Shipping With UPS®: Everything E-Commerce Merchants Need To Know

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Shipping With UPS®: Everything E-Commerce Merchants Need To Know

Shipping With UPS®: Everything E-Commerce Merchants Need To Know

UPS® is a true global shipping and logistics powerhouse, serving more than 220 countries and territories around the world, employing over 540,000 workers, and delivering 24.7 million packages each day.

Given all of that, it’s easy to see why UPS is one of the top choices for e-commerce businesses looking for efficiency and reliability. Here, we’ll take an up-close look at shipping with UPS, including its history, service levels, and pricing structures.

UPS Shipping for E-Commerce Businesses

Since its founding, UPS has paved the way for global commerce and has played an integral role in fueling the e-commerce revolution of the 21st century. And while today’s e-commerce businesses have more shipping options than ever before, UPS has remained a favorite for four primary reasons:

  • A wide array of shipping services - With UPS, you can choose from several different service levels for both domestic and international shipments to accommodate a variety of needs and budgets.
  • Comprehensive tracking - UPS’ tracking is second-to-none, allowing customers to follow a shipment’s progress from start to finish and giving them peace of mind every step of the way.
  • Fast delivery - As we’ll discuss later on in this guide, UPS offers multiple shipping services for e-commerce businesses that need their packages to arrive in a hurry. Two popular options include UPS Next Day Air® and UPS 2nd Day Air® shipping services.
  • Multiple, convenient pickup options. This includes smart pickups, on-call pickups, daily pickups, and route pickups, which you can learn more about here.
  • Plenty of drop off options - There are more than 5,000 The UPS Store® retail locations in the U.S. and Canada. This gives e-commerce businesses plenty of ways to drop off packages for shipping and plenty of ways in which consumers can drop off returns.

UPS® Shipping Services

As mentioned, there are numerous UPS shipping options for e-commerce businesses. But here are some of the carrier’s more popular offerings, including delivery times, key benefits, and which types of customers each service is best suited for.

UPS® Standard

UPS® Standard service is a smart option if you’re looking for affordable shipping for non-urgent deliveries.

Service Name Est. Delivery Time Key Features
UPS® Standard End of the day in 3+ business days
  • Ships to the 48 contiguous states, as well as certain locations in Canada and Mexico
  • Door-to-door shipping service

UPS® Ground

Like UPS® Standard, service UPS® Ground shipping is ideal for non-urgent packages where you want to keep costs to a minimum, but also need to know when your shipment will arrive.

Service Name Est. Delivery Time Key Features
UPS® Ground 1-5 business days
  • Economical options
  • Day-definite delivery

Though the estimated delivery times are between 1-5 days, 90% of UPS® Ground Packages are delivered in 3 days or less.

Shippo customers shipping with UPS will get access to deeply discounted rates on UPS® Ground shipping and no peak surcharges. Savings can reach up to 78% off retail prices*. Here are a couple of examples of those savings:

UPS Ground - NY to ATL
UPS Ground - Chicago to ATL
UPS Ground - ATL to Dallas

One other aspect of UPS® Ground worth noting is that Saturday delivery is available at no additional cost to more than 100 metro areas across the U.S.**

UPS 3 Day Select®

UPS 3 Day Select® is for shippers who are looking for a shorter definitive delivery date but are still price conscientious. Here is a quick overview of this service level.

Service Name Est. Delivery Time Key Features
UPS 3 Day Select® Guaranteed 3-day delivery to the 48 contiguous states with packages arriving as late as end of day on the third day.
  • Free packaging available for this service
  • Discounts as high as 73%
  • Packages can weigh up to 150 pounds and have a maximum combined length and girth of 165 inches.

One important thing to note is that the 3 days associated with this service are for business days. However, Saturday delivery can be available as long as you specify with the carrier before purchasing a label.

UPS 2nd Day Air® Services

If you’re looking for a shipment to meet the 2-3 day delivery window (as that is the most commonly purchased service level) and want complete reliability, UPS 2nd Day Air® shipping is a good choice.

Service Name Est. Delivery Time Key Features
UPS 2nd Day Air® Guaranteed two-day delivery to the 48 contiguous states and Puerto Rico with packages arriving by end of day on the second day.
  • More cost-effective than overnight delivery
  • Free packaging available for this service
UPS 2nd Day Air A.M®  Packages delivered on the 2nd day by 10:30 am or 12:00 p.m. specifically to the U.S. mainland.
  • More cost-effective than overnight delivery
  • Free packaging available for this service

Savings can reach up to 73% for this service with Shippo. You can see some examples of rates for this service through Shippo below:

UPS 2nd Day Air - Chicago to NY
UPS 2nd Day Air - Atlanta to Dallas
UPS 2nd Day Air - Phoenix to Washington D.C.

