Last Updated

Jun 14, 2024

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11 Alternatives to UPS & FedEx for Different Use Cases

An in depth review of the 11 best alternatives to UPS and FedEx, including IT specific shipping services and regional services

Last Updated

Jun 14, 2024

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UPS (United Parcel Service) and FedEx (Federal Express) are global shipping companies that provide ground delivery, express shipping, and freight services to 220+ countries through their hub-and-spoke shipping infrastructure.

Both couriers have areas where they excel. FedEx is one of the go-to couriers for eCommerce food businesses (due largely to their proprietary cold packaging) and time-sensitive shipments. Shippers often turn to UPS for their reliability (they offer guaranteed delivery and package insurance up to $50K) and ability to ship heavy packages (their max weight threshold is 150 lbs).

But many shippers seek alternatives to UPS and FedEx because they want a shipping provider that:

  • Understands and caters to B2B needs, such as minimizing duty and tax exposure based on economic status within a country, and provides dedicated project management

  • Specializes in transporting specific types of commodities (such as medical equipment, IT equipment, etc.)

  • Can provide more specialized logistical services, such as performing pre-shipping inventory checks and navigating the customs clearance process at the destination country

  • Provides more transparency and predictability with regard to shipping costs, as UPS and FedEx are known for imposing surcharges and billbacks on shipments

  • Offers dedicated transportation methods (as opposed to the hub-and-spoke method), so their shipments arrive faster, don’t get held up in customs due to other shipments, and are less likely to get damaged

  • Provides superior service in the locations they need to ship to (for example, a regional courier)

Based on what you’re shipping, the origin and destination of your shipment, and your shipping goals, you can find alternative shipping carriers that provide better rates, faster shipping, and superior customer service.

To help you find a shipping and logistics service that best suits your needs, we’ve compiled a list of alternatives to UPS and FedEx. We’ll begin with a deep dive into our IT-specific global shipping service, FGX.

This article will cover a range of alternative shipping services based on various shipping needs and goals, such as:

  • FGX Global Shipping: International & Domestic Shipping for IT Equipment

  • USPS: Reliable Domestic Shipping 

  • DHL: Most Affordable International Shipping

  • Asendia: e-Commerce Shipping

  • Navis Pack & Ship: Shipping for Fragile and Valuable Items

  • Domestic Regional Shipping, Shipping Within a Region

If you’re looking to ship any IT equipment domestically or internationally, contact FGX to learn more about our shipping service.

1. FGX Global Shipping: International & Domestic Shipping for IT Equipment

FGX Homepage

Key Benefits:

  • Provides coverage in 174+ countries. 

  • Expertise in IT-specific shipments — such as import/export compliance, trade compliance, shipping and logistics strategies, etc.

  • Provides customers with transparent quotes so there are no surprise fees or duties when it comes to international shipping.

  • You can consolidate multiple shipments with FGX so we can manage the entire process for you, providing you with one point of contact.

  • Additional services provided include Importer of Record services, leasing options, infrastructure as a service solutions, and more.

FGX provides a global IT shipping service that lets you ship IT equipment (such as servers, routers, laptops, etc.) both domestically and internationally.

We’re unlike traditional couriers such as UPS and FedEx in several ways. In large part due to the clients that we serve. Couriers are focused on a high volume of shipments that are relatively low value and from a business perspective, inconsequential, e.g. a claim on an average lost or damaged shipment for a courier is fairly low. This influences their business and service delivery model to be low touch, and cookie cutter; they have to treat every customer roughly the same. 

For FGX, we’re the opposite, we’re shipping mission critical and high value equipment for businesses. Our business and service delivery model is based on providing optimized, compliant, and high touch solutions for our customers.

Transportation

Couriers like FedEx and UPS will use their hub and spoke supply-chain to move your equipment, which means your shipment will bounce through many hubs, warehouses and vehicles. This results in an increased chance of your shipment being damaged or lost.  As opposed to FGX’s transportation model, which is point-to-point, where your shipment takes the most direct route to its destination.

Customs Clearance

For high value, B2B shipments, international customs clearance is often a pain point. This is due to the regulatory and compliance controls that customs has on high value and technical commodities. The logistical services that couriers provide can’t address the detailed requirements needed to reliably clear customs. 

For example, they’ll clear your goods via a bulk clearance, as opposed to a formal customs clearance, limiting your ability to liaise with and manage the customs process. They won’t work with you to fulfill product certification or other documentation requirements. Nor will they be able to be of much help if anything goes wrong during the customs process.

To help you better understand how FGX can help you optimize your IT shipments, we break down each step of our process below.

Step 1: Send Us Your Shipping Request

First, you provide us with information about your shipment — such as origin, destination, and bill of materials. One of our experts will reach out to you to gather more information (such as project goals, company's business footprint, internal protocols, and more).

This process enables us to take advantage of every cost-minimization option available to you. For example, if you have a business entity in Singapore, we can provide a shipping option that takes that into account and reduces the overall cost by making the tax reclaimable and lowering import fees.

It also enables us to identify issues you may not be aware of. For example, if you don’t know what HS codes or ECCN numbers are, our team will either obtain them on your behalf or help you find the necessary information.

Step 2: FGX Provides You With Optimized Shipping Options

Once we’ve acquired all of the data points we need, our team will generate optimized shipping options available to you on our supply chain. This list of options will be delivered via email within 24 hours of your request. 

To help you make the best decision, each shipping option comes with:

  • Costs

  • Timelines

  • Pros and cons of each option

Many shipping companies won’t provide a final quote until the shipment is complete, as they don’t have the experience needed to quote upfront (e.g. understanding the applicable duties and taxes) and don’t want to undercharge. This makes it difficult for your team to budget upfront and understand the business case for your project. But our experience in IT shipping allows us to provide accurate estimates, so you know what your costs are upfront. Our quotes are also highly-transparent, so you know where the costs are coming from. And, absent any significant changes, such as a change in the bill of materials, or sudden policy changes (e.g. a government introduces a new duty into law while a shipment is in customs), we honor the quotes we provide.

Step 3: FGX Performs a Feasibility Check

If your team selects one of the options presented to you, FGX will proceed with a Feasibility Check to ensure the devices that you’re looking to ship are eligible for import and export.

