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What Is UPS® Ground Shipping, and Is It the Right Fit for You?

by EasyPost

Looking for a secure, cost-effective way to ship packages? UPS® Ground shipping might be the service for you. We’ll cover everything you need to know about UPS® Ground so you can decide if it’s what your business needs. 

What is UPS® Ground shipping?

UPS® Ground shipping is a UPS domestic shipping offering. It’s an affordable, reliable way to send things that don’t require two-day or next-day shipping. Keep reading to learn how big packages can be, how long it takes to ship with UPS® Ground, and how the offering compares with other popular ground shipping services.

How big can packages be?

Packages sent by UPS® Ground can weigh up to 150 pounds, and they need to be equal to or less than 165 inches in length and girth combined. 

  • Length: The measurement of the longest part of the package.
  • Girth: The distance around the thickest part of the package. Calculate girth using this formula: (Width x 2) + (Height x 2). For more information on measuring girth, see a few examples here.

Additionally, no single dimension can be over 108 inches long, and packages with a large size-to-weight ratio require special pricing and dimensional weight calculations.

How long does it take?

When you ship with UPS® Ground, packages take between one and five business days to arrive. However, UPS notes that most deliveries take significantly less time, with 90% of packages being delivered in three days or less. 

Because shipments travel via truck rather than plane, UPS® Ground has slightly longer delivery times than UPS 2nd Day Air® or UPS Next Day Air®  shipping services 

For an accurate estimate of how long shipments will take from your location, check out the UPS Time-in-Transit Map. Just enter your zip code, plus the day you’d be shipping, and you’ll instantly get a visual representation of transit times across the United States.

How much does it cost?

The cost to ship with UPS® Ground depends on the distance your package has to travel, as well as its size. There are also extra fees for value-added services like delivery confirmation, carbon offsets, additional handling, and more. 

Use our free shipping rates calculator to get an estimate of the cost to ship via UPS® Ground.

UPS® Ground is one of the most affordable options for domestic shipments. And, when you ship with UPS on EasyPost, you get access to deep discounts up to 78% off* on UPS® Ground shipping. Sign up today to save big on shipping with UPS.

UPS® Ground vs. USPS Ground Advantage®

The United States Postal Service (USPS) offers a ground shipping service too. So which is better: UPS® Ground or USPS Ground Advantage? While the answer depends on many factors, here’s a quick comparison.

UPS Ground
USPS Ground Advantage
Delivery time
1-5 days
2-5 days 
Delivery days
Maximum package dimensions
Length and girth combined: 165 inches. Any single dimension: 108 inches
Length and girth combined: 130 inches
Maximum package weight
150 pounds
70 pounds

UPS® Ground vs. FedEx Ground®

And last but not least, let’s take a look at FedEx’s ground shipping offering: FedEx Ground. As you’ll notice, the services are pretty similar—the main difference is that FedEx Ground doesn’t do Saturday pickups or deliveries.

UPS Ground
FedEx Ground
Delivery time
1-5 days
1-5 days 
Delivery days
Maximum package dimensions
Length and girth combined: 165 inches. Any single dimension: 108 inches
Length and girth combined: 165 inches. Any single dimension: 108 inches
Maximum package weight
150 pounds
150 pounds

Is UPS® Ground shipping the best fit for you?

So, is UPS® Ground the right fit for your business? If your shipments meet the following criteria, UPS® Ground could be a good option: 

  • Domestic. UPS® Ground can only be used for domestic shipments. It covers all 50 states and Puerto Rico. 
  • Large packages. While UPS® Ground works well for small packages, it can handle large ones too: up to 150 pounds or 108 inches long.
  • Visibility: You get free tracking information for your shipment, 24/7.

Overall, UPS® Ground shipping is cost-effective and reliable. The provided delivery times are accurate, the pricing is competitive, and you can even track packages for free, 24/7. If you’re an ecommerce business that frequently ships domestically, UPS® Ground shipping could be a great option for you.

What is the most cost-effective way to ship ground?

What’s the most affordable way to ship ground? For a faster delivery time, USPS Ground Advantage is a good option. And if you’re sending larger packages, using either UPS® Ground or FedEx Ground makes a lot of sense. 

That’s a simple answer. But is it really so simple? In reality, many factors combine to determine the cost of shipping domestically: time, distance, value-added services, and more. 

Instead of puzzling over the most affordable way to ship ground, you can let EasyPost decide for you. Our shipping API connects with an extensive carrier network, automatically finding the best shipping methods so you get the best deal possible.

UPS® Ground frequently asked questions

Still have unanswered questions? Hopefully these FAQs will help clear things up.

What is ground shipping?

Ground shipping is the transportation of goods or packages over land, usually using trucks. It’s often the most economical option for shipping items within a country or region, especially when the delivery isn’t time-sensitive. 

Does UPS® Ground shipping come with insurance? 

Yes, UPS automatically covers up to $100 in declared value liability. 

What days and times does UPS® Ground operate?

UPS® Ground ships Monday through Saturday, and it’s the only major carrier that offers Saturday pick-ups

Most UPS packages are delivered by 8 PM at the latest.

Can you track packages sent via UPS® Ground?

You can track packages sent via UPS® Ground at no extra cost, 24/7. 

Save with UPS® Ground shipping on EasyPost

UPS® Ground shipping is an excellent way to send packages anywhere in the U.S. in less than a week. But before you dive in headfirst, consider a better way.

The EasyPost suite of shipping APIs automates the shipping process to save time and money. It starts by letting you connect with a huge collection of national, local, and regional carriers. When customers place online orders, EasyPost finds the best routes and rates, taking care of all the heavy lifting. You can track packages, print labels, and even add shipping insurance.

Sign up for free, then learn how EasyPost makes shipping with UPS a breeze.

*Discounts off UPS daily rates. Rates are limited to shipping from the U.S. only. Rates and any applicable discounts are subject to change at any time without notice.