UPS Next Day Air® Shipping Services

This is a lightning-fast shipping option that ensures packages arrive the next business day. Although it’s one of the most expensive options for e-commerce sellers, UPS Next Day Air® is a perfect option to offer your customers who need their orders as soon as possible. It is also perfect for merchants whose products can’t be in transit for long such as those shipping food, plants, or other items that could spoil during shipping.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to drop off your package with UPS before your local store closes in order for these packages to be delivered in the time frame they are supposed to.

Service Name Est. Delivery Time Key Features
UPS Next Day Air® Next business days to locations throughout the entire US and Puerto Rico
  • Time-definite delivery or your money back
  • Free packaging available for this service
UPS Next Day Air® Early Next business day as early as 8 a.m. to most major U.S. cities. Other cities can expect deliveries between 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
  • Time-definite delivery or your money back
  • Free packaging available for this service
UPS Next Day Air® Saver Most deliveries are made between 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. but can arrive by the end of the day up to 11:59 p.m.
  • Time-definite delivery or your money back
  • Free packaging available for this service

Shippo users can take advantage of discounts of up to 73% for these next-day options. Some discounts you can expect when shipping UPS Next Day Air® include:

UPS Next Day Air - ATL to Dallas
UPS Next Day Air - Phoenix to Washington DC
UPS Next Day Air - Chicago to NY

UPS Worldwide Express® Shipping Services

If you’re looking for highly reliable international shipping from the US, UPS Worldwide Express® is a great option to consider.

Service Name Est. Delivery Time Key Features
UPS Worldwide Express®
  • Next day service to most of Canada
  • 2 days to Mexico, Latin America, and Europe, with delivery times as early as 10:30 am
  • 3+ days to the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, with delivery times as early as noon
  • Ships from the US to 140 countries around the world
  • Day-definite delivery or your money back
  • In-house customs clearance is provided
UPS Worldwide Express Plus®
  • 2-3 business days and orders arrive as early as 8 a.m.
  • Only available to the top 20 countries in terms of GDP (mainly Asia and Europe)
UPS Worldwide Express Saver®
  • Deliveries are made between 1-3 business days.
  • Free UPS packaging is available
  • Packages delivered by the end of the day
UPS Worldwide Express Expedited®
  • Deliveries made between 2-5 business days.
  • Send parcels to over 220 countries and territories
  • Up to three delivery attempts
  • Packages delivered by the end of the day

Shippo users can get discounts of up to 82% for International services provided by UPS. To get an idea of these savings, check out these examples for UPS Worldwide Express Saver®:

UPS Worldwide Saver - San Fransisco to Paris
UPS Worldwide Saver - NYC to Quebec
UPS Worldwide Saver - Los Angeles to Hong Kong

One important note to consider when shipping internationally with UPS is that Shippo now offers UPS PaperlessTM Invoice. What this means is that you no longer need to print and attach a customs invoice to your package. Instead, all the necessary information is sent to the customs agency of the country you’re delivering to in advance.

This feature can be useful for international shippers because with it you can

  • Avoid customs invoices getting lost in transit
  • Speed up the customs clearance process
  • Save money on ink and paper
  • Have a greener shipping footprint
  • Keep all customs values confidential

Try shipping internationally today to see if your package qualifies for UPS PaperlessTM Invoice.

Determining UPS® Shipping Costs

How much you spend to send a package will depend on three main factors:

  • How far you’re shipping it - UPS breaks deliveries down into different zones. The further a package travels, the more it costs to ship.
  • Weight - Generally speaking, the heavier a package is, the more expensive it is to ship. Note that UPS has a maximum weight limit of 150 lbs for most common e-commerce shipping services. Anything over that limit will be subject to an Over Maximum Limits charge.
  • Size - Most UPS services will let you ship packages that measure up to 160 inches in length plus girth. Anything past that may incur an additional fee.
  • Delivery time - The faster a delivery arrives, the more you’ll pay. As noted, basic services such as UPS® Standard and UPS® Ground shipping will be significantly less expensive than expedited services like UPS 2nd Day Air® and UPS Next Day Air® shipping.

Getting a quote from UPS requires providing key information upfront, including your origin address, delivery address, destination type, and shipping date. However, you can streamline this process significantly and get a UPS rate quote faster via web dashboard or API with a tool like Shippo.

