Product Reviews

Best Shipping Companies for Small Business of 2023

USPS tops our list of the best shipping companies for small businesses

Updated on February 17, 2023

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Retail e-commerce sales totaled nearly $231.4 billion during the first quarter of 2022, representing 14.3% of retail sales in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Shipping companies can help small businesses maintain good customer relationships by delivering orders on time and at reasonable rates. Some even help businesses by providing logistical assistance and managing inventory.

We evaluated over a dozen shipping providers to simplify your selection process. We considered each company’s reputation, cost, speed, and customer service. Review our list of the best shipping companies for small businesses to find one that fits your needs.

Best Shipping Companies for Small Business of 2023

Best Overall : United States Postal Service

United States Postal Service

  • Shipping Area: Domestic and international
  • Delivery Time: Average, 2-8 days
  • Discounts: Volume-based and loyalty

Why We Chose It

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is our pick for the best overall shipping company for small businesses because it ships goods both domestically and internationally, offers discounts and loyalty credits to small businesses, and delivers goods within two to eight days, on average.

Pros & Cons


  • Longevity in the shipping business

  • Volume-based discounts and loyalty credits are available

  • Shipping takes two to eight days

  • Free APIs are available to integrate shipping tools into small business websites


  • Deliveries on Sundays and holidays typically come with an added cost


The USPS has been in the shipping business for a very long time. It’s been around since 1775, and it’s unlikely to disappear any time soon.

The USPS’ shipping costs vary based on package size, delivery location, and delivery speed. For example, the retail rate for a Priority Mail small flat-rate box shipped domestically with delivery in one to three business days is $9.45. Businesses can also receive discounted pricing and loyalty credits. For example, companies using the online Click-N-Ship service from the USPS can earn spending-based shipping credits.

The USPS has free application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow small businesses to easily add shipping tools to their websites. You can even get some deliveries on Sundays and holidays in major U.S. markets for an additional fee.

PlanLoyalty Credits
Base Loyalty Program$40 credit/$500 spent (automatic enrollment)
Silver Tier$50 credit/$500 spent (enrollment with $10,000 or more spent on Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express shipping labels during the prior calendar year)
Gold TierCommercial Base Pricing (enrollment with $20,000 or more spent on Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express shipping labels during the prior calendar year)

Best for Small Packages : Sendle


  • Shipping Area: Domestic, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Delivery Time: Average, 1-4 days
  • Discounts: Volume-based

Why We Chose It

Sendle is our pick for the best shipper for small packages because of its competitive pricing for shipping domestic packages up to 20 pounds. Plus, shipping is 100% carbon neutral. Sendle also offers volume-based discounts, with a discount of up to 70% for businesses shipping at least 200 packages a month.

Pros & Cons


  • No subscription fees or contracts

  • Price guarantee is available

  • Shipping is 100% carbon neutral

  • Certified as a B Corporation


  • International shipping isn’t available

  • Packages must be less than 20 pounds

  • Integration with Amazon is unavailable


Sendle ships small packages throughout the U.S., including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The standard cost to ship a small package starts at $4.44. There aren’t any contracts or subscription fees.

Although Sendle doesn’t offer an express shipping service, most packages are delivered within one to four business days. Sendle makes it easy for even low volume e-commerce businesses to use its shipping, as it offers free integrations with Shopify, eBay, WooCommerce, and Etsy.

Best for Large Packages : UPS


  • Shipping Area: Domestic and international
  • Delivery Time: Same day for some areas
  • Discounts: Volume-based

Why We Chose It

We chose UPS as the best small business shipping company for large packages because it offers competitive rates, excellent shipping resources, and guidance on how to prepare your goods for shipment. That includes step-by-step instructions for palletizing them. In addition, the company has a great reputation and tools designed specifically for small businesses.

Pros & Cons


  • Retail cost of a large flat-rate box starts at a low rate of $19.60

  • Tools designed specifically for small businesses are available

  • Same-day delivery available in some cases


  • Some APIs can’t be used on customer-facing websites


The retail cost of a large flat-rate box shipped domestically with UPS starts at $19.60 (price will vary depending on shipping speed). You’ll pay a retail price of $21.50 for a similar large flat-rate box from the USPS. Small businesses can get discounted pricing from UPS, with shipping incentives related to the desired shipping speed and the average weekly shipping volume.

