Choosing the Right Shipping Providers: Tips, Benefits, and Examples

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You have a great product in place, but if you can’t deliver to your customers on time, then it can damage your business reputation. 

Quick and accurate shipping is the cornerstone of customer satisfaction. With the right shipping strategy, you can increase customer loyalty, which helps your business grow cost-efficiently.

From Amazon and eBay, It’s no longer about the product or shipping, it’s about offering seamless delivery and customer experience.

Also, before you decide on what’s the right shipping software that will help you ensure customer delight, you need to know the right shipping factors like cost, speed, and more.

In this article, we will suggest the top shipping solutions for your small and medium businesses, along with all the shipping strategies and tips you should know about. 

Let’s dive right in…

  1. The Three Ways to Ship Your Products to Your Customers
  2. How does the shipping process work?
  3. Steps and Factors to Consider Before You Decide The Right Shipping Provider
    • Receiving an Order
    • Processing the Order
    • Choose the Right Shipping Strategy
    • Define your delivery area
    • Packaging and Branding
    • Labeling the Package
    • Delivering to the End Customer
  4. The Top 10 Shipping Companies For Your Business

The Three Ways to Ship Your Products to Your Customers

If you’re just starting out with your business, you can ship a product to the end customer in three primary ways:

In-House Shipping:

You can manage shipping in-house by using your own delivery vehicles or staff. This method gives you more control over the delivery process but requires logistical planning and resources. It mostly works if you’re delivering products within a specific area. 

Shipping Services:

You can choose courier companies like FedEx, UPS, DHL, or local postal services. The key benefit of using these shipping companies is that they offer various shipping options, including express, standard, and economy. Depending on your budget, shipping speed, and other requirements, you can choose. 

Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Providers:

Alternatively, you can outsource your shipping operations to third-party logistics providers. These companies specialize in warehousing, order fulfillment, and shipping. So you can leave all the heavy lifting to these providers and focus on other aspects of your business, like operations and marketing, while they handle the logistics.

How does the shipping process work?

Shipping is the key to your customer experience and Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) marketing. In fact, 38% of the customers will never shop from the same brand if they experience poor delivery (Source). 

In general, shipping involves three main steps: 

  1. Receiving and processing the order
  2. Packaging and Fulfillment
  3. Delivery to the end customer and managing returns

But there’s more to it. 

Essential Steps and Factors to Find The Right Shipping Provider for Your Business

how the shipping process works

When you’re planning to work with a shipping partner, here’s what the realistic process would look like:

Receiving an Order 

A customer initially places an order on your e-commerce website and you receive it electronically. You confirm the order details, including the items ordered, quantity, and shipping address. This is usually done in your e-commerce platform.

Processing the Order

Once the order is confirmed, you need to process it. In this step, you check your product inventory levels, verify the payment, and prepare the items for shipment.

Choose the Right Shipping Strategy

There are many aspects to the right shipping strategy for your business. We’ll break it down further. 

Shipping method

You should choose your shipping method (e.g., standard, expedited) and carrier based on customer preferences and your shipping software’s recommendations. In this step, we suggest you research your competitors’ shipping methods. 

You can offer either free shipping on all your orders, free shipping on orders above a certain price, e.g.: Free Shipping above $400, or paid shipping methods for your customers. Most customers are inclined towards products that offer free shipping. In that case, choose your pricing strategy to accommodate all the shipping costs. 

Dimension and weight

Along with faster shipping, bigger and heavier packages also increase the cost. Different carriers have their own rules and pricing structures, but they all consider how much a package weighs and its size when calculating the cost.

Comparing these rates can be a real pain without a tool that checks all the carriers at once.

In simple terms, Logistics companies like FedEx, USPS, and UPS look at something called “dimensional weight” (DIM) for their prices. This means they consider how big your package is, not just how heavy. In simple terms, you’ll pay more for big but light packages and less for small but heavy ones.

We suggest you take a look at the company’s website before you decide. Most of them offer an online calculator. Here’s the FedEx Shipping calculator.  

