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Difference Between UPS and USPS

uspsUPS vs USPS

Due to their acronyms, it is quite easy to confuse the two ‘“ but what really are the differences between UPS and USPS? Whenever you have a parcel that needs to be shipped somewhere else, these two are the first two companies which come in mind ‘“ so which one should you choose?

Basically, USPS stands for the United States Postal Service, which was founded in 1775. It’s practically an authority in the courier industry due to the length of time that the government agency has been in existence. Also known as the postal service or US Mail, USPS offers first-class and domestic mail delivery services.

UPS, on the other hand, is a public company, called the United Parcel Service, Inc. founded in 1907. It is considered as the world’s largest package delivery company, and they offer logistics services, courier express and freight forwarding. While UPS is a publicly traded company, USPS is a governmental agency, which gets its funds through the sale of postage stamps and the delivery services that they offer to their customers.

Now, in terms of the more practical aspect of the delivery services, which one is better? USPS priority mail takes about two to three business days to get delivered. If you use UPS Ground, on the other hand, it might take up to two weeks before the package gets delivered to the recipient.

USPS also has stricter guidelines in terms of the weight and size of the package, while UPS can deliver packages of virtually any size. The good news is that in terms of rate, they offer competitive prices, which are far cheaper than their private delivery services counterpart!


1. USPS is a governmental agency, while UPS is a publicly-traded company.

2. USPS packages usually get delivered in two to three business days, while UPS Ground packages might take up to two weeks to be delivered.

3. USPS has strict guidelines in terms of package weight and size, while UPS allows any package size, other than the ones required to be transferred through freight services.

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  1. Thank you! This has been very helpful.

  2. I t was a valuable explanation about the differences between these two companies. Nevetherless, there’s still one more question. Are they partners in the courrier service?

    • No, they are not carriers. FedEx does offer an option where the end delivery is handled by the USPS, but UPS doesn’t have any such agreement in place.

    • Actually USPS has a frenemies relationship with both FedEx and UPS. I am a letter carrier, we frequently deliver parcels for both companies, so it is a love/hate relationship where all benefit from it, and USPS also delivers to the last mile. That means if you live at the end of a gravel road, most likely USPS is going to deliver because it isn’t cost effective for UPS or FedEx to do so.

  3. I honestly think ups is better in my experience it took USPS two weeks and ups only a few days and both were ground shipping

  4. I know federal law states it is illegal to open anyone else’s mail sent through USPS but does the same law apply for UPS packages/mail?

  5. USPS faster? NOT! Ever. Current delivery: UPS “Surepost”. Partnership between UPS & USPS where UPS delivers to end local carrier of USPS and USPS makes local delivery. My package from northwestern Missouri to Gainesville, FL by UPS… 3 days total for ground, received and signed for by USPS. Typical ground transit time for UPS. Final delivery for USPS is local, 19 miles from P. O. to my door. 4days in the hands of uberincompetent USPS and counting. Still no delivery. TYPICAL service of USPS. And their “Priority 2-3 Day Mail”? What a joke, their own website, and their government slug pace employees say the 2-3 days is NOT GUARANTEED. You pay a premium for the service and they have no clue when it will be delivered and don’t have real time tracking to locate a . USPS? Absolute worst service out there, the only thing they deliver consistently is junk mail.

    • I’ve always been able to track my pkgs from time its processed and leaves where I odered ,to time it was shipped out, and every stop made by usps until it arrives at my door. When I get 2 day delivery its always arrived in 2,days as promised. Maybe I’m just one of few whose had a good experience using USPS but maybe you’re just one of the few who hasn’t. Just sayin

      • I have always had good results with usps and ups as partners. Tracking the package is easy and helps you to know if there has been delay. I will always support our postal service.

      • the usps in fort wainwright Ak . suks they delivered wrong address all the time . it take them3 months for my to get my package back . iam just saying !!

  6. Ive placed several orders from amazon that were 2 day deliveries by USPS. My pkgs have always arrived in 2 days each time as promised. I know people have had problems with there service but I haven’t n I’m sure there’s others who can say the same. Im sure ups has had its share as well with pkgs not arriving on time as well. No company is perfect and has its trials and errors. So why not give them both praise not criticism.

  7. I’ve also used ups a lot more than usps over the years and I can honestly say i cnt complain about there service either. Maybe a few times ups was late but it happens sometimes.

  8. Which is best for shipping to UK, USPS or UPS? Thanks John

  9. My experience with UPS has always been super super horrible. They seem to always route my packages wrong at one hub or another ..sometimes multiple hubs. … Homing pigeon would be faster

  10. I’ll take UPS any day over the USPS!

  11. This is a lie because I ordered a package online and I it get deliver from usps and its been 4 weeks already and when I use ups it took a week.

  12. A package was delivered to a person that has decease, I have called UPS for a non deliverable pickup 3 TIMES 1st time they set a pickup for the next day and never showed 2nd call they stated they couldn’t pick it up because of the address and would have someone call me back. NO CALL BACK.!!! 3rd call I talked to a supervisor he guaranteed a pickup for today-and would call me back to confirm they picked it up NO CALL BACK!!!!

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  15. Pers retirement is the difference

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