United States Postal Service
United States Postal Service

Best for shipping non-critical packages

Experts say that prices at the Unites States Postal Service (USPS) can't be beat for almost any type of shipping or package size. And though some USPS services have longer transit times, reviewers say that if you can wait an extra day you'll save a lot of money. The USPS also delivers to post office boxes, Army post offices (APOs) and fleet post offices (FPOs), which is a service that none of the other carriers provide. The USPS will save you money in packing supplies as well -- all Priority Mail boxes are provided for free. They'll even deliver supplies to your door at no charge. The drawback is that the Postal Service falls short when it comes to the ability to track packages; the USPS website just can't give you the type of detailed tracking provided by FedEx and UPS.
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FedEx
FedEx

Most reliable overnight delivery

Reviewers claim that FedEx is the carrier of choice for air deliveries, including last-minute deliveries. They are so reliable that even the U.S. Post Office contracts with them for their Express and Priority Mail shipments. Although FedEx can't compete with the USPS on price, they do offer more air-delivery options, such as two early morning overnight services in addition to two- and three-day options. What's more, all air deliveries are guaranteed through FedEx, while only Express Mail is guaranteed at the Postal Service.
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UPS
UPS

Best for ground deliveries

With nearly 63,000 shipping locations (compared to 51,000 for FedEx) it's not hard to find a UPS branch in your area. Services provided at these locations are very similar to those offered at FedEx, but the company is best known for its ground-delivery service, which can sometimes be more affordable than that of the USPS and slightly faster, too. All shipments through UPS have guaranteed on-time delivery, with the exception of ground shipments mailed during the holiday season. Tracking is far better than the service offered by the Postal Service -- every time your package is scanned its location and delivery date is updated online.
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DHL
DHL

International shipments

DHL is best known for its affordable pricing and reliable international delivery service. Reviewers say that the German-owned company has strong international ties and is the only company who can successfully deliver to some obscure locations. DHL is not bound by U.S. sanctions and embargoes and can thus deliver to places that the USPS, FedEx and UPS cannot, such as North Korea and Cuba. Note that DHL has suspended U.S. ground operations due to mounting financial losses. International delivery to and from the United States will continue.
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