UPS SurePost® vs. UPS Ground®: How to choose the right option
Shipping costs can make or break your operations budget. Paying too much drags down profits, while choosing a budget shipping option could take longer than customer expectations. Every cost, whether it’s delivery service rate, fees, or surcharges, must be taken into account. Finding a dependable, economic solution is key.
Two of the most popular domestic ground shipping options are UPS SurePost® and UPS Ground®. We’ll examine the differences so you can deliver products confident that you’re getting the best deal on shipping.
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UPS SurePost® vs. UPS Ground®: What’s the difference?
The two delivery services have a lot in common. Both work well as affordable services for non-urgent deliveries. Plus, UPS is the only major carrier with Saturday pickups for all businesses, compared to FedEx which requires a business contract for weekend pickup and delivery. Read our full breakdown on the difference between different ground shipping options from UPS, FedEx, and USPS.
However, UPS Ground® is slightly faster and allows for much larger maximum package sizes, while UPS SurePost® offers residential Sunday delivery through the U.S. Postal Service® (USPS). Choosing between the two often comes down to parcel size, value and delivery requirements.
How different is UPS SurePost® from UPS Ground®?
Shipments through the two services are very similar, until the final leg of the journey. When the parcel reaches its final stage, USPS takes over to make the final delivery. Using USPS allows the deliveries to be made on Sundays, which can be a big advantage for businesses and customers. On the customer side, the customer experience is virtually the same: they get the same reliable shipping from UPS and can even track the package with one lone tracking number.
|UPS SurePost®||UPS Ground®|
|Delivery time||2-7 days||1-5 days|
|Weekend pickup/delivery||Saturday and Sunday||Saturday|
|Maximum package size||Up to 60 inches in length and 130 inches in length and girth combined||Up to 108 inches in length and 165 inches in length and girth combined|
|Maximum package weight||70 lbs.||150 lbs.|
|Liability coverage||Up to $100||Up to $100 standard, with charges for higher declared values|
|Delivery to P.O. boxes?||No||No|
What is UPS SurePost®?
UPS SurePost® is a cost-effective shipping solution for non-urgent deliveries. Shipments through the UPS Ground® network provide transparency and reliability for your shipments with upfront delivery windows and online tracking. With the USPS completing the final journey to customers’ addresses, deliveries can even be made on Sundays.
SurePost is ideal for any business in need of reliable, economic, direct-to-consumer shipments. With liability coverage limited to $100, UPS SurePost should be used for low-value packages.
UPS SurePost®is an economy service for your non-urgent, business to consumer, low-value shipments.
How does UPS SurePost® work?
Organizations can schedule a SurePost pickup with UPS. Packages are transferred through the UPS Ground® network, with USPS providing the final mile delivery to addressees.
Interested in discounted UPS shipping rates? Read how to get UPS shipping discounts with Pitney Bowes.
How fast is UPS SurePost®?
For deliveries within the contiguous 48 states, UPS SurePost® packages take an estimated two to seven days to reach their destination. Outside of those states, delivery times will be longer.
According to UPS, approximately 98% of the packages inducted at one of their Destination Delivery Units are delivered to the receiver within one business day following the transfer to the USPS.
Does UPS SurePost® deliver on weekends?
Yes. UPS is the only major carrier with Saturday pickups for all businesses (FedEx will do Saturday pickups as well, but only for businesses with FedEx contracts). You can receive packages at your business and make deliveries to customers on Saturdays in the majority of the U.S. Since USPS completes your package’s journey, residential delivery to customers is available on Sundays.
However, Sunday delivery is limited to areas with UPS Saturday operations and valid Sunday service ZIP codes for USPS delivery.
How does UPS SurePost® package tracking work?
You can track UPS SurePost® packages in PitneyShip® software solutions. Although the packages are handled by two different companies, they’re still simple to track. Packages will receive two shipping labels, but only one tracking number to make it easy for customers to track the progress. This is different from FedEx’s joint service, which uses two tracking numbers. It’s a more straightforward experience for customers, cutting down on potential confusion or questions about delivery.
What kind of packages can be sent through UPS SurePost®?
Mail classes included in UPS SurePost are Parcel Select Lightweight, Parcel Select®, Bound Printed Matter (BPM), and Media Mail®. UPS SurePost deliveries are best-suited for small and lightweight packages that weigh less than 10 lbs. and are not urgent.
What is the maximum weight and size of a UPS SurePost® package?
Packages can weigh up to 70 lbs. For sizing, the package can be up to 160” in length and 130’’ in volume.
