Which courier do you prefer?

My favorite domestic courier is "USPS Priority".

It is not very expensive but deliver within 2 days on Conus.

But I am being puzzled by Fedex.

One of my audio parts was supposed to arrive at my home on 14th Thursday after shipping from Chicago on 8th, Friday.

But it was delayed by snow storm.

I could understand that.

But after arriving Burlington WA (8 miles from my home) on 15th Friday, it is missing in action.

When I checked tracking, it showed "delivery pending" for 5 days.

Do you also have bad experience with Fedex?

  • Wednesday , 2/20/20197:26 amBURLINGTON, WAIn transit
  • Tuesday , 2/19/20199:25 amBURLINGTON, WAIn transit
  • Monday , 2/18/20199:24 pmBURLINGTON, WAIn transit
  • 9:24 amBURLINGTON, WAIn transit
  • Sunday , 2/17/20199:24 pmBURLINGTON, WAIn transit
  • 9:23 amBURLINGTON, WAIn transit
  • Saturday , 2/16/20199:23 pmBURLINGTON, WAIn transit
  • Friday , 2/15/201910:21 pmBURLINGTON, WAIn transit

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Not really. FedEx is almost always on time, USPS Priority is often late but otherwise reliable and gentle with packages and boxes.

USPS Priority was on time on my address all the time.

But this time I am getting terrible experience with Fedex.

The package arrived within 8 miles of my address 5 days ago, but no delivery date yet.

I just got the following response but no use.

 Hi, Thomas! We are sorry for the delay with your shipment. Let me track the status of your package to check what happened.
( 7m 52s ) I deeply regret the inconvenience this has caused you.
( 7m 59s ) : I am very sorry that this happened to your most awaited package.
Well, it happens, and apparently varies from region to region and from area to area. 
At my address, USPS priority is the best, UPS the second, Fedex (has been almost same as UPS but this time I am fed up with it).

DHL erratic sometimes very fast sometimes not.
USPS is underrated; they go everywhere every day; none of the others can say that
Yeah, USPS Express delivers even on Sundays, 365 days delivery, I think.

I agree with you that USPS is underrated.

They are doing nice jobs.
I had a Teeter Inversion table delivered via FedEx about 2 months ago.  The heavy duty cardboard box was busted open in two spots.  You could easily see the product inside.  The packing straps were still intact. Before I even touched that carton I took pics of all the damage just in case I had to file for damages.  Lucky for me only the carton was toast.
Do you also have bad experience with Fedex?

Quite the opposite. I've only had a couple bad experiences with Fed Ex, but I refuse to use UPS for equipment anymore. 

The worst Fed Ex has done was break a large tree branch when backing up my driveway. The driver didn't bother to say anything. They manage to get all my packages to me in acceptable shape - no large tears or dents. In contrast, almost every package I receive from UPS looks like it came from a war zone. I know of two audio dealers who quit using them for that reason. 

Music Direct is the largest retailer of audiophile gear and not surprisingly, they use Fed Ex.
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FedEx overnight works like a clock. Cost is a consideration.
Fed Ex is NOTORIOUS for simply leaving packages sitting by the front door & I have had a couple packages go missing with them so I will NEVER use them again...USPS Priority Mail has NEVER failed me for the smaller stuff & Big Brown gets the heavy lifting...
As a Canadian who orders things frequently from the US, I hate UPS with a passion. They charge an arbitrary handling fee amounting to about $100 each time, no matter the value or size of the parcel. Postal service is much more reasonable. 
IMHO. I think USPS gets a bad rap. In general terms, they have been very reliable.
Don't forget UPS's horrible reputation for not paying claims. Almost all claims will be denied at first and you will have to fight them to the end to get them to pay. I'm talking even about original packing/ boxes and packing that meets their online requirements. 
I love the one where UPS says "Oh you brought it to a UPS store for them to pack it, sorry, they are not UPS so we can't honor the insurance you paid"  I would never bring it to a UPS store for packing anyway, they are clueless.
I've lived all over the world . Believe me , the USPS is the best postal service in the world .
The German post was once a bit even better but about 15 years ago they privatized it and it's now one of the worst .
Another thing you can believe is the powers that be are going to do the same thing to the USPS .
Pensions  for workers is a deadly sin to our elites .
You mean parasites by saying "elites".
I received the package through Fedex 10 minutes ago.

