E-commerce News and Insights
Feb 2, 2023

USPS Parcel Select Ground: Cost, Sizes, and How it Works

*Editors note: As of July 9th, 2023 the United States Postal Service (USPS) has consolidated three ground service levels (USPS First-Class Package Service, USPS Parcel Select Ground, and USPS Retail Ground) into one holistic ground service level aptly named: USPS Ground Advantage. This new service level will serve packages weighing up to 70 lbs and measure 130 inches in combined length plus girth. Deliveries are estimated to be made between 2-5 business days. To learn more, please visit our USPS Ground Advantage Blog.

Did you know that up to 64% of e-commerce users consider cost the most important part of shipping? Furthermore, according to Statista, the number one reason for cart abandonment in 2022 was due to extra costs like shipping being too high.

Considering this, it’s safe to say that offering low-cost shipping options is paramount to the success of your business. However, it can be tough to find affordable rates for shipping, especially when it comes to medium to large packages. Luckily, there’s a solution: USPS Parcel Select Ground.

What Is USPS Parcel Select?

USPS Parcel Select is an economical delivery service tailored to shippers who want to save money on shipping. USPS Parcel Select is not available at USPS Post Office locations; it must be requested online and with authorized partners such as Shippo.

What Is USPS Parcel Select Ground?

USPS Parcel Select Ground is the United States Postal Service’s affordable ground delivery service designed for medium-to-large parcel shippers. If shipping costs are more important to you and your customers than transit times, this might be the perfect shipping solution for you.

There is no shortage of benefits to using USPS Parcel Select Ground. Here are a few standout features that you can take advantage of:

  • Free USPS tracking
  • No residential, fuel or Saturday surcharges
  • Budget-friendly and reliable

Where Does USPS Parcel Select Ground Deliver to?

USPS Parcel Select Ground can handle your package if your desired destination is somewhere in the United States. This includes PO boxes, military addresses, Alaska, Hawaii, and rural destinations.

How Long Does USPS Parcel Select Ground Take?

With Parcel Select Ground, you will sacrifice transit times in exchange for reduced shipping costs. Transit times are based on the size, weight, and destination of your package and range anywhere from 2 to 5 business days in the continental U.S. If you’re shipping to Alaska or Hawaii, the transit can be longer.

You should also keep in mind that USPS Parcel Select Ground does not guarantee delivery dates. Though the USPS tracking number online projects an estimated delivery date, packages could arrive sooner or later than expected.

If you choose to use this shipping method, take care to set accurate expectations with your customers to avoid disputes and to promote a positive customer experience.

How Much Does USPS Parcel Select Ground Cost?

It’s no secret that offering affordable shipping rates can increase your sales and lead to higher customer satisfaction rates. With USPS Parcel Select Ground, you can access some of the cheapest USPS shipping rates available.

Parcel Select Ground shipping rates are based on your parcel’s weight, dimensions, and destination. Rates start at $7.47 but can be as much as $155.60 for packages weighing up to 70 pounds. Oversized packages, which exceed 108” in length but don’t exceed 130”, are charged extra fees and can cost up to $226 to ship.

USPS Parcel Select Ground Rules and Restrictions

Understanding the rules and restrictions surrounding USPS Parcel Select is your best defense against running into issues during the shipping process. Here’s a quick rundown of the most important things you should know:

    • Weight and Dimensions: Packages must weigh 70 pounds or less and cannot exceed 130 inches in length and girth.
  • Shipping Restrictions and Prohibitions: Items such as lithium batteries and aerosols can only be shipped under certain conditions. Shipments containing air bags, ammunition, explosives, gasoline, or marijuana are prohibited entirely. Refer to this publication for a complete list of restricted and prohibited items.
  • Shipping Labels: All USPS Parcel Select Ground parcels must include USPS shipping labels affixed to the outside of the packages.
  • Shipping Insurance: You must pay additional fees to insure shipments traveling via Parcel Select Ground.

How To Get Cheaper USPS Shipping Labels

Securing cheaper USPS shipping labels is a great way to champion a positive customer experience while increasing your bottom line. Creating an account with a USPS shipping software partner like Shippo gives you access to discounted shipping rates and gives you the tools you need to make shipping a breeze.

Another way to minimize the cost of USPS shipping is to use smart packaging protocols. A good rule of thumb is to try to use packaging that is as close to the dimensions of the package contents as possible. Remember to leave extra space as needed for protective shipping materials, such as packing peanuts or bubble wrap.

Does USPS Parcel Select Ground Have Tracking?

Any time you ship with Parcel Select Ground, you’ll have access to a tracking number that can be accessed online at any time. From the USPS website, you can see when the package shipped, where it’s located, and when the estimated delivery date is.

Additional Features for USPS Parcel Select

Even though Parcel Select Ground is tailored towards large or heavy commercial shipments, you’ll still have access to features that USPS offers on standard shipments. This includes the option to purchase shipping insurance and to schedule a pickup. You’ll also be able to request extra security measures, such as signature confirmation at delivery.

Parcel Select Ground vs. Priority Mail

Though Parcel Select Ground and Priority Mail both fall under the USPS umbrella, there are several major differences that set them apart. For example, Priority Mail includes up to $100 in shipping insurance free of charge. Parcel Select Ground, on the other hand, requires shippers to pay an additional fee to purchase shipping insurance.

Priority Mail customers also have the option to purchase flat-rate boxes, which allow them to pay a predetermined fee regardless of weight, dimensions, or destination – provided that everything fits in the supplied packaging. Conversely, Parcel Select Ground shipping charges are determined based on weight, dimensions, and distance to the destination address.

Transit times also vary between the two services. Priority Mail shipments can take 1-3 business days for packages to arrive at their destination. Parcel Select Ground shipments, on the other hand, can take anywhere from 2-5 business days.

Parcel Select Ground vs. USPS Retail Ground

Parcel Select Ground and USPS Retail Ground both offer low USPS shipping rates for large packages. The primary difference between the two is the cost – USPS Retail Ground is slightly more expensive than its Parcel Select Ground counterpart.

Another notable difference is that Parcel Select Ground can only be requested online, while Retail Ground can be used at the post office.

How to Use Parcel Select Ground

Ready to ship via USPS Parcel Select Ground? Simply input your customers shipping details, print labels through your Shippo account, attach them to your parcels, and drop off or schedule a pickup from a USPS rep today.

You’ll receive a unique USPS tracking number for each parcel you drop off. This allows you and your customers to monitor the progress of shipments throughout the transit process. Keep this number handy – you’ll need it to open an investigation if the package is lost or damaged during shipping.

The easiest way to use Parcel Select Ground is by utilizing shipping software such as Shippo. With Shippo, you’ll access exclusive shipping discounts, unmatched support, automation functions, and more.

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Sarah Gage
is a Michigan-based freelance writer covering business, marketing, and technology topics. She is also the owner of Content Conquered, a B2B-focused content marketing consultancy.

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