What Is the Difference Between UPS Ground and UPS SurePost?

What Is the Difference Between UPS Ground and UPS SurePost? Even though the services of private shipping companies tend to be on the more expensive side compared to national postal services, companies like FedEx and UPS offer affordable shipping options to choose from. For example, UPS has UPS Ground and UPS SurePost: two economy shipping solutions that are sometimes confused with one another. What is the difference between the two?

Let’s start with the things that the two shipping options have in common. Both delivery services mainly handle non-urgent domestic shipments that are delivered via ground. They are slower but less expensive than other delivery options offered by UPS. Like other ground services, UPS Ground and UPS SurePost are aimed at those who prioritize price over speed.

This is where the similarities end and the differences begin. The first major difference between UPS Ground and UPS SurePost is that the former is a regular ground service and the latter is a hybrid shipping service akin to FedEx Ground Economy (formerly known as FedEx Smart Post) or DHL SmartMail.

What is a hybrid shipping service? It is a delivery service provided jointly by two shipping carriers, in this case UPS and the United States Postal Service (USPS). UPS accepts packages and delivers them to a post office location via its ground network; then the USPS takes over and becomes responsible for the final leg of delivery. Thanks to this collaboration, UPS SurePost shipments can be delivered to residential addresses in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, all US Territories, PO Boxes, and military APO/FPO/DPO addresses, while UPS Ground delivers only to US states and Puerto Rico.

There are also some minor difference between UPS SurePost and UPS Ground. UPS Ground is a little bit faster; its estimated delivery time is 1–5 business days, guaranteed, as opposed to UPS SurePost’s delivery time of 2–7 business days to destinations within the contiguous United States, or even longer to the rest of the available destinations. However, as usual, faster means more expensive. While both services are affordable, UPS SurePost is cheaper than UPS Ground.

Both services include automatic liability coverage for up to $100. However, UPS Ground allows to purchase additional insurance for a value up to $50,000, whereas UPS SurePost doesn’t have such an option. Another difference between the two services is the package weight and size limits: up to 70 lbs, 60 inches in length and 130 inches in length and girth combined for UPS SurePost packages, and up to 150 lbs, 108 inches in length and 165 inches in length and girth combined for UPS Ground.

However, the biggest difference between UPS Ground and UPS SurePost is that UPS Ground is an economy retail service available to everyone while UPS SurePost is a contract-only shipping service for business owners. UPS SurePost is typically used by online merchants that ship a large number of non-urgent, small and lightweight packages weighing less than 10 lbs.

So, let’s sum everything up. There isn’t much difference between UPS Ground and UPS SurePost on the recipient’s side; the only major difference is that UPS Ground shipments are delivered by a UPS driver and require a signature, whereas UPS SurePost shipments are delivered by a USPS mail carrier and can be left at a safe place within the given address even when there is no one home.

From customer perspective, the main difference between the two shipping options is that UPS Ground is available to everyone, whereas UPS SurePost is available only to businesses. Of course, businesses are also free to use UPS Ground if they think this option is better suited to their particular needs.