Freight Shipping – FedEx vs UPS vs USPS

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Whether you’re shipping a parcel that weighs a lot or is large in size to a customer or you’re sending a pallet of product between eCommerce fulfilment locations, the cost is something you’re definitely going to look at. Most businesses expect to pay more for larger items than they would for something standard in size, but they still want to save as much as possible to keep expenses down.

The three top shipping companies in the USA (USPS, FedEx, and UPS) all have excellent and reliable shipping rates — but some have weight limits. They do realize that businesses do ship big – and they have guidelines set into place.

If your packages are under 70 pounds and aren’t oddly shaped (they are the standard square or rectangular size), you can use the USPS shipping. FedEx and UPS also offer many different rated options, however, costs can rise quickly when the weight of the package is over 10 pounds. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not an option.

There are ways to keep costs down with private shipping companies in the USA. And, if you’re expected to have parcels arrive as fast as possible — UPS or FedEx might be your best option. 

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USPS Freight Shipping

USPS shipping has many options that offer speed and cost-effective shipping. Likely because most packages are delivered with the regular mail, no package can weigh more than 70 pounds. Items that typically weigh less than 70 pounds include small furniture pieces (a small loveseat, chair, bookcases, etc). Even some appliances such as a fridge or chest freezer are under 70 pounds, so USPS is still an excellent option for many online eCommerce brands that sell larger items. 

There is a measurement limit for USPS which is 108 inches in length and width/girth combined. The largest box size sold by USPS is 20” x 14” x 10”. 

USPS Priority Mail and USPS Priority Mail Express are probably the best options for shipping large items. Each promises delivery in at least 1 business day and offers insurance as well as free pickup from your business or office (so you don’t have to do the lifting).

USPS Flat rate options are also a good choice because there is no weighing involved to change the price of shipping. You can also use your own boxes as long as they are within the size limit mentioned above. Costs remain low and stay the same regardless of the size or weight of the items inside.


FedEx Freight Shipping

Packages shipped with FedEx can weigh up to 150 pounds and measure 180 inches in length or a combined (including girth) total of 165 inches. If parcels weigh more than 150 pounds or are even larger in size, extra fees will apply. The dimensional weight is also important for courier and shipping companies like FedEx and UPS.

This means that the price you pay will also be calculated based on how much room your box takes up on the delivery truck. This number is calculated using the following equation: L x W x H = cubic size.

How much you (or your customer) will pay for shipping via FedEx depends on which rate is chosen. It will cost more to have a shipment from New York City to Austin, Texas, arrive within one day as opposed to a week. The cheapest options allow for the most time to deliver.

Flat rate boxes are also available from FedEx which allow for packages up to 150 pounds. The sizes of boxes available aren’t very large, however. The biggest box is 11-7/8″ x 10-3/4″ x 11″

15-3/4″ x 14-1/8″ x 6″ and is said to fit two pairs of shoes starting at $32.35. Items over 150 pounds can be shipped via a freight box, which if shipped often can have discounted or business prices negotiated. 


UPS Freight Shipping

Packages shipped with UPS can weigh up to 150 pounds and measure 180 inches in length or a combined (including girth) total of 165 inches. If parcels weigh more than 150 pounds or are even larger in size, extra fees will apply and will need special pricing and dimensional weight calculations. Packages over 70 pounds will have to have a heavy sticker applied to the box. 

How much you (or your customer) will pay for shipping via UPS depends on which rate is chosen. Like FedEx, extra fees will be applied for any parcel weighing more than 150 pounds and choosing a freight option may be the best option for saving your business money over time. Businesses can usually work out a discount for multiple shipments if they speak directly to an agent about their courier requirements. 

Large items especially take a little extra care when it comes to shipping – especially internationally. PluginHive shipping solutions ensures you and your customers receive the lowest possible cost and delivery time that matches their budget and requirements. Instead of being stuck with one option, they have multiple shipping carriers to choose from – ensuring they remain happy and return again. 


Freight shipping with PluginHive provides your business with everything you need to streamline your business from checkout until parcels reach their final destination. Learn more about integrating PluginHive into your Shopify, WooCommerce, or another eCommerce platform by reaching out to our customer support team.

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