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Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2008
U.S.P.S. next-day rates much cheaper than competitors FedEx and UPS.
Yonkers, N.Y.—As shoppers gear up for this holiday season one thing is for certain: No one wants to dish out more cash to ship gifts to family and friends. In a recent study, Consumer Reports found that although all three shippers delivered next-day as promised, the U.S. Postal Service prices were as much as 281 percent cheaper than FedEx and UPS.
Consumer Reports sent three packages, one from each shipper, for next-day delivery from Yonkers, NY to 16 recipients in 12 states using the U.S Postal Service, FedEx and UPS. Every package contained a paperback book and was shipped in a bag, box, or envelope based on the shipper’s recommendation.
In our test, the Postal Service was the least expensive by far for local and long-distance deliveries and charged a flat rate of $16.50 for the letter-size envelope provided. The other shippers base prices on weight and the distance traveled, so UPS charged $62.87 for next-day delivery to Oregon and $29.55 to Manhattan. FedEx charged $54.57 and $27.48, respectively.
For letters or package that need to arrive faster than next-day, however, FedEx and UPS have the edge. Both shippers offer same-day service first thing in the morning, while the Postal Service only promises delivery sometime the following business day, depending on destination and shipping time.
“If you need your package to arrive early the next morning or by a specific time, FedEx and UPS are definitely your best bet,” says Tod Marks, Consumer Reports senior project editor. “But for standard one-day shipping the Postal Service is the more affordable way to go.”
Consumer Reports also checked prices for a 5-pound package sent from New York to California next-day, two-day and regular ground service. The Postal Service charged the lowest price in our test on next-day and two-day and more or less tied FedEx on price for ground shipping. In addition, the Postal Service doesn’t add a fuel surcharge, which is adjusted monthly by the other carriers. Plus, the Postal Service offers discounts of 3 to 11 percent to customers who arrange their shipping online.
For more information check out the December issue of Consumer Reports Magazine or visit www.ConsumerReports.org
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