Online shopping has become part and parcel of daily life for modern-day consumers. The US Commerce Department’s 2019 report found that eCommerce penetration rose from 13.2% in 2017 to 16% in 2019. This has led to a corresponding need for fast, reliable shipping services. One of the most popular shipping choices for online merchants is UPS SurePost, a service provided by Atlanta-based courier UPS.
In this article, we’ll explore the service, looking at what the service offers, how to use it, how long delivery takes with this service, what tracking services it provides, and who it will work best for.
What is UPS SurePost?
Before you start using the service, we need to address the basic question of what is UPS SurePost? Most eCommerce business owners are looking to provide their customers with affordable, reliable, and fast shipping services. UPS SurePost meets these requirements. The contract-only delivery service is available to retailers who ship orders that weigh less than 10 pounds but require tracking.
This reliable courier service offers post office pickup and delivers your packages right to your customers’ doorsteps. Shipments can be sent from the 48 contiguous states of the US to all 50 American states, as well as Puerto Rico and other US territories, military destinations, and PO boxes. However, the service doesn’t extend to international destinations.
How Much Do You Save Using UPS SurePost?
Since UPS SurePost mainly handles non-urgent residential shipments that need to be delivered on time without breaking the bank, the UPS SurePost rates are very affordable. The charges are mostly determined by which of the four services you choose. These include:
- UPS SurePost Less - parcels should be less than 1lb and should not exceed 130” in volume
- UPS SurePost 1lb or Greater - these are for heavier packages, but should also not exceed 130” in volume
- UPS SurePost Bound Printed Matter - this service is specifically for books and printed materials
- UPS SurePost Media - this is for packages weighing between 05lbs-70lbs and is restricted to binders, films, and medical binders.
Let’s take a look at a few examples to get an idea of what charges apply for UPS SurePost:
Florida to New York
- UPS Ground Residential - $13.64
- UPS SurePost Residential - $10.52
- Saving - $3.12
Florida to California
- UPS Ground Residential - $15.04
- UPS SurePost - $11.92
- Saving - $3.12
In a nutshell, you can expect to save approximately 20% when shipping with this service. You can find out more about 2020 SurePost rates here.
Don’t forget that if your packages exceed the service’s weight limitations, you will attract extra charges. For example, if your package’s dimensions are over 17 inches but less than 30 inches, you can expect to pay an additional $2.50. However, you’ll be pleased to know that this service doesn’t attract additional charges for weekend deliveries.
How Long Does UPS SurePost Take to Deliver?
For many online business owners, ensuring timely delivery of their orders will always be one of the most important aspects of their businesses. UPS SurePost doesn’t just deliver on time - it does it at a lower cost that doesn’t compromise on quality of service.
For those wondering how long this UPS service takes to deliver, the answer is simple - the delivery timeframe is usually between two and seven days and apart from the regular daily deliveries, the service also offers regular weekend (Saturdays) delivery services.
How Do I Track UPS SurePost?
UPS SurePost offers its customers integrated shipment tracking in conjunction with USPS. Once a customer’s UPS SurePost tracking number goes live, it’s very easy to monitor the status of the shipment through delivery. While FedEx requires a change of tracking numbers when USPS takes over the last mile of the delivery journey, this service allows its customers to use a specific UPS SurePost tracking number throughout the whole delivery process.
Normally, UPS delivery requires a signature before a package is delivered to a given address; with this UPS service, this isn’t necessary. This means that packages are easily delivered to the listed addresses on the first attempt.
If the delivery is attempted but no one is available to receive the package, the delivery guys usually leave packages at safe places within the given address, such as the front porch, garage area, side door, or the back porch. In this case, UPS will send an InfoNotice to the customer indicating where the shipment has been left.
10 Steps for Using UPS SurePost
Before you can use this service, there are certain steps you need to take. These steps are as follows:
- Select a shipper and a profile
- Specify the address being shipped to
- Specify the address being shipped from
- Enter the package weight and dimensions
- Select service type and endorsement type (if applicable)
- Type in the reference numbers
- Select subclass (if applicable)
- Enter package description
- Type in any special instructions
- Enter package ID
- Click the “Process Shipment” button to get printouts of the UPS SurePost label and Customs Declaration CN 22 form (if this box is checked).
Ensuring that all the above information is provided correctly makes it easier to trace any UPS SurePost lost packages, should your shipment get missing. Before printing your shipping label, don’t forget to indicate if the shipper bears the transportation costs or the receiver; in case your goods are not delivered, highlighting the “Return Services” shipment option makes package return easier.
Who Should Use This Service?
UPS SurePost is not for every business and as such, you should first find out if your business stands to benefit from it. This will help you decide between using UPS SurePost vs ground services. This service will work for your business if any of the following applies:
- You ship a large number of packages every week
- The last-mile delivery costs are increasing
- Your shipments aren’t urgent
- You have a weekly spend that qualifies your business to negotiate preferential rates with UPS
Pros and Cons of this Service
Just like every other shipping service option, UPS SurePost comes with its fair share of pros and cons. Here are some things to take into consideration.
- Saturday deliveries at no extra costs
- Increased weekly spend
- Reduced shipping costs
- Unified package tracking
- Ease of integration into most shipping software
- Delivery time can be slower than other services
- Cannot ship from outside the contiguous 48 US states
- You have to use your own boxes
- Unified tracking can be confusing sometimes
- Limited shopping cart support
How Does SurePost Compare to Other Services?
There are several ways in which this service can be compared to other shipping service options. For example, in comparison to UPS Ground Residential, eCommerce store owners can save up to $3.12 due to the variation in price. In comparison to FedEx SmartPost, this service doesn’t require users to switch tracking numbers even after a switch is made from UPS to USPS on the last-mile delivery journey. While FedEx and UPS both attach surcharges to weekend deliveries, UPS SurePost Saturday deliveries are done at no additional cost.
Make UPS SurePost Work for Your Business
UPS SurePost can be a useful courier service for many online merchants. With perks like UPS SurePost tracking, affordable fees, unified tracking, and free Saturday deliveries, this service is sure to be useful to online store owners with non-urgent deliveries.
Don’t forget that if you have your own UPS account, you can link it to your Easyship account to access preferential rates for using UPS SurePost for your shipments. If you don’t currently have an Easyship account, we’re also offering an extended 90-day free trial period if you sign up before June 30 as part of our COVID-19 pandemic offers.