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Shipping Tips & Solutions

Ground Shipping: Everything You Need to Know

Curious about ground shipping and how it can be useful for your online business? Read Easyship's guide to this cost-effective service.
Ground Shipping: Everything You Need to Know
Jules

By Jules

 

January 21, 2020

Ground shipping is an affordable way to get your products to your customers, especially for domestic deliveries. Freight services usually handle this service - deliveries are made with trucks by road, which is why the service was given its name. Deliveries made by road take a longer time to be made compared to those sent by air freight. Nevertheless, it’s the most popular domestic delivery method in the US.

But, this type of road service can still be useful in international shipping. Even though most international deliveries involve freight moving by sea to ports around the world, on reaching their destinations, the parcels still have to travel by ground to get to their final destination. Essentially, it is used for last-mile delivery in international shipping.

What is Ground Shipping?

Any shipping that involves parcels being sent by road or rail is referred to as such. Generally, these deliveries are handled by freight companies. Plus, the cost of these types of services is low enough that you may even be able to offer free shipping for your eCommerce store. That’s a huge bonus. Not only will you save money, but you may even see an improvement in conversions and sales. If you’re able to offer free - or affordable - shipping to your customers by sending packages by road, they’re more likely to make a purchase; customers love cheap delivery options, after all!

Compared to air and sea shipping, sending parcels by road may take a longer time, but it’s significantly cheaper. Because of this, customers often don’t mind waiting a little longer to receive their orders. Cost is clearly an important factor in the purchasing decision. In fact, 75% of online shoppers want free delivery, even for orders under US$50. Plus, 65% agree that they check whether free or cheap shipping is available before they even consider adding an item to their cart. This proves how important affordable shipping by ground is for your online business.

Trucks for Different  Ground Shipping Services

How Does It Work?

You will first need to figure out how you can integrate ground services. Will it work for all your domestic orders? Can you use it for last-mile delivery for international deliveries? To answer these questions, you will need to look at what destinations you’re shipping to and what types of items you’re selling. This will help you decide whether this service is realistic for you and whether you can use it to offer free or cheap shipping.

Once you’ve decided all the above, you can look at the different ground mailing services offered by couriers like FedEx, USPS, and UPS. Easyship can help you compare these different services and decide which one will work best for you depending on the regions covered, rates offered, and service types.

What is the Difference Between Standard Shipping and Ground Shipping?

Many carriers consider both services to be the same thing. Essentially, they’re both regular, affordable shipping services that are delivered overground. In most cases, it’s also the cheapest option available. In addition, ground shipping tracking is almost always available so that you (and your customers) always know where your package is while in transit. However, there are some subtle differences in the service definition offered by the different couriers. For example, parcels sent across water by boat counts as ground shipping USPS. However, shipping by ground with USPS, FedEx, and UPS covers the 48 contiguous states in the US, as well as Canada and Mexico.

How Long Does Ground Shipping Take?

Services that ship by road will rarely be the fastest option available. So, if you have a package that must be delivered urgently, you’d do better by choosing a same-day, overnight, or next-day mailing option, even though this will cost you more. But, how quickly will your parcels arrive if you send them by road? Well, the answer to this question isn’t so simple. There are many factors that will affect the final cost of your shipment. It will depend on the distance covered, as well as things like traffic conditions and weather. Still, ground shipping time UPS and FedEx is usually 1-5 business days; USPS states that items sent by its road services will usually be delivered between 2-8 days. If you’re sending a parcel from one coast to the other, you can expect it to take five days; if it’s only going to the next state, it could be delivered within two.

What are the Rates for Shipping by Road?

One fact is undeniably true, though. Shipping parcels by ground is are far cheaper than those of any other shipping service. But, these charges depend on the courier company you’re using. And, they will also differ according to the package’s destination and weight and dimensions. Ground shipping USPS, FedEx, and UPS all come with different costs, but you can use the Easyship calculator to get an estimate for how much a particular package will cost to send.

What Are the Benefits of This Service?

The main benefit of shipping by ground is the cost. It’s far cheaper than any other delivery service. Here are a few other benefits of this service:

  1. You can send almost anything, whether it’s furniture, art or food. As long as it’s not illegal, you can probably send it by road.
  2. There’s no size limitation on packages. You can send small, medium and large parcels. And, with full truckload (FTL) and less than truckload (LTL) options, you can send heavier consignments or fewer items, too.
  3. There are fewer delivery delays because drastic weather conditions don’t affect the service as much as it does air freight.
  4. It’s the easiest way to ship across the country.
  5. It offers pickup and drop-off facilities.
  6. Tracking is usually offered and normally quite reliable.
Fedex Truck Offering Ground Shipping Service

Which Couriers Offer This Service?

All domestic and international companies offer ground shipping as it is the most popular shipping service, especially within the US

UPS Ground Shipping

UPS offers cost-effective ground services.

  • The minimum package rate is US$7.57/1lb, with US$3.60 residential surcharge and US$0.67 fuel surcharge; the total minimum rate is US$11.84.
  • It takes 1-5 business days for delivery.
  • Tracking is offered by UPS - and, they will confirm the day and time at which the item will be delivered before it arrives.

USPS Retail Ground

This was initially called standard post, but it’s now the road shipping service for USPS.

  • Prices start from US$7.35.
  • USPS takes 2-8 business days to deliver but can take up to 14 days.
  • Tracking is included in this service.

FedEx Ground

This FedEx service can be defined in three words; affordable, convenient, and fast.

  • The minimum base rate is US$36, but you can easily calculate this on their website.
  • FedEx takes 1-5 business days to deliver, depending on the destination.
  • You can easily track your package through your mobile.

Deliver Better With This Affordable Service

Ground shipping is a great option for sending packages domestically. With this service, you can offer your customers cheap - or even free - delivery options. This is important since it can translate into more sales for you. Many couriers offer road-based services and you will have to compare them properly to find one that works for you. Easyship can help you with this. We partner with many domestic and international courier companies and can set you up with a great variety of services. Sign up for a free account now to start shipping!