UPS SurePost®: Is it right for your B2C shipping?

Whether it’s going across town or across the country, a small package has a big journey to reach its destination. The trickiest part of your parcel’s trip is generally at the end, when it travels from a fulfillment center to be delivered. This final leg is known in the logistics industry as the last mile.

While the last mile of shipment may not seem too different from all the miles that precede it, there are actually unique costs and challenges at this final stage of delivery. Residential doorstep delivery, for example, creates extra surcharges and complications.

With the unprecedented rise in e-commerce the last few years, customers expect your shipping to be fast, affordable and accurate. To address these issues in a cost-effective way for small or mid-size businesses (SMBs) like yours, UPS® created special last-mile service: UPS SurePost®.

What is UPS SurePost?

SurePost is a low-cost service type that provides economical, last-mile delivery for small, light-weight packages to residential addresses. SurePost combines the consistency and speed of UPS’s network with the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) experience and expertise in last-mile logistics.

SurePost packages are picked up by UPS and utilize their ground network until they near their final destination, when they are usually transferred to the USPS for last mile delivery. These packages will generally take an extra day or two to be delivered, but still follow the usual UPS tracking experience all the way to their destination.

If at least one other UPS package is bound for the same address, however, UPS will keep the package in its network and deliver it along with the other shipments. Otherwise, the USPS will take care of final delivery for nearly half of SurePost packages.

So, how do you know if SurePost is a good fit for your business? If you’re regularly a business-to-consumer (B2C) shipper fulfilling at least 10 small package shipments per day, SurePost might be a great option. SurePost packages should:

  • Weigh less than 10 lbs.
  • Measure under one cubic foot
  • Be residential deliveries
  • Don’t require urgent or guaranteed delivery times
  • Have a value less than $100 and require limited liability coverage

How is UPS SurePost different from UPS Ground?

UPS Ground differs from SurePost in that it offers speedy, day-definite delivery in one-to five days. Residential deliveries via UPS Ground also incurs a surcharge.

Another key differences from SurePost is that UPS Ground also covers a wide variety of package sizes and weights. It’s always delivered by a UPS driver and stays entirely in the UPS network.

UPS Ground can make more sense than SurePost if you ship larger, heavier packages or ship fewer than 10 parcels on a day-to-day basis. You may also want to consider UPS ground if your shipments require extra speed or specific-day delivery.

Does UPS SurePost make sense for my e-commerce shipping?

If your business mostly operates in the online retail space and ships many small, light parcels each day, SurePost could offer some powerful benefits for you and your customers.

It’s the perfect pairing with an e-commerce program for multiple reasons, including:

  • Lower UPS shipping rates that also include all fuel, residential delivery, and delivery area surcharges. This leaves room in your budget to offer free shipping to your customers!
  • Pickups at the same time as your other parcels, saving you a trip to the post office.
  • A residential delivery focus, making it an ideal, low-cost service for B2C e-commerce shippers.
  • Utilizing UPS for all of your packages, large or small, which saves you from having to manage multiple systems for your business shipments.
  • Tracking information provided in one place through UPS, even if last-mile delivery is handed off to USPS.
  • Delivery to P.O. boxes, which UPS cannot do with its other shipping options.
  • Opportunities to beat your competitors on ground shipping costs or pass your shipping savings along to your customers

The reach, reliability and sophistication of the UPS logistics system paired with the final mile expertise of USPS, all with economical rates baked in? It’s not too good to be true — it’s SurePost!

Ready to find out if UPS SurePost can benefit your e-commerce business? Unishippers is an ideal partner to help make that determination and get you started with SurePost. We’re part of the largest non-retail Authorized Reseller of UPS, and we leverage that partnership to help SMBs with their small package shipping at affordable rates. As a full-service third-party logistics provider (3PL), we can also offer guidance as your business grows, along with expert advice and support on any other aspects of your shipping.

Reach out to Unishippers for a free SurePost shipping consultation today!

*This is not a guarantee of service. Availability of and eligibility for UPS SurePost® will depend on certain qualifications, including shipment volume, approval by UPS and other factors to be addressed by your Unishippers representative.

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