Shipping from UK to US: Top Carriers Compared


If you are an eCommerce merchant looking to expand your business and start shipping overseas, shipping from UK to US offers a wealth of options. According to industry data, the eCommerce business in the United States is thriving, with customers spending almost £12.5 billion on goods and services from the United Kingdom alone.

However, before you start there are a number of things that you need to consider, and one of the critical aspects is preparing to ship. In this article, we have explained in detail all the carriers shipping from UK to US keeping these parameters in mind:

  • Shipping cost
  • Delivery time
  • Product Insurance

You can choose to ship with any of the below-listed carriers based on these parameters & your business requirements.

Shipping Carriers to Ship from UK to US

You can choose from a variety of shipping carriers to ship your goods from the UK to the US. These include:

  • Royal Mail
  • Parcelforce
  • UPS
  • FedEx
  • DHL

Shipping from UK to US with Royal Mail 

Royal Mail being a multinational postal service and courier company is a reliable option if you are planning to cut down your shipping charges.

Shipping Cost: The shipping charges are affordable starting at £1.60 and vary based on the service chosen. Refer to the price chart below:

royal mail shipping cost

Delivery Time: International Shipments with Royal Mail are usually delivered between 5 to 7 days. Refer to the image above to know the exact transit time based on each Royal Mail International service.

Insurance: Insurance cover ranges from £250 for the International Tracked services to £20 for Standard and Economy services.

For more information check the Royal Mail website.

Shipping from UK to US with Parcelforce

Parcelforce, a subsidiary of Royal Mail is a better option if your goods are time-sensitive & need speedy delivery. Also, all the Parcelforce international delivery services are fully tracked.

Shipping Cost: The shipping charges start from £24.45 and vary based on the shipping service you choose. Refer to the chart below:

parcelforce shipping rates

Delivery Time: International shipments with Parcelforce are usually delivered between 1 and 8 days. Exact transit times depend on the service you choose and the exact destination of the package. 

Insurance: Insurance cover ranges from £200 for the priority and express services to £100 for the economy services.

For more information check the Parcelforce website.

Shipping from UK to US with UPS

UPS is a well-established American company holding a good network. If you are looking for fast & cost-effective mail service, UPS is a smart choice. It offers a good range of shipping methods from UK to US which is fully tracked with multiple pick-up options & delivery confirmations.

Shipping Cost: UPS shipping charges vary based on the shipping zones, service you choose, zones, package weight & dimensions. Refer to the image below: 


You can measure and weigh your package to receive an accurate quote from the UPS website or their shipping rate guide

If you are using an eCommerce platform, automatically calculate shipping costs using integrated shipping tools.

You can save up to 75% on the UPS shipping rates with PluginHive’s Shipping Solutions. UPS delivers to the US starting at £17.99. Refer to the table below:

Note: These rates are from the drop-off location (UPS Access Point) to the recipient Door.

ups digital access point rates
*Fuel and Residential surcharge already included
**Please note that surcharges would apply in accordance with UPS terms and conditions & optional services required

Delivery Time: Depending on the service you choose, shipping from the UK to the US with UPS takes between 1-5 business days. 

Insurance: UPS covers up to £84.53 for both a domestic and an international shipment. Additionally, UPS provides declared value coverage for an additional fee for the package.

ups dap

Shipping from UK to US with FedEx

FedEx is the most reliable option if your products are time-sensitive & need to be delivered within a timeline. All FedEx international shipping services are fully tracked on the website or mobile app. Customers can choose from a range of delivery signature options including no signature, indirect signature, direct signature, and adult signature.

Shipping Cost: FedEx shipping charges vary on the shipping service you choose, package weight & dimensions. The shipping charges are slightly higher in comparison to other carriers starting at £115.13. Refer to the chart below:

fedex rates

Delivery Time: Shipment times from UK to US with FedEx vary from next-day delivery for the FedEx Priority Service to 2-5 days for the Economy service.

Insurance: FedEx does not provide cargo liability or all-risk insurance but the sender may pay an additional charge for Declared Value for Carriage. Visit the FedEx website for more details. 

Shipping from UK to US with DHL

DHL is an ideal option if are looking for fast reliable delivery. It also offers fully tracked international delivery services from UK to US with proof of delivery options.

Shipping Cost: The shipping charges start from £43.69 based on the package size and weight. 

dhl rates

Delivery Time: The shipping time for UK to US with DHL usually takes between 1-3 days when you choose DHL Worldwide Air Delivery.

Insurance: The carrier offers protection costing £12.00 for shipments valued up to £800 or 1.5% of the total value if greater than £800. 

Customs documents that are required for shipping from the UK to the US

The three most important documents you need to complete and submit when shipping from UK to US are:

  • Commercial invoice: A commercial invoice is a document that helps customs officers decide what customs and duties need to be applied to your shipments. This helps speed up processes and prevents delays.
  • Air waybill (AWB): An airway bill acts as a legal contract between the sender and the shipping carrier, so it needs to be supplied correctly. It contains important information about the shipments such as the address of the buyer, the value of the goods, the description of the products, the weight of the goods, and the airport code where the package was sent from.
  • Custom Declarations CN22 and CN23 form: Customs declarations CN22 and CN23 forms include information that accurately describes the contents of your parcel. It helps in processing your shipments more efficiently and you get them to your customers on time. If your shipment has a value of up to £270 you need to attach a signed and dated CN22. If the value is greater than £270, or your package weighs more than 2kg, you need to go for CN23.

How to ship with the top carriers from UK to US

Save your time and effort by integrating Royal Mail, Parcelforce, UPS, FedEx, and DHL into your Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, or Magento store using PluginHive’s automated shipping applications. Offer your customers accurate shipping rates, print labels, get timely pickups & tracking updates with:

Wrapping Up

With the growing business opportunities available in the United States & great choice of shipping carriers, it is well worth expanding your business in these arenas. 

If your need is solely for the fastest shipping carrier then Parcelforce, UPS, FedEx & DHL are the ideal options.

However, if you are looking to cut down your shipping costs then Royal Mail & UPS are the smart choices.

Hope this article will help you choose a carrier to get you to start shipping overseas!

Interested in learning more about how PluginHive can provide you with the perfect shipping solution to meet the needs of your growing eCommerce business? Whether you’re using one shipping carrier or offering multiple shipping carriers to your customers, we can help. Reach out for a conversation with our team of experts today!