All Things Shipping | Feb 17, 2022

Top 7 Fastest International Shipping Carriers For Online Sellers

Sarah Rickerd

Global e-commerce has exploded in recent years. According to Shopify, worldwide e-commerce sales experienced a 276.9% increase between 2014 and 2021 — a trend that’s continuing to accelerate now, given the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

To stay competitive, sellers need quick and efficient international shipping services. Here are some of the fastest international shipping carriers currently available, along with their strengths, options, and maximum package sizes:

USPS International Shipping

Given that USPS is part of the United States federal government, many e-commerce sellers view it as more of a domestic carrier, rather than an international provider. But it’s actually an excellent option for international shipping that offers reliable service at an affordable price.

Strengths

USPS is one of the most economical carriers available, shipping to more than 190 different countries. Priority Mail International® pricing, for example, starts at $26.90. In addition, all of the service’s international shipping options offer package tracking, and some — like Global Express Guaranteed — include insurance.

Options Offered

There are six major USPS international shipping options to fit nearly all budgets:

  • Global Express Guaranteed®: 1-3 business days
  • Priority Mail Express International®: 3-5 business days
  • Priority Mail International®: 6-10 business days
  • First-Class Package International Service®: Varies by destination
  • First-Class Mail International®: Varies by destination
  • Airmail M-Bags®: Varies by destination

Compare all USPS international mail services here.

Maximum Package Size

USPS international shipping services allow sellers to ship packages with a maximum combined length and girth of 108 inches, as well as a maximum weight of 70 pounds.

International Shipping With UPS

If you’re looking for lightning-fast delivery — including next-day or even same-day service — UPS deserves a place at the top of your list. Not only is the service quick, but they also have a vast infrastructure and extensive resources in place that many e-commerce sellers find appealing. To make it even more of an enticing option, Shippo users can find up to 86% off UPS® International Service Rates.

Strengths

Perhaps the biggest selling point of shipping overseas with UPS is its speed; multiple options are available that’ll ensure your package arrives within 3 days.

In addition, UPS delivers to more than 220 countries and territories, allowing you to ship all over the world with confidence. They also allow you to ship significantly larger packages than USPS — more than double the weight, in some cases.

Options Offered

UPS has six different options on offer:

  • UPS Express Critical®: Best available flight (time is given when you place your order)
  • UPS Worldwide Express Plus®: 1-3 business days, time-definite usually by 9 a.m.
  • UPS Worldwide Express®: 1-3 business days, usually by noon at the latest
  • UPS Worldwide Saver®: 1-3 business days, by end of day
  • UPS Worldwide Expedited®: 2-5 business days, by end of day
  • UPS® Standard: Economical standard ground, day-definite by end of day

Get the full details here.

Maximum Package Size

UPS allows you to send packages up to 150 pounds, with a maximum length of 108 inches, or a maximum combined length and girth of 165 inches.

Shipping Internationally With FedEx

There are a lot of similarities between shipping internationally with FedEx and UPS. Like UPS, FedEx allows you to ship to more than 220 countries and territories around the globe. They also have multiple expedited delivery options — perfect if you need packages to reach international locations in a hurry.

Strengths

FedEx is a highly reliable carrier with a robust logistics framework. They have several ‘fastest-possible’ delivery options if you need to make urgent shipments, and — like UPS — they allow you to send larger, heavier packages than what USPS offers.

Options Offered

  • FedEx International Next Flight®: Next available flight (send within hours)
  • FedEx International First®: Early day delivery, usually 9 a.m. at the latest within 1-3 business days to more than 20 countries
  • FedEx International Priority®: Within 1-3 business days to more than 220 countries and territories 
  • FedEx International Economy®: Within 2-5 days in more than 215 countries and territories

You can find more information on FedEx international packages here.

Maximum Package Size

Packages shipped through FedEx can weigh up to 150 pounds and have a maximum length of 108 inches (or a maximum combined length and girth of 139 inches).

DHL International Shipping Breakdown

Despite its stricter limitations in terms of the maximum weight and size of packages it ships and potentially higher costs, DHL is a worthwhile international shipping solution to consider, based on its speed. Shippo users can also find up to 63% off DHL Express Rates.

Currently, DHL’s international shipping program delivers to more than 220 countries and territories, while its Direct International shipping service offers “best-in-class shipping to 37 key international markets.”

Strengths

DHL offers robust services, including flexible pick up and direct access to an online shipping portal that allows you to track your deliveries, every step of the way. Some of their services also come with Shipment Value Protection.

