Are you worried about the changing shipping prices for the upcoming year 2022? If you are here, then we are sure that you are, and you want to find them out so that you can decide your sales pricing strategy and shipping strategy accordingly. Do not worry. We have got you covered.
Each year, shipping carriers review their prices and update them, keeping in mind the changes in fuel and labor costs. Usually, these updated prices are either put into effect from the last month of the year or the first month of the upcoming year.
Considering it is the last month of the year 2021, this article will share with you the cheapest way to ship a package in 2022, hence also covering the updated prices of the same. The topics covered in this article are:
- Cheapest Shipping Based on Delivery Speed
- Cheapest and Best International Shipping Options
- Cheapest Shipping Options Based on Package Size
- Cheapest Shipping Options Based on the Package's Weight
- Other Ways to Save Your Shipping Costs
- Updated Shipping Charges of USPS, FedEx, and UPS
- Comparison Between FedEx, UPS, and USPS
- How Can Deskera Help You with Shipping Your Packages?
- Key Takeaways
- Related Articles
Cheapest Shipping Based on Delivery Speed
Based on which service you choose, the time frame of its delivery period would be determined. This section of the article will share some of the preferred shipping services of the USA and their respective delivery time-frames. Remember, this is only for those parcels that weigh around 10 lbs or lighter.
Best Options for Next Day Shipping
In case you are in need of a next-day or overnight delivery service, then FedEx and UPS have more competitive rates than USPS. With strategic hubs located throughout the world, UPS and FedEx are usually preferred for expedited shipping. Hence, the services that you should be looking for are:
- UPS Next Day Air Saver
- FedEx Standard Overnight
What needs to be noted here is that while you might come across USPS Express Mail having cheaper rates, they “guarantee” their delivery times. This means that your package can reach your customers later than when it needed to reach. In such a scenario of late delivery, USPS does refund your shipping costs, but it does come at the risk of you having an angry customer and negative customer feedback.
Best Options for Next Day AM Shipping
Similar to next-day shipping options offered by FedEx and UPS, they also offer services with guaranteed delivery by noon on the following day. The rates for the same do not vary a lot between both of these carriers. Hence, the best options for next day AM shipping that you should check out are:
- 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)
Best Options for 2-3 Days Shipping
Usually, 2-3 days shipping works best with USPS Priority Mail. While FedEx and UPS Ground do offer similar delivery times, USPS tends to be the cheapest choice amongst all. However, if your package starts weighing 7 lbs or more, it is UPS and FedEx, which offers cheaper and more competitive rates.
What needs to be noted here is that USPS offers no services with guaranteed 2-day delivery. However, in contrast, FedEx 2 Day or UPS 2nd Day does offer services with guaranteed 2-day delivery. Hence, if your parcel needs to reach strictly in 2 days, then FedEx and UPS are the options that you should resort to. This will ensure that your customer remain loyal, you have increasing sales and you have ensured positive brand awareness.
In the case of residential surcharges, you should keep in mind that they are applied when you are using the services of FedEx or UPS to ship to a residential address.
Oftentimes, you would realize that you are paying $3-$4 extra per shipment only after you receive your invoice. This is because the carrier you choose might not have recognized a certain address as a residential address.
In contrast, USPS does not charge extra for shipping to residential addresses, as it has anticipated well-in-advance that they will have to deliver parcels to each and every residential address as well. However, this is also the reason why heavier parcels are becoming more expensive with USPS than with UPS and FedEx.
One of the biggest advantages of offering free shipping through USPS is that it is the only domestic carrier that can ship to PO boxes or mailboxes. This hence means that home deliveries do not accrue delivery surcharges as it happens if you are using FedEx or UPS as your shipping carriers.
Cheapest and Best International Shipping Options
Some of the best and cheapest international shipping options that you can consider are:
If your parcels weigh 4 lbs or lesser, First Class Mail International is the most economical option for shipping your packages. However, what needs to be noted is that First Class Mail International has no estimated or fixed delivery time period, which means that your package may take weeks to reach its final destination. This may impact your sales velocity negatively, leading to a fall in your revenue.
In case your package weighs 4 lbs and more, USPS Priority Mail International offers more competitive rates.
If you want fast delivery for a package that you want to ship internationally, then USPS Priority Mail International is the shipping carrier you want to check out, as often they provide the best rates.
Your other option is FedEx which might offer comparable rates with delivery time frames with their Economy International service.
If you are in need of expedited delivery for your international shipments, FedEx International Priority offers a slight edge over the UPS Worldwide Express. You should hence check them both out, to see which suits you the best.
