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What’s The most cost effective Shipping Option

It has been a while since I’ve done a competitive analysis of the assorted shipping carriers so I thought I’d do a fast update. With the United States Postal Service jacking up their rates every 4-6 months, what was essentially the most economical shipping method is now priced inline and even costlier than among the more reliable carriers like UPS or FedEx.

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Because there are so many alternative shipping variables and options to select from, it’s difficult to make an apples to apples comparison without locking down some of the essential parameters. For the needs of this text, I am going to assume the following.

A 14in X 12in X 3in package is being shipped cross country from California to a residence on the east coast. Incidentally, this is identical size as a USPS Medium Priority Mail Flat Rate Box.
Out of the box pricing for all shipping carriers which implies that lower negotiated rates based on volume will not be taken under consideration.
Labels are being printed online which implies all associated USPS internet discounts apply.

At the top, I’ll also discuss the trade offs between price, shipping time and reliability and provides my take on the best shipping strategy.

If you’re Shipping Something 2 Lbs Or Heavier With A 5 Day Delivery Window…
FedEx Ground or UPS Ground will almost always be cheaper than USPS Priority Mail. Between FedEx and UPS, FedEx can be cheaper than UPS out of the box because they offer you an instant 15% off all shipments only for creating a web-based account(Note: The extent of discount will vary but there’s always a discount program).

Update: As of 2016, both UPS and FedEx at the moment are charging for what is known as “dimensional weight”. Basically what this implies is that if your package is large or oversized, then the shipping charges shall be drastically increased.

The dimensional weight calculation for UPS is currently L*W*H/166. So for example, in case your package is 20X20X20 and weighs 10 pounds, then you definately could be charged for a package weighing 20*20*20/166 = 49 lbs instead of 10 lbs. Otherwise, packages below 5184 cubic feet shall be cheaper than USPS in this category.

The one exception to the above rule is that USPS offers 3 flat rate box shipping options, small, medium and enormous. If you may manage to shove merchandise that’s heavier than 2lbs into a small flat rate box (unlikely), it can save you about 4 dollars.

However more realistically, you have to a medium flat rate box to ship something weighing 2lbs or more. The break even point between FedEx or UPS Ground and a Priority Mail flat rate medium box is about 4 lbs.

The break even point for a big Priority Mail flat rate box is about 7 lbs. So if your item is heavier than 4lbs, use a USPS flat rate medium box.

For those who need a big flat rate Priority Mail box, be certain it’s heavier wig haircut than 7 lbs. Otherwise, FedEx or UPS Ground will always be cheaper.

Note: You may receive significant discounts on USPS shipping by signing up for a ShippingEasy account. ShippingEasy also works with FedEx and UPS so you possibly can easily compare shipping prices. Plus it’s free for up to 50 shipments per 30 days!

If you are Shipping Items Under 2 Pounds…
USPS will always be cheaper than FedEx or UPS hands down. However as the load creeps closer to 2 pounds, USPS pretty much reaches pricing parity with UPS and FedEx Ground.

USPS really shines when your package weighs less than 13 oz and could be mailed via First Class mail. If you don’t care about reliability, USPS is by far the most cost effective shipping option for light items.

In case you Need Next Day Service…
USPS Express is once again the most affordable solution by far and it is guaranteed. The only problem with USPS Express mail is that sometimes the delivery window is 2 days and you won’t know unless you check online.

USPS also doesn’t offer a morning delivery time so in case your client needs something originally of the business day, they’re out of luck.

I’ve also discovered that USPS Express Mail is less reliable than FedEx or UPS Next Day Service. While they “guarantee” their delivery times, what this really means is that they’ll refund your money if the package is delivered late.

This has happened to me several times already and a shipping refund doesn’t make up for having an angry customer.

In case you Need a 2-3 Day Delivery Window…
It is unclear which delivery service is healthier should you need 2-3 day delivery because USPS doesn’t guarantee their delivery times for Priority or First Class Mail.

So while USPS Priority Mail cites a 2-3 day typical delivery time, it could possibly be slower or faster depending on various unknown factors.

In my experience, I’ve had some Priority Mail packages delivered within a single day and I’ve seen delivery times so long as 1.5 weeks. While the latter tends to be an anomaly, overall the delivery speed is somewhat random.

FedEx and UPS however, always guarantee their delivery times but are significantly more Full Lace Wigs With Neat Bangs Peruvian Human Virgin Hair expensive. In some cases, FedEx and UPS will cost you’ll over 2X the price of USPS.

My Take On The 3 Carriers
While USPS is the most cost effective shipping carrier generally, their reliability is well the worst among the 3 carriers. Our online store primarily uses USPS because most of our orders are under 2 pounds. But we routinely get packages delayed or lost in the mail.

This past few months alone, we have now had 3 customers email us wondering where the hell their order was. Given our volumes, 3 customers might be statistically insignificant but having to deal with any unhappy customers is a pain in the neck.

While we don’t check on the status of all of our orders, I can tell you from experience that the quoted delivery times from USPS for both First Class and Priority Mail are completely hit or miss.

In case you are sending a package to some podunk, middle of no where town, it’s more prone to get delayed. Meanwhile, I’ve yet to ever have a FedEx or UPS package delayed or lost.

Ultimately, wig haircut it comes down to reliability vs cost. For light items, USPS is the most affordable if that is your goal. For heavier items >2lbs during which delivery time will not be a factor, FedEx or UPS Ground is the most cost effective.

It’s the 2-3 day delivery window where you have to weigh the trade offs. Do you value reliability Is actual transit time a priority In case you need a package to be delivered on time, use FedEx or UPS. If you are trying to save lots of money, use USPS.

Our online store offers a mix of both. By default, we use USPS shipping to maintain the shipping costs low (our items are typically under 2 lbs). However, if a customer has a tight deadline, we use FedEx.

Speaking from experience, the savings of using USPS is not definitely worth the hassle of pissing off a customer if there’s a deadline.

But it’s tough decision to make because customers are typically turned off by high shipping costs. In fact, the other option is always to lift your prices and lose money on shipping. You have to make the decision.

Cheapest Option to Ship USPS
If you happen to decide to make use of USPS as your primary shipping carrier, the cheapest strategy to go is to make use of a service like ShippingEasy.com.

ShippingEasy.com lets you print “First Class” postage from your printer (the USPS website doesn’t allow this) and offers significant discounts on practically every service that the United States Postal Service offers.

However, you’ll experience the most savings in the event you ship a lot of Priority Mail or Express Mail orders. The very best part is that the service is totally free for as much as 50 shipments monthly.

As well as, shipping with FedEx, UPS and DHL is all nicely integrated into ShippingEasy.com so you only need a single tool to ship across all carriers.

Check them out. We use them as our primary shipping tool.
Cheapest Option to Ship FedEx Or UPS

The one method to get a greater deal on FedEx or UPS is to negotiate. Of course, you’ll need to demonstrate which you could and can ship in volume but that shouldn’t be too hard when you run a web based store.

Ideally, you need to pick one carrier and deal with them. In my experience, UPS seems to be a bit hungrier than FedEx for your enterprise in order that they may be more willing to negotiate. But your mileage may vary. Don’t be too shy to pick up a phone and speak to a sales rep. Good luck!

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