This is where our expertise in IT-specific shipping and logistics becomes incredibly beneficial. Many couriers and freight-forwarders will agree to ship your products, only to inform you at the 11th hour that your items aren’t approved for customs at the destination and can’t actually be shipped. Or worse yet, sometimes they ship and your items get stuck in customs. Not only is this frustrating, but it delays your project’s delivery date indefinitely.

Our Feasibility Checks enable us to get ahead of these problems in order to execute your shipments without issue. We run your shipment through our algorithms — and, if need be, run a customs simulation with our local brokerage teams — in order to ensure (as best we can) that your products will clear customs. For example:

  • Every country has specific requirements for IT-imports. When shipping electronics to India, each primary device or power adapter must have a BIS certificate or TEC certificate.

  • If anything is missing or required (such as part numbers, SKUs, etc.), we’ll let you know up front — saving you lots of time and the cost of follow-up shipments.

  • Our customs team double checks everything (certificates, approvals, etc.), so we can be confident that your equipment can be shipped and will be cleared as quickly as possible.

Step 4: Shipment Booking and Processing

Once you’ve chosen a shipping option and want to move forward with a specific quote, we immediately get it booked into our system, issue a tracking number, and assign an FGX operations expert to the case.

The processing stage involves several components:

A. FGX Manifest Process

While certain shipments don’t need to come to an FGX facility prior to export, we highly recommend that they do, so we can complete our thorough manifest process.

The FGX Manifest Process is an extremely detailed analysis of every product in your bill of material, and it’s designed to ensure your shipment has the greatest likelihood of clearing customs, without any additional inquiries or inspections.

We inspect every detail of every box and device being shipped — from labeling, to device condition, to product markings. Every country’s customs process has specific compliance requirements on imported goods, and the manifest process enables us to get ahead of any potential problems that may come up during customs clearance. More specifically, it enables us to:

  • Ensure what you’re actually looking to send is included in the shipment.

  • Ensure your devices meet all of the relevant product and packaging compliance requirements (ex. scratched/damaged chassis on new hardware).

  • Optimize aesthetics (ex. Ensure that boxes aren’t damaged when shipping to countries with strict requirements on used goods, such as India)

B. Obtaining Documents, Licenses, and Permits

Prior to export, we work to obtain all of the documentation your shipment requires based on the bill of materials, origin, and destination.

For example, electronic shipments to India likely require a BIS or TEC certification. We work on all the documentation in parallel, including booking space on a direct flight to your destination (98% of our shipments are transported via direct air freight). As soon as the permits and documentation are complete, your shipment can be on its way to the destination.

Unlike other shippers and freight forwarders, we understand not only when licenses and permits are required, but also what drives license, permit, and compliance requirements. This allows us to efficiently obtain them and ensure your shipments are delivered seamlessly. Many shipping services will transport your goods without doing the required work up front, which results in your shipment being delayed and forces you to scramble to sort things out.

We have over a decade of IT logistics experience, which enables us to help you understand and navigate compliance requirements so you can properly set your timeline projections.

C. Transporting Your Equipment

After all documentation is complete, our team will package your shipment according to the destination country’s packing compliance requirements. While most shippers just pack your equipment based on your directions, we tell you how to best package your goods. For example, in Brazil, you can’t ship anything on a wooden pallet (unless it displays the appropriate phytosanitary stamps).

Shipments are transported to their destination via our optimized global supply chain.

The shipment will be trucked to the airport of departure via dedicated vehicle. We use direct air-freight for 98% of international shipments. You can use the tracking number or contact our team to identify where your shipment is in our supply chain.

D. Customs Clearance and Last Mile Delivery

Once your shipments arrive at their destination, our customs brokers will handle the customs clearance process.

We have our own in-house customs clearance experts in some countries. In others, we work with experienced, highly vetted customs partners. If customs officers inspect your equipment (which happens fairly often with IT equipment), our team handles all of the communication with customs. Between that and the thorough work we do upfront, clearance issues are usually resolved quickly.

In the past ten years, we haven’t had any shipments get stuck in customs. This is due to all of the work we do upfront and the customs clearance team deployed at your destination. We can also pre-fund duties and taxes, which speeds the customs processing for your shipment. We provide you with updates so you understand what’s going on at every step.

We handle last mile delivery from customs to your destination site via direct transport. And we provide you with proof of delivery.

If you’re looking to ship any IT equipment domestically or internationally, contact FGX to learn more about our shipping service.

2. USPS: Affordability & Reliable Domestic Shipping

USPS Home page

Key Benefits:

  • Shipping to any address and PO Box in the US, as well as 180+ other countries

  • Affordable rates

  • Volume-based discounts

USPS (United States Postal Service) is the US government shipping agency known for their highly affordable shipping rates and wide coverage area. Like FedEx, USPS is one of the only shipping services that delivers to every address, military address, and Post Office box in the US.

USPS is popular with many small businesses due to its affordable domestic ground service rates, reliable shipping to many destinations, volume-based discounts, and more. They offer discounted rates to eCommerce sellers through their USPS Connect eCommerce Platform. 

3. DHL: Cost-Effective International Shipping for Businesses

DHL Home page

Key Benefits:

  • Most extensive global network, which allows it to provide reliable and cost-efficient international shipping

  • Best solution for affordability and customer service for international shipments

Though it began in San Francisco, DHL is now a German company that’s connected to Europe’s leading parcel provider, Deutsche Post. Now they have the most extensive global network of any hub-and-spoke courier, making them a reliable and cost-effective option for international shipping (though not the cheapest for domestic shipping).

DHL shipping methods include air freight, ground delivery, and international shipping. And they can also create customized supply chain solutions for large enterprise businesses who use their services regularly.

4. Asendia: e-Commerce Shipping

Asendia Home page

Key Benefits:

  • Provides shipping and return services to 200+ countries across 4 continents.

  • Works with over 50 e-retailers in Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania.

