UPS SurePost vs USPS Priority (Price, Delivery Times + More)

If you’re an online retailer or business owner, you know just how important efficient, reliable, and affordable shipping is for your business. These days, customers expect not only fast delivery, but also a good deal on shipping. 

So, how can you meet these needs as a business owner? Two excellent options are UPS SurePost and USPS Priority Mail shipping. In this article, we’ll talk about both services so you can choose the best one for you!

UPS SurePost vs USPS Priority In 2024

SurePost is a hybrid UPS/USPS service, combining UPS ground shipping service with USPS’ “final mile” delivery expertise in 2024. It’s best for small to medium businesses looking to offer competitive shipping prices. USPS Priority Mail is also available to businesses, but is also available to non-commercial shippers. Both offer affordable rates and reliable delivery in less than 7 days.

There’s a whole lot more to know when it comes to these two services, so make sure to read on for more useful facts!

What Is UPS SurePost?

Before getting into a comparison of UPS SurePost and USPS Priority Mail, it’s important to know what each service is about.

SurePost is an economy ground service offered by the United Parcel Service (UPS). It’s mainly designed to deliver lightweight business-to-consumer parcels to residential addresses.

Packages sent through this service are processed by the UPS ground network up until the “last mile” of delivery.

Before this final step (which varies in distance depending on customers’ addresses), UPS hands over the packages to USPS for the final delivery.

It’s available to businesses shipping at least 50 packages per week.

With average delivery between 2 to 7 days, SurePost is about a day slower than UPS ground, but it’s also about 20% cheaper on average.

SurePost Pricing starts at $9.81 for 1-pound packages headed for zone 2.

Additionally, up to $100 of insurance is included.

Is UPS SurePost the Same as USPS?

UPS SurePost is not the same thing as USPS. Rather, think of it like a UPS/USPS hybrid option.

Packages sent through SurePost receive a UPS shipping label, and are transported on UPS trucks using UPS’ routes.

It’s not until packages reach the “last mile” of delivery that USPS comes into the picture. At this point, UPS drops packages off to the local post office.

USPS sorts and distributes packages according to their delivery addresses, then mail carriers deliver them as part of their normal routes Monday through Saturday.

What Is USPS Priority Mail?

What Is USPS Priority Mail?

USPS Priority Mail is a fast and affordable shipping service designed for large envelopes and packages.

Delivery happens in 1, 2 or 3 days, depending on how far the package needs to travel.

Customers can choose between sending mail based on weight and dimension, or via Flat Rate envelopes or boxes.

Items sent via Priority Mail are delivered 6 days a week, with no extra fees for Saturday delivery.

Flat Rate shipping starts at $8.95 for large envelopes.

Tracking and up to $50 of insurance are included in the shipping price. In addition, shipping boxes and envelopes are free.

How Reliable Is USPS Priority Mail?

In general, USPS Priority Mail is very reliable. That’s to say that tracking is accurate, delivery times are within USPS’ estimates, and few packages go missing.

In fact, USPS has a 96.5% on-time delivery rate!

That being said, bad weather and staffing shortages can cause delays.

Unfortunately, Priority Mail doesn’t come with any delivery guarantees, so there’s not much you can do about your package arriving late.

Should I Choose UPS SurePost or USPS Priority?

In most cases, the answer to this question will depend on your individual circumstances and needs.

However, we’ll touch on some important things to think about when choosing between these services.

First and foremost, understand that UPS SurePost is a commercial product.

That’s to say that SurePost is designed for businesses shipping packages to customers, not for customers sending packages to loved ones.

Therefore, if you’re shipping the occasional care package or birthday gift, USPS Priority Mail is the better of the two options. 

Next, assuming you’re a business owner, you’ll need to look at the volume of packages you’re sending on a regular basis.

You’ll need to send at least 50 packages per week to benefit from SurePost pricing. Therefore, the more packages you send, the more affordable shipping becomes.

If your shipping volume is lower than that, or you go through boom-and-bust cycles, then Priority Mail is most likely your best option.

In addition to the number of packages you’re sending, you’ll also want to consider where your packages are going.

While SurePost can technically be used for mailing to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and APO/FPO addresses, it’s really only a good deal when mailing to the lower 48 states.

What’s more, SurePost is only available for domestic shipments. If you send packages internationally, this isn’t the service for you.

Priority Mail, on the other hand, remains an affordable option, even when shipping to farther-flung US destinations.

In addition, USPS offers Priority Mail International service if you need to send something abroad.

If you’re still undecided, look at shipping times and included services to help you make your decision.

UPS SurePost advertises 2 to 7-day delivery, while Priority Mail offers 1, 2, or 3- day delivery. If speed is what you’re after, then go with Priority Mail.

In terms of included services, both options offer tracking. Because Priority Mail is handled only by USPS, it may be easier to keep track of your tracking than with UPS’ hybrid shipping model.

SurePost and Priority Mail also both come with insurance. SurePost packages are insured for up to $100, while Priority Mail packages come with $50 of insurance.

If what you’re mailing requires more coverage, then you may want to take a closer look at SurePost.

To know more, you can also read our posts on USPS mail forwarding extension, USPS vs FedEx, and the difference between UPS & USPS.


While the names may look similar, UPS SurePost and USPS Priority Mail are vastly different options for shippers.

Ultimately, you’ll need to consider your budget, ideal delivery times, and delivery locations when choosing between these services.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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