Is DHL Cheaper Than USPS? (All You Need to Know)

There are many things to keep in mind when you’re shipping internationally. Not only do you have to choose the right packaging, but you also have to choose the appropriate shipping service and remember to fill out customs paperwork. 

While I can’t do those things for you, I can help you understand the shipping options offered by different carriers. More specifically, I can tell you which carrier is cheaper when comparing DHL and USPS, so keep reading to learn more!

Is DHL Cheaper Than USPS in [currentyear]?

Because the United States Postal Service is a government agency that has a monopoly on the U.S. mail system, USPS’ shipping prices domestically will always be cheaper than DHL’s. Internationally, USPS also seems to be cheaper than DHL, especially when shipping documents or light packages in [currentyear]. That said, DHL delivers more quickly, so this price difference is understandable.

To get a better understanding of which shipping company is cheaper, make sure you read this entire article for more facts!

Is DHL Cheaper Than USPS for Domestic Shipping? 

When it comes to domestic shipping, there’s no contest between DHL and USPS. In almost every circumstance, USPS is the cheaper option. 

As a government agency and the sole postal provider in the United States, the postal service has much more experience domestically than DHL does. 

Thanks to this experience and the postal service’s monopoly of the U.S. mail system, it’s impossible for other companies to compete financially in the domestic market. 

How Much Cheaper Is USPS Than DHL Domestically? 

While it’s clear that USPS is the cheaper shipping option within the United States, it’s important to know how much. 

Let’s look at an example to see the differences in pricing between the two companies. 

In this example, the package is traveling from New York to Los Angeles. It weighs 2 pounds and measures 15” x 11” x 3”. 

  • DHL

      • Next-day = $119.50

  • USPS 

      • Priority Mail Express 1-Day = $56.00
      • Priority Mail 3-Day = $16.10

As you can see, USPS is more than 50% cheaper than DHL when it comes to next-day domestic shipping. 

Is DHL Cheaper Than USPS for International Shipping? 

Is DHL Cheaper Than USPS for International Shipping? 

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is more complicated than it might seem on the surface. 

That’s because shipping costs are dependent on a number of factors like shipping frequency, weight breaks, and country of billing. 

Still, it’s safe to say that USPS is generally cheaper than DHL when it comes to international shipping. 

Let’s take a look at some examples to see what the differences in pricing look like. 

In both examples, the package weighs 2 pounds, measures 15” x 11” x 3,” and is traveling from New York City, USA, to London, England. 

  • DHL 

      • 2-Day shipping = $145.52 
      • 3-Day by 9:00 AM = $171.24
      • 3-Day by 12:00 PM = $151.95
  • USPS

      • Priority Mail Express International (3-5 business days) = $78.45 
      • Priority Mail International Medium Flat-Rate Box (6-10 business days) = $86.90

While USPS wins when it comes to pricing for this item, it’s important to recognize that DHL might have better prices when it comes to slower services and/or larger packages. 

Who Has Higher Surcharges: DHL or USPS?

One of the reasons USPS has more competitive pricing is because, unlike DHL, it imposes very few surcharges. 

DHL charges customers extra for things like: 

  • Fuel – This fee helps pay for the fuel required to transport goods via plane or truck. It’s calculated based on wholesale diesel prices in the shipment’s country of origin and can fluctuate widely depending on world events. 
  • Remote area – DHL defines a remote location as a place that’s difficult to serve. This surcharge starts at $20.00 or $0.45/kilogram, whichever is higher. 
  • Saturday delivery – DHL offers Saturday delivery in a number of locations. However, it costs $30.00 per shipment. 

USPS, on the other hand, doesn’t impose surcharges for fuel price increases, residential delivery, or Saturday delivery. 

Should I Choose DHL or USPS? 

Based on pricing alone, USPS is more competitive on shipping costs than DHL. However, costs are just one thing to consider when shipping. 

When choosing one shipping carrier over another, it’s important to think about things like:

  • How often you’re shipping 
  • Package weights 
  • Where you’re shipping 

If you’re a private customer or a small business shipping primarily in the United States, then USPS is the winner, hands down. 

However, if you’re a larger company, have many international customers, and are routinely shipping items over 70 pounds, then it might be worth looking into DHL’s services. 

That’s because DHL has a strong international reputation and presence around the world, including many hard-to-reach locations. 

To know more, you can also read our posts on whether DHL estimated delivery is accurate, whether DHL is in the USA, and where are the DHL hubs.

Conclusion

As this article shows, USPS is almost always the cheaper shipping option when compared to DHL. That’s especially true for lighter packages and domestic shipments within the United States. 

While USPS prices might be more competitive, there are still reasons to choose DHL. If your company is larger, routinely ships packages more than 70 pounds, and has a lot of international customers, then you may enjoy DHL’s more developed international shipping network. 

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Florence Howard

Florence Howard has been freelance writing for over a decade, and has a vocational background in retail, tech, and marketing. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to rock and metal, and playing with her dog and cat.

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