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Shipping and Mailing Service: The ABC of Basic Shipping Terms

Diana Zheng
July 9, 2023

If you are a new online merchant, you need to know specific shipping and mailing terms to make transactions easier. It will also help you find a good shipping company that provides reliable shipping and receiving services. This is highly important considering the rapid growth of eCommerce.

You might be wondering whether you require a shipping or mailing service for your individual needs. Read on to learn the differences and most importantly, the ABC of basic shipping terms which will help you for a lifetime.

What is the difference between Shipping and Mailing services?

In general, shipping refers to the transportation of large items via land, air or sea, whereas mailing refers to sending a letter or a small package via a postal service. The terms are often used interchangeably but have their differences.

When it comes to sending things, shipping services are mainly for big and heavy stuff, while mailing services are more for small and light things. Shipping services give you ways to track your package, options for insurance, and special care for fragile or valuable items. On the other hand, mailing services might offer things like registered mail, certified mail, or the ability to ask for proof that your package was delivered. Of course, these might vary based on your chosen service provider.

Ultimately, whether you choose shipping or mailing depends on how big, heavy, or delicate your items are, and what you need in terms of how quickly it gets there, being able to track them, or any other extra services. The price difference between the service providers may also play a major role in your decision.

Why should you know the different mailing service terms when you have an eCommerce business?

important mailing service terms

Shipping Options. Knowing and understanding different terms in mailing services opens you to various shipping options for your eCommerce business. As you figure out these terms, you can compare the service based on delivery speed, cost, reliability, tracking capabilities, and international shipping coverage. Using this insight, you can make informed decisions and provide your customer with the greatest shipping experience possible.

Cost Management. Familiarity with mail service terms lets you effectively determine shipping charges, including flat rates, weight-based rates, dimensional weight pricing, and other additional fees for services like insurance or signature confirmation. Understanding these words allows you to set transportation expenses, set appropriate product pricing, and keep your eCommerce business profitable.

Delivery Time Estimates. Online shoppers value transparency and timely deliveries, so knowing these terms lets you provide accurate delivery times to your customers. It manages their expectation, improves customer satisfaction, and fosters trust in your company.

Shipping Regulations. These terms often have regulations and requirements, like restrictions on certain items or packaging guidelines, so as you familiarize yourself with these terms, you can comply with the rules, avoid penalties, ensure packages are delivered on time, and prevent issues with customs or transportation authorities.

Customer Service. Understanding different terms when you ship packages lets you communicate effectively and efficiently. It enables you to discuss specific eCommerce shipping needs, inquire about service features, track packages, and resolve any shipping-related issues promptly, leading to smoother customer service experiences and more positive results for your eCommerce business.

Scalability and Expansion. With the rapid growth of your eCommerce business, exploring new mail shipping providers or expanding into international markets is something you need to consider. Thus, understanding industry terms helps you understand and choose the best options for your evolving needs. It will also empower you to adapt your strategies, negotiate contracts, and navigate complex logistics more effectively.

Advice of Shipment

It is a notice to the local or foreign buyer or receiver if the shipment has already been forwarded. It indicates the information regarding transportation and eCommerce shipping, including the details of the packing, routing, etc.

Bill of Lading

It consists of detailed information about the shipment, such as quantity, type, and destination, often serving as the receipt.

Coverage Protection

shipment protection services

It refers to the insurance policy that protects a parcel or package from any unforeseen mishap or accident, including damage or loss while in transit. The carrier will provide reimbursement through the processing of claims.

Delivery Duty Paid (DDP)

Before the seller ships the items, they and the customer will agree that the seller assumes the responsibility to process goods transport until they reach an agreed-upon destination. This delivery agreement is called Delivery Duty Paid or DDP. In most cases, the buyer benefits most because the seller shoulders the liability and shipping costs.

Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA)

The shipping company provides an estimated time when the end receiver should receive the items. This time frame is called the Estimated Time of Arrival or ETA, and it helps the customers know when to expect their products.

Free Trading Agreement (FTA)

It is a special consignment between two or more nations to lessen the restrictions for imports and exports among them. The policy makes sure that goods and services can be bought and sold across overseas borders with little to no government tariffs, quotas, subsidies, or prohibitions between their exchange.