  • 100% carbon-neutral through offsetting

Asendia is more than just a courier service for eCommerce businesses. They provide international e-Commerce delivery and return solutions, export logistics, an IT platform, and the prices that eCommerce businesses need to optimize costs. And through their final-mile network (i.e., partnerships with local couriers in 200+ countries they operate in), businesses can provide their customers with a range of shipping options from local shipping services — increasing customer satisfaction.

Asendia is also highly reliable. Businesses and their customers can track shipments and receive notifications through their platform. And they offer customs clearance services (such as pre-paid customs duties through their portal) that can help you avoid customs delays and reduce charges.

5. Navis Pack and Ship: Shipping for Fragile and Valuable Items

Navis Home page

Key Benefits:

  • Delivery to most of North America (US and Canada)

  • Specialty in fragile and valuable items, such as antiques, art, estate, technology, and more

Navis Pack and Ship has 30+ years of experience shipping fragile, large, and valuable items in the US and Canada. They also provide international shipping from the US or Canada to major countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America.

They can provide the packaging and delivery expertise required for more sensitive shipments, such as antiques, auction items, computers, art, technology, freight, furniture, medical equipment, and more.

Navis handles:

  • Shipping

  • Crating

  • Packing

  • White Glove Service

  • Pickup & Delivery

Domestic Regional Shipments

If you’re shipping within a certain region in North America, using a regional shipping service can allow you to save time and money. Regional shippers specialize in one location, which enables them to complete deliveries quicker while providing more tailored services.

6. Pitt Ohio

Pitt Ohio Home page

Pitt Ohio specializes in LTL (Less-Than-Truckload) delivery through 21 terminals in the mid-Atlantic and midwest regions. Via their membership in The Reliance Network — a partnership of regional carriers in the US — they can also provide shipping coverage through all of the US and Canada (and can extend their own range of service based on volume). 

Many businesses turn to Pitt Ohio when they need faster delivery of packages in the Midwest region, as well as to offload capacity surges. And they also provide other supply chain and logistics solutions, such as:

  • FTL (Full Truckload) shipments

  • Expedited shipping

  • Freeze protection

  • Warehousing and distribution

  • Container transloading

7. Spee Dee Delivery Service

Spee Dee Home page

For shippers in the upper midwest area, Spee Dee Delivery provides LTL shipping, on-call pickup, and warehousing and fulfillment services. Their coverage extends through 10 states — including Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, as well as select cities and ZIP Codes in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Nebraska.

Because of their small area of focus, Spee Dee Delivery is often faster, more cost-effective, and more flexible for customers in the Midwest. And customers can use their complimentary Spee Dee Ship Software to print labels, process packages more quickly and efficiently, keep track of their shipping activity, track volume and shipping costs, and store important shipping data.

8. GLS Regional Parcel Service

GLS Home page

GLS provides parcel, freight, and logistics services for B2B and B2C businesses in North America — more specifically, Western Canada and Northern Ontario, but also in the US via American partners.

Their full range of transport solutions includes:

  • Regional Parcel

  • Less than truckload (LTL)

  • Full truckload

  • Logistics

  • Cross-border services

  • Dedicated logistics

  • Residential

9. LSO (Lone Star Overnight)

LSO Home page

LSO is the leading overnight delivery service for shipments to Texas, Oklahoma, western Louisiana, and southern New Mexico (though they also ship to California and Mexico through shipping partnerships). They work to facilitate more direct routes for package delivery in order to optimize service quality and speed for time-sensitive deliveries.

Repeat customers can benefit from their loyalty program called Package Points.

10. LaserShip

Lasership Home page

Lasership is a delivery company that provides shipping for individuals and businesses in e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, and retail, and more. They operate primarily on the East Coast, though they also offer shipping to other destinations in the US.

Lasership uses advanced technology and state-of-the-art tracking systems to deliver packages to their destinations with speed and precision (they provide highly accurate delivery time estimates). Their special delivery options include same-day express delivery, next-day, evening, and weekend delivery.

11. US Cargo

US Cargo Home page

US Cargo provides a large range of services — including same day delivery, next day delivery, and 24 hour operational support — in Ohio, PA, Maryland, NJ, CT, MA, and parts of NY.

Their flexible transportation logistics solutions include:

  • Parcel

  • Lightweight LTL

  • Pool distribution

  • Dedicated delivery

  • Courier

  • Last mile delivery

If you’re looking to ship any IT equipment domestically or internationally, contact FGX to learn more about our shipping service.

UPS (United Parcel Service) and FedEx (Federal Express) are global shipping companies that provide ground delivery, express shipping, and freight services to 220+ countries through their hub-and-spoke shipping infrastructure.

Both couriers have areas where they excel. FedEx is one of the go-to couriers for eCommerce food businesses (due largely to their proprietary cold packaging) and time-sensitive shipments. Shippers often turn to UPS for their reliability (they offer guaranteed delivery and package insurance up to $50K) and ability to ship heavy packages (their max weight threshold is 150 lbs).

But many shippers seek alternatives to UPS and FedEx because they want a shipping provider that:

  • Understands and caters to B2B needs, such as minimizing duty and tax exposure based on economic status within a country, and provides dedicated project management

  • Specializes in transporting specific types of commodities (such as medical equipment, IT equipment, etc.)

  • Can provide more specialized logistical services, such as performing pre-shipping inventory checks and navigating the customs clearance process at the destination country

  • Provides more transparency and predictability with regard to shipping costs, as UPS and FedEx are known for imposing surcharges and billbacks on shipments

  • Offers dedicated transportation methods (as opposed to the hub-and-spoke method), so their shipments arrive faster, don’t get held up in customs due to other shipments, and are less likely to get damaged

  • Provides superior service in the locations they need to ship to (for example, a regional courier)

Based on what you’re shipping, the origin and destination of your shipment, and your shipping goals, you can find alternative shipping carriers that provide better rates, faster shipping, and superior customer service.

To help you find a shipping and logistics service that best suits your needs, we’ve compiled a list of alternatives to UPS and FedEx. We’ll begin with a deep dive into our IT-specific global shipping service, FGX.

