UPS, FedEx, DHL, & More

DHL eCommerce vs. DHL Express: Which is Better for Online Merchants?

DHL eCommerce vs. DHL Express: which is better for online merchants? Learn the difference between DHL's tracking and customer support.
DHL eCommerce vs. DHL Express: Which is Better for Online Merchants?

By Jules


July 26, 2019

DHL eCommerce vs. DHL Express is a common debate that many eCommerce businesses find themselves in. Just which one works better for eCommerce, specifically?

Online merchants, in the US, looking for  shipping solutions that suit them best should carefully compare DHL eCommerce and DHL Express before choosing the better option. Though both are part of DHL, they actually differ in a number of unique ways!

Without further ado, here’s a closer look at both DHL eCommerce and DHL Express, including when they should specifically be used by eCommerce SMBs!

Table of Contents

What is DHL eCommerce?

DHL eCommerce handles both domestic and international shipping services. With its standard parcel delivery services, by offering more flexibility and affordable prices for merchants looking to ship lightweight parcels.

The domestic services for DHL eCommerce, specifically, are classified as the following:

Domestic offering:

  • Specializes in lightweight parcels (< 5 lbs.), ounce based pricing under 1 lb.
  • National coverage, delivery to every U.S. zip code, with the final mile done by the USPS
  • End-to-end tracking

Three service levels:

  • Expedited Max – 2/3 day definite service
  • Expedited - 2-5 day service
  • Ground - 3-8 day service

When to use DHL eCommerce in the US:

  • Merchants needing a 3-day service level at an affordable price
  • For light weight shipments under 5 lbs
  • Looking for greater flexibility than what one might get with other express couriers

How Do DHL eCommerce Cross-Border Services Compare?

DHL Packet International

  • 4-8 day delivery through postal networks
  • Ideal for lower weight, lower value shipments

DHL Parcel Standard

  • 4-14 day delivery through postal networks
  • Canada and Europe: 4-8 days
  • Rest of world: 8-14 days
  • Coverage up to 44lbs
  • End-to-end tracking

DHL Parcel Direct

  • 3-10 day delivery through commercial networks
  • Faster, more reliable than postal with improved visibility

When to use DHL eCommerce cross-border services:

  • If you're looking for an economical cross-border shipping solution with broad geographic coverage
  • If you're Interested in both postal and commercial clearance, delivery duties paid or unpaid

All the listed service plans for DHL eCommerce ship parcels from the U.S. to more than 220 other countries. This plan also offers merchants DHL eCommerce customer support services that make it easier to keep track of shipments.

What is DHL Express?

DHL Express offers both domestic and international shipping; their global reach and local teams ensure fast delivery with end-to-end tracking and customs clearance.

The plans under this type of service focus on time critical delivery services, detailed below:

DHL’s Time Definite Service - offers international door-to-door delivery by a specific time, or by the end of the next possible business day.

  • Express 9:00
  • Express 10:30
  • Express 12:00
  • Express Worldwide

DHL’s Day Definite Services - these services offer international door-to-door delivery within a certain number of business days for less urgent and heavier shipments.

Dedicated customer support is also available for this service to help with global shipment tracking.

When to Use DHL Express

This particular shipping option comes with many advantages, but should be used only if it makes sense for your business. Generally, DHL Express is best for companies who:

  • Need regular international shipping services
  • Intend on venturing into new cross-border markets
  • Need timely delivery of products, especially perishable goods
  • Need to track shipments very closely and carefully

Using DHL Express is great for making sure that your products get to your customers on-time and in good condition too. In using this service, you can effectively keep track of your shipments until they get delivered to your customers.

DHL Express is also very convenient, not just for the eCommerce retailers but for their customers as well. You may also be eligible to receive significant discounts on bulk shipments, depending on their destination.

DHL eCommerce vs. DHL Express: Choose Which One Works for You

When deciding whether to choose DHL eCommerce or DHL Express for your eCommerce companies, the decision is simple, you can use both, depending on your needs. Generally, U.S.-based online merchants who deliver primarily to customers in the United States are better off with DHL eCommerce while those who frequently ship cross-border to international destinations, should probably rely more on DHL Express.

Easyship is proud to count DHL as a reliable courier partner to offer you a wide array of shipping options at discounted, pre-negotiated rates, including both DHL eCommerce and DHL Express. Be sure to sign up today for free to start using our fast, reliable DHL shipping solutions!