Ground shipping vs. Economy shipping: what’s the difference?

By Oleg Mikhailenko
Published in Solutions
April 26, 2022
3 min read
Everything you need to know about ground shipping.

When you’re looking to ship your products out to the customers waiting eagerly for their packages at home, you might come across a number of options while pursuing the offerings of your courier partners. Two that might catch your eye are “economy” or “standard” and “ground”. But what’s the difference between economy vs. ground shipping, or economy vs. standard shipping? What is standard ground shipping, anyway? How much do all of these cost? And most importantly, how fast can you reasonably expect your goods to be delivered when choosing either of these options? Read on to discover the answers to all these questions and more so you can make the best possible choice for you and your business.

First of all, we need to define our terms. What’s ground shipping? Put simply, it just means sending out shipments using trains and trucks as opposed to flying them on a plane or sailing them over water. Standard ground shipment times can be longer than other forms of transportation as it takes a much longer time for the trucks to navigate long stretches of land than it would take for an airplane to fly over them. To be blunt, the answer to the question “how fast is ground shipping” is “not very”. On the plus side, however, there’s plenty of cheap ground shipping meaning solutions are certainly available. What you lose in speed, you make up for in efficiency of price. If you’re looking at the option of offering free delivery to your customers (and you should! Studies show that it’s one of the single biggest factors that determine whether a customer purchases something), offering free ground delivery is an excellent way to keep customers happy without breaking the bank. Do note, however, that this kind of shipping is typically only offered domestically. What does domestic shipping mean? Just within the same country. International orders typically require air delivery, which is more costly.

Economy, on the other hand, simply means the cheapest method is used. This may very well mean it’s delivered over ground, but this phrase is more focused on the price rather than exact methods. If you’re getting your packages sent for the lowest possible rate, you’re choosing the economy option whether it’s delivered in trucks or put on a boat. This is different from standard options, which typically go by efficiency rather than price.

Aside from price, one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to selecting your preferred option is the ship times estimate. If one option takes two days to deliver but the other option takes seven, that tips the scales significantly even if there’s a large difference in price. So how fast is standard shipping? UPS calculates its standard offering as taking anywhere from 3-7 business days, usually on the lower end of the spectrum. Ground methods, meanwhile, typically take an average of five business days unless the departure and arrival points happen to be quite close together.

These are wide date ranges, but a lot of this has to do with delivery zones in the United States. It takes a lot less time, for instance, to ship something from Louisville to Cincinnati as opposed to sending something from Boston to Seattle. As a result, American courier service and delivery providers do their best to provide a wide window of delivery times in order to make sure they don’t promise a result to the customer they can’t meet.

If speed is your goal, you should absolutely select costlier but far more efficient air transport, which will get your products into your customers’ hands in just a couple of days. However, since free delivery is one of the things consumers find to be most important in today’s economic landscape, there’s little need to eat the cost if you don’t absolutely have to. Economy ground shipping costs are far less than aerial options. So instead, you can keep your customers loyal and save money by offering free economy shipping over a minimum order value that’s slightly higher than the average order you get from your site— for instance, if the average customer usually purchases 25 dollars worth of goods, you might set the minimum free delivery order value at 30.

In conclusion, the difference between ground and economy shipping is often just a matter of terminology. Most economy options often use train and truck transport through most or all of the transportation process, but it’s still helpful to understand the difference between the two so you’re able to make sure to precisely communicate with your business partners and consumers and prevent any confusion or misunderstandings.

Regardless of which choices are best for you and your business, P2Pseller has your back. By allowing literally anyone with spare space to monetize that space for light warehousing and storage on a free and decentralized marketplace, we make sure you as a merchant are able to find the best fulfillment partner in your local community so you can sell more, deliver faster, and keep your customers happy. Make a free account with P2Pseller today in order to browse our offerings and see exactly how we can help you make your business grow.


Tags

#economy#standard#shipping#ground#shipment#time#estimate#domestic#cost#cheap
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It’s not easy to book fulfillment services. P2Pseller can help.

Oleg Mikhailenko

Co-Founder, CEO P2Pseller

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