This article will cover a range of alternative shipping services based on various shipping needs and goals, such as:

  • FGX Global Shipping: International & Domestic Shipping for IT Equipment

  • USPS: Reliable Domestic Shipping 

  • DHL: Most Affordable International Shipping

  • Asendia: e-Commerce Shipping

  • Navis Pack & Ship: Shipping for Fragile and Valuable Items

  • Domestic Regional Shipping, Shipping Within a Region

If you’re looking to ship any IT equipment domestically or internationally, contact FGX to learn more about our shipping service.

1. FGX Global Shipping: International & Domestic Shipping for IT Equipment

FGX Homepage

Key Benefits:

  • Provides coverage in 174+ countries. 

  • Expertise in IT-specific shipments — such as import/export compliance, trade compliance, shipping and logistics strategies, etc.

  • Provides customers with transparent quotes so there are no surprise fees or duties when it comes to international shipping.

  • You can consolidate multiple shipments with FGX so we can manage the entire process for you, providing you with one point of contact.

  • Additional services provided include Importer of Record services, leasing options, infrastructure as a service solutions, and more.

FGX provides a global IT shipping service that lets you ship IT equipment (such as servers, routers, laptops, etc.) both domestically and internationally.

We’re unlike traditional couriers such as UPS and FedEx in several ways. In large part due to the clients that we serve. Couriers are focused on a high volume of shipments that are relatively low value and from a business perspective, inconsequential, e.g. a claim on an average lost or damaged shipment for a courier is fairly low. This influences their business and service delivery model to be low touch, and cookie cutter; they have to treat every customer roughly the same. 

For FGX, we’re the opposite, we’re shipping mission critical and high value equipment for businesses. Our business and service delivery model is based on providing optimized, compliant, and high touch solutions for our customers.

Transportation

Couriers like FedEx and UPS will use their hub and spoke supply-chain to move your equipment, which means your shipment will bounce through many hubs, warehouses and vehicles. This results in an increased chance of your shipment being damaged or lost.  As opposed to FGX’s transportation model, which is point-to-point, where your shipment takes the most direct route to its destination.

Customs Clearance

For high value, B2B shipments, international customs clearance is often a pain point. This is due to the regulatory and compliance controls that customs has on high value and technical commodities. The logistical services that couriers provide can’t address the detailed requirements needed to reliably clear customs. 

For example, they’ll clear your goods via a bulk clearance, as opposed to a formal customs clearance, limiting your ability to liaise with and manage the customs process. They won’t work with you to fulfill product certification or other documentation requirements. Nor will they be able to be of much help if anything goes wrong during the customs process.

To help you better understand how FGX can help you optimize your IT shipments, we break down each step of our process below.

Step 1: Send Us Your Shipping Request

First, you provide us with information about your shipment — such as origin, destination, and bill of materials. One of our experts will reach out to you to gather more information (such as project goals, company's business footprint, internal protocols, and more).

This process enables us to take advantage of every cost-minimization option available to you. For example, if you have a business entity in Singapore, we can provide a shipping option that takes that into account and reduces the overall cost by making the tax reclaimable and lowering import fees.

It also enables us to identify issues you may not be aware of. For example, if you don’t know what HS codes or ECCN numbers are, our team will either obtain them on your behalf or help you find the necessary information.

Step 2: FGX Provides You With Optimized Shipping Options

Once we’ve acquired all of the data points we need, our team will generate optimized shipping options available to you on our supply chain. This list of options will be delivered via email within 24 hours of your request. 

To help you make the best decision, each shipping option comes with:

  • Costs

  • Timelines

  • Pros and cons of each option

Many shipping companies won’t provide a final quote until the shipment is complete, as they don’t have the experience needed to quote upfront (e.g. understanding the applicable duties and taxes) and don’t want to undercharge. This makes it difficult for your team to budget upfront and understand the business case for your project. But our experience in IT shipping allows us to provide accurate estimates, so you know what your costs are upfront. Our quotes are also highly-transparent, so you know where the costs are coming from. And, absent any significant changes, such as a change in the bill of materials, or sudden policy changes (e.g. a government introduces a new duty into law while a shipment is in customs), we honor the quotes we provide.

Step 3: FGX Performs a Feasibility Check

If your team selects one of the options presented to you, FGX will proceed with a Feasibility Check to ensure the devices that you’re looking to ship are eligible for import and export.

This is where our expertise in IT-specific shipping and logistics becomes incredibly beneficial. Many couriers and freight-forwarders will agree to ship your products, only to inform you at the 11th hour that your items aren’t approved for customs at the destination and can’t actually be shipped. Or worse yet, sometimes they ship and your items get stuck in customs. Not only is this frustrating, but it delays your project’s delivery date indefinitely.

Our Feasibility Checks enable us to get ahead of these problems in order to execute your shipments without issue. We run your shipment through our algorithms — and, if need be, run a customs simulation with our local brokerage teams — in order to ensure (as best we can) that your products will clear customs. For example:

  • Every country has specific requirements for IT-imports. When shipping electronics to India, each primary device or power adapter must have a BIS certificate or TEC certificate.

  • If anything is missing or required (such as part numbers, SKUs, etc.), we’ll let you know up front — saving you lots of time and the cost of follow-up shipments.

  • Our customs team double checks everything (certificates, approvals, etc.), so we can be confident that your equipment can be shipped and will be cleared as quickly as possible.

Step 4: Shipment Booking and Processing

Once you’ve chosen a shipping option and want to move forward with a specific quote, we immediately get it booked into our system, issue a tracking number, and assign an FGX operations expert to the case.

The processing stage involves several components:

A. FGX Manifest Process

While certain shipments don’t need to come to an FGX facility prior to export, we highly recommend that they do, so we can complete our thorough manifest process.

The FGX Manifest Process is an extremely detailed analysis of every product in your bill of material, and it’s designed to ensure your shipment has the greatest likelihood of clearing customs, without any additional inquiries or inspections.

We inspect every detail of every box and device being shipped — from labeling, to device condition, to product markings. Every country’s customs process has specific compliance requirements on imported goods, and the manifest process enables us to get ahead of any potential problems that may come up during customs clearance. More specifically, it enables us to:

  • Ensure what you’re actually looking to send is included in the shipment.

  • Ensure your devices meet all of the relevant product and packaging compliance requirements (ex. scratched/damaged chassis on new hardware).

