UPS SurePost® vs. ground service: Which one’s right for your residential shipments?

“The last mile.” While it may sound like a stirring novel or a powerful new Hollywood drama, the phrase means something very different in the shipping world. Whenever carriers refer to a last mile, they’re actually talking about the final stage of a package’s delivery journey.

At a glance, the last mile of a shipment may not seem much different from all the miles that precede it, but there are actually unique costs and challenges for carriers at the final stage of delivery. To address these issues in a cost-effective way for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs), carriers have created special last-mile services, such as UPS SurePost®.

Let’s take a look at regular service via UPS Ground vs. UPS SurePost and which service makes more sense for your next shipment to a residential address.

How does UPS SurePost work & what is it?

UPS SurePost is a contract-only service offered by UPS that provides economical, last-mile delivery of small and lightweight packages to residential addresses. How does UPS SurePost work (& is it right for you)? UPS SurePost combines the sophistication and prowess of UPS trucks and hubs with the United States Postal Service (USPS) and its vast expertise in daily residential deliveries. UPS SurePost packages utilize the UPS ground network until they near their final destination, when they are usually transferred to the USPS for delivery. The exception: If another UPS package is bound for the same recipient address, UPS will keep the package in its network, and deliver it along with the other shipments to the addressee.

The ideal UPS SurePost user is a business-to-consumer (B2C) shipper who needs to fulfill at least 10 small package shipments per day. These parcels need to weigh under 10 pounds, measure under one cubic foot, be destined for residential delivery and have a value of less than $100 and require limited liability coverage.

What is UPS Ground shipping?

When it comes to UPS Ground vs. UPS SurePost, there are a few key differences to know. UPS Ground shipping offers speedy, day-definite delivery in one to five days and is an economical choice for routine shipments.

UPS Ground service allows for a wide variety of package sizes and weights, is always delivered by a UPS driver and always stays completely within the UPS logistics network. While UPS SurePost packages are not subject to residential surcharges, one will be applied to residential deliveries made via UPS Ground service.

UPS SurePost vs. UPS Ground: How do you choose?

Depending on your business’ small package shipping needs, UPS SurePost and UPS Ground both offer advantages.

You should probablyselect UPS SurePost when:

  • You ship a lot of low-weight, low-value small packages on a daily basis
  • Your business offers free shipping to your customers, with the expectation of delivery times that may take a couple of extra days
  • Your shipments are not time-restricted and you’re looking to save some shipping costs and/or residential delivery surcharges

It may make more sense to opt for UPS Ground when:

  • You ship fewer packages on a day-to-day basis, or your shipment value exceeds $100
  • Your shipments are larger or heavier than UPS SurePost’s parameters
  • Your shipments need to be delivered more quickly or on a specific day

Gain access  to both UPS SurePost and UPS Ground with Worldwide Express

Whether UPS SurePost or UPS Ground makes more sense for your business shipping, Worldwide Express is the perfect partner to make it happen. We’re part of the largest, non-retail authorized reseller of UPS services in the entire country and have decades of experience helping tens of thousands of SMBs get the most value possible for their shipping dollars. Because of our powerful alliance with UPS, we can provide economical and effective parcel shipping options for you, no matter what your specific needs are.

If you need help deciding between UPS SurePost or UPS Ground, or assistance with any other aspect of your shipping, our shipping experts are ready to help. Schedule your complimentary, custom shipping consultation today!