USPS vs. UPS vs. FedEx: Who's cheapest?

December 17, 2012 2:45:52 PM PST
If you're sending Christmas presents to friends and family far away, shipping time is now. But what's the most cost-effective way to ship?

The cost-compairson website Cheapism.com compared the cost of shipping five- and ten-pound packages, using the United States Postal Service (USPS), United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (FedEx). They also compared overnight, two-day and ground shipping options.

And the site's founder says he was surprised by the results.

Max Levitte says, "We looked at different times, we looked at different distances and at different weights, just to kind of see the various options and the Post Office always came as the cheapest option."

For overnight shipping, the post office was up to 50% cheaper. And you can save even more if you use the post office website and have the package picked up, instead of taking it to the post office yourself. You'll also save by shipping to a business, instead of residential, address.

The main reason the post office came out ahead: those flat-rate shipping boxes.

Levitte explains, "You can stuff them. You can go up to 70 pounds on those boxes and still get the same rate."

However, if your package is more than 70 pounds, you'll want to choose UPS.

You'll also want to choose UPS or FedEx if you want to track your shipment.

Levitte says, "If you're looking for tracking, then UPS and FedEx give you tracking over everything, while the Post Office gives you tracking over some types of shipping and no tracking over other types of shipping."

To check out all the details on Cheapism.com's shipping survey, click here.


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