Comparing Different Shipping Services

Comparing eCommerce Shipping Services

Understanding USPS, UPS, FedEx vs DHL Shipping Solutions

Captain Kirk has the USS Enterprise, Batman has the Batmobile, Knight Rider has KITT. The hero of every epic adventure needs a reliable source of transport. As the hero of your business journey, every eCommerce entrepreneur also needs their own amazing method of transportation that they can count on to get their goods to customers. 

In the shipping industry there are many competitors that bring a variety of offers to the table, like overnight delivery, courier services, freight forwarding, and more. In general, for a brand to reach maximum success, the shrewdest tactic is to partner with a 3PL like ShipMonk that works with a wide network of shipping carriers so your products can go out in the time frame, and at a cost, that benefits you best. 

That being said, it is definitely helpful to understand the benefits each shipping carrier brings to the table. After all, Kirk, Batman, and Knight Rider know the ins and outs of the transports they’re counting on. So you too should understand the different shipping options that exist, the main players being: USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL. As an innovative 3PL, ShipMonk optimizes between this extended network of carriers and their shipping service options to provide the best customer experience through economy, standard, and 2-day shipping. Continue below to get the scoop!

USPS Shipping Service 

“The only carrier permitted to touch every mailbox in the US.”

Established on the promise of providing affordable shipping to all Americans in the late 1700s, USPS is one of the most user-friendly shipping options available. As a matter of fact, it is the ONLY carrier permitted to touch every mailbox in the US, and over the years has grown an extensive network to be able to reach all those mailboxes at low cost and fast speeds. USPS is best for smaller, lightweight packages (under 20 pounds) with a maximum weight of 70 pounds per package. Think – books, clothing, stuffed animals. 

USPS shipping services offer specially-discounted options, for example “Priority Mail Cubic,” which charges you based on the package’s dimensions, not weight. Additionally, USPS shipping includes free tracking with real-time updates until a package reaches its final destination. 

UPS Shipping Service 

“The oldest and largest commercial ground distribution network in the US.”

Whereas USPS has a strong track record for smaller, lighter packages, UPS is a shipping leader for larger, heavier packages. Think – refrigerators, stereo systems, furniture. Accordingly, UPS has a maximum weight of 150 pounds (more than double the USPS threshold). 

UPS offers many unique express shipping services (though typically higher priced than the USPS shipping services). One example is UPS Express Critical – UPS’s emergency delivery service that can get packages to their final destinations around the world within 24 hours. Another example of an area UPS shines in is in the shipment of high-value items; UPS is a trusted shipping company for luxury products ranging from collectibles to designer goods. Other UPS benefits include:

Free Tracking – so you can monitor a package right to your customer’s front door.

Commercial Discounts – that are negotiated on a case-by-case basis and are provided to high-value shipping partners (i.e. 3PLs like ShipMonk that ship innumerable products representing thousands of eCommerce clients). 

FedEx Shipping Service 

“The originators of the overnight express service.”

Whereas USPS and UPS hold distinctions in terms of pricing and services related to package size and weight, FedEx is known for its speed and specialty. FedEx provides reliable express shipping and overnight shipping options. If you need to get a package somewhere quickly, this is the service most frequently relied upon. Additionally, FedEx excels in shipping specialty items such as perishables, food, and products that depend on strict temperature control. In keeping with this specialty, FedEx has boxes outfitted with their proprietary cold packaging material—keeping shipments between 35°F-46°F for up to 96 hours without having to use dry ice or gel packs. Like UPS, FedEx also offers free tracking so you can monitor a package right to your customer’s front door.


The largest international distribution network.” 

DHL is known for fast and dependable global shipping. ShipMonk is proud to utilize DHL in our extensive network of shipping carriers because of the company’s impressive emphasis on speed, value, and service. 

In terms of speed, DHL’s time-saving shipping application and fast transit times set the bar high in the transportation industry. In terms of value, DHL helps eCommerce clients get the most out of their budgets by customizing shipping services to meet unique needs. And in terms of service, DHL shipping specialists are dedicated to making every part of the shipping process as quick and efficient as possible—offering simple tracking tools, fast online billing, and worldwide networks to get eCommerce goods where they need to go as swiftly as possible.

Regional Shipping Carriers

Like any shrewd 3PL, ShipMonk also utilizes regional carriers to help eCommerce clients get their products to customers as quickly as possible. Regional carriers complement national carriers, improve transit times, and increase capacity. Regional carriers also provide more flexibility when it comes to avoiding capacity constraints, peak season surcharges, and carrier delays. Some regional carrier partners ShipMonk proudly utilizes include: LaserShip®, OnTrac®, and ACI®.

LaserShip® – Since 1986, this last-mile delivery carrier has serviced the Eastern and Midwest United States. Though based in Vienna, VA, LaserShip® has sorting centers in Ohio, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Florida.

OnTrac® – OnTrac is actually a logistics company that contracts regional shipping services in the Western United States, servicing: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Colorado.

ACI Transport® – This logistics company is “built around adaptability, communication and integrity.” Overall, ACI is committed to reinventing transportation brokering standards so eCommerce brands and their customers are satisfied with their order fulfillment processes.

Keeping Your Shipments Safe

Different shipping services and shipping carriers have their own policies regarding limited liability. This type of shipping “insurance” can be complimentary or paid depending on the package and the estimated cost of the contents inside. However, while shipping entities will vary in terms of their policies, with ShipMonk, eCommerce clients don’t have to stress about keeping their packages safe because we have MonkProtect.

The MonkProtect platform enables secure order deliveries and keeps your customers updated and satisfied from start to finish. From startups to enterprises, MonkProtect empowers eCommerce business with a seamless post-purchase experience. Main highlights include:

  • Delivery Protection
  • Branded Tracking Page
  • Automated Claims Portal
  • Customer Notifications 
  • Order Processing 

The Shipping Service Made for the Forward-Thinking eCommerce Brand

As you can tell, each of the four main players in the shipping industry has its areas of specialty. Those distinctions, along with cost, speed required for delivery, reliability, and type of goods, contribute to your shipping capabilities as an eCommerce brand. If you’re an eCommerce business owner, definitely take ALL these factors into consideration if you’re about to embark on managing your own shipping relations. 

However, if you are an eCommerce brand that doesn’t want to deal with the headaches and minutiae of shipping every single package yourself, partner with an internationally-trusted 3PL fulfillment provider like ShipMonk that has an extensive network of distribution centers, advanced automation, and warehouse facilities designed to get your shipments out efficiently and accurately. 

At ShipMonk, we work hard to find shipping solutions that meet your budget and time requirements, have systems in place to maximize your success, and utilize data-driven software to give you the tools you need to avoid backorders. While USPS, UPS, FedEx and DHL may not have transports as tricked-out as the rides Kirk, Batman, and Knight Rider use, we ensure that our methods of shipping transportation give business owners the number one benefit they care about: a reliable method to get packages where they need to go when they need to get there. 

Contact our team now for a quote on our 3PL fulfillment services!

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