Guest Blog From: VIPparcel
Any small business owner who sells merchandise online has faced a dilemma: what shipping carrier to choose? The issue is there is no solution that fits everyone’s needs. The choice depends on the type, value, size, and weight of a product, as well as shipping destination and delivery times.
As a small business owner, we know how you feel about lacking time. Certainly, investing in researching your shipping options is worth of your time since the way you ship might determine the future success of failure of our business.
After all, every online retailer wants an efficient shipping option to get orders delivered safely and on-time.
Let’s take a look at the major shipping carriers USPS, UPS, and FedEx and compare them on three essential shipping factors: reliability, delivery time, and price.
Shipping Carrier Comparison
The U.S. Postal Office is definitely the CHEAPEST shipping solution for a small business. USPS handles 47 % of the world’s mail volume and offers a variety of shipping options depending on your needs.
If you have small light weight items to ship, the USPS budget option is its First Class Mail. You can send a parcel up to 15.99 ounces at a USPS retail price starting $2.62. The downside is that it is also the longest delivery time which takes about 5 business days.
If you need a guaranteed delivery within 3 business days, choose Priority Mail Service. USPS has been dramatically improving its reliability reputation. Sarah Ninivaggi, a USPS spokeswoman, stated that in 2015 more than 90 % of USPS packages were delivered on time.
Priority Mail Service is low-cost and has other few benefits such as no fuel changes (unlike FedEx or UPS), free pick ups, free shipping supplies, free tracking, and $50 included insurance.
Also, the Postal Service offers Priority Flat Rate and Regional Rate shippings. These rates bring a greater saving value for small businesses and help you avoid a hassle to estimate a shipping cost. The prices are always the same, just choose either a box size or a destination where you are shipping.
USPS has an overnight/one-day delivery. Priority Express Mail service is the fastest USPS shipping option. Obviously, the speed will cost you more money too.
You can save your business more money with additional USPS discounts provided through VIPparcel. It is an easy-to-use website to calculate the USPS shipping costs, purchase and print discounted labels, and manage and track your shipping orders.
FedEx’s mission is to get your package anywhere and on time, but more expensive than USPS. The least expensive option is FedEx Home Delivery ®. It might be an alternative to consider when you ship to a customer’s residential address at no rush. FedEx guarantees to deliver you parcel within 5 business days, yet expect to pay extra to include Saturday delivery.
According to statistics, FedEx delivered 88% of its mails on-time and lost only 0.55%. FedEx gives its customers free packaging supplies and a standard $100 insurance.
FedEx offers Flat One Rate as well. You only pay for a package size and a shipping zone, defined as local (0 – 150 miles), regional (150 – 600 miles), and national (above 600 miles). Although, double check the price before you pay for your postage. When you calculate your shipping costs, FedEx at first shows you only base rate. Make sure you enter your package weight and check the delivery time.
You might see the price jump, for example from around $20 for shipping large flat rate box with FedEx Express Saver® to over $70 for FedEx First Overnight® for the same parcel.
Consider checking a price for the USPS Express Flat Rate box. The trick is you will get a guaranteed one-day delivery for the price of FedEx Express Saver® delivery in 3 business days.
FedEx and UPS offer Same-day delivery, which might cost even more than the items you sell, but if the products cannot be delivered overnight via USPS or a buyer needs it that fast, we suggest you to choose FedEx as a slightly less expensive option than UPS.
UPS primary focus is on-time on delivery, which applies to its high shipping costs. UPS is a leader in delivering packages ordered online. It delivered 91% of its shipments on-time.
One of the advantages of sending via UPS is its shipping tracking system, which gives really precise updates on a real-time package location.
Because UPS is basing its services around delivery times, UPS is the most expensive among three carriers. Its least expensive option is Ground shipping, yet not cheap. Notice that unlike USPS, UPS or FedEx do not offer free pick ups, and charge extra for Saturday deliveries.
Overall FedEx or UPS are great reliable shipping solutions, but fit better for large enterprises. Both give significant discounts on massive volume. It is possible to negotiate discounts with FedEx, yet even then the shipping cost still noticeably drains your wallet.
NOTE: The rates reflect the price for a Large box 12x12x12.
The provided example shows the significant difference in prices due to FedEx’s and UPS’s dimensional weight charges
Shipping and Small Businesses
In this consideration, for a small business, USPS is the best shipping carrier, while FedEx and UPS are much higher. Priority Mail shipping method has become as reliable as FedEx and UPS, but USPS wins by being dramatically cheaper.
You can make your USPS shipping costs even more efficient when you link your Kyozou account to VIPparcel shipping option, and buy and print USPS postage labels online. You will get exclusive discounts for all the domestic shipments and even greater savings on the USPS international shipping.
The best thing is that VIPparcel is absolutely free to use, and will add a $50 sign up bonus for Kyozou users. Kyozou users can easily set it up in Step 7 of the Control Panel. We suggest you to try printing your shipping labels via VIPparcel; it will help your store offer free shipping without losing in profits. Choosing a shipping carrier makes a difference in your bottom line. Any additional savings that you can make will benefit you.
This shipping carrier comparison was provided by VIPparcel to help online businesses save more when it comes to shipping.