Cheapest Ways to Ship: How to Slash Cost & Deliver in Confidence

Logistics can be hard for small businesses. It’s challenging to know which third-party logistics service offers the most value.

Sometimes a large majority of your business depends on shipping products to consumers. Selecting the wrong service can start to eat away at your bottom line. To remain profitable, it’s essential to understand what factors affect shipping rates.

Fast shipping times are important to customers today. Remaining competitive with shipping times could be the difference between a sale or an abandoned shopping cart. Whether your using shipping software to complement your ERP or you’re just trying to save time and money — these are the fastest ways to ship for less, period.

Which Service offers the Best 2-3 Day Shipping Costs?

Most small businesses rely on 2-3 day shipping for the majority of their deliveries. That’s why we decided to start here first.

The best option for 2-3 day shipping is USPS. Even though UPS and FedEx offer similar delivery times, they don’t compare when it comes to cost savings.

USPS offers the best prices for 2-3 shipping for smaller packages. Smaller packages would be any packages seven pounds or less.

After that, UPS and FedEx become more competitive.

Which Service Offers the Best 2-Day Shipping Costs?

While USPS is cheaper, they don’t offer any service that guarantees a two-day delivery. For packages that need a two-day window, you’ll do better with one of these services:

  • FedEx 2 Day Delivery
  • UPS 2nd Day Delivery

While it costs more, it’s more dependable. The benefit is that they can guarantee delivery within the two-day timeframe.

As a small business, it’s important to meet logistic deadlines. It helps you maintain customer loyalty.

Which Service Offers the Best Options for Next Day Shipping?

For overnight or next-day shipping, FedEx and UPS become more competitive with USPS. FedEx and UPS are the carrier of choice for expedited shipping. That’s because of their hubs located around the world.

You’ll get the best value with these two services:

  • UPS Next Day Air Saver®
  • FedEx Standard Overnight®

Again, both of these offer dependable services that USPS cannot beat.

Which Service Offers the Best Options for Next-Day AM Shipping?

Like Next-Day Shipping, UPS and FedEx offer guarantees for delivery times before noon. Also, the rates between UPS and FedEx don’t differ too much.

Here are a few services to consider:

  • FedEx Priority Overnight® (by noon)
  • FedEx First Overnight® (by 10:00 am)
  • UPS Next Day Air® (by noon)
  • UPS Next Day Air® Early (by 10:00 am)

Research these options to figure out what works best for your small business.

Which Service Offers the Best International Shipping?

If your business offers international shipping, you’ll want to understand global pricing.

Shipping packages that are four pounds or less? First Class Mail International is your best option. Are your packages over four pounds? USPS Priority Mail International is a better choice.

You’ll want to keep in mind that USPS doesn’t offer guarantees on delivery times. That means your customer could be waiting weeks for their package—something to consider.

Which Service Is Best for Fast Delivery?

Need fast delivery? USPS Priority Mail Express International offers the best rates. Another solid option is FedEx Economy International Service. Don’t forget about UPS Simple Rate, either, it’s fast, affordable and easy to use.

Which Service Offers the Best International Expedited Delivery?

USPS is fine for fast international deliveries. Nonetheless, it can’t compete with FedEx and UPS for expedited service.

FedEx International Priority® offers a cheaper way to ship than UPS Worldwide Express®.

Which Service Offers the Best Rates by Package Size?

The package size will often determine your shipping rates. That’s because the more space your package takes in the truck, the less the driver can deliver in one load.

To slash costs, opt for flat-rate boxes. It’s important to note, this won’t always save you money, of course. In that regard, it makes sense to check out other shipping options you can consider.

Which Service Offers the Best Rates for Envelopes or Flats?

At this point, we hope you’re noticing a trend. For smaller, lighter packages, USPS is the way to go. In this instance, opt for First Class Mail.

If you need tracking, opt for USPS Priority Mail as First Class Mail doesn’t offer tracking.

Which Service Offers the Best Rates for Small Packages?

USPS offers the cheapest ways to ship small packages. This is true whether you’re using any of the following:

  • First Class Mail
  • Media Mail
  • Priority Mail Package
  • Flat Rate Package

Again, and we can’t stress this enough. USPS doesn’t guarantee shipping times, so if you’re in a rush, you may want to consider other services.

Which Service Offers the Best Cubic Pricing?

When it comes to cubic pricing, Flat Rate Select offers the best prices. This pricing allows you to ship small, heavy items at a cheaper price.

Here is the formula to use to calculate cubic pricing for any packages under 20 pounds:

(Length x Width x Height)/1728 = Cubic Pricing

The opposite of cubic pricing is dimensional pricing, let’s see who offers the cheapest ways to ship.

Which Service Offers the Best Dimensional Pricing?

Dimensional pricing happens when a package is too large based on its weight. Any product that is large yet lightweight would fit this category.

Dimensional Pricing multiplies the length, width, and height by a divisor. The larger your divisor, the lower your shipping price.

Here’s how it breaks down between UPS, FedEx, and USPS.

From this table, USPS offers the cheapest ways to ship.

Automate Your Shipping Process

Need a hand with calculating the cheapest ways to ship? ReadyCloud offers a hybrid-cloud shipping software solution to help you automate your logistics so you can make today’s shipping statistics work in your favor.

We offer reduced prices on labels and a whole suite of other shipping services.

Need even more tips? Read our related guide: Your Guide to Ecommerce Shipping in 2021.

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