Cheapest Shipping Options Based on Package Size
In addition to your delivery time and geographical location, the size of the package too plays a major determining factor in deciding your shipping rates. The more space your package takes in the back of the truck, the more expensive its shipping rates will be. This is because a larger package would mean that the carrier transport would be able to ship fewer parcels at a go.
While one of the ways to have steady shipping costs is by opting for flat rate packages, they do not always guarantee lower prices. Hence, in this section of the article, we will be exploring some packing options, along with the cheapest shipping services that you can opt for.
Best for Envelopes or Flats
If you have the option of using First Class Mail, then that is what you should opt for as First Class Mail Envelopes and flat rate envelopes have the lowest prices. After this, your second option is using USPS Priority Mail. What you need to remember here is that First Class Envelopes do not offer tracking.
Best for Small Packages
Regardless of whether you are shipping First Class Mail, Media Mail, Priority Mail Package, or Flat Rate, it is USPS that will generally offer you the best rates for small packages.
Best Cubic Pricing
The best cubic pricing rates are offered by USPS Priority Mail. This is a special service that allows you to ship small as well as heavy items at a lower shipping rate through USPS. If your package weighs less than 20 lbs, the formula for finding their cubic feet is:
Cubic Feet= Length x Width x Height/1728
Note: Cubic pricing is broken down into five categories, ranging from 0.1 to 0.5 cubic feet.
Best Dimensional Pricing
This is the inverse of cubic pricing. In the case of dimensional pricing, your shipping rates would increase if your parcel is taken to be too large in comparison to its weight. This is because packages take up space while being shipped through cargo vehicles, airplanes, etc., hence leading to higher shipping rates with larger package sizes.
Dimensional pricing works in the following manner:
- Multiplying the parcel’s dimensions by a divisor. The parcel’s dimensions are: L x W x H
- The larger the divisor, the cheaper your parcel would be. USPS has the lowest rates when it comes to dimensional pricing.
- Domestic Dimensional Formula for UPS, FedEx, and USPS:
Cheapest Shipping Options Based on the Package’s Weight
Weight is another of the major determinants of your shipping rates. While we have already discussed cubic and dimensional weight pricing, some of the most cost-effective shipping services based on their respective weight groups are:
Best Options for Under 1 Pound
USPS First Class Mail is the best option for packages that weigh less than 16 oz. In case if you are shipping physical media, USPS Media Mail is a more affordable option.
Best Options for Under 5 Pounds
Usually, if your package weighs between 1 lbs to 5 lbs, then USPS Priority Mail is your most affordable option. However, as discussed above, if your package weighs less than 16 oz, in that case, USPS First Class Mail is the best affordable option too.
Best Options for Heavy Packages
For domestic parcels that weigh more than 5 lbs, FedEx Ground and UPS Ground are typically the best options.
Other Ways to Save Your Shipping Costs
While there are several other options through which you would be able to save your shipping costs, like having shipping insurances or choosing a different shipping carrier, some of the ways through which you would be able to save your shipping costs are:
One of the advantages of using the shipping services of UPS and FedEx is that through them, you would also be able to use hybrid services for shipping and delivery. This means that while you can get your parcels picked up by FedEx or UPS, the final delivery will be made by USPS.
This becomes a cost-effective service because it is one of the ways through which you would be able to save yourself from added costs like residential/delivery surcharges. In fact, with the final delivery being taken care of by USPS, your packages can also be delivered to the PO boxes or mailboxes.
Hybrid services hence have comparable and competitive rates too, with their delivery time being the same as that of standard USPS Priority services.
Some of the most common hybrid services that you can check out are:
- FedEx SmartPost- A contract-based service that combines FedEx Ground with USPS.
- UPS Mail Innovations- A contract-based service that combines UPS Ground with USPS. This hybrid service works best for small parcels under 1 lb.
- UPS SurePost- This is a combination of UPS Ground and USPS services. This hybrid service works best for large parcels that weigh up to 20 lbs.
Shipping insurance is often a main extra cost that you do not want to pay for unless you have to. However, that does not mean that you have to pay more than it is needed. The two things that you have should, however remember are:
- Many shipping services offer default coverage for insured values under a certain price.
- The default insured values are as follows:
- Third-party insurance options can be significantly more affordable.
Updated Shipping Charges of USPS, FedEx, and UPS
To know the updated shipping rates of USPS, click here.
To know the updated shipping rates of FedEx, click here.
To know the updated shipping rates of UPS, click here.
