3 day+ delivery is a shipping option for packages that don’t need to meet a strict deadline for arrival. Extended delivery windows for shipping is good for customers that don’t care how long an item takes to ship, as long as it arrives and they didn’t pay a lot for shipping.
For the chart below, where relevant we’ll color code the table cells to indicate if a USPS flat-rate or regional-rate option may be more cost-effective. To use these tables simply find the row in the table with your shipment weight and the column with your destination zone; the code at their intersection will tell you who is typically the lowest-cost carrier for that scenario (based on USPS Commercial Plus® pricing and standard FedEx and UPS pricing, including residential and fuel surcharges).
If the cell is colored, look at the key to find out which USPS flat- or regional-rate service might be an even better deal.
Cheapest Over 3 Day Delivery Options in 2019
This delivery time frame is actually the most complicated due to the number of different services that can be considered. We have attempted to simplify it by including the services that are, in our view, most relevant:
- USPS Priority Mail® with Commercial Plus® Pricing is the least expensive option for most packages under 8 lb. and has the huge bonus of almost certainly getting your package to its destination faster than any other option listed here.
- USPS Retail Ground is not offered with Commercial Plus® Pricing, so PM with Commercial Plus® Pricing often offers a lower cost. We included Retail Ground pricing in our analysis but it didn’t win for any weight/zone combination.
- FedEx Ground® offers the lowest-cost option for most weight/zone combinations above 15 lb., and for all combinations between 26 and 150 lb.
- USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate® or Regional Rate® Boxes can also provide a compelling value proposition for all packages up to 70 lb. Consider them for weight/zone combinations as noted in the table key.
- UPS is the only carrier that will handle packages over 150 lb.
Typically Least Expensive Carrier
Ground shipping is one of the cheaper options utilized by many e-commerce retailers for delivering orders to customers. Some will absorb these shipping costs completely or offer a small flat shipping fee while customers wait 3+ days for their package to arrive. Orders online aren’t always urgent, and customers can appreciate the chance to save on shipping, even if it means waiting a bit longer. Below is the comparison of the 3 major carriers and their ground delivery options.
2019 Ground Shipping Rate Table: FedEx, UPS, and USPS
*Rates are shown for USPS Priority Mail® Commercial Plus Pricing, FedEx Ground® Standard Pricing with residential and fuel surcharges, and UPS Ground® Daily Rates with residential and fuel surcharges.
It’s important to note that we used USPS Priority Mail for 3+ day, although the vast majority of Priority Mail packages arrive to their destination within 2-3 days. UPS and FedEx Ground also typically arrive within 3 days, with the occasional delivery window extension that can go beyond 3 days, although it is rare.
Since costs are going up across the board, thinking about diversifying shipping services used for your orders and which carrier to work with has become a bit more nuanced. Surcharges and extra fees can really cut into costs, so making them a part of your initial shipping choices can help paint a clear picture of what’s best for your business.