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Fedex vs UPS --> Price vs Image issue

Fedex vs UPS



5:03 am on Aug 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

WE have been using fedex for over a year for International shipments from Japan to almost everywhere else. We have been very happy with the type of service and pricing we get. With the exception of occasional customer complaints, they have been great.

A couple weeks back, a friend of mine used UPS and UPS offered him a great price for the first shipment. To get a taste of the UPS pricing model, I called the UPS local shop here in Tokyo and asked for an appointment with a sales manager. After a little Q and A session, a sales manager and a sales assistant came to my office a week later (they had refused to visit me about 18 months back). They offered me to beat the fedex prices by a good margin, keeping in view what they saw in our warehouse.

At the moment, I dont care about the pricing I get from UPS. What I care most about is the service level at the destination country. As a customer, online buyer or as a businessman, do you prefer fedex over UPS or do you prefer UPS over Fedex. Which company has a better image?

Personally, I prefer Fedex and I have better image of Fedex in my head than UPS, though I could be wrong.

Any input and opinions would be very much appreciated.


8:42 pm on Aug 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have tried both FedEx and UPS for international air shipments from the UK to US.

FedEx was always much cheaper, maybe UPS about twice as much. But FedEx came broken every time, losing maybe 2-3 items per case of ten. The box always looked like hell, like it went through a hurricane.

With UPS the box came looking OK, and those items were never broken. It was delivered with a smile, rather then the disgruntled FedEx guys.

I view UPS air as better for international and air shipments. And, the opposite it true for domestic, I view FedEx ground as better then UPS ground for domestic in terms of both safety and image. I don't really have a lot of evidence as to why except prior experience.

I suppose you could claim damages with FedEx, but it was just not worth the hassle for me or the shipper. UPS.


12:42 pm on Aug 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

MrHard, Thanks for sharing your experiences.
I did some online search on peoples experiences as well. It seems like alot more people are unhappy with UPS than fedex. I really would need some more evidence before I switch the shipper.
I am sure everyone ships here or receive shipments. How about your experiences as users of both these companies?


3:40 pm on Aug 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I use both internationally, UPS is cheaper and documentation is easier. I have had zero problems with either.

Take a look at the margins and what is easier for you to use.


12:55 pm on Aug 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

jpman here is a thought. Go ahead and set up the UPS ship 1/2 your packages FedEx and 1/2 UPS or 1 week or month FedEx and 1 week or month UPS.

I know it may cause some extra work on your end but this is will give you the ability to test each carrier and give you some valuable leverage in establishing a good shipping rate.

2 shipping accounts is something I think all shippers should have anyway just so that if one carrier happens to go down such as worker strikes or an act of god you can flip over call the other carrier to begin a daily pickup and continue to ship your goods.

Having 2 shipping account is like have a Disaster Recovery plan for your websites.


7:45 am on Aug 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Actually,maybe there is another way to handle it. Why not let your customers to make choice of which one to choose?


9:08 am on Aug 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

We did that at a previous company and finally decided that using multiple carriers was stopping us getting the best deal and the number of different delivery options confusing for the customer. Of course our logistics manager went ahead and secured a deal with a single carrier but didn't feed that back to the IT team so that systems were still offering the old named carrier options.


5:01 am on Aug 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

FedEx hands down! UPS breaks too much stuff and then when they do they don't pay the claim always resorting to "insufficient packaging" even if it has 4" of styrofoam packaging around the contents. In 6 years of doing business with FedEx I have only had 2 claims that were not paid by FedEx of roughly 100 claims made. UPS on the other hand never paid one claim so needless to say I dumped them and will NEVER use UPS again.


8:11 am on Aug 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

My partner has just had a nasty run in with FedEx.

Ringing up for a delivery quote, a price was given. When the invoice is received the price is three times higher than originally quoted. Phone calls are made to seek clarification. The invoice is incorrect; we've made a mistake, they say. She's told that someone will ring her back. We're going on holidays, my partner says - back in two weeks. No problem, says they. We'll ring you on your return.

Back from hols and FedEx say, sorry, you've left it too late to query the invoice now. Should have got in touch sooner! Hold on, says my partner, I rang before hols; you said a mistake was made and you were going to ring me back to sort it out. No idea what you're talking about, says FedEx. Pay up or else.

Two days later and my partner gets a letter from debt collectors - not just for the outstanding amount, but for the entire account, with recovery costs, of course.

Needless to say, her account is now elsewhere.



3:00 am on Aug 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

There is no such thing as "going on holiday". You can go on breaks, but never on holiday.

I used to know a guy and his wife who built custom items. They would always "go on holiday" for weeks at a time, just leave everything, too bad for the customers and too bad for us. We would just have to make excuses until they returned, or we got wishy washy email responses.

Then when they returned they made us all listen to stories about their vacation. While we had them on the line it was OK to then bring up the multiple complaints and chargebacks resulting from their irresponsible vacating of their responsibilities, in a polite way once removed from the complainer, of course.


7:26 am on Aug 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

There is no such thing as "going on holiday". You can go on breaks, but never on holiday.

Depends on what part of the world you come from. Using the Queen's English, we don't go on 'vacation', and typically have 'breaks' when stopping for tea or going on a weekend getaway.

Your point, sir, and its relevancy to the topic at hand?



7:03 pm on Aug 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I think UPS and FedEx are both well respected in the USA.

UPS used to be known for primarily ground shipments but now they do a lot of both. I think either company has a good image here.


6:42 pm on Aug 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Why not use the postal service internationally.... especially asia ... it is SO fast IT'S UNREAL. and now that they pick up from your location theres no more runs to the post office to ship.

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