- The U.S. Postal Service received approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission to launch its new USPS Ground Advantage shipping service on July 9, the agency announced last week.
- Ground Advantage will be formed from existing shipping services — USPS Retail Ground, Parcel Select Ground and First-Class Package Service — along with returns options. Pricing will be 1.4% lower compared to these predecessor offerings, according to the Postal Service.
- "It provides a simple, reliable, and more affordable way to ship packages in two-to-five business days across the continental United States," the agency said.
The Postal Service's ongoing 10-year transformation plan, which includes implementing an integrated network for both mail and packages, made Ground Advantage a possibility, Jakki Krage Strako, chief commerce and business solutions officer, said on an agency podcast in June.
"With this integrated network, we can be highly reliable," Strako said. "So if we make a service promise that this is a two-day reach from Point A to Point B, we are going to make that two-day reach with 95%-plus certainty. So it's not only affordable price, but it's predictable and reliable."
The Postal Service is counting on Ground Advantage to be a popular service as it aims to more effectively compete in the package delivery market versus FedEx and UPS. The agency expects to see $24 billion in net package revenue growth through its transformation plan.
Streamlining existing services will reduce confusion among shippers while giving the Postal Service a distinct ground shipping product that can better compete with what other carriers offer, Strako said.
"Now we have USPS Ground Advantage, which can move from the tip of Florida to the tip of Maine, or the tip of Florida to Washington state, in five days," Strako said. "So that is our ground product to really compete head-to-head with our competitors' ground product."
The Postal Service is hoping to ease the transition for shippers currently using Ground Advantage predecessors by offering a "grace period" until Sept. 30.
During this period, the agency will continue to accept, process and deliver all legacy products merging into Ground Advantage without penalty or assessment. Afterwards, shippers will need to comply with new mailing rules to avoid noncompliance fees.