Shipwire Carriers FAQ: FedEx, UPS & USPS

Shipwire partners with a large network of transportation carriers to provide domestic and international shipping from small parcel to large freight shipments.

Shipwire uses a number of carriers to deliver packages around the world. A few of our key carrier partners include FedEx, UPS & USPS. The information below is intended to answer frequently asked questions about these key carriers.


What FedEx domestic delivery services does Shipwire provide?

FedEx offers FedEx Same-Day Delivery, Next-Day Delivery, 2-or-3 Business Day Delivery, Ground, Home Delivery, and SmartPost.

  • FedEx Same-Day Delivery provides door-to-door delivery in just hours 7 days a week.
  • FedEx Next-Business-Day Delivery encompasses FedEx First Overnight, Priority Overnight, and Standard Overnight services. FedEx First Overnight delivers first thing the next-business-day morning to most ZIP codes in the U.S. FedEx Priority Overnight offers next-business-day delivery during the day for all zip codes in the U.S (allow for 2-business days for Alaska and Hawaii). FedEx Standard Overnight delivery offers next-business-day delivery in the late afternoon to most ZIP codes in the U.S (Hawaii outbound only). Saturday pickup and delivery is available for an additional charge for all FedEx Next-Day Delivery services.
  • FedEx 2-or-3 Business Day Delivery includes FedEx 2Day AM, 2Day, and Express Saver services. FedEx 2Day AM offers second-business-day delivery in the morning to businesses and residences in most ZIP codes in the U.S. (Hawaii outbound only). FedEx 2Day offers second-business-day delivery by the late-afternoon for businesses and residences (allow for 3-business days for Alaska and Hawaii). FedEx Express Saver offers third-business-day delivery by the late-afternoon for businesses and residences (not available in Alaska and Hawaii).
  • FedEx Ground services offer day-definite delivery in 1-5 business days (3-7 business days to and from Alaska and Hawaii) based on distance to destination and zoning. FedEx Ground Delivery is available for all addresses across the U.S. for end-of-day delivery.
  • FedEx Home Delivery provides day-definite residential delivery in 1-5 business days (3-7 business days to and from Alaska and Hawaii) based on distance to destination and zoning.FedEx Home Delivery available to every U.S. residential address Monday through Friday with select weekend deliveries. Packages for Home Delivery have a weight maximum of 150 lbs.
  • FedEx SmartPost allows shipping low-weight packages to residences, P.O. boxes, and APO, FPO and DPO destinations. FedEx SmartPost delivery typically occurs in 2-7 business days based on distance to destination and zoning. Packages are routed to FedEx ground or to a U.S. Post Office facility for final delivery. Packages for SmartPost have a weight maximum of 70 lbs.

What FedEx International delivery services does Shipwire provide?

FedEx offers International Economy and International Priority services.

  • The most cost-effective method, FedEx International Economy, provides delivery in 2-5 business days to more than 215 countries and territories. Deliveries to Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico typically take less time (2-3 business day window). FedEx International Economy also allows for U.S. inbound deliveries from more than 90 countries and territories.
  • FedEx International Priority services offers delivery in 1, 2 or 3 business days to more than 220 countries and territories. For countries in closer range, such as Canada and Mexico, you can expect delivery in 1 business day. For deliveries in major cities throughout Europe and Asia, FedEx International Priority services typically takes 2 business days.

What are FedEx’s delivery options?

FedEx offers FedEx Home Delivery Manager, FedEx Delivery Signature options, Hold at Location, and FedEx Home Delivery Convenient Location options.

  • FedEx Home Delivery Manager allows for convenience and flexibility. It provides upcoming deliveries notifications, proactive status updates, and allows for custom selection delivery options such as a preferred date, time, or date and time combination. Home Delivery Manager also enables you to request delivery to another address or have your packages held for pickup at a FedEx location.
  • FedEx offers various signature options including Indirect Signature Required, Direct Signature Required, or Adult Signature Required. In the U.S. and Canada, Indirect Signature Required is available for residential shipments only.
  • Hold at Location is possible for FedEx Express or FedEx Ground shipments and directs the package to be held for pickup at a participating FedEx location.
  • FedEx Home Delivery Convenient Location gives specialized options such as evening delivery, appointment deliveries, or certain date and time home deliveries.

How are FedEx rates calculated?

