Warehousing & Fulfillment

Is SurePost Shipping Right for Your Business?

Warehousing & Fulfillment
March 8, 2022
5 min read

Everything you need to know about SurePost, the UPS economy shipping solution. to find the best shipping option for your business.

UPS SurePost delivery is an economy shipping option offered by UPS. Between rising supply chain costs and rising consumer expectations for free shipping, many ecommerce merchants may be looking for ways to save money on fulfillment and delivery costs without sacrificing on reliability. 

While increased freight costs and port congestion may have dominated the headlines recently, an estimated 53% of delivery costs are incurred in the final mile – the last step of delivery that takes a package directly to the customers doorstep. A solution like UPS SurePost consolidates trips made by final mile delivery trucks, increasing shipping density and lowering costs for shippers.

Having an economy shipping option gives your customers more choices at checkout, and when used for subscription services, can help you save on shipping costs without disrupting service levels for your customers. Read ahead to learn about SurePost shipping and decide if an economy shipping option is right for your business.

What is UPS SurePost?

UPS SurePost is an economy shipping option that combines the trusted UPS Ground shipping network with the final mile delivery service of the USPS. The final hand-off to USPS for the last leg of delivery usually adds about 1-2 days to the average UPS Ground shipping time. 

SurePost packages are picked up by UPS with all other outbound shipments. They are then processed and pre-loaded by UPS, and if shipments can be consolidated for more efficient delivery, they are then passed off to the USPS for final mile delivery. All SurePost packages stay within the UPS network for 70% of their journey, and over 45% of SurePost packages are actually fully delivered by UPS. 

All SurePost packages can also be tracked end-to-end using UPS MyChoice, giving the end customer a frictionless experience. Last mile carrier tracking provided by a trusted carrier like UPS gives your customers full visibility into their ship peace of mind

The package requirements for SurePost are:

  • Weight under 10 pounds
  • Measurements under 1 cubic foot
  • Final delivery to residential address (Direct to Consumer)
  • Total Value under $100

When Should I Ship SurePost?

Not all shipments will be right for an economy option like UPS SurePost. Although it is a highly reliable economy option, with delivery times only 1-2 days longer than UPS Ground, delivery times are not guaranteed. Therefore, time sensitive shipments are not the best fit and should be shipped via a guaranteed delivery service.

However, shipments that are not time-sensitive are great candidates for SurePost shipping. One example is subscription items. Now that consumers have adapted to online shopping for many household items and essentials, they may be more likely to enroll in a subscription service so items are automatically ordered and shipped to their home. In fact, a 2021 consumer survey revealed that 43% of consumers enrolled in a new subscription service during the pandemic, and that 88% intended to keep that subscription long-term.

Brands like O2 Recovery, a sports recovery drink, offer a 20% discount and free shipping on subscription orders. This allows them to offer more value to their customers and increase the likelihood of reorders, driving up their customer lifetime value (CLV).

SurePost shipping is a great option for these kinds of subscriptions because the package can be shipped early enough to ensure delivery by the expected delivery date. 

An economy shipping option may also be a good fit for low-value items. Consumers may be less willing to pay extra for shipping on lower-cost products. To decrease the chances of cart abandonment, consider offering free or low-cost shipping options in addition to expedited shipping.

Making the Most of Economy Shipping

While low-cost shipping may be a selling point for many shoppers, fast shipping is still a general expectation for most consumers. In fact, a 2021 survey revealed that 33% of consumers actually have higher expectations for free shipping than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to realize bottom line savings on final mile delivery without sacrificing customer satisfaction, it’s essential to build a distribution network that is optimized for fast ground shipping. By distributing inventory closer to your end customers, you can lower your time in transit (TNT) on final mile deliveries. With the right warehouse placement, you can even build a network that supports nationwide 1- to 2-day delivery via UPS Ground. A distribution network optimized for 2-day Ground will ensure faster delivery times on economy shipments, offering your customers the best of both worlds.

Looking for more ways to meet consumer expectations for shipping without sacrificing your bottom line? Reach out to one of our delivery experts today.

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