Ship Packages online: Are you new to shipping packages or need a refresher guide? If you need to send a package from point A to point B, here are the cheapest ways to do so this year and the coming years. It contains a step-by-step guide for how to send a package from round the world. You can Plan your shipment based on destination. Just ensure the item is approved by law to be shipped abroad.
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Finding a cheaper way to ship packages is as a matter of fact most important for some people while others may say the best way to ship is whichever option is fastest. However, depending on your priorities and choice, some shipping companies may be far better than others.
Emails, texts and messaging have largely taken the place of physical letters, but there is only so much you can send over the internet. Shipping carriers will continue to do better business so long as there are auction items online to deliver and long distance birthday gifts to be sent out.
UPS, USPS, FedEx, Rush Shipping Companies
The main shipment companies in the United States are U.S. Postal Service, UPS and FedEx. They all provide relatively reliable and qualitative service. Incidentally, you still might find yourself wondering:
- Which is cheaper: UPS or USPS?
- Which is cheaper: FedEx or UPS?
- Are some companies better at Rush deliveries?
- Should you use an alternative shipping carrier?
People differ in things they are looking for says Marc Gorlin, founder and CEO of Roadie, a delivery service based on crowdsourcing and owned by UPS.
Similarly, finding the cheapest way to ship or send packages across is most important for some people while others may think or say that the best way to ship is whichever option is fastest. This idea is solely dependent on your priorities, some shipping companies are way better than others.
These major carriers have mastery and specialty in different areas such as price, package size and delivery speed dimensions says Bryan, a senior product manager for GoDaddy, which owns an e-commerce service for those selling goods online, Sellbrite. For example, USPS often has the most pocket friendly options for small, lightweight packages while UPS is best for larger and heavier items. FedEx has a sweet spot in overnight options when speed is most important.”
To find out more, keep reading for a closer look at which carriers generally offer the best service and the lowest rates possible.
Cheapest Ways to Ship Goods Based on Delivery Speed
While the U.S. Postal Service often has the most cost-effective prices, they have had to struggle in recent years with certain shipping delays. For small items, the USPS is still likely the way to go, but for larger packages, consider the delivery speed relative to the price.
Here is a look at the cheapest postal service option and how fast they will arrive:
- First Class: Prices start at $4.50 for 2-5 day delivery
- Priority Mail: Prices start at $8.70 for 1-3 day delivery
- Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes: Prices range from $9.45 to $21.50 for 1-3 day delivery
These organisations are subject to different limitations though. First Class mail is only available for light packages weighing about 13oz. After that, you will have to move to Priority Mail, but that $8.70 starting price is only for 1-pound packages being delivered to nearby locations.
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For the USPS, flat rate boxes may be the best value since they can contain up to 70 pounds and be shipped across the county for a relatively low fee.
UPS and FedEx also offer ground delivery service with 1-5 day delivery times but their starting rates are $11 and $9.36, respectively, for 1-pound packages and are be delivered in a nearby location.
Both UPS and FedEx also have one rate box that is similar to the USPS flat rate boxes. Ground shipping for UPS runs from $10.15 for very small packages to $27.30 for very large packages delivered in the adjacent 48 states. Whereas, with FedEx, small boxes start at $12.05 and go up to $39.10 for extra-large boxes and a three-day delivery window.
However, pricing is not everything. ‘The USPS has really struggled in the past couple of years,’ says Alison Sanchez, administrative assistant with the North Country Trail Association. In other words, as a non-profit organisation that works closely with the National Park Service, the NCTA uses the U.S. Postal Service for retail mailing and promotional materials. However, for bigger and bulky items, Sanchez says they solely rely upon UPS which seems to be more reliable for deliveries like that.
Best Way to Ship Next Day
If you need delivery to be in a matter of hours, rather than days, you will need an express service such as same day or next day delivery.
Priority Mail Express from the U.S. Postal Service will likely be the cheapest among the major carriers. Delivery times range from next day to two days, with prices starting from $26.95 for a half pound package. Holiday and Sunday delivery costs a little more.
Similarly, UPS Next Day Air Saver will deliver by the end of the next day at prices that start at $29.66 for a 1-pound shipment. This service may not be readily available in all areas, and deliveries on saturday is not an option. FedEx Standard Overnight runs $31.22 for next-day delivery of a 1-pound shipment by 4:30 p.m., provided the delivery location is within 150 miles.
However, for shorter distance deliveries, the best way to ship may not be with the traditional carrier at all. Their customers may pay as little as $12 to have a small item delivered locally via Roadie, which is a major crowdsourcing platform.
