Standard Ground Shipping: Couriers To Target, Pricing, Pros And Cons & Tracking Options

Standard Ground Shipping remains one of the most economical ways to move a parcel from the shipper (the company preparing the parcel) to the consignee (receiver). 

The process involves the delivery of packages by land, with a few exceptions to areas best serviced by boats, such as Alaska and Hawaii. Despite being budget-friendly, standard ground shipping still features pros and cons.

For example, you can send almost anything via standard ground shipping, but the delivery may take a few extra days or be susceptible to damage.

This is why it is crucial to have more than one shipping option as an e-commerce merchant and have the necessary compliance documents like (49-CFR in the U.S.) and IATA (for air shipping).

Moving forward, this guide explains standard ground shipping and its pros and cons. You will also discover couriers that offer this service, their requirements or recommendations, and how to track such shipments.

What is Standard Ground Shipping?


Ground shipping means cargo delivery by road via a truck, bike, or train. This shipping option can be “standard” or “express.” 

Standard ground shipping is the regular option which involves a lesser fee and delivery in a few days.

Its opposite is express shipping or express ground shipping. Express shipment costs more than standard shipping but guarantees a faster or same-day delivery. 

Which Courier Offers Standard Ground Shipping?

It is rare for a courier not to offer ground shipping or even express shipping. Here is a list of popular couriers that offer this service, their fees (in U.S. dollars), and the estimated time of delivery: 

1. UPS Ground Shipping 

  • Delivery via standard ground shipping with UPS usually takes 1 to 5 business days.
  • The minimum rate for a package can be up to $11.84 or more (including residential and fuel surcharge.
  • UPS also offers real-time tracking that allows both the sender and receiver of the package to know the date and time for delivery.
  • Standard package insurance can be up to $100. Additional coverage may also be purchased
  • The length and width of your package should not exceed 165 inches

2. USPS Retail Ground

  • Delivery via retail ground or road shipping usually takes 2 to 8 business days.
  • On rare occasions, delivery can last up to 14 days.
  • The minimum rate for a package is about $7.35.
  • Real-time tracking is also possible.
  • Standard package insurance is $50 (for Priority Mail) and $100 (for Priority Mail Express). Additional coverage may apply to higher-value items.
  • Package size should not exceed 108 x 130 inches.

3. FedEx Ground

  • Delivery via FedEx Ground usually takes 1 to 5 business days, depending on the location.
  • The base or minimum rate for a package is about $36 and can be calculated on the courier’s website.
  • You can easily track your package using a mobile phone.
  • Standard package insurance can be up to $100. You are allowed to purchase an additional coverage.
  • Package size (length and width) should not exceed 165 inches.

4. DHL Standard Shipping 

  • Delivery via DHL standard shipping usually takes about 3 to 8 postal days.
  • The base rate per package can be calculated on the website and depends on the type of shipment 
  • Offers live tracking
  • Standard package insurance can be up to $100. You can also purchase an additional coverage.
  • Size limits vary by country and service level. Hence, it is advisable to check with DHL for size restrictions in your area before choosing a shipping option.

Pros and Cons of Standard Ground Shipping 


  1. The major benefit of standard ground shipping is that it is the most affordable means of delivering a package.
  2. Ground shipping offers drop-off and pick-up facilities alongside real-time tracking.
  3. You can ship almost anything as long as it is not illegal. Ground shipping is one of the best ways to transport heavy items like upholsteries.
  4. Delays are also not a common occurrence with ground shipping. Even during adverse weather conditions, trucks and bikes often get cleared for delivery, unlike freight deliveries.


There isn’t much in terms of cons or downsides to standard ground shipping: 

  1. The only concern is that more online shoppers now prefer quicker delivery, as seen in (express deliveries). Hence, as an e-commerce merchant, you should offer your shoppers more options to avoid losing them.
  2. Ground shipping is also more vulnerable to security concerns

Best Way to Track Standard Ground Shipment

Most courier services provide a tracking number for shipments being delivered by road for free. The essence of this ID is to keep the sender and receiver of the package informed about when the package will eventually arrive and the time.

There are two ways to track standard ground shipments. You can either go to the courier’s website and enter your tracking ID into their tracking portal or use a third-party app like Trackerly or Parcel Monitor.


Who delivers standard ground shipping?

Couriers that provide standard ground shipping within the U.S. include FedEx, USPS, and UPS.

What is the fastest shipping called?

Priority Mail Express offers the fastest mail or delivery service. It provides a guaranteed 24 or 48-hour expedited service with an additional $100 insurance coverage.

Is standard shipping faster than economy?

Standard shipping may be a bit faster than the economy regarding international shipping. Nevertheless, both terms are used interchangeably.


Standard ground shipping remains the most affordable way to transport a package from one location to another. While this option may not generate the highest revenue for an e-commerce company, it is renowned for its high demand.

From the courier option in this guide, it is safe to say that USPS offers the cheapest standard shipping but can be a few days slower. On the other hand, UPS offers the best of both features (shipping fee and turnaround).

I hope you found this guide. As I said earlier, express delivery options are also worth considering, especially if your package is time-bound.

Thanks for reading.