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Money Talks: Cheapest Overnight Shipping: FedEx, UPS or USPS?

By: Stacy Johnson
By: Stacy Johnson

Getting stuff from A to B is part and parcel of life in America. When it comes to sending packages, especially overnight, there are several services that compete for your business. The three most popular are the Post Office, UPS and FedEx. Think they’re all about the same price? Not even close.

Consumer Reports recently did a survey by sending a paperback book overnight to 16 recipients in 12 states using recommended packaging from all three services.

Results? The Post Office charges a flat fee of $16.50 for a letter-sized envelope anywhere in the lower 48. But the other two charge based on weight and distance… so FedEx was $27 to $55 and UPS was $30 to $63. So depending on distance, they were up to 4 times more.

They also shipped a five-pound package cross-country. Again, when it came to overnight, the Post Office was cheaper. Although on ground shipping, FedEx was basically the same.

So who you use depends on your needs. But the bottom line here is don’t assume everyone’s the same price. Get online and do some homework before you send anything: then maybe you won’t be sending money down the drain.


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