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Ground Shipping: How To Use Ground Shipping for Expedited Delivery

Choosing the right partner can make or break your company’s logistics, customer service, and repeat purchases. Using a fulfillment center like Shipfusion frees you from navigating the fulfillment landscape with zero stress. Below are some insights on how Shipfusion can take your business to the next level.

Let’s face it; ground shipping doesn’t have the best reputation. When most people think of ground shipping, they imagine waiting for weeks or even months for their package to arrive, the whole time wondering why they didn’t just go into a physical store and buy their item in person. We’ve all been there, and it’s frustrating; Fortunately, the days of slow ground shipping may finally be behind us.  

Keep reading to learn how you can leverage the latest in 3PL fulfillment and offer your customers next-level ground shipping speeds just like Shipfusion does.  

Ground Shipping at a Glance

Before we go over how to harness the power of 3PL fulfillment to offer lightning-fast ground shipping speeds, it’s of the utmost importance that we first touch on what ground shipping actually is because there is sometimes confusion surrounding the jargon of the shipping industry.

So, what exactly is ground shipping?

In simple terms, Ground shipping refers to shipping packages that are then transported to the receiver via road or rail transit. This mode of shipping is widely used as it can be one of the most economical options for shipping, especially when dealing with large volumes. 

Oftentimes, companies can offset the entire cost of ground shipping by simply factoring the expense into the cost of their products, which allows businesses to advertise “free” shipping. The issue is that people don’t mind paying a bit more for a quicker delivery. 

In most situations, ground shipping takes longer than shipping by air; the reason for this is relatively straightforward; planes travel faster than trains or trucks.

Nowadays, however, innovations in the supply chain 3PL sector have made ground shipping much quicker and even more affordable than it used to be. When you consider the costs involved with shipping volume, it can offer great value to businesses while at the same time increasing customer satisfaction. 

There are some other major benefits of using ground shipping for order fulfillment in 2021. Let’s take a look at some of those benefits now. 

1. Ground shipping is affordable

Due to the high cost of air transit, air-fuel, and other expenses related to shipping goods by air, ground shipping is a much more budget-friendly alternative. The difference in cost that companies save by choosing ground shipping versus other modes of shipping can sometimes mean the difference between profit and loss, so it’s an important consideration that should be factored into any business model.

2. Ground shipping can be faster than you think

Despite what many people think, ground shipping can sometimes be just as fast as shipping goods by air and at a fraction of the cost. Shipping by air makes sense in some situations, but shipping by ground can arrive much quicker than you might expect in many domestic cases. With the help of a 3PL powerhouse, such as Shipfusion, shipments can go from you to a centralized fulfillment center to the customer in as little as two days.

When shipping to a higher “shipping zone,” delivery can sometimes take a bit longer due to increased volume, but not much longer, and the savings often more than make up for the difference. Those savings can then be passed along to the customer, boosting your sales, increasing customer satisfaction, and promoting brand trust.  

3. Ground shipping can be environmentally friendly

It’s important to recognize the toll that shipping takes on the environment. In recent years, the industry has begun to shift away from carbon-heavy modes of transit or have invested the resources necessary to at least mitigate the carbon footprint left behind in the wake of domestic and international cargo shipments.

With more and more ground shipping companies investing in carbon offset, ground shipping is increasingly becoming an environmentally sustainable option. This trend seems likely to continue in the years ahead, which is a good thing for everybody.

The Major Players in Ground Shipping

So, now that we know what ground shipping is, and are aware of the significant benefits that it can offer to both businesses and customers, let’s look at the big names in the industry and see how they stack up against each other.

FedEx

FedEx delivers to all 50 states in the continental U.S.; they can deliver packages by ground within one to five business days. The quickest turnaround times are for parcels being sent to neighboring states. For shipments going to Alaska or Hawaii, FedEx takes a bit longer because air shipment is required; in these cases, packages often take between five and seven days to be delivered. 

USPS

The United States Postal Service, or USPS, can ship to all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico. The average shipping time is between two and eight business days, with faster turnaround times for parcels sent by USPS Retail Ground. Customers opting for priority mail can expect ground shipments to be fulfilled within one to three business days. Shipfusion’s partnership with USPS includes 8 points of tracking and no signature options upon arrival. 

DHL eCommerce

DHL is perhaps best known for its international shipping options, which, of course, involve air transit but can offer a rapid solution for customers willing to pay the premium. Like USPS, the average shipping time for standard ground shipments with DHL can range between two to eight business days, depending on the option selected and the distance involved.

Shipping rates are updated frequently with DHL, and they offer a ton of different solutions for ground shipping. Shipfusion’s partnership options with DHL eCommerce include special rate offers for Shipfusion’s clients. DHL eCommerce consists of a  Combination of DHL and USPS with DHL responsible for the initial pickup, then to be dropped off at USPS — USPS is responsible for the final mile delivery. 

UPS

United Parcel Service, or UPS., was founded in 1907 and has been in operation for more than 113 years now. UPS offers ground shipping within the U.S., with average turnaround times ranging from one to five business days. Additionally, UPS is one of the only carriers with an option for priority shipping on Saturdays.

Get the Fastest Ground Shipping by Using a 3PL Fulfillment Service

Most major carriers offer two-day ground shipping, so it’s hard to maintain the idea that ground shipping is slow. While it’s true that same-day shipping is generally a bit more expensive than slower ground shipment options, they are almost always still much more affordable than air shipping, especially when shipping domestically within neighboring or nearby states.

The trick to getting the quickest shipping solution is to leverage the power of a 3PL fulfillment service, such as Shipfusion, so that your shipments are managed the whole way.

What is a 3PL Fulfillment Service?

A third-party logistics (3PL) fulfillment provider, such as Shipfusion, effectively manages every step of your fulfillment process. From warehousing to distribution, through the fulfillment center, and right to the customers’ door, a 3PL logistics company can take care of the entire process so that you can focus on growing your sales and managing the business side of things.

Here are some benefits of working with a 3PL fulfillment service.

A 3PL fulfillment partner can process orders for you

When you trust your order processing to a 3PL fulfillment company, like Shipfusion, you’ll be able to rest assured knowing that someone is always there paying attention to the small details. The moment your customer makes a purchase, the 3PL will immediately begin the shipping process, saving you money and reaching your customer faster.

A 3PL fulfillment provider can handle and process any returns.

Returns can be a major pain in the backside. Having a 3PL fulfillment partner like Shipfusion handle this part of the business is sure to save you a ton of time, clerical work, and at least a few headaches. With state-of-the-art inventory tracking and management systems, a good 3PL will always know exactly what you have in stock and where each SKU is located.

Summary

Ground shipping has become much faster, more affordable, and environmentally friendly than it used to be. The major players in the shipping game are often able to ship within a day or two. By taking advantage of 3PL fulfillment, you too can offer your customers the very fastest ground shipping deliveries while saving money and increasing customer satisfaction.

 Shipfusion sets your business on autopilot and combines flexible, reliable fulfillment with powerful, real-time technology. Shipfusion has multiple fulfillment centers across the US and Canada– making it easy to manage your eCommerce business. For more information on how to set your business on autopilot, contact one of our fulfillment specialists today.

“Part of the theme at Shipfusion is that we don't constrain our clients. We work with them as business partners, which allows them great flexibility to work with other 3PL solutions and still take advantage of Shipfusion services.”

Dean Bentley-Falcke
Senior Solutions Architect and eCommerce Specialist
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