How to Ship via EMS from the United States

How to Ship via EMS from the United States International mail delivery can take quite a lot of time, but there are certain ways to speed things up if your shipment is time-sensitive. Most national postal operators offer Express Mail Service (EMS) that provides expedited delivery, and the United States Postal Service is not an exception. How to ship via EMS from the United States?

EMS is an initiative of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a United Nations specialized agency that coordinates international postal policies and facilitates a worldwide postal system. Member states of the UPU created the EMS Cooperative in 1998 to build an international expedited mail service network for documents and merchandise. As of 2024, the EMS Global Network connected 179 countries and territories worldwide.

The EMS service is provided by national postal operators of UPU member states that work together to provide expedited cross-border delivery. Its main difference from other postal services is that EMS always takes priority over them to ensure faster delivery. The EMS Cooperative employs independent auditors who measure the performance of EMS operators worldwide and offers incentives and training programs to improve said performance in order to ensure that customers get what they pay for and are satisfied with the service.

The United States Postal Service offers two international express mail services, but only one of them is an EMS service. The EMS service in the United States is Priority Mail Express International; it ships to about 180 countries in 3–5 business days, although actual delivery time may vary depending on the destination country and customs delays.

Priority Mail Express International allows to mail envelops under 4 lbs and boxes under 70 lbs (maximum combined length and girth is 180 inches). The service includes tracking, money-back guarantee to select destinations, and up to $200 insurance for merchandise and up to $100 insurance for non-negotiable documents. It should be noted that Priority Mail Express International is quite pricey, but so are EMS services everywhere: fast delivery is never cheap.

The other international express service offered by the USPS, Global Express Guaranteed (GXG), is not an EMS service. GXG is provided by the USPS jointly with FedEx: the USPS accepts the items, and FedEx Express provides international transportation and delivery. GXG is faster than Priority Mail Express International (delivery in 1–3 business days to major markets), but it is also more expensive.

So, if you need to ship an envelope or a package via EMS from the United States, this means that you need to ship it via Priority Mail Express International. There are two main options: you can either have your shipment mailed at a Post Office or print a shipping label yourself, attach it to the package, and leave your shipment at a USPS drop-off location or schedule a package pick-up. A lot of people these days prefer the second option because it is easier, more convenient, and helps to save money since most shipping label printing services offer shipping labels at discounted rates.

One of these services is PostageMaker; you can use it to purchase and print discounted Priority Mail Express International labels right at your home or office. All you need to do is sign up for the service (the process is very short and straightforward), deposit funds to your personal account, and fill out a shipping label form (don’t forget to choose USPS Priority Mail Express International as your shipping method). Postage is charged to your account in the PostageMaker system when the label is generated. You can print your shipping label right away or save it as .pdf and print later.