Shipping rates influence customers to a large extent to drop out during checkout. If they see a higher shipping cost, they will be hesitant to proceed with the order and will go to some other online stores.
Customers like to purchase products with free shipping, or they expect the cheapest shipping rate to get their favorite products as soon as possible. There are many factors that depend on calculating shipping costs. As we know, different shipping carriers provide their services at different rates. Getting the cheapest shipping rate of a carrier doesn’t mean that you need to choose the longest delivery time.
There are certain factors you need to consider to ship your products with the minimum cost within the right time frame. So, in this article, let us analyze some tips to access the cheapest way to ship packages with major shipping carriers.
Let us have a quick look at the key points that need to be considered to calculate the shipping rates for choosing the cheapest possible one. They are:
- Distance between sender and receiver: Depending on the distance between the source and destination addresses, the shipping rates will vary. If it is a domestic shipment, you can use ground shipping itself. If it is international, you may need to send the packages through flights and ships. Hence, the shipping rates will be different and it will increase with distance.
- Delivery time: If you need to deliver the products as soon as possible, you may be required to choose an overnight or same-day delivery option of carriers. This will be higher in cost compared to the services which would take 7 – 10 days!
- Weight and dimensions of the package: As per the weight and volume of the packages, the shipping cost will change. If it occupies more space in the shipping vehicle, you need to pay more. So, choose an optimum package size based on the weight and dimensions of the items.
- Total number of packages: If you need to ship multiple packages, you need to pay more to the carriers. So, try to ship products using a minimum number of packages if possible.
- Specific countries and locations: If you ship to specific countries, you need to pay some additional duty or charges. Also, there will be additional charges for shipping products to remote locations. These are the key factors used to determine the available shipping rates.
It is important to balance the shipping rates and delivery days to provide the best service to your customers. If you ship free of cost or with the minimum cost, it may take so many days to reach the customers. Hence, let us check some of the reasonable shipping rates of popular shipping carriers and how they depend upon the key factors we discussed above.
Cheapest rates based on delivery time
For the analysis, let us take a package of 10 lbs.
If you are looking for delivery service within 2 – 3 days, USPS Priority Mail will be the cheapest option when comparing with FedEx and UPS ground services. And, when it comes to shipping to residential addresses, FedEx as well as UPS may charge additional residential surcharges that cost around $3 – $4. Usually in USPS, they do not charge any residential surcharges. If you need to deliver a package within 2 days strictly, you can go for FedEx 2 Day or UPS 2 Day.
Best Rates for Next Day or Overnight deliveries
FedEx Standard Overnight and UPS Next Day Air Saver are the most reasonable services when it comes to overnight/next day deliveries compared to USPS. Since FedEx and UPS have delivery hubs throughout many countries and cities, it is quite easy for them to manage fast deliveries with reasonable costs.
FedEx Priority Overnight and UPS Next Day Air come with comparatively competitive rates to deliver packages by the next day at noon. Also, FedEx First Overnight and UPS Next Day Air deliver products by the next day at 10 am at a fair cost. These 2 shipping carriers charge almost the same rates for the above mentioned services.
Now, let us check a few affordable international shipping services.
If you consider expedited services across the world, FedEx International Priority is a better choice. The next competitive price for the expedited service after FedEx is UPS Worldwide Express. For the quickest international delivery, USPS Priority Mail Express International is a better choice.
If you are not concerned about the delivery time, that is, if it is fine to deliver the products after weeks, you can choose USPS First Class Mail International for shipping products up to 4 lbs. To ship products weighing 4 lbs or more, USPS Priority Mail International service can be considered.
Best shipping rates based on package weight
USPS uses the Cubic pricing method to provide a minimum shipping cost for shipping products that are small in size, but heavy. If the package weighs less than 20 lbs, they use the formula – Length x Width x Height / 1728 = Cubic Feet.
For calculating shipping rates based on weight and dimensions for domestic shipping, the shipping carriers use the following formulas.
DHL, UPS, FedEX – (L x W x H)/ 139
USPS – (L x W x H)/ 166
If they use the highest divisors, the shipping cost will be less for the customers. As per the above formulas, USPS provides the cheapest shipping rates compared to others based on the weight and dimensions of packages.
USPS Media Mail helps to ship at a reasonable price if you need to ship physical media. UPS and FedEx Ground shipping services are ideal options for shipping parcels weighing more than 5 lbs domestically. To ship packages less than 5 lbs, USPS Priority Mail can be considered. For shipping products that weigh less than 16 oz, USPS First Class Mail is the right choice.
Minimum shipping rates based on Package size
To ship products in envelopes, USPS First Class Mail is more reasonable. Since it is not providing the tracking option, you can also consider its Priority Mail.
Compared to other shipping carriers, USPS provides the best rates when calculated based on package size. That is, their Media Mail, Flat Rate, or Priority Mail, etc., comes with the cheapest rates to ship small packages.
Best shipping rates including insurance
Shipping insurance is necessary and essential when you ship delicate and fragile products. This additional insurance cost will be added along with the shipping cost. Major shipping carriers provide default insurance coverage at a fixed rate. They charge around $0.75 – 0.85 per $100 value. If you find it quite expensive, consider third-party shipping insurance services like Shipsurance, and so on. Usually, third-party services charge affordable costs compared to shipping carriers.
Get the cheapest shipping rates with ReachShip
In this article, we have gone through the most reasonable shipping cost of major shipping carriers. And, we have checked the cheapest rates based on different factors like weights and dimensions of packages. But, your package might have a different weight or they occupy a totally different dimension from the weight and dimensions mentioned in the above cases. So, you should check the minimum available shipping charges as per your requirements. To check them, use the ReachShip shipping calculator.
This handy shipping calculator allows you to enter the source and destination addresses, required shipping carriers (DHL, UPS, USPS, Australia Post MyPost Business, and FedEx), and the weight and dimensions of packages. Based on the entered details, you will see all the available shipping services with their rates and delivery time, from which you can check the cheapest way to ship packages.
It is important to use a shipping calculator to check the cheapest way to ship packages. Even though there are dedicated shipping calculators for major shipping carriers, you can check the rates of multiple shipping carriers with ReachShip in a couple of clicks!