USPS, FedEx, UPS, or other shipper. What is your opinion of each?

PracticalMac

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jan 22, 2009
2,779
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Houston, TX
Reading on this post about troubles of eBay seller, made my think.

I have used various shippers over my life, and my opinion.

USPS: Over all I have had a strongly positive experience. Shipped and received thousands of packages, very, very few issues (and my fault in some of them). Almost all issues was able to get resolved (just took forever). My biggest gripe is the wait times at PO when I need to go (but better than lost package).
(NOTE: 95% is via eBay shipments, I wonder if that makes them make more effort.)

UPS: Had a few issues with them. Broken item, lost item, mostly delayed packages. Not horrible but IMHO could be better.
Latest had a late package on doorstep that was ripped WIDE open! miraculously none of the bottles broke, buuuut the other package in same order was MIA. Tracking kept saying it was in trait and due to arrive on day. Month later tracking still said package was OTW! :confused::confused::confused:. Received full refund for order (so what I did receive I got for free).

FedEx
: HORRID, HORRID EXPERIENCE! Sign for packages yet simply left on door step, FORGED signature on package (that was left on doorstep), FAKE website tracking info (was home, even saw truck drive by, but web site said "no one at building"), damaged goods. I avoid them like plague, ask order to use USPS or UPS.

DHL: very rarely used.

Yamato Transport (Takkyubin): Used a few times, all good.

What's your experience?

=========================
Reading replies it seems like where you live is critical factor to service.
SO, adding my US ZIP codes to this post.
Houston area.
77459 (current)
77401 (previous)
 
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Rhonindk

macrumors 601
USPS: Very hit or miss. Lately though the package delivery has been better for larger objects. Except for the smaller ones that they attempt to cram into the mailbox. Or when they scan as delivered and it actually is delivered the following day ... or .... but it has improved. Really.

UPS: Very positive experience. They are currently my go to delivery service.

FedEx: I have had more damaged packages from this service including soccer kicking them across my front patio (security cameras are awesome for these)

OnTrac: Sigh ... you can count on them usually being late.

DHL: Stopped using a few years back.
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
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UPS: Had a few issues with them. Broken item, lost item, mostly delayed packages. Not horrible but IMHO could be better.
Latest had a late package on doorstep that was ripped WIDE open! miraculously none of the bottles broke, buuuut the other package in same order was MIA. Tracking kept saying it was in trait and due to arrive on day. Month later tracking still said package was OTW! :confused::confused::confused:. Received full refund for order (so what I did receive I got for free).
UPS: Very positive experience. They are currently my go to delivery service.
I worked for UPS from 1992 to 1997 as a Bulk/Irreg driver. Those are the people who move large items around the air hub on electric carts with big metal trailers. Stuff like mufflers, tires, wood boxes, styrofoam, metal parts, oversized boxes, etc - anything that cannot go down a belt or that would destroy a belt.

UPS West Coast Air Hub, Ontario Ca (south side of Ontario International Airport). Intra Sort (9pm to 1am). International Brotherhood of Teamsers, Local 63, Rialto Ca.

This is a PCM (Pre-Sort Conference Meeting) for Irreg drivers for ONT's Afternoon sort.

UPS_ONT Afternoon sort_Bulk.jpg

I do my best to avoid ever using UPS to ship packages. I had seven years of knowing EXACTLY what goes on inside a hub and just how packages get treated. I even broke some myself. About the only good things I can say is that I enjoyed what I did and if I hadn't worked there I never would have met my wife.

There are stories…

I choose FedEx.
 

rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,554
2,516
Sunny, Southern California
Reading on this post about troubles of eBay seller, made my think.

I have used various shippers over my life, and my opinion.

USPS: Over all I have had a strongly positive experience. Shipped and received thousands of packages, very, very few issues (and my fault in some of them). Almost all issues was able to get resolved (just took forever). My biggest gripe is the wait times at PO when I need to go (but better than lost package).
(NOTE: 95% is via eBay shipments, I wonder if that makes them make more effort.)

