home. Once your package is ready to be shipped you arrange for an at-home pickup. FedEx also offers an at-home pickup service but the USPS online process is more user-friendly.



Do you have holiday shipping tips? Leave a comment below, or write your own review of FedEx, USPS, or another shipping service.

Great tips for shipping holiday packages!

Jason Archambault
Fastpack Packaging Inc.

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