Which Shipping Company is Cheaper for Large Items: USPS or UPS?

The debate between UPS and USPS has dragged on for years. While both companies offer similar services, some key differences may make one or the other more ideal for certain shipping needs. In terms of cost, USPS usually offers lower prices, especially for lighter packages. However, UPS may be a better option for heavier shipments, as it offers discounted rates for larger items.

When the package is small and weighs less than 2 pounds, USPS offers much better rates; on the other hand, UPS offers better rates when the package is larger and of greater value. The key factor that makes UPS much more expensive when shipping smaller packages is the application of surcharges. Of the three major carriers, USPS is often the most economical option. After that, UPS comes second, and FedEx ranks as the most expensive (although arguably the most reliable) carrier.

Offering the best combination of affordability and service, USPS is the most popular small e-commerce shipping solution. For packages that weigh less than 16 oz, USPS is almost always the most economical way to ship. However, UPS Ground can be less expensive when packages weigh more than 2 pounds. The most economical way to send large and light packages is usually USPS Priority Mail, with varying prices.

If you need faster delivery, shipping packages is the most economical option. UPS is usually a bit cheaper than FedEx. UPS shipping rates are just as competitive and remain one of the leading courier services, especially in a price battle between USPS and UPS. Every time someone searches for “Companies similar to the United States Postal Service” in their search engines, UPS is guaranteed to appear in the first search results.

The USPS has recently updated its shipping software and, together with other transportation providers, offers tracking information on all priority mailing addresses to USPS P. O. boxes. If you can't divide your shipment into two smaller boxes, consolidated shipping may be the best option, as you won't have to pay for the oversized shipping fees charged by USPS and other package carriers.

Shippers use shipping zones to measure the distance a package travels (not in miles, but in groups of zip codes) from the point of origin to the destination. Standard shipping is always cheaper than expedited shipping, and ground shipping is always cheaper than standard (UPS Ground, FedEx Ground, USPS Retail Ground). FedEx Ground or UPS Ground shipments almost always offer a cheaper shipping rate than USPS Priority Mail. FedEx offers discounts based on monthly shipping volume when opening a free merchant account or through shipping software.

While USPS is the cheapest shipping company in most cases, its reliability is easily the worst among the 3 transportation companies. Finally, the UPS API provides access to a variety of shipping options, making it easy to find the most efficient way to ship packages. If companies want to know the rates and the carrier to ship with, they should contact a shipping solution specialist at each shipping company. That's why savvy carriers rely on Pitney Bowes shipping software to simplify the shipping process and ensure they get the best deal for every package they ship.

So which one should you choose? Generally speaking, if your heavy package weighs less than 70 pounds (they don't ship packages over 70 pounds), USPS is your best bet. If your package weighs more than 70 pounds, UPS Ground and FedEx Ground are your cheapest (but slowest) options. For packages that weigh less than 16 oz., USPS is almost always your most economical choice; however if your package weighs more than 2 pounds then UPS Ground may be cheaper. If you need faster delivery then UPS or FedEx are usually more cost-effective than USPS Priority Mail.