If you manage an e-commerce business than you know the importance of choosing the proper mail courier.

Choosing the correct courier 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 courier will satisfy your customers with the best quality, speed, and cost effective services.


Here at ShippyPro, we want to help you in your search for that perfect carrier.

Today we will be analyzing USPS and UPS’s National US services, National UK services, European, and international services.

Both are based in the US and play an massive role in the global shipping market.



National US Shipments 

Below is a table that compares USPS and UPS’s domestic services within the US.

ServiceDelivery TimeCostServiceDelivery TimeCost
UPS Express CriticalBest available time, provided when order is placedPriority Mail ExpressOvernight Guarantee
UPS Next Day Air EarlyNext business day delivery by 8:00 a.m.Priority Mail1-3 Business Days
UPS Next Day AirNext business day delivery by 10:30 a.m.USPS Retail Ground2-8 Business Days
UPS Next Day Air SaverNext 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 SelectDelivery by the third business day by the end of the day
UPS GroundDelivery between 1 to 5 business days

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.

USPS offers three different major services for domestic shipping. 

Priority Mail Express: This option guarantees overnight shipping and delivery throughout the United States, and it doesn’t require any weighing or calculation for a package up to 70 pounds. It also includes USPS tracking standard and built in insurance of $100.

As a result, this is the priciest of the US options. 

Priority Mail: Priority Mail ships and delivers to any location domestically within 1-3 business days and has similar features to Priority Mail express barring this delivery date. However, it only has an included insurance of $50.

USPS Retail Ground (formerly Standard Post): This is the most standard option and delivers between 2 and 8 operating business days to any location in the United States. There is no included insurance, but the option is available should you wish to pay more.


USPS vs UPS: National UK Services 

Below is a table that show’s UPS’ domestic services within the UK.

ServiceDelivery TimeCostServiceDelivery TimeCost
UPS Express PlusBefore 9:00 am the next business day
UPS ExpressBefore 10:30 am the next business day
UPS Express SaverBefore 12:00 pm the next business day
UPS Express CriticalSame day delivery within one hour of shipment collection, 365 days a year
UPS StandardBy end of day, 1-5 business days

USPS does not offer specific UK Services, but their International options cover the region. We will go over them more in the International section.

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.

The Complete Guide to Couriers

USPS vs UPS: Europe

The following table displays UPS’s Europe specific services.

ServiceTime of DeliveryCostServiceTime of DeliveryCost
WorldWilde Express1-3 business days
Express SaverBy the end of the day, 1-5 business days
StandardBy the end of a defined business day
Express PlusBy 9:00 am in 1-3 business days
ExpeditedBy the end of the day in 2-5 business days

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.

USPS does not offer Europe specific services. It just groups deliveries as International. Thus, we will cover them in the following section.

USPS vs UPS: International 

The table below outlines the different international services UPS and USPS have to offer.

ServiceDelivery TimeCostServiceDelivery TimeCost
Global Express Guaranteed1-3 Business DaysWorldwide ExpressBy end of 1-3 business days
Priority Mail Express International3-5 Business DaysWorldwide FreightBy end of 1-3 business days
Priority Mail International6-10 Business DaysStandardBy end of defined day
Express PlusBefore 9:00 am, 1-3 business days
ExpeditedBy end of 2-5 business days
Express SaverBy end of 1-5 business days

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.

USPS International options include:


Global Express Guaranteed: This option offers shipping and delivery to almost anywhere across the globe in 1-3 business days. The maximum weight for these shipments is 70 pounds and includes USPS tracking and insurance protection up to $100.

Priority Mail Express International: The Priority Mail Express International service delivers within 3-5 business days anywhere in the world and again offers USPS tracking and insurance up to $100 for non-negotiable document reconstruction and up to $200 for merchandise loss, damage, or missing contents.

Priority Mail International: This is the standard option and there is no weighing or calculating needed. Priority Mail International will deliver in 6-10 business days. With Flat Rate Boxes or Envelopes, you pay one rate depending on the destination country. The service, like the others, offers standard USPS tracking and the option for protection up to $100 insurance for non-negotiable document reconstruction and up to $200 insurance for merchandise for loss or damage.

USPS vs UPS: Additional Services for E-commerce 

UPS 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.


USPS also offers several different services and tools through their website that are useful, especially for businesses.

Click-N-Ship® Business Pro™: Click-N-Ship Business Pro is designed to allow commercial package mailers to generate and print labels with Intelligent Mail package barcodes, electronically create and submit shipping manifests through our Electronic Verification System, generate electronic postage statements and pay through electronic payment processes.

Click-N-Ship Business Pro features simplified on-boarding and registration through the Business Customer Gateway that can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. Once the free software is downloaded and account setup is completed, customers will be ready to start shipping.

USPS Tracking: is standard for all shipments. It is a way for you to make sure that your most important packages make it to their final destinations. The US Postal Service can tell you the date, time and zip code where your item was delivered, giving you peace of mind.

Advanced Return Services: Returns are inevitable, so this makes it easy for customers to return a package to you. Create customer loyalty, increase sales, and control costs by giving your customers quick, convenient, and flexible ways to return items through USPS®.

Ways to Provide Return Labels

  • Include one in the original shipment box
  • Use the cloud platform
  • Integrate the returns tool on your website
  • Let customers print their own
  • Request one through Print and Deliver Label Service

USPS vs UPS: 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 couriers. 

Evaluating all the work of a courier is not an easy task.

The one perfect courier does not exist, however, there are certain couriers that are more suited for the needs of your business. 

In this article we have introduced the main services of both USPS and UPS, used heavily at a national and international level.

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 metric of transparent judgment we have; the reviews of customers who use USPS and UPS daily to ship domestically and around the globe.

Below are the total reviews of the two couriers formed on the basis of daily feedback from customers.


USPS vs UPS: Who do we choose to ship?

At this point you understand how difficult it is to determine which courier 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 couriers.

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 couriers, 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.

The best way to manage this important decision is to choose a software that automatically compares the prices of different vendors and / or allows you to set shipping rules, saving you time and money.

The Complete Guide to Couriers