Reviewers say the following about mailing letters and packages with the
major shipping companies:
- Whenever possible, ship early. Ground delivery,
especially Parcel Post and Media Mail from the USPS, is much more affordable
than air delivery. When a shipment is local, these services are often
as fast as any others.
- Pack items yourself. You'll pay a hefty premium to have
your items packed for you. If you need to ship something breakable,
it might be worth paying shipper to do this if they include a guarantee
- How important is tracking? FedEx, DHL and UPS have better online tracking
tools than the USPS. Tracking a package sent through the Postal Service
costs extra, and experts say the website isn't nearly as informative
as those of the competing services.
- Compare prices. You can check prices at
each of the companies' websites or use a price-comparison website,
such as ShippingSidekick.com, for estimated prices.
- All of the companies lose and
damage packages at the same rate. We didn't find any evidence that
a particular company is better or worse when it comes to lost or damaged
setting up an account if you ship a lot. All of the major companies
offer discounted rates for high-volume shippers with an account.
- Watch for discounts
when shopping online. Many online retailers offer free or discounted
shipping when you spend a set amount on products at their store. Some even
offer free site-to-store shipping. However, you don't often get to choose