What Does Ground Shipping Mean & What Are The Benefits?

What does ground shipping mean? This is a question asked by many customers, especially small-time business owners.

Ground, or land, freight shipping is just as the name implies—a delivery done by land. This involves the use of trucks or trains to complete deliveries.

In this article, I will discuss ground shipping, how it works, the benefits of using this method, and the top shipping couriers in the United States that offer this service.

What does ground shipping mean?

Ground shipping is any delivery using roads or railways, not air or sea. It is one of the cheapest ways of shipping used by many logistics companies.

It is no new thing that customers like quick deliveries. However, a study shows that 70% of customers prefer cheap or free delivery. This is where land freight shipping comes into play.

How does ground shipping work?

Once the order is placed by the customer, the item is packed and made available for delivery. The shipment postage is then printed and placed on the item’s package.

Afterward, the item is picked up by the courier service. The package is then moved by truck or other means of road transportation to a sorting facility.

Depending on the distance to the final destination, it may go directly to the customer or another sorting facility. At the sorting facility, it is sorted and placed on another truck heading to a facility closer to the destination. This will continue until the package arrives at the final destination.

Types of ground shipping

There are two types of ground shipping, namely, standard and free ground shipping.

1. Standard ground shipping

This is regular land freight shipping. Once a customer chooses this option, the package will be sent via truck, van, or any other means of transportation by road.

It is used mostly for domestic shipping. But it can also be used for international shipping, depending on the courier service used.

2. Free ground shipping

Free shipping also involves shipping by land but is generally free. This kind of shipping is available mostly during promos, service promotions, or to gain a competitive edge over others.

Companies offer this service to customers who meet certain criteria. Mostly when they purchase certain amounts of goods from them.

What are the benefits of ground shipment?

Although land freight shipping is not the fastest for deliveries, it does have some benefits.

1. Cost effective

The main benefit of this shipping method is that it is cost-effective for both the customer and small business owner. Since the delivery is done by land, it helps the courier service cut costs, which is reflected in the fee.

2. Accurate tracking

Tracking your package with land freight shipping tends to be easier than others. In fact, you can even get an accurate estimate of the day or period your package will be delivered.

And if the package is delayed for any reason, you will likely get a relevant update. These updates may come as “Potential delay in transit” or “in transit, arriving late”.

3. Less prone to issues

Different issues will likely occur when other shipping options are used, causing delays. Issues like customs and severe weather conditions delay deliveries by a few days or weeks.

When land freight shipping is used, the issues that may occur are usually minor and are easily addressed. For example, issues like roadblocks and traffic jams.

Even during poor weather conditions, it doesn’t have as much effect on delivery for land freight shipping as others.

Best ground shipping courier in the United State

There are four major shipping couriers in the United States. They include;

  • UPS (Ground shipping UPS)
  • FedEx (FedEx Ground®)
  • DHL (DHL Ground)
  • USPS (USPS retail ground®)


How long does ground shipping take?

The time varies depending on the courier service but can take anywhere from 1 – 8 days.

Which courier service has the fastest land freight shipping delivery?

UPS offers faster land freight shipping between 1 and 3 days.

Conclusion: Is ground shipping worth it?

As mentioned earlier, ground or land freight shipping utilizes a road or railway to complete delivery. A car, truck, train, or motorcycle is used to complete the delivery.

Although it is not as fast as freight or air shipping, it is cost-effective for all parties involved. So, yes, it is worth it.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article, if you did, you should also see how to cancel a USPS shipment.

Thanks for reading.