UPS: Had a few issues with them. Broken item, lost item, mostly delayed packages. Not horrible but IMHO could be better.
Latest had a late package on doorstep that was ripped WIDE open! miraculously none of the bottles broke, buuuut the other package in same order was MIA. Tracking kept saying it was in trait and due to arrive on day. Month later tracking still said package was OTW! :confused::confused::confused:. Received full refund for order (so what I did receive I got for free).

FedEx
: HORRID, HORRID EXPERIENCE! Sign for packages left on door step, FORGED signature on package (that was left on doorstep), FAKE website tracking info (was home, even saw truck drive by, but web site said "no on at building"), damaged goods. I avoid them like plague, ask order to use USPS or UPS.

DHL: very rarely used.

Yamato Transport (Takkyubin): Used a few times, all good.

What's your experience?
USPS - More bad than good. Lots of theft, used primarily with Ebay.
UPS - No complaints, started using them for Ebay.
Fedex - No complaints shipping with them, however their delivery service is horrid. I ended up having everything they ship to me shipped to a Fedex/Kinko location.
DHL - No experience with them
G.. - The shipping service Amazon has been using, delivery only. They have been hit or miss.
 

Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 68030
Sep 26, 2017
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Tanagra (not really)
Honestly, I think it really depends on the quality of service you get in your area from each one, and then also the quality of the service for each on the other end. I've never had much problem with any of these providers as far as receiving and shipping out, however, I've found these services to be randomly less reliable in other parts of the country. USPS seems to need an extra day in NE USA, for example, but it ships faster that the others to almost everywhere else.

It actually gave me the idea that if we could crowd-source regional feedback on the shipping services, you could enter your "to" and "from" zips, and it would tell you which service is your best bet to ship. It would encourage these services to improve, and tell them where they are struggling.
 

Rhonindk

macrumors 601
I worked for UPS from 1992 to 1997 as a Bulk/Irreg driver. Those are the people who move large items around the air hub on electric carts with big metal trailers. Stuff like mufflers, tires, wood boxes, styrofoam, metal parts, oversized boxes, etc - anything that cannot go down a belt or that would destroy a belt.

UPS West Coast Air Hub, Ontario Ca (south side of Ontario International Airport). Intra Sort (9pm to 1am). International Brotherhood of Teamsers, Local 63, Rialto Ca.

This is a PCM (Pre-Sort Conference Meeting) for Irreg drivers for ONT's Afternoon sort.

View attachment 771374

I do my best to avoid ever using UPS to ship packages. I had seven years of knowing EXACTLY what goes on inside a hub and just how packages get treated. I even broke some myself. About the only good things I can say is that I enjoyed what I did and if I hadn't worked there I never would have met my wife.

There are stories…

I choose FedEx.
I've heard stories :eek:
For me FedEx has been really poor. As a delivery service to me.
 
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Dodgeman

macrumors 65816
Nov 30, 2016
1,302
198
Would probably go FedEx 1st. (Not sure how good ground is)
USPS: The service isn't bad but it is slow and the tracking never updates.
UPS is just ok. They are usually a bit more expensive but I rate them close to FedEx ut usually qould go with FedEx 1st
 

A.Goldberg

macrumors 68020
Jan 31, 2015
2,366
8,702
Boston
I’ve had horrible luck with USPS for larger packages- regular priority mail seems fine. Never on time- packages lost or going from California to Hawaii back to Massachusetts for delivery. I had a period when they were like 0 for 5 on getting my packages delivered on time. They managed to lose a 9ft long box with a projection screen in it for several days. How that’s possible, I have no idea (I didn’t know they delivered things that large- but that’s a hard box to lose). Tracking is awful.

I will also say I’ve had some frustration mailing letters via USPS, particularly locally. While you’d expect it to only take 2-3 days to mail a letter from the same post office to a location in the same time, the reality often seems to be more like 5-7 days.

