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Which Shipping Carrier and Service is Best?

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Sarah Koehn

Which Shipping Carrier and Service is Best?

In today’s online marketplace shipping carriers and services can be a confusing topic. How do you know which shipping method is the best to offer your customers? Before making a decision, you will want to think about speed, cost, tracking, and, if shipping internationally, how you will handle the duties and taxes


Speed is an important part of the shipping puzzle. Small businesses must compete with online retailers such as Amazon—known for their two day shipping. Fast shipping is more important than ever!

If fast shipping is a priority, you will be paying more for shipping. But with bulk discounts and innovative shipping solutions, it may be cheaper than you think.


Free shipping has become an expectation for online shopping. Providing free—or low cost—shipping for your customers is an excellent decision. It increases the likelihood of purchase by 54%

Fulfillment centers negotiate shipping rates with carriers. In addition, because of their bulk volume, they work with carriers that a small business can not access. This means their rates can be as much as 80% lower than retail!

With cost-effective shipping rates you will convert more sales, and create long-term customer relationships. 


Online tracking gives customers peace of mind from purchase to delivery. Even though it is out of your control, the post-purchase experience will influence your customers’ impression.

Different shipping services provide different levels of tracking. In general, fast shipping services provide detailed tracking. While slower shipping services promise less tracking scans between the shipper and receiver. 

Duties and Taxes

Though international shipping can be expensive, over 50% of e-commerce sales are outside of the US. If you aren’t shipping internationally, you are losing sales. International sales are a great way to expand your business and gain more customers. 

If you are ready to expand internationally, you will want to think about how to handle duties and taxes. You can choose to deliver your items with duties paid (DDP), or with duties unpaid (DDU).

Though it requires some initial research and set-up, DDP can prevent your orders from being held up at customs. It will also ensure an effortless customer experience. 

In conclusion, here are some questions to ask.

  • Is fast shipping my priority?
  • Will I offer free shipping?
  • Do I need low-cost shipping?
  • Do I need a blend of low-cost and fastest?
  • Is detailed tracking a necessity?
  • Will I be shipping internationally, if so, how will I handle D/T?
  • Will I be offering multiple shipping options/speeds in checkout?

At Viable Shipping, your success is our priority. We work with our customers to choose shipping carriers and services. Whatever your goal is we will help you reach it.