It arrived within 8 miles of my home on last Friday, but got delivered today.
All three carriers are subject to under-delivering on service. Bad pun intended. Since moving to the Southeast:


  1. The USPS is the least offender. My favorite though is when the carrier blows off the day and marks my package (out for delivery that day) as “undeliverable, business closed.” It was raining lightly…and yes, we live in a single family detached home.
  2. UPS: Arrogant (insert questionable language here). Calling their customer service for a recently lost package was like reading a sign that says: “bang head here.”
  3. FedEx: Absolutely the worst on the planet, bar none. Arrogant and idiots. Their favorite trick is to reroute our package (90% of the time) to a similar address in a different city, six miles away. True statement. Makes sense that we don’t know our own address. That certain place where none of us want to end up will freeze over before I ever use them to send or receive anything again.


In fairness after living most of my life on the West Coast, delivery from all three carriers was almost always positive and therefore taken for granted.

@ tubegb

What a mess on South East of Conus!

I do not have such bad experience in Washington State so far except some unexpected delay.
My experience tells me you can have very positive outcomes, or a negative one with any shipper. I’ve gotten records from the Mideast via DHL to NY in a week, I’ve had parts shipped from Eastern Europe via TNT (which I think is now part of Deutsche Post) overnight- i’d get an email saying it was dispatched by the sender and the delivery person would be walking up my front steps by mid-day the next day. And, I had same day cross country service.
I don’t consider any of these shippers ’couriers.’ A courier is a guy in a dark suit with sunglasses, a Halliburton handcuffed to his wrist, and no sense of humor.
As for the US Mail, I'm shocked that it works. But it does....

Records by mail from Middle East ? You mean Turkey, Bill ?
I see some stuff from there on ebay. I also see a lot of records from Israel there and got one once, not expensive. Of course, it was overgraded but playable. I shamed the seller in a very personal message and kept the record. He didn't say anything in return, he knew I was right.
When you get your balls handcuffed to your brain you lose sense of humor quickly, so I don't blame them.
Beruit. And other places nearby. Almost all UK pressings. There are people with great records all over the world. 
New Zealand has some wonderful pressings from the era- so does Australia- big market for British rock/folk/psych from the era, sometimes with the same matrices as the far more expensive UK pressing. In the Court of the Crimson King was released in Australia or NZ as a Vertigo Swirl. How bad is that! (I don't have that one, but wouldn't mind it- oh wait, I'm not supposed to be collecting!). Ah, it's late my friend. Tomorrow, another big adventure!

Maybe it's not exactly or not only collecting, maybe you rescue certain records to put them in proper place - your house.
I bought a few original Spanish flamenco records from 70s from Australia, records that I couldn't find anywhere else. How they got there I don't know, condition was excellent and shipping was two times the cost of the records. Australia Post was just fine, two weeks for registered, I think. I get records from Berlin within five-six days, not DHL or EMS, and shipping cost can be less than USPS Priority from New York to Texas.
German mail is way cheaper than French mail, or mail from the Netherlands, to the US. There’s also a wide range of pricing from the UK to the US, depending on the seller- it’s not additional profit taken by the seller, but record stores seem to be able to use commercial postage, whereas through e-Bay, they have a system (I don’t know if you’ve encountered it) where the items are deposited or mailed locally, then containerized or shipped to the States for distribution through an e-Bay system. At least that’s how I understand it. And it is expensive. I had one seller from whom I bought three records at the same time, and suffered three shipping charges at full retail plus shipping rates- I had asked him to bundle into one shipment, but he claimed he could not do so. The records were fine, and priced right, but the shipping was exorbitant; I’m now making sure that a seller can do multiple purchases in one shipment. (I know volume/weight is more, but it’s not as much as X time more, per item).
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Say, how come it costs thirty bucks to ship stuff to China but only a buck to ship from China to the US?
UPS has deilvered our packages to various neighbors, putting them in our next door neighbors garage one time when they were on an extended vacation. They leave packages on our lawn, out in the rain, in or around our garage, or in plastic bags tied to our rural mailbox. They are always a crap shoot. They did make good on a set of router bits that the delivery person said was delivered to a neighbor down the street who claimed he never received them.

Fedex has been reliable, leaving packages always on our front step, which is fine out here in the country out of sight of porch pirates. USPS has been uniformly reliable.