I use Fedex regularly for shipping medical-related samples to a lab. I’ve never had ever an issue with delivery or timeliness. I generally drop the samples off but I’ve never had a problem with pickup either.

I don’t do a ton of with UPS, but I haven’t had any problems with them over the past serval years.

I’ve onky used DHL in the past for AppleCare (not sure if they still use DHL). They were always excellent.
 

shinji

macrumors 65816
Mar 18, 2007
1,322
1,514
At every address I've ever lived at, the USPS have delivered to me my neighbors' mail, had them receive my mail, etc. They're ok I guess for packages, but the tracking is wonky, and I've had delays here and there.

I find Fedex and UPS to be far more reliable. Can't say much about DHL, as it's been years since I received anything from them.
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,412
9,868
Detroit
For me the USPS is the absolute worst. They lose my mail regularly, including just this week. I'm signed up for their Informed Delivery service which scans in letters and emails you that day telling you what to except in your box. On Monday it showed I had a letter from the VA coming and when I came home from work and checked the mail it wasn't there.

Packages usually always make it to me, but not always within the expected time. Sometimes they'll be a day or three later than promised.

Their tracking system isn't that great either when compared to UPS or FedEx.

I think most of my problems with the USPS is my local Post Office rather than the system as a whole.

UPS and FedEx seem to do fine for me and I don't really have any problems or complaints that I can think of.
 

Plutonius

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2003
8,588
7,589
New Hampshire, USA
Reading on this post about troubles of eBay seller, made my think.

I have used various shippers over my life, and my opinion.

USPS: Over all I have had a strongly positive experience. Shipped and received thousands of packages, very, very few issues (and my fault in some of them). Almost all issues was able to get resolved (just took forever). My biggest gripe is the wait times at PO when I need to go (but better than lost package).
(NOTE: 95% is via eBay shipments, I wonder if that makes them make more effort.)

UPS: Had a few issues with them. Broken item, lost item, mostly delayed packages. Not horrible but IMHO could be better.
Latest had a late package on doorstep that was ripped WIDE open! miraculously none of the bottles broke, buuuut the other package in same order was MIA. Tracking kept saying it was in trait and due to arrive on day. Month later tracking still said package was OTW! :confused::confused::confused:. Received full refund for order (so what I did receive I got for free).

FedEx
: HORRID, HORRID EXPERIENCE! Sign for packages left on door step, FORGED signature on package (that was left on doorstep), FAKE website tracking info (was home, even saw truck drive by, but web site said "no on at building"), damaged goods. I avoid them like plague, ask order to use USPS or UPS.

DHL: very rarely used.

Yamato Transport (Takkyubin): Used a few times, all good.

What's your experience?
I like the USPS the best.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,244
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Seems like quality of delivery is highly depended on region.
I think it's down more to who's in charge whenever your package goes through. Luck of the draw.

Our sort ended up with a new manager at one point because ramp operations wanted to get rid of him. Seems he had misplaced a loaded 747 full of Next Day Air.

His tenure with us didn't go very well.
 

PracticalMac

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jan 22, 2009
2,779
4,735
Houston, TX
I think it's down more to who's in charge whenever your package goes through. Luck of the draw.

Our sort ended up with a new manager at one point because ramp operations wanted to get rid of him. Seems he had misplaced a loaded 747 full of Next Day Air.

His tenure with us didn't go very well.
"Sir, one of our 747's has vanished" (movie about this??)
Epic face palm.
 

ejb190

macrumors 65816
Seems he had misplaced a loaded 747 full of Next Day Air.
"Sir, one of our 747's has vanished" (movie about this??)
Totally agree - this is a story I must hear!

Never had an issue with USPS. I send letters to Indianapolis all the time. They get there the next day. Indy to me might take three to four days. Never figured that one out, but I think we have one of the better Post Offices in the area.

