In the realm of shipping and logistics, the discontinuation of certain services can pave the way for newer, more efficient alternatives. In this comprehensive comparison article, we delve into the innovative Ground Advantage service and contrast it with the now-discontinued USPS Retail Ground, Parcel Select Ground, and USPS First-Class Package options. This analysis will shed light on the benefits, drawbacks, and key differentiators of each service, providing valuable insights for businesses navigating the world of shipping solutions.
Please Note – Effective July 10th, 2023, USPS has discontinued the individual services of USPS Retail Ground, Parcel Select Ground, and USPS First-Class Package. These services have been consolidated into a single service, henceforth referred to as Ground Advantage. For more details, check out this article.
USPS Has Recently Made Updates to its Range of Services
USPS has announced a number of changes to its shipping services, effective July 9, 2023. One of the most significant changes is the introduction of USPS Ground Advantage, a new shipping solution that promises cost savings and an improved shipping experience for customers.
They have discontinued the individual services of USPS Retail Ground, Parcel Select Ground, and USPS First-Class Package. These services have been consolidated into a single service, henceforth referred to as Ground Advantage.
The USPS made this decision in an effort to simplify its shipping offerings and make it easier for customers to choose the right service for their needs. Ground Advantage offers a two- to five-day shipping option that is available to businesses and individuals throughout the continental United States. The service is typically more affordable than other shipping services, such as FedEx and UPS, and it offers free package pickup service at your home or office.
Overview of Ground Advantage Services
USPS Ground Advantage is a new shipping service from the USPS that offers a two- to five-day shipping option that is available to businesses and individuals throughout the continental United States. The service is typically more affordable than other shipping services, such as FedEx and UPS, and it offers free package pickup service at your home or office.
Key Features of USPS Ground Advantage
Here are some of the key features of USPS Ground Advantage:
- Delivery time: Ground Advantage typically takes 2–5 business days for delivery.
- Price: Ground Advantage is typically more affordable than other shipping services.
- Package pickup: Ground Advantage offers free package pickup at your home or office.
- Tracking: All Ground Advantage shipments include tracking information, so you can see where your package is at all times.
- Hazmat shipping: Ground Advantage allows the shipping of hazardous materials that cannot be shipped by air.
- Insurance: Each Ground Advantage package is insured for up to $100, with the option to purchase additional coverage.
Ground Advantage does have a few limitations, including:
- Weight limit: The maximum weight for Ground Advantage is 70 pounds.
- Delivery time: Ground Advantage typically takes 2–5 business days for delivery, which is longer than some other shipping services.
If you are looking for a cost-effective shipping service with free package pickup and tracking, then Ground Advantage is a good option for you. However, if you need your package delivered sooner, then you may want to consider another shipping service.
USPS Retail Ground (Discontinued)
Formerly known as Standard Post, USPS Retail Ground was a discontinued service that offered economical ground shipping for larger and heavier items. It was often used by businesses and individuals for non-urgent deliveries. However, the discontinuation of this service prompted the need for alternatives like Ground Advantage, which combine the strengths of multiple carriers to provide a seamless shipping experience.
Parcel Select Ground (Discontinued)
Parcel Select Ground, another service that is no longer available, was designed for high-volume shippers looking for a reliable ground delivery option. It allowed businesses to ship parcels to destinations across the country. The discontinuation of Parcel Select Ground underscores the evolving nature of the shipping industry and the importance of exploring modern alternatives.
USPS First-Class Package (Discontinued)
USPS First-Class Package was a popular choice for shipping lightweight and small items affordably. While it served its purpose well, its discontinuation emphasizes the need for more versatile and comprehensive shipping solutions like Ground Advantage, which offers a broader range of shipping options and caters to various business needs.
Key Features Comparison
- Ground Advantage: Utilizes the USPS networks for efficient ground and last-mile deliveries.
- USPS Retail Ground: Discontinued; formerly offered economical ground shipping.
- Parcel Select Ground: Discontinued, focused on high-volume shippers.
- USPS First-Class Package: Discontinued, ideal for lightweight items.
- Ground Advantage: Offers a balance between cost-effective shipping and timely deliveries.
- USPS Retail Ground: Varies based on destination and volume.
- Parcel Select Ground: Offers varying delivery speeds based on shipping requirements.
- USPS First-Class Package: Typically had shorter delivery times for lightweight items.
- Ground Advantage: Leverages the extensive networks of both FedEx and USPS for nationwide coverage.
- USPS Retail Ground: Provided by USPS for ground shipping.
- Parcel Select Ground: Offered by USPS for ground deliveries.
- USPS First-Class Package: Geared toward lightweight items for nationwide delivery.
Tracking and Visibility
- Ground Advantage: Provides tracking and visibility throughout the shipping journey.
- USPS Retail Ground: Offered tracking, but the extent varied.
- Parcel Select Ground: Provided tracking options for shipments.
- USPS First-Class Package: Included tracking for packages.
- Ground Advantage: Competitive rates with a balance between cost and service quality.
- USPS Retail Ground: Cost-effective, but rates depend on factors like weight and distance.
- Parcel Select Ground: Rates varied based on volume and destination.
- USPS First-Class Package: Affordably priced for lightweight items.
The following table compares the key features of Ground Advantage to the discontinued services:
|Feature||Ground Advantage||Retail Ground||Parcel Select Ground||First-Class Package Service|
|Delivery time||2–5 business days||2–8 business days||2–8 business days||2–3 business days|
|Price||Typically more affordable than FedEx and UPS||Typically more affordable than Priority Mail||Typically more affordable than Priority Mail||Typically more affordable than Priority Mail Express|
|Insurance||Up to $100||Up to $100||Up to $100||Up to $100|
The Impact of the New USPS Service on Your Shipping Process with ELEX Plugins
When comparing the prices of different carriers for domestic shipments, users of the ELEX plugins will, as of the 10th of July, no longer be able to select USPS Retail Ground, Parcel Select Ground, or USPS First-Class Package as an option. Instead, only USPS Ground Advantage will be available.
The latest updates of the ELEX WooCommerce USPS Shipping Plugin with Shipment Tracking & Print Label, the ELEX EasyPost Shipping & Label Printing Plugin for WooCommerce, and the ELEX Stamps.com Shipping Plugin with USPS Postage for WooCommerce are equipped with the USPS Ground Advantage service.
The USPS is making a number of changes to its shipping services in an effort to remain competitive. These changes include the introduction of USPS Ground Advantage as well as increased prices and new packaging requirements. If you are a business or individual that ships packages, it is important to be aware of these changes so that you can plan accordingly.
Some important takeaways are listed below.
- USPS Ground Advantage offers a 2–5 day shipping option.
- It is typically more affordable than other shipping services, such as FedEx and UPS.
- Provides no-cost package pickup at your house or workplace.
- Packages are insured for up to $100, with the option to purchase additional coverage.
- Allows the shipping of hazardous materials.
Ground Advantage is an excellent choice for you if you are searching for a shipping service that is both affordable and provides free pickup and tracking of your packages.
If you have any questions regarding Ground Advantage service, please let us know in the comments section below.