Define your delivery area

Are you planning to sell locally or internationally as well?

Confirm your products’ shippability across all the countries you plan to sell in. For instance, you cannot ship cereals or collectible stamps to the UK. Also, some countries require additional documentation, so ensure you have them handy. 

On the other hand, your shipping costs vary based on the delivery radius you select. Some shipping providers can easily deliver to remote areas within the country, while others can provide quick and cheap rates to deliver your products across borders. 

Packaging and Branding

Loyal customers are born and bred for small businesses. And, packaging gives you that exact opportunity to boost your branding and increase your loyal customer base. If you sell on marketplaces like Amazon, you need to adhere to their packaging policies. But if you sell through your own website or social media, you can get creative. Especially, if you run an e-commerce business, packaging serves as a physical customer touch point

Try to meet, if not, exceed your customer expectations and make your mark. 

Also, use appropriate packaging materials, like boxes, bubble wrap, or packing peanuts, depending on the nature of the products.

Labeling the Package

You should generate a shipping label with all the necessary information. It contains important details such as your name and address as the shipper, the recipient’s name and address, contact numbers, shipment specifics like package weight and chargeable weight, a description of the goods, and a tracking ID with a barcode. Ensure the shipping label is securely attached to the package.

Delivering to the End Customer 

The carrier transports the package to the customer’s address. Many shipping companies maintain a vast fleet of vehicles, like bikes, cars, planes, and more. So you can leave the hassle of delivery to them. The customer eagerly awaits their delivery, and upon receipt, they should find the package in good condition. 

Managing Returns

Returns are an inevitable part of your business. Moreover, the average return rate is 30% in the e-commerce space, compared to 8% in brick-mortars. Therefore, a seamless return management process is a crucial part of your customer journey.
make sure your returns policy has explicit, clear, and transparent communication on how you handle returns.

Depending on your products, price, and shipping costs, you can simply offer a refund or send a replacement without requesting to return the item. 

The Best 10 Shipping Companies For Your Business

Here are the cheapest and the best shipping options available to help you run your business operations smoothly.


FedEx is a global courier delivery services company that provides a wide range of shipping solutions, including domestic and international express shipping, freight services, and logistics solutions. They are known for their fast and reliable delivery options.

This is a suitable shipping option for individuals, small businesses, and enterprises.

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Origin: FedEx was founded in 1971 by Frederick W. Smith.

Locations: Delivers to over 220 countries and territories worldwide. 

Core Services: These include FedEx Express for overnight and international shipping, FedEx Ground for domestic ground shipping, FedEx Freight for freight and cargo services, and FedEx Logistics for supply chain and logistics solutions.

Website Link: FedEx Official Website


USPS, also called the United States Postal Service, is the national postal service of the US. They provide mail and package delivery services within the US as well as internationally. USPS is a government-owned agency, and they are responsible for mail delivery. However, this company operates independently. 

USPS is one of the cheapest shipping providers available for businesses. You can check out their pricing here.

Origin: USPS has its roots in the colonial postal system and officially became the U.S. Postal Service in 1971.

Locations: USPS primarily operates in the US but also offers international shipping services to various countries, including Canada, Japan, the UK, and Australia.

Core Services: USPS offers services such as First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, and Media Mail. They also provide parcel and package delivery, as well as flat-rate shipping options.

Website Link: USPS Official Website

DHL Express 

DHL Express is an international courier and shipping company known for its global shipping and logistics services. The company offers express delivery services for packages across the globe.

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Origin: DHL was founded in 1969 by Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom, and Robert Lynn.

No. of Locations: DHL Express serves more than 220 countries and territories around the world.

Core Services: DHL Express is known for its international express shipping, time-definite delivery, and customs clearance services. They provide shipping options for both document and parcel delivery.

Website Link: DHL Express Official Website


UPS is a global package delivery and supply chain management company that offers a wide range of shipping and logistics solutions. They are known for their iconic brown delivery trucks and brown uniforms.

