Expanding into international markets can potentially 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.
Before we dive in, one way to help streamline your international shipping operations and save money at the same time is to utilize a shipping software like Shippo. Shippo allows users to quickly and easily compare carrier rates, taking into consideration the specific weight, dimensions, and distance traveled by each package. If you’d like to try us out completely for free, visit https://goshippo.com/register or chat with our sales team here.
By using Shippo, you’ll get instant access to the best rates from USPS, UPS, and DHL Express. For UPS, Shippo offers even better rates than the ones listed below, however, we can’t share our rates publicly due to restrictions. 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.
Now, here are a few examples comparing UPS vs. FedEx vs. DHL vs. USPS international shipping rates.
Which is the Best Delivery Option for Less-Urgent, Lightweight Packages Going to Canada—UPS vs. FedEx vs. DHL 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 the country and there are quite a few affordable shipping options to choose from. Plus, e-commerce retail trade sales in Canada amounted to over $4.5 billion USD in December 2021 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|
Which is the Best Delivery Option for Less-Urgent Packages Going to Other Countries—UPS vs. FedEx vs. DHL vs. USPS?
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, 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 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|
Which is the Best Delivery Option for International Packages That Will Arrive in 3-5 Days—UPS vs. FedEx vs. DHL vs. USPS?
If your shipment is time-sensitive, 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|
Which is the Best Delivery Option for International Packages That Will Arrive ASAP—UPS vs. FedEx vs. DHL vs. USPS?
Each carrier supports delivery within the shortest timeframe possible. And, the pricing will be dependent on the package dimensions, weight, destination, and time of day it can be picked up or dropped off with the carrier. For these shipping services, you’ll want to reach out to your carrier directly to get a quote.
For more tips and tricks for going global, check out our e-commerce shipping strategies guide. You might also like to compare domestic shipping rates or read our detailed recap of the 2022 USPS rates (with charts).
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.