UPS, FedEx, DHL, & More

DHL vs. FedEx: Which Works Best for Your eCommerce Business?


by Jules

On 2019 M05 17

by Jules

DHL vs. FedEx is a debate that many eCommerce companies find themselves in. Both are major couriers with their own distinct advantages and disadvantages, but which one is best for your business?

When it comes to choosing between the two couriers, it's important to weigh a number of factors, including shipping rates, services and overall value. Having a better understanding of what DHL and FedEx have to offer can help you choose which one works best for your eCommerce business.

Here’s a quick look at DHL and FedEx, including their comparisons and contrasts, available services and unique advantages and disadvantages!

Is DHL Better than FedEx?

While FedEx is known for its quick delivery of time-sensitive shipments domestically, DHL international shipping rates are typically a cheaper option for shipments, though both couriers have their own distinct shipping solutions that make them better for different situations. Comparing them is the best way to decide which is best for your business.

Comparing DHL and FedEx

  • Overnight Delivery: When it comes to overnight express delivery, FedEx is typically the better option for domestic delivery. Check out our comparison.
  • Shipping Rates: Although DHL and FedEx both charge higher rates for same-day delivery services, DHL rates are typically cheaper for domestic shipments, ultimately. When it comes to choosing between DHL international shipping rates and FedEx international shipping rates, DHL rates are also generally more affordable.
  • Member Programs: Both courier companies offer their customers special member programs. The FedEx Advantage Program offers flat discounted rates on various shipping options while DHL offers a Bonus Program which awards coupons for free package shipments.
  • International Support: Both couriers offer excellent international service support, making either a great choice for cross-border shipping.
  • International Shipping Insurance: Both couriers offer their customers insurance of up to $100 for the declared value of the shipment. Both DHL and FedEx also offer flat rate insurance options for packages valued at $100 to $300.

What’s the Difference Between DHL and FedEx?

DHL and FedEx, while both major shipping couriers, have their own unique histories and backgrounds. Here’s a quick look at both couriers to help better understand them:

In-Depth Look at DHL

  • Founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Bonn, Germany
  • Express delivery of items at DHL Service Points
  • Ownership of five different airline subsidiaries
  • Operations are carried out with a total of 96 aircraft and another 21 aircraft on orders
  • Offers a wide range of support services
  • Delivers to sanctioned countries such as North Korea
  • Delivers over 1.3 billion packages yearly
  • DHL leads in global sea and air mail shipments

In-Depth Look at FedEx

  • Founded in 1971, with headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee, United States
  • Offers diversified services at FedEx Office locations, such as digital printing, document scanning, passport photo services and computer rentals
  • Aircraft fleets includes 654 planes
  • Ships an average of 3.4 million packages daily
  • Ships more than 7 million pounds of cargo daily
  • Workforce includes over 140,000 employees
  • Maintains pick-up and drop-off service outlets

DHL Services

Some of DHL’s shipping solutions include the following:

  • DHL Same Day Jetline, which offers the fastest possible delivery of packages using the next flight out
  • DHL Same Day Sprintline, which offers the fastest possible delivery of packages using dedicated vehicles
  • DHL Express 9:00, 10:30 or 12:00, which all offer next day delivery at the stipulated time
  • DHL Express Worldwide, which offers next-day delivery by the end of the day to any international location

Other shipping options are DHL Express Easy, DHL Express Envelope and DHL Global Mail Business.

FedEx Services

FedEx also has an array of its own unique services, some of which include:

  • FedEx International Next Flight, which ships packages with the fastest possible delivery using the next flight out
  • FedEx International First, which offers next morning delivery to limited areas
  • FedEx International Priority, which offers delivery of packages within one to three business days
  • FedEx International Economy, which offers delivery of parcels within five business days
  • FedEx Same-Day, for same day delivery of non-freight shipments within the U.S.
  • FedEx 2-Day, for delivery of non-freight shipments within the U.S. in two days
  • FedEx 3-Day, for delivery of non-freight shipments within the U.S. in three days

Others include FedEx Priority, FedEx Ground Delivery, FedEx Home Delivery, FedEx Overnight, FedEx Express Saver and FedEx SmartPost.

Advantages and Disadvantages of DHL

DHL, like any shipping courier, has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. A few of these include:

Advantages of DHL

  • Massive international presence in approximately 220 countries
  • Air delivery services
  • Sea delivery services
  • Door-to-door delivery
  • No pickup fees
  • Availability of international help desk
  • Dedicated DHL eCommerce service for online merchants

Disadvantages of DHL

  • More limited presence in the U.S.
  • Occasional extra charges or surcharges

Advantages and Disadvantages of FedEx

FedEx, much like DHL, has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Some of these include:

Advantages of FedEx

  • Offers insurance coverage on packages
  • Offers discounts between six and 20 percent
  • Highly effective tracking of packages
  • In-person service
  • Ships packages weighing up to 150 lbs.
  • Offers weekend deliveries

Disadvantages of FedEx

  • Has fewer pick-up and drop-off locations
  • Customers are charged pick-up fees for one-time shipments
  • Service-based pick-ups
  • Limited assortment of free packaging
  • Generally higher shipping rates

DHL vs. FedEx: Choose What Works for Your eCommerce Business

Both DHL and FedEx have their own unique service options and pros and cons, with FedEx typically being a better option for rapid deliveries in the U.S. and DHL rates generally working better for cross-border shipments. Ultimately, the choice between the two couriers comes down to your own specific business needs.

Easyship partners with both DHL and FedEx to offer you a wider range of affordable, global shipping solutions. Sign up for a free Easyship account today to start shipping with both DHL and FedEx and take your business cross-border!

See how DHL and Fedex stack up against other competitors: