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United States Postal Service

Reviewed by ConsumerSearch
United States Postal Service

Best for shipping non-critical packages

Pros
  • Affordable pricing
  • Large variety of services
  • Free boxes for Priority Mail
  • Ships to post office boxes and military post offices
Cons
  • Poor tracking
  • Few delivery guarantees

We found the best review of the USPS at Consumer Reports, where the prices along with the speed of delivery of the three major shipping companies (USPS, UPS and FedEx) are compared. Associated Content also provides a detailed comparison of the companies but none of them are actually tested. While Logistics Management doesn't compare shipping companies, it does provide pertinent information about changes occurring at the USPS.

Experts say that the United States Postal Service (USPS) offers the best overall shipping rates and has begun to offer other services that were once unique to FedEx and UPS, such as discounts for medium- and large-volume shippers. Ordinary customers can also receive a discount by preparing their shipment paperwork online. Unlike FedEx and UPS, the USPS does not offer early morning delivery of overnight shipments, but experts say that their Express Mail prices are as much as 28 percent lower, depending on the shipping destination. The USPS also provides free boxes for Priority Mail shipments.

Our Sources

1. ConsumerReports.org

Editors of Consumer Reports analyze the major shipping companies for both local and long-distance overnight deliveries as well as two-day deliveries. Shipping prices are also compared in this article, which unlike most of Consumer Reports' content is available for free without a subscription.

Review: Overnight Shipping: FedEx vs. UPS vs. the Postal Service, Editors of Consumer Reports, Dec. 2008

2. Georgia Tech Supply Chain Logistics Institute

The Georgia Tech Supply Chain Logistics Institute states that the USPS has better international connections than other carriers because it works closely with local postal services, which can also be a disadvantage when local services are ineffective. This test reports on the results of multiple test shipments.

Review: The Great Package Race, 2008, Logistics Department at Georgia Tech, Updated Dec. 16, 2008

3. Logistics Management

The USPS is making changes to prices and services in an attempt to better position themselves as a competitor of UPS, FedEx and DHL, according to this article. Changes include price incentives for large- and medium-sized shippers as well as savings for those using electronic postage.

Review: Parcel Shipping: USPS Set to Go the "First Mile", Jeff Berman, May 16, 2008

4. BloggingStocks.com

The USPS has begun offering services and discounts in order to gain ground against UPS and FedEx. Large- and medium-volume shippers, for example, will receive a discount for the first time ever.

Review: Battle of the Brands: UPS vs. FedEx, Kevin Shult, May 5, 2008

5. eBay.com

In this comparison review, the USPS is praised for providing free boxes, several service options and cheap insurance. The author, known only as "lookinforit05," laments, however, that the USPS Delivery Confirmation service provides poor tracking.

Review: Shipping on eBay and Shipping Tips, "lookinforit05", Aug. 16, 2008

6. AssociatedContent.com

Parcel Post, according to the author of this article, is usually cheaper than ground shipping with UPS, except for some heavier items. Priority mail is sometimes only slightly more expensive than Parcel Post, however, but is faster.

Review: Comparison of Shipping/Mailing Services: USPS, UPS, DHL, FedEx, Z. Perry, Aug. 8, 2006

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