What is USPS Ground Advantage? A Guide to the New USPS Shipping Service

The replacement for First Class Package and Parcel Select Ground aims to provide the best of both services with a sprinkle of Priority Mail for a shipping speed that’s cost-effective and valuable for non-time-sensitive packages.

USPS Ground Advantage Guide Featured Image

The United States Postal Service recently announced that, on July 9th, they combined First Class Package service and Parcel Select Ground service into a single offering called Ground Advantage that tries to take advantage of the best features of the outgoing services. This guide will walk you through the changes with the new service and cost differences.

What is USPS Ground Advantage?

Ground Advantage is the combination of First Class Package and Parcel Select Ground. It is a shipping option for packages both under and over one pound. The service level for Ground Advantage remains the same as FCP and PSG (2-5 days).

First Class Package and Parcel Select Ground did not offer lost or damaged packages insurance. Ground Advantage comes with $100 in insurance by default with an option to purchase more, up to $5,000. This is the same as the insurance offering for Priority Mail shipments.

Additionally, Ground Advantage will expand the threshold for Cubic shipping. Historically, Cubic shipping was reserved for Priority Mail and topped out at 0.5 cubic feet (a roughly 10″ x 9″ x 9″ box). Ground Advantage offers rates up to 1.0 cubic feet (12″ x 12″ x 12″).

Ground Advantage Pricing and Features Compared

Here are the pricing changes for Ground Advantage compared to the outgoing First Class Package and Parcel Select Ground, as well as a comparison of the most critical feature changes. We’ve compared these prices to Priority Mail, too, for reference.


Ground Advantage

First Class Package

Parcel Select Ground

Priority Mail

Delivery Time

2-5 days

2-5 days

2-5 days

1-4 days

Default Insurance





Additional Insurance

up to $5,000



up to $5,000

Package Pickup





Pricing (15 oz, Z1 to Z9)

$5.85 to $6.78

$5.85 to $6.78

$5.85 to $6.78

$7.64 to $18.03

Pricing (3 lb)

$7.17 to $11.43

$7.17 to $11.43

$7.17 to $11.43

$8.43 to $37.43

Pricing (cubic, 0.2)

$6.68 to $9.29


$7.07 to $10.12

$8.23 to $27.59

Pricing (cubic, 0.5)

$7.52 to $13.15


$7.36 to $13.66

$8.74 to $56.29

Pricing (cubic, 1.0)

$9.45 to $18.82


$9.30 to $17.68

weight-based only

As you can see from the table above, Ground Advantage is a highly competitive shipping option compared to Priority Mail, with delivery insurance provided by default, as well as pricing that scales both in weight and dimension. For businesses that are comfortable with deliveries taking up to one more day compared to Priority Mail, cost savings are substantial, with larger cubic shipments seeing savings of potentially $40 or more per package.

Based on these changes, we see a substantial draw to only ever using Ground Advantage over Priority Mail for most shipments, even with cubic rates. Parcel Select Ground would have been cheaper for local shipments, but not by much, and it didn’t offer insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are First Class Package and Parcel Select Ground Going Away?

Both services are being combined into the single Ground Advantage. Starting July 9th, new shipments cannot use the First Class Package or Parcel Select Ground service.

Is Ground Advantage Cheaper Than Priority Mail?

Yes. Depending on the package size, weight, and distance, you could see savings of under $1 to as much as $40.

Is Ground Advantage Slower than Priority Mail?

Potentially. The delivery window for Ground Advantage is 2 to 5 days, whereas Priority Mail is 1 to 4 days.

Can Ground Advantage Packages Be Picked Up?

Yes. Unlike Parcel Select Ground, Ground Advantage packages can be picked up by your mail carrier.

Can I use Ground Advantage for Hazmat Shipments?

You can use Ground Advantage for shipments that cannot be transported by plane. Regular USPS hazmat shipment restrictions still apply.

Can I use Ground Advantage on eBay, Etsy, Amazon, or Shopify?

Every platform that allows you to create customer shipments will support this new shipping option, including eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Shopify, WooCommerce, ShipStation, Easy Ship, and more.


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