Very often, people confuse these two leading courier services – UPS and USPS. Their similar sounding names and their similarity in businesses do not help with the name recall. Even though similar in nature, their businesses have varied offerings for every logistics and shipping need.
In this page, we will break down the differences between the two services and help you narrow down to the service that’s most suitable for you – be it for individual shipping or business shipping.
What’s the difference - UPS vs USPS?
What is USPS?
USPS stands for the United States Postal Service and is one of America’s trusted and leading postal services. They have been around for several decades and remain a very common household name across homes in America.
The USPS is a sought-after carrier for handling small to medium-sized packages by businesses and individuals across the US. It also boasts some of the lowest post office shipping rates in the country. It’s very rare that shipping companies like UPS and FedEx match the low pricing of USPS.
One of the most cost-effective options is the USPS Retail Ground which is a ground shipping service highly recommended for customers who are not bound by time and lets them ship packages up to a maximum of 70 pounds.
What is UPS?
UPS stands for United Parcel Services and is one of the leading shipping providers in the United States. UPS is well known for being a logistics service provider and package delivery service with over 42,000 UPS post office drop box locations spread across America.
The UPS Post Office shipping rates are equally competitive and remain one of the top contenders in a price battle of UPS vs USPS. Every time someone searches “United States Postal Service Similar Companies” on their search engines, it is guaranteed to see UPS as one of the top search results.
Overnight Shipping Cost - UPS vs USPS
Thanks to modern technology and development in transportation, we are able to overnight our parcels halfway across the world today. A few decades ago, this would not have been possible. There is no USPS overnight service. Their Priority Mail Service is the closest to the overnight option. UPS, on the other hand, has its own overnight package that delivers in record time.
The UPS overnight shipping cost varies according to the overnight package you choose. There are a few options that let you deliver packages overnight such as UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS Next Day Air Early, and UPS Next Day Air. The shipping costs can be anywhere between $100 and $250 depending on the weight and option you choose for shipping the package.
Mail Tracking - UPS vs USPS
UPS is one of the earliest shipping providers to offer real-time tracking on all of its packages. When you send a mail with UPS, you are guaranteed to get UPS tracking in the US and customer support for further information. The USPS recently joined other shipping providers in offering tracking information on all USPS priority mail to PO box addresses. Simply head to USPS.com, type in the Tracking/ Reference Number under “ Track & Confirm”, and press Go. Your tracking information is provided with several details of the stops made enroute.
Flat Rate Shipping - UPS vs USPS
Both providers offer their own version of flat-rate shipping with competitive pricing. UPS flat rate boxes come in 5 different options and are ideal for express and heavy-weight packages. The UPS rates for these options also vary according to the shipment method.
USPS offers flat-rate shipping and has free flat rate boxes on packages weighing up to 20 pounds. They are typically delivered between 1-3 business days. The USPS flat rate shipping is some of the cheapest and comes in a variety of Envelope sizes including Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope, Priority Mail Express, Padded Envelope, Legal Envelope and USPS Box sizes split between Small, Medium, and Large.
The USPS Flat Rate boxes prices typically start from $9 and upwards depending on the size and speed of your package. USPS have special priority large box prices for larger shipments. The prices for flat rate shipping remain the same regardless of whether the shipment is nearby and right across the country. Check with our shipping agents to learn USPS flat rate box prices.
Which is Cheaper - UPS or USPS
This question of whether UPS or USPS is cheaper is asked all too often as both UPS and USPS are common household names in the US. They are both known for their reliable shipping and competitive pricing. Rain or Shine, these providers are punctual with their shipments and are delivered promptly even during the holidays.
USPS has always been a reigning star for smaller shipments and envelopes. On the other hand, we have logistics giant UPS which handles larger shipments like a boss.
The good news is that SFL Worldwide offers free rate comparison right here on our website. With this smart and intuitive tool, you can make informed decisions on which carrier is suitable for your shipments – be it for individual parcels or large-scale deliveries.
In addition, SFL Worldwide also gets you quotes for international shipping. Use our instant quote tool to gather quotes for leading carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL in seconds.
Transit Time - UPS vs USPS
Both carriers are equally competitive in their services and pricing. The USPS has various options that are considerably cheaper than the UPS. However, these options tend to take a little longer than the average UPS transit time. With SFL’s price comparison tool, you can determine which service works out the cheapest and fastest to make an informed decision.