We leverage our contract with FedEx to get our customers the best rates possible. This includes base rates, may include some accessory charges, and will likely be less expensive than rates listed on the FedEx retail rates calculator on

  1. Find the zone for your destination.
  2. Determine the chargeable weight.
  3. Find your rate.
  4. Determine fees.

What are potential other fees that will be added to the base rate?

  • Additional Handling Surcharge: A surcharge applies to any package that has dimensions that measures greater than 48 inches along its longest side or measures greater than 30 inches along its second-longest side. The Additional Handling Surcharge is also added if the package has an actual weight greater than 50 lbs. (U.S. Express Package Services, U.S. Ground Services) or has an actual weight greater than 70 lbs. (International Express Package Services, International Ground Service).

    Other instances include:
    • Package is not fully encased in an outer shipping container
    • Package is encased in an outer shipping container not made of corrugated fiberboard (cardboard) materials, including but not limited to metal, wood, canvas, leather, hard plastic, soft plastic (e.g., plastic bags) or expanded polystyrene foam (e.g., Styrofoam)
    • Package is encased in an outer shipping container covered in shrink wrap or stretch wrap
    • Package is encased in a soft-sided pack (e.g., courier packs, poly bags and bubble mailers)
    • Package is cylindrical, including mailing tubes, cans, buckets, barrels, drums, or pails
    • Package is bound with metal, plastic or cloth banding, or has wheels, casters, handles, or straps
    • Package that could become entangled in or cause damage to other packages
  • Peak Additional Surcharge: During specified times of the year, the Peak Additional Handling Surcharge will apply to packages that meet the criteria and characteristics of the Additional Handling Surcharge (above).
  • Address Correction Fee: If the shipper provides an incomplete, incorrect or P.O. box recipient address, FedEx may attempt to determine the correct address, complete delivery, and notify the shipper of the address correction.
  • Delivery Area Surcharge: A delivery area surcharge applies to package shipments destined to select U.S. ZIP codes. This fee applies to FedEx Express and FedEx Ground shipments destined for areas in Alaska and Hawaii that are remote, sparsely populated, or geographically difficult to access.
  • Delivery Reattempt Charge: If FedEx cannot complete a delivery on the initial delivery attempt, the shipment will be returned to the nearest FedEx location. The carrier will not reattempt delivery unless the shipper or recipient requests it. After three attempts to deliver and/or three attempts to notify the recipient, or five business days from the date of shipment, whichever occurs first, the shipment may be quoted as undeliverable.

    Different forms of delivery reattempts include:
    1. No one at the recipient address or a neighboring address is available to sign for the package and there is no signature release on file.
    2. The shipper has selected a FedEx Delivery Signature Option and no eligible recipient is available to sign for the package.
    3. FedEx determines the package may not be released.
  • Extended Service Area Delivery Charge: Shipments delivered to points outside the FedEx primary service areas.
  • Extra Services Charge: When the shipper or recipient requests a special handling service beyond the standard pickup and delivery features of service outlined in FedEx’s Service Guide.
  • Oversize Charge: Packages that exceed 96 inches in length or 130 inches in length and girth will have an Oversize Charge added. Rating will be based on the greater of the package’s actual rounded weight or dimensional weight, subject to a 90-lb. minimum billable weight.
  • Fuel Surcharge: FedEx assesses fuel costs and other surcharges on shipments and will determine the amount and duration in relation to the given fuel costs.
  • FedEx Delivery Manager Fee: A fee is assessed to the package recipient when the recipient requests to schedule a delivery for a specific date, time, or date and time.
  • FedEx Delivery Signature Fee: FedEx will attach a fee when you need a signature upon delivery.
  • Currency Conversion Fee: Customers who need the specified charges converted to a freely convertible currency (other than U.S. dollars) will be billed using a daily conversion rate.

What is Dimensional Weight?

Dimensional weight is calculated by multiplying the length by width by height of each package in inches and dividing the total by 139. If the dimensional weight exceeds the actual weight, charges may be assessed based on the dimensional weight.Dimensions of one-half inch or greater are rounded up to the next whole number and dimensions less than one-half inch are rounded down. The final calculation is rounded up to the next whole pound.

What are FedEx’s tips to “pack like a pro”?

FedEx recommends shipping in a new box. If you’re reusing one, confirm that there are no holes, harsh wear, tears or corner dents, that all flaps are intact, and don’t forget to remove or mark through old labels.

To limit the potential damage and to ensure the items are secure, place 3 inches of cushioning (i.e. packing peanuts, air cellular cushioning, corrugated fiberboard, foam pads or molded plastic) on all sides of the box.

