Our international business has increased markedly and I was wondering who others use as their couriers. Our packages will range in weight from 10 lbs to 50 lbs. We are currently using the US Postal Service because they seem to have the most reasonable service, but I'm wondering what experience others have with other services.
The US Postal Service is the lowest-cost carrier for low-volume parcels, IMO. Software tools like DAZzle make the generation of customs forms a no-brainer, and free boxes with free Mon-Sat carrier pickup cannot be matched.
I have to ship a lot of long items and unfortunately some countries have a smaller max length limit than others. But you still can't beat the cost of the postal service. Most other services are 3-4 times the cost, plus they try and get people at the other end with broker fees.
USPS is the best way to avoid broker fees that I have found. On our shipments into Canada (from US), FedEx Ground killed us with their brokerage fees, so we stopped using them. We haven't had a complaint out of a Canadian customer about fees since. I believe they sometimes have to pay a small (10%?) provincial tax on the items, but we can't seem to get any solid confirmation on this.
Also, USPS has excellent speed of delivery into Europe and Australia. I shipped a Priority package to England two days before Christmas and the customer received it before the new year.
Also on the brokerage fee front, when you use FedEx Ground to ship internationally, the customer can refuse to pay their duties/taxes/fees and then the bill comes back to you (maybe 6 months later). With USPS, they don't deliver the parcel unless those fees are paid!