If you have set up an eCommerce store based out of Canada, one of the key aspects of running that business is finding affordable shipping services.
The growing eCommerce market in Canada has also spurred growth in the number of shipping companies. However, if you don’t want to take a chance, going for big names like FedEx or UPS is the safest option.
If you are still learning about the shipping options in Canada, these two shipping giants probably look similar to you.
Both carriers have a vast network of domestic and international shipping services. They also offer efficient tracking and faster service than government mail services.
FedEx and UPS are major competitors in the Canadian shipping market. But what are the differences between them? Which one will be more suitable for your eCommerce business in terms of faster delivery and reliability? Which one of these two offers cheaper shipping?
We have made things easier for you by comparing these two carriers, so you can pick one based on the suitability of your business.
An Overview of FedEx Canada
FedEx was founded in 1971 and is currently headquartered in Memphis, TN. FedEx is the second-largest carrier in the US just behind UPS. In 2021, FedEx raked total revenue of $84 billion.
FedEx is also a major player in Canada and provides shipping services through the following categories – FedEx Ground, FedEx Express, FedEx Express Freight, and FedEx Freight (LTL) services.
The carrier ships packages within Canada, the US, and other countries with a turnaround time starting from one day up to weeks for economy shipping. The main focus of the carrier’s ground shipping service is small package delivery services.
Tracking is a crucial part of all FedEx shipping services. Besides, FedEx is the only leading shipping carrier that has implemented the delivery signature confirmation feature with all its shipments.
The carrier has developed its worldwide reputation by providing reliable services. However, it does not usually offer one of the cheaper ways to ship.
An Overview of UPS Canada
United Parcel Services (UPS) was founded in 1907. It is the largest carrier in the United States, and currently has its headquarters in Atlanta, GA.
The carrier operates as a logistics and parcel delivery services provider in both the US and Canada. UPS offers logistic services including ground freight, contract logistics, air freight, ocean freight, distribution, customs brokerage, insurance, and more.
Similar to FedEx, UPS provides fast and reliable shipping services and is cheaper than FedEx, but still not the cheapest option.
You can send parcels within Canada using UPS Ground for economy shipping or UPS Overnight with guaranteed expedited delivery in 1-2 days. If you want to deliver parcels to customers faster, then UPS is a good option, although it will increase your shipping cost.
FedEx Canada vs. UPS Canada: Key Differences
Now, let’s talk about the key differences between FedEx and UPS in terms of their approach when providing shipping services.
The specialization of FedEx is air express freight and its number of airplanes is double that of UPS.
In comparison, UPS specializes in delivering domestic ground parcels and has a larger fleet of vehicles for ground shipping.
These differences suggest that FedEx is capable of offering cheaper rates on international shipping and UPS can offer better rates for domestic shipping.
Both carriers offer shipping services at different delivery speeds and rates, from Ground to Overnight shipping and Flat Rate services. They have physical stores spread across Canada.
UPS also provides services relating to supply chain and freight distribution. It means the carrier can be an ideal partner for your eCommerce business when you look to scale it up.
FedEx often takes help of USPS for its several eCommerce shipments. FedEx manages a majority of the shipment transport via airplane, and then hands over the last mile delivery responsibility to USPS. It helps FedEx to lower costs and improve delivery times for domestic shipping.
When shipping, FedEx uses the volumetric weight for a 13” x 12” x 2” box weighing 3 lbs, irrespective of whether it is for domestic or international shipping.
UPS applies various volumetric weight formulas for domestic and international shipping as seen below:
- Volumetric weight for a 13” x 12” x 2” box using UPS domestic: 2 lbs
- Volumetric weight for a 13” x 12” x 2” box using UPS international: 3 lbs
If most of your packages weigh around 2 pounds and they are for domestic destinations, UPS can give you a better shipping rate than FedEx.
Service Features: FedEx Canada vs. UPS Canada
Both FedEx and UPS offer ground and air shipping services within Canada and to international destinations.
However, the main focus of UPS is providing domestic ground package delivery services, and has many vehicles for ground shipping. Conversely, FedEx offers specialized services in air express freight globally and has double the number of airplanes compared to UPS.
|Features – FedEx Canada||Features – UPS Canada|
|Types of Services||The carrier offers ground and air services.||The carrier offers ground and air services.|
|Delivery time||FedEx Ground: Within Canada. Takes 1 to 7 business days. Other shipping options are FedEx Express, FedEx Express Freight, and FedEx Freight (LTL) services.||Standard shipping: 1 to 5 business days. Other shipping options are expedited shipping and next-day shipping.|
|Size and weight||The weight limit is 150 lbs and the length limit is 108 inches.||The weight limit is 150lb.|
|Tracking||Provides the parcel tracking feature.||Provides the parcel tracking feature.|
|Insurance||Yes, up to $100.||Yes, up to $100.|
FedEx Ground services deliver packages within Canada and to the US via International Ground service.
UPS Standard is an economical ground delivery service that ships packages within Canada and to the US.
Both carriers offer various shipping options and the features of their services are similar.
FedEx vs. UPS: Shipping Speed
You can see from the table above that FedEx and UPS offer similar shipping services and delivery times.
Although both carriers provide guaranteed delivery of packages by a certain timeline, only FedEx gives a delivery guarantee in a specific timeline for its services. If you are seeking faster delivery within a specific timeline, FedEx is the ideal option.
UPS Ground services ship faster within Canada because the carrier has a large fleet of trucks operating in the country. UPS has more than 3,000 package cars, trailers, and tractors, which enable the carrier to provide a quicker ground shipping service. Conversely, FedEx has more than 4,800 vehicles.