Hazardous Materials (HazMat)

prohibited items when shipping from canada

Hazardous materials or Hazmats are substances that pose plausible health, property, or environmental risks. You can interchange this word with dangerous goods, including toxic fuels, nuclear waste products, and other chemical agents. These products are banned from entering one's country or are FDA-regulated unless you obtain a special permit.

In Transit

transit during shipping

When you see that your package is already in transit, your items are already processed and on their way to you or their final destination.


This refers to either payment or shipping methods. The seller can impose the former on the customer during payment. However, you can also use it in whatever mail service you want to get, like priority mail, priority mail express, or regular shipping.

Net Weight

It is the parcel's total size, including the box or packaging. Net weight can also be one of the *variable costs to calculate for the shipping cost.

Online Tracking

tracking and document management process

Online tracking allows sellers and customers to keep track of their parcels through an online interface. It also includes the estimated delivery time of the parcel to arrive at its final destination.

Profit Margin

The amount by which the business's income exceeds its outgoing expenses. Profit margin is important to know the flow of your business's revenue flow.


This may refer to the number of goods allowed to be imported in a certain period. It can also mean the seller and the shipping company's agreement on how many parcels they need to send to get discounts and special promos.

Return Policy

This indicates what items the customer can return and the time duration of returns or exchanges.


A surcharge is a charge added on top of the base cost of moving goods. Shipping surcharges can be added during residential delivery, delivery outside of regular service areas, and weekend delivery. Furthermore, some shipping companies also charge the sellers fuel, handling surcharges, and declared value surcharges.

Tariff and Tax

Also known as customs duty, a tariff is imposed upon export goods as they cross national boundaries by the importing country. Meanwhile, tax is set on the buyers purchasing the goods.

Variable Cost

Shipping fees aren't the same for all buyers and items, and that is because of variable cost changes. These are factors that shipping companies consider in the shipping fee, including the distance and package's weight or dimensions.


A waybill includes information on the goods that need to be delivered. It indicates the carrier, the destination, and the type of service.

Consider Stallion Express For Your Shipping Needs

Stallion Express Shipping and Mailing service

Stallion Express is the leading and cheapest courier for shipping any items within Canada, the United States, and internationally! We let Canadian online sellers compete with US sellers by providing the most efficient and cost-effective postage options.

We have numerous shipping partners to accommodate your every shipping needs!

Canadian Shipping

Canada Post, Stallion Economy Canada, and UPS

US Shipping

USPS, UPS, FedEx, and Stallion Economy USA

Does this service offer priority mail express service?

Absolutely! With Stallion's partnership with USPS, we also have priority mail shipping options in our US shipping service.

International Shipping

APC Logistics, PostNL, USPS International

How much are the shipping costs for these services?

Stallion offers highly competitive shipping rates to Canadian sellers from Stallion Economy USA to USPS First Class for shipments within the US.

The table below indicates the postage prices for shipping to New York (13021):

Package Size Competitor’s Price Stallion’s Price
4oz (113g) $17.62 $4.39 (75% off)
15oz (425g) $19.72 $7.62 (61% off)
2lbs (1kg) $21.90 $11.27 (51% off)
Tracking Yes Yes
Delivery Time 5-7 business days 3-4 business days

Stallion also offers domestic shipping. You can check the table below to know the shipping estimates for this service.

Location Package Size Competitor’s Price Stallion’s Price
Vancouver 1.1lbs (500g) $16.39 $10.33 (37% off)
Montreal 2.2lbs (1kg) $13.69 $12.07 (12% off)
Yukon 11lbs (5kgs) $33.21 $19.99 (40% off)
Tracking   Yes Yes
Delivery Time   4-9 business days 2-8 business days

Meanwhile, the shipping estimates for the international shipment from Toronto, Canada are indicated in the table below.

Location Package Size Competitor’s Price Stallion’s Price
London, England 4oz (113g) $41.73 $6.20 (85% off)
Hong Kong 15oz (425g) $58.30 $12.19 (79% off)
Sydney, Australia 4oz (113g) $59.61 $11.16 (81% off)
Tracking   Yes Yes
Delivery Time   6-10 business days 4-12 business days

Furthermore, we offer various services, such as:

  • Amazon FBA
  • User-friendly integrations
  • Stallion Protection Program
  • Easy return policy
  • High-quality shipping materials

Our live support team can also help with all your shipping and mailing service needs. You can also find other related articles on our website to find more ways to optimize your shipping.

Get started today! Ship faster, smarter, cheaper with Stallion.

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