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Determine Which Shipping Service Is the Cheapest From the U.S. to Canada -- USPS, FedEx, or UPS?

Pramod Bhat
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  •  
November 19, 2020

USPS, FedEx, or UPS? You’ve probably heard about these shipping carriers. Well, who wouldn’t when they’re the biggest and most popular shipping services in the world. Whether you’re a new seller or an established e-commerce seller, you’re probably thinking of which shipping service is the cheapest. Don’t worry because we’ll spill all the details on the different shipping and mailing services you can use to ship from the U.S. to Canada

If you’re in the U.S. and you plan on expanding your business, chances are you’ll pick the Canadian market. Canada and the US are good trading partners, that’s why it’s easy to ship goods from one country to the other. You still have to look out for their customs fees and rules, but choosing Canada as a target market is the right decision. 

It’s also easier to trade due to the North American Free Trade Agreement (USMCA) established 20 years ago. It helped boost trading by 300 percent. Furthermore, the U.S. goods and services trade with Canada totaled an estimated $718.5 billion in 2018. If you want to know the cheapest and complete shipping solutions, read below.

Factors that Affects Shipping Price

Shipping rates don’t only affect your profit, they;re one of the main factors that affect customer’s decision to leave or continue to buy from your store. Customers often like free shipping or low shipping fees when purchasing a product. Some of the factors that affect the shipping fee are:

  • Weight and Dimension of the Package

When it comes to shipping goods, the size and the weight matters. The bigger and heavier your packages, the more costly they will be. Shipping companies often choose between the dimensions or the weight, whichever is greater when pricing packages. So, if you want to be charged the lowest amount of shipping cost, you need to keep things light and correctly packaged. 

  • Distance

The distance between the point of origin to the destination is another factor for shipping prices. The further your package travels from the origin, the higher is your shipping cost. It’s helpful to have a shipping calculator.

  • Shipping Type

There are three shipping methods for international shipping. It can be land, sea, or air. Each of these shipping types has a different rate Air shipping is more expensive than sea shipping. However, shipping by air is faster than by sea. A lot of times couriers ship via land for the final delivery. Before you pick a shipping company, ask them about the details and fees first. 


Picking Which Shipping Service is the Cheapest 

When choosing the most cost-effective shipping service, you need to keep an open mind. To help you decide, we listed several scenarios to help you pick which shipping service is better. 

Shipping Packages that Weigh Less than 16 Ounce

Choose USPS First-Class Package Service to ship lightweight shipments. The delivery time will depend on the destination while the international rate is determined based on the package weight and country group. The Country Price Group designations are known to change from year to year. 

Flat Rate Packages 
Country Price GroupWorld Region
1Canada
2Mexico
3Australia & East Asia
4Russia & Eastern Europe
5Western Europe
6Southeast Asia & India
7Africa
8Northern Africa & Middle East
9Central & South America, Caribbean

Shipping Items Under 2 lb 

USPS will always be cheaper than FedEx or UPS. However, if the weight reaches 2 lb, the price is close to that of UPS and FedEx Ground. It may also seem that FedEx and UPS have lower prices, but it will depend on dimensional weight calculations. If you avoid getting hit by the dimensional weight penalty, FedEx and UPS are cheaper for 1 to 2 lb packages. Otherwise, USPS is less expensive for up to 2 lb.

Shipping a 2 LB or Heavier Package With a 5-Day Delivery Window

If you’re shipping over 2 lb, USPS Priority Mail is cheaper than FedEx Ground and UPS Ground. Their flat rate and regional rate packaging will help you get the best shipping rate for your package. Between FedEx and UPS, FedEx is cheaper because they provide 15% off for all packages when you create an account online. 

UPS and FedEx charge based on dimensional weight. This means that if your package is large or oversized, then the shipping charges are higher. USPS offers flat-rate shipping options. Hence, if your item is heavier than 2 lb, you choose USPS. 

Shipping Items That Are Less Than 10 LB

UPS SurePost and FedEx SmartPost are cost-effective and efficient ways to deliver heavier packages. However, it will take time before your customers receive their parcels. Try using a shipping rate calculator and make sure the shipping carrier has a tracking service. Customers love it when they can track their orders.  

If You Need a Next Day Delivery Service

FedEx and UPS Next day service are more reliable to ship the next day than USPS Express. They guarantee their delivery times, but if they deliver late, you will receive a refund. 

If You Need your package to be delivered within 2-3 Days

FedEx and UPS guarantee that their delivery times are faster, but they cost more than USPS. Even though USPS Priority Mail cites 2-3 days as the typical time to deliver a package, it will still depend on several factors. There are times when a package is delivered in 1-2 days, while others are delivered in three days. If you want fast shipping, you’ll pick FedEx and UPS.

Answering your Most Common Questions

Answering your Most Common Questions

In this section, we’ll be answering five of your most common questions regarding the shipping carriers.

  • Which shipping carrier is cheaper? UPS or USPS?

If you plan on shipping packages that weigh less than 16 oz, then USPS is your answer. However, if you plan to ship packages that exceed 2 lb, UPS ground can be cheaper.

  • Which shipping carrier is cheaper: FedEx or UPS?

FedEx and UPS have almost the same rates. What you can do is to negotiate with both shipping companies to get the better the shipping rates based on your order volume. 

  • How to get lower shipping rates on FedEx and UPS?

The best way to get better deals is to negotiate. Yes, you need to negotiate. It would be best if you show them that you could and will ship in bulk. It’s better if you pick only one carrier.

  • How can I get free shipping supplies?

You can get free shipping supplies on the courier of your choosing. An example would be USPS. USPS have priority and express boxes. You can also get free shipping labels from their website. 

  • What are the cheap shipping services in Canada?

Do you want a reliable and affordable shipping services? Pick Stallion Express! Stallion Express offers you both domestic and international shipping services. You can save up to 80% on international shipping and 50% on domestic shipping. Plus, we give you full tracking options for your packages. 

Key Takeaways

Determining which shipping service is the cheapest can be tiresome since you want to pick the best for your store. Just remember that you can always negotiate for the rates and choose one that will suit your business. It’s a good thing that here at Stallion Express, we carefully handle your packages and deliver them on time at an affordable rate. Do you want to know more? Give us a call at 877-863-7447.

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Pramod Bhat
Written by Pramod Bhat

Pramod is the CEO of Stallion Express - the leading eCommerce shipping provider in Canada. His vision, leadership, and innovative strategies have catapulted Stallion into one of the industry's most trusted brands. He is on a mission to help online sellers in Canada scale and succeed. He is also the reigning office ping pong champion.

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Ship faster, smarter, and cheaper with Stallion Express
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