UPS® Shipping Software

Besides just quickly calculating accurate quotes, there are several other key advantages of using a UPS shipping software. Perhaps the biggest is the massive discounts you can access. With Shippo, for instance, you can create discounted printing labels and save up to:

  • 78% on UPS® Ground shipments
  • 73% on UPS 2nd Day Air® shipments
  • 73% on UPS Next Day Air® ship
  • 82% on International services

To get started, you simply connect your UPS account to Shippo to view your discounted UPS rates in real-time. Or, if you need help, learn how to add Shippo’s UPS master account to your account here.

On top of that, Shippo also lets you:

  • Avoid common UPS surcharges such as Fuel, Residential, and Peak surcharges.
  • Validate addresses to ensure packages reach their correct destination
  • Quickly create invoices and packing slips
  • Easily generate return labels to make returns a breeze
  • Pre-fill customs documentation and packing slips to save time
  • Add shipping insurance to provide peace of mind
  • Send automatic email tracking information to customers so they know when a package will arrive

Finally, with Shippo, you’ll enjoy comprehensive analytics that give you an always-on view of your order history, shipping efficiency, and how much you’re spending. Over time, you can use this data to continually refine your UPS shipping processes to maximize your productivity and profitability.

The Rich of History of UPS

United Parcel Service (UPS) has deep roots, going all the way back to 1907. The carrier was formed in Seattle, Washington when two teenage entrepreneurs — Claude Ryan and Jim Casey — took out a $100 loan to begin a package delivery business. By 1919, the two had expanded to Oakland, California, after which they scaled throughout the rest of the US, moving their headquarters to Los Angeles, New York, and then eventually to Atlanta where it remains today.

One particularly noteworthy highlight of UPS’ history was the shipper becoming the first delivery company to serve every address in the continental US in 1975. Ten years later, in 1985, UPS was the first service to offer Next Day Air® in the 48-contiguous states, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. In the same year, UPS launched the first intercontinental air service, reaching from the US to key destinations in Europe. Since its founding, UPS paved the way for global commerce and has played an integral role in fueling the e-commerce revolution of the 21st century.

Learn more about how Shippo can help you ship smarter through a full range of helpful e-commerce features.

*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.

**Select UPS® Ground packages with a committed delivery day of Monday or Tuesday may be eligible to receive delivery on the Saturday prior to their committed delivery date in territories eligible for Saturday Residential delivery

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Shipping With UPS®: Everything E-Commerce Merchants Need To Know

UPS® is a true global shipping and logistics powerhouse, serving more than 220 countries and territories around the world, employing over 540,000 workers, and delivering 24.7 million packages each day.

Given all of that, it’s easy to see why UPS is one of the top choices for e-commerce businesses looking for efficiency and reliability. Here, we’ll take an up-close look at shipping with UPS, including its history, service levels, and pricing structures.

UPS Shipping for E-Commerce Businesses

Since its founding, UPS has paved the way for global commerce and has played an integral role in fueling the e-commerce revolution of the 21st century. And while today’s e-commerce businesses have more shipping options than ever before, UPS has remained a favorite for four primary reasons:

  • A wide array of shipping services - With UPS, you can choose from several different service levels for both domestic and international shipments to accommodate a variety of needs and budgets.
  • Comprehensive tracking - UPS’ tracking is second-to-none, allowing customers to follow a shipment’s progress from start to finish and giving them peace of mind every step of the way.
  • Fast delivery - As we’ll discuss later on in this guide, UPS offers multiple shipping services for e-commerce businesses that need their packages to arrive in a hurry. Two popular options include UPS Next Day Air® and UPS 2nd Day Air® shipping services.
  • Multiple, convenient pickup options. This includes smart pickups, on-call pickups, daily pickups, and route pickups, which you can learn more about here.
  • Plenty of drop off options - There are more than 5,000 The UPS Store® retail locations in the U.S. and Canada. This gives e-commerce businesses plenty of ways to drop off packages for shipping and plenty of ways in which consumers can drop off returns.

UPS® Shipping Services

As mentioned, there are numerous UPS shipping options for e-commerce businesses. But here are some of the carrier’s more popular offerings, including delivery times, key benefits, and which types of customers each service is best suited for.

UPS® Standard

UPS® Standard service is a smart option if you’re looking for affordable shipping for non-urgent deliveries.

Service Name Est. Delivery Time Key Features
UPS® Standard End of the day in 3+ business days
  • Ships to the 48 contiguous states, as well as certain locations in Canada and Mexico
  • Door-to-door shipping service

UPS® Ground

Like UPS® Standard, service UPS® Ground shipping is ideal for non-urgent packages where you want to keep costs to a minimum, but also need to know when your shipment will arrive.

Service Name Est. Delivery Time Key Features
UPS® Ground 1-5 business days
  • Economical options
  • Day-definite delivery

Though the estimated delivery times are between 1-5 days, 90% of UPS® Ground Packages are delivered in 3 days or less.