Be sure to place a copy of the label inside the package.

Apply at least three strips of packing tape that is 2 inches or wider (no duct or masking tape) evenly across all flaps and seams on both the top and bottom of the package. After you tape up the box, seal your label or pouch on the package’s greatest even surface (preferably not on any folds or seams).


What does UPS stand for?

UPS stands for United Parcel Service.

What does UPS Shipping Cost depend on?

UPS Shipping Cost depends on origin, destination, service, package weight, and other considerations.

How do you determine your daily rate?

You can obtain a daily shipping rate by selecting your zone chart and finding your rate in the service guide. Pricing information on value-added services, as well as details on additional charges, delivery and extended area surcharges, and fuel surcharges can be found below:

Why are there Delivery and Extended Area Surcharges?

Delivery and Extended Area Surcharges are in place because providing service to and from less populated or accessible domestic or international locations creates a higher operating cost for the carrier. These surcharges are assessed to provide a more accurate representation of the service to these areas.

What are Zone and Rate Charts?

Zone and Rate Charts are used to determine UPS shipping rates worldwide. The zone number in conjunction with the weight of the shipment allow you to obtain the accurate shipping rate.

What is UPS My Choice?

UPS My Choice allows you to be in control of your inbound and outbound shipments. With real-time update capabilities and the ability to set your preferences to get personal notifications on where your packages are and when you should expect delivery, UPS My Choice creates a fully customizable home-delivery experience. You can watch your packages get from Point A to Point B, as well as reroute the shipment if a change in destination needs to be made.

When the shipment status says “Out for Delivery,” when will the expected delivery be?

Typically, UPS drivers can deliver as late as 8 p.m. During the holiday season, drivers may deliver even later. If a package that shows a status of “out for delivery” is unable to be delivered, an attempt to deliver on the next business day will occur.

Is a signature required for the delivery?

If there is a red box labeled “Special Instructions” on the tracking results page that displays the message “Signature Required” or “Adult Signature Required,” then a signature is needed to receive your package. If not, a signature is not needed.

The shipment with UPS says “Delivered,” but I can’t locate the package. Where can it be?

Typically, the driver will try their best to leave any packages out of plain sight. Check all exterior doors and any locations where the package could potentially be placed (the porch, back patio, garage, and any area out of potential weather hazards). Be sure to check with anyone who might have retrieved the package (neighbors or family members). If you’re still unable to locate the delivery, contact the sender to start a claim.

What UPS delivery services does Shipwire provide?

UPS offers UPS Standard services, Ground services, Next-Day Air, Second-Day Air, Three-Day Select, UPS Expedited, UPS Express, and UPS Saver.

  • UPS Standard Shipping provides guaranteed economical standard ground delivery for less-urgent shipments to and from the U.S. (not including Alaska and Hawaii). UPS Standard shipping offers door-to-door service and allows for three delivery attempts to be made.
  • UPS Ground Shipping provides guaranteed and cost-effective delivery. It offers day-definite delivery in 1-5 days and is an economical choice for all of your routine shipments.
  • UPS Next-Day Air is a delivery service that guarantees next-day delivery. UPS Next Day Air Shipping serves more ZIP codes and more businesses by both 10:30am and 12pm than FedEx Priority Overnight. It is an ideal service for shipments that must arrive the next business day. UPS also ensures the delivery is completed next-day or your money back. UPS packaging is included.
  • UPS Second-Day Air provides an economical and guaranteed second-day delivery for packages that don’t require overnight shipping. UPS packaging is included.
  • UPS Three-Day Select is a delivery service that guarantees three-day delivery. UPS Three-Day Select is a day-definite option for less time-sensitive shipments within the contiguous 48 states. UPS packaging is included.
  • UPS Worldwide Express Shipping is an international shipping method to destinations throughout the world. This method allows you to send packages to 140 countries and territories and receive packages from all valid UPS origins. UPS Worldwide Express service also is guaranteed, time-definite service or your money back. In-house customs clearance is provided and up to three delivery attempts can be made.
  • UPS Worldwide Expedited Shipping is for fast, guaranteed deliveries for less-urgent international small package shipments. It ensures guaranteed, day-definite expedited delivery or your money back. UPS Worldwide Expedited services allows you to send packages to over 220 countries and territories and receive packages from over 80 countries and territories with expedited shipping. This method also offers door-to-door service and allows for three delivery attempts to be made.
  • UPS Worldwide Saver is for international express shipments with guaranteed end of day delivery (next business day delivery by the end of day to Canada and second business day delivery by endof day to Mexico and major metropolitan areas worldwide). UPS Worldwide Saver provides day-definite delivery by the end of the business day to all other destinations worldwide. It also offers door-to-door service and allows for three delivery attempts to be made.

