UPS vs Royal Mail: A Comparison
If you manage an e-commerce business than you know the importance of choosing the right carrier.
Choosing the correct carrier is not just a search for the right supplier. It’s about identifying a serious ally that will help you deliver the best value and service to your customers.
The right carrier will satisfy your customers with the best quality, speed, and cost effective services.
UPS vs Royal Mail
Here at ShippyPro, we want to help you in your search for that perfect carrier.
Today we will be analyzing UPS and Royal Mail.
UPS is based in the United States and is one of the world’s largest freight carries.
Royal Mail is based in The United Kingdom, playing a key role in the UK market. They also effectively serve the international market as well.
In this article we will be analyzing UPS and Royal Mail’s National US services, National UK services, European, and international services.
UPS vs Royal Mail: National US Shipments
|Service||Delivery Time||Cost||Service||Delivery Time||Cost|
|UPS Express Critical||Best available time, provided when order is placed|
|UPS Next Day Air Early||Next business day delivery by 8:00 a.m.|
|UPS Next Day Air||Next business day delivery by 10:30 a.m.|
|UPS Next Day Air Saver||Next business day delivery by 3:00 a.m.|
|UPS 2nd Day Air a.m.||Delivery by second business day by 10:30 a.m.|
|UPS 3 Day Air Select||Delivery by the third business day by the end of the day|
|UPS Ground||Delivery between 1 to 5 business days|
The table above lists UPS’ services for US to US deliveries.
UPS’ services mainly fall into four categories: Same day, next day, two day, and three or more day delivery.
Same Day Delivery is for those critical packages that must arrive on the same day, no matter what day of the year.
Next Day Delivery guarantees delivery your packages the next business day with options of by 8:00am, 10:30am, or 3:00pm.
Two Day Delivery delivers your packages in two business days with the options of 10:00am or by the end of the day.
Three or More Day Delivery provides economic options with a guaranteed delivery by the end of the third business day. Or for the most economic option of delivery between one and five business days.
Royal Mail does not provide specific US Services.
UPS vs Royal Mail: National UK Shipments
This table compares UPS and Royal Mail’s domestic services throughout the UK.
|Service||Delivery Time||Cost||Service||Delivery Time||Cost|
|Same Day Delivery||By end of same business day||UPS Express Plus||Before 9:00 am the next business day|
|Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed||Guaranteed next business day by 9:00 am||UPS Express||Before 10:30 am the next business day|
|Royal Mail Signed for 1st Class||Aim to deliver by end of next business day||UPS Express Saver||Before 12:00 pm the next business day|
|Royal Mail Signed for 2nd Class||Aim to deliver by end of 2-3 business days||UPS Express Critical||Same day delivery within one hour of shipment collection, 365 days a year|
|1st Class Mail||Aim to deliver by end of next business day||UPS Standard||By end of day, 1-5 business days|
|2nd Class Mail||Aim to deliver by the end of 2-3 business days|
Royal Mail offers cost effective options for same day, next business day, and 2-3 business day delivery. These services also differ on potential compensation coverage based on your needs. The other key difference to note is some services offer guaranteed delivery while others cannot promise the parcel will arrive on time, but the success rates are high.
Same Day Delivery guarantees delivery by the end of the day on the same day the delivery order was placed. A special £10,000 compensation coverage option is available for those who need it. Due to the expedited nature of this service it does cost more than their other options.
Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed offers guaranteed delivery the next business day by 9:00 am. Royal Mail is so confident they can fulfill their guarantee that if the package does not arrive on time, they delivery is 100% free. A special £10,000 compensation coverage is also offered.
Royal Mail Signed for 1st Class aims to complete the delivery by the end of the next business day. While this is not a guarantee, the success rate of these deliveries is extremely high. There is an option to add up to £50 of compensation coverage as well.
The Royal Mail Signed for 2nd Class option aims to deliver the parcel by the end of 2-3 business days for a cost effective price. It is worth noting this 2-3 day delivery is only a goal and is not guaranteed, however it does enjoy a high success rate. The optional £50 of compensation coverage is also available.
Royal Mail’s 1st Class Mail serviceaims to complete the delivery by the end of the next possible business day. The success rate of this goal is also very high. Again the difference in compensation coverage is noticed. The potential coverage in this service is only up to £20 instead of the £50 option offered by its similarly priced services.
