- 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 USPS and DHL offer their own distinct advantages and disadvantages to consider closely for your eCommerce business
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!
Table of Contents
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 pounds. 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 pounds. 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 domestic shipping rates when compared to DHL.
Let’s take a closer look at the table below. With Easyship’s Free Shipping Calculator, we can easily access over 250+ shipping options. Here is a table comparing DHL and USPS rates for a 5-pound package from New York to the United Kingdom.
|Courier Service||Delivery Time||Cost|
|DHL Express Worldwide||1-2 business days||$68.23|
|DHL eCommerce Parcel Direct||9-11 business days||$46.34|
|USPS Priority Mail Express International||5-12 business days||$89.48|
As we can see, when looking at international shipping services, DHL is the cheapest shipping option as compared to USPS. However, as mentioned above, you can expect to find USPS to have cheaper shipping rates for packages shipped domestically.
Is DHL Faster than USPS?
Both DHL and USPS offer a variety of shipping options for both domestic and international shipments. However, if you are shipping small packages with low value and low budget, using USPS is your best option. On the other hand, if you are shipping overseas, DHL is the better option. It is important to note that if you need your package to arrive at its destination by a strict date, it will incur an additional cost.
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 and three business days, though Priority Mail Express is the main USPS same-day. Plus USPS next-day delivery option due to its rapid overnight delivery to most locations in the US, while USPS Media usually takes between two and 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 US 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 are 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 DHL and USPS, offering discounted rates and a wide array of domestic and international shipping solutions. Sign up for a free account today and see which courier works best for your eCommerce company personally!
DHL vs. USPS FAQ
Does DHL transfer packages to USPS?
Yes, DHL will transfer your package to the local postal service. In the US, that’s the USPS. However, local postal delivery varies by country.
Is DHL or USPS cheaper for international shipping?
If you are shipping internationally, DHL is usually cheaper. You can use our Free Shipping Rates Calculator to compare rates from various couriers.
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