  • Optimize aesthetics (ex. Ensure that boxes aren’t damaged when shipping to countries with strict requirements on used goods, such as India)

B. Obtaining Documents, Licenses, and Permits

Prior to export, we work to obtain all of the documentation your shipment requires based on the bill of materials, origin, and destination.

For example, electronic shipments to India likely require a BIS or TEC certification. We work on all the documentation in parallel, including booking space on a direct flight to your destination (98% of our shipments are transported via direct air freight). As soon as the permits and documentation are complete, your shipment can be on its way to the destination.

Unlike other shippers and freight forwarders, we understand not only when licenses and permits are required, but also what drives license, permit, and compliance requirements. This allows us to efficiently obtain them and ensure your shipments are delivered seamlessly. Many shipping services will transport your goods without doing the required work up front, which results in your shipment being delayed and forces you to scramble to sort things out.

We have over a decade of IT logistics experience, which enables us to help you understand and navigate compliance requirements so you can properly set your timeline projections.

C. Transporting Your Equipment

After all documentation is complete, our team will package your shipment according to the destination country’s packing compliance requirements. While most shippers just pack your equipment based on your directions, we tell you how to best package your goods. For example, in Brazil, you can’t ship anything on a wooden pallet (unless it displays the appropriate phytosanitary stamps).

Shipments are transported to their destination via our optimized global supply chain.

The shipment will be trucked to the airport of departure via dedicated vehicle. We use direct air-freight for 98% of international shipments. You can use the tracking number or contact our team to identify where your shipment is in our supply chain.

D. Customs Clearance and Last Mile Delivery

Once your shipments arrive at their destination, our customs brokers will handle the customs clearance process.

We have our own in-house customs clearance experts in some countries. In others, we work with experienced, highly vetted customs partners. If customs officers inspect your equipment (which happens fairly often with IT equipment), our team handles all of the communication with customs. Between that and the thorough work we do upfront, clearance issues are usually resolved quickly.

In the past ten years, we haven’t had any shipments get stuck in customs. This is due to all of the work we do upfront and the customs clearance team deployed at your destination. We can also pre-fund duties and taxes, which speeds the customs processing for your shipment. We provide you with updates so you understand what’s going on at every step.

We handle last mile delivery from customs to your destination site via direct transport. And we provide you with proof of delivery.

If you’re looking to ship any IT equipment domestically or internationally, contact FGX to learn more about our shipping service.

2. USPS: Affordability & Reliable Domestic Shipping

USPS Home page

Key Benefits:

  • Shipping to any address and PO Box in the US, as well as 180+ other countries

  • Affordable rates

  • Volume-based discounts

USPS (United States Postal Service) is the US government shipping agency known for their highly affordable shipping rates and wide coverage area. Like FedEx, USPS is one of the only shipping services that delivers to every address, military address, and Post Office box in the US.

USPS is popular with many small businesses due to its affordable domestic ground service rates, reliable shipping to many destinations, volume-based discounts, and more. They offer discounted rates to eCommerce sellers through their USPS Connect eCommerce Platform. 

3. DHL: Cost-Effective International Shipping for Businesses

DHL Home page

Key Benefits:

  • Most extensive global network, which allows it to provide reliable and cost-efficient international shipping

  • Best solution for affordability and customer service for international shipments

Though it began in San Francisco, DHL is now a German company that’s connected to Europe’s leading parcel provider, Deutsche Post. Now they have the most extensive global network of any hub-and-spoke courier, making them a reliable and cost-effective option for international shipping (though not the cheapest for domestic shipping).

DHL shipping methods include air freight, ground delivery, and international shipping. And they can also create customized supply chain solutions for large enterprise businesses who use their services regularly.

4. Asendia: e-Commerce Shipping

Asendia Home page

Key Benefits:

  • Provides shipping and return services to 200+ countries across 4 continents.

  • Works with over 50 e-retailers in Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania.

  • 100% carbon-neutral through offsetting

Asendia is more than just a courier service for eCommerce businesses. They provide international e-Commerce delivery and return solutions, export logistics, an IT platform, and the prices that eCommerce businesses need to optimize costs. And through their final-mile network (i.e., partnerships with local couriers in 200+ countries they operate in), businesses can provide their customers with a range of shipping options from local shipping services — increasing customer satisfaction.

Asendia is also highly reliable. Businesses and their customers can track shipments and receive notifications through their platform. And they offer customs clearance services (such as pre-paid customs duties through their portal) that can help you avoid customs delays and reduce charges.

5. Navis Pack and Ship: Shipping for Fragile and Valuable Items

Navis Home page

Key Benefits:

  • Delivery to most of North America (US and Canada)

  • Specialty in fragile and valuable items, such as antiques, art, estate, technology, and more

Navis Pack and Ship has 30+ years of experience shipping fragile, large, and valuable items in the US and Canada. They also provide international shipping from the US or Canada to major countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America.

They can provide the packaging and delivery expertise required for more sensitive shipments, such as antiques, auction items, computers, art, technology, freight, furniture, medical equipment, and more.

Navis handles:

  • Shipping

  • Crating

  • Packing

  • White Glove Service

  • Pickup & Delivery

Domestic Regional Shipments

If you’re shipping within a certain region in North America, using a regional shipping service can allow you to save time and money. Regional shippers specialize in one location, which enables them to complete deliveries quicker while providing more tailored services.

6. Pitt Ohio

Pitt Ohio Home page

Pitt Ohio specializes in LTL (Less-Than-Truckload) delivery through 21 terminals in the mid-Atlantic and midwest regions. Via their membership in The Reliance Network — a partnership of regional carriers in the US — they can also provide shipping coverage through all of the US and Canada (and can extend their own range of service based on volume). 

Many businesses turn to Pitt Ohio when they need faster delivery of packages in the Midwest region, as well as to offload capacity surges. And they also provide other supply chain and logistics solutions, such as:

  • FTL (Full Truckload) shipments

  • Expedited shipping

  • Freeze protection

  • Warehousing and distribution

  • Container transloading

7. Spee Dee Delivery Service

Spee Dee Home page

For shippers in the upper midwest area, Spee Dee Delivery provides LTL shipping, on-call pickup, and warehousing and fulfillment services. Their coverage extends through 10 states — including Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, as well as select cities and ZIP Codes in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Nebraska.

