The DHL vs. USPS debate has raged for years among eCommerce merchants. Both couriers offer their own set of unique service options and pros and cons to weigh very carefully when choosing which option works better for your online business.
Here’s a closer look at both couriers, including their differences, which one is cheaper, their service options and unique advantages and disadvantages!
Is DHL the Same as USPS?
No, both couriers differ greatly. DHL, headquartered in Bonn, Germany, is a large courier that specializes in cross-border shipments around the world. USPS, on the other hand, is the primary postal service of the United States and focuses on delivering mail and small packages less than 70 lbs. both domestically and internationally.
The main differences, essentially, are that DHL is a private courier with a maximum parcel weight limit of approximately 150 lbs. that’s built a global brand on efficient cross-border deliveries while USPS, an entity of the U.S. Federal government, has a much stricter weight limit of only 70 lbs. and specializes mainly in the delivery of postal mail and smaller parcels in a cost-effective way.
Is DHL Cheaper than USPS?
Variable factors such as item value, parcel dimensions, parcel weight and shipping distance all have major impacts on shipping costs that ultimately determine them more than anything. Generally speaking, however, USPS typically offers more affordable shipping rates when compared to DHL.
Using the Easyship courier comparison tool to gain more insight into shipping costs between the two couriers reveals that USPS usually trump DHL in terms of pricing. A comparison of DHL Express Worldwide and both USPS Priority Mail International and USPS First Class International reveals that USPS has a clear edge when it comes to shipping costs. A look at DHL eCommerce - Parcel Priority and both USPS First Class and USPS Priority Mail also reveals that USPS is again the cheaper shipping option.
Both DHL international shipping and DHL domestic shipping services are currently offered by the German courier. A few of their current service options include:
- DHL eCommerce - Packet Priority
- DHL eCommerce - Parcel Priority
- DHL Express Worldwide
- DHL eCommerce - Packet Plus
- DHL eCommerce - Parcel Direct
- DHL Economy Select
- DHL SameDay Sprintline
- DHL Express Easy
- DHL GlobalMail Business
DHL Same Day is another popular service option offered by DHL, thanks in large part to the rise of same-day delivery in the world of eCommerce.
USPS also offers an array of fast, affordable service options for both domestic and international delivery. A few of these include:
- USPS Priority Mail Express International
- USPS Priority Mail International
- USPS First Class International
- USPS First Class
- USPS Parcel Select
- USPS Media
- USPS Flat Rate
Most delivery times take between one to three business days, though Priority Mail Express is the main USPS same-day and USPS next-day delivery option due to its rapid overnight delivery to most locations in the U.S. while USPS Media usually takes between two to eight business days for delivery.
Advantages and Disadvantages of DHL
DHL, like just about any courier, has its own set of pros and cons. Here’s a quick look at just a few of them!
Advantages of DHL:
- Significant international presence in about 220 nations
- Express delivery at service points
- Efficient air and sea delivery services
- Ability to transport larger parcels cost-effectively
- No pickup fees
Disadvantages of DHL:
- Limited U.S. presence
- Generally higher shipping costs
- Typically more surcharges compared to USPS
Advantages and Disadvantages of USPS
Using either USPS domestic shipping or USPS international shipping has its own advantages and disadvantages to take into account. A few of these include:
Advantages of USPS:
- Shipping rates generally more affordable compared to DHL
- Wide variety of service options
- Many nationwide locations across the United States
- Required by law to deliver to all United States postal addresses in all jurisdictions
- Free package tracking
- No surcharges on parcels
Disadvantages of USPS:
- Maximum shipping weight of only 70 lbs.
- Limited package tracking services
- Expensive insurance costs
DHL vs. USPS: Choose Which Courier Suits Your Needs
Both DHL and USPS offer their own distinct advantages and disadvantages to consider closely for your eCommerce business. If you do a lot of cross-border shipping, especially of larger parcels, DHL is probably your best bet. On the other hand, if you typically send out smaller packages domestically within the U.S., USPS is likely the way to go.
Fortunately, Easyship partners with both DHL and USPS, offering discounted rates and a wide array of both domestic and international shipping solutions. Sign up for a free account today and see which courier works best for your eCommerce company personally!