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Shipping companies provide access to a growing global marketplace through a network of supply chain, transportation, business and related information services. Various companies are competing in the package delivery and transportation logistics business. This report seeks to compare four leading courier service providers (FedEx, DHL, UPS and USPS) by taking into account factors that determine their success, namely – costs, delivery services and speed, pick up schedules, drop off locations and tracking. The report concludes with a discussion on the service that is better the rest, in terms of all the aforementioned factors.

FEDEX: The FedEx Corporation provides strategic direction and consolidated financial reporting for the operating companies that compete collectively under the FedEx name worldwide. Originally called FDX Corp., FedEx Corp. was formed in January 1998 with the acquisition of Caliber System Inc. Through this and future purchases, FedEx sought to build on the strength of its express delivery service and create a more diversified company that included a portfolio of different but related businesses. FedEx worldwide network links customers to more than 220 countries and territories, often within one to two business days. DHL: DHL provides international express, overland transport and air freight services. DHL's international network links more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. DHL is 100% owned by Deutsche Post World Net. Operations of the company began in 1969. The total number of destinations covered by the DHL network are120,000. UPS: UPS was founded in 1907 as a messenger company in the United States. Today UPS is a global company in the package delivery business. The company is a leading global provider of specialized transportation and logistics services. They manage the flow of goods, funds, and information in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. USPS: The United States Postal Service is an independent establishment of the Executive Branch of the United States Government. It operates in a businesslike way. Today, the Postal Service delivers hundreds of millions of messages each day to more than 141 million homes and businesses. The year 1775 marked the birth of the Post Office Department, the predecessor of the US Postal Service.


FEDEX The fastest service is FedEx SameDay, which is available for urgent or emergency shipments 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It includes courier pickup, proactive tracking and delivery notification and can be requested by calling. The international counterpart is FedEx International Next Flight., which can be also be requested by calling. Choices for overnight delivery are FedEx First Overnight by 8 am, FedEx Priority Overnight by 10:30 am, and FedEx Standard Overnight by 3 pm. The latter is a cost-effective choice if one can wait for afternoon delivery. Weekend Delivery : Saturday delivery is available with FedEx Priority Overnight (if shipment is tendered on a Friday) and FedEx 2-Day (shipment tendered on a Thursday) in the majority of US cities. An additional fee applies. FedEx Express Overnight courier services

DHL Same day services: Helicopter service (US only), city couriers, next flight out, on-board couriers and direct transit. Ideal for shipments that require special transportation e.g. dangerous goods or high-value items

UPS DOMESTIC: Same Day - Delivery time provided when order is placed

USPS Domestic Express Mail Overnight Guaranteed Packages ($16.25 and up). Delivery Next Day

DayDefinite Europe, US and Middle East: road-based network. Pick-up, linehaul and delivery are all handled by DHL according to agreed service levels.

UPS Express Critical – Delivery Next Business Day and as early as 8:00 a.m.

Priority Mail - 2-3 Day Packages ($4.60 and up) Delivery 2-3 Days

DHL Europack: the parcel service for customers sending shipments to business customers in Europe. Delivery to more than 20 countries in Europe and a maximum weight of up to 31.5 kg.

UPS Next Day Air Early A.M. – Delivery Next Business Day and typically by 10:30 a.m.

Parcel Post and Media Mail - Ground Packages ($1.40 and up). Delivery 2-9 Days

DHL Europlus : business-to-business delivery of single parcels, multi-parcel shipments and pallets throughout Europe. Second delivery attempt, Insurance available on top of standard DHL liability, Cash on delivery, Dropoff shipments at depot, Receiver pays, Remote area delivery, Proof of delivery (hardcopy), Return of non-

UPS Next Day Air – Delivery Next Business Day and typically by 3:00 p.m.

