The pros and cons of choosing ground shipping

By Amylee Silva
February 6, 2023
empty cargo loading doors depicting ground shipping concept

This post was last updated on October 2nd, 2023

Shipping is a huge part of any eCommerce business. It can feel like you’re always paying more for shipping than the actual product itself. So why not offer different types of ground shipping options?

You might think that offering more expensive methods like priority mail or even registered standard shipping will hurt your bottom line, but it turns out that’s just not true.

There are some very good reasons to offer ground and expedited shipping as well as the default option: standard ground shipping. But first…

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Everything You Need to Know about Ground Shipping

Ground shipping is the safest shipping service option for your customers, which can mean fewer returns. It’s also how most shoppers expect to receive their purchase and what most companies choose as their default delivery service.

Basic ground shipping untracked will typically take 3-5 business days after leaving your fulfillment center.

This means that if you’re selling something people need or want right away, it might be better to offer a faster shipping service like expedited shipping or overnight delivery.

The pros and cons of choosing ground shipping

Today’s eCommerce customers are more educated than ever before. Research shows that they’re aware of the benefits of different types of ground shipping services, act on this knowledge, and expect to be able to choose between various options when purchasing online.

Most eCommerce businesses offer their customers the choice of ground shipping as standard. And is the most cost-effective delivery option if you choose to offer free shipping.

But does offering ground shipping still make sense in today’s marketplace?

Is 3-7 business days enough to satisfy your customers?

A study by IMRG found that 48 percent of consumers said they would be willing to pay for convenience, debunking the notion that free ground shipping is more important than anything else. What eComm shoppers want is frequent communication as well as follow-through on what was promised.

But what about the cons? In this case, you mustn’t sacrifice too much for speed to save money.

There are also some downsides to offering too many shipping options as well. Too many choices often lead to consumer confusion and lower conversion rates.

Ground shipping rates

Ground shipments are calculated based on weight. That means that if you offer free ground shipping, you’ll have to cover the costs or make up for it somehow. Some companies offer a flat rate for ground shipping, so it’s easier to budget, but this can get expensive very quickly. 

Below we’ll take a lot at some of the top courier ground shipping services and their rates and delivery promises.

Top ground shipping carriers compared

USPS retail ground®

The USPS Retail Ground® service is a ground shipping option for thick envelopes, tubes, and packages (maximum weight of 70 pounds) that are not required to be sent using the First-Class Mail® service. As a bonus for choosing this service, USPS Tracking® is free.

FedEx Ground®

FedEx Ground® is a low-cost delivery service that reaches more businesses and places than UPS Ground® in less time. FedEx Ground® delivers to all corporate addresses throughout the United States. FedEx International Ground® transports between the US and Canada, as well as within Canada.

Canada Post™

Regular Parce™ is an economical and reliable ground shipping option in Canada with tracking available and online delivery status updates. Signature and identity, plus insurance liability coverage, are optional paid services.

Looking for discounted shipping rates? At ShipSimple, we’ve got you covered. We’ll help you compare shipping rates for most of the popular carriers to find the best rate, no matter where you’re located.

Ground shipping UPS

UPS ground shipping is an economical choice for all of your routine ground shipments with cost-friendly rates. With a day-definite delivery in one to five days and guaranteed arrival, you’ll know exactly when your package has been shipped and delivered.

GLS next business day ground shipping

GLS’s ground service provides you with next-day delivery over an expansive delivery area with its ground freight services. Areas that would normally require 3-4 days with a worldwide carrier can be reduced by at least a day.

Purolator Ground®

Ground service for the United States and Canada with door-to-door delivery. For your less urgent ground shipments, choose Purolator Ground®. Pick-up and delivery services are available on Saturdays, and flexible delivery times to suit anyone’s schedule.

CanPar ground packages

With a shipping speed of 3-4* days, CanPar’s trackable service is the ideal choice for reliable domestic deliveries across Canada.

Why choose ground shipping over other options?

Many people like to order items online, but the most common option is not always the best. Deciding whether or not ground shipping is right for you depends on your business needs and preferences.

Ground shipping takes longer than other options. But it can be cheaper and more reliable in some cases, making it the most natural choice when offering free ground shipping.

Here’s a list of the top reasons why businesses continuously choose ground shipping.

  • If your customers are mainly located in similar ground shipping zones, then it may be beneficial to offer ground shipping as an option.
  • Ground shipping is often a more reliable and cost-effective choice for bulk shipments. If you’re sending many packages via courier service, offer a ground shipment rate compared to a more expensive option.
  • If your package is heavy or large, it may be more efficient to send via ground.

Ground shipping is often the best option when it comes to saving money, but don’t be afraid to offer more options. Many of your customers may be willing to pay more for quicker shipping.

Get started with ShipSimple

To get an even better deal on ground shipping rates, team up with a third-party courier service offering business bulk rates. Most courier companies have some sort of contract that can be offered to multiple businesses in the same area for extra savings on group shipments.

Our platform will help you find the cheapest ground shipping services available so that your package reaches its destination quickly and safely. 

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