Do UPS SurePost® deliveries include liability coverage or guarantees?
Deliveries are covered up to $100 up to the point of transfer to USPS for the final mile delivery. Currently, UPS Service Guarantee is not available on UPS SurePost® deliveries.
Is UPS SurePost® slower than UPS ground®?
When SurePost parcels are handed off to the local post office, there is a chance for a delay of up to a day compared to shipments that remain in the UPS network. However, with the ability to deliver on Sundays, packages could arrive quicker through SurePost depending on the timing.
What is UPS Ground® shipping?
UPS Ground® is an economic domestic shipping option that makes deliveries in 1 to 5 business days. With day-definite delivery, eCommerce retailers and office shippers can help pinpoint delivery times for customers.
Ground deliveries allow for large packages weighing up to 150 lbs. and as long as 108”. Compared to SurePost’s limited liability, Ground provides a more secure option for high-cost or luxury products.
How does UPS Ground® work?
Using the service to make deliveries to customers is simple. Schedule a pickup with UPS at your business, track the package for free, and let the reliable UPS Ground network get it to your customers safe and sound. Deliveries can be sent to all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Interested in discounted UPS shipping rates? Read how to get UPS shipping discounts with Pitney Bowes.
How fast is UPS Ground®?
Standard Ground packages arrive within 1-5 days, depending on origin and destination details. Businesses can calculate delivery times for individual deliveries using Ground Time-in-Transit Maps. Enter the ZIP code of your delivery origin or destination for a country-wide map of estimated days in transit.
How does UPS Ground® package tracking work?
You can keep tabs on your ground shipping for free using PitneyShip® software solutions. Labels are scanned and logged throughout the journey, so businesses and customers can get a near real-time status update whenever they need.
Does UPS Ground® deliver packages on weekends?
Yes. UPS is the only major carrier with Saturday pickups for all businesses (FedEx will do Saturday pickups as well, but only for businesses with FedEx contracts). You can receive packages at your business and make deliveries to customers on Saturdays in the majority of the U.S. Residential deliveries on Sundays are only available through UPS SurePost.
What is the maximum weight and size of a UPS Ground® package?
The service allows for large packages weighing up to 150 lbs. A package can be up to 108” in length and 165’’ in volume.
Are UPS Ground® deliveries insured or guaranteed?
Deliveries are automatically covered up to $100. Businesses can declare values above $100 for a fee, but it is not considered insurance. So, while you may declare the value of a package above $100, the guarantee only covers $100.
The cost for declaring a package value between $100.01-300.00 is $3.45. For any declared value over $300, the cost is $1.15 per interval of $100 declared. E.g., a declaration of $950 would incur a charge of $11.50 (10 x $1.15).
Currently, UPS Service Guarantee is not available on UPS Ground® deliveries.
UPS SurePost® vs Ground: Which shipping option is right for my business?
Deciding between UPS SurePost® and Ground for your business comes down to a few simple questions.
How fast does your package need to arrive?
UPS Ground® is an estimated 1-5 business days compared to SurePost’s 2-7 business day range. Ground might be a better choice if you’re looking for speed. However, SurePost can deliver on Sundays to residential addresses since USPS handles last mile delivery.
Are you looking for the cheapest option?
UPS SurePost® is slightly cheaper, so it may be a more economic choice for your business as long as you can accept longer delivery timeframe.
How big is your package?
UPS Ground® allows for much heavier packages, up to 150 lb. compared to SurePost’s 70 lb. limit.
Save big on UPS shipping rates
For eCommerce, saving on shipping is good business. Finding low UPS rates creates savings that you can reinvest in your business and pass on to customers.
Creating a PitneyShip UPS account in PitneyShip® shipping software is a proven way to access exclusive UPS savings with features that:
- Lower shipping costs. Save up to 77% off on UPS Ground® shipments and up to 88% off UPS shipping labels—with no monthly volume requirements.
- Eliminate surcharges. Stop paying for common surcharges including fuel, residential delivery and Saturday delivery for ground shipments. Plus, avoid UPS peak surcharges during the holiday season.
- Find your best rate. Besides instant access to UPS discounts, signing up for PitneyShip multi-carrier allows you to easily compare rates across major national carriers.
Get PitneyShip® shipping software and create a PitneyShip UPS account to lock down UPS discounts and the best carrier rates on all your eCommerce deliveries. We work with a variety of companies to solve their mail, shipping, and logistics challenges—let us help you ship like a pro.