UPS (United Parcel Service) is one of the oldest and well-renowned courier services worldwide. It was founded in 1907 and is considered a trailblazer in courier, logistics, and freight forwarding services.
If you're running an eCommerce business, you may be interested in offering UPS as a courier option to your customers. After all, it's a reliable company that can deliver to 220 countries and territories around the world - ensuring you can get your product anywhere.
The good news is that:
1) You can access discounted UPS rates through Easyship when you sign up for a free account! 😉
2) UPS offers a multitude of delivery services based on your delivery timeframe and budget.
However, with the vast amount of services, it can be overwhelming when it comes to figuring out which solutions are best for your business.
In this post, we will provide you general information and some insights on UPS' major domestic, international and other value-added services, so that you can easily compare and decide what suits you and your customers best!
Breaking down UPS shipping services in the US
Here are the services that eCommerce sellers might be interested in using, starting from the most urgent:
- UPS Express Critical: This service is meant for urgent and emergency shipping, and it's available 24/7/365. Based on your destination, it will automatically determine the best route for your shipment, and place it on the best available flight. Besides air freight, it can also utilize other transportation methods such as surface or hand-carry.
Since this service delivers quickly in a short time frame, it's very possible that it will be one of the most expensive services.
- UPS Next Day Air: This service guarantees 'next business day' delivery. With this offering, UPS aims at providing you a time-definitive service (on-time delivery) and including free packaging for your convenience.
UPS Next Day air can be further divided into 2 sub-categories: Early and Saver. Early guarantees next day delivery as early as 8 am across the US, and Saver guarantees afternoon delivery, until 4:30 pm. If you're someone who cannot compromise with delivery times, this UPS service could be the best option for you.
- UPS 2nd Day: Within this service leg, UPS offers UPS 2nd Day Air and UPS 2nd Day Air AM. Both are economical options, with the former being applicable for shipments that do not need an overnight service and the latter being suitable for time sensitive situations wherein a delivery is expected by 10:30 am or by 12 noon (latest). Free packaging also complements both these offerings.
- UPS 3rd Day Select: This service is the most appropriate for less time-sensitive deliveries. Delivery is guaranteed to be made by the end of the third business day.
- UPS Ground: This is the most economical choice for routine shipments - deliveries which customers do not attach a time value to. Depending on 'from where to where' you plan on shipping, this option can take 1-5 days. It's best to forgo this option if you think your customers are even slightly time-sensitive, to avoid disappointing them with late deliveries.
|Service Name||Delivery time frame (days)||Estimated Time of Arrival|
|UPS Express Critical||Same Day||Delivery time provided when order is placed|
|UPS Next Day Air Early||Next Business Day||As early as 8 AM|
|UPS Next Day Air||Next Business Day||Typically by 10:30 AM|
|UPS Next Day Air Saver||Next Business Day||Typically by 3 PM|
|UPS 2nd Day Air AM||2 Business Days||Typically by 10:30 AM|
|UPS 2nd Day Air||2 Business Days||End of day|
|UPS 3 Day Select||3 Business Days||End of day|
|UPS Ground||1-5 Business Days||Based on distance to destination|
UPS' international services are as accurately timed as the domestic ones. The international services umbrella covers many different service options:
UPS Express Critical: Worldwide shipping guaranteed 24/7/365 days year-round! Your delivery specifications will be prioritized and specially taken care of by UPS.
UPS Worldwide Express: This service is definitely less time-sensitive than UPS Express Critical. It is a broad service, with 5 sub-categories, which usually differ with each other in terms of the number of countries they can allow shipping to and/or receiving shipments from. Most of them provide time-definitiveness, money-back guarantees and in-house customs clearance. 4 of the sub-categories ensure both export and import of shipments with 1-3 days of delivery commitment, except UPS Worldwide Express NA1, which is Import Only and ensures next-day delivery.
UPS Worldwide Saver: Guarantees delivery in 1-3 days, door-to-door, and end of the day deliveries.
UPS Worldwide Expedited: This makes sure that deliveries are fast and flexible for less urgent, small package shipments. Your customers can expect their deliveries to reach them between 2-3+ days.
UPS Standard: These are the bottom-of-the-pyramid deliveries in terms of urgency. Delivery commitment is 3+ days.
To see the delivery details in terms of time frame (days) and UPS overnight rates, please refer to the following table:
|Service Name||Delivery time frame (days)||Estimated Time of Arrival|
|UPS Express Critical||Best available flight||Delivery time provided when order is placed|
|UPS Worldwide Express Plus||1-3 Business Days||Typically by 8:30 AM - 9 AM|
|UPS Worldwide Express||1-3 Business Days||Typically by 10:30 AM or 12 noon|
|UPS Worldwide Saver||1-3 Business Days||End of day|
|UPS Worldwide Expedited||2-5 Business Days||End of day|
|UPS Standard||Day Definite by Date Scheduled||End of day|
Other Value Added Services:
UPS also offers many other value added services to cater to your special needs while handling your shipments. These include:
Pickup and delivery services
Shipment / Clearance consolidation
Why choose UPS over other couriers?
UPS is one of the oldest and most experienced courier service providers in the US. DHL has stopped its domestic shipping within the US, so UPS seems to have an edge over that area as well. FedEx seems to be the only other formidable competitor for UPS!
UPS's Growth and Future Outlook:
UPS has been evolving and progressing with time and the demands of its customers. Recent growth metrics and initiatives by UPS are:
Recently, they spread out their express services to 14 more countries. New postal codes were also added to 65 countries, which already existed in their global coverage portfolio. They made sure to improve shipment time in transit in 24 countries, globally.
UPS started a creative and interactive Wish Service, where you get to fulfill one of your customer wishes, after shipping with them.
International Brotherhood of Teamsters' freight agreement with UPS, will make sure to reward UPS employees who have contributed to measurable growth of the company.
How Easyship partners with UPS
We are happy to work together with UPS to offer small and medium businesses competitive rates that meet customer demand.
Depending on your origin destination, you can expect to see services such as Expedited, Worldwide Saver, Express, Export Express Saver, Flat Rate, and Ground.
Our thoughts on UPS are that it is a versatile courier service, with many shipping options, giving its customers lots of flexibility in choosing between their services. eCommerce businesses of all sizes can benefit from their service offerings.
Interested in using UPS at discounted rates? Sign up for a free Easyship account and start shipping today!