USPS or UPS Cheaper

USPS or UPS Cheaper? It Depends On the Packages

If you are sending an item, you will definitely go with the cheaper alternative. So between USPS and UPS, which one is more value for money? USPS or UPS cheaper? The simple answer is USPS for smaller items and UPS for larger ones.

Before we dive into the detail and compare the prices, let’s find out a little about both USPS and UPS.

USPS – United States Postal Service

The United States Postal Service comes under the federal government and operates as an independent agency. Therefore, the USPS has post offices all over America and currently acts as one of the most optimized and successful mailing agencies in the world.

You should also know that USPS doesn’t just provide the basic package delivering and mailing facilities but also operates for consulate related matters. In addition to promoting an eco-friendly environment by opposing the use of paper and saving billions of paper production, the company also provides tax and passport related services to the public.

Although USPS follows strict guidelines in terms of weight and sizes of its packages, many commercial agencies all over the country still prefer using the USPS. The main focus of USPS, however, stays on the residential areas and in a similar manner, the general public prefers to USPS for sending their daily mails and packages.

In terms of expenses and prices offered by USPS, or if you’re interested in knowing which one among USPS or UPS cheaper, you should scroll down because I’ll be talking about the expenses and comparing the price structures of mailing services in a while.

UPS – United Parcel Services

Before answering the questions like, ‘Which one among USPS or UPS cheaper’. Let us talk about what is UPS and what type of potential services do they offer to the people of the United States.

The United Parcel Service is a multinational company with its headquarters in Georgia, United States. It is very easy to get confused between USPS and UPS since their short forms spell almost the same.

USPS is actually the United States Postal Service which mainly focuses on the public of the United States and UPS is United Parcel Service which generally aims at commercial purposes and is famous worldwide. UPS is a package delivery and a supply chain management company. They have offices all over the world and they don’t have any strict limitations in terms of weight and size.

Since the majority of the commercial companies use UPS for their deliveries locally and internationally, UPS cannot afford any weight and size limitation. In fact, that characteristic distinguishes them from the United States Postal Service.

In terms of prices and cost of UPS, let us compare the top two postal services of America and figure out the answer to the question, ‘Is USPS or UPS cheaper’.

USPS vs UPS – Which postal service costs less?

Both the companies, UPS and USPS are very similar and deliver packages locally and internationally. But both the companies have their perks and cons.

You have to consider the type of your business, your package size, how often you need to use the service before deciding which company to go with. People usually prefer USPS over UPS when it comes to sending smaller packages. UPS has extra fees and surcharges which makes sending the smaller packages an expensive deal.

If you have to send a larger package, it’s probably better for you to use UPS. In the case of larger packages, not only does the USPS have strict size and weight limits, the UPS rates can be very less in comparison to USPS for larger packages.

In simpler words, the answer to the question, is USPS or UPS cheaper? The answer is USPS if you’re looking to ship smaller packages and the answer would be UPS if you need to ship a larger and heavier package, both locally and globally.

USPS vs UPS – Price Comparison

Following are some of the services offered by USPS and UPS and the comparison between their prices:

USPS (United States Postal Service) Delivery Time Cost


UPS (United Parcel Service) Delivery Time Cost


UPS Ground 6 Days $11.71 USPS Priority Mail 1-3 Working Days $8.25
UPS 3-Day Select 5 Days $25.82 USPS Parcel Select 3-7 Working Days $7.95


As you can see from the above comparison, it is evident that UPS does cost more than USPS. However, with the rate compulsion on the weight and size at USPS, sending a larger package through UPS is a better and more convenient option.

Services offered by USPS

People use USPS to send their personal mails and parcels. E-Businesses, Online stores, and various commercial agencies also use USPS as their regular mailing service.

Following are something of the services offered by USPS:

  • Priority Mail: The normal delivery duration for priority mail is 1-3 days, they have a fixed rate for packages below 70lbs.
  • Priority Mail Express: Priority mail is the quickest service provided by the USPS, the service operates 7 days a week with overnight deliveries.
  • First Class Mail: The delivery duration for this service is 1-3 days as well but is used for relatively smaller packages and envelopes, the ideal size is below 13 lbs.
  • Media Mail: The weight is limited to 70 lbs and the use of service is sending various media, audio and video files.
  • Retail Ground: For large, oversized packages, the retail ground can be an ideal service but doesn’t have a fix delivery duration.

Services Offered by UPS

Following are some of the services offered by United Parcel Service:

  • UPS Ground: Not exceptional for time-sensitive deliveries but it’s the most basic and economical service offered by UPS.
  • UPS Express Critical: As you may have guessed, this service offered by UPS is the fastest and available at all times. The one downside to the UPS Express Critical is that it’s very expensive.
  • UPS Next Day Air: As referred by the name, you may avail of this service if you want your package at its destination on the very next business day.
  • UPS 2nd Day and UPS 3rd Day Select: If your package is not time-sensitive, you can use the 2nd or 3rd-day select service to have your package delivered on the next 2nd or 3rd business day respectively.


Both postal services, USPS and UPS have their pros and cons. But, between USPS or UPS cheaper one is USPS for smaller packages. For large packages, UPS is a better option.