Local Post Office vs. Private Shipping Provider

What's the difference between my local post office and a private international shipping provider? Why do I need a private shipping provider if my post office does a good job shipping my products to my customers?

These a two valid questions that we hear often from our small e-commerce shop owners. To answer the question of whether you should ship your products with your local post office or opt for a private company heavily depends on your individual shipping needs. We have listed the advantages and disadvantages of each option:

Local post offices are cheaper

You local post office usually offers cheaper shipping rates than a private company. Why so? Because most of the local post offices are operated by the government of your country and the postal service is therefore subsidised. However, your local post office might only be a good option for you if you only send packages occasionally. Most local postal services don't offer free pick up which means that you will have to go to your local post office and wait in line to ship your packages. (USPS in the US is an exception, they do offer pick ups.)

Private shipping companies are faster

While your local post office might be a good choice for domestic shipments, international shipments are better off with private shipping companies. Private shipping companies offer faster and higher insured shipping services compared to your local postal service. If you want a more reliable international shipping option your choice should be a private shipping company. These usually also help your shipment get through customs without a hassle. Private shipping companies can also offer customized and discounted shipping services to companies that have a large shipping volume.

Which option is best for you?

Local post offices are usually the most economical options while private companies are more convenient and reliable shipping options. Depending on the location of your customer base and the value of your products you can now make a decision on what kind of shipping service to use. Domestic shipments that are only sent occasionally can usually be done to full satisfaction by your local postal service. More frequent shipments, very valuable shipments or international shipments that are time sensitive should be done by private shipping companies.

How to get cheaper shipping rates

Have a look at our shipping calculator to get a better overview of prices, shipping durations and additional services such as pick up and insurance. We calculate both local postal office prices and private shipping company rates. We have also obtained discounted prices from private shipping companies for you that you can use even if your shipping volumes are not as high as the large e-commerce stores.

Find the best rates here or Get free API access here