The 2nd Class Mail service aims to deliver the parcel by the end of 2-3 business days. While not a guarantee it is the most economic option if leniency in delivery time is allowable. Again the compensation is only £20 instead of £50.
UPS offers a wide range of services that can be broken down into same day, next day, and 1 to 5 day categories.
UPS Express Critical offers same day delivery within one hour of collection. This is the perfect option if time is critical and money is no issue.
UPS Express options deliver the package the next business day with times of delivery ranging from 9:00am, 10:30am and 12:30pm.
UPS Standard offers the most economic option with delivery times falling between 1 and 5 days.
UPS vs Royal Mail: Europe
Royal Mail does not have Europe specific services, but their European and international delivery times differ slightly. The table below compares the Royal Mail’s European aspect to UPS’s European services.
|Service||Time of Delivery||Cost||Service||Time of Delivery||Cost|
|International Tracked and Signed||Aim for end of 3-5 business days||WorldWilde Express||1-3 business days|
|International Tracked||Aim for end of 3-5 business days||Express Saver||By the end of the day, 1-5 business days|
|International Signed||Aim for end of 3-5 business days||Standard||By the end of a defined business day|
|International Standard||Aim for end of 3-5 business days||Express Plus||By 9:00 am in 1-3 business days|
|International Economy||Aim for end of 10-15 business days||Expedited||By the end of the day in 2-5 business days|
Royal Mail’s international services are also offered in Europe with the reduction of delivery times. These services can be broken down into two economic options and three slightly more costly options based on the delivery needs.
International Tracked aims to complete the delivery by the end of 3-5 business days. This service also provides end to end tracking of the parcel, giving you peace of mind from start to finish.
International Signed aims to hand you the parcel by the end of 3-5 business days as well. The difference with this service is it requires a signature upon the arrival of the package. This is perfect for sensitive parcels that are too important to be left out sitting on the porch.
International Tracked and Signed brings the best of both worlds to the table. Offering end to end tracking on top of the required signature upon arrival. With the same delivery time of 3-5 days this option is very popular and is the most expensive of Royal Mail’s European/international options.
International Standard is the first of the two economic European options. With a goal of delivery in 3-5 business days and no required signature or tracking system, it is a happy middle ground between cost effective and expensive additional services.
International Economy is the most bare bones European service Royal Mail offers. Completion of the package is expected between 10-15 business days with none of the frills of the other services.
UPS offers all the same services for Europe that it offers internationally.
Standard Service is the most basic service, trading slightly longer delivery times for cost effectiveness.
Express Service offers the opposite with shorter delivery times at a slightly higher cost.
The main difference between UPS’s standard and express services is the mode of transportation. UPS standard services use a truck while express services use an airplane.
UPS vs Royal Mail: International
The table below lists the international shipping services provided by UPS and Royal Mail.
|Service||Delivery Time||Cost||Service||Delivery Time||Cost|
|International Tracked and Signed||Aim for end of 5-7 business days||Worldwide Express||By end of 1-3 business days|
|International Tracked||Aim for end of 5-7 business days||Worldwide Freight||By end of 1-3 business days|
|International Signed||Aim for end of 5-7 business days||Standard||By end of defined day|
|International Standard||Aim for end of 5-7 business days||Express Plus||Before 9:00 am, 1-3 business days|
|International Economy||Aim for end of 6-12 weeks||Expedited||By end of 2-5 business days|
|Express Saver||By end of 1-5 business days|
Royal Mail’s International services are the same as their European services so this section will look very similar to their European services with adjusted longer delivery times, with both economic and more pricey options.
International Tracked aims to complete the delivery by the end of 5-7 business days. This service also provides end to end tracking of the parcel, giving you peace of mind from start to finish.
International Signed aims to hand you the parcel by the end of 5-7 business days as well. The difference with this service is it requires a signature upon the arrival of the package. This is perfect for sensitive parcels that are too important to be left out sitting on the porch.
International Tracked and Signed brings the best of both worlds to the table. Offering end to end tracking on top of the required signature upon arrival. With the same delivery time of 5-7 days this option is very popular and is the most expensive of Royal Mail’s European/international options.
International Standard is the first of the two economic European options. With a goal of delivery in 5-7 business days and no required signature or tracking system, it is a happy middle ground between cost effective and expensive additional services.
International Economy is the most bare bones European service Royal Mail offers. Completion of the package is expected between 6-12 weeks with none of the frills of the other services.
