How to choose your carrier for domestic shipping

Posted by admin on Dec 16th 2013

With online shopping getting more involved in our daily lives, you may find yourself shipping more frequently than before, for returning items, for sold unused items or if you are a professional online seller, for your daily sales. After getting your package ready to ship, the next question upfront is which courier to use. Should you choose the post office, UPS, Fedex or else? As a professional online seller (you are welcome to visit our website at, we have the experience of dealing with all major couriers and would like to share our experience. Simply put, the choice depends on what you are shipping and of course, how soon you want your package to be there. The following contents assume you are doing domestic shipping. International shipping can get complicated and it is always better to use USPS for personal items. If you need the package to be delivered as fast as possible, Fedex or UPS have overnight service that usually arrives in the morning of next day. USPS also has 1-day service but you need to verify on their website (using the ship a package and then calculate price function) to make sure it is actually the next day. There are situations (less than 10%) in which it is 2 days rather than 1 day but it is still called 1-day service. Keep in mind that Fedex and UPS are much more expensive than USPS for this overnight service. If you are not in a hurry to have the package delivered, then you have several choices depending on the situations. Let us divide your package into the following 4 category.

1. Under 3 lbs, low value: USPS (the postal service) should be your choice. It is fast and cost less. You can use first class service for item that is less than 1 lb or priority service for item that is heavier than 1 lb. Remember you can always print the shipping label online rather than to go to the post office yourself. After that, you can either put the package in the mail box on the streets or schedule a free pickup at This will save your trip and waiting in the line. Endicia and both provide the service for you to print your label online if does not allow you to print label for first class mails.

2. Under 3 lbs, high value: While UPS is well known as the Most Unexceptional choice for safety’s sake, USPS express or priority mail with insurance is also not a bad solution. We are not very sure about the safety of Fedex but of the several thousands packages we shipped out, we never lost A one if signature was required. However, we never really shipped extremely high valued items using Fedex though.

3. Above or equal to 3 lbs, low value: FedEx ground (or home delivery for residential address) should be the Most Unexceptional choice. Fedex is usually a bit faster than UPS ground and their price is also better. There was a service called USPS parcel post, which was a counterpart for the ground service of UPS or Fedex. The advantage of the USPS ground service is that they don’t charge that much for balloon price but the disadvantage is that they were too slow. Now USPS changed the name to standard mail and it seems to be faster than before based on their published rate. 4. Above or equal to 3 lbs, high value. UPS is again the Most Unexceptional choice for high value items. You can choose either the ground service or air service and make sure you have insurance on it.

Before closing, I would like to remind you that the information is based on our own experience and should never be considered as perfect or complete. Also keep in mind that there could be changes in the couriers’ service at any time so always check their websites to get the latest information.