Many shippers don’t go beyond the basic options (FedEx, USPS, or UPS), and they may not even pay much attention to the specific service level they pick. However, there are plenty of shipping methods to consider, and understanding their differences can save some serious cash.

USPS: First Class Parcels
Lightweight, small items are ideal for USPS First Class Parcels. While this is an affordable and reliable service, if time is a concern, consider an option that promises a prompter service. For example, Priority Shipping may be a better solution.

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USPS: Flat Rate Shipping
The premise for Flat Rate shipping is simple. Go to a local USPS store and pick out a flat-rate box. If your item fits, it ships for a flat rate! Small, medium, and large boxes are available, and this service is particularly ideal for those who have heavy items to send.

USPS: Media Mail
Media mail is a fantastic affordable solution that is only available for shipping things such as books and DVDs. Shipping is notably cheap, but packages must weigh less than 70 pounds.

FedEx: Overnight Shipping
Overnight shipping is often a necessity for retailers. Though you’ll pay a premium, FedEx’s Overnight Shipping offers to have your package delivered the next day by 10:30 a.m.

FedEx: SmartPost
Online retailers and fulfillment centers can use services such as FedEx’s SmartPost. Through this program, FedEx will deliver your package for its “last leg” – that is, to reach a final address once a package arrives in its destination city. This is a good option when you must deliver an item urgently.

UPS: Mail Innovations
Individuals who have a high volume of mail should consider UPS’s Mail Innovations service. International and domestic shipping options are available, and this is a great way to streamline shipping and handling bulk communications.

UPS: Freight Shipping
UPS freight shipping is fast and reliable, though if you’re shipping something that is large enough to qualify for freight shipping, it will be pricier. UPS’s delivery commitment includes Next Business Day service across the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

Shipping is a competitive industry that has a wider range of options than you may realize. Whether you’re shipping textbooks, fine china, or a vehicle you sold on eBay, do your research to find the best rates and most reliable solutions and we’ll help you protect that product during shipment!

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