Key Points:

  • Standard shipping is also known as economy, ground, or regular shipping
  • With domestic US couriers, these services are delivered in 3-5 business days because they arrive via ground
  • Easyship saves users up to 91% off discounted shipping rates on 250+ couriers, including standard shipping services

Standard shipping is also known as economy, ground, or regular shipping. In other words, it’s the cheapest shipping service available from a courier. It's also used to describe the baseline shipping option in an eCommerce store.

For eCommerce merchants, standard shipping is your bread and butter. But while standard shipping is cost-effective, it’s slow. In the age of Amazon Prime, buyers expect the option for both expedited shipping and budget shipping. In fact, 2 in 3 online shoppers say they choose a brand based on their delivery options.

Rates at Checkout is an Easyship feature that lets you display three real-time courier rates in checkout. You'll make more sales when customers choose the delivery option that matches their budget and expectations.

Now, let’s take a stroll through the world of standard shipping.

Table of Contents

What is Standard Shipping?

We’ve all used standard shipping, but it’s never called that. Standard shipping goes by many names, though, including:

  • Economy shipping
  • Budget shipping
  • Basic shipping
  • Regular shipping
  • Ground shipping

Standard shipping is any economy shipping option. With domestic US couriers, these services are delivered in 3-5 business days because they arrive via ground. For international shipments, these deliveries may take weeks to arrive.

The alternative to standard shipping is express shipping. Express shipping services from US couriers are delivered in 1–2 days because they’re flown by plane.

All couriers offer standard shipping services, including USPS, UPS, and FedEx. You’ll find a list of standard shipping services from every common courier in the next section.

The Pros and Cons of Standard Shipping

As an eCommerce merchant, standard shipping is your most cost-effective delivery option. It earns you the highest margins. Saving on shipping is important, but it’s also crucial to offer more options than just standard shipping.

Modern consumers have grown accustomed to free and fast delivery from Amazon Prime. In fact, 56% of online shoppers between the ages of 18-34 now say they expect same-day delivery from retailers.

If standard shipping is your only delivery option, you risk losing customers. Top-converting brands use cart optimization features like Rates at Checkout to offer a set of appealing delivery options that delight shoppers and win sales.

How Long Does Standard Shipping Take?

Delivery lead times for standard shipping vary slightly by courier and individual shipment. However, standard shipping time is five days or less for USPS, UPS, and FedEx.

Here’s how standard shipping times compare across the top common couriers in the US:

USPS Standard Shipping

The United States Postal Service offers two standard shipping services: USPS First Class Mail and USPS Priority Mail. First Class Mail is only available for items weighing less than one pound, while Priority Mail accepts items up to 70 pounds.

Here’s the breakdown for USPS First Class Mail, the lightweight version of USPS standard shipping:

  • Cheapest USPS service for small items
  • Delivery in 2-5 business days
  • Insurance of $50 included
  • Tracking included
  • Save 24% on First Class with Easyship

Here’s what you can expect from USPS Priority Mail for heavier shipments:

  • Cheap USPS service for items under 70 pounds
  • Delivery in 2-5 business days
  • Insurance of $50 included
  • Tracking included
  • Save 20% on First Class with Easyship

UPS Standard Shipping

UPS offers standard shipping as UPS Ground Shipping. This service is available for all packages that weigh less than 150 pounds. Here’s the breakdown for UPS standard shipping:

  • Cheapest UPS shipping service
  • Day-definite delivery in 1–5 days, location depending
  • Insurance available for purchase
  • Tracking included
  • Save up to 91% off with Easyship

FedEx Standard Shipping

FedEx offers standard shipping as FedEx Ground. This service is available for all packages up to 150 pounds. Here are the details on FedEx standard shipping:

  • Cheapest FedEx shipping service
  • Delivery in 1-5 business days (3-7 days to Alaska or Hawaii)
  • $100 insurance included
  • Tracking included
  • Save up to 91% off with Easyship

The Costs of Standard Shipping

Standard shipping is the cheapest shipping option from any courier. The final price of your shipment is determined by delivery distance, package weight, size, and any value-added shipping features like delivery confirmation.

Fortunately, you don’t need to buy boxes for standard shipping. Standard shipping services let you use whatever box fits your item. You can order free standard shipping boxes in any size from all courier websites. Or just use small, medium, or large boxes you have lying around.

So which courier has the cheapest rates on standard shipping?

Let’s look at standard shipping rates from USPS, UPS, and FedEx.

USPS Standard Shipping Costs

Say we want to ship a two-pound item from Los Angeles to New York.

We’ll need to use Priority Mail since First Class only accepts shipments of less than one pound. However, the rates will be pretty closely matched.

Here are the Easyship rates for USPS standard shipping on a 2-pound item from LA to NY:


These rates come from our free shipping rate calculator. This free tool allows you to compare the cheapest rates for all couriers by delivery destination and item weight. As we see here, you save more than $20.59 on USPS – Ground Advantage™ with Easyship.

To access these discounted rates instantly, just create a free Easyship account.

UPS Standard Shipping Costs

What does it cost to ship a two-pound package from LA to NY with UPS standards?

Here’s what has to offer us:

At $14.84, UPS standard shipping costs are much higher than USPS. That said, Easyship users still save up to 91% off all UPS shipments.

FedEx Standard Shipping Costs

Lastly, let’s pop over to the FedEx website to find rates for FedEx Ground. Boy, it was so much easier to use the Easyship calculator, I tell ya’.

Anyhow, here’s the rate for FedEx Ground on a 2-pound package sent from LA to NY:

At $14.39 for standard shipping, FedEx and UPS cost about the same. Delivery is estimated at five business days, which is two days longer than the UPS estimate for delivery.

The takeaway: If cost is the priority, USPS standard shipping with Easyship is the cheapest option at $9.52 (after saving $6, remember). You can read this blog for all the exact USPS discount rates in 2021.

Standard Shipping with Easyship

Standard shipping is cheap for shippers but slow for recipients. This means that top-converting eCommerce stores offer standard shipping as one in a set of delivery options (typically as your free shipping option). Standard shipping is acceptable to some, but many buyers insist on expedited shipping these days.

Try our Rates at Checkout feature to offer multiple shipping options automatically in the checkout. You can try Rates at Checkout in your store– plus instantly access Easyship’s discounted shipping rates – when you create a free account.

Easyship is 100% free to use if you send fewer than 50 shipments a month. This means you get 49 trial shipments to see how you like our all-in-one shipping platform at no cost whatsoever. Start free here anytime.

Standard Shipping FAQ

What does standard shipping mean?

Standard shipping is another way to say economy, ground, or basic shipping. Standard shipping is the cheapest, slowest shipping option available from couriers; it's also offered in eCommerce stores as the baseline shipping option. When you think economy vs. standard shipping – you're talking about the same thing.

How long does standard shipping take from China?

Courier depending, it can take weeks for a standard shipping order to arrive from China. This is because standard shipping will arrive via sea freight, which is very slow.

How long does standard shipping take from Canada?

Typically, it takes 5 – 14 business days for standard shipping to arrive in the US from Canada, and longer for other countries. Cross-border shipments must clear customs, which adds a couple of days to any shipment.