October 24, 2017

Which provider is the Best Shipping Company?

It is the age of the digital consumer, and ecommerce sites are on top. To stay on top, however, online business owners must keep tight bottom lines and superb relationships...

It is the age of the digital consumer, and ecommerce sites are on top. To stay on top, however, online business owners must keep tight bottom lines and superb relationships with customers. Competition is fierce in the ecommerce industry, and customer loyalty is everything. At the same time, brands must keep costs as low as possible without compromising quality. The key to balancing all of these demands? The right ecommerce shipping solution.

The Age of Ecommerce

All major shipping companies now provide shipping solutions for ecommerce businesses. As ecommerce grows in popularity, FedEx, UPS, and USPS are all competing to become the shipping solution of choice for business owners with ecommerce sites. It comes as no surprise in the face of immense ecommerce growth in the last several years. From 2008 to 2017, ecommerce sales have grown from making up about 3.5 percent of total quarterly retail sales to nine percent. The success of ecommerce sites has resulted in a higher demand for great small business shipping solutions.

In terms of shipping, ecommerce shipments made up 63.2 percent of all manufacturing shipments in 2015, the most recent year data is available. This was an increase from 61.4 percent in 2014. With such an overwhelming demand for smart shipping solutions, major companies have pulled out all the stops to secure the business of the country’s small to large ecommerce shops. Many business owners don’t know which ecommerce shipping company is offering the best services for the price. Let's do a shipping company comparison between the three most popular options to determine which is the right choice.

Comparing FedEx, UPS, and USPS for Ecommerce Shipping

Ecommerce shipping has become more competitive thanks to large online retailers like Amazon and Wal-Mart fulfilling orders faster and cheaper than boutique stores. The ability to meet customer demands while sticking to a budget for product shipping depends almost entirely on the shipping service selected. It’s important to choose the right one – a service that can help you beat
the competition and remain scalable to your company. FedEx, UPS, and USPS are widely considered some of the best shipping companies for small businesses. Here are some pros and cons of three big package shipping companies in fulfillment shipping:

• FedEx. Federal Express (FedEx) All three providers offer services that base shipping costs on the weight of the item and zip code for delivery. FedEx offers ground, date-specific delivery within one to five business days. All FedEx and UPS services come with tracking numbers. FedEx can handle high demand and help meet customer needs with custom packaging and other valuable services. FedEx lets you track packages and request specific drop off dates and times.

• UPS. The United Parcel Service (UPS) offers supply chain solutions for ecommerce management on top of shipping services. Use the UPS app with your online business for fast and convenient ship requests. Large shipments may receive volume discounts from UPS, FedEx, and USPS if they contact customer service. All packages ship with tracking numbers from UPS. You may be able to negotiate a lower rate with UPS if you ship larger volume packages. You can request a specific drop off date with UPS.

• USPS. The United States Postal Service (USPS) offers media mail and parcel post shipping as their ground services. USPS will not provide a guaranteed date of delivery for ground services, but they can give an estimated date. USPS offers flat-rate mailing for international shipping as well as weight-based services. Not all USPS deliveries come with tracking numbers. Only the Express Mail service comes with free delivery confirmation. USPS has a history of increasing prices every few months.

If your parcel weighs less than two pounds, USPS is the cheapest way to ship a package. However, you may not be able to specific your delivery date or other custom desires. The low price of USPS means compromised reliability. Your customers might find this unacceptable, and choose an ecommerce competitor that can guarantee a delivery date and time. The price for UPS is on the
higher side, and is only economic if your package is more than three pounds. UPS is, however, highly reliable. FedEx is cheaper than UPS for packages greater than three pounds, and typically as reliable as UPS. Keep in mind that prices fluctuate, so stay tuned for recent shipping rate changes.

The Fourth Option – FirstMile

In 2017, FedEx and UPS both changed their dimensional weight calculations. This makes the shipping process even more confusing for sellers – and expensive if the package doesn’t comply with restrictions. Now, dimensional weight rules have gone down for these two major carriers, increasing shipping costs for online sellers yet again. With constant annual changes, many online sellers may not be able to afford these fulfillment services for long.

Luckily, there is a fourth choice available. If you feel like none of the major ecommerce shippers are just right for your business, you’re not alone. The creators of FirstMile had the same thought.
That’s why they created an ecommerce shipping solution that’s fast, reliable, and affordable. Ecommerce shipping with FirstMile puts you in control of your customer experience. Partnering with FirstMile allows businesses to save time, money, and hassle.

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