United States Postal Service (USPS)

What is USPS?

USPS stands for the United States Postal Service. This service currently serves 160 million addresses each day.

What delivery services does USPS provide?

USPS offers Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, First Class Mail, and USPS Retail Ground.

  • The bestselling mail service, USPS Priority Mail, provides domestic shipping services in 1-3 business days and flat rate pricing 7 days a week. Tracking and insurance are included.
  • The fastest mail service, Priority Mail Express, provides overnight guaranteed domestic shipping services 7 days a week. Overnight mail is available to most U.S. addresses and P.O. Boxes, offers money-back guarantee, and includes free Flat Rate Boxes.
  • The most affordable mail service, First-Class Mail, provides 3 business days or less shipping of standard-sized, single-piece envelopes.
  • USPS Retail Ground is a reliable and economical way to ship deliveries and oversized packages that are not urgent. Retail Ground provides shipping services in 2-8 business days. USPS Tracking is included.

What does my package status mean?

When tracking your package, you may receive one of the following status updates. We’ve documented what each status update means.

  • Delivered: Package has been delivered with a recorded time, location and date of delivery.
  • Notice Left: An unsuccessful delivery attempt was made by the carrier.
  • Delivery Status Not Updated: Package has arrived for delivery; however, it has not been processed as delivered yet.
  • Receptacle Blocked: Carrier did not have access to mailbox to complete delivery.
  • No Access: Carrier was unable to access the address provided.
  • In Transit: The package is currently in transit and on its way to the destination.

Do you provide address verification for USPS?

The Shipwire platform automatically conducts address verifications. For U.S. address verification, we use Endicia and for international address verification, we use GlobalZ. While address validation is not run through USPS, Shipwire reviews the shipping address to ensure that it is correct, confirms it complies with guidelines published by the carrier, and validates that the shipment can be delivered by a given carrier to a given address. Shipwire offers a unique Real-Time Shipping Rating API feature that enables a shopping cart to direct key information surrounding an order (SKU, quantity, shipping address, etc.) and will perform a double-verification of the shipping details. Shipwire will determine the optimal warehouse to deliver from and rate the shipment using only eligible carriers for the validated delivery address.

Learn more about our Shipwire APIs here.

Why is it important for an address to comply with USPS Addressing Standards?

Addresses that follow USPS Addressing Standards have the highest probability of being delivered. The Shipwire Platform ensures these guidelines are met to provide the most accurate shipping possible for merchants, keeping your end customers satisfied!

Why is address verification necessary?

Address verification allows for accurate, timely, and smooth delivery of products. It reduces the risk of lost business, upset buyers, and address correction fees.

Where can address verification be used?

The Shipwire Platform is very dynamic in that the address verification tool can be implemented as a plugin feature on a variety of online shopping carts. The real-time capabilities save a company money and prevent the wasted time that comes from correcting inaccuracies.

Do you ship lithium-ion batteries via USPS?

Yes, we can ship lithium-ion batteries via USPS. The product needs to be specifically labeled to note that it contains batteries. These shipments cannot be expedited and must be shipped via ground.

What is USPS Package Tracking?

USPS Package Tracking provides real-time tracking updates as a shipment travels to its final destination. It provides the date and time of delivery or attempted delivery.

What is Informed Delivery by USPS?

Informed Delivery allows you to digitally preview your mail and manage packages scheduled for delivery. It allows the recipient to view grayscale images of the exterior of the package, interact with incoming mail and packages on a secure online dashboard, check the delivery status of the package, leave custom delivery instructions, schedule a redelivery for a misdelivered package, and manage notifications.

Casey Billings
Senior Product Marketing Manager at Shipwire
Casey Billings is the Senior Product Marketing Manager at Shipwire. Her work is devoted to product and feature launches, demand generation and understanding how our products make our customers’ lives easier. She’s previously spent time on our Global Account Management team, gaining a better understanding of our customers’ point of view and experiences first-hand. She has a passion for customer communications and nerdy product launches, as well as, tennis and hiking in the Pacific Northwest.
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