For many small business owners, shipping plays a huge role in their operations. The United States Postal Service recognizes this and tailors some services to them.
This includes USPS Parcel Select, an affordable option positioned to appeal to medium-to-high volume shippers.
But how long does USPS Parcel Select take? What kind of speed are you getting in return for those lower shipping costs? Here’s what you need to know.
How Long Does USPS Parcel Select Take In 2023?
The United States Postal Service advises customers to factor in 2-8 days for shipping when choosing Parcel Select. This is actually their slowest shipping option (along with USPS Retail Ground), as the service is positioned for volume, not speed. On average, customers can save up to 70 percent off regular shipping prices, in return for a less urgent pace.
To learn more about the Parcel Select service, if most people consider Parcel Select slow, if this service delivers on Sundays and more common FAQs, keep reading!
What Is USPS Parcel Select?
USPS Parcel Select lives up to its name by being the only shipping service offered by the Postal Service which you cannot access from their website (very selective!).
How does that work, you ask?
Instead, you can only access Parcel Select through a postage partner, like Stamps.com or Shippo.com, etc.
If you’re signed up with one of those sites (among others), and you find that you’re shipping dozens of packages every single day, Parcel Select could be for you.
As I mentioned, customers can save up to 70 percent off regular shipping rates with USPS, especially on bigger, heavier packages that are shipping further.
The trade-off, of course, is the slower delivery. Two to eight days is about what you can expect, with the two-day shipping obviously applying to closer destinations, as within your own zone.
The further the destination, the longer the delivery time.
But if the majority of your customers aren’t in a hurry (or they’re willing to pay for faster shipping), Parcel Select is a great way to keep shipping costs from eating your profits.
Is USPS Parcel Select Slow?
The websites devoted to explaining USPS Parcel Select make no bones about it: this service is designed to be slow (but also cheap).
But it’s not alone with its shipping timeframe. USPS Retail Ground has the exact same delivery window (2-8 days); the difference is that you can access that one through USPS.com.
Still, opinions are pretty split on Parcel Select’s service.
One commenter on a Reddit thread lambasted it as a “horrible service…Delivery can take weeks and weeks.”
And it’s true – if some significant event occurred outside of the Post Office’s control, the packages could get delayed by a large chalk.
However, another voice chimed in, saying, “I always use Parcel Select, never had any issues.”
A second commenter remarked, “I use it most of the times, never had a single issue.”
As with any shipping service, it appears that USPS Parcel Select generally delivers within the timeframe given (that is, slowly), and on some occasions, it may take even longer.
Does USPS Parcel Select Deliver On Sunday?
Unlike Priority Mail and Priority Express, which can be upgraded (for a fee) to deliver on Sundays, there is no such add-on service for USPS Parcel Select.
If the package arrives at the delivering Post Office on Saturday (Saturday is still a business day for USPS), it will most likely go out for delivery on Monday.
Unfortunately, USPS simply does not allow Parcel Select shipping customers the opportunity to add on Sunday delivery.
At $12.50, the Sunday delivery fee would defeat the purpose of Parcel Select’s cheap, slow shipping.
Does USPS Parcel Select Have Tracking?
USPS Parcel Select does include USPS Tracking as part of its service.
For no additional charge, both the shipper and the recipient can track the progress of the package, keeping an eye on it as it makes its way toward the destination.
For small business owners, I imagine the inclusion of USPS Tracking for Parcel Select helps sweeten the deal.
A lot of people worry that the longer an item is in USPS’s hands, the more opportunity they have to lose it.
It’s not true, but the tracking definitely adds peace of mind.
Is USPS Parcel Select Or Priority Mail Faster?
USPS Priority Mail is much, much faster – 1-3 days – but it’s also a lot more expensive, especially when you get into parcels that are bigger, heavier and traveling further.
As an example, say you are shipping a 65-lb. item from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles – LA is Zone 8 to someone in Pittsburgh (I used this map to determine it).
Imagine the item won’t fit in a Priority Flat-Rate box (which would save a ton of money); instead, normal Priority rates must be applied.
It would cost $171.00 to ship it Priority, but only $134.45 using Parcel Select.
Of course, the extra $35+ that you would spend for Priority would ensure the package arrives in just two days.
But if your recipient is in no hurry, you could save yourself a tidy little sum of money.
It’s very likely that, with the recipient in Zone 8, delivery would extend to the maximum amount of time quoted, eight days.
USPS Parcel Select is a slower, cheaper option for medium-to-high volume shippers, or individuals with large items that won’t fit in Priority Flat-Rate boxes.
With its delivery estimate of two-to-eight days, Parcel Select is for non-urgent shipments – if you’re on a deadline, you should expect to shell out a lot more money for faster service.