What is UPS Surepost?

Matt Bohn

October 18, 2023


With increasing amounts of customers shopping from home, affordable shipping services are growing more competitive. According to UPS, 74% of US shoppers consider free shipping as a top consideration when making an online purchase.

UPS’s answer to consumers’ expectations of affordable delivery is UPS SurePost, a low-cost shipping solution that collaborates with the USPS to ensure consistency, reliability, and timeliness of deliveries.

Benefits of Using UPS Surepost

Using UPS SurePost, you can expect the following benefits to boost your shipping experience:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: UPS SurePost is a value-driven economy service, perfect for saving money on non-urgent shipments of lower-value goods. The service is contract-only but comes with light features that make it a desirable option above other economy shipping services, such as tracking and PO box delivery. Perhaps its biggest advantage is the absence of a residential surcharge, which is assessed on all of UPS' other services.
  • Reliable Delivery: UPS SurePost utilizes the UPS network to ensure consistent time-in-transit and reliability of your deliveries. While USPS often handles the final mile delivery of your goods, 40% of UPS SurePost packages have UPS perform the final delivery. Whether USPS or UPS facilitates the ultimate drop-off, this is a dependable service you can count on to get your goods where they need to go.
  • Delivery Options: The flexibility of delivery options makes UPS SurePost a desirable program for your business. Deliveries are made by USPS seven days a week. UPS SurePost delivers to the lower 48 US states, and even Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and all US Territories (although Non-US 48 destinations will have longer transit times).

How UPS SurePost Works

UPS SurePost is a service option that boasts the reliability of UPS Ground at a more affordable cost. This is accomplished through the partnership with USPS in the final leg of the shipment’s journey.

The parcel is collected by UPS and shipped through the UPS Ground network up until the final mile. From there, USPS makes the final delivery (although occasionally UPS may make the delivery instead).

This hybrid option is typically cheaper than sending your goods to their ultimate destination via UPS truck. The cost-saving comes from the final leg of the delivery, with USPS crossing the finish line and delivering the package.

Instant Free Shipping Audit

Who Can Benefit from UPS SurePost?

Any of the following types of consumers can benefit from using UPS SurePost: 

  • Shippers of Lower-Value Goods – If the goods shipped aren’t of exceedingly high value, this is the ideal price-sensitive solution for cost-conscious shipping.
  • Shippers with Less Time Sensitivity – Mail classes included in UPS SurePost include Parcel Select Lightweight, Parcel Select, Bound Printed Matter (BPM), and Media Mail. Ideally, if you’re shipping small, lightweight packages that are not urgent, UPS SurePost can be a cheaper alternative to UPS Ground.
  • Ecommerce Shippers – Shippers of generally small items, which go to residences generally experience the largest benefit, since they do not have to pay a residential surcharge with UPS Surepost.

Whether you’re an e-commerce business, a small business, or an online shopper, you can benefit from UPS SurePost’s unique advantages. Luckily, getting started with the program is easy.

How to Start Using UPS SurePost

The following steps will help you get started with UPS SurePost so you can start saving today, including setting up a UPS agreement.

  1. Account Setup: Setting up an account with UPS is easy, taking only minutes to gain access to different shipping options. Simply enter your email and create a username and password, verify your account through the code sent to your email.
  2. UPS Agreement: To access UPS SurePost, make sure to establish a UPS agreement for the service.
  3. Package Preparation: Prepare your package to secure the goods carefully inside. When accessing UPS’s shipping terminal online, you will be able to select SurePost shipping and the drop-off location for your package. Drop it off when it’s ready.
  4. Tracking and Delivery: Through your UPS account, you’ll be able to track your shipment as it travels through the UPS network and then to USPS for the final mile. You’ll be able to follow your order status on the UPS website and will be updated with the final delivery confirmation upon dropoff.

UPS Surepost vs. Other Shipping Options

When comparing shipping options, consider the following criteria:

  1. Pricing – How expensive the shipping service is
  2. Delivery speed – How long it takes for the parcel to arrive
  3. Service area – Regional areas the shipping services pick up from and deliver to

UPS SurePost vs UPS Ground

In terms of price, UPS SurePost is more affordable than UPS Ground, but UPS Ground is faster. Both services deliver to all 50 states and Puerto Rico, but only UPS SurePost can deliver to PO Boxes and Military APO/FPO/DPO destinations.

UPS SurePost vs FedEx SmartPost

SmartPost is FedEx’s version of UPS SurePost, so prices and delivery speeds for the two services are similar. Also similar to SurePost, FedEx SmartPost delivers to PO Boxes and Military destinations.

UPS SurePost vs USPS Priority Mail

For sub-pound shipments, USPS traditionally has the most competitive rates; however, heavier packages in the 1 to 9 pound range are cheaper to ship with UPS SurePost. That said, with a delivery speed of 1–3 days, Priority Mail is faster than SurePost. Both of these options have the same service area since USPS handles the final delivery in both scenarios.

Find More UPS SurePost Tips and Best Practices from Lojistic

At Lojistic, our parcel audit services help you control and reduce your shipping costs and provide a host of additional benefits like parcel payment and parcel refund solutions. 

With Lojistic, use real-time analytics to compare shipping carriers like UPS and FedEx and decide which service is performing better for you. You can even link your carriers to your Lojistic account to easily access your purchasing history and tracking data with multiple freight services all in one place.

If you want to save on shipping and explore different service options such as UPS SurePost, Lojistic is the perfect platform to eliminate unnecessary fees and find cost-saving opportunities for your business. 


UPS. UPS SurePost. https://www.ups.com/assets/resources/webcontent/en_US/UPS_SurePost_Infographic.pdf

UPS. UPS SurePost. https://www.ups.com/assets/resources/webcontent/en_US/UPS_SurePost_Infographic.pdf
UPS. UPS SurePost Features of Service. https://www.ups.com/assets/resources/webcontent/en_US/ups-surepost-features-of-service.pdf


Matt Bohn

Matt Bohn

Director of Parcel Rate Services

Matt is the Director of Parcel Rate Services for Lojistic, a technology-driven firm that leverages innovative software solutions to control and reduce shipping costs.

Prior to his role at Lojistic, Matt held significant positions in the industry, including his tenure as Senior Pricing Advisor at FedEx. Matt analyzed pricing programs and wrote pricing contracts for some of FedEx’s largest e-commerce and retail shippers. He also managed projects for the FedEx Global Pricing Approval Systems and Strategic Account Executive Inputs.

Matt earned a BS in Computer Engineering and an MBA in Finance from the Joseph M. Katz School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.
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