Origin: UPS was founded in 1907 by James E. Casey.

Locations: UPS ships to over 220 countries and territories around the world.

Core Services: Their services include UPS Ground for domestic shipping, UPS Air Cargo for air freight, UPS Worldwide Express for international express shipping, and UPS Freight for freight and LTL services.

Website Link: UPS Official Website


They primarily serve customers in the US, Australia, and the UK, and offer a range of delivery options for businesses and individuals. Sendle is known for its user-friendly platform, transparent pricing, and commitment to reducing the environmental impact of shipping. 

If your business is eco-friendly or you want to make a positive impact on the environment while also saving money, Sendle might just be the perfect option for you!

Origin: Sendle was founded in 2014 in Australia.

Locations: Mainly in the US, Australia, and the UK. They offer domestic and international shipping services.

Core Services: Sendle specializes in door-to-door parcel delivery services with a strong emphasis on sustainability. They also ship within the country and to international destinations. Sendle mainly caters to e-commerce businesses and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Website Link: Sendle Official Website


A cloud-based shipping and inventory management platform, ShippingEasy is designed for e-commerce businesses. It simplifies and automates shipping processes. 

Origin: Founded in 2011

Locations: ShippingEasy primarily serves businesses in the United States. You can use it for international shipping, too.

Core Services: Their main services include label creation, order tracking, inventory management, and efficient order fulfillment. They also offer discounted shipping rates, and integration with various e-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce.

Website Link: ShippingEasy Official Website


ShipBob is a fulfillment and shipping software that caters to e-commerce businesses. They also offer end-to-end order fulfillment solutions, including warehousing, picking, packing, and shipping services, to help businesses streamline their operations.

Origin: ShipBob was founded in 2014.

Locations: ShipBob primarily serves businesses in the United States, but they have expanded to international fulfillment services as well.

Core Services: ShipBob provides e-commerce businesses with warehousing solutions in multiple locations, efficient order processing, and integration with popular e-commerce platforms.

Website Link: ShipBob Official Website

Royal Mail (UK)

If you’re looking for the best shipping service provider in the UK, Royal Mail is one of them, along with FedEx and DHL Express. Royal Mail is the national postal service of the UK. It offers a wide range of mail and parcel delivery services within the UK and internationally. Royal Mail is known for its historical significance and extensive postal network.

Origin: Royal Mail’s origins date back to 1516, making it one of the oldest postal services in the world.

Locations: Royal Mail primarily serves the UK but also provides international shipping services to various countries, including the US.

Core Services: Royal Mail offers services such as First Class, Second Class, Special Delivery, and International shipping options. They also provide services for business mail and parcel delivery.

Website Link: Royal Mail Official Website

Australia Post (Australia)

Australia Post is the national postal and courier service of Australia. It offers mail and parcel delivery services within Australia and to international destinations. Australia Post plays a vital role in delivering mail and e-commerce packages across the country.

Origin: Australia Post has a long history dating back to 1809 when postal services began in the Australian colonies.

Locations: Australia Post primarily serves Australia but also offers international shipping services to various countries.

Core Services: Australia Post provides services such as Regular Parcel Post, Express Post, international shipping, and parcel collection services. They also offer postal and financial services.

Website Link: Australia Post Official Website


Spee-Dee is a regional parcel carrier serving the Midwest region of the United States. They specialize in providing cost-effective, next-day delivery services to businesses and individuals within their service area.

Origin: Spee-Dee Delivery Service was founded in 1978.

Locations: Spee-Dee primarily serves the Midwest region of the United States, including states like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, and South Dakota.

Core Services: Spee-Dee offers services such as next-day delivery, ground shipping, and same-day shipping options within their service area. They focus on efficient and reliable local delivery.

Website Link: Spee-Dee Official Website

There you have it. That’s the list of the top shipping providers for your small or medium business. As your business grows, you need to factor in crucial aspects like shipping, packaging, returns, branding, and more. So do thorough research and make informed decisions to ensure sustainable business growth.

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