The US Postal Service rolled out the new shipping service USPS Ground Advantage on July 9th, 2023. Here’s an in-depth look at everything you need to know about this ground-based service for both lightweight and heavy packages up to 70 pounds.
Table of Contents
- USPS Combined First Class Package and Retail/Parcel Select Ground into Ground Advantage
- Delivery Timeframes are 2-5 Business Days
- USPS Ground Advantage Comes With Built-in Insurance
- Non-Standard Fees May Apply to Packages
- Access Cheaper USPS Ground Advantage Rates with Online Shipping Software
USPS Combined First Class Package and Retail/Parcel Select Ground into Ground Advantage
The main thing to note about USPS Ground Advantage is that the Postal Service combined two of its previous shipping services: First Class Package and Retail/Parcel Select Ground. Combining those two services into a single offering is a part of the Postal Service’s 10-year plan to turn itself around under Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.
First Class Package was an air-based service, and USPS relied on commercial planes to transport these packages. Air transportation is more expensive than ground transportation, and continuing to offer First Class Package service for lightweight shipments resulted in costs that USPS could no longer justify.
With USPS Ground Advantage, USPS will lower its operating costs by injecting more packages into its ground network and away from air transportation. From July 9th, 2023, any packages that weigh less than 15.99 ounces—which would have formerly defaulted to First Class Package—now default to USPS Ground Advantage. With these changes, both USPS and its customers can expect to save more money on lightweight and heavier packages.
Delivery Timeframes are 2-5 Business Days
The delivery timeframe for USPS Ground Advantage is 2-5 business days (though keep in mind that these are only estimates and not guarantees; the only money-back guaranteed service USPS offers is Priority Mail Express). USPS provides Ground Advantage service to all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. It also is available for shipping to U.S. territories and U.S. military bases located overseas.
Learn more about how to ship to military addresses.
USPS Ground Advantage Comes With Built-in Insurance
Neither First Class Package nor Retail/Parcel Select Ground came with any USPS insurance. USPS Ground Advantage, however, does include built-in USPS insurance with each label. Every Ground Advantage label comes with $100 of insurance, no matter whether you purchase labels at Retail or Commercial Pricing. With this coverage, shippers will be able to file claims for up to $100 of declared value in the event that their Ground Advantage packages go missing during transit or show up at their final destinations with damaged contents.
Non-Standard Fees May Apply to Packages
Ground Advantage has a maximum weight of 70 pounds per mailpiece. Each parcel also can have a maximum size of 130 inches in combined Length + Girth. Like other USPS services, Ground Advantage packages are subject to USPS surcharges known as “non-standard fees” if
Here is a list of the non-standard package fees you may be subject to when shipping Ground Advantage:
- $4 if any length of your package exceeds 22 inches but is less than or equal to 30 inches
- $8.40 if any length of your package exceeds 30 inches
- $18 for packages greater than 2 cubic feet in volume
- $1.50 for missing or incorrect dimensions that result in any of the above surcharges
Access Cheaper USPS Ground Advantage Rates with Online Shipping Software
Like with every other USPS shipping service, you can save money on labels by using online shipping software to take advantage of the deepest discounts USPS provides.
When you use shipping software to buy postage online, you access the deepest level of discounts that USPS offers, known as Commercial Pricing. In some cases, Commercial Pricing rates will save you up to 86% off what you’d pay to ship the same package at the Post Office with USPS Ground Advantage!
You’ll never find these discounts at the Post Office, and USPS reserves those savings for commercial shippers sending 50,000 or more packages per year. Some shipping software companies allow you to access these rates for a small monthly fee…but the best shipping software companies out there pass these savings onto you for free.
In addition to providing you with the deepest possible USPS discounts, most shipping software gives you the option to schedule free pickups for Ground Advantage shipments. You can schedule pickups for your letter carrier to grab your packages at your home, office, or any other designated address you’re shipping from. This way, you can totally skip the long lines at the Post Office.
Looking for the right shipping software for you?
To access the deepest discounts on all USPS services, check out our guide: