National Eat What You Want Day: Food Items Shipping with UPS vs. USPS

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Shipping with UPS vs USPS

National Eat What You Want Day is a significant annual event encouraging individuals to indulge in their favorite foods without restrictions. This day presents a valuable opportunity for businesses to cater to diverse tastes and preferences. It emphasizes the importance of efficient and dependable food shipping. Selecting the right shipping partner becomes crucial as demand for diverse culinary delights peaks. The decision between major carriers such as UPS and USPS can greatly impact the overall experience of this celebration, particularly when shipping over long distances. Choosing a shipping partner that can cater to your business needs and deliver promptly in good condition can contribute to the overall satisfaction of your customers and the success of your business operations. 

This blog discusses UPS vs. USPS shipping for food items and emphasizes the importance of selecting the right carrier to ensure the quality of the food items.

Comparison of Food Items Shipping with UPS vs. USPS

UPS and USPS are both widely known as the largest shipping carriers in the world, and each offers unique benefits and solutions for shipping food items.  USPS offers a comprehensive chart that outlines its guidelines for various perishable items, such as meat, eggs, and other fresh food. To ensure swift delivery, opting for either Priority Mail Express® (next-day or two-day shipping) or Priority Mail® (one to three business days) is recommended. In contrast, UPS prepares for a maximum transit time of 30 hours for perishable food items. Additionally, it is advised to ship early in the week to avoid your package sitting over the weekend. UPS suggests utilizing their UPS Next Day Air® service for optimal results, although UPS 2nd Day Air® shipping can also be considered for food items that do not require extensive temperature control.  

How Their Service Works in the Food Sector

UPS excels at handling perishable goods swiftly and cautiously. It offers overnight and two-day shipping options for products with limited shelf life. UPS’s advanced tracking system provides detailed updates for senders concerned about their sensitive shipments. USPS is a cost-effective choice for non-perishable or non-time-sensitive items. Its extensive network covers all U.S. addresses, including rural areas. While it may not match UPS in speed, its reliability makes it a strong competitor for food items that do not require strict temperature controls. USPS generally offers more affordable rates, especially for packages under 13 ounces sent through First-Class Mail. UPS, although pricier, justifies its higher costs with speed, reliability, and advanced handling capabilities, which are valuable for perishable or high-value items.

Tips for Selecting the Right Carrier for Shipping Your Business’s Food Items

  1. Assess Perishability and Delivery Needs: Evaluate the perishability of the food items you intend to ship and determine the appropriate delivery requirements. Highly perishable items like dairy products, seafood, or fresh produce may necessitate faster delivery times and specialized temperature-controlled shipping options.
  1. Compare Cost vs. Service: Consider both the cost and level of service provided by different carriers. While a lower cost may be tempting, it is important to ensure that the carrier can deliver your items quickly and safely without compromising their quality. 
  1. Check Packaging Options and Guidelines: Check if the carrier offers packaging solutions that meet your needs, such as insulated boxes or provisions for dry ice. Additionally, ensure their packaging guidelines are manageable and align with your ability to prepare shipments.
  1. Review Tracking and Customer Support: Choose carriers that offer advanced tracking systems, which allow you to monitor the status of your shipments throughout transit. 
  1. Read Reviews and Gather Feedback:  Read reviews and seek feedback from other businesses or consumers who have utilized the carriers you are considering. Their experiences provide valuable insights on transportation companies, especially for food products.

Comparison of Food Items Shipping With UPS vs USPS

UPS offers a shipping service to maintain the freshness of food shipments. Following the Postal Service’s recommendations, UPS allows the shipment of perishable products, particularly drop and bar cookies and those with dried fruit. This contrasts with USPS, which is widely chosen for shipping food because of its cost-effectiveness and extensive shipping infrastructure. USPS provides Priority Mail as a recommended option for shipping perishable goods due to its quick delivery times. Opting for Priority Mail means your food items usually reach their destination within 1-3 days, reducing the chances of spoilage or damage during transportation. 

Here’s a detailed overview of comparing food items shipping with UPS vs USPS: 

Service OptionsOffers next-day, two-day, and ground shipping specifically tailored for perishables.Provides Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express suitable for less sensitive perishables and non-perishables.
Delivery Speed Speed is a key advantage, with options for overnight and two-day delivery. Suitable for highly perishable items. It is generally slower than UPS but offers overnight options through Priority Mail Express.
Pricing Higher rates are justified by rapid delivery and specialized handling services.More affordable, especially for smaller, lighter packages. Offers flat-rate shipping options.
Packaging Provides specialized packaging solutions for perishables, including insulated boxes and dry ice options.Offers general guidance for packaging but is less specialized in terms of temperature control. Free Priority Mail boxes are available.
Tracking and Support Advanced tracking system providing detailed real-time updates. Excellent customer support for shipping queries.Sufficient tracking capabilities, but generally less detailed than UPS. Good support, but may lack specialization for perishables.
Additional FeaturesTemperature control shipping, high-priority handling options, and critical service for urgent deliveries.Extensive reach, including remote areas, with a strong presence in domestic shipping.


Businesses must carefully select their shipping partners to meet customer expectations, preserve the quality of their products, strengthen their brand, and strike a balance between cost and service excellence. Choosing to ship with UPS vs. USPS is a crucial decision to consider when choosing the best carrier for your business in the food sector. At Gori Company, we offer innovative solutions for your shipping needs. Our solution, ShipBae offers Multi-Carrier Shipping Rate Solution. We offer a Smart Rate Tool where clients can enhance their shipments, reduce costs, expedite shipping, and make more informed shipping choices following their business requirements. The ability to switch between carriers in response to service disruptions, rate changes, or specific shipment requirements provides businesses with the means to maintain operational continuity and optimize their shipping strategies in real-time. 

Therefore, flexibility is crucial, especially on high-demand days such as National Eat What You Want Day, as it allows businesses to adapt to dynamic market conditions and shipping demands effectively. By incorporating Gori Company’s Smart Rate Tool into your logistics strategy, you streamline your shipping processes and bolster your marketing efforts to attract and retain customers. By ensuring prompt and optimal delivery of your products, you enhance your brand’s reputation and foster customer loyalty. Every shipping decision you make contributes to the success of your business.

Contact us today to elevate the shipping experience for your business.