Comparing DHL and FedEx – which one is better?

Comparing DHL and FedEx is important for businesses and individuals who want to know which company is best for shipping goods domestically and internationally.

FedEx is an American company based in Memphis (Tennessee), founded in 1971 as Federal Express Corporation in Arkansas. Depending on the type of service, FedEx serves in up to 215 countries and territories all over the world.

DHL is an American-German courier company, a division of the logistics company Deutsche Post DHL. Founded in San Francisco, its headquarters is located in Germany. DHL delivers shipments to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

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DHL vs FedEx: types of delivery services

Before deciding which courier is better for your shipping needs, the first step is to compare types of delivery services DHL and FedEx provide. Both companies offer a wide range of domestic and international services for individuals and business clients. Both DHL and FedEx offer express, same day and next day delivery services. DHL has strong shipping options for express deliveries, while FedEx is famous for its overnight shipping options.

DHL domestic shipping services

DHL Domestic Express 9:00
Delivery time: Delivery by 9:00 am next business day

DHL Domestic Express 12:00
Delivery time: Delivery by 12:00 pm next business day

DHL Domestic Express
Delivery time: Delivery by the end of the next business day

DHL Domestic Express Easy
Delivery time: Delivery by the end of the next business day once handed over to a DHL Service Point

DHL international shipping services

Delivery time: Time-critical international shipping needs before 9:00 am

Delivery time: Time-critical international shipping needs before 10:30 am

Delivery time: Time-critical international shipping needs before 12 noon

Delivery time: Time-sensitive international shipping needs by the end of the next possible business day

DHL freight services

DHL Same Day Jetline
Delivery time: Within 24 hours

DHL Same Day Speedline
Delivery time: Within 24 hours

DHL Air Economy
Delivery time: 5-7 days

DHL Air Priority
Delivery time: 1-2 days

DHL Same Day Sprintline
Delivery time: Expedited, point-to-point ground transportation

FedEx domestic shipping services

FedEx First Overnight
Delivery time: 1 business day, delivery by 09.00 a.m.

FedEx Priority Overnight
Delivery time: Next-business-day delivery by 10:30 am

FedEx 2Day® A.M.
Delivery time: 2 business days by 10:30 am

FedEx 2Day®
Delivery time: 2 business days by 4:30 pm

FedEx Express Saver®
Delivery time: 3 business days by 4:30 pm

FedEx Ground
Delivery time: 1–5 business days in the contiguous 48 states; 3–7 to Alaska and Hawaii

FedEx international shipping services

FedEx International Next flight
Delivery time: 24 hours

FedEx International First
Delivery time: Delivery is in 1, 2 or 3 business days

FedEx International Priority
Delivery time: Time-definite delivery typically in 1, 2 or 3 business days

FedEx International Economy
Delivery time: Time-definite delivery typically in 2–5 business days

FedEx freight services

FedEx First Overnight® Freight
Delivery time: Next-business-day delivery by 9 am or 10:30 am

FedEx 1Day® Freight
Delivery time: Next-business-day delivery by 10:30 am

FedEx® International Next Flight
Delivery time: Next available flight — 24 hours a day to most areas

FedEx International Economy® Freight
Delivery time: Within 5-business days

FedEx Freight®Priority
Delivery time: Fast-transit delivery of LTL Freight with delivery options of 10:30 am or 5 pm

FedEx Freight® Economy
Delivery time: LTL Freight with delivery options of 10:30 am or 5 pm

DHL and FedEx for eCommerce. Which one is better for your business?

DHL and FedEx have well-structured services and offer plenty of additional options for business owners. Both DHL and FedEx provide domestic and international parcel pick-up, delivery and returns solutions for eCommerce and businesses.

DHL offers express delivery at DHL Service Points. These are authorised stores where DHL customers can choose to receive the goods. This service allows the customer to pick up the package from the service points, at the appropriate time for them. Moreover, some industries like fashion and food have their uniquely designed services, such as DHL Express for Fashion, DHL Medical Express, DHL Express Food & Beverage and others. Additionally, DHL fulfilment options are available in selected markets within the Americas, the Asia Pacific and the Middle East/Africa.

There is a wide range of services provided by FedEx for eCommerce and business clients. The company has a deposit service at authorised outlets, called Pickup and Drop-off. Through this service, FedEx customers can receive and send packages from selected stores, manage withdrawals and purchase supplies to be received at the designated point of sale.

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DHL vs FedEx shipping rates comparison. Which one is cheaper?

To compare DHL and FedEx shipping rates, we recommend you to check the calculators on their official websites as prices and services vary. Still, both couriers have cost-effective shipping options if there are no delivery times constraints. If comparing DHL international shipping rates or FedEx international shipping rates, we can assume that DHL prices are more affordable. However, you can get up to 20% discounts for your shipments with the FedEx Advantage Program.

Some of the special services FedEx offers include fixed surcharges for shipping certain items, as gathered in the table below:

International PriorityInternational Priority Freight
Accessible Dangerous Goods$77/shipment$1,3/kg
Inaccessible Dangerous Goods (classes 6.1, 6.2, 7 and 9)$51/shipment$0,7/kg
Dry Ice$12/shipment$0,2/kg
Oversize Charge$59/shipment
Saturday delivery (when available)$24/shipment
Lithium Batteries Section II (UN 3481 - Packing Instructions 966 & 967, UN 3091 - Packing Instruction 969 & 970)Free of charge

DHL vs FedEx shipping insurance

DHL and FedEx reliability is at a high level. Therefore, millions of people all over the world trust their services. Both logistics companies offer insurance of up to $100 for the declared value of the shipment. DHL and FedEx also offer flat rate insurance options for packages valued from $100 to $300.

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DHL vs FedEx – which one is better?

To help you consider the differences between DHL and FedEx, we have prepared some of the most significant benefits of both companies.

While DHL is a great option for international shipping, FedEx covers deliveries within the United States better. Since DHL is a non-American company, it is not permitted to make domestic flights between the US airports. FedEx operates around 2, 500 FedEx office locations across the US, which makes it easy for you to find a company to ship your mail.

FedEx offers a small selection of free packaging to be used with the express services. Alternatively, you have to supply your boxes.

You can visit any of the FedEx locations or mailing centres if you need in-person assistance. DHL company does not offer walk-in service centres, but picks parcels and mail up from customers.

DHL advantages over FedEx


  • DHL is leading in most countries, including Germany, the United Kingdom, and 134 other countries
  • Air, sea, rail and ground delivery services
  • Door-to-door delivery
  • No pick-up fees
  • Dedicated DHL eCommerce service for online merchants


  • FedEx is leading in the United States, Canada, India, Mexico and 12 other countries
  • Offers discounts between 6- 20%
  • In-person service
  • Overnight shipping services
  • Offers weekend deliveries

DHL vs FedEx – which one to choose? Comparing summary

After comparing the advantages and exploring the difference between DHL and FedEx, you can make a choice and decide which courier is better for your needs. FedEx reigns supreme in the air and across the US deliveries. But DHL specialises in the international shipping and even delivers to sanctioned countries and territories.

While FedEx is well-known for its overnight shipping as well as 2-day and 3-day services, with DHL, you benefit from a wide range of express shipping options.

Take a look at the basic information and stats comparing DHL and FedEx:
Market share19,60%13,40%
The yearly volume of packages1,5 billion5,4 billion
Shipping locationsMore than 220 countries and territoriesMore than 220 countries and territories
Number of employees380 000 (2019)425 000 (2018)

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Disclaimer: The information is the result of online research conducted in April 2020. For more information and updated data, we strongly recommend checking the information on the official website of the logistics companies mentioned above.