What is USPS Ground Advantage and What are the Benefits of this New Service?

The Postal Service is consolidating its current services—USPS Retail Ground, Parcel Select Ground, and First-Class Package Service—into one service called USPS Ground Advantage. This is part of an initiative to improve package offerings by increasing reliability, lowering prices, and simplifying services.  

TL;DR on USPS’ Ground Advantage  

  • Effective July 9, 2023 
  • Domestic shipments only, not international 
  • Transit time: 2-5 days 
  • Weight Range: 1 oz – 70 lbs 
  • Retail rates will be reduced on average 3.2%, and commercial rates will decrease by 0.7%. 

What is USPS Ground Advantage?  

Ground Advantage is a new USPS service that will feature two-to five- day service standards for packages up to 70 pounds.  

The Postal Service is incorporating three services—USPS Retail Ground, Parcel Select Ground, and First-Class Package Service—into this new Ground Advantage service.  

See the full press release on this new offering from USPS.  

What are the USPS Ground Advantage Costs? 

Pricing will be tiered—under a pound, at 4 oz. increment levels (4 oz., 8 oz., 12 oz., and 15.999 oz.), and over a pound, at 1 lb. increment levels, up to 70 lbs. 

The new service brings a drop in published prices, 1.4% lower than the current prices of both Parcel Select Ground and First-Class Package Service.

USPS Ground Advantage retail rates will decrease 3.2%, and commercial rates will decrease 0.7%.

See the full USPS pricing table here 

How Ground Advantage Will Affect Ecommerce Shippers 

There are some clear benefits to the new Ground Advantage service. They include:  

  • More flexibility. First Class mail was categorized as an AIR service, which meant no Dangerous Goods could be shipped via First Class. Now that USPS Ground Advantage is a Ground service, customers will have more flexibility, including the ability to ship Dangerous Goods with this new service.  
  • Same free returns. Returns (both undeliverable and refused) will still be able to come back free of charge.  
  • Insurance coverage. USPS is considering adding free $100 insurance coverage for the new Ground Advantage service. This is still to be determined.  
  • Ground Advantage services is a good alternative for domestic light weight shipping options offered by other carriers, including UPS, FedEx, and DHL. Learn more about the differences between UPS Surepost, FedEx Ground Economy, and DHL eCommerce [+infographic].

Differences between USPS Ground Advantage and USPS Priority Mail

When compared to other small parcel, ground options, USPS Ground Advantage is a cost-effective ground shipping option suitable for larger and heavier packages that don’t require expedited delivery. It is commonly used for non-urgent shipments when cost is a primary consideration. The delivery times for USPS Ground Advantage are 2-5 business days based on the distance and destination, and it does not offer guaranteed delivery within a specific timeframe.

On the other hand, USPS Priority Mail is a faster shipping service compared to USPS Ground Advantage. It is designed for packages that require quicker delivery. Priority Mail typically offers delivery within 1-3 business days, depending on factors such as the destination. This service includes USPS tracking and provides up to $100 of insurance coverage for the shipment. Additionally, Priority Mail offers free packaging options, such as envelopes, boxes, and tubes, which can be obtained at USPS locations or ordered online.

New USPS Mailing Service Rates

Also effective July 9, 2023 the US Postal Service will issue new mailing service pricing. The changes are in response to elevated inflation, keeping the USPS prices among the most affordable in the world.

Prices will increase by three cents for products like 1 oz letters, metered letters and domestic postcards. International letters and postcards will increase five cents each.

Read more about the price increases here.

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