International Global Express Guaranteed ($28.50 and up). Delivery 1-3 Days

deliverable shipments FedEx Ground Guaranteed daydefinite delivery at a cost savings as compared to timedefinite FedEx Express. FedEx Home Delivery - A division of FedEx Ground. Delivers to residences. Currently, FedEx Home Delivery only operates in the United States, and is not yet available in Canada. FedEx SmartPost Consolidates parcels from merchants such as e-commerce and catalog companies, and delivers them for "last mile" residential delivery via the US Postal Service. DayDefinite US: domestic road-based services to anywhere in the United States. UPS Next Day Air Saver – Delivery 2 Business Days and typically by 10:30 a.m. Express Mail International ($22.00 and up). Delivery 3-5 Days

DHL 2nd Day: Delivery to anywhere in the US, Guaranteed by 3 pm the second business day, Shipment of any size and weight

UPS 2nd Day Air A.M. – Delivery 2 Business Days and typically by end of day

Priority Mail International ($16.00 and up). Delivery 6-10 Days

DHL Ground (Intra-US only): cost-effective shipment delivery. Shipments are delivered in 1-5 business days by end of day. DHL Ground is available to every business and residential address within the 48 contiguous United States and is ideal for non-urgent shipments needing day-definite arrival. DHL@home and DHLmediamail@home (Intra-US only): The expedited service for shipments including books, compact discs and video cassettes from businesses to residential locations. With an option of either standard air services or ground services, one can choose between either 2-to-4 days or 2to-7 days respectively. Saturday delivery at no extra charge. DHL Express XL: international door-todoor delivery of heavyweight shipments

UPS 2nd Day Air – Delivery 3 Business Days and by end of day

First-Class Mail International ($0.69 and up)

FedEx Freight - Less than truckload (LTL) and other freight services.

UPS 3 Day Select – Delivery 1-5 Business Days and based on distance to destination

FedEx Freight East, West, and Canada

UPS Ground – Delivery 1-5 Business Days and based on the UPS shipping service chosen

FedEx Kinko's - The retail arm of the FedEx corporation. FedEx Kinko's Office and Print Centers - Provides business services— including printing, copying, and Internet access—in addition to FedEx shipping. FedEx Kinko's Ship Centers - Provides a central location for FedEx customers to deposit their packages for shipping, also offering a self service photocopy and fax machine, a small selection of office products conducive to packing and shipping, an assortment of boxes, packaging services, and almost all materials necessary for shipping through FedEx. FedEx Custom Critical - Delivers urgent, valuable, or hazardous items using trucks and chartered aircraft. White Glove Services - Handles high-value or sensitive freight which may require special handling, extra security, or temperature controlled transport. For example, bacteria cultures, temperature sensitive medications, and certain food items can be transported at the temperature intended by the shipper. Air Expedite Specializes in same and next day delivery of freight, including Saturday delivery.

StartDay Express Next day delivery by 09:00am

UPS Hundredweight Service

Worldwide Parcel Express - Worldwide Parcel Express offers international express door-to-door delivery overnight or by the end of the next possible business day for goods subject to customs clearance.

INTERNATIONAL: UPS Express Critical – Delivery time 1-3 Business Days, typically by 8:30 or 9:00 a.m.

MidDay Express - Next day delivery by 12:00 noon

UPS Worldwide Express Plus – Delivery time 1-3 Business Days, by 10:30 a.m. or 12:00 noon UPS Worldwide Express – Delivery time 1-3 Business Days, by end of day

Worldwide Document Express - offers international express door-to-door delivery overnight or by the end of the next possible business day for documents and parcels not subject to customs clearance.

European Community Express - EU Countries only. Offers overnight, door-to-door delivery for any type of shipment - document or parcel - within the European Union.

UPS Worldwide Saver – Delivery time 2-5 Business Days, by end of day

FedEx Trade Networks - Provides services relating to customs, insurance, and transportation advice. FedEx Supply Chain Services - Provides logistics services including Critical Inventory Logistics, Transportation Management Services, Fulfillment Services, etc. FedEx Services Provides marketing and information technology (IT) services for the other FedEx divisions.

DHL Next Day: intraU.S. only – Delivery by 10:30 am, 12:00 pm or 3:00 pm the next business day.

UPS Worldwide Expedited - Day Definite by Date Scheduled, Delivery by end of day UPS Standard to and from Canada - Import Only, by Next Business Day, by 10:30 a.m.