Shippo customers shipping with UPS will get access to deeply discounted rates on UPS® Ground shipping and no peak surcharges. Savings can reach up to 78% off retail prices*. Here are a couple of examples of those savings:

UPS Ground - NY to ATL
UPS Ground - Chicago to ATL
UPS Ground - ATL to Dallas

One other aspect of UPS® Ground worth noting is that Saturday delivery is available at no additional cost to more than 100 metro areas across the U.S.**

UPS 3 Day Select®

UPS 3 Day Select® is for shippers who are looking for a shorter definitive delivery date but are still price conscientious. Here is a quick overview of this service level.

Service Name Est. Delivery Time Key Features
UPS 3 Day Select® Guaranteed 3-day delivery to the 48 contiguous states with packages arriving as late as end of day on the third day.
  • Free packaging available for this service
  • Discounts as high as 73%
  • Packages can weigh up to 150 pounds and have a maximum combined length and girth of 165 inches.

One important thing to note is that the 3 days associated with this service are for business days. However, Saturday delivery can be available as long as you specify with the carrier before purchasing a label.

UPS 2nd Day Air® Services

If you’re looking for a shipment to meet the 2-3 day delivery window (as that is the most commonly purchased service level) and want complete reliability, UPS 2nd Day Air® shipping is a good choice.

Service Name Est. Delivery Time Key Features
UPS 2nd Day Air® Guaranteed two-day delivery to the 48 contiguous states and Puerto Rico with packages arriving by end of day on the second day.
  • More cost-effective than overnight delivery
  • Free packaging available for this service
UPS 2nd Day Air A.M®  Packages delivered on the 2nd day by 10:30 am or 12:00 p.m. specifically to the U.S. mainland.
  • More cost-effective than overnight delivery
  • Free packaging available for this service

Savings can reach up to 73% for this service with Shippo. You can see some examples of rates for this service through Shippo below:

UPS 2nd Day Air - Chicago to NY
UPS 2nd Day Air - Atlanta to Dallas
UPS 2nd Day Air - Phoenix to Washington D.C.

UPS Next Day Air® Shipping Services

This is a lightning-fast shipping option that ensures packages arrive the next business day. Although it’s one of the most expensive options for e-commerce sellers, UPS Next Day Air® is a perfect option to offer your customers who need their orders as soon as possible. It is also perfect for merchants whose products can’t be in transit for long such as those shipping food, plants, or other items that could spoil during shipping.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to drop off your package with UPS before your local store closes in order for these packages to be delivered in the time frame they are supposed to.

Service Name Est. Delivery Time Key Features
UPS Next Day Air® Next business days to locations throughout the entire US and Puerto Rico
  • Time-definite delivery or your money back
  • Free packaging available for this service
UPS Next Day Air® Early Next business day as early as 8 a.m. to most major U.S. cities. Other cities can expect deliveries between 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
  • Time-definite delivery or your money back
  • Free packaging available for this service
UPS Next Day Air® Saver Most deliveries are made between 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. but can arrive by the end of the day up to 11:59 p.m.
  • Time-definite delivery or your money back
  • Free packaging available for this service

Shippo users can take advantage of discounts of up to 73% for these next-day options. Some discounts you can expect when shipping UPS Next Day Air® include:

UPS Next Day Air - ATL to Dallas
UPS Next Day Air - Phoenix to Washington DC
UPS Next Day Air - Chicago to NY

UPS Worldwide Express® Shipping Services

If you’re looking for highly reliable international shipping from the US, UPS Worldwide Express® is a great option to consider.

Service Name Est. Delivery Time Key Features
UPS Worldwide Express®
  • Next day service to most of Canada
  • 2 days to Mexico, Latin America, and Europe, with delivery times as early as 10:30 am
  • 3+ days to the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, with delivery times as early as noon
  • Ships from the US to 140 countries around the world
  • Day-definite delivery or your money back
  • In-house customs clearance is provided
UPS Worldwide Express Plus®
  • 2-3 business days and orders arrive as early as 8 a.m.
  • Only available to the top 20 countries in terms of GDP (mainly Asia and Europe)
UPS Worldwide Express Saver®
  • Deliveries are made between 1-3 business days.
  • Free UPS packaging is available
  • Packages delivered by the end of the day
UPS Worldwide Express Expedited®
  • Deliveries made between 2-5 business days.
  • Send parcels to over 220 countries and territories
  • Up to three delivery attempts
  • Packages delivered by the end of the day

Shippo users can get discounts of up to 82% for International services provided by UPS. To get an idea of these savings, check out these examples for UPS Worldwide Express Saver®:

UPS Worldwide Saver - San Fransisco to Paris
UPS Worldwide Saver - NYC to Quebec
UPS Worldwide Saver - Los Angeles to Hong Kong

One important note to consider when shipping internationally with UPS is that Shippo now offers UPS PaperlessTM Invoice. What this means is that you no longer need to print and attach a customs invoice to your package. Instead, all the necessary information is sent to the customs agency of the country you’re delivering to in advance.

