questionswhy are many shipments ups->usps?


I think this saves money. Pretend I am FedEx. I need to deliver to small town. Instead of sending a truck here and there. I drop a pallet in a hub that is transferred to USPS and the pallet goes to the town and USPS delivers, because they are going to all the houses anyway.


In my experience it is so UPS can deliver it to the wrong post office. Then when you check the status online and notice this and call them, they will tell you to call the post office. The post office will tell you to call UPS. Eventually, the wrong post office (currently holding the package) will send it back to UPS rather than send it on to the correct post office, UPS will send it back to the shipper saying they couldn't deliver the item, the whole time I'm sitting here waiting for my delivery. So far FedEx hasn't played that game, and I notice if something is being sent to USPS by the FedEx, I tend to get it in an almost timely manner. If it is being sent to USPS by UPS, however, it will be another 3-5 days after the website shows it has been delivered to USPS for me to actually get it...assuming I do, in fact, ever get it.

Trust me, no money is being saved, at least not in this area. Item ships, item ships back, second item ships, hope it works out this time does NOT save money.


UPS Mail Innovations and FedEx SmartPost are the services in context. Reason behind this is price; theses are the low priority packages that don't move from one hub to another until the truck is filled, maximizing efficiency. They are then handed off to the USPS for their final leg, where they're zoned for local delivery (lower priced).

FWIW, I've never had a SmartPost package arrive in less than 3 days, even though they originated only 35 miles away.


With what @ceffeine_dude said, if all the packages on those UPS or FedEx trucks were coming from the same warehouse, it wouldn't make sense. But, sometimes getting the packages on that exact UPS or FedEx or USPS truck that is driving by costs more than the other. There is A LOT involved in logistics, more than we ever care to know or find out. Everything from weather, to a driver calling in sick last week Monday, or your Grandmother putting a hold on a package at FedEx in Des Moines.

There is method behind the madness, it is more cost-effective somedays to ship it USPS, and others to ship it FedEx. Simple as that.


Thanks all for the explanations. I noticed that they can take a long time to arrive. I live in a rural area of northern Michigan, but still I see UPS and FedEx delivery trucks all the time here. Sometimes the packages are transferred to the post office in Minneapolis or Milwaukee, but often they are dropped off at the post office here which is 7.5 miles away, and takes an extra day to get here.


Some time ago, USPS had hundreds of different cargo carriers to deliver their mail and packages nationwide. To reduce costs, contract negotiation/management, and logistics, they've partnered with UPS and FedEx leveraging their hub-and-spoke logistics to carry their mail from one city to the next. Part of that deal is that USPS also delivers some of the FedEx and UPS packages on the "last mile."

Also, it's also why USPS tracking is so bad, even though it's carried by FedEx or UPS. FedEx and UPS blocks the real-time tracking for USPS customers because why would you pay the higher priced FedEx/UPS service when you can get all the same tracking cheaper through USPS?


@first2summit: Thanks for the info. I always wondered why USPS tracking sucks compared to UPS and FedEx and have made suggestions they improve it.


Around here it seems like the fedex smartpost drivers are contracted rather than fedex employees. I am guessing they get less money and benefits in the bargain.

The UPS driver is the regular one but the fancy software tells UPS if they should drop off the cheaper parcels or keep them.

Both have good deals set up for pricing on those packages going through the post office. Many times here the packages arrive at the post office too late to send out same day and go next day. The tracking on fed ex is bad. UPS seems better.

USPS is working on improving the tracking. They are starting near real time scanning with GPS. It is supposed to be all over by the end of the year.