While not all of the UPS APIs can be used on customer-facing websites, UPS has other services tailored for small businesses. These services include dashboards to give you insight into your shipments’ status and tools built explicitly for e-commerce businesses.

Best for International Shipping : DHL Express

DHL Express

  • Shipping Area: International
  • Delivery Time: Varies, based on cost
  • Discounts: Contact company

Why We Chose It

We chose DHL Express as the best shipping company for international shipping because of its expertise and its wide variety of resources specifically designed to help small businesses engage in global trade.

Pros & Cons


  • International shipping expertise

  • Excellent resources to help businesses ship internationally

  • Detailed service and rate guide


  • Many surcharges and optional service fees


DHL Express’ service and rate guide provides detailed information about how much shipping costs when using its service. Costs vary widely based on your package’s size, whether it’s an import or export, the shipping speed, surcharges, and any optional services you choose. You’ll need to get a quote or use DHL’s rate guide to calculate your shipping costs. Pay attention to the details, including the terms of your shipping agreement, so you’re not hit with any surprises.

DHL Express’ shipping speed varies depending on the shipping details and how much you’re willing to pay. However, if speed is what you need, DHL Express has several plans to make delivery by the end of the soonest possible business day.

Best for e-Commerce Business : ShipBob


  • Shipping Area: Domestic and international
  • Delivery Time: 2-day available
  • Discounts: Lower rates negotiated with major carriers

Why We Chose It

ShipBob is our choice for the best shipping company for e-commerce because it offers a full suite of e-commerce logistics services. It will also take care of warehousing and inventory management. Plus, small businesses may pay less for shipping with ShipBob than they might on their own since ShipBob has negotiated bulk discount rates with the four major carriers.

The e-commerce software offered by ShipBob is free, with integrations to many key e-commerce applications, including e-commerce platforms and marketplaces like Walmart, eBay, Shopify, WooCommerce, Squarespace, Wix, and more.

Pros & Cons


  • Includes a full suite of fulfillment services

  • Provides bulk shipping discounts from the four major carriers


  • Company has only been in business since 2014


ShipBob is great for e-commerce businesses, particularly those needing logistical help. After obtaining a quote from ShipBob, you’ll pay a one-time implementation fee to sign up. You’ll also pay fees for ShipBob to receive your inventory (e.g., $25 per person per hour for the first two hours), warehouse your inventory (e.g., $5 per bin a month), and ship each order (discounted carrier rates, with free packing after the first five orders). Shipping boxes are free.

Orders placed before noon are shipped the same day, with two-day delivery available. ShipBob has negotiated discounted bulk rates from USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL for domestic and international shipping that might be less than you could get on your own. Moreover, ShipBob will give you a quote from all the major carriers for each order, making it easier to obtain the best shipping rate.

Best for Quick Shipping : FedEx


  • Shipping Area: Domestic and international
  • Delivery Time: 1-5 days in U.S. (3-7 days to Alaska and Hawaii)
  • Discounts: Discounts, rewards program, special offers

Why We Chose It

We chose FedEx as the small business shipping company that’s best for quick shipping since it makes standard home deliveries every day, including Saturdays and Sundays. With every-day delivery, packages could be delivered up to two days more quickly than by other carriers.

FedEx also offers tools to help small businesses streamline the fulfillment and shipping process, set up and grow their online businesses, and provide customer support.

Pros & Cons


  • Home deliveries available every day in the U.S.

  • Discounts and perks

  • Small business grants are issued annually


  • Small package shipping costs are higher than USPS


FedEx ships internationally and to all 50 U.S states, including home deliveries on Saturdays and Sundays. Domestic FedEx Ground delivery takes 1 to 5 days in the contiguous United States and 3 to 7 days to Alaska and Hawaii.

Shipping costs vary depending on delivery speed, which FedEx clearly displays on its website. Although you’ll need to get a quote to figure out precisely what it will cost you to ship your goods, we found the cheapest rate to ship a small box was $12.05 with 3-day delivery. Although this cost is slightly higher than the retail rate of $9.45 you would pay with USPS, your packages could be delivered faster since FedEx makes home deliveries during the weekend.

