EMS vs DHL: Which Should You Choose? (2024)

Comparing DHL and EMS: which one is better?

Find out the shipping price for your delivery and decide whether DHL or EMS would be better, cheaper, and faster for your needs. Check our guide on the differences between DHL and EMS international shipping services. Before deciding which courier company to use, get a quote for your delivery with Eurosender and have your shipment delivered by DHL or another of our trusted partners.


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DHL vs EMS shipping price: is EMS cheaper than DHL?

In order to thoroughly compare the shipping prices offered by DHL and EMS, we have gathered information about their international services. It is important to note that the final price depends largely on the size and weight of your parcel.

Because of how each company calculates its rates, EMS may be cheaper than DHL for lighter, high-volume parcels, while DHL may be cheaper than EMS for heavier, low-volume parcels. Other factors to be considered are the shipping distance and additional features you select at the booking stage. Overall, prices offered by EMS tend to be cheaper than DHL.

EMS (Express Mail Service) is not a courier company but an international postal express network that delivers to over 180 countries. Since EMS is a cross-border service, we will compare the international shipping prices of DHL and EMS.

To find out whether EMS is cheaper than DHL or vice versa for your particular needs, have a look at the cost estimates for their international shipping services in the tables below. To make sure you compare not only DHL and EMS but also other courier options, get a quote on our platform.


DHL vs EMS international shipping prices from France to the USA

Compare DHL vs EMS prices for shipping a 2 kg parcel internationally:

Shipping serviceCostDelivery
EMS (via La Poste)€38.935 working days
DHL Express€108.561 working day
Eurosender Express Delivery€103.351-2 working days

DHL vs EMS international shipping prices from Spain to the USA

Compare DHL vs EMS prices for shipping a 2 kg parcel internationally:

Shipping serviceCostDelivery
EMS (via Correos)€46.403-5 working days
DHL Express€118.001 working day
Eurosender Express Delivery€103.351-2 working days

DHL vs EMS international shipping prices from Portugal to the USA

Compare DHL vs EMS prices for shipping a 2 kg parcel internationally:

Shipping serviceCostDelivery
EMS (via CTT)€24.657 working days
DHL Express€98.523 working days
Note: The DHL and EMS international shipping services presented above may not be available for all locations. The prices above are the results of online research conducted in September 2022.

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Is EMS the same as DHL?

DHL and EMS are both well-known and popular international shipping providers, but they are different companies that do not work together. DHL is a courier company specialising in global cross-border shipping, headquartered in Germany. On the other hand, EMS is a mail delivery service governed by postal-administration members of the Swiss-based Universal Postal Union (UPU).


DHL vs EMS shipping: Is EMS faster than DHL or vice versa?

It depends on the desired route and on the shipping service you select. DHL is usually faster than EMS since DHL is an independent courier company with an extensive global network.

DHL delivers to 220 countries worldwide in 1 to 3 working days, while the delivery times of EMS can be 3-7 working days or more, depending on the performance of local postal services.

To determine which one is faster for the service you need, DHL or EMS, check the comparison in our tables above.

DHL vs EMS: Which is more reliable?

Analysing which courier is more reliable between DHL and EMS is a challenging task since reliability can be related to several aspects of the service.

Based on user feedback, DHL gets better ratings than EMS for the following:

  • Faster delivery times
  • Easier to track shipments
  • More responsive customer service
  • Returns policy (not offered by EMS)
  • Insurance included with each shipment (not offered by EMS)

Considering these factors, DHL may be more reliable than EMS, but their services also come at a higher cost.


Differences between DHL and EMS: Which one is better?

Both companies have their advantages, so before deciding which courier is better, let’s compare DHL and EMS main features:

Door-to-door deliveryFor some services
Express solutions
Service dedicated to envelopes
Free address changesXX
Instant online quotes Depends on the routeDepends on the route
Freight solutions for individualsX
Free signature upon deliveryFor some services
Support via live chatFor some services
Delivery to sanctioned countries X

DHL vs EMS shipping: which is better for e-commerce businesses?

When comparing DHL and EMS shipping solutions for e-commerce and businesses, you need to consider your specific shipping needs, volumes and delivery locations.

  • With DHL, business users can simplify their logistics operations by integrating the DHL API into their online store and benefit from DHL fulfilment services available in selected markets. For better convenience, customers can collect and drop off parcels at DHL Service Points, available in several locations around the world.
  • EMS is generally cheaper than DHL, making them a better option for businesses shipping on a budget. EMS collaborates with international postal networks, so solutions for e-commerce businesses will vary in every country. Because of this connection with postal services, parcels shipped through EMS will encounter fewer customs issues.


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DHL vs EMS comparison summary

Comparing DHL and EMS to decide which one is better for your e-commerce may take some time as it depends on a number of factors. Remember that the logistics provider you choose to collaborate with have a direct effect on your reputation as a business. When analysing the differences between DHL and EMS shipping services, make sure to check which one is cheaper, faster and has better overall performance in your main operation area.

Overall, DHL is faster than EMS and is usually the preferred option for express international deliveries because of their worldwide presence and brand recognition in the logistics industry. On the other hand, EMS offers cheaper rates than DHL since they collaborate with postal networks, so EMS would be better than DHL for non-urgent or budget shipping.

But why choose one single courier company if you have the option of using multiple providers based on the price/quality they offer for each route? At Eurosender, we work with numerous couriers, including DHL, to match you with the best fit for each shipping request. Get a quote online or sign up for additional discounts and benefits.

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Disclaimer: The information is the result of online research conducted in September 2022. For more information about DHL and EMS shipping services or updated data for comparing DHL and EMS prices, we strongly recommend checking the official websites of the logistics companies.