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spr1nt

Fedex or UPS?

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i posted this in the general support forum but i think it would be more appropriate here.

 

im in the process of picking my primary shipping company and ive narrowed it down to 2 (wasnt that hard considering they are 2 of the biggest). my question is for those who chose fedex or ups, why did you pick one over the other to provide you with most of your shipping needs?

 

bubbard.com replied with this:

 

UPS. They are very friendly, and roll out the Red Carpet. Ask for a rep to come by and once you start moving product, you can sign an agreement for money back based on your shipping ouput. Bonuses if you will...

 

anyone else want to chime in?

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Actually, I use DHL as my primary now, with USPS (Postal Service) and FedEx as my secondaries to give customers a choice.

 

But between UPS & FedEx, I would reccomend UPS.

 

1.) FedEx runs separate trucks for express and ground. Paying for daily pickup for ground does not automatically entitle you to daily express pickups (at least when I checked into it last year). If you don't run enough express volume to warrant paying for daily pickups by both services, then you will still face the $4 per box pickup charge when you do have any express shipments. If you do have express shipments going out every day, then this becomes a non-issue.

 

2.) Although the margin has narrowed, UPS is still a lower cost option than FedEx Ground.

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I can't speak as someone who actually uses either as a shipper all that often, but I do get a TON (sometimes literally, for work) from many different carriers. I do lots of ordering online as well, everything from clothing to medicine to pretty much anything you can think of.

 

In the 10+ years of buying stuff online, plus my father's 40 years of experience shipping documents around for a nuclear power company, I've been able to figure out a pretty good description of how each shipper works. They all have their pros and cons.

 

UPS: Once saw UPS Ground described as "your product will be wrapped in thin carboard, tied with twine, and dragged behind the delivery truck during transit. Don't go blaming us if it doesn't work when it gets there. But it will cost the least." On the whole UPS is so-so, except for their Ground service ... you're really taking a gamble with that.

 

FedEx: Generally my carrier of choice, these guys are quick and very reliable, inside the U.S. If you have to move something quick, like overnight, etc., I'll go with FedEx 100% of the time. Their ground service is a little better than UPS, but not by leaps and bounds.

 

DHL: By FAR the best way to go internationally, especially if it's to a weird place. Need to ship something from your doorstep in Michigan to some back alley in Shanghai? These are your guys. A regular express shipment from California to Osaka airport is one thing, but if it's a hard to find address, don't even think about using anything else.

 

USPS: Clearly, almost always the cheapest. If you have something light and small to send, and it's not fragile, go with USPS. They're quick, pretty reliable, and have drop-off site just about everywhere.

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Personally, I prefer FedEx over UPS and find them more reliable. I have an account with FedEx and primarily use them, but just contacted UPS the other day to open an account with them. I won't be offering UPS for international shipments though, just domestic (US-US and CA-CA). Only reason I'm adding UPS for domestic even is some people may prefer UPS over FedEx.

 

For local international (US-CA and CA-US) my common carrier is FedEx. I'm in the process of setting up brokerage accounts with FedEx and will then offer ground for local international shipments. Since I have to shoulder the brokerage costs for FedEx Ground shipments it will only be offered on orders over a certain amount. On orders under the minimum only FedEx Express methods will be offered (i.e. International Priority and International Economy) for local international shipments.

 

I offer Canada Post and USPS in addition to the common carriers for domestic and local international shipments as well. I don't ship distant international at all at the moment, but might might consider offering Canada Post and USPS for distant international.

 

~James

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Personally, I prefer FedEx over UPS and find them more reliable.  I have an account with FedEx and primarily use them, but just contacted UPS the other day to open an account with them.  I won't be offering UPS for international shipments though, just domestic (US-US and CA-CA).  Only reason I'm adding UPS for domestic even is some people may prefer UPS over FedEx.

 

For local international (US-CA and CA-US) my common carrier is FedEx.  I'm in the process of setting up brokerage accounts with FedEx and will then offer ground for local international shipments.  Since I have to shoulder the brokerage costs for FedEx Ground shipments it will only be offered on orders over a certain amount.  On orders under the minimum only FedEx Express methods will be offered (i.e. International Priority and International Economy) for local international shipments.