UPS Worldwide Express NA1 – Delivery time 3 Business Days, by end of day UPS 3 Day Select from Canada


To compare costs and delivery times of the four carriers, the author of this report prepared the same shipment online to two destinationsDomestic (New York, USA to Dallas, USA) and International (New York, USA to New Delhi, India). The details of the shipment were as follows: Date of shipping: Mon, Nov 12, 2008 Weight: 25 lbs The four shipping companies outlined a quote in terms of transit time, cost and possible service options. These are illustrated below. FEDEX Local shipment – New York to Dallas DELIVERY DATE/TIME Same day in shortest time possible Tue, Nov 13, 2008 8:00 AM Tue, Nov 13, 2008 10:30 AM Tue, Nov 13, 2008 3:00 PM Wed, Nov 14, 2008 4:30 PM Thu, Nov 15, 2008 4:30 PM End of day (3 Business Days) SERVICE FedEx Same Day FedEx First Overnight FedEx Priority Overnight FedEx Standard Overnight FedEx 2Day FedEx Express Saver FedEx Ground RATE (in $) Based on availability at time of shipment 158.27 129.14 116.50 80.91 61.63 14.48

International Shipment – New York (USA) to New Delhi (India) DELIVERY DATE/TIME Thu, Nov 15, 2008 8:00 PM Sat, Nov 17, 2008 8:00 PM SERVICE FedEx International Priority FedEx International Economy DHL Local shipment – New York to Dallas DELIVERY DATE/TIME Tue, Nov 13, 2008 by 10:30am Tue, Nov 13, 2008 by 12:00 noon Tue, Nov 13, 2008 by 03:00 pm Wed, Nov 14, 2008 by 05:00 pm Thu, Nov 15, 2008 by end of day SERVICE DHL Next Day 10:30 am DHL Next Day 12:00 noon DHL Next Day 3:00 pm DHL 2nd Day DHL Ground Service RATE (in $) 127.27 126.08 112.58 76.79 14.48 RATE (in $) 300.80 286.83

International Shipment – New York (USA) to New Delhi (India) DELIVERY DATE Thu, Nov 15, 2008 RATE (in $) 305.49 UPS Local shipment – New York to Dallas

DELIVERY DATE/TIME Same day Tue, Nov 13, 2008 by 8am Tue, Nov 13, 2008 by 10:30am Tue, Nov 13, 2008 by 3 pm Wed, Nov 14, 2008 by 10:30am Wed, Nov 14, 2008 By End of Day Thu, Nov 15, 2008 by end of day Thu, Nov 15, 2008 by end of day

SERVICE UPS Express Critical UPS Next Day Air Early A.M UPS Next Day Air UPS Next Day Air Saver UPS 2nd Day Air A.M UPS 2nd Day Air UPS 3 Day Select UPS Ground

RATE (in $) Get quote at time of shipment 161.47 128.27 118.83 106.02 91.45 56.15 21.14

International Shipment – New York (USA) to New Delhi (India) DELIVERY DATE/TIME 12:00 pm, Thu, Nov 15, 2008 By end of day Thu, Nov 15, 2008 SERVICE UPS Worldwide Express UPS Worldwide Saver RATE (in $) 309.31 302.61

USPS Local shipment – New York to Dallas DELIVERY DATE/TIME Tue, Nov 13, 2008 Wed, Nov 14, 2008 Sat, Nov 17, 2008 Sat, Nov 17, 2008 SERVICE Express Mail Priority Mail Parcel Post Media Mail RATE (in $) 77.50 30.15 21.08 10.29

International Shipment – New York (USA) to New Delhi (India) DELIVERY DATE/TIME Thu, Nov 15, 2008 Mon, Nov 19, 2008 Wed, Nov 21, 2008 SERVICE Global Express Guaranteed Express Mail International Priority Mail International RATE (in $) Calculated before mailing 141.75 127.30


FEDEX FedEx Insight Online requests for approval sent. Once request approved, shipments can be viewed without providing a tracking number or reference number. InSight will display current status on all shipments matched to account number and/or address. Immediate notifications about clearance delays, attempted deliveries, proofs of delivery, and more- via email, Internet, or wireless.

DHL Online tracking One can track shipments online via the website by feeding in relevant information

UPS Tracking number Shipment tracking is done through tracking numbers entered on the website. These numbers are assigned at the time of shipment.

Alternate Reference Tracking Entering an account number displays all shipments related to the reference and account. Destination country and postal code can also be entered to narrow search.

Using reference numbers Shipments tracking can happen by using certain reference numbers that would be related to specific shipments only.

Track by Reference When creating a shipment, one can assign a reference to it such as a PO Number, Bill of Lading Number, or customer name. This predefined reference can be used to track shipment.

