UPS vs FedEx - Why We Made a Switch


Our Position On Shipping

Shipping is a big part of the machinery that makes an e-commerce business work. We take it seriously. It's the piece that connects our warehouse to our customers. Ideally, we want the delivery to be a good experience for our customers.

Why The Shipping Companies Are Currently Struggling

All of the carriers are presently overwhelmed with the load of packages moving through their system. Record numbers of people are now shopping online on account of the pandemic. This has stretched the delivery companies beyond their limits. As a result, all the delivery companies are showing some cracks. Our new UPS driver described it this way - "it's like the holiday season on steroids, but without any additional drivers".

So Why Have We Switched From Fedex To Ups?

We've been using FedEx for about a decade. They've served us well. And who knows, we may end up switching back at some point. But for now, some issues with their service have caused us to reconsider UPS. Not that UPS is perfect, we just feel it may provide a better service for our customers.

Additionally, FedEx handles "Ground", "Residential Ground" and "Expedited" as 3 entirely separate delivery entities. In fact, their Express and Ground services operate within FedEx as totally separate companies. Their weird company structure can sometimes present logistical challenges as we ship out products to our customers.

Saving Money For Our Customers

We were also able to negotiate some extremely good rates with UPS. And we are happy to be able to now pass these lower rates on to our customers. We're seeing that you should save a buck or two on most packages, compared to the same service level with FedEx.

Eating Some Of The Shipping Costs

Additionally, we are trying to refrain from adding "Dimensional Weight" calculations to the rates we pass to our customers. Instead, we are absorbing some of these incremental rate charges. To illustrate how dimensional weight affects the price we pay for shipping; a case of 19" FiberPlus pads weighs 4 pounds. However that 6"x21"x21" box will be billed to us at 20 pounds, based on its "dimensional weight" calculation.

We Still Offer Free Shipping On Orders Over $350

Another nice money saver is our offer of Free Shipping on purchases over $350. In the case of orders over $350, we are covering all of the shipping costs. To give this some perspective; if we ship 3 cases of Encap-HydrOx to a customer in Washington state, our cost for shipping will be $79 (today's rate). So we're happy to pass on these savings to our customers. Bottom line, we don't want to scare a customer away from a purchase because the shipping costs too much. That's why we're willing to absorb some shipping costs in order to help our customers.

In Closing

We're optimistic about the move from FedEx to UPS. We're hoping it will provide a better delivery experience for our customers while saving on shipping costs. Those two factors were at the core of our decision. I guess time will tell if UPS can deliver (pun intended).