USPS, FedEx, UPS, DHL, & More

DHL vs. FedEx vs. UPS vs. USPS—2018 International Shipping Rates Comparison

By: Peter Schwartz | April 11, 2018

2018 International Shipping Rates Comparison - DHL vs. FedEx vs. UPS vs. USPS

Our rate master Peter Schwartz is back to compare select DHL vs. FedEx vs. UPS vs. USPS international shipping services.

Expanding into international markets can make a big difference in your bottom line. In fact, global SMBs attributed 26 percent of their revenue growth to international sales. To help you ship overseas with confidence and ease, let’s take a look at the major carriers’ international shipping rates.

Here are a few examples comparing DHL vs. FedEx vs. UPS vs. USPS international shipping rates.

Please note: as you’ll see below, Shippo offers discounted USPS and DHL shipping rates. Once you connect your FedEx or UPS account to Shippo, you can access retail or your negotiated rates, as well. For comparison, we’ve included UPS and FedEx retail rates below.

Which is the best delivery option for less-urgent, lightweight packages going to Canada—DHL vs. FedEx vs. UPS vs. USPS?

Let’s start our shipping rates comparison with a sample shipment to Canada. If you’re based in the U.S., Canada is a great place to start when it comes to international shipping, since there are no language barriers in most of country and there are quite a few affordable shipping options to choose from. Plus, e-commerce retail trade sales in Canada amounted to over $1.4 billion USD in December 2017 alone.

For lightweight, smaller items—like postcards, envelopes, and flats—USPS First Class Package International Service is an option. You can send anything up to four pounds (cannot exceed $400 in value) to more than 180 countries.

FedEx International Ground is available for deliveries to Canada and supports packages up to 150 pounds, so it’s an option for heavier packages as well. You can also consider UPS Standard, which is economical ground delivery for less-urgent shipments. UPS Standard only ships to the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, and does not ship to Alaska or Hawaii.

DHL Express Worldwide is an affordable service, plus it’s delivered by the end of the next possible business day.

DHL Express Worldwide vs. FedEx International Ground vs. UPS Standard vs. USPS First Class Package International Service

6 x 8 x 8 in. package weighing 2 pounds and traveling from Sacramento, CA to Toronto, Ontario
DHL FedEx UPS USPS
$34.82 $28.43 $29.39 $15.20

Which is the best delivery option for less-urgent packages going to other countries—DHL vs. FedEx vs. UPS vs. USPS?

If you’re not shipping to Canada or Mexico, you’ll need to consider a few other shipping options.

If you’re not shipping to Canada or Mexico, you’ll need to consider a few other shipping options.

USPS First Class Package International Service is still in the mix for those small, lightweight packages traveling the world. If your packages are heavier than four pounds or you want the package to arrive faster, you can ship with USPS Priority Mail International, with a typical transit time of 6-8 days.

FedEx International Economy is a day-definite, customs-cleared, door-to-door economy service for packages up to 150 pounds. Transit time is typically 5 business days, backed up by the FedEx money-back guarantee. You can also ship with UPS Worldwide Expedited, which is a fast, guaranteed service for less-urgent international items.  DHL Express Worldwide is still an option for delivery to other countries, as well.

DHL Express Worldwide vs. FedEx International Economy vs. UPS Worldwide Expedited vs. USPS First Class Package International Service

6 x 8 x 4 in. package weighing 10 ounces and traveling from Boston, MA to London, UK
DHL FedEx UPS USPS
$35.46 $116.81 $119.84 $22.33

DHL Express Worldwide vs. FedEx International Economy vs. UPS Worldwide Expedited vs. USPS Priority Mail International

4 x 1 x 1 in. package weighing 1 pound and traveling from New York, NY to Paris, France
DHL FedEx UPS USPS
$30.25 $98.85 $105.89 $40.14

Which is the best delivery option for international packages that will arrive in 3-5 days—DHL vs. FedEx vs. UPS vs. USPS?

If you have time sensitivities, you’ll want to look at the express or expedited services for each carrier.

If you have time sensitivities, you’ll want to look at the express or expedited services for each carrier.

One option is USPS Priority Mail Express International, which ships in 3-5 business days. DHL Express Worldwide continues to be in the mix, since it delivers by the end of the next possible day. UPS Worldwide Expedited ships in 2-5 business days. And, FedEx International Priority typically ships in 3 business days.

DHL Express Worldwide vs. FedEx International Priority vs. UPS Worldwide Expedited vs. USPS Priority Mail Express International

2 x 10 x 1 in. package weighing 8 ounces and traveling from Miami, FL to Taipei, Taiwan
DHL FedEx UPS USPS
$29.47 $96.62 $97.27 $57.48

Which is the best delivery option for international packages that will arrive ASAP—DHL vs. FedEx vs. UPS vs. USPS?

Each carrier does support delivery in the shortest time possible. The pricing is dependent on the package dimensions, weight, destination, and time of day it can be picked up or dropped off with the carrier. You’ll want to reach out to your carrier directly to get a quote.

Shipping software, like Shippo, allows users to compare carrier rates, taking into consideration the specific weight, dimensions, and distance traveled by each package. If you’d like to try us out, visit https://goshippo.com/register or chat with our sales team here.

Also, consider signing up for the FedEx Advantage program, which saves users up to 29 percent with FedEx. Applying is free, so see if you qualify today.

For more tips and tricks for going global, check out our guide to international shipping or e-commerce shipping strategies guide. You might also like to compare domestic shipping rates or read our detailed recap of the 2018 USPS rates (with charts).

Happy shipping, E-comm Experts!


Shippo is a multi-carrier API and web app that helps retailers, marketplaces and platforms connect to a global network of carriers. Businesses use Shippo to get real-time rates, print labels, automate international paperwork, track packages and facilitate returns. Shippo provides the tools to help businesses succeed through shipping.

Peter Schwartz

Senior Manager of Business Operations at Shippo

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