The process takes consumers minutes to complete, as well as in most cases, delivery can be made on the exact same day. Roadie drivers go through background checks, and deliveries are insured for $100 although more coverage can be bought.
While Roadie offers service in 90% of the U.S., Gorlin says most deliveries are within 250 miles. The cheapest shipments will be those that cover 50 or fewer miles.
Best Way to Ship Internationally
Pricing for international shipments will vary, depending on the destination. Canada is among the cheapest destinations, and pricing from the major carriers is as follows:
- USPS Priority Mail International Canada: Prices start at $40.45 for a 1-pound package or $30.70 for a small flat rate box of up to 4 pounds.
- UPS Worldwide Saver: Prices start at $72.96 for next day delivery of a 1-pound package.
- FedEx International Ground: Prices start at $22.61 for a 1-pound package.
DHL is another popular carrier for international shipments. Its prices depend on the weight and size of the package and sending a small 1-pound box from the U.S. to Canada will cost at least $81.90.
Cheapest Ways to Ship Packages by Size
The cost to ship items depends heavily on their size and weight so wisely choose when packing goods for shipping.
Wisdom says use the smallest cardboard box to possibly minimize shipping costs, there is another widely-available option with poly mailers. These plastic bags can be padded or unpadded and are a better choice for clothing and other inexpensive items. “Carriers usually charge less for these package types since they do not take up as much space in delivery trucks,” according to Valdemar.
Here are the cheapest ways to ship based on what you are mailing.
- Best shipping method for gift cards: USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope.
- Best shipping method for small packages: USPS Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box.
- Best shipping for medium and large packages: UPS Simple Rate or FedEx One Rate.
- Best shipping style for oversized items: UPS Ground Service.
Best Shipping Method for Gift Cards: USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope
If you are sending a gift card to someone, the cheapest way to send it would be to slip it into an envelope and send it as first class mail from the post office. That would cost you less than a dollar.
However, the USPS recommends using padded envelopes and other sturdy packaging to make sure gift cards reach their destinations in safety. By the time you buy the right envelope and add insurance, you may be better off going with a USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope, which costs about $8.95.
The Postal Service will provide a free envelope for priority or emergency shipping. Plus, most priority mail comes with free tracking and up to $50 of insurance in case the package be lost or suffer damage while on transit.
Best Shipping Method for Small Packages: USPS Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box
Smaller gifts, for example gifts like socks, T-shirts and jewelry, may be best sent using the USPS Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box for $9.45. This box is 8 inches long by 5 inches wide by 1 inch wide approximately and comes with free tracking and insurance worth up to $50 and express delivery.
The runner-up in this category is FedEx Express Saver, which has prices starting at $12.05 for a small boxes sent through the FedEx One Rate service. Delivery may take three ormore days. You could also use UPS Ground Service, with ratings starting at $10.15, but delivery could take a week or more.
Best Shipping Method for Medium and Large Packages: UPS Simple Rate or FedEx One Rate
For medium and large packages, UPS Simple Rate and FedEx One Rate offer similar prices.
While when using UPS Simple Rate, the prices for medium boxes start at $16.95 while large boxes may be up to 1,050 cubic inches have rates beginning at $22.95. FedEx is priced similarly with starting rates at $15.70 for a FedEx medium box and $24.20 for a FedEx large box.
For other things like books, movies or music, packages will be eligible for USPS Media Mail, which apparently is the cheapest way to ship a box. Prices start at $3.19 for a 1-pound package. It is also the slowest way to ship and will take at least a week or even longer. Plus, media mail does not come with any tracking or insurance, which makes it less ideal for gifts and other valuable shipments.
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Best Shipping for Oversized Packages: UPS Ground Service
You will have to look elsewhere other than the U.S. Postal Service for furniture and other heavy or bulky items. Priority Mail through the USPS cannot weigh more than 70 pounds, meaning UPS or FedEx will be your best bet for large and sizeable packages. Both carriers will ship up to 150 pounds through their regular shipping services.
Prices for larger packages depends on the weight, dimensions and subsequently its destination. Let’s assume you are sending a 100-pound box from New York to California, UPS Ground Service is way more expensive than FedEx Home Delivery, but it says it can deliver two days faster. UPS quotes $191.64 with a four-day transit time while FedEx Home Delivery charges $187.80 for 6-day delivery.
Similarly, if you only want to move something across town, rather than across the country, an option such as Roadie might be more pocket-friendly.
In any case, it does not matter which service you use, remember that shipping rates may fluctuate if fuel costs are high and that the prices as stated above are subject to changes at any time. But for now, these are the Cheapest Ways to Ship Packages in 2022.