This feature can be useful for international shippers because with it you can

  • Avoid customs invoices getting lost in transit
  • Speed up the customs clearance process
  • Save money on ink and paper
  • Have a greener shipping footprint
  • Keep all customs values confidential

Try shipping internationally today to see if your package qualifies for UPS PaperlessTM Invoice.

Determining UPS® Shipping Costs

How much you spend to send a package will depend on three main factors:

  • How far you’re shipping it - UPS breaks deliveries down into different zones. The further a package travels, the more it costs to ship.
  • Weight - Generally speaking, the heavier a package is, the more expensive it is to ship. Note that UPS has a maximum weight limit of 150 lbs for most common e-commerce shipping services. Anything over that limit will be subject to an Over Maximum Limits charge.
  • Size - Most UPS services will let you ship packages that measure up to 160 inches in length plus girth. Anything past that may incur an additional fee.
  • Delivery time - The faster a delivery arrives, the more you’ll pay. As noted, basic services such as UPS® Standard and UPS® Ground shipping will be significantly less expensive than expedited services like UPS 2nd Day Air® and UPS Next Day Air® shipping.

Getting a quote from UPS requires providing key information upfront, including your origin address, delivery address, destination type, and shipping date. However, you can streamline this process significantly and get a UPS rate quote faster via web dashboard or API with a tool like Shippo.

UPS® Shipping Software

Besides just quickly calculating accurate quotes, there are several other key advantages of using a UPS shipping software. Perhaps the biggest is the massive discounts you can access. With Shippo, for instance, you can create discounted printing labels and save up to:

  • 78% on UPS® Ground shipments
  • 73% on UPS 2nd Day Air® shipments
  • 73% on UPS Next Day Air® ship
  • 82% on International services

To get started, you simply connect your UPS account to Shippo to view your discounted UPS rates in real-time. Or, if you need help, learn how to add Shippo’s UPS master account to your account here.

On top of that, Shippo also lets you:

  • Avoid common UPS surcharges such as Fuel, Residential, and Peak surcharges.
  • Validate addresses to ensure packages reach their correct destination
  • Quickly create invoices and packing slips
  • Easily generate return labels to make returns a breeze
  • Pre-fill customs documentation and packing slips to save time
  • Add shipping insurance to provide peace of mind
  • Send automatic email tracking information to customers so they know when a package will arrive

Finally, with Shippo, you’ll enjoy comprehensive analytics that give you an always-on view of your order history, shipping efficiency, and how much you’re spending. Over time, you can use this data to continually refine your UPS shipping processes to maximize your productivity and profitability.

The Rich of History of UPS

United Parcel Service (UPS) has deep roots, going all the way back to 1907. The carrier was formed in Seattle, Washington when two teenage entrepreneurs — Claude Ryan and Jim Casey — took out a $100 loan to begin a package delivery business. By 1919, the two had expanded to Oakland, California, after which they scaled throughout the rest of the US, moving their headquarters to Los Angeles, New York, and then eventually to Atlanta where it remains today.

One particularly noteworthy highlight of UPS’ history was the shipper becoming the first delivery company to serve every address in the continental US in 1975. Ten years later, in 1985, UPS was the first service to offer Next Day Air® in the 48-contiguous states, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. In the same year, UPS launched the first intercontinental air service, reaching from the US to key destinations in Europe. Since its founding, UPS paved the way for global commerce and has played an integral role in fueling the e-commerce revolution of the 21st century.

Learn more about how Shippo can help you ship smarter through a full range of helpful e-commerce features.

*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.

**Select UPS® Ground packages with a committed delivery day of Monday or Tuesday may be eligible to receive delivery on the Saturday prior to their committed delivery date in territories eligible for Saturday Residential delivery

Looking For a Multi-carrier Shipping Platform?

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Pre-built integrations into shopping carts like Magento, Shopify, Amazon, eBay, and others.
Support for dozens of carriers including USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL.
Simple pricing: Cost of shipping + 5 cents per label. Label fees are waived when using Shippo’s carrier accounts.
Shipping Insurance: Insure your packages at an affordable cost.
Shipping API for building your own shipping solution.

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