FedEx has a large fleet of cargo airlines with 447 aircraft for transporting cargo in Canada, while UPS uses 88 daily cargo flights in Canada.
Also, FedEx offers overnight shipping services. It means the carrier can deliver your package faster and on time than UPS but the cost will be higher.
FedEx vs. UPS: Domestic Shipping Services
FedEx and UPS are competitors in the Canadian market. It means every service these carriers offer more or less matches closely to each other in terms of price, delivery timeline, and features.
Here are the details of FedEx Canada domes shipping services.
FedEx Intra-Canada Shipping Service:
|FedEx Shipping Type||Shipping Details|
|FedEx Ground||Takes between 1 and 7 business days|
|FedEx Economy||Takes 1 to 3 business days for businesses and reaches by 5 p.m. Deliveries to residences in most metropolitan areas are by 8 p.m.|
|FedEx 2Day||Takes 1 to 2 business days for businesses and reaches by 5 p.m. Deliveries to residences in most metropolitan areas are by 8 p.m.|
|FedEx Standard Overnight||Next business day for businesses and reach by 5 p.m. Deliveries to residences in most metropolitan areas is by 8 p.m.|
|FedEx Priority Overnight||Reaches in the morning, next business day to most metropolitan areas, and 2 to 3 business days to other areas.|
|FedEx First Overnight||Reaches 10 a.m. the next business day in most metropolitan areas.|
UPS Domestic Shipping Service:
UPS Standard Shipping
- Takes 1 to 5 business days
- Gives customers guaranteed and cost-effective delivery. You will also get free tracking details for your package, 24/7.
UPS Expedited Shipping
- Reaches the second business day
- This shipping is ideal for important but non-critical shipments.
Next Day Shipping
For urgent shipping, UPS offers time-definite next-day delivery that reaches you by morning, noon, or the day’s end, depending on your requirements.
UPS Express Critical
It is the fastest shipping service that UPS offers. It is a same-day delivery service.
Overall, both FedEx and UPS offer domestic delivery services to every state in Canada. Delivery times are mostly similar, come with a delivery guarantee, and include the tracking feature.
FedEx vs. UPS: International Shipping
FedEx Canada International Shipping (for packages up to 150 lbs or 68 kg):
|FedEx Shipping Type||Delivery Details||Destination|
|FedEx International First||Next business day in many locations in the US by 8 a.m.Second business day to select cities in Europe by 9 a.m. Second business day to select cities in Latin America by 10 a.m. Third business day to select cities in Asia and Australia by 10 a.m.||US, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Australia|
|FedEx International Priority Express||Next business day for businesses by 10:30 a.m. and by midday to residences to many locations in the US. 1 to 3 business days by midday to select countries and territories.||US, International|
|FedEx International Priority||Next business day to businesses by 4:30 p.m. in most areas in the U.S. and by 5 p.m. to residences and businesses in different rural areas.|
1 to 3 business days to the rest of the world.
|FedEx International Economy||Second business day by 4:30 p.m. for businesses and by 8 p.m. to residences in many US locations.|
2 to 5 business days to most major world markets.
|FedEx International Ground||2 to 7 business days||US|
|FedEx International Direct Distribution Surface Solutions||Overnight to 3 business days via FedEx Express for bulk shipments.|
1 to 5 business days via FedEx Ground for break-bulk shipments.
|US, including Alaska & Hawaii|
|FedEx International Priority Direct Distribution||2 to 4 business days to specific locations for bulk shipments.||US & select international destinations|
UPS Canada International Shipping
|UPS Shipping Type||Delivery Details|
|UPS Standard||Day-definite, by end of the day|
|UPS Worldwide Expedited||2-5 business days, by end of the day|
|UPS 3-Day Select to the U.S.||3 business days, by end of the day|
|UPS Worldwide Express Saver||1-3 business days, by end of the day|
|UPS Worldwide Express Freight Midday||1-3 business days, usually by noon or 2:00 p.m.|
|UPS Worldwide Express Freight||1-3 business days, by end of the day|
|UPS Worldwide Express Plus||2-3 business days, usually by 8:30 or 9:00 a.m.|
|UPS Worldwide Express||1-3 business days, usually by 10:30 a.m. or noon|
|UPS Express Early to the US||1 business day, as early as 8:00 a.m.|
|UPS Express Critical||Time provided when order is placed|
How to Get FedEx Canada and UPS Canada Shipping Rates
- The cost of shipping will depend on the factors, such as the origin and destination of a shipment, your desired shipping date, and other requested shipment details.
- You can get a quick or detailed quote or transit time for your package using various services. Check pricing details, along with applicable surcharges and fees.
- FedEx shipping rates are more economical for domestic city-to-city shipping.
- UPS also determines its shipping prices based on the weight and dimensions of the parcel, the destination, and the expected delivery timeline.
- UPS shipping provides the cheapest rate for ground service if you are shipping a small (2 lbs) package cross-country.
- In the case of international services, UPS offers cheaper shipping options.
FedEx Canada vs. UPS Canada: Which One is Better for Your eCommerce Business?
The shipping services provided by FedEx and UPS come with similar delivery speeds, service options, and rates.
When you decide between the two carriers, you may have to consider the number of services the carriers offer for your route or the timeline that you need to get your packages delivered.
If you decide to go with either of them and find yourself in stuck with tracking statuses you do not fully comprehend, here’s a blog post that can help.
There is a better option if you partner with an online platform like ShippingChimp Canada and you can get much cheaper rates for FedEx, UPS, and other domestic and international shipping service providers.
When it comes to affordable shipping, it is crucial to consider all the possible options, and an integrated shipping platform can get you the best shipping services and rates. Don’t wait anymore, SIGN UP for FREE today!
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