Because of their small area of focus, Spee Dee Delivery is often faster, more cost-effective, and more flexible for customers in the Midwest. And customers can use their complimentary Spee Dee Ship Software to print labels, process packages more quickly and efficiently, keep track of their shipping activity, track volume and shipping costs, and store important shipping data.

8. GLS Regional Parcel Service

GLS Home page

GLS provides parcel, freight, and logistics services for B2B and B2C businesses in North America — more specifically, Western Canada and Northern Ontario, but also in the US via American partners.

Their full range of transport solutions includes:

  • Regional Parcel

  • Less than truckload (LTL)

  • Full truckload

  • Logistics

  • Cross-border services

  • Dedicated logistics

  • Residential

9. LSO (Lone Star Overnight)

LSO Home page

LSO is the leading overnight delivery service for shipments to Texas, Oklahoma, western Louisiana, and southern New Mexico (though they also ship to California and Mexico through shipping partnerships). They work to facilitate more direct routes for package delivery in order to optimize service quality and speed for time-sensitive deliveries.

Repeat customers can benefit from their loyalty program called Package Points.

10. LaserShip

Lasership Home page

Lasership is a delivery company that provides shipping for individuals and businesses in e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, and retail, and more. They operate primarily on the East Coast, though they also offer shipping to other destinations in the US.

Lasership uses advanced technology and state-of-the-art tracking systems to deliver packages to their destinations with speed and precision (they provide highly accurate delivery time estimates). Their special delivery options include same-day express delivery, next-day, evening, and weekend delivery.

11. US Cargo

US Cargo Home page

US Cargo provides a large range of services — including same day delivery, next day delivery, and 24 hour operational support — in Ohio, PA, Maryland, NJ, CT, MA, and parts of NY.

Their flexible transportation logistics solutions include:

  • Parcel

  • Lightweight LTL

  • Pool distribution

  • Dedicated delivery

  • Courier

  • Last mile delivery

If you’re looking to ship any IT equipment domestically or internationally, contact FGX to learn more about our shipping service.

UPS (United Parcel Service) and FedEx (Federal Express) are global shipping companies that provide ground delivery, express shipping, and freight services to 220+ countries through their hub-and-spoke shipping infrastructure.

Both couriers have areas where they excel. FedEx is one of the go-to couriers for eCommerce food businesses (due largely to their proprietary cold packaging) and time-sensitive shipments. Shippers often turn to UPS for their reliability (they offer guaranteed delivery and package insurance up to $50K) and ability to ship heavy packages (their max weight threshold is 150 lbs).

But many shippers seek alternatives to UPS and FedEx because they want a shipping provider that:

  • Understands and caters to B2B needs, such as minimizing duty and tax exposure based on economic status within a country, and provides dedicated project management

  • Specializes in transporting specific types of commodities (such as medical equipment, IT equipment, etc.)

  • Can provide more specialized logistical services, such as performing pre-shipping inventory checks and navigating the customs clearance process at the destination country

  • Provides more transparency and predictability with regard to shipping costs, as UPS and FedEx are known for imposing surcharges and billbacks on shipments

  • Offers dedicated transportation methods (as opposed to the hub-and-spoke method), so their shipments arrive faster, don’t get held up in customs due to other shipments, and are less likely to get damaged

  • Provides superior service in the locations they need to ship to (for example, a regional courier)

Based on what you’re shipping, the origin and destination of your shipment, and your shipping goals, you can find alternative shipping carriers that provide better rates, faster shipping, and superior customer service.

To help you find a shipping and logistics service that best suits your needs, we’ve compiled a list of alternatives to UPS and FedEx. We’ll begin with a deep dive into our IT-specific global shipping service, FGX.

This article will cover a range of alternative shipping services based on various shipping needs and goals, such as:

  • FGX Global Shipping: International & Domestic Shipping for IT Equipment

  • USPS: Reliable Domestic Shipping 

  • DHL: Most Affordable International Shipping

  • Asendia: e-Commerce Shipping

  • Navis Pack & Ship: Shipping for Fragile and Valuable Items

  • Domestic Regional Shipping, Shipping Within a Region

If you’re looking to ship any IT equipment domestically or internationally, contact FGX to learn more about our shipping service.

1. FGX Global Shipping: International & Domestic Shipping for IT Equipment

FGX Homepage

Key Benefits:

  • Provides coverage in 174+ countries. 

  • Expertise in IT-specific shipments — such as import/export compliance, trade compliance, shipping and logistics strategies, etc.

  • Provides customers with transparent quotes so there are no surprise fees or duties when it comes to international shipping.

  • You can consolidate multiple shipments with FGX so we can manage the entire process for you, providing you with one point of contact.

  • Additional services provided include Importer of Record services, leasing options, infrastructure as a service solutions, and more.

FGX provides a global IT shipping service that lets you ship IT equipment (such as servers, routers, laptops, etc.) both domestically and internationally.

We’re unlike traditional couriers such as UPS and FedEx in several ways. In large part due to the clients that we serve. Couriers are focused on a high volume of shipments that are relatively low value and from a business perspective, inconsequential, e.g. a claim on an average lost or damaged shipment for a courier is fairly low. This influences their business and service delivery model to be low touch, and cookie cutter; they have to treat every customer roughly the same. 

For FGX, we’re the opposite, we’re shipping mission critical and high value equipment for businesses. Our business and service delivery model is based on providing optimized, compliant, and high touch solutions for our customers.

Transportation

Couriers like FedEx and UPS will use their hub and spoke supply-chain to move your equipment, which means your shipment will bounce through many hubs, warehouses and vehicles. This results in an increased chance of your shipment being damaged or lost.  As opposed to FGX’s transportation model, which is point-to-point, where your shipment takes the most direct route to its destination.

Customs Clearance

For high value, B2B shipments, international customs clearance is often a pain point. This is due to the regulatory and compliance controls that customs has on high value and technical commodities. The logistical services that couriers provide can’t address the detailed requirements needed to reliably clear customs. 