Options Offered

  • DHL Express Worldwide: Delivery by the end of the next possible business day to more than 220 countries
  • DHL Express 12:00: Delivery before 12:00pm on the next possible business day to 159 countries
  • DHL Express 9:00: A time-definite service that offers delivery by 9:00am (10:30am to the U.S.) on lanes that guarantee either a next-day or second-business-day delivery, covering 95 countries
  • DHL Packet International: 4-8 business days
  • DHL Parcel International Standard: 4-8 business days for shipments to Canada and Europe, and 8-14 business days to the rest of the world
  • DHL Parcel International Direct: 3-7 business days to 37 key international markets.

Get a full overview of DHL international shipping options here.

Maximum Package Size

DHL Packet International has a maximum weight of 4.4 pounds and a maximum combined length, width, and height of 35.4 inches. DHL Parcel International Standard has a maximum weight of 44 pounds and a maximum length plus girth of 118 inches. DHL Parcel International Direct has a maximum weight of 44 pounds and a maximum length plus girth of 79 inches.

APC Postal Logistics – Ships Overseas

Although less known than the four behemoths mentioned above, APC Postal Logistics is a legitimate contender that’s been around for 20 years and currently serves more than 210 countries.

Strengths

APC Postal Logistics has distribution facilities located in three strategic locations around the US — New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles — which allows for efficient delivery all over the world. Their Expedited International service comes with full tracking, while their Priority International service offers basic milestone tracking for sellers.

Options Offered

There are three options with APC Postal Logistics.

  • Expedited International: 3-5 business days
  • Priority International: 4-9 business days
  • Standard International: 7-14 business days

Learn more on the APC Postal Logistics parcels services page.

Maximum Package Size

Weight and size limits are not publicly available on the APC Postal Logistics website, though you can use the company’s contact form to request a quote.

Ascendia – Global Shipping Solutions

Ascendia was jointly founded by La Poste and Swiss Post Solutions AG in 2012 and now delivers to over 220 destinations. They operate in 17 different countries and cater specifically to e-commerce businesses.

Strengths

The fact that Ascendia has such a global presence makes them a desirable provider. According to their website, they have thousands of employees that “understand local consumer trends, whether that’s their online shopping habits and delivery expectations, or their feelings about receiving direct mail marketing campaigns.”

Ascendia is also 100% carbon neutral when shipping to European countries, making them a popular choice for environmentally conscious e-commerce sellers.

Options Offered

Ascendia’s international shipments usually take between 6-21 business days for delivery.

    • E-PAQ Standard: For lighter packages; offers basic milestone tracking
    • E-PAQ Plus: For lighter packages; more robust tracking
    • E-PAQ Select: Fully tracked for heavier packages
    • E-PAQ Elite: For heavier packages with optimized tracking performance

Get full details on the Ascendia comparison page.

Maximum Package Size

E-PAQ Standard and E-PAQ Plus have a maximum weight of 4.4 pounds, with a maximum combined length, width, and height of 35 inches. E-PAQ Select and Elite currently have a maximum weight of 66 pounds, with a maximum combined length, width, and height of 59 inches.

OrangeDS International Shipping Overview

This final option isn’t on the radar of many e-commerce sellers, but it offers some of the quickest international shipping around. OrangeDS ships to more than 220 countries and territories, and provides a highly customized solution that enables you to reach billions of consumers worldwide.

Strengths

OrangeDS is a fast-evolving company with an ever-expanding network of Postal Authorities partners, which helps them keep their rates at a minimum. The company assigns a Dedicated Account Manager to each account in order to provide an exceptionally high level of customer service. Further, OrangeDS’s comprehensive analytics offer sellers a bird’s eye view on shipping performance.

Options Offered

    • Express: 3-5 business days
    • Expedited: 3-8 business days
    • Budget: 7-14 business days

The international parcels page of the OrangeDS website will get you up-to-speed on all of the details.

Maximum Package Size

The maximum weight for packages shipped through Ascendia is 66 pounds, with a maximum length of 20 inches and a maximum girth of 30 inches.

Save on Fastest International Shipping with Shippo

You’re likely already familiar with several of these quickest international shipping solutions, including USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL. Others — like APC Postal Logistics, Asendia, and OrangeDS — you may not be as familiar with. But they’re still worth your attention, as each service offers multiple international shipping options that can suit a variety of budgets and price points.

With Shippo, you can compare rates from all of these carriers to ensure you’re choosing the lowest rate and/or the one that makes the most sense for your business and your customers. You’ll also be able to access deep discounts from international shipping carriers like UPS and DHL so you don’t have to break the bank while you expand your business across the globe.

Still looking for further savings? For deep discounts, up to 89% on these and other international carriers, get started with Shippo.

Sarah Rickerd is a Michigan-based freelance writer covering business, marketing, and technology topics. She is also the owner of Content Conquered, a B2B-focused content marketing consultancy.

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