I send a lot of documents via FedEx Express with third party billing. The online system works great - when it works.

UPS can't get their billing straight, so I pretty much quit using them. Wasn't worth the hassle.

Last time I used DHL, I had to drive an hour to find a drop box. Haven't used it in a decade, I bet.

For international shipping, most of my hassles come from customs, not the carriers.
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
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Totally agree - this is a story I must hear!
Not much to tell.

He was the ramp manager and all the ramp personnell we dealt with (tug drivers) hated him.

This was back in the mid '90s before UPS had fully automated everywhere so I guess they had a manual way of keeping track of things. Either this 747 didn't make the list or it just got overlooked. Package tracking was either in it's infancy or non-existant at the time.

I was told that it happened on a Friday and the plane was discovered on a Monday, presumably when the pilots showed up.

At the Ontario UPS hub, Intra sort handles NDA. Anything going to Denver is hot because the aircraft for that leaves at midnight. If incoming aircraft are late then a lot of times packages get belly loaded (meaning loose in the cargo area) so that Denver departs on time.

Most 747 cargo planes can use M1 air containers. UPS uses three main types. L9, A2 and M1. Think of it as small, medium and large. M1 air containers can handle about 300-600 packages depending on size. A 747 can take several straight down the middle and A2s to the sides. An A2 holds about 300-400 packages.

So, this misplaced 747 was full of M1s, A2s all with Denver bound NDA packages.

And that's why ramp operations wanted to get rid of the guy. He was entirely incompetent and our sort ran absolutely worse with him in charge.

Lack of equipment, instructions that hampered productivity and a whole lot of excuses.

My personal beef against him was that he and another supervisor made every effort they could to prevent women from working in bulk, one of them being my wife. Despite those who wanted in being qualified and knowing the sort (internal zip code destinations).

It got to the point where it went beyond the union shop stewards and the business manager had to get involved.

Everyone wanted sort pay (you got an extra $1). They tried to take that away about a year after I started working in bulk but their entire effort crumbled when I produced a signed contract showing that both bulk drivers and sort aisle employees were entitled to sort pay.
 

Fancuku

macrumors 65816
Oct 8, 2015
1,013
2,596
PA, USA
USPS has been very very good for me. Never a single problem in my 16 years of buying and selling online.

UPS also good. They always deliver when they say they will. I mostly use them for larger packages.

FedEx is one of the companies I wish to be wiped off. More than 50% of the time they have pushed the delivery day by a day or two. Also they sometimes deliver packages after 8pm. I loathe FedEx.
 

Macky-Mac

macrumors 68030
May 18, 2004
2,656
1,343
in my area Amazon has their own delivery company for some things they sell.......worst ever!

UPS drivers on my route seem to just skip the delivery from time to time.....maybe because they're running late on their route? I've come to accept that "out for delivery" also means "but don't count on it......maybe tomorrow"
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
19,233
21,192
The Misty Mountains
USPS tends to stuff things into my small box mangling packages.
UPS and FedEx, I use both, and receive packages from both, they both seem competent to me. No bad experiences I can remember.
 
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D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,709
10,830
Vilano Beach, FL
I've had generally good luck with all them - and being a frequent Amazon buyer, we get pretty consistent rotation (including hybrid solutions like UPS to USPS routing). To be honest, I like USPS the best, because it means the item shows at a mail delivery time which is around noon, vs. FedEx and UPS that a majority of the time come really late, like closer to 6p.

Like someone mentioned, Amazon is also using their own logistics company which has been fine (they sometimes shoot a photo of the package they left, which is kind of neat, and when they get close, we get a real-time-ish map display of their location).
 

LizKat

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2004
6,506
35,388
Catskill Mountains
I currently like FedEx the best. I hear they dropkick the parcels onto the planes and trucks but the vendors I use seem to realize that and pack the stuff accordingly, so even glass-containered stuff I've not had problems.