For example, they’ll clear your goods via a bulk clearance, as opposed to a formal customs clearance, limiting your ability to liaise with and manage the customs process. They won’t work with you to fulfill product certification or other documentation requirements. Nor will they be able to be of much help if anything goes wrong during the customs process.

To help you better understand how FGX can help you optimize your IT shipments, we break down each step of our process below.

Step 1: Send Us Your Shipping Request

First, you provide us with information about your shipment — such as origin, destination, and bill of materials. One of our experts will reach out to you to gather more information (such as project goals, company's business footprint, internal protocols, and more).

This process enables us to take advantage of every cost-minimization option available to you. For example, if you have a business entity in Singapore, we can provide a shipping option that takes that into account and reduces the overall cost by making the tax reclaimable and lowering import fees.

It also enables us to identify issues you may not be aware of. For example, if you don’t know what HS codes or ECCN numbers are, our team will either obtain them on your behalf or help you find the necessary information.

Step 2: FGX Provides You With Optimized Shipping Options

Once we’ve acquired all of the data points we need, our team will generate optimized shipping options available to you on our supply chain. This list of options will be delivered via email within 24 hours of your request. 

To help you make the best decision, each shipping option comes with:

  • Costs

  • Timelines

  • Pros and cons of each option

Many shipping companies won’t provide a final quote until the shipment is complete, as they don’t have the experience needed to quote upfront (e.g. understanding the applicable duties and taxes) and don’t want to undercharge. This makes it difficult for your team to budget upfront and understand the business case for your project. But our experience in IT shipping allows us to provide accurate estimates, so you know what your costs are upfront. Our quotes are also highly-transparent, so you know where the costs are coming from. And, absent any significant changes, such as a change in the bill of materials, or sudden policy changes (e.g. a government introduces a new duty into law while a shipment is in customs), we honor the quotes we provide.

Step 3: FGX Performs a Feasibility Check

If your team selects one of the options presented to you, FGX will proceed with a Feasibility Check to ensure the devices that you’re looking to ship are eligible for import and export.

This is where our expertise in IT-specific shipping and logistics becomes incredibly beneficial. Many couriers and freight-forwarders will agree to ship your products, only to inform you at the 11th hour that your items aren’t approved for customs at the destination and can’t actually be shipped. Or worse yet, sometimes they ship and your items get stuck in customs. Not only is this frustrating, but it delays your project’s delivery date indefinitely.

Our Feasibility Checks enable us to get ahead of these problems in order to execute your shipments without issue. We run your shipment through our algorithms — and, if need be, run a customs simulation with our local brokerage teams — in order to ensure (as best we can) that your products will clear customs. For example:

  • Every country has specific requirements for IT-imports. When shipping electronics to India, each primary device or power adapter must have a BIS certificate or TEC certificate.

  • If anything is missing or required (such as part numbers, SKUs, etc.), we’ll let you know up front — saving you lots of time and the cost of follow-up shipments.

  • Our customs team double checks everything (certificates, approvals, etc.), so we can be confident that your equipment can be shipped and will be cleared as quickly as possible.

Step 4: Shipment Booking and Processing

Once you’ve chosen a shipping option and want to move forward with a specific quote, we immediately get it booked into our system, issue a tracking number, and assign an FGX operations expert to the case.

The processing stage involves several components:

A. FGX Manifest Process

While certain shipments don’t need to come to an FGX facility prior to export, we highly recommend that they do, so we can complete our thorough manifest process.

The FGX Manifest Process is an extremely detailed analysis of every product in your bill of material, and it’s designed to ensure your shipment has the greatest likelihood of clearing customs, without any additional inquiries or inspections.

We inspect every detail of every box and device being shipped — from labeling, to device condition, to product markings. Every country’s customs process has specific compliance requirements on imported goods, and the manifest process enables us to get ahead of any potential problems that may come up during customs clearance. More specifically, it enables us to:

  • Ensure what you’re actually looking to send is included in the shipment.

  • Ensure your devices meet all of the relevant product and packaging compliance requirements (ex. scratched/damaged chassis on new hardware).

  • Optimize aesthetics (ex. Ensure that boxes aren’t damaged when shipping to countries with strict requirements on used goods, such as India)

B. Obtaining Documents, Licenses, and Permits

Prior to export, we work to obtain all of the documentation your shipment requires based on the bill of materials, origin, and destination.

For example, electronic shipments to India likely require a BIS or TEC certification. We work on all the documentation in parallel, including booking space on a direct flight to your destination (98% of our shipments are transported via direct air freight). As soon as the permits and documentation are complete, your shipment can be on its way to the destination.

Unlike other shippers and freight forwarders, we understand not only when licenses and permits are required, but also what drives license, permit, and compliance requirements. This allows us to efficiently obtain them and ensure your shipments are delivered seamlessly. Many shipping services will transport your goods without doing the required work up front, which results in your shipment being delayed and forces you to scramble to sort things out.

We have over a decade of IT logistics experience, which enables us to help you understand and navigate compliance requirements so you can properly set your timeline projections.

C. Transporting Your Equipment

After all documentation is complete, our team will package your shipment according to the destination country’s packing compliance requirements. While most shippers just pack your equipment based on your directions, we tell you how to best package your goods. For example, in Brazil, you can’t ship anything on a wooden pallet (unless it displays the appropriate phytosanitary stamps).

Shipments are transported to their destination via our optimized global supply chain.

The shipment will be trucked to the airport of departure via dedicated vehicle. We use direct air-freight for 98% of international shipments. You can use the tracking number or contact our team to identify where your shipment is in our supply chain.

D. Customs Clearance and Last Mile Delivery

Once your shipments arrive at their destination, our customs brokers will handle the customs clearance process.

We have our own in-house customs clearance experts in some countries. In others, we work with experienced, highly vetted customs partners. If customs officers inspect your equipment (which happens fairly often with IT equipment), our team handles all of the communication with customs. Between that and the thorough work we do upfront, clearance issues are usually resolved quickly.

In the past ten years, we haven’t had any shipments get stuck in customs. This is due to all of the work we do upfront and the customs clearance team deployed at your destination. We can also pre-fund duties and taxes, which speeds the customs processing for your shipment. We provide you with updates so you understand what’s going on at every step.

