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New report: how you can get Express service at Ground prices

By Last updated on: March 1, 2023

Refund RetrieverDid you know that sometimes Ground service can be just as fast as Express service but at a fraction of the cost? We have first-hand experience at this. To help you find these same money-saving opportunities, we are introducing our Service Optimization report that to assist you by identifying routine shipments that could use Ground instead of Express services.

Shipping Service Optimization Story

This past Tuesday, one of our developers sent a parcel from Houston to Abilene, Texas. FedEx offered Priority Overnight service for $28, or Ground service for $7. He chose Ground. Now, look at the tracking — the package arrived the next day before 10:00 am. Express results at only a quarter of the price!

So what’s going on? As you may know, all service levels, even Ground, have a guaranteed delivery date and time. Ground packages are guaranteed to arrive by the end of the day, generally 1 to 5 days from the shipment date. This usually depends on many factors, especially the sender’s and recipient’s zip codes.

Express service delivery guarantees can vary by time of day as well, and can also depend on the sending and receiving zip codes. For example, Priority Overnight may mean delivery by 10:30 A.M. in some locations but Noon in others. When the Express guaranteed delivery time is later in the day, Ground service delivery times are often comparable, especially if the recipient is reasonably close or the carrier is especially speedy that day.

To summarize: depending on the zip codes, Ground service can provide equivalent results to overnight, 2-day, or 3-day service. So how does this help you?

Shipping Service Optimization Report

We’re proud to introduce our Service Optimization. This report gives you the needed information to make cost-saving decisions like ground vs. express delivery. This report analyzes previous express shipments, identifies the packages that were guaranteed to arrive after noon (meaning an early-morning delivery wasn’t important) and check the ground guarantee for that same package. The report shows a list of packages matching these criteria … each package is an opportunity to save money while receiving the same or very similar service from the carrier.

It gets better! The report also notes repeat combinations of service, sender, and recipient zip codes. If it tends to happen often, it’s clearly an opportunity to use a different, less costly level of shipping, reducing your shipping costs even more. Here’s an example:

Shipping Service Optimization
Shipping Service Optimization

As you can see, this shipper sent 41 Express Saver and 20 Priority Overnight, which would have arrived at the same time or a little later with Ground to those zip codes. Several other repeat opportunities — some 2-day, some Standard Overnight — appear as well.

How to use Shipping Service Optimization Reports

  • Download the list in our spreadsheet format, sort to find common repeat addresses, and keep these in mind.
  • Create a table of repeat combinations and a list of zip-code pairs. Give this to your shipping department, so they’ll know which shipments don’t necessarily need express service.
  • Manage your overall shipping costs by receiving guaranteed next-day, 2-day, or 3-day service at a Ground rate.
  • Pass on the savings to your customers, by offering cheaper options that have guaranteed speedy delivery. It’s a win-win solution for everyone.

Clearly, this report can help you bring down your overall shipping costs by choosing less costly ground services at just the right times. Just one more way Refund Retriever is trying to help you save money on your shipping.

If you ever have any ideas or discover a need for a particular report we don’t yet offer. Please let us know. Oftentimes, new reports are useful to a wide variety of our clients, and we will do all we can to create a new product to fit your needs.

Brian Gibbs

Author Brian Gibbs

More posts by Brian Gibbs

Brian Gibbs | President of Refund Retriever

Brian Gibbs founded Refund Retriever in 2006 while running his first eBay-based business and seeing the shortcomings of other shipment auditing companies. Refund Retriever's primary focus is FedEx and UPS parcel invoice auditing. After graduating from Texas A&M University in 2001, he graduated from the University of Houston in 2004 with a JD and MBA. Gibbs has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and other publications discussing parcel auditing, shipping, e-commerce, and more. Learn more at or call (800) 441-8085 for more information.

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