Shipping

A Guide to USPS Ground Advantage

  • Written by Rachael Pilcher
A Guide to USPS Ground Advantage

The success of your ecommerce business hinges on being able to provide affordable, reliable, and efficient shipping for customers.

Even if you’re happy with your current service, it’s a good idea to think about how you could offer greater flexibility with the shipping options you have available for buyers. 

A recent survey found that 50% of customers abandon their carts due to a lack of delivery options, which shows that it’s pretty important to give your customers more choices!

If you’re looking for a shipping service that has a good balance of cost and reliability, USPS Ground Advantage is an excellent solution.

In this article, we’re taking a detailed look at the popular USPS Ground Advantage service. We’ll cover all the key benefits and features of this shipping solution so you can make an informed decision on whether it’s a good option for your products and buyers.

Plus, we’ll show you how you can save even more on USPS shipping costs with Veeqo’s free shipping software.

Table of contents

  • What is USPS Ground Advantage?

  • Benefits of shipping with USPS Ground Advantage

  • How does USPS Ground Advantage compare to other USPS services?

  • Packing and shipping

  • Delivery times

  • Insurance and tracking

  • Pricing

  • How to get even cheaper USPS Ground Advantage shipping

What is USPS Ground Advantage?

USPS Ground Advantage is a service that launched in 2023. It combines the features of three discontinued USPS services — USPS Parcel Select Ground, USPS First Class Package, and USPS Retail Ground. 

This new service was created as part of the US Postal Service’s 10-year strategic plan for service excellence, on-time delivery, and revenue generation from enhanced package delivery services. 

Ground Advantage gives your company a simple and affordable way to ship orders and have them delivered in 2-5 business days, anywhere in the continental United States.

It’s the most affordable USPS service for small and light packages, and a good option for bulky packages that weigh up to 70 pounds.

This service is available to both retail and commercial USPS customers. Whether you’re a new business or a high-volume ecommerce seller, Ground Advantage can give you a reliable shipping method that keeps your budget in check, and your customers happy.

Benefits of shipping with USPS Ground Advantage

There are plenty of benefits to using USPS for small businesses, enterprise companies, and everyone in between. 

1. Lower costs

One of the biggest advantages of USPS Ground Advantage is its affordability. It’s often much cheaper than using other USPS services, so it’s an ideal choice for domestic customers who don’t need their packages delivered urgently. It’s also a good solution for customers who have ordered heavy or bulky items and want to keep shipping costs down.

2. Comprehensive delivery

With USPS Ground Advantage, you can ship packages to any address in the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, PO Boxes, and military addresses.

3. Reliability

As well as being more affordable for customers, USPS prides themselves on their commitment to high deliverability standards.

This gives customers peace of mind that their orders will arrive on time when they choose Ground Advantage.

4. Tracking 

This service includes tracking, meaning both you and your customers can see the progress of parcels at every step of the logistic process.

5. Hazardous goods

Ground Advantage is the only USPS shipping option for sending hazardous materials that can’t travel by air.

6. USPS Ground Advantage for Business

A USPS business account gives you access to lower commercial shipping rates for USPS Ground Advantage.

You can also use the USPS Ground Advantage Return Service if buyers need to send their orders back for any reason.

This new return service combines the previous USPS returns options of First-Class Package Return service and Ground Returns.

Further reading: Ultimate USPS Shipping Guide

How does USPS Ground Advantage compare to other USPS services?

USPS offers a variety of domestic shipping services which all have slightly different features. Here’s how they stack up against Ground Advantage:

  • USPS Priority Mail: This is USPS’ most popular shipping solution. It lets you use USPS flat rate shipping, something that isn’t available with Ground Advantage.

While this service offers faster delivery times (usually 1-3 days), it is more expensive than using USPS Ground Advantage. USPS Priority Mail is best suited for orders where speed is essential. 

  • USPS Priority Mail Express: An even speedier version of Priority Mail, Express gives customers a “next-day to 2-day” guarantee. It has the advantage of letting you ship 7 days a week, 365 days a year, but this service is understandably a lot more expensive than Ground Advantage.

  • USPS First-Class Mail: This service is limited to letter and flat envelopes weighing up to 13 ounces. For heavier items, USPS Ground Advantage is a more practical and cost-effective option.

Note: If you want to ship outside the USA, you won’t be able to use USPS Ground Advantage. Check out our comprehensive guide here on how to ship internationally with USPS

USPS Ground Advantage packing and shipping

Free packaging isn’t included with Ground Advantage, so you’ll need to have all the necessary boxes, tubes, or wrapping paper on hand to ship your items. You can purchase these from USPS or other shipping or stationery retailers.

Wrap your item securely, and then weigh and measure your parcel. Ground Advantage packages can’t exceed a weight limit of 70 pounds, or measure more than 130 inches in length and girth.

You won’t be able to mail parcels over 70 pounds with any USPS service, and you may also be charged an oversized item fee of $100 if a larger parcel gets caught by the USPS system. So make sure your measurements are accurate!

If you’re using shipping software like Veeqo, you can simply enter the parcel dimensions into your dashboard to get the correct (and heavily discounted) Ground Advantage shipping price, and print out your shipping label.

Otherwise, you’ll need to use the USPS retail postage price calculator or the rather overwhelming USPS pricing table to calculate shipping prices.

To send your orders with Ground Advantage, you can either order a free pickup from USPS or take your parcel to the nearest post office.

