The primary carriers in the United States, USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL, offer a wide variety of holiday shipping services — so varied that consumers often are unaware or confused as to which service is the best option for their shipments. This can lead to overpaying for unnecessary services or receiving unexpected fees due to package sizes or the speed of delivery. Before you tie the bow and send off that gift this holiday season, take some time to understand the most affordable shipping services available to you, and save some money along the way.
USPS Holiday Shipping
Most affordable: USPS Retail Ground is the most affordable option with prices starting at $7.95. Retail ground ships packages up to 70 pounds, and delivery is 2-8 business days, making it an affordable option for gifts that aren’t time-sensitive.
Added value: USPS Priority Mail is the federal carrier’s most popular option due to its speed of delivery — all shipments are guaranteed in 1-3 days. While it costs more than Retail Ground, it is a valuable option for more urgent shipments.
UPS Holiday Shipping
Most affordable: UPS Ground is the most affordable shipping option from UPS. It’s often more expensive than USPS ground service but has faster delivery times, and UPS is known for its quality of service. For consistent service at an affordable price, UPS Ground is a quality option for less urgent shipments under 50 pounds.
Added value: UPS Next Day Air is one of the carrier’s signature services. As the service name indicates, Next Day Air guarantees delivery by the next business day. While this option costs more, it could be your best option if your gift or product is especially time-sensitive.
FedEx Holiday Shipping
Most affordable: FedEx Ground is the most cost-effective shipping option from FedEx. Similar to UPS Ground, it guarantees deliveries in 1-5 days, depending on the shipping distance. FedEx Ground allows for packages up to 150 pounds, which makes it a popular option for large shipments.
Added value: FedEx One Rate is a flat rate shipping option that allows you to select one of 12 FedEx packaging options that differ in size and shape. This gives customers a convenient way to know what price they will pay for whatever can fit in the box. FedEx’s tracking capabilities are also widely known as the best in the industry.
DHL Holiday Shipping
Most affordable: The cheapest option when using DHL services is DHL Parcel. It’s important to note that DHL Parcel is available only to businesses and does not manage shipments for private customers. Delivery is guaranteed in 1-8 days, depending on the size and destination of the shipment.
Added value: DHL is known for international shipping. Its International Standard service delivers packages up to 44 pounds in 4-8 days throughout Canada and Europe. For e-commerce businesses with an international footprint, DHL is the industry standard.
Holiday Shipping with AIM Mail Centers
While we’ve listed eight services from the four main carriers, each carrier has several more options at varying price points and package requirements. Navigating each company’s website in search of all of the separate services and their pricing can be frustrating. To ensure that you get the holiday service that you need at a price that you can afford, contact AIM Mail Centers.
Speaking with our experienced professionals is like having a personal assistant. We’ll present all of your holiday shipping options, including the carrier, delivery time, and pricing. You just have to pick the one that you prefer. We can even prepare your package for shipping. For more information on your most affordable options this holiday season, find an AIM Mail Center in your area.