UPS has improved since I finally (in exasperation) got an account and picked their "rear door" option as the closest approximation to "Back Porch"-- so at least the newish route driver has quit dropping stuff on the front porch no one has used since the 1860s. Last winter he actually walked through more than a foot of unblemished snow to put a 15# package on the porch also covered with same amount of unblemished snow. The door is rarely used and never in winter. That he chose to do instead of picking between two relatively short plowed driveways with shoveled pathways to the back porch, door to which I had even left open, mystified me. So that was when I called up to complain about having to break open a parcel and lug its contents back to my kitchen in shopping bags, bothering first to shovel a pathway to that porch... and why would he leave a package on a porch visible from the county highway??! But they just suggested I sign up for an account. Now sometimes he puts the parcel on the back porch if I leave the door open and sometimes he drops it in the grass by the door no matter if the porch door is open or not. There are no gutters on the deck roof and no way to tell UPS "I mean the rear PORCH dammit" so that's my problem LOL and I try to be there on delivery day.

USPS I don't have a problem with except once in awhile when the contract carrier manages to jam some parcel, usually fabric, into the box but I have a hellacious time getting it back out. A previous carrier who had the route for a long time always brought any parcel and that day's mail to the back porch. A New Year's gratuity every year had something to do with that, I'm pretty sure. After she left, I was not ordering much fabric on a regular basis any more, and I didn't tip the next carrier. Or the one after that who gave me cause to walk to one of my neighbors' mailboxes up or down the road about once a week... LOL rural route delivery is not a job I'd want either but still... I'd rather have a slip in my mailbox saying come to the township PO and get it, than rassle with a package the guy strongarmed in there and I practically need a prybar to retrieve.
 

Rhonindk

macrumors 601
USPS tends to stuff things into my small box mangling packages.
UPS and FedEx, I use both, and receive packages from both, they both seem competent to be. No bad experiences I can remember.
Had one where the box would fit from the rear where the postal person will place them. Too big to get out past the mailbox front door. Took several phone calls and a postal inspector to get my package. Seriously?
 
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NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
2,848
1,183
Knock on wood, I've been fortunate that I have not had any real issues with any of the big carriers. Have had only two cases, and not too major.

One time with Fedex, I ordered some Braun shaver cleaners online. Was not home to get it. Took the "you were not home" sticker/ticket and tried to re-route to closest Fedex store. Got an "ok, done" update. Go to Fedex store: nothing. Turned out due to the chemicals in the cleaners, store could not take them, so, they had to take them to a depot. Depot was about 40 minutes away, so, that sucked. But everything else from them has been ok.

USPS, another online order. Company uses a 3rd party to ship, who uses USPS. Warehouse where product was shipping from was about 5hrs away from home. Tracking information showed that product left warehouse and went to one city and then left. Some days later, shows up in a different city, heading away from me. Shows left and now winds up in yet a different city. And then, yes, yet off to another city. What should have been a few days shipping turned into two week. Luckily it was something that was not important to have now, and the company made good by sending me at no cost the product via Fedex, so, wound up being able to skip an order and use up the free stuff.

Otherwise, never had issues with tracking/delivery updates.

Big fan of UPS's MyUPS service. Just ordered something and got a "product shipped" notice from them before I got one from the retailer. MyUPS has always worked great for me re: re-schedules, holds, etc.

OnTrac: Sigh ... you can count on them usually being late.
The worst! Usually late. Drops it and runs, leaves it out in the open for anyone to snag.
 
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adk

macrumors 68000
Nov 11, 2005
1,937
21
Stuck in the middle with you
FedEx Express has been excellent for me. FedEx Express delivery drivers are FedEx employees and are in it for a long-haul career. I have been consistently impressed by FedEx Express.

FedEx Ground is a series of subcontractors and has been consistently bad. They are barely a step above Amazon subcontractors.

When I ship express, I use FedEx. When I ship ground, I use UPS.
 
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