USPS Track & Confirm by email An online feature that saves time by allowing the USPS to send current delivery status information on mail piece. There are two options: email all activity to-date or email all future activity. Email all activity to-date will provide a single email to each recipient stating the current delivery status information. Email all future activity will generate an email any time USPS receives a delivery or delivery related event (such as attempted, refused, returned to sender, or forwarded). Proof of Delivery A letter that includes the recipient's name and a copy of their signature. One can request Proof of Delivery to be emailed, faxed, or mailed for no additional fee for Express Mail and Signature Confirmation services.

My Fedex Register online and access all online services, including tracking

DHL Toolbar The DHL Toolbar is a convenient and direct link from the Internet Explorer Browser to DHL's on-line tracking service

UPS Signature Tracking A secure, Web-based service that provides enhanced tracking and delivery information. Tracking results may include Proof of Delivery with: - Signature image - Full name and delivery address - Reference number information - Collection of delivery information PIN-controlled security helps prevent

Return Receipt (Electronic) Provides a copy of the proof of delivery record via email when requested online. This service is available for purchase at the time of mailing with Certified Mail, Insured Mail, Collection on Delivery (COD), and Registered Mail

unauthorized access to sensitive UPS delivery information. One can determine who has access to UPS Signature Tracking and to specific features for shipments sent using one’s UPS Account. Transportation Control Number While using a FedEx automated shipping system such as FedEx® Ship Manager, one can enter the TCN in the "References" field on the screen. This service is for US Government shippers only. Fedex Trade Networks My Global Trade Data is an online tool application, which displays transactional data available from FedEx Trade Networks business applications. My Global Trade Data allows users to view their own transactional data for brokerage and transportation shipments, create reports with that data, create Customs documentation, and research Customs issues. Via email For times when one does not have access to, one can track FedEx Express and FedEx Ground shipments via e-mail. DHL eTrack e-mail systems are used to track express shipments and bring the latest shipment delivery information. DHL eTrack can track up to 50 air waybills at one time and operates on any e-mail-enabled device, whether it be a PC, mobile phone or handheld device. DHL ExpresSMS Allows mobile phone users to track the progress of single shipments. One needs to Text air waybill number and DHL responds with the status. Track by E-mail One can track up to 25 UPS shipments at a time by sending tracking numbers in an e-mail message.

Wireless Tracking Create a UPS Wireless Profile and registered mobile device telephone number. UPS Wireless Tracking provides an added convenience of storing up to five tracking numbers in wireless profile for quick and easy retrieval.

DHL ExpressWAP Allows one to access DHL service information or track shipment anywhere and at any time around the world from any WAP-enabled device.

Quantum View View and download complete shipping information based on UPS Account Number. Create customized tracking reports to see the information that is most important.

FedEx Wireless Solutions With FedEx Wireless Solutions it's easy to track the status of

FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight shipments, get a rate quote for shipment, or find the nearest FedEx Express dropoff location using Web-enabled mobile device - anytime, anywhere. Package tracking Enter FedEx Express, FedEx Ground or FedEx Freight tracking number and send the results to as many as three e-mail addresses. Dropoff locator - Enter ZIP code to access information about the closest FedEx Express dropoff location. One can also, receive driving directions to those locations.


As illustrated by the figures and information above, the least costly shipping option is the USPS. While cost is an important factor in deciding a favourable shipping partner, there are other significant factors that need to be considered too. DHL, FedEx and UPS are close competitors in the shipping business. The services offered by these players employ state-of-the-art technology and data management for shipping, tracking and delivery. The final selection of one service, among the four reviewed, requires the consideration of all factors involved – shipping costs, delivery time and speed, pick up schedules, tracking facilities, drop off locations, value added services and ease of use of website. The author finds that the services offered by FedEx are better than those offered by its close competitors DHL and UPS. This makes it a more attractive option for fulfilling one’s shipping needs. Delivery time and schedules cater to the specific needs of the market. Even the costs quoted by FedEx for the shipment under consideration were competitive. However, in the author’s opinion, one significant area where FedEx lost out to its rivals UPS and DHL was ease of use and attractiveness of website. This is an important criterion for customers today when most transactions happen online. This is true even for business-to-business transactions. In this regard, the website of UPS ( offers the most comfortable usage options for shipping information, costs, details about related services etc. The website integrates text information with visual representation of locations, tracking facilities etc, thereby making it more interesting for retrieving both general and specific information. Therefore, while factoring in all significant details related to shipping, the author did not find one clear winner.