UPS offers several international services, some of these services are the same for shipments in Europe.
Express Saver and the Expedited Service are the most cost effective solutions guaranteeing safe delivery with reasonable delivery times.
Both are door-to-door services with delivery scheduled within 5 business days. Customs clearance is even included.
The Worldwide Express Saver is the fastest international solution UPS has to offer. Delivery times range from 1 to 3 days depending on the destination location (time slots are preset). Three free delivery attempts are included.
Finally, if you choose the Worldwide Express Saver option, free packaging is included in the service at a slightly lower price point.
UPS vs Royal Mail: Additional Services for E-commerce
Royal Mail offers a very unique Articles for the Blind option. This additional service will specially ship books, printed materials, letters, relief maps, audio and electronic media, equipment such as magnifiers and mobility aids up t 7 kg all made to aid visually impaired people. They come delivered at a First Class International rate and are very reasonably priced for a service that can spare no expense.
HM Forces Mail offers special discounted prices for delivering mail to The British Forces Post Office. With guaranteed Special Delivery, First Class Signed For, and Royal Mail 1st Class it is the perfect option for staying connected with the men and women serving their country. They deserve the best mails services and this additional service provides that to them.
UPS’s offers an extensive list of useful additional services to its customers.
The physical UPS stores offer customers business services as well as shipping materials.
The most used additional service is the UPS Access Point.
A UPS Access Point is an efficient and convenient location that allows customers to send and collect their parcels.
Through this service you can also deposit parcels being returned and choose the preferred time to pick up the parcel.
It is an extremely simple service to use.
Once you select the time the package will arrive at the access point, the customer will receive an email or sms message notifying them when their package will be ready to be picked up. Allowing them to collect their package at their earliest convenience.
Only a valid identification card is required for the withdrawal.
UPS Returns is the UPS service that deals with simplifying and managing the returns of its customers. The service consists of 3 options:
- UPS Returns is the standard return service that allows you to create and deliver customer-generated labels that attach to the original shipment or to a new delivery.
Labels can be sent via email or traditional delivery.
- UPS Returns Plus, is the service where UPS is responsible for everything. From label creation to delivery of the item up to final destination, all the responsibly is off your shoulders.
The service has two additional options, a one-day return attempt or a 3-day return attempt.
- Returns via the UPS Web is the service that allows the end customer to complete the reselling process online (via a web browser), including the creation of a UPS return label.
Additionally, companies can link their back-end databases to the yield process, making the most of return product information, thereby reducing costs and improving customer service.
UPS vs Royal Mail: Reviews and Considerations
We at ShippyPro operate in the e-commerce sector, especially in the field of online shipments. We are in daily contact with many domestic and international carriers.
Evaluating all the work of a carrier is not an easy task.
The one perfect carrier does not exist, however, there are certain carriers that are more suited for the needs of your business.
In this article we have introduced the main services of both UPS and Royal Mail.
We want to help you choose the ideal logistics partner for your needs, but there are other considerations we need to look at.
To do this, we will show you the only meter of transparent judgment we have; the reviews of our customers who use UPS and Royal Mail daily to ship domestically and around the globe.
Below are the total reviews of the two carriers formed on the basis of daily feedback from our customers.
UPS vs Royal Mail: Who do we choose to ship?
At this point you understand how difficult it is to determine which carrier is better than another.
It is well known that some carriers work better in some areas than others.
Now, considering that your goal is to provide the best customer service, there is nothing better than trying to enter into a contract with not one, but multiple carriers.
This way you will be able to offer excellent service in every area and every category of product.
Don’t limit yourself to a single shipping service provider.
Instead, look to choose different carriers, each for a specific scope, significantly reducing asset management costs.
In fact, each freight forwarder charges very different tariffs in relation to the weight, size, and destination of the goods.
Compare and choose the best carriers for any type of shipping you make!
Comparing all these carriers is a time-consuming process, but there are services for managing the various shippers that can help.
It’s convenient to pick a software like ShippyPro, which automatically compares the prices of different vendors and allows you to set shipping rules, saving you time and money.
ShippyPro is the complete shipping software for online and offline retail. With Label Creator, Track & Trace, Easy Return and Analytics features, our software simplifies your shipping operations. ShippyPro integrates with over 160 couriers and 80 sales channels, making it compatible with a wide range of products and use cases.