 

I offer Canada Post and USPS in addition to the common carriers for domestic and local international shipments as well.  I don't ship distant international at all at the moment, but might might consider offering Canada Post and USPS for distant international.

 

~James

 

If you do some price comparisons as well, you will find the FedEx Ground is cheaper than UPS. You can also drop off your packages off at any Walgreens or Kinkos FedEx locations.

 

Thanks,

Matt

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FedEx and UPS are the same in their pricing, the only catch is that for the UPS price you need to have a daily pick up. If your not shipping very much, and drop off your packages rather than have a daily pick up, then you will find that UPS is cheaper.

 

If you have enough volume to have a daily pick up then you should contact both UPS and FedEx to get their discounts. They will base the discounts on how much you're shipping. You can play one against the other, but if you're not shipping much, then getting an additional percent or two in discount won't make much difference in your bottom line.

 

I would avoid offering your customers a choice in shipping methods. First of all, discounts (present and future) are based on how much you ship. So you want to ship everything through one company. Secondly, offering USPS as a low cost alternative for some packages is a hassle. I personally won't spend a half hour or so of my time to save the customer two or three dollars. The only exception I make is for Hawaii and Alaska, I do use the flat rate box that USPS offers ($7.70 for anywhere in the 50 states). I get my money's worth, because I'm shipping heavy products (marbles), and can fit about 20 lbs in a single box.

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thanks for the excellent input everyone.

 

If you have enough volume to have a daily pick up then you should contact both UPS and FedEx to get their discounts. They will base the discounts on how much you're shipping. You can play one against the other, but if you're not shipping much, then getting an additional percent or two in discount won't make much difference in your bottom line.

 

can anyone go into a little more detail about discounts? what kind do both of them offer and how much do u have to ship out in order to recieve these discounts.

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I first approached UPS and FedEx for a discount when I my shipping costs were averaging about $700 per week. I then re-negotiated when it reached about $2000 per week.

 

If you have a steady volume, don't worry if it is only a few hundred per week. Give them a call anyways, it can't hurt to ask. They can talk about some of their other services which you might use (hundredweight has been a great blessing for me).

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My experiece on about 2 dozen stores has been to use both UPS and USPS for your products. The USPS is for items under 1 lb. and I set the store to only be for Priority items. I then set up the UPS XML quotes for the +1lb items. To get the XML quotes takes about 5 minutes registering online.

 

Hope this helps

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I always heard that UPS is cheaper. The quality of service is probably comparable.

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UPS and Fedex are a lot alike, UPS can really give you a lot of tools though ... They have a great XML based returns tool that I plan on developing and releasing to the community.

 

If you use only UPS as your shipper, then you may be able to get access to tools such as "XML street level address verification", which really helps cut down on fraud, and helps lower the cost of shipping.

 

Not to mention, prices are comparable to fedex.

 

Jud

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Someone had said to choose ebtween FedEx or UPS and not use both. Well, tonight's a prime example of why I offer both FedEx an UPS. FedEx's servers are FUBARed tonight and they tell me it should be fixed by early tomorrow morning and to disable FedEx for tonight until the yhave the issues resolved.

 

I've already had one order tonight I've lost a bit on and FedEx isn't going to cover any part of the shipping cost for it. I didn't know there was a problem with FedEx until I got this International priority order with a rate of $0.00 for shipping. Needless to say I was shocked to see that! :o

 

I went to my store and made a test order to see for myself the rates being returned and sure enough, the only rate returned close to what it should be was Ground (if that even), the rest were a rate of $0.00! Reloading the shipping page I noticed that at times it wouldn't return any rates and would simply say my account couldn't be validated on FSS.

 

So, I called FedEx ASAP and asked wtf was up.. The woman said they were having issues and rates were only being returned sporadically atm (if that), but for the most part not at all and advised me to disable FedEx until the issues are resolved. She said they should have everyting fixed by early morning.

 

So I've disabled FedEx, but still have UPS available for most shipments. There will be a few that have no shipping method available while FedEx is disabled, but if I didn't have a UPS account as well, I wouldn't be able to take ANY orders while FedEx is down.

 

~James

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