Until someone comes up with a way to email packages or Tweet deliveries, we're going to rely on FedEx, UPS, and USPS to send anything that can't be translated into ones and zeros. How do the two private shipping companies stack up against each other?
Does Brown do it for you? Is FedEx shipping things to your world on time? Like Coke vs. Pepsi and iPhone vs. Android, when there are two major brands dominating a particular market, it normally comes down to personal preference.
This infographic by our friends at PackageFox breaks down the numbers for us. Not surprisingly, they're very similar, but there is data in there that may help you make a decision on who to use next time it's time to ship a sweater to Aunt Tilly.
USPS, FedEx, and UPS each have their own mobile apps that they release and support. DHL’s lack of an app was surprisingly missing in this collection but can be overcome by using an application that works across all shippers.
USPS: COST: FREE - The USPS app for the iPhone and iPod touch gives you access to the following features: Tracking & Confirming packages, finding USPS locations, finding collection boxes, zip code lookup, find automated postal centers, and price estimations for shipments. The application is clean, easy to use, and supports the GPS feature in your phone to make finding locations fairly quick. There application has been updated to support all of their new flat rate shipment options.
FedEx: COST: FREE - This application also allows you to track shipments and get price estimations but they have added additional features that the USPS application doesn’t have that we think are important to a business. They actually allow you to create shipping labels and have them emailed to you along with the ability to schedule pickups. Being able to do all of this from your phone without the need for a computer certainly opens up quite a few opportunities for how and where you can work on logistics in your business. The only drawback to this application is the requirement to login/register prior to using any of the features. This is fine for the avid shipper but will become annoying for a casual or home user who just wants to track a package.
UPS: COST: FREE - Much like the other applications the UPS application for the iPhone allows you to track, ship, get price quotes, and find near by locations of drop boxes and shipping centers. This application has the best tracking interface due to its design which makes it easy to see the status of many packages at once. The UPS app also allows you to give your shipments a nickname so that you can reference a package by something other than a 20 digit number. One key feature that we liked about this app was the ability to use your UPS address book. Any common shipping addresses that are in your UPS.com account are pulled down in to this app. A critical time saver that the other apps don’t have.
These apps allow you to schedule pickups and deliveries and track packages and overnight shipments.
COMMENTARY: I still think FedEx is the best. Sorry UPS. FedEx even made it into a Hollywood film titled, "Castaway" starring Tom Hanks. One of the most challenging acting jobs for the two-time Academy Award winner.
Courtesy of an article dated January 11, 2011 appearing in Fast Company