Which is Better, UPS or FedEx?

By Norman. G — Published February 06, 2018

Which is Better, UPS or FedEx?

Which is Better, UPS or FedEx?

There are some things that, we as humans, really don’t get too concerned about. Sending a package is one of them. Of course, we might factor in stuff like delivery time and cost, but when push comes to the shove, we just end up going with the first option that pops up in our mind.

You see, like all other services, package delivery is a business too and that means the various delivery providers around you have their own weaknesses and strengths. So, it’s better to carry out some due diligence before choosing a delivery service provider.

In this blog, we are going to take a look at two of the biggest names in the business – UPS and FedEx - and determine which one suits your needs the best.

A little context
In a 2013 inspector general’s report, it was found that FedEx and UPS’s operations accounted for about 98% of the annual federal shipping costs. This is despite the fact that US Postal Services (USPS), being a federal entity, operates at a much lower rate (it only accounted for 2% of the federal funds).

Of course, this can be narrowed down to the fact that USPS doesn’t have a network that's wide enough to compete with the likes of FedEx and UPS. But, then again, it doesn’t offer guarantees for express deliveries either.

So, it's clear that UPS and FedEx are the behemoths of the industry for all sorts of reasons.

However, a study by Brand Keys points out that one of the services edges out the other and that too, by a fairly decent margin, especially when it comes to the topic of customer loyalty. Brand Keys determined this with the help of its proprietary Customer Loyalty Engagement Index.

Well, let’s take a closer look.

The winner is…
If you guessed FedEx, you’re wrong, It’s UPS and here’s why:

UPS has a major advantage in terms of history and service locations. Though both companies are direct rivals in terms of size, UPS has been in business for a longer period. Around 64 years longer to be specific. In other words, it has served more generations of customers and experienced more changes and challenges compared to FedEx.

Then there’s the whole thing about how UPS treats its employees. Now, we don’t want to get too political about things, but here’s the key difference between the two companies– FedEx does not permit its employees to unionize whereas UPS does.

In a 2010 report published by UPS Teamsters, it was stated that the average UPS driver makes $17.9 more than a FedEx employee. This is inclusive of pension and health benefits. So, it can be assumed that the UPS employee is more satisfied, which directly translates to better productivity and less attrition. Also, a satisfied worker is bound to represent the brand better.

Does that mean FedEx doesn’t treat its employees well? Not at all. We are simply saying that UPS is better when it comes to paying attention to its employees.

You also have the convenience factor. FedEx has a network that spreads across 1900 offices in the US. UPS, in contrast, has 4756 UPS stores, 13,000 authorized centers, 1000 customer service units, and 40,000 drop boxes. To put it simply, UPS’s customers are well-provided for and that drives customer loyalty.

Now, let’s look at their actual operations. According to a report from PackageFox. UPS manages to ship way more packages than FedEx; double to be exact. This is despite the fact that FedEx owns a much larger fleet of aircrafts.

UPS enjoys a delivery rate of 91%, while FedEx just about touches 88%. However, FedEx does dominate the air delivery sector. UPS is much more effective on the ground.

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