USPS Ground Advantage

Have to wonder if these reductions in Priority Mail rates have anything to do with the upcoming (planned for July 9) introduction of USPS Ground Advantage, which will replace the current USPS First Class Package Service as well as incorporate USPS Retail Ground and Parcel Select Ground (offering cubic rates).

A couple of interesting notes:

Commercial Ground Advantage will not be sealed against inspection, but Retail Ground Advantage will be.

Ground Advantage pieces will include up to $100 of insurance, and pieces that are undeliverable-as-addressed are entitled to be forwarded or returned to the sender without additional charge.

There’s a LOT more info, including proposed rates, in the PRC filing


Well that is a nice feature, for sure.


One of the most substantive changes will be

The Postal Service will be removing Certificate of Mailing and Certified Mail from the list of available optional features under USPS Ground Advantage.

For customers who seek to utilize those specific services, alternative products such as Priority Mail will continue to offer Certificate of Mailing and Certified Mail.

Which is the only guaranteed method to prevent an INR.

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Could you please clarify this statement? We have never used either of those services on any Amazon orders. And we have never lost an INR claim when using either Amazon Buy Shipping or Veeqo.

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It’s a law thing.

Could/would you define that?

You not paying a refund is not the same thing as not losing.

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One of the main reasons that we would bump up to Priority Mail Flat Rate was to get the $100 insurance coverage. If USPS Ground Advantage includes $100 insurance, then we will be saving $$$. It also means that we will be able to combine USPS Ground Advantage with a signature delivery and still be cheaper than Priority Mail Flat Rate.

The only thing we missed when reading was the service level. First Class Package Service followed First Class Mail service level at 3 to 5 days. Did anyone notice if the service level was staying the same or does it have a change?


I didn’t see it in the filing, but elsewhere it says 2 - 5 days.


Did they change the weight limit to 15 oz (from 15.999) or is their chart wrong?


The research indicated that the “USPS Ground Advantage” name will create an identifiable brand in the package market that is closely associated with the broader postal brand

I find that hard to believe. Can we take our own unofficial survey?

When I see the name “USPS Ground Advantage”, it makes me think of…

  • UPS Ground
  • USPS
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and clearly indicates the product is a strong option for customers’ ground shipping needs.

That’s an odd statement. Unless you’re shipping hazmat, how many people think in terms of having a ground shipping need? Don’t most people think in terms of speed and price?

The Postal Service expects USPS Ground Advantage will soon become a powerful brand name in the ground package market.

Can you do this :arrow_up: without doing this? :arrow_down:

the Postal Service expects this classification change will have a positive impact on existing users of the Postal Service’s ground package offerings, and will have a minimal impact on competitors and the broader package market.

Customers, competitors, and the broader market will all benefit from improved
brand clarity

I don’t see how UPS will benefit from USPS pretending to be them. (UPS Ground… USPS Ground…)

My main concern is, having always had lightning fast FC delivery times from here in OR to most places, are we now really going to see things slow down to 5 full days to cross the country?

When USPS first announced that FC was going to travel more by truck and less by plane, and thus arrive slower, I didn’t see much noticeable difference except to areas right in the middle of the country, like 1000 miles away from me. @Picks_by_Nisha , didn’t you mention the same?

My coast-to-coast FC packages still traveled by plane, with 2 and 3 days being the most common delivery times.

If that changes, that would be the biggest impact on my business. If it doesn’t change, then what would be the difference between this service and priority mail? :thinking:

It’s frequently been said that first-class and priority mail are the same service, with the only difference being the weight of the package. If first-class is now going to allow you to ship up to 70 pounds like priority, then how would the two services differ?

It has not been true all of the time.

In nearby zones, which probably do not need air, the appear identical, but they have not been identical for all destinations.

This new service combines First Class Parcel and Parcel Select. Parcel Select is usually equivalent to Media Mail in service, and I am concerned about whether this will be the equivalent of FC Parcel in service or Parcel Select in Service. I am also concerned because Parcel Select is not always cheaper than Priority Mail.

Longer term, I am concerned that media mail price and availability might be affected.

But I recognize there are many items which are not attractive to sell because of the costs of shipping, and have already eliminated some, and will probably eliminate more.


This statement has not proven true for my location. I’ve posted about my experience repeatedly, and of course, it is just my experience.