Comparison Between FedEx, UPS, and USPS
While all of these shipping carriers offer services that will satisfy the majority of your shipping needs, the difference lies in the minute details. It would be on the basis of these details, along with their prices, that you would be able to determine whether they are a good fit for your business or not.
Advantages and Disadvantages of FedEx
FedEx, aka, Federal Express lives up to its name as no one can match its speed in shipping. FedEx offers fierce competition to UPS and USPS through its overnight shipping options like FedEx Priority Overnight and FedEx First Overnight. Additionally, it also offers shipping services all across the week.
While FedEx is more expensive than USPS, it does come with a superior and assured positive shipping experience, along with an advanced tracking system. This will make your customers satisfied and happy, and in the long run may even convert into higher net profits with a healthier profit and loss statement.
FedEx also boasts that its Delivery Manager will allow you to monitor your order and even set preferences for location, time-slots, and other such details. On top of it, sometimes FedEx is less expensive than UPS.
The only major drawback of FedEx hence is that its pricing may not always suit your business, especially if yours is a small business.
Advantages and Disadvantages of USPS
USPS being the national postal service, has advantages like a vast network of drop-off points and offices. So vast that it cannot be matched or competed by any of the other shipping carriers like FedEx and UPS.
Additionally, its overall pricing, which is the cheapest of the three, cannot be beaten by the other two carriers. With over 146 billion mail-pieces being processed by USPS every year, USPS is the most popular and unbeatable carrier.
However, its drawbacks are its weak customer service, unreliable delivery times, packages taking longer to reach the customer due to its high daily mail load, and faulty tracking due to scanning issues. All of these may cause a major brunt on your cash flow statement, while also posing a risk to your accounts receivable.
On the flip side, though, the cheaper rates and vast network might also help you improve your cash flow by solving customer's pain points all across the country, especially at competitive rates, therefore satisfying many of your buyer personas.
You would hence have to objectively decide what will work best for your business, and whether USPS is the right choice for the same.
Advantages and Disadvantages of UPS
UPS has become the favorite shipping carrier for eCommerce because of its lower prices than its competitors for the majority of its services, high quality of services, a vast network of drop-off points and offices- which also covers rural and remote areas of the USA and even worldwide and a more developed international network than that of FedEx. UPS will hence help you reach all your leads, and be able to close deals with them without being worried about their geographical location.
However, considering the various determining factors that go into deciding your shipping rates, if you choose UPS as your primary shipping partner, you will have to be prepared to spend more than you would be spending with USPS and FedEx.
How Can Deskera Help You with Shipping Your Packages?
By using this system, you would be instantly notified as to which of your warehouses has sufficient stock. Based on this information, you would be able to generate the picking list of your order within seconds. In fact, by using Deskera's mobile app, you would even be able to scan the bar-code of your products so that you can pick them up from the warehouse within seconds.
Deskera understands the importance of packing your products to keep them safe during delivery and avoid them from getting misplaced. With the Pick-Pack-Ship system of Deskera Books, you would have the flexibility to be able to configure the different types of cartons as well as the number of items per carton.
Additionally, you would even be able to choose your suitable delivery option of courier, pick-up, and drop-off, where you would even be able to select the carrier for each package and then keep track of its delivery status in real-time. In fact, from the “apps” tab, you would even be able to connect with FedEx and USPS so that you can track your packages with them based on their tracking numbers and update your clients accordingly.
Deskera Books, with its Pick-Pack-Ship system, is designed to ensure that you have a smooth experience while shipping your packages. Additionally, Deskera Books will also keep track of the expenses accrued during the same, recording them on the relevant financial statements and reflecting their impact on financial KPIs.
While USPS, UPS, and FedEx come with their own advantages and disadvantages, which would be the best fit for your business in terms of price as well as services is something that you would be the best judge of.
Overall, to summarize:
- USPS has the cheapest rates with unreliable delivery times and more than 34,000 operating offices across the USA, which does make it more accessible.
- UPS has the best services, with its network extending in remote and rural locations in the USA as well as worldwide. However, it is a more expensive choice that you would be making.
- FedEx has the best tracking system with the fastest delivery times. FedEx, too is well-known for its superior services. Its prices and how cheap or expensive they are is something that you would have to check for yourself.
Hence, depending upon the type of business you are, as well as your and your customer’s priorities, you would have to choose your shipping partner. Something that is cheaper to you financially should not result in you decreasing your customer’s retention or discourage returning customers. Having an in-depth understanding of what your business is and stands for and what your customers expect from you is thus the best way you can make a decision.