Being a UPS driver is essentially being a well paid slave .Some handle it better than others and some routes are 
more difficult than others .
In the last 5 years I have received at least 50 packets by UPS and they all got here one -way or another .
And driving in the Twin Cities is very difficult in your car much less a giant van !

In my area USPS wins. UPS is second and FedEx a distant third. I can’t count the number of times they either delivered to the wrong house or left a slip without knocking while someone was home, which I can’t figure out. At this point I’ve resigned myself to never ship anything large and fragile again. I’ve just seen too much damage done, even when well packaged. I’d rather sell locally, even at a far lower price. 
USPS by a mile. And I ship 🚢 a lot. A whole lot.
Geoff- someday, that teleportation thing will catch on....
What?! Hey, watch it! That’s my most successful product you’re talking about. Plus it saves me a bunch on shipping. Innie and wart? What is this, the Frick and Frack Show?
I have had fair to so so luck with all 3. Make sure it is packaged very well and require a signature on delivery. It cost a little more but well worth it.
FedEx for me by a country mile. Never lost or damaged one and I love that they deliver on Saturday without having to pay extra ( shame on you UPS!). This is for larger more expensive and heavy items. Prices is always way lower than ups.

Next would be usps both first class and priority but they have lost too many of my smaller items for me to want to bother much with them. Customer service is terrible, I was told by our local postmaster when I complained of a package I had received that had been obviously ripped open and contents stolen, “ oh I can show you a room full of parcels like that”. Seriously? This is normal and you are ok with it???

And last by a very long stretch is ups. Slow delivery, much more expensive than fedex and very likely to break or lose my packages.

of course this all can be location and depot dependent.

Just my experience in my area.
I've shipped many musical instruments (violins and guitars mostly) and I prefer USPS.  I find them reliable and mostly prompt.  FedEx second, UPS third.  USPS keeps it moving cross-country on holidays and weekends (no holiday delivery, though).
So far more than two thirds of the opinion favor USPS.

Good for them.

But there may be lot of differences depending on region.

I myself had not much problem with all three of them until recent delay by Fedex.
And only USPS delivers to PO BOX, I guess.
Pack especially well for UPS and FedEx and then double it. They can be very rough with packages.
USPS has been very reliable to me as both a buyer and seller. I have an excellent post office with their current staff, so that always helps.

Fed Ex is very reliable but often slower than expected. Never trust their tracking estimates (in my experience); it takes 4-5 days to move through Connecticut for some reason, but they will clear the entire midwest in a day or 2 (I realize the latter may be air travel, but Connecticut can be traveled through in a couple of hours on land and a stop at a distribution center shouldn't take multiple days). They also have a nice staff at the center near me.

UPS I've mainly shipped through for returns to major companies and it seems to work well. Their staff is nice at the center near me as well. They deliver without issue here, but I've rarely had interactions with receiving things from them outside of major companies.
Luckily I have a safe neighborhood, so packages are never stolen and if something is delivered to the wrong address the neighbor will hand it to me in person.
DHL express service is really fast.

Psavne Acme 805 tube shipped on this Tuesday in China is going to be delivered at my home in Washington State on Thursday.
DHL should be fast . Last year I got a quote from them for a 30 lb package from Minneapolis to Berlin .  They seemed to think $2,200 was
a good deal .
Here’s my criteria: For shipping as seller and buyer, I want hassle free, no damage. Shipping speed isn’t a big concern. Cost is secondary. And if there is any damage, pay up.

For shipping from U.S:
1) <any location> USPS is unbeatable. Rarely breaks anything - always pay up without hassle.

2) <domestic only> UPS is great if and only if you pack the way you’re supposed to (check their guidelines) or you hire UPS Store to pack it for you (always pay up).

I would never use FedEx nor FedEx Ground. Damage many of my stuff. Never paid up a single penny. One time, the damage return FedEx guy picked up an GOOD package I just received at my door, claimed no damage seen, then damage it when it was returned to me. No apology. No insurance pay.

For shipping from international:
1) DHL Express and DHL Packet. The one and only. Wouldn’t trust anybody else.

@ bsimpson

Dhl Express is very fast..

I got delivery of Acme 805 tube around noon today which had been shipped from China on Tuesday.

I may try to use DHL if I will ship it fast overseas.

Otherwise I will use USPS for international shipping.
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