My first-class mail packages regularly get to Florida in 2 days. They regularly get everywhere within 3 days, the same amount of time as priority mail. If anything, priority mail is often a slower service than first-class mail for my packages.

I’ve never exactly understood why this is so, as it doesn’t seem that it should be, but I have years worth of historical data that shows OR to FL (and to many other destinations) is 2 days by first-class the majority of the time

Parcel Select is usually equivalent to Media Mail in service

I’ve noticed that even some of my Parcel Select shipments have gone cross country in just 2 days, it’s crazy really. Some people report that media mail has become faster too, at least in some cases. I don’t ship books, so have no first-hand knowledge about that.

I am concerned about whether this will be the equivalent of FC Parcel in service or Parcel Select in Service.

This is my concern too. If the new service continues with existing FC performance, that will be great. If they purposely slow it down, then it won’t.

I am also concerned because Parcel Select is not always cheaper than Priority Mail.

Ditto. If they create a new service that is slower than Priority Mail, but costs roughly the same, why would anyone use it? And if the new service is just as fast, and costs just the same, then how would the two services differ?

The announcement doesn’t seem to address these questions, but I guess we’ll find out once it takes effect.


Like you we ship most of our items FC as they are either 6 oz or 15 oz most of the time. And same results as you are experiencing, we can do 2 or 3 days to almost anywhere in the country. Just wanted to throw that out there because people seem not to believe it. Just to disclose we are 100% FBA on AZ but our experience with all other platforms (where we ship ourselves) is the same as Roxy.



This is my experience too, except for holidays. They go the same way, unless volume dictates some must take priority, hence…

And yeah, shipping from the East Coast, FL, stuff from me to CA goes quick. Same to NY, and big hubs. But stuff intra-FL can take days, as well as less populated areas. Interested to see how the service will work…

BTW, picking from USPS Ground vs. UPS Ground in Buy Shipping will mean don’t do orders till after coffee.


Agree! Someone on the OSFE actually challenged @Roxy and me about our stats with USPS, claiming they weren’t possible. Sheesh… :roll_eyes:


And same results as you are experiencing, we can do 2 or 3 days to almost anywhere in the country.

What part of the US are you located in?

A postal guy once told me that the big factor influencing delivery time (this was before the purposeful slowdown of October… 2021? 2022?) was how close the ultimate destination was to the big city the package was flown into.

BTW, picking from USPS Ground vs. UPS Ground in Buy Shipping will mean don’t do orders till after coffee.

:arrow_up: For sure @aerides ! :laughing: :coffee: :+1:

Another big part is the operational efficiency of your own local hub, and the departing flight hub.
Going from my home pickup, out of the hub by 8-10pm, then over to a major hub and on a flight overnight, is the norm for me.

We would agree with this and the distance to the main hub serving your area where the package is flown out of. It also has to do with the volume of the distribution center and the help within the unit.

From the panhandle of Texas, we see 2 to 5 days. Distance from us is not the defining factor as Portland OR and Seattle WA are 2 days most of the time. Honolulu HI is 2 or 3 days. Los Angeles CA area is 3 to 5 days with central LA and the south bay being longer than the out lying suburbs. Several of our Zone 4 (CO OK NE KS TX) will take 4 or 5 days.

Since the airlines are back in action, we have seen more consistent delivery patterns than we did during 2020 - 2021 time frame.

The biggest thing we see is the privacy being removed from FCPS as it moves into USPS Ground Advantage which allows for USPS to open and inspect packages. At least Priority Mail retains the privacy.

We’re in Phoenix, AZ. I’m sure our proximity to the main hub helps a lot. We can usually do 2 days to east coast, with the exception of NY and NJ, which are terrible hubs and inconsistent most of the time.



with the exception of NY and NJ, which are terrible hubs and inconsistent most of the time.

I usually don’t have trouble with NY, and not too much with NJ, although like you say, it can be inconsistent. One of my current surprising trouble spots is PA. They’ve usually been a pretty reliable 2-day delivery for me too, at least to the big cities, but lately, it’s frequently been more like 4. I’m not sure why.

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Weather causing delays …

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I’m told the original filing included the 15 oz instead of 15.99, but that it is being corrected to 15.99. Glad to hear that since we ship quite a few packages that are over 15 oz but less than 15.99 oz.

Also that all Ground Advantage packages will travel by truck and not by plane.

Will be interesting to compare current service levels for First Class packages to the upcoming “enhanced ground shipping solutions.”