NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Before you start shipping presents to friends and family this holiday season, you may want to take a moment to consider the track record of the three major delivery companies. Otherwise, all that time you spent waiting in long lines and fighting the crowds while shopping may have been for nothing.
Popular Mechanics recently tested the quality of delivery services offered by UPS (Stock Quote: UPS), FedEx (Stock Quote: FDX) and the U.S. Postal Service by installing a special sensor on packages. The sensor tracked factors like changes in temperature, vibration and acceleration to determine the condition of the package throughout its journey.
Ultimately, the study found that the federal postal service treated packages best while FedEx ranked the worst of the three.
“In our modest experiment—12 trips, three carriers, three cities—FedEx delivered the most big bumps, with an average of three acceleration spikes more than six G's (equivalent to a 2.5-foot drop) per trip. The USPS was the gentlest yet also the most active handler, with an average 12.5 position changes per trip. UPS was tops at keeping our package upright,” the magazine reported.
The results are particularly surprising given that FedEx is also the most expensive of the three delivery companies.
We checked the price of shipping a standard 10-pound package from MainStreet’s offices in New York City to a residence in Columbus, Ohio. UPS quoted $13.55 and the postal service $14.20 for two-day shipping, while FedEx charged $30.54, more than twice as much.
Popular Mechanics’ report also found another surprising result: Packages marked with “Fragile” or “This Side Up” tags were actually tossed and bumped more than average. So if you want your delivery to be treated better, perhaps you should try some reverse psychology and mark it as “Not fragile.”