Best Affordable Option : EasyPost


  • Shipping Area: Domestic and international via major carriers
  • Delivery Time: Depends on carrier
  • Discounts: Free use of API up to volume of 120,000 packages

Why We Chose It

EasyPost is our winner for the best affordable option for small business shipping because it’s a platform that allows you to compare the shipping costs and speeds of more than 100 carriers. EasyPost’s API is free to use for up to 120,000 shipments per year, making it easy for small businesses to find the most affordable shipping option.

Pros & Cons


  • Free API for up to 120,000 shipments per year

  • Ability to shop prices with 100+ carriers

  • Helps simplify, automate, and control the shipping process


  • Doesn’t directly ship goods

  • Quote required for 120,000+ shipments


Creating an account with EasyPost is free and its APIs can be set up and integrated in a day. You will, however, need to build an integration to access the API.

The base Developer package offered by EasyPost is free and allows you to check prices, review shipping speeds, create shipping labels, and track shipments for 120,000 packages a year. If you have a higher shipping volume, you’ll need to get a quote from EasyPost on its Enterprise package. However, the package volume included in the Developer package should be sufficient for most small businesses.

Final Verdict

While all of the small business shipping companies on our list are good options, we chose the USPS as the best overall shipping company for small business because it has a long history of operations, typically offers the best shipping rates, and can deliver packages at the quickest speeds to meet the shipping needs of most small businesses.

Compare the Best Shipping Companies for Small Business

Shipping CompanyWhy We Picked ItDomestic Delivery Speed
United States Postal ServiceOffers the best rates and quickest speeds for most small business shipping needs2 to 8 days on average
SendleCompetitive with the retail price of the major carriers for small packages up to 20 pounds1 to 4 business days on average
UPSOffers lower pricing than other carriers for large packages1 to 5 business days is standard
DHL ExpressShares its international shipping expertise with small businesses who need to ship globallyTime-critical next-day delivery available
ShipBobProvides a full suite of logistic solutions to e-commerce businesses, including shipping2-day delivery available
FedExDelivers domestic shipments to homes every day of the week, including Saturday and Sunday1 to 5 business days is standard
EasyPostAllows small businesses to find the most affordable price from 100+ carriersAs fast as carriers allow

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Do Most Small Businesses Ship Goods?

    Ground shipping is the most common way that small businesses ship their goods. The major carriers in the U.S. used by most small businesses to ship their goods are the USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL. In 2021, the USPS’ shipping volume was 7.6. UPS delivered about 6.4 billion packages in 2021.

  • How Much Do Shipping Companies Cost?

    Charges vary based on a package’s size, destination, and how quickly it needs to arrive. You can expect to pay an average retail price of $8 to $12 to ship a small package and $17 to $21 to ship a large package domestically, with delivery speeds ranging from one to five business days.

  • What Shipping Options Do Small Businesses Have?

    Although the USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL are the largest carriers in the U.S., there are other carrier options. Small businesses can use APIs that make it easy to compare shipping prices across multiple carriers. That can help reduce their shipping costs.

  • Is UPS or FedEx Better for a Small Business?

    Actually, where pricing is concerned, the USPS may be the better choice for shipping if you’re a small business. However, UPS and FedEx may get your packages to their destinations faster (at an extra cost).

  • What Is the Cheapest Way to Ship for a Small Business?

    The USPS offers attractive shipping costs. However, EasyPost is an attractive option for small businesses as well because it lets you compare carrier pricing so you can select the best price for a particular shipment.


To find the best shipping companies for small businesses, we reviewed over a dozen providers to learn how much their shipping costs, how quickly you can get your goods shipped, and how easy it is to do business with them. We also evaluated the reputations of each small business shipping company. The best shipping companies offer affordable rates and quick shipping speeds, plus they have tools and resources specifically designed for small businesses.

All of our small business shipping company selections are reputable companies that can help you get your goods shipped affordably, quickly, and reliably.

Getty Images / Phiwath Jittamas


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Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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