USPS offers a wide variety of shipping services, and each operates a little differently and is better suited to different sets of circumstances.
USPS Ground Shipping, also known as Retail Ground, is one of the most widely available options that are perfect for saving money- so how fast is it, and how does it work?
How Fast Is USPS Ground Shipping?
USPS Ground Shipping, also known as Retail Ground, typically takes 5-8 business days to be delivered in the 48 contiguous states. The reason USPS Ground Shipping isn’t as fast as other USPS shipping services is that it is only shipped using ground transport, not airplanes, which is what faster services such as Priority Mail tend to use.
There’s a lot to understand about how quickly USPS Ground Shipping delivers, how it works, and when the best times to use Ground Shipping are, so be sure to keep reading to learn more!
How Does USPS Ground Shipping Work?
USPS Ground Shipping, otherwise known as Retail Ground, is a shipping service provided by USPS that works much like any other shipping service.
To use USPS Ground Shipping, simply go to the post office, select a USPS Ground Shipping label, and ship your package.
Pricing for USPS Ground Shipping pricing is still calculated in the same way other USPS shipping services calculate their shipping costs- by measuring the item’s dimensions and weight and considering the distance the item will be traveling.
From there, your package is handled just like any other package, although Priority and First Class options are given precedence for shipping, which means Ground Shipping can take longer to deliver than other options.
USPS Ground Shipping does include a tracking feature free of charge, so you can track your package as it makes its way to you and allows you to add on other features like a delivery signature for an extra charge.
To learn more about what USPS Ground Retail is, how it works, and the various requirements and stipulations, be sure to take a peek at this page on the USPS website.
What Is the Difference Between USPS Ground Shipping and Other USPS Shipping Services?
The primary difference between USPS Ground Shipping and other shipping services, such as Priority and First Class options, is the way that USPS Ground Shipping is shipped.
The name gives you a good hint!
USPS Ground Shipping is only shipped using ground transportation methods, whereas faster services like Priority and First Class options tend to utilize airplanes to help cut down on delivery delays.
Priority and First Class Mail options are also, as their names suggest, typically prioritized over Retail Ground shipping because they promise faster delivery times, and consumers pay a higher price for them.
Another difference between Ground Shipping and other shipping services is that USPS Ground Shipping is far less strict with weight requirements, although they still affect the cost of shipping.
USPS Ground Shipping is a common choice for packages that are near the maximum weight of packages shipped with USPS: 70 lbs.
Because USPS Ground Shipping is one of the most economical options due to the fact that delivery windows are longer and not guaranteed, it is a popular choice for shipping heavier items and items that may have hazardous or restricted labels.
For a more in-depth side-by-side comparison of USPS Retail Ground and other USPS shipping services, as well as some shipping services from competitors, be sure to check out this informational article.
What Are the Best Circumstances To Use USPS Ground Shipping?
While USPS Ground Shipping may take longer than other shipping services with USPS, there are some notable circumstances where USPS Ground Shipping outshines all of the other options.
The first circumstance where USPS Ground Shipping is better than other services is when shipping to rural areas.
Most other USPS services have a hard time reaching rural areas because they travel primarily by plane, which is better suited to more urban deliveries.
USPS Ground Shipping is able to deliver anywhere as long as there’s a road to travel- gravel or otherwise!
Another circumstance where USPS Ground Shipping is advantageous is for larger packages that are close to the maximum weight allowance (70 lbs).
Finally, the last circumstance where USPS Ground Shipping is the best choice is for items that are marked as hazardous or restricted by USPS, for example, dry ice.
Dry ice can’t be shipped in large quantities via plane because of the way it reacts to elevated altitudes, which makes it the perfect candidate for shipping via USPS Retail Ground.
This is also true of many other restricted/hazardous labeled shipments, such as lithium batteries and any other volatile chemical substance.
In short, USPS Ground Shipping is the best option for non-urgent deliveries, larger-than-usual deliveries, and anything that may have trouble at high altitudes.