We handle last mile delivery from customs to your destination site via direct transport. And we provide you with proof of delivery.

If you’re looking to ship any IT equipment domestically or internationally, contact FGX to learn more about our shipping service.

2. USPS: Affordability & Reliable Domestic Shipping

USPS Home page

Key Benefits:

  • Shipping to any address and PO Box in the US, as well as 180+ other countries

  • Affordable rates

  • Volume-based discounts

USPS (United States Postal Service) is the US government shipping agency known for their highly affordable shipping rates and wide coverage area. Like FedEx, USPS is one of the only shipping services that delivers to every address, military address, and Post Office box in the US.

USPS is popular with many small businesses due to its affordable domestic ground service rates, reliable shipping to many destinations, volume-based discounts, and more. They offer discounted rates to eCommerce sellers through their USPS Connect eCommerce Platform. 

3. DHL: Cost-Effective International Shipping for Businesses

DHL Home page

Key Benefits:

  • Most extensive global network, which allows it to provide reliable and cost-efficient international shipping

  • Best solution for affordability and customer service for international shipments

Though it began in San Francisco, DHL is now a German company that’s connected to Europe’s leading parcel provider, Deutsche Post. Now they have the most extensive global network of any hub-and-spoke courier, making them a reliable and cost-effective option for international shipping (though not the cheapest for domestic shipping).

DHL shipping methods include air freight, ground delivery, and international shipping. And they can also create customized supply chain solutions for large enterprise businesses who use their services regularly.

4. Asendia: e-Commerce Shipping

Asendia Home page

Key Benefits:

  • Provides shipping and return services to 200+ countries across 4 continents.

  • Works with over 50 e-retailers in Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania.

  • 100% carbon-neutral through offsetting

Asendia is more than just a courier service for eCommerce businesses. They provide international e-Commerce delivery and return solutions, export logistics, an IT platform, and the prices that eCommerce businesses need to optimize costs. And through their final-mile network (i.e., partnerships with local couriers in 200+ countries they operate in), businesses can provide their customers with a range of shipping options from local shipping services — increasing customer satisfaction.

Asendia is also highly reliable. Businesses and their customers can track shipments and receive notifications through their platform. And they offer customs clearance services (such as pre-paid customs duties through their portal) that can help you avoid customs delays and reduce charges.

5. Navis Pack and Ship: Shipping for Fragile and Valuable Items

Navis Home page

Key Benefits:

  • Delivery to most of North America (US and Canada)

  • Specialty in fragile and valuable items, such as antiques, art, estate, technology, and more

Navis Pack and Ship has 30+ years of experience shipping fragile, large, and valuable items in the US and Canada. They also provide international shipping from the US or Canada to major countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America.

They can provide the packaging and delivery expertise required for more sensitive shipments, such as antiques, auction items, computers, art, technology, freight, furniture, medical equipment, and more.

Navis handles:

  • Shipping

  • Crating

  • Packing

  • White Glove Service

  • Pickup & Delivery

Domestic Regional Shipments

If you’re shipping within a certain region in North America, using a regional shipping service can allow you to save time and money. Regional shippers specialize in one location, which enables them to complete deliveries quicker while providing more tailored services.

6. Pitt Ohio

Pitt Ohio Home page

Pitt Ohio specializes in LTL (Less-Than-Truckload) delivery through 21 terminals in the mid-Atlantic and midwest regions. Via their membership in The Reliance Network — a partnership of regional carriers in the US — they can also provide shipping coverage through all of the US and Canada (and can extend their own range of service based on volume). 

Many businesses turn to Pitt Ohio when they need faster delivery of packages in the Midwest region, as well as to offload capacity surges. And they also provide other supply chain and logistics solutions, such as:

  • FTL (Full Truckload) shipments

  • Expedited shipping

  • Freeze protection

  • Warehousing and distribution

  • Container transloading

7. Spee Dee Delivery Service

Spee Dee Home page

For shippers in the upper midwest area, Spee Dee Delivery provides LTL shipping, on-call pickup, and warehousing and fulfillment services. Their coverage extends through 10 states — including Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, as well as select cities and ZIP Codes in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Nebraska.

Because of their small area of focus, Spee Dee Delivery is often faster, more cost-effective, and more flexible for customers in the Midwest. And customers can use their complimentary Spee Dee Ship Software to print labels, process packages more quickly and efficiently, keep track of their shipping activity, track volume and shipping costs, and store important shipping data.

8. GLS Regional Parcel Service

GLS Home page

GLS provides parcel, freight, and logistics services for B2B and B2C businesses in North America — more specifically, Western Canada and Northern Ontario, but also in the US via American partners.

Their full range of transport solutions includes:

  • Regional Parcel

  • Less than truckload (LTL)

  • Full truckload

  • Logistics

  • Cross-border services

  • Dedicated logistics

  • Residential

9. LSO (Lone Star Overnight)

LSO Home page

LSO is the leading overnight delivery service for shipments to Texas, Oklahoma, western Louisiana, and southern New Mexico (though they also ship to California and Mexico through shipping partnerships). They work to facilitate more direct routes for package delivery in order to optimize service quality and speed for time-sensitive deliveries.

Repeat customers can benefit from their loyalty program called Package Points.

10. LaserShip

Lasership Home page

Lasership is a delivery company that provides shipping for individuals and businesses in e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, and retail, and more. They operate primarily on the East Coast, though they also offer shipping to other destinations in the US.

Lasership uses advanced technology and state-of-the-art tracking systems to deliver packages to their destinations with speed and precision (they provide highly accurate delivery time estimates). Their special delivery options include same-day express delivery, next-day, evening, and weekend delivery.

11. US Cargo

US Cargo Home page

US Cargo provides a large range of services — including same day delivery, next day delivery, and 24 hour operational support — in Ohio, PA, Maryland, NJ, CT, MA, and parts of NY.

Their flexible transportation logistics solutions include:

  • Parcel

  • Lightweight LTL

  • Pool distribution

  • Dedicated delivery

  • Courier

  • Last mile delivery

If you’re looking to ship any IT equipment domestically or internationally, contact FGX to learn more about our shipping service.

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