USPS Ground Advantage delivery times

Ground Advantage package delivery times vary depending on how far your parcel needs to travel across the USA. The delivery window is 2-5 business days, and there’s no guaranteed delivery date.

This timeframe makes Ground Advantage the best fit for non-urgent orders where your customer’s primary goal is cost savings versus speed.

Parcels shipped with Ground Advantage aren’t delivered on Sundays, but they can be delivered on Saturdays at no extra cost.

USPS Ground Advantage insurance and tracking

If you’re looking for an affordable shipping option that has built-in tracking and insurance, this is it.

Every package shipped with Ground Advantage enables you and your customers to monitor the progress of their orders online with end-to-end tracking.

This increases customer confidence in your business, and reduces a lot of your admin time dealing with customer enquiries about where their order is.

$100 insurance is included automatically for all Ground Advantage parcels. For extra peace of mind, customers can also purchase up to $5,000 of additional coverage against loss or damage for merchandise if they’re ordering high-ticket items from you.

USPS Ground Advantage pricing

With this service, shipping prices are based on the weight, size, shape, and delivery address of your parcel.

Prices start at $5.00 at the post office, and $3.79 if you have a commercial account. (Hint: If you’re using Veeqo, you can get even cheaper Ground Advantage rates!).

There are four pricing tiers for lightweight parcels (up to 4 ounces, up to 8 ounces, up to 12 ounces, and up to 15.99 ounces).

The lighter your parcels are, and the less distance they have to travel to a customer, the cheaper it is to use Ground Advantage. 

If your parcels exceed the lightweight parcel threshold of 15.99 ounces, the shipping cost will increase on a per-pound basis. So the heavier a package is, and the further it has to travel, the higher your shipping cost will be.

Ground Advantage prices also differ depending on whether you have a retail or commercial account with USPS.

You can see the USPS Ground Advantage Retail pricing table here, and the Commercial pricing table here.

In addition to having lower overall pricing than other USPS services, shipping with USPS Ground Advantage also gives you:

  • Bulk shipping discounts: You’ll get lower commercial pricing if you’re a business that ships in bulk, leading to even greater savings.

  • Lower rates for small and light packages: For packages weighing 1-70 pounds, USPS Ground Advantage offers more competitive rates than other similar shipping services.

  • No extra fees for residential deliveries: Unlike carriers such as UPS and FedEx, USPS doesn’t charge extra to deliver to your customers’ homes. These extra fees can add up if you ship primarily to residential addresses, so Ground Advantage can potentially save you a ton of money over time.

  • Free forwarding: If orders are undeliverable as addressed (UAA), or return to sender (RTS), there’s no additional cost for forwarding them.

Further reading: How to Create a Shipping Label for Your Small Business

How to get even cheaper USPS Ground Advantage shipping

You can save money simply by choosing to ship with USPS Ground Advantage — but you can save even more if you use free business shipping software like Veeqo!

With Veeqo’s native USPS integration, you can select the Ground Advantage service right from your dashboard to start saving right away. 

Veeqo lets you access the lowest commercially available carrier rates based on our pre-negotiated pricing from USPS (and UPS, FedEx, and DHL too).

Plus, you can get up to 5% back on shipping with Veeqo Credits. As an example, if you ship 5,000 orders each month you could earn over $7,500 back with Veeqo Credits in your first year.

Mike Truffa, owner of beauty retailer A1 Great Deals, who uses USPS Ground Advantage for the majority of their shipments, told us in April, "We get Credits daily, we’ve gotten $13,469.36 back since September. It’s been a lot.”

We’ll also help you save a ton of time. Veeqo is designed with busy ecommerce sellers in mind, and our smart rate-shopping tool lets you buy up to 100 shipping labels with one click.

Mike shared with us how bulk-printing has helped make his business more efficient, “Ever since we’ve been able to print 100 labels at a time with packing slips, it’s saved hours of time a day.” he went on to say “On the amount of shipments we’re doing right now, I would have been printing labels way past 5pm, starting at 9am. It would take all day.” Mike then told us it now only takes him two-hours to print all of his labels and packing slips, a time reduction of 75%, leaving him with an extra six hours per day to complete other business tasks.

How can you get these awesome Veeqo and USPS benefits, you ask? 

Simply create your free Veeqo account, connect all your ecommerce stores and marketplaces, and then click on your orders to get started.

You’ll be able to use Veeqo's rate shopping feature to see the discounted USPS Ground Advantage shipping rates for each order — no confusing USPS pricing tables needed.

Choose the Ground Advantage option, tap to create your customer shipping label, and let Veeqo take care of the rest. It really is that easy!

Further reading: Veeqo vs ShipStation: Which Shipping Solution is Right For You

By choosing USPS Ground Advantage, you can manage your shipping budget more effectively while offering competitive postage rates to all your customers in the USA. 

USPS Ground Advantage gives you the best of both worlds in terms of low costs and unmatched deliverability. With built-in tracking and insurance, your buyers have total peace of mind when they select the Ground Advantage service. 

This means more happy customers, more repeat business, and more rave reviews for your store!

Create your free Veeqo account today to get the lowest commercially available USPS rates, including discounted USPS Ground Advantage shipping. You’ll also get up to 5% back in Veeqo Credits.

About the author

Written by Rachael Pilcher

Copywriter

Rachael Pilcher is a freelance copywriter specializing in content for B2B SaaS and tech companies.

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