How Long Does USPS Retail Ground Take?

USPS Retail Ground advertises delivery between 2-8 business days, but can take longer depending on how far your shipment has to travel
How long does USPS Retail ground take?
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USPS Retail Ground is one of the most popular services the Postal Service offers, and is often the cheapest way to send packages throughout the country. However, the phrase “You get what you pay for” is truer in shipping than almost every other industry, and since USPS Retail Ground is so cheap, it also takes a while for packages to arrive.

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USPS Claims Retail Ground Service Takes Anywhere Between 2-8 Business Days

According to USPS, delivery for packages sent via Retail Ground can take anywhere between 2-8 business days. The reason for the wide delivery timeframe is due to distance; the shorter distance the package needs to cover, the sooner it will get reach its destination with ground service. On the flip side, the further the package has to travel, the longer it will take to arrive.

Ground service takes longer than other USPS services like Priority Mail and First Class Package, because USPS delivers packages just like the name implies: via ground transportation. That means USPS relies on trucks and semi-trucks to get the job done. On the other hand, Priority Mail and First Class Package are air-based services—meaning, USPS loads up those packages on commercial flights that travel around the country, and then takes care of the last mile delivery from there.

So, if you’re looking for packages to arrive sooner rather than later, opting for ground service may not be the best choice when shipping with USPS.

How Long USPS Ground Service Actually Takes Sometimes

Here’s where it gets tricky: USPS says ground service takes 2-8 days for delivery. While this is often the case, it doesn’t mean this is true 100% of the time. In some instances, packages can take much longer if they have to travel a long way to reach their final destination. For example, we’ve seen packages traveling from one end of the country to another (Los Angeles to New York,  for instance) take up to 2 weeks to arrive. So, this is something to be aware of before you opt for ground service with USPS.

Ground Service is Much Cheaper Beginning in 2022

If you’re debating whether shipping with USPS Retail Ground is right for you, here’s something interesting information. At the beginning of 2022, USPS announced changes to the rates of their shipping services (like they do every year). However, the 2022 USPS price changes brought a significant shift above all else: Retail Ground got cheaper. A lot cheaper.

Historically, Priority Mail and Retail Ground were never priced that differently from one another; rates varied by maybe a few cents, here and there. Due to this, a lot of shippers opted for Priority Mail to get the faster service. Now, with the new 2022 rates, prices for Retail Ground beat Priority Mail in more than 50% of cases! As a result, we’re seeing a lot of shippers switch to Retail Ground to save money on their shipments.

Save the Most Money on USPS Ground Labels with Online Shipping Software

Although USPS discounted the price of Retail Ground in 2022, there’s still an opportunity to save even more money when using this service…and that’s to make the switch to online shipping software. When you use shipping software to buy postage online, the ground service that USPS offers is called Parcel Select Ground. Don’t get confused, though; this is basically the same thing as Retail Ground, just with a different name.

When you use online shipping software, you don’t just give yourself the ability to buy and print postage labels at home. You also get access to special USPS discounts that the Postal Service typically reserves for huge shippers. In some cases, these discounts on Parcel Select Ground labels can save you up to 50% off of what you’d pay to ship the same package via Retail Ground at the Post Office. This way, you’